We can’t help but be impressed by the maturing transformation of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce over the past two years. Rejecting far-right wing ideology, they’ve been charting a moderate-conservative course that emphasizes the positive contributions a healthy business sector makes to our community, businesses’ responsibilities as corporate citizens, and the importance of infrastructure, education, and quality of life to a thriving commercial sector – a sector necessary if we are to diversify away from such high reliance on residential real estate taxes.
Recently, the Chamber took the courageous step of publicly criticizing the latest unprincipled tactics of the Haddow-Candland cabal on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. In a press release and letter, the Chamber noted that it was not just the policy change on the Bi-County Parkway (on which reasonable people may disagree) that concerned them, but the manner in which the Board conducted its business (i.e. the Haddow-Candland cabal’s dishonesty). Calling it a “failure of leadership” the Chamber singled out Vice Chairman Pete Candland, who they said, “in our opinion, forced the vote irrespective of the Board’s previously stated intent,” because he thought that if all the board members had participated the motion would have failed. The Chamber went on to say that BOC members “spout platitudes to the business community about supporting the growth and development of the private sector,” while in fact working against such growth. In a bold and forthright closing, the Chamber remarked that “those seated behind the dais should not be some of our community’s greatest threats to economic growth.”
This strong statement was undoubtedly not easy to make. Cabal leader Mac Haddow has inserted himself on various Chamber committees, and has made sure that some other members of his group are placed on them as well. Consequently, Chamber members know that in any of their deliberations comments they make crossing Haddow are apt to show up on the cabal house organ, the Sheriff of Nottingham blog. Additionally, what shows up may not be limited to just the issues of disagreement, but may include insults about the Chamber member’s appearance, speaking ability, or physical characteristics.
Yet, despite all attempts at intimidation, over the last two years the Prince William Chamber of Commerce has emerged as one of the few community institutions willing to stand up publicly to the threat of the expanding Haddow-Candland cabal. For this, the Chamber deserves all our thanks.