City Talk with Theresa May 7, 2020

— Here is some information and updates in the City of Manassas. May 7, 2020

Economic Development

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Commercial Real Estate Tax:

Concerned citizens are asking about any anticipated adjustment to the Commercial Real Estate Tax that is due on June 5. Reduction? Postponement? Dropping late payment penalties & interest? Nothing has been discussed or decided. But we expect a discussion in the near future.


Cares Act allocated from Feds to State. The State allocated more than 1 million to our local public schools for COVID-19 related programs and technology.


Here’s What’s Happening at Mason
A multidisciplinary team of George Mason University scientists is developing a saliva test to detect antibodies to COVID-19 and could begin screening student, faculty and staff volunteers as early as this summer. “All the different parts of the Mason research ecosystem are bringing their expertise together for this worthy purpose,” said Lance Liotta (pictured), the lead researcher and the co-director and co-founder of Mason’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM). “The goal is to evaluate if saliva can be used instead of blood for ease of screening for COVID-19 antibodies.”

Jumpstart Program at NOVA

JumpStart offers tuition free, college courses to eligible Northern Virginia high school graduating seniors.

JumpStart is for students enrolled in these Virginia public school systems as well as our existing private school partners: Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church City, Fairfax City, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Manassas City, Manassas Park City and Prince William County.
Online summer session begins on June 1, 2020 and ends on July 15, 2020.
A completed application to JumpStart is due by May 15, 2020.
So, what are you waiting for? JumpStart your college career now with NOVA!
Important Update
NOVA has faced a remarkable demand for our new JumpStart program, which is on track to exceed available seats well before the close of applications. We have heard from applying students and families, and it has quickly become clear that graduating seniors and their families are the ones who most need immediate access to these scholarships. These new graduates are moving on to college in just a few months, facing growing concerns about the cost of college at a time of significant financial uncertainty.
We want to assure that graduating seniors are able to make the most use of JumpStart, so as of today, we will limit the JumpStart program to the graduating class of 2020.
NOVA will still honor the applications of all qualified juniors who applied on or before April 29, 2020.
The college recognizes that you may be disappointed with this change, but we also hope you understand that our goal is to serve the students in our community with most pressing needs to access the JumpStart scholarship.

Learn more:

Stop Rent; Stop Evictions

If you are having financial difficulties, please communicate with your landlord to work out an arrangement or contact Family Services on our website: with details about your circumstance and how you need help.
There are many people looking to rent, so many landlords may consider letting you out of your lease and financial obligation to rent to someone else. Don’t not pay without notice. This will negatively impact your credit and may cost you your place to live.

Recycling and Trash
One of the worst problems we faced was an increase in dumping of bulk waste. This was heaviest in the common areas of townhome communities. The situation raised the prospect of a second level public health crisis. The decision was made to hire a private contractor to collect the material throughout the City. More than 11 tons of material was collected in the first two days. Fortunately, many HOAs and Property Managers were happy to work with the City to help with messaging and enforcement. We will continue collection until normal curbside bulk waste collection resumes.


Food Map:

Parks, Culture, and Recreation
There has been Liberia House clean-ups of the trails and stream during COVID-19 with a local group.  The parks and trails are open and social distancing is encouraged.
The Manassas Museum has virtual options:

museum stories

Bee City USA

We continue to receive original painted art work on bee hive boxes requested by community members. We are anxious for the reopening of the City to display them for the public.  We have more than 20 at this time.

The Governor’s Proposed Phases to Reopen

Friday, May 15, 2020 is the anticipated date for non-essential workers are expected to return to work. (Original date was Friday, May 8 and moved by the Governor on Mon., May 4)
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Open Letter to Governor Va. Beach:
This is what other localities are doing to prepare for the next phase.

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – Delegate Jason Miyares (82nd District – Virginia Beach) released the following open letter dated April 24th to Governor Ralph Northam regarding the current coronavirus response in Virginia. This is communication is signed by over 100 Virginia Beach area small business leaders, doctors, medical professionals and entrepreneurs asking for a “roadmap of hope” to Restart Virginia. Text of the letter is scanned and included below.

April 24, 2020

The Honorable Ralph S. Northam
Governor of Virginia
P.O. Box 1475
Richmond, Virginia 23218

Dear Governor Northam,

The coronavirus epidemic has been devastating. Devastating for our communities, devastating for our small business owners, devastating for our families. All elected officials at the state, federal and local level are right to take seriously this horrendous pandemic and its unique consequences.

It is clear that right now our nation and Commonwealth are facing not only a health crisis but also an economic crisis. As we navigate these times we must be mindful of how our reaction to the first has created the second. In short, our economy is in the midst of the first government mandated recession in our nation’s history.

Numerous studies have shown that increased unemployment leads to increased American deaths from suicide, drug overdoses and depression. Isolation is the worst remedy for those suffering through addiction and the societal costs of broken lives, broken marriages and broken homes that Virginia is facing will be unlike anything in modern history.

With each passing day more and more Virginians are feeling frustrated, isolated and seeing the most important lifeline in such an emergency beginning to fade; hope.

The question now is how we move forward to re-open society in a way that is a balanced approach based on science, safety and commonsense?

First, we need to create an action commission mixed with leaders from Virginia’s public and private sector to lay out the groundwork to reopen our society. Other states have put together the best and brightest in a similar framework, and we should tap the ingenuity, strengths and vision of Virginians to advise our leaders on the protocol and criteria to Restart Virginia. An excellent example is the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission. Job creators know what it takes to get Virginians back to work – and we need their expertise.

Second, we need clarification on why Virginia consistently has ranked near the bottom of states in total testing for COVID-19, and aggressively expand the access and turnaround on testing.

We can better reopen Virginia by expanding our testing in line with our neighboring states. According to official data, Virginia is next to last among states in COVID-19 testing per million residents, ahead of only Kansas. Virginia has tested 6,761 per million of our population. By comparison, Maryland has tested 12,179 per million, Tennessee 17,046 per million, West Virginia has tested 14,193 per million and the District of Columbia has tested 21,266 per million. While Virginia’s own Department of Health website lists 35 places to get tested for a state of 8.5 million and notes that the decision to get tested is determined by a physician, in Tennessee there are more than 45 drive-through testing sites alone with no referral by a doctor required.

In short, it is clear that our neighboring states with lower populations and lower state budgets are doing wider and more robust testing as a percentage of their population. They are dealing with the same strain on testing supplies as Virginia and every other state is, but they are innovating.

Testing needs to become more widespread, more accessible and quicker if we are to set forth any consensus scientific plan to re-open society. Virginians who are ready to go back to work deserve to know why other states are out-performing us on testing.

Third, we need to realize that every week we operate under the current protocol is another week in which thousands of Virginians are forgoing “elective” surgeries that are critical for their wellbeing, such as for hernias, joint replacements, and certain cancer treatments. Our healthcare workers are unable to work with patients and as a result thousands of Virginians are in pain and delaying important medical procedures during this lockdown. Our medical community prides itself on the proactive care that reduces sufferings and saves lives, such as mammograms, cancer screenings and other medical procedures. It is critical we find a path forward that allows Doctors to be Doctors and serve their patients. We also must re-start these routine medical procedures to keep our rural hospitals alive. If the coronavirus lockdown causes a rural hospital to close permanently, our fellow citizens will pay for it with their health down the road.

Finally on a April 21st Virtual Town Hall it was reported that you are considering keeping Virginia’s beaches closed potentially until July. Please note that this would devastate Virginia Beach’s tourism economy on which so many in my district depend for their livelihood. Tourism is a lifeblood for Virginia Beach and generates over 48,000 jobs and over $1.07 billion in salaries. Even people who are not directly in the tourism business in our city rely on the tourism dollars for their own livelihoods. As we face the best path forward on how to grapple this health crisis, please do not forget the economic crisis and the impact it is having on so many Virginians as we work towards a balanced solution.

Our hope, to quote Sir Winston Churchill, is that “… this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Let’s place forward the criteria and protocols in place to begin the planning on how to re-open society safely and trust Virginians.

Let’s give Virginians a road map to hope.

Praying for wisdom for you, your cabinet and for our leaders trying to find solutions for Virginia.
Yours In Freedom,

Delegate Jason S. Miyares
Virginia House of Delegates – 82nd District

P.S. Please see the attached correspondence from Virginia Beach area small business leaders, medical professionals and entrepreneurs that gives a voice to their concerns.


“We are small business leaders, doctors, medical professionals and entrepreneurs asking you to consider the societal costs, record unemployment and delayed medical care Virginians are facing during this coronavirus pandemic. With proper precautions going forward, please balance protecting the most vulnerable in our society with the societal impact the delay in medical care is having on Virginians, including the economic costs. We are asking for a balanced approach weighing all of the scientific, medical and economic costs as we lay out a path forward to reopen society and Restart Virginia”


“We are small business leaders, doctors, medical professionals and entrepreneurs asking you to consider the societal costs, record unemployment and delayed medical care Virginians are facing during this coronavirus pandemic. With proper precautions going forward, please balance protecting the most vulnerable in our society with the societal impact the delay in medical care is having on Virginians, including the economic costs. We are asking for a balanced approach weighing all of the scientific, medical and economic costs as we lay out a path forward to reopen society and Restart Virginia”

Mr. Jeff Ainsle
Ainslie Group

Dr. John Aldridge

Mr. Tim Anderson
Anderson & Assoc.

Ms. Elizabeth Atkinson
Owner, Atkinson Realty, Inc.

Dr. Raja, Bakshi, M.D.

Mr. Stanley F. Baldwin

Mr. Harshad K. Barot
Va Beach Minority Business Council

Mr. Tom Bates
Owner, RK Automotive

Mr. Vance Bartley

Mr. Joe Benton
President, East Coast Development Group, Inc.

Dr. Jenny Bozman

Mr. David Brand
President, DMB Strategic

Hal W. Breedlove, O.D.

Mr. William Burnette

Mr. David Burnham
CEO, CAVU International

Pamela Burnham, RN

Dr. Brad Butkovich

Dr. Tony Carter

Dr. Kenneth J. Cavallari
Tidwater Laser Periodontics

Dr. Daniel Davazos

Daniel Chang
(Cdr USN Ret.)

Mrs. Paula O’Donnell Chang
ICU Nurse (Ret.)

Dr. Seema Chawla

Mr. Mike Coleman
CV International

Mr. Michael Crabbs

Mr. Stacy Cummings

Mr. Michael Daubert
Layton Realty Group

Dr. Roberta Dobson

Mr. Brent DiGeronimo

Mr. John R. Dixon
(Captain, USN Ret.)

Mrs. Melissa J. Dixon, RN

Mr. Blake Dozier
OnPoint Building Services

Mr. Chip Faison
Owner, ISL

Michael Fernandez, DDS

Mr. Rhyan Finch
CEO & President, 1st Class Real Estate

Mr. Matt Fischer
EF Capital

Mr. Jamisson S. Fowler

Cindy Free, LPTA, CDE II

Mr. Charles S. Friedman

Mr. Bill Gambrell
Owner, Tautog’s

Mrs. Amanda B. Gift
Signature Family Wealth Advisors

Dr. Sarah Groy

Mr. Hunter Hanger
Hanger & Associates, P.C.

Dr. Ryan Harrell

Mr. John Hartman

Mr. Thomas J. Hill, Jr.
Truss Tech, Inc.

Mr. Keith Hinton
The Keith Hinton Group

Dr. Patrick Holmes

Dr. Marni Husson

Mr. Cory Jesse
OnPoint Building Services

Ms. Andrea Kilmer
CEO, The ESG Companies

Mr. Chip Kimnach

Dr. Neal Klar

Dr. Rodney Kryzhanovskiy

Ms. Rebekah Klyukin
Owner, A Time to Dance

Mr. Tom Knox
CEO, Senior Corp, Inc.

Mr. George Kotarides
President, Atlantic Avenue Association

Mr. Joe Lamontagne

Ms. Ester Leiva

Mr. Gene Loving

Mr. Russelly Lyons
Coastal Hospitality Assoc.

Mr. Gary C. Mah

Mr. Frank Malbon

Dr. Fouad Malki

Mrs. Rona Marsh

Ms. Dolly Mannix

Dr. Michele Mattioli

Mr. R.J. “Rip” McGinnis

Mr. Brian McGowan
Owner, RedSail Property Management

Mr. Bob McKenzie
McKenzie Construction

Ms. Cheryl P. McLeskey
President/CEO, McLeskey

Dr. Josh Miranda

Ms. Anna Paduhovich
Dr. Dina Pearl

Mr. Michael Pelton

Mr. Thanos Polizos
President/CEO, ODU Rent

Mr. William Prettyman
CEO, Studio Center

Ms. Angelique Ragland

Ms. Chantel Ray
President, Chantel Ray

Dr. Damdy C. Richards, DDS

Mr. Tim Robertson

Ms. Cheryl Sawyer
Surge Force, LLC

Matthew Sachs, MD, MPH, MBA

Mr. Whitt G. Sessoms, III
Cape Development & Real Estate Co.

Ms. Virginia Slusher
Owner, Beach Bodies

Mr. Romeo Spino
CEO, Stratas Corporation

Mr. Carl Spraberry
Advanced Integrated Technologies, LLC

Mr. John C. Stein
President & CEO, Baker’s Crust, Inc.

Mr. Bob Taylor
Taylor’s Do It Center

Dr. Vicky Throckmornton, DDS

Mr. Bob Thornton

Mr. Todd Tillery
Moe’s Franchise Owner

Mr. Ross D. Vierra
CEO, Axis Global Enterprises, Inc.

Mr. Joe Voorhees

Mr. John Voorhees
Voorhees Ortho, inc.

Ms. Carol Voorhees
Partner, VM Associates, LLP

Mr. Tom Walker
CEO, DroneUp

M. Trey Weis, DDS

Mr. Kent Woodard

Dr. Dag Zaptero, DDS