Dumfries officials' feud gets personal, goes public

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Local,Virginia,Taylor Holland

Tensions are running high in Prince William County after two local officials publicly traded potshots this week about future development in the area.

Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman started the tussle Tuesday by blasting Prince William County Supervisor Maureen Caddigan, whose district includes the town, because of what he felt was a lack of concern about residents' needs.

"If we are going to continue to move forward, the town of Dumfries is going to need a county supervisor that ... doesn't tell us why we can't do something but rather provides equitable solutions as to how it can be done," Foreman said.

The duo's disagreements include the extension of Route 234, the transportation of ethanol along town roadways and a proposed ZIP code change for the area, Foreman said after Caddigan refused to meet with him privately to discuss those problems.

"I don't think that you've ever visited me at Town Hall and sat in the Mayor's Office," Foreman said of Caddigan at a Town Council meeting. "It appears that the only time you come to Dumfries is when there is a public event and there are cameras and press available. I'd like to assist you in changing that image."

Foreman's comments didn't sit well with Caddigan, who returned fire a day later, defending her 20 years of service on the County Board of Supervisors.

"Your outburst was unproductive at a minimum and overflowed with what I consider to be your usual arrogance and unprofessional demeanor from your 'bully pulpit,' " Caddigan wrote to Foreman in a letter first obtained by InsideNoVa. "I believe your actions and words were not only ridiculous, but demeaning of public service."

Caddigan said she would be happy to meet with the Dumfries Town Council about the issues, noting that she only opted not to meet one on one with the mayor because of his "unprofessional behavior."

"I will not meet privately with you in view of your many displays of assaults on my character, performance and ethics," she wrote. "In short, I am sorry to say, I don't trust you."

Caddigan told The Washington Examiner she sent the letter "to set the record straight" about her work with Dumfries. She also hoped it would put a stop to the bickering.

But her hopes haven't been realized yet, as at least one member of the Dumfries Town Council appears ready to join on the fight.

"Mayor [Foreman] is working hard for the citizens of Dumfries; Supervisor Caddigan refuses to do so," said Councilwoman Kristin Forrester. "That's the long and the short of the story."

tholland@washingtonexaminer.com

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Taylor Holland

Staff writer
The Washington Examiner