City council members admit misunderstanding

Two Manassas City Council members apologized Monday night for questioning the integrity of a local lawyer.

At a council meeting Sept. 16, Eugene Rainville and Ulysses “Xerk” White both asked why offices, rather than retail stores, were going into the first floor of Vanderpool, Frostick and Nishanian’s four-story headquarters on Church Street in Old Town.

Rainville and White asked City Manager Lawrence Hughes to review tapes of old council meetings to see whether attorney Mike Vanderpool had told the council that stores would indeed go into the 26,000-square-foot building, set to open in early December.

White believed that Vanderpool had made a “moral commitment” to put retail into the building. His statements, as well as Rainville’s, were reported in the Potomac News and Manassas Journal Messenger last Thursday.

Looking back on the Sept. 16 meeting, White said Monday that he had been merely bringing up concerns brought to him by residents.

His understanding of what Vanderpool had originally said was derived from what other people had told him, since he was not at the meeting where the statements were made.

“I regret that my misunderstanding was reported by the press and caused consternation for anyone,” White said.

Rainville too said that looking back, it was also clear to him that Vanderpool was merely mentioning retail as an option for the building.

“I regret that any misunderstanding came about as a result of the news article,” he said.

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