Manassas Journal Messenger | Supervisors play with a heavy hand

We hope someone has gone out to Lake Ridge and untied Supervisor Ruth Griggs from that tree.

The Occoquan District Supervisor was been spared the obligation of civil disobedience when the Park Authority agreed to find another location for its driving range. Building the driving range would have sacrificed more than three acres of trees at Lake Ridge Park. The driving range was to be a partnership with the First Tee program, which helps teach area youth life skills through the game of golf.

Instead of tearing down trees along the Eagle Scout Trail near the banks of the Occoquan River, the First Tee course will most likely be set up at one of the area’s existing golf courses which are plentiful.

The Park Authority made the right decision in backing off its Lake Ridge plans. Such a range may have been ideal for First Tee, but it would have been unpopular with local residents and further eroded the trust between many residents and the Park Authority. Hopefully, a better facility will come available to First Tee.

If anything, this entire experience has educated residents about the First Tee program and its mission. Perhaps the operators at some of Prince William County’s finest golf courses will come forward and make First Tee an offer.

To ensure the trails in Lake Ridge were preserved, the Board of County Supervisors had to play with a heavy hand. In the end, they used the power of the purse to persuade the Park Authority to withdraw its driving range plan. County supervisors were ready to withhold funding to the Park Authority had it not abandoned the proposal. Since it depends on such large sums of money from the county budget for yearly operation, the Park Authority had little leverage in the matter.

It was one situation where money did matter.

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