Albert J. Dwoskin, owner of the McLean-based firm A.J. Dwoskin and Associates, needs to file applications for a building permit and minor site plan, said Brian Worthy, a Fairfax County spokesman. The proposal does not require approval by the county's Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors and mirrors the requirements imposed on a similarly contentious plan for a town-funded day-laborer center in 2006 in Herndon. The site at Centreville Square Shopping Center would be funded by Dwoskin and be run as a nonprofit organization by the Centreville Immigration Forum, a group of churches.
...Dwoskin and Supervisor Michael R. Frey said they would conduct more research on the plan in the wake of the sometimes-boisterous town hall-style meeting in the cafeteria of Centreville's Centre Ridge Elementary School. About 300 people attended the two-hour meeting, along with at least four television crews and dozens of activists on both sides of the immigration debate.
Nonprofit and church groups have said a site for day laborers at the shopping center could address concerns from store owners and residents who say Hispanic immigrants who look for work there and at the nearby public library are intimidating and a nuisance. At least some of the men, church groups and Frey said, are undocumented immigrants.
At several points Tuesday, many in the crowd snickered, sneered and yelled at one another and at Frey, who moderated the forum.
One man yelled "You lie!" at Frey when he began speaking about the county's partnership with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement jail programs. At another point, a shouting match erupted between a speaker and Frey, a moderate Republican (RINO) who has represented the Sully area since the district was created in 1991.
"I'm not going to claim this is an end-all," Frey said. "Do people feel like moving the workers to a location that's less visible and less prominent, where it could be controlled? Does it make it better?"
The question was met with a chorus of boos.
Most of those who spoke said they opposed a day-laborer center, questioning whether the site would invite more crime and traffic. "They have become a problem for our stores after hours, and it's gotten bad," said Marsha Goodman, 55, of Centreville, who added that she works at the shopping center's Giant. "I don't see how bringing them closer to the stores would make it better."
Instead of solving the problem, the day labor center is going to act like a magnet for more loitering and harassment of citizens. Look at what happened in Herndon just a couple of years ago. I know of areas still in Herndon where you don't walk, especially if you're a woman, for fear of harassment.
Of course, it would be great if the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors showed some leadership, but it doesn't, especially since the days of "Jihad" Gerry Connolly. And the two Republicans on the board leave a lot to be desired for their lack of cajones.