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Report On Budget Hearings and more

February 26, 2002

We have come a long way you and I.

Last night marked a 30 day period in which the political climate has turned a corner in this county.

I am still called "empty headed" and "cruel" at the Board of Supervisor meetings. But we have turned a corner.

I have been almost alone for two years in my battle against the boondoggle spending spree led by a 7 member ruling majority on the Board of Supervisors.

Thanks to many of you coming foreward in the last few weeks, I am no longer alone. And your help and assistance has resulted in Supervisor Drew Hiatt standing up more and more to the spending spree. Now comes Treasurer Roger Zurn who has taken a stand. And now a united Republican Committee has joined the fray, on our side.

Republican Committee Opposes Budget and Tax Hike

Last night a unanimous Republican Committee detailed and opposed the crazy spending effort of the Loudoun Government in unanimously passing a resolution. And they hailed Treasurer Roger Zurn as a hero. Zurn is a hero.

I am sending you a copy of that resolution to document the many ways in which this Lo Co Government is wasting tax dollars. (See below)

Last Thursday's all day Board of Supervisors' budget hearing ended late at night with two speakers that came running in after the chairman banged the gavel down "meeting adjourned". Chairman York opened up the meeting to hear their comments after I appealed his gavel.

Both speakers John Grigsby and David Eno spoke against the proposed budget.

Keep up the e-mails, phone calls, feedback, letters to the editor and committments to speak out.

I do hear some who support the budget. Many turn out at the Hearing. Many of them declare "I don't mind paying more taxes" to help their project or cause. That's okay. Do the math. Fifty (50) speakers show up and get $50 million extra tax dollars this year. That comes out to one million dollars per speaker. I would not mind paying $300 or $400 for that kind of return either. But not at your expense. That's the difference between you and these speakers.

L I S T O F H E R O S !

Let me thank the citizens who showed up to say "no" to the wild spending and increased taxes: John Grigsby, David Eno, Phil Sandoe, David Wilkinson, Richard Norman, John Massoud, Ken Glozer, Mark Winn, Mike Staton, Ben Weber, Brian Tubbs, Jack Shockey, John Soltis, Jim Vogt, tim Sparbanie and Mark Tate. Sorry if I forgot a name. This is twice as many as last year.

WHAT CAN I DO?

I have already seen some of the e-mails being posted with the Supervisors. Keep them coming. Please.

If you haven't yet, please email loudounbos@aol.com on the proposed budget and tax rate.

Or call the comment line at 703-777-0115. I will be given a listing of people making calls (if you give your name and town) as will all the the other Supervisors. These calls do matter. Do it today.

NEXT MEETING OF BOS, MARCH 4

The next meeting is March 4 with public comment at 9 a.m. and the next public hearing (14 items on the agenda) starting at 4:30 p.m. with your public comment at 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

MARCH 16 COMMUNITY MEETING CANCELLED

BOS chairman York has cancelled the March 16 Sterling Community meeting to have a Board of Supervisors budget work session at the government center in Leesburg. Please note the change. Repeat: there will be no community planning session on March 16.

RESOLUTION PASSED LAST NIGHT BY G.O.P.

Motion Made by Patricia Grigsby

RESOLUTION ON THE LOUDOUN COUNTY FY2003 BUDGET

WHEREAS, in these United States of America all power derives from the people, and the various levels of government are established to serve the people; and

WHEREAS, in our democratic republic the power to tax does not belong to the government by right, but rather is entrusted to government officials in their role as the peoples' representatives, and carries with it a fiduciary obligation to spend those funds derived from taxes with the utmost prudence, discretion and respect for the taxpayers and citizens from whom this money is received; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors of Loudoun County has been entrusted with the duty to spend public funds on behalf of the taxpaying citizens of this County, and is accordingly obliged to manage and restrain public expenses in a manner consistent with the prudent exercise of its responsibilities; and

WHEREAS, over the past three years the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has authorized large increases in government spending, which have been enacted under conditions of vigorous economic growth and substantial population increases, and now faces a faltering economic situation, population figures that have been revised to lower levels due to the 2000 census, and significant decreases in population growth rates and economic growth rates in Loudoun; and

WHEREAS, the duly elected Treasurer of Loudoun, being entrusted with responsibility for monitoring our County's fiscal health, has found it necessary to publicly raise his concerns that Loudoun County government spending is substantially outpacing population growth, driving our debt ratios beyond recommended limits, and expanding government payrolls beyond the level which our economy can prudently support; and

WHEREAS, the Loudoun County Administrator has proposed a draft FY2003 budget which continues the pattern of spending increases well in excess of population growth, despite the revised population figures and the slowdown in economic growth; and

WHEREAS, this draft budget proposes a 16% increase in current year government spending, including a 25% increase in debt service spending, which increases well exceed the current rate of population growth and are inconsistent with the widely recognized need to respond to adversely changing economic conditions; and

WHEREAS, the increase in property assessments established by the County Assessor is far more than sufficient to fund the increase in spending reasonably required to meet County obligations, providing over $58 million in additional revenue over last year, exclusive of any tax increase; and

WHEREAS, the proposed FY03 budget includes numerous discretionary items and projects which are clearly inessential to the County's necessary services, and together constitute a major expansion in the scope and size of local government; and

WHEREAS, the draft budget proposes various increases in government employee compensation amounting to pay hikes averaging 8.5%, well in excess of private sector pay increases this year;

NOW THEREFORE, the Loudoun County Republican Committee commends County Treasurer Roger Zurn for his courage in speaking his conscience, and calls upon the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to critically review and revise this draft budget with a clear focus on changing economic conditions, and their fiduciary responsibilities, and with these concerns in mind, to (a) eliminate new discretionary projects and services from the operating and capital budgets, (b) reduce pay increases to government staff to levels consistent with the current economic retrenchment in the private sector, and to freeze the number of county employees excluding public safety personnel, (c) substantially cut spending proposed for the numerous County departments whose budgets have increased over 30% in the past two years, and (d) reduce the combined real property tax rate to the equalized rate of $.91 to keep rising assessments from making Loudoun households' average tax payments unaffordable.

Resolved this 25th day of February, 2002. Loudoun County Republican Committee

THANK YOU LOUDOUN REPUBLICANS

My heart was filled with appreciation for the 100 Republicans who assembled and stood tall in my eyes last night behind their Republican elected officials who are weathering public insults, threats to their own (Treasurer's) budgets and even accusations that they are "uninformed". Thank you to those of you who were there last night working together shoulder to shoulder.

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