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Public Hearing Tonight, Thursday, Feb. 21

February 21, 2002

I am writing to remind you about a Public Hearing, TONIGHT, on the Budget in Leesburg sponsored by the Board of Supervisors, Thursday, February 21 at 3 p.m. in the afternoon and starting again at 6:30 p.m. There will be a half hour dinner break from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Assessments have just arrived in the mail for Loudoun taxpayers and increases are 10 per cent to 66 per cent. For the last three weeks, County Treasurer Roger Zurn has spoken out in dozens of newspaper articles condemning the excessive spending and has been threatened with the warning "maybe we should cut the Treasurer's office by 50 per cent".

BOWERS SAYS NEWSPAPERS "NOT ALLOWED" IN PROCESS

County Administrator Kirby Bower has now spoken out against the "disinformation" published in the newspapers and attempted to put down the public outcry over Zurn's comments, the Loudoun Easterner and Leesburg Today newspaper exposes on budget insanity.

I publicly questioned at the Board meeting and again last night before a group of citizens. I read a memo from Kirby (same words spoken earlier in the day by Kirby). The citizens were outraged over the words Kirby Bowers said and wrote. Here are some:

"...Many of the coments (in the papers)....are void of meaningful context...(for a proper analysis of the budget)The important question is whether Government expenditures are prudent, represent the direction of the Board of Supervisors, and meet the needs and desires of Loudoun residents. "

FORGET THE NEWSPAPERS AND OTHER FORUMS?

"..The annual budget process represents the mechanism in which priorities........are established,...and tested in the arena of public opinion via the public hearing and (Board of Sup) workshop process."

So that is some of what Kirby Bowers said.

Only you, the citizen, can tell the Board if they are acting prudently.

DO YOU THINK THIS IS PRUDENT?

The Board needs to hear from you on the gigantic tax increases, upwardly spiralinng spending trends, the squandering of giant surpluses, the boondoggles and land banking.

There's $8 million planned for purchase of development rights for landowners who do not live in Loudoun and only want development in the Eastern part of the County. (a handful of landowners received $4.3 million last week, courtesy of a majority on this current Board).

And then there's $8 million in tax dollars planned for "donating" to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, an institution that collects hundreds of millions from Congress. Maybe NASA or the United Nations will get some millions from Loudoun taxpayers next (credit to J. Grigsby for that comment).

Let's not forget $25 million for a School ADMINISTRATION (not for children) Building with a total of $45 million in total costs due to financing costs. The voters reject a similar request but the liberal majority on this current board went to Richmond to get a special loan-- meant for EDUCATIONAL facilities.]

Here's Just a Partial Listing of Rip-offs!

Let's not forget the $348 million in extra increased assessments spent by this board in two years for pdrs, expensive traveling all over the region and USA, a Richmond branch office staffed by county employees, expensive new Administration buildings, land banking, swimming pools, teen centers, giant "activity centers" in downzoned regions, giant 20 per cent raises for non-educational and administrative staffs, expensive zoning, planning and other consultants by the dozen, and hundreds of new staff. (PARTIAL LISTING)

I do not have a problem with public safety or education getting priority or extra funding. All this wasted money goes to areas that are non-essential.

In order for revenues in the county to stay the same, the tax rate must be reduced from $1.08 to ninety one cents. Anything over that is a tax increase this year.

TAKE A STAND NOW!

I noticed when many of you called 703-777-0115, the comment line. Thank you to those of you that called. Please call again. Thank you in advance.

Please consider e-mailing the loudounbos@aol.com address to express your sentiment on the budget excesses. All you need to say is how you feel about the government spending more, and their priorities ("everything is a priority" it seems).

Please be specific about what you want cut or how much you want cut to guide the Board of Supervisor. Or maybe you want a tax increase. Some have written me and said they do not mind $300, $500 or even $1000 increases in their property taxes this year or next. They are a lot more well off than most of us though.

WOULD YOU, COULD YOU SPEAK?

And please consider signing up to speak at the Budget hearing. Sign up for the afternoon session or in the evening, Thursday, February 21. Call 703-777-0204 to get a 3 minute slot. If you come, it will be worth 100 e-mails or ten phone calls. I get lonely and if come it will cheer me up a lot, too.

One more thing. Please e-mail or call the Loudoun Easterner and other newspapers and urge them to continue to be critical of the budget excesses of this Board of Supervisors. The reporters and editors are working hard and need encouragement. If County Administrator Kirby Bowers had his way, there would be no newspapers or letters to the editor.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR MARCH 16

If you have ideas on transportation, parking regulations, crime, revitalization, tax regulations, landscaping and other improvements of a long term nature, please come to the STERLING SUBURBAN AREA COMMUNITY meeting on Saturday, March 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Park View High School at 400 West Laurel Avenue in Sterling. The Sterling Suburban are, located south of Route 7 east and south to the Fairfax County border, includes the communities of Sterling Park, Forest Ridge, Old Sterling and other communities in the Sterling area. Our last meeting in Sterling was attended by 6 supervisors and I expect all nine this time for this meeting.

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