Driving liberals, dhimmis and illegal alien apologists absolutely insane since 2005...

Craig Gerhart’s Madhouse County Government

By Greg L | 16 September 2008 | Prince William County | 42 Comments

Liz Bahrnes is the Communications Director for Prince William County.  She likes to defend Craig Gerhart’s $185,000 taxpayer-funded salary to the Washington Post, and apparently she likes to consult for Eric Byler of the Obama campaign while drawing her own taxpayer-funded salary.  Part of that consulting effort devoted to undermining the will of the electorate and several unanimous decisions of the Board of County Supervisors, and agreeing to do so quickly before Byler hides the content he’s asking them to review for their approval.  You’d think that the work product of county employees would become public record, but I guess that doesn’t apply when we’re dealing with partisan political activity by public employees during their working hours.

Imagine how county employees might act if you asked them a special favor, and then told them that what they looked at would be quickly removed from prying public eyes?  Would Liz Bahrnes do this for you?

So what’s the nature of this effort Liz and a select group of senior county employees are providing to Obama campaign operative Eric Byler, who is miraculously granted full press privileges and more, with such unique access to our public employees?  Take a look:

How nice of our public employees to provide pre-production review of draft content intended to undermine public support for established Board policy.  How nice Liz will take time out of her busy day to help out someone from the Obama campaign with reviews of films footage that county residents aren’t allowed to see.  How wonderful County Executive Craig Gerhart participates in this and has no issue with our public employees engaging in partisan political activity that undercuts our elected officials while they’re drawing the salary that you and I pay for.  $185,000 a year, and we get a trained illegal alien apologist lackey who is supposed to be running our county government when he’s not busy with “enjoying” the opportunity to review and comment on political hit jobs on county residents.  That’s real value, folks.

And this is just the tip of a huge iceberg.  Stay tuned to see what you’re really getting for your tax dollars.



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42 Comments

  1. El Guapo said on 16 Sep 2008 at 5:21 am:
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    Have you considered the fact that you may have gone off the deep end?

  2. Anonymous said on 16 Sep 2008 at 5:49 am:
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    Oh, I’d say that was fairly telling information. County employees working with an individual whose clear motive is to combat the actions of the BOCS seems grounds for dismissal in my opinion, unless they were directed to do so by the BOCS, or it is part of their job description.

  3. starryflights said on 16 Sep 2008 at 6:25 am:
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    Gerhart needs to be FIRED! Let’s hope that the BOCS sees this for what it is. The BOCS should be embarrassed that this employee is undermining their efforts. IT’s time for them to stand up and do the right thing…FIRE HIM! Greg this is great investigative reporting.

  4. Emma said on 16 Sep 2008 at 7:01 am:
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    Incredible.

  5. Pat.Herve said on 16 Sep 2008 at 7:35 am:
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    I would have to see the video before I could pass comment - what is the content of the video? Has anyone viewed it?

  6. anon said on 16 Sep 2008 at 7:42 am:
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    Greg, I hope this is enough to nail someone and you haven’t shown your hand too soon by putting up these e-mails. They’ll now be spending your tax money finding (and crucifying) whoever is leaking these e-mails to you.

  7. Anonymous said on 16 Sep 2008 at 8:05 am:
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    Stop referring to Byler has part of the Obama campaign. He may be a volunteer but is not a staff member. Just get your facts straight for once on this witch hunt.

  8. Brentsville Graduate said on 16 Sep 2008 at 8:37 am:
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    I don’t think I understand what crime has been committed here. It looks to me like a film maker allowed the county to review and submit comments about a film before it was released to the public.

    anon - The emails were probably obtained through a FOIA, not leaked.

  9. NotFrankPrincipi said on 16 Sep 2008 at 9:10 am:
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    Oh, that’s rich. “Allowed” them to look at a video? How about these employees were solicited to provide taxpayer-funded consultations and they agreed to provide them? It is not a crime (not that anyone but you suggested it was). But it is a misuse of taxpayer resources, a breach of public trust, and partisan political activity that is contrary to county policies on the behavior of public employees.

    I guess the spin machine is cranking up early today. Gerhart must be sweating.

  10. Vigilant1 said on 16 Sep 2008 at 9:36 am:
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    Doesn’t the county government have any law like the Federal Government
    (HATCH ACT) that prevents government employees from getting involved with political groups (especiall while they are supposedly working?)

  11. TedKennedysSwimInstructor said on 16 Sep 2008 at 9:42 am:
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    http://www.municode.com/Resources/gateway.asp?pid=14114&sid=46

    Sec. 19-18. Political activities.

    (g) No officer or employee of the county shall use, or permit to be used, any thing, including vehicles, owned by the county, on behalf of or for the benefit of, any political organization or candidate for public office.
    (Ord. No. 78-31-20, § 13.4-22, 9-5-79)

    Sec. 19-19. Violations of section 19-17 or 19-18.
    (a) Any employee in the competitive service who willfully or knowingly violates, or acts in concert with others to violate, any provision of section 19-17 or 19-18, or any personnel regulation relating thereto, shall have given prima facie cause for immediate dismissal from the county service. Any employee terminated under the provisions of this section may file a grievance where otherwise permitted to do so.
    (b) Any person who willfully or knowingly violates, or acts in concert with others to violate, any provision of section 19-17 or 19-18, or any personnel regulation relating thereto, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
    (c) Any officer, employee or other person who is convicted or discharged from the competitive service under the provisions of this section shall, during a period of five years thereafter, be ineligible for appointment to, or employment in, any position in the county service.
    (Ord. No. 78-31-20, § 13.4-24, 9-5-79)

  12. Impartial Government, Yeah Right! said on 16 Sep 2008 at 9:42 am:
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    WTF?????

    Why the HELL is Gerhart and Barnes doing this? Impartial government my fat ass. That’s about the most BIASED crap I’ve read in a loooong time.

    Someone should lose their job over this, but I seriously doubt it’ll be Gerhart.

    That’s screwed up.

  13. Anonymous said on 16 Sep 2008 at 9:45 am:
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    Pat.Herve said on 16 Sep 2008 at 7:35 am:
    I would have to see the video before I could pass comment - what is the content of the video? Has anyone viewed it?

    Last e-mail above at end states (it is not for public view.)

  14. Naughtius Maximus said on 16 Sep 2008 at 10:38 am:
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    Gerhart needs to go. Immediately. We the people should no longer pay this guy to undercut our own efforts to maintain/improve quality of life.

    This is fairly outrageous.

  15. Naughtius Maximus said on 16 Sep 2008 at 10:50 am:
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    “Liz Bahrnes, a spokeswoman for the county, said Gerhart’s raises were rewards for “keeping the county’s financial picture in check, to make sure we grow in proper ways.” ”

    On this basis alone he should have been terminated with extreme prejudice some time ago … it’s time to start holding these people accountable.

  16. Just the Facts said on 16 Sep 2008 at 10:59 am:
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    According to the “Washington Post” article linked above,

    “Liz Bahrnes, a spokeswoman for the county, said Gerhart’s raises were rewards for ‘keeping the county’s financial picture in check, to make sure we grow in proper ways.’”

    Let’s look at Craig Gerhart’s report card using the criteria of his own spokeswomen. First, what does our financial picture look like under Mr. Gerhart? Gerhart sent the following email to County employees yesterday:

    From: Announcements
    Sent: Monday, September 15, 2008 8:30 AM
    Subject: Message from County Executive Craig Gerhart
    Message from County Executive Craig Gerhart

    Tuesday, the County took the first of what will be more actions to reduce our budget. This was in response to approximately $1 million in known state revenue reductions. We expect more such reductions for FY10 and possibly for FY09. At the same time, projections for the County’s real estate assessments show a decline. As part of our preparation for these upcoming budget discussions, department directors are currently looking at what we look like as an organization if we are two-thirds our current size.
    For FY09, we will manage staff vacancies, manage capital projects and major purchases, realign service capacities, and identify FY10 budget reduction options. For FY10, we have mobilized budget congress to look at alternative government structures and service delivery options.
    This is only the beginning of what will be a very challenging budget process for the next couple of years – and we will all be challenged. I will continue to keep employees informed about the budget as we move through this process. In the meantime, I encourage each of us to think about things that we can do as an organization to meet the County’s budget needs. This will truly be an effort that will take respect, integrity, creativity and teamwork. Although this will test our Vision and Values, I am confident that we – Prince William County employees – will work together to come up with creative solutions to a very difficult problem.

    End of email.

    Our financial picture under Mr. Gerhart is dismal. The County experienced a financial bubble in residential real estate revenue, and Mr. Gerhart built the windfalls into the base County budget as if they were permanent. If you won the lottery would you base your future financial planning on the assumption that you would continue winning it every year for the rest of your life? Of course you would not. You would bank much of money and plan your future on the basis of your normal, expected annual income. Mr. Gerhart counted on this windfall continuing indefinitely, which anyone with a basic modicum of financial literacy knew was ridiculous.

    Because of the financial incompetence of Gerhart, Assistant County Executive Mellissa Peacor, and Finance Director Chris Martino, our County government now faces cuts of one-third. This will create a huge disruption in the effective functioning of County government, and in the lives of County employees who will suffer from the inevitable reductions in force.

    Second, how about making sure our County grows “in proper ways?” Under Mr. Gerhart’s “leadership” the percent of commercial property in our real estate tax base fell from 21.6% in 2001 (around when Mr. Gerhart became County Executive) to 12.8% in 2006 (latest data point in this year’s revenue projection book). A strong commercial real estate tax base is crucial for economic development and to provide tax revenues that keep residential taxes in check. The proportion of our commercial tax base was lower in 2006 than all of the other surrounding jurisdictions and under Mr. Gerhart has deteriorated substantially from that low level.

    Mr. Gerhart continues to help our real estate problems get even worse. As I’ve been writing about in these threads, he and his developer associates hope to sneak “Centers of Community” though BOCS approval just before Thanksgiving when they hope no one is paying attention. Please read those posts for more detail. The bottom line is that “Centers of Community” will cause a mushrooming of residential development and deterioration of our tax base far worse than its current dismal state.

    Are we getting our money’s worth for Mr. Gerhart’s services ($185,000 per year plus benefits) based on his own office’s evaluation criteria? I think the BOCS should come to the meeting tonight with a pink slip for Mr. Gerhart and replace him with a public-service oriented County Executive, who will also clean house of Mr. Gerhart’s sycophants, such as Melissa Peacor, Steve Griffin, Chris Martino and Ray Utz. Collectively, this group has run our County into the ground over the past few years. They continue to make our problems worse. RIFs are coming and the buffoons who created the problems should be first in line. We need change! Five votes from the BOCS can do it tonight!

  17. what a great county said on 16 Sep 2008 at 11:52 am:
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    You can bet the 1/3 slash will be at the worker level that really are the ones who keep this Government going.
    It won’t be Gerhart being slashed in salary,it won’t be the over paid Heads of
    Public Works or the Code Enforcement such as the Director of Neighborhood Services, or the extra people in the County Executives Office or the many Full time aides in all of the Supervisors Office.

    Just think if we cut back all such positions and do away with Discretionary Funds we are on our way to saving a Million Dollars. And the citizen would not be hurt and the working bees of the County can do their job to make our County how it should be.

  18. Big Dog said on 16 Sep 2008 at 11:53 am:
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    Por favor, a quick time out from thrashing local government.
    Knowing another of your favorites is blaming the Dems
    for everything wrong in the world, I know your readers
    wouldn’t want to miss the new McCain ads running on
    Spanish language TV in the battleground states of
    Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico blaming Obama for
    killing the McCain-Kennedy bill “for a path to citzenship”.
    Yep, Obama stopped the amnesty bill! The rascal.

    “De Nuestro Lado? Viva McCain! Viva Amnesty!”

  19. Naughtius Maximus said on 16 Sep 2008 at 1:43 pm:
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    That can’t be right, that implies McCain favors Amnesty? Hard-core Amnesty? Are you trying to tell me the GOP’s candidate for President openly speaks (albeit in Spanish) of wanting Amnesty?

    And so many of the so-called conservatives on this board will line up to vote for him?

  20. Naughtius Maximus said on 16 Sep 2008 at 1:56 pm:
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    I looked up “duplicitous, amoral douche” in my dictionary and it wasn’t a picture of Obama that I saw, it was a picture of John McCain. The Keating 5 member who rails against pork. The guy running on experience as a reason for election who picks Sarah Palin. The guy who fights for Amnesty and against it simultaneously. The guy who positioned himself to run on a platform of “I’ll stay in Iraq for 100 years” until the Iraqi government’s own position made him too ashamed. The guy who was against the way we fought the war until he was for it.

    See how far you can spit, and trust him no more than half of that distance.

  21. Mando said on 16 Sep 2008 at 1:57 pm:
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    “And so many of the so-called conservatives on this board will line up to vote for him?”

    Amnesty is DOA. I’m not worried about it no matter what McCain or anyone else may say. Non-issue.

    The other issues, important issues, I’m with McCain on.

    I will not vote for Obama. I will not NOT vote. My vote is not based on 1 issue.

  22. Naughtius Maximus said on 16 Sep 2008 at 2:00 pm:
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    A vote for McCain IS a vote for Amnesty, make no mistake, after the show he put on right in front of you during all of 2006-2007. You’ve let him hijack the party you favor, and the train is leaving the station.

    What important issue are you with McCain on that he hasn’t flipped and flopped on over time?

  23. Naughtius Maximus said on 16 Sep 2008 at 2:35 pm:
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    Amnesty might be DOA if people would hold their politicians accountable for it, and not vote for it, thereby showing them that the votes are “in the bag” regardless of whether they fight for Amnesty or not.

  24. Impartial Government, Yeah Right! said on 16 Sep 2008 at 2:43 pm:
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    Let’s get back to the freaking topic at hand here. Is this seriously true that our county government heads are working hand in glove with the Obama campaign, giving them whatever they want? With a wink, wink, and a nod here and there?

    C’mon…say it ain’t so!

  25. Naughtius Maximus said on 16 Sep 2008 at 2:49 pm:
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    This isn’t about the Obama campaign. It’s about a County government that’s failed, lead by highly overpaid failures who collude against the will of the Board and the taxpayers.

    The connection to Obama is bogus, so I would think we will have a better case to make with the 60% of America that hasn’t trained themselves pathologically to foam at the mouth when anyone says “Obama” if you stop pretending that Byler is some type of player in Obama’s campaign.

  26. Impartial Government, Yeah Right! said on 16 Sep 2008 at 3:23 pm:
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    Look, I’d have a problem if they were working hand in glove with the McCain campaign, with a wink, wink and a nod here and there. Don’t brush my concerns off. I’m pissed about this.

  27. Naughtius Maximus said on 16 Sep 2008 at 3:33 pm:
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    Well you’re spraying in the wrong direction. Byler’s allowed to have political views, and allowed to make movies, and even allowed to try to influence public policy albeit as a carpetbagger. The individuals abusing office and thwarting public will are Gerhart and Bahrnes.

  28. Here we go again said on 16 Sep 2008 at 4:01 pm:
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    Wow this is getting wild.

  29. Impartial Government, Yeah Right! said on 16 Sep 2008 at 4:31 pm:
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    That’s who I’m pissed at. I could care less which party is doing it, just the fact it’s being done at all is enough to tick me off. However, you have no cause at all to say I’m spraying in the wrong direction. I’ll spray in whichever direction I so please. Whether you agree or not is a different story but I can say as I wish.

    Good day to you.

  30. americangal4ever said on 16 Sep 2008 at 6:33 pm:
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    Sorry to change the subject but if any of you have family or friends
    from Arizona send this to them.
    Proposition 202 opponents
    Arguments against prop 202 Arizona
    Tim Rafferty and Richard Martin of RidersUSA argue against 202 saying, “If previous ballot measures are indicators, the majority of Arizonans believe that the state needs to “Stop Illegal Hiring.” If truth in packaging were applicable here, this legislation would be called “Employer Amnesty.” This legislation removes two key provisions of the existing Employer Sanction’s Law strong provisions which had the agreement of the legislature and Governor. The first essential element that is removed is the mandate that all businesses use the highly effective, user-friendly federal E-Verify system. E-Verify assures that only legal workers can gain employment in Arizona and has a provision for correcting errors. “Stop Illegal Hiring” offers the less-stringent federal guidelines presently in force as a substitute for E-Verify and relies on documents that have been easily forged and have been found counterfeited on Phoenix streets. The second element this proposition removes is the acceptance of anonymous tips regarding the hiring of illegal workers. Police departments have long recognized the effectiveness of Silent Witness Programs reporting crime. Removing these two key provisions from the current law will permit employers to hire illegal workers and stop vital information regarding illegal activity from being gathered. Hiring illegal workers takes jobs away from legal workers, lowers the prevailing wages, and flies in the face of law and order. Vote NO on PROP 202

    Thank you for letting me send this very important email to you. I know you all are Virginians but I thought you just might know of a way to get this out more. I’m not from Az. either but I feel it is important none the less. We are all in this together. What affects one state affects us all. Thanks

  31. voting for mccain and paulin said on 16 Sep 2008 at 7:36 pm:
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    We might elect conservatives to public office but we need to remember that most local government employees at the manager and up level are big government, big spending, fairly liberal folks who are not really concerned with tax rates and illegal immigration. They want more, not less government ‘cuz it works for them. Too bad a new mayor or chairperson can not bring in his or her own county or city manager who shares the same views, it is a problem.

  32. Bob Wills said on 16 Sep 2008 at 8:47 pm:
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    Because of the financial incompetence of Gerhart, Assistant County Executive Mellissa Peacor, and Finance Director Chris Martino, our County government now faces cuts of one-third. This will create a huge disruption in the effective functioning of County government, and in the lives of County employees who will suffer from the inevitable reductions in force.

    Second, how about making sure our County grows “in proper ways?” Under Mr. Gerhart’s “leadership” the percent of commercial property in our real estate tax base fell from 21.6% in 2001 (around when Mr. Gerhart became County Executive) to 12.8% in 2006 (latest data point in this year’s revenue projection book). A strong commercial real estate tax base is crucial for economic development and to provide tax revenues that keep residential taxes in check. The proportion of our commercial tax base was lower in 2006 than all of the other surrounding jurisdictions and under Mr. Gerhart has deteriorated substantially from that low level.

    Per Just the Facts above comments he puts all the blame on Gerhart and nothing on the BOCS.

    The question could then be asked is Stewart who leads the BOCS and the rest of the members so incompetent that they no nothing of what goes on in the county?

    A few months ago it was the illegal immigrants who caused the fall in the residential market now it is Gerhart. who will it be next month? Might the problem with is all over the US be the greed of lenders and borrowers who knew they could not make the payments and were betting on that lottery ticket to show up when they went to sell their home for double the money in a year?

    Why would commercial want to come to PWC. Mrs Caddigan got her BIG BOX zoning change so that any store over 80,000 feet has to have parking all around it evenly. Well lets be honest that only applys to Walmart and Lowes, Best Buy, Home Depot and the like. Wagmans does not have to adhear to the laws of others. It took 9 months to get approval for West Gate shopping Center to hang banners on the light poles for Holiday Decorations. Per the Zoning Office if they change the design on the banners they will have to go thru the process again. It seems that everyone I have talked to who is trying to open a business in PWC complains about one thing and that is weeks and months it takes to get thru all the red tape of the zoning and building permit section of the county. what is supposed to take a week took 9 weeks instead.

    why does this happen it is because the BOCS who hear these problems do nothing to change the laws or the way the county is operated. They want control of everthing and want the way things are and the real world says we do not need PWC and go else where.

    Stewart just after he took over as chairman said about the Real Estate Market with out realizing his mike was on. “Why didn’t someone tell me this was going to happen” refering to the down turn in values. He and this board make the 4 Horse Men look intelegent and that takes a lot to accomplish.

  33. Furgs56 said on 16 Sep 2008 at 9:06 pm:
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    Just the Facts doesn’t seem to have a very good grasp on how the county budget process works. Our county executive has to work with what he is given by the BOARD. The BOARD decides our property tax rate. The county executive (and his staff) has to prepare several versions of a budget and the BOARD decides which one to adopt based on the tax rate that the BOARD has adopted. I remember Mr. Gerhart warning the board several years ago that what goes up must come down and if our property tax rate was cut too much in the “good” years then the county would be bitten in the butt in the lean years. But the board is an elected body and nothing gets more votes than trumpeting lowball tax rates, then refusing to raise the rate accordingly when times are lean. (I, for one, am willing to sacrifice a few hundred dollars a year in order to have better schools, a stronger police force, and good recreation facilities .) Mr. Gerhart has always served our county well and I hope he continues to do so.

  34. Love The USA said on 16 Sep 2008 at 9:21 pm:
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    Rob Duecaster got the appointment to the Human Services Strategic Task Force. The anti crowd must be piiiiiiiiiisssssssssssed!

  35. manassascityresident said on 16 Sep 2008 at 9:34 pm:
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    “The anti crowd must be piiiiiiiiiisssssssssssed!”

    Oh yeah they are! Their lips are flappin’ - their evil is oozing - their heads are spinning…………and their words are empty.

  36. Just the Facts said on 17 Sep 2008 at 8:22 am:
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    Furgs56 said on 16 Sep 2008 at 9:06 pm:

    “Just the Facts doesn’t seem to have a very good grasp on how the county budget process works. Our county executive has to work with what he is given by the BOARD.”

    Furgs56 has it backwards. The Board has to work with what it is given from Gerhart and Peacor. Look at the budget schedule from last year:

    March 1st – 9:00am Budget/Community Meeting
    March 6th to 18th – Budget Work sessions – BOCS Chambers with County Agencies
    April 7th – 7:30am Public Hearing – BOCS Chambers
    April 15th – 6:00pm – CXO Recap
    April 22nd – 5:30pm – Budget Markup
    April 29th – 2:00pm - BOCS Adopts FY 09 Budget

    The BOCS does not see the proposed Fiscal Plan until March at the earliest and must vote on the budget at the end of April – less than two months for the Supervisors and their budget committees to study and review the material Gerhart and Peacor give them, and then vote on the single most important thing they do every year. Moreover, the Fiscal Plan the BOCS receives is nothing but a summary document of what’s buried in the base budget with no details, and padded with nonsense about mission statements and performance measures (that Peacor concocted and are largely irrelevant). Remember also that the Supervisors are part-time people with other, full-time jobs. The same is true of the volunteers on the Supervisors’ budget committees.

    On the County side, the budget process begins in the fall, essentially now. Gerhart, Peacor and Martino, and their legions of full-time staffers, along with the departments working on their budget requests, mobilize to structure the budget as they want it.

    Once the budget goes to the BOCS, Gerhart structures the choices according to his priorities. Do you remember the pyramid thing he put on a PowerPoint slide this year? He defined the choices the BOCS had in terms of his priorities. The BOCS, in a perfect world, would have dug into the base budget to find cuts but given the extremely limited amount of time and resources they have, such a project is not feasible.

    The whole budget process is stacked in favor of the empire-building senior bureaucrats and against the BOCS and citizens.

    Going back to my comment in the previous post, Gerhart, Peacor and Martino managed the budget over the past few years building in permanent spending levels on the assumption that the revenue windfalls from the housing bubble would be permanent. They told the BOCS that the Fiscal Plans they were proposing were sustainable. They were not.

    As many financial institutions are failing now because of incompetent bets made on the housing bubble, and the management of those firms is receiving pink slips, why should Gerhart, Peacor and Martino be exempt? They managed the PWC Government no more astutely than did the CEOs of Lehman Brothers, AIG, Merrill Lynch, etc. their organizations. Why are our incompetent managers not facing pink slips?

  37. Bryanna said on 17 Sep 2008 at 5:08 pm:
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    Great job capturing and reporting this information Greg.

    The PWC county government has been lead for years by an elitist group of liberal Democrats that collect generous salaries paid by us, the tax payers.

    Mr. Briley ($285k in annual salary) and Mr. Friedman, confidants of Mr. Gerhart, use their roles in Economic Development to be first in line to cherry pick financial opportunities laid in their laps by developers, land owners, land use advocates, investors and bankers. This county gives new meaning to public-private partnerships.

    Greg has exposed just the tip of the iceburg of corruption that looms in our local government.

    Bring Sarah Palin to town! She’ll give Gerhart and friends a swift kick…right out the door! Shrink government COREY and give the power and money back to the people and we promise to make you Governor of VA!

  38. Bob Wills said on 17 Sep 2008 at 5:08 pm:
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    Once the budget goes to the BOCS, Gerhart structures the choices according to his priorities. Do you remember the pyramid thing he put on a PowerPoint slide this year? He defined the choices the BOCS had in terms of his priorities. The BOCS, in a perfect world, would have dug into the base budget to find cuts but given the extremely limited amount of time and resources they have, such a project is not feasible.

    The whole budget process is stacked in favor of the empire-building senior bureaucrats and against the BOCS and citizens.

    Going back to my comment in the previous post, Gerhart, Peacor and Martino managed the budget over the past few years building in permanent spending levels on the assumption that the revenue windfalls from the housing bubble would be permanent. They told the BOCS that the Fiscal Plans they were proposing were sustainable. They were not.

    It is so good to the ” Facts” admit that the BOCS led by Stewart has no idea of what goes on Fiscaly in PWC. Now the excuse is they are part time and must not be able to think. If they spent less time on their pet projects and more on the Fiscal problmes of the county they could do something. When they run for office they are going to do everything but once in office they do nothing but take care of thier personal desires. Gerhart has warned Stewart and the BOCS for the past couple of years about future problems but they did not want to hear it and turned a blind eye. Of course they NEVER CUT THEIR FUNDS do they. Did they run thinking they would be full time? PWC has gone way ahead of all the members of the BOCS ability to run or have the fiscal ability to understand what they are told. They should remeber if they put their head in the sand your brains might get sun burned :)))))

    No problem for they will all get reelected if they run next time around. Just a measure of how much the citizens of PWC want to be told what they want to hear…

  39. Furgs56 said on 17 Sep 2008 at 6:53 pm:
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    The bottom line is that the county executive does not decide the final tax rate, the BOCS does. The county executive comes up with a few versions of a budget based on different tax rates suggested by the BOCS. The board in essence okays the budget drawn up by the county executive and his staff. Some on the board get much more involved in the details of the proposed budgets and others don’t show a whole lot of initiative, or leadership, in this most important process.

  40. freedom said on 18 Sep 2008 at 7:29 pm:
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    …and Furgs56, do you suppose that it just might be possible that NONE of the “…versions of a budget based on different tax rates…” is correct?

    The BOCS has zero visibility into the padding within each version of the budget. It’s a “trust me, BOCS, just trust me and go ahead, pick which version you think the county can afford…they’re all wonderful…trust me.”

  41. NoVA Scout said on 18 Sep 2008 at 9:58 pm:
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    I always had the impression that Gearhardt (sp?) was more competent than the average County Exec and that things were pretty well-run despite the crowd that gets elected to the Board. It must be a tough job to manage the County day-to-day and $185K doesn’t seem out of line for the effort and knowledge required(I take it that Greg doesn’t think taxpayors should fund that, but I can’t figure out why public officials shouldn’t be paid from public funds - maybe you could outsource it to a company in India and finance it on their sales of lotto tickets or something, but it doesn’t strike me as an exotic use of taxpayor money)

  42. Naughtius Maximus said on 20 Sep 2008 at 2:58 pm:
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    “Bring Sarah Palin to town! She’ll give Gerhart and friends a swift kick…right out the door! ”

    Unless she likes him in which case she’ll incorporate him into her own corrupt world and protect him from legitimate investigative inquiries. Then he can pressure police departments to fire officers he doesn’t like, seek to have librarians fired if he doesn’t agree with their book choices, etc. etc.

    I like her but she does take that same lazy approach towards government as George W does … “I’m good, you’re bad, what are checks and balances anyway, who needs that”.

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