There’s a distinct backlash brewing among conservatives in Manassas in regards to the latest budget, as evidenced by a rather interesting letter to the editor in the Manassas News & Messenger. If some council members thought this was a good time to enact a tax hike, they might be reconsidering the wisdom of that decision since conservatives aren’t sitting back and just taking it this time around. I bet a lot of people are going to remember how they feel now when the next municipal elections roll around.
Perhaps most interesting here was that the City Council spent $10,000 of city taxpayer dollars on a party for Senator Chuck Colgan at the Hylton Center. It’s not the biggest spending item on the list of complaints, but the event bore a striking resemblance to a campaign event for Colgan, complete with Democratic Party leaders exclaiming that they looked forward to many more years of service by Colgan in the Senate. The event was ostensibly a fundraiser for the Hylton Center, which is already supported by taxpayer dollars from Prince William County and Manassas City, but with heavy political overtones and numerous speeches talking about how Colgan is doing such a great job as an elected official you have to suspect that the event legally required disclosure on campaign finance reports and whether the City of Manassas should have reported a five figure campaign donation during the last campaign finance report period.
Then you have elected officials of the city attending the very party that was supported by the taxpayer dollars they appropriated. Families in Manassas that are struggling in this difficult economy to the point they have to adjust their grocery list and diligently clip coupons in order to feed their children are forking over sizable chunks of city money so councilmen can attend an extravaganza where Dick Saslaw talks about how good a Senator Chuck Colgan is? And then the Manassas City Council raises taxes on those struggling families saying they don’t have enough money for core services such as police and firefighters?
Ouch. I can just hear some well spoken challenger reprising “A Time For Choosing,” tearing apart the decisions of the Manassas City Council with the same force and humor of Ronald Reagan. It’s too easy.
A two day “Education Forward Retreat” was held for senior employees and School Board members of the Manassas City Schools on April 29th. The agenda for the first day reads in toto “Discussion of Joint Long‐Term Goals and Strategies Led by Facilitator Kathryn McCarty.” The agenda for the second day reads, again, in toto “Continued Discussion of Joint Long‐Term Goals and Strategies Led by Facilitator Kathryn McCarty.“ That’s it. This is how Manassas City Schools spends a whopping $13,441 per student. No one can seem to explain what the heck “Education Forward” is, but the highest paid employees of the school system can spend two full days with a paid facilitator in “continuing discussions” to define it.
One city councilman votes on funding from the city to a private business that pays his salary, and which he controls. That business competes with other private entities that don’t receive funding from the city council. Corporate welfare at the local level isn’t likely to be a whole lot more appealing to struggling taxpayers than it is at the federal level, but instead of cutting this funding and using it for core government responsibilities, the city council says it doesn’t have enough money for firefighters and raises the fire levy 17%.
The council decides it needs one additional special police officer. His duties? To patrol Lake Manassas. Lake Manassas is three miles outside of the limits of the City of Manassas and is only threatened by errant golf balls from Stonewall Golf Club. That’s important enough for the city to spend $88,000 it can only finance by raising taxes on people trying to figure out how to get out from under credit card bills.
Yeah, I see a backlash coming.
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