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Our Local Fiscal Conservatives

By Greg L | 23 April 2012 | Prince William County | 26 Comments

So let me get this straight here… The county doesn’t have enough money to finance essential government operations, so in addition to hiking my tax assessment at the same time residential real estate prices have again dropped in my area, they’re also going to raise my tax rate.

And what pray tell is one of these essential government operations that so desperately need more of my money?  $200,000 to fund the charity that operates Rainbow Riding Center, which primarily serves residents of Fairfax County.

Yeah, that makes sense.  In some alternate reality, somewhere.

UPDATE: Tom Jackman covers this in today’s WashPo, with yours truly getting an opportunity to be the mean, bad guy.

UPDATE 2: The adopted budget doles out $33,000 to Rainbow Riding Center, with an additional $178,000 allocation to be voted on in August.  Unbelievable.



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26 Comments

  1. George Hansen said on 23 Apr 2012 at 6:37 pm:
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    Let’s not forget $200,000 a year for five years for the American Wartime Museum. That’s a cool million for a group that has been habitually unsuccessful at raising its own money… So it wants ours.

  2. Greg L said on 23 Apr 2012 at 6:49 pm:
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    I’ll have a post up about the Wartime Museum in the near future, but for now I urge people not to conflate the two. They’re entirely different animals, one with an important economic development and revitalization component, and one which is little more than a handout to the wife of a county supervisor that hardly serves any county residents at all.

  3. G Man said on 24 Apr 2012 at 7:39 am:
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    Anyone see this column in today’s Post on the topic?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-state-of-nova/post/prince-william-rainbow-riding-centers-request-for-211000-from-county-attracts-controversy/2012/04/24/gIQApvngdT_blog.html

  4. Robert L. Duecaster said on 24 Apr 2012 at 9:27 am:
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    Greg:

    Your statement, “They’re entirely different animals, one with an important economic development and revitalization component, and one which is little more than a handout to the wife of a county supervisor that hardly serves any county residents at all,” sounds a lot like a rework of the old saw, “One man’s trash is another’s treasure.” In my mind, both of them, like the Manassas Ballet that I enjoy so much, should be privately funded.

  5. Rein in Rainbow said on 24 Apr 2012 at 9:52 am:
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    Mr. Duecaster is totally correct.

    Neither organization should be supported by the taxpayers.

  6. Loudoun Insider said on 24 Apr 2012 at 9:55 am:
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    This is so ridiculous. Good to see Tom Jackman pick it up - he’s one WaPo reporter who has been digging a bit more than usual where needed.

  7. Just the Facts said on 24 Apr 2012 at 10:33 am:
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    At one Citizens Time, someone from Fairfax County spoke urging support of Rainbow Riding for the benefit of military people who had been wounded or suffer other problems as a result of their service. In fact, only a few military people use this facility. Moreover, there is a facility in Clifton (Fairfax County) that offers far more extensive services for vets:

    http://www.nvtrp.org/

    Some facts about Rainbow Riding:

    They use taxpayer-owned facilities at Silver Lake for free (no rent) and serve only a tiny fraction of County residents.

    Better, more extensive services and facilities are located nearby to serve special needs children and veterans who benefit from therapeutic riding.

    Rainbow Riding has $700,000 cash in its coffers now that it can use for paving its parking lot or whatever needs it has.

    Prince William County can’t afford such expenses now. The money is needed for teachers, firefighters, police, etc. - people and services that benefit the entire County rather than just a tiny fraction of our population.

    Taxpayers are hurting and would be better served by a lower tax rate.

    This money is just a boondoggle to benefit an organization run by the wife of a supervisor who has never placed fiscal conservatism as a high priority.

    I hope the Board votes down this frivolous spending, as well as the Wartime Museum. Recall that the Wartime Museum claimed in October of 2010 when the Board approved it that they would not require taxpayer support, and that they had $2 million in donations ready to come in pending Board approval. Seems both claims were false. The Board should stop throwing good money after bad now.

  8. wrassler said on 24 Apr 2012 at 11:23 am:
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    It is unfortunate that the BOCS cannot seem to find some other investment or event that will result in a proven short-term economic stimulus to local businesses, resturants, hotels, etc., and their employees or otherwise advertize Prince William County as a businesss or tourism destination. I had never heard of Rainbow Ridding before. I have some sympathy for those who use/need Rainbow and I have some sympathy for the need to help provide such support, but not if it is in competition with other private sources of these kinds of services and not if Fairfax and other regional jurisdictions are not also contributors. $700,000 is not enough to support the teachers, fire, police or public works, but is a rather large parking lot. How many folks does Rainbow serve on a daily basis?

  9. Not annonymous said on 24 Apr 2012 at 6:31 pm:
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    Maintenance Mode
    The blog was just getting out of hand (wasn’t hacked), so it’s been put on hold. I don’t have time to moderate the garbage that people are posting (using usernames of other people) so it’ll just stew for awhile. The voucher discussion after a relatively sedate exchange this morning just blew apart. Not sure why but it was really out of control and almost all at once. It was no accident. Fortunately, it almost all went into the spam filter. I’m sick of it. Time for a break. Check back in a couple of weeks.

    If you have questions, please email andy@harrover.com
    Admin-Login

  10. Anonymous said on 24 Apr 2012 at 8:16 pm:
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    I have a disabled child in NVTRP… because I couldn’t get Rainbow to return my calls to sign up! I tried off and on for a year. And, yes, I live in PWC. Go figure.

  11. Admin-Logged-out said on 24 Apr 2012 at 8:21 pm:
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    Does anyone ever wonder what this means:

    “The danger isn’t going too far. It’s that we don’t go far enough.”

    The danger of too much garbage?
    hmmm?

    Might be time for a better slogan?

  12. oldtowner said on 24 Apr 2012 at 8:39 pm:
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    Agreed on the slogan!

  13. Chester said on 25 Apr 2012 at 6:53 am:
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    What about the proposed Andrew L. “Andy” Harrover Rape, Rob, Ravage Bicycle Trail?

    Sounds to me this is a waste of taxpayer funding.

    Did they add the cost of additional police and ambulance services once the trail is opened and it creates more victims than beneficiaries?

    Seems Harrover will invite Charles Manson to the ribbon cutting ceremony.

    Note to Manassas City Council RINO’s - Your libtard do-gooder underpants are on full display for everyone to see.

  14. Badger said on 25 Apr 2012 at 8:21 am:
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    People don’t ask the right question regarding anything that requires asphalt, cement, or any kind of construction. When Manassas Park, Manassas, or Prince William County decides it needs bike trails, roads, buildings, or whatever the person who gets the contract makes a profit.

    Citizens don’t know it, but when they protest anything that requires construction they are really arguing about taking money out of someone ’s pocket (who wants to do that construction).

    Follow the money.

  15. wrassler said on 25 Apr 2012 at 8:52 am:
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    OK, I am going to ask this again,

    Is Rainbow in direct competition with any other privately owned facility or organization that is or could provide these services? My sense from Anonymous’s response is that, yes, it is in direct competition with the non-profit NVTRP -in Fairfax.

  16. Chester said on 25 Apr 2012 at 10:42 am:
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    If the Rainbow Riding Center is allowed to remain rent free at Silver Lake Park, at a minimum, the county should require them to provide horses and trail ride services for all county residents and require them to maintain the horse trails.

  17. Riley said on 25 Apr 2012 at 2:21 pm:
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    That would make a lot of sense to me, Chester.

  18. Anonymous said on 25 Apr 2012 at 4:50 pm:
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    Greg, was I not blasted about saying that the wartime museam thing was being funded by tax money? I was scolded it was pure private contributions. What happend?

    Hylton center? The candy factory?

  19. Charles Sutherland said on 25 Apr 2012 at 4:51 pm:
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    Let’s not forget that the proposed Manassas City Public Schools FY 2012-13 budget of $101 MILLION includes $3,453,808 for Food Services — which includes over 60% of the student enrollment receiving ‘free or subsidized lunches and breakfasts.’ AND, the school administration admits publicly that they “don’t have time to audit more than 1% of the applications” of those who apply for this welfare.

    Not to mention that School Board member Kermit Dance supported giving out $83,000 of “free food” this summer to “anyone, not just students.”

    Not to mention that over 50% of the student enrollment is now Hispanic.

    The Manassas City School system has been turned into a bi-lingual welfare program.

    Along with jobs and low-cost housing, free education and free food are magnets for illegal aliens…who create various other costs of which we are aware, e.g. social services, medical services, transportation services, criminal services, court costs, translators/interpreters for those in the criminal system and health system, more free food, etc. … and foot soldiers for the gangs in the City, which now include the ‘BLoods’ and ‘Crips.’

  20. Padre said on 25 Apr 2012 at 8:11 pm:
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    Bloods and Crips are usually NOT Hispanic. The free and reduced lunch program is federal and is almost 70 years old

  21. Charles Sutherland said on 26 Apr 2012 at 5:40 am:
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    “Usually NOT Hispanic” is exactly the point. The Bloods and Crips are primarily African-American, but like the ethnic gangs, they now recruit from illegal aliens who cannot obtain legal jobs. Review some police reports.

    And the subsidized food program is not only federal. Ask Kermit Dance if the $83,000 of free food he wants to give to “anyone” this summer is federally financed food.

  22. Anonymous said on 26 Apr 2012 at 3:41 pm:
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    I am furious over the latest tax increase. It is ridiculous that these individuals claim to be conservatives yet they continue to raise our taxes every year. I am particularly disappointed in Corey Stewart, who is running for Lt. Governor. Who advised him that raising our taxes was a good political move while running for a statewide office? Also, I’m highly disappointed in Mark Aveni for proposing to the BOCS to increase the bogus storm water tax. Mr. Aveni believes it is ok to raise taxes on PWC residents since he doesn’t live in the County. In addition, there is a significant conflict of interest since he sits on the City of Manassas Council and their storm water runs over into County. His approach is to let the PWC residents pay for it. After all PWC pays his almost six figure salary. Instead of increasing our taxes let us cut the salaries of these tax and spend conservatives

  23. Anonymous said on 26 Apr 2012 at 4:54 pm:
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    wrassler said on 25 Apr 2012 at 8:52 am: Flag comment
    OK, I am going to ask this again,
    Is Rainbow in direct competition with any other privately owned facility or organization that is or could provide these services? My sense from Anonymous’s response is that, yes, it is in direct competition with the non-profit NVTRP -in Fairfax.

    I guess if you call it competition, yes. They are both, to my understanding, non profits. They both provide services to the same community of people - disabled children and adults of Northern Virginia. I never got a chance to know the Rainbow people. I have seen them actively raise money and court volunteers in PWC, but as I said, I didn’t get that same level of enthusiasm in getting a call back when it came to actually getting a slot in the program. Forgive me, but I still a bit angry about that. But I have been very pleased with our experience at NVTRP.

  24. Chester said on 28 Apr 2012 at 8:13 am:
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    There is also the SPIRIT Open Equestrian Program at Frying Pan Park in Fairfax County.

    http://www.spiritequestrian.org/

  25. Anonymous said on 29 Apr 2012 at 9:13 pm:
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    With all the bush tax cuts out there in this county, should not private citizens be makeing this donation? When a democrate wants to spend money for the good of the people they are a socialist but when the GOP does its for the children?

    Crazy!

  26. Debi Alexander said on 16 Jul 2012 at 9:52 am:
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    @ Cheste: we built a perimeter trail at our facility that is open to the entire community to walk, run, ride horses/bikes, etc. We maintain the trail. We also host the Prince William Mounted Police on a monthly basis. They use our facility to train.

    This summer we added four field trips for kids through Parks & Rec and we serve as their bus shelter if a storm comes up while they are at Silver Lake for other programming.

    I am very sorry to learn that a potential participant could not get through to ride at Rainbow. Both NVTRP and Rainbow… as well as Spirit, LTRP, Lift Me Up! and many others work hard to serve the same population. Please accept my sincere apologies for that experience.

    We have five active duty service personnel riding at Rainbow in our inaugural program that began in April. We are very proud of this program and our participants enjoy their time with us immensely!

    NVTRP has had a full-time Executive Director for about ten years. We have had a full time ED for five years. We are growing our staff and working hard to provide better administrative services. You can call my cell phone, 571-332-2587 any time if you have trouble reaching someone through our phone line. We don’t have an office yet, the phone messages are answered by a part-time admin.

    I am committed to providing our services to the community and welcome suggestions on how we can do better!

    Sincerely,

    Debi Alexander
    Executive Director

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