Supervisor Candland issued a press release this afternoon regarding the debacle of the Board of Supervisors trying to punish him for doing the right thing. While Candland is going to dutifully terminate one of his staff — the intended effect of the proposal offered by John Jenkins — and move forward, I have the distinct impression a lot of taxpayers in the county aren’t going to be as eager to let this outrage stand.
Here’s the press release:
The historic step taken by the Board of County Supervisors on June 5, 2012, to ban discretionary fund spending was a long overdue vote to end an era of irresponsible use of taxpayer funds. This ban will hopefully begin the process of restoring the trust of the citizens in Prince William County government and the elected officials they have chosen to run it.
The additional four amendments proposed by Supervisor Jenkins, and passed by a majority of the Board, appear to be nothing more than retribution for my proposal to ban discretionary fund spending. Regardless of the motivations behind the amendments, I believe it is bad public policy to not allow the citizens, county staff, or other Supervisors proper time to review significant amendments and provide feedback. I will allow the citizens of Prince William County to make their own judgments on this issue.
In a letter on June 14, 2012, County Attorney Angela Horan offered the opinion that these amendments are within the legal authority of the Board of County Supervisors to enact, and they are now the prevailing employment policy of the County.
Notwithstanding my personal disagreement with this decision, I will abide by it and have completed the paperwork necessary to terminate a trusted member of my staff who was unfairly targeted with these amendments.
To those on the Board who may be hopeful that the targeted termination of a member of my staff will reduce my ability to take on these tough issues, or to send a message that future punishments will be administered if I continue my efforts to reform local government, I offer the firm assurance that this unfair retribution has only strengthened my resolve to protect the taxpayers of Prince William County.
I would like to thank all of those who have reached out to me and my office to offer their words of encouragement and support.
At this point, I personally believe the time has come for us to focus our attention on the many other pressing issues facing Prince William County. Over the next few months, the Board will be working on the carryover fund process. In my judgment, we need to scrutinize this process closely and enact reforms, if necessary, to ensure we are fulfilling the obligation we have to spend every tax dollar wisely.
This effort will begin immediately, and I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on the Board of County Supervisors in an open, transparent and responsible manner.
I am grateful for the dialog surrounding recent events because it has convinced me that Prince William County residents are intensely interested in good government transparency, fiscal responsibility and reform. Perhaps we may move forward looking for ways to leverage this discussion to reduce the cost of government and its impact on our residents’ lives.
In the end, the families of the Gainesville District elected me to work to make Prince William County a better place for families to live and work. I will continue to do all I can to achieve that goal.
If this outrage is going to effect Supervisor Candland’s office, taxpayers should make sure it is applied equally to the other supervisors, many of whom continue to employ former campaign staff in their district offices. As far as I know, none of the other supervisors have complied with the new policy.
Get one of these, or a button, in order to show your support to the Board of Supervisors that the rules apply to everyone, not just those who are standing up for the taxpayers.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
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