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King William County Virginia
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12/11/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: 5th District Has A New Supervisor Ehrhart---Is It The One You Voted For? .

Attending the B.O.S meetings I track their votes/positions on the issues which allow me to share with other citizens just what their Supervisor is up to. Are they voting in accordance with positions they took when campaigning for the office, are they defending King William taxpayers pocket books?

Supervisor Ehrhart attended King William T.E.A Party meetings in 2012---2015. He even offered to serve as an interim Vice-President in 2014-15 when we had no one to fill that position. We have had frequent conversations about government and its proper role in Americans lives. Ehrhart appeared to share our limited government positions. We discussed the subject of essential vs. non-essential government and just when government should stay out and let private industry pave the way, in accordance with our Founders vision. Maybe it is a good time to see where Ehrhart is today and how he appears to have succumbed to the old adage…….”if you can’t beat em, join em

When I asked Ehrhart to explain his vote regarding some $25,000 to pave a parking lot few even use his answer was…………….. “The Finance director said it needed done and the money was there”.

Now we have an opportunity to save over a million dollars on the Hamilton Holmes Renovation project with bids that came in below original estimates. One would think Supervisor Ehrhart would tell the spendaholics on the King William School Board NO, but just what does Supervisor Ehrhart have to say about spending this vs. saving it you ask? Well I asked Ehrhart, and this was his response…..

While I appreciate and want to capture the benefit of the bidding climate, I am also open to adding to the scope if necessary (such as enhancement of safety or educational aspects)

Sound like political BS to you? It sure does to me. And just what are these enhancements to safety and or educational aspects he alludes to ……..? So just what is being proposed to add…………….. New Bleachers and a prettier front to the entrance of the building. These buildings already have security entrances where you have to either have an electronic key or be buzzed in for entry.

In 2014-15 our group highlighted that Nottoway County Public Schools had budgeted $300,000 for debt service costs that year. King William County Schools with 2 fewer schools and some 300 fewer students budgeted 3.6 million for DEBT SERVICE that same year……….starting to get the picture ?

King William Schools also spend some $90,000 a week ( yes a week ) more than Nottoway County Buildings that are built and paid for by tax payer money should be built for efficiency and economy. Public education isn’t enhanced by needlessly incorporating additional add on’s that are clearly not needed. It is worth noting besides the high debt service level because of past spending largesse we also have a declining student population across the nation because of the shrinking number of children with smaller families.

What might be needed is a recall effort in the 5th District. Supervisor Ehrhart needs to be reminded what the election in 2015 was about.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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12/08/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Pretty Good Pol for someone who never held political office .

Total Foreign Aid in the most recent year that public records are available is 50.1 Billion dollars. Kentucky U.S Senator Rand Paul has called in recent years for a total end to the Aid, pointing out the absurdity of giving away 50 billion dollars each year, a nation that can’t pay it’s own bills and borrows around 500 billion from foreigners buying our debt instruments to finance the annual deficit. Senator Paul has a valid point.

President Trump in his announcement that the U.S would move its Embassy to Jerusalem yesterday has a much deeper purpose than that cited by the media types wringing their collective hands over the “breakdown of the Peace process” What a farce…..what Peace process are they referring to?

Maybe it was his cutting his teeth in the New York real estate business that taught him how to spot a shakedown when he saw one, and as President he is now in a position to do something about the shakedown that has gone on now for 40 years by the Israeli’s and the Palestinians .

Last year we gave around 3.1 billion in aid to Israel, another 440 million to the Palestinians. Extrapolate that over decades and one can begin to see why perhaps staving off a Peace agreement is in their financial interest. Yassar Arafat died in 2004 with a net worth of (depending on who’s estimate you buy) between 200 million (Forbes est.) and 6 billion (the C.I.A’s estimate). A reasonable analysis say’s it was closer to 800 million, held in among other things numerous European real estate holdings, and stashed in a variety of bank accounts throughout Europe.

At Arafat’s death in 2004 the Palestinian Authority reached an agreement with his widow Suha that allowed her to keep a sizable portion of his wealth and an agreement to pay her tens of thousands a month for the rest of her life ……..as long as she keeps her mouth shut?

President Trump knows when the U.S is being taken for a sucker ride and acts accordingly. Kudos to the President for seeing this “peace process” for the cottage industry it is and has been for 4 decades now. Our last 4 Presidents have been preoccupied with being liked; Trump on the other hand puts the appropriate emphasis on being respected, and halting the rip off of Americans who have had enough of this nonsense. We should all appreciate the Presidents brave and courageous actions.

Bob Shannon
King William, Va
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12/07/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Will The Real Ehrhart Please Stand Up! .

The King William T.E.A Party has been supportive of Supervisor Ehrhart going back to his run for the 5th district seat in 2011. We admire his intellect and I have personally watched how hard he has worked the first two years he has been on the Board.

This issue however of the School Board racing out of the gate with ways to spend the savings as a result of the lower bids on the Hamilton Holmes Renovation is where Ehrhart has deviated from the promises he made when he was running for the office in 2015.

In an e-mail exchange I asked Supervisor Ehrhart yesterday if the School Board had to come back to the B.O.S in order for approval of any additional expenditures the SB is rumored to be considering. This is a direct quote (his answer) to my question.

While I appreciate and want to capture the benefit of the bidding climate, I am also open to adding to the scope if necessary (such as enhancement of safety or educational aspects)

That is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard from the mouth of an otherwise intelligent man. This renovation had a 12 million dollar price tag. Ask yourself 1 very logical question, and this question alone exposes what a bunch of tax & spend clowns we have serving on the school board, and apparently on the K.W B.O.S

If you are planning on spending 12 million dollars on a school renovation……….” and security was even a remote concern………………wouldn’t that security need been at the top of the list to begin with?

He apparently did not think through just how awfully stupid it sounds, now since there is money left over ( about 1 million that could be saved) the School Board and apparently Bob Ehrhart thinks the citizens are total idiots to buy into such warped and illogical reasoning. Back in 2014-15 our group highlighted that Nottoway County schools budget had $300,000 in it for debt service----King William County Schools……3.6 million !

Has Ehrhart forgotten what his platform was in 2015?.

Enhanced Security Supv. Ehrhart???? How about you enhance the security of those hard working taxpaying citizens of King William with LOWER DEBT SERVICE PAYMENTS in the future by telling the school board NO to a single penny above what the original projects was , not one damn dime more.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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12/03/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Peeling the Grant Money Onion—Layer by Layer .

For anyone wondering why Fire Chief Andy Aigner refused to answer questions posed by Supervisors Hansen & Ehrhart on the issue of how Aigner spent $50,000 on a recruiting campaign, at the Board of Supervisor meeting Monday November20th, I peeled one more layer from the story in the last 24 hours. The goal all along has been to expose the stupid and wasteful manner with how Federal /State tax dollars are squandered without any measurable evidence that these people ( Fire Chief Aigner ) even care about the damage they are ultimately doing.

I was told yesterday that the previous Fire/EMS Director had begun to disperse portions of the Grant prior to Aigner’s hiring. A balance of some $130,000 still remained unspent when Aigner was first hired.

Grants normally require that the money be spent in a manner dictated by the Grant terms. In this instance of that remaining $130,000 it was required that $50,000 of it would be spent on a recruitment campaign---hence Aigner contracted with an advertising agency and turned over the dough.

It was explained to me that Aigner had no choice that he had to decide to either spend the entire remaining amount ($130,000) or let the deadline pass and the money be returned to DC.

Two points warrant some detail. First, it is still crystal clear the $50,000 spent on the recruitment effort with this advertising agency was wasted; no intelligent person would argue that point. Aigner , when asked how many new volunteers this campaign helped find his answer was and I am quoting since I was in the room “ I don’t have that information”----which is a lie. Any new volunteers would have to be added to the squads Liability Insurance coverage in the event that they were hurt/injured when answering a call so all Aigner has to do is give the public correspondence sent to the Insurance Company listing the names of the new volunteers, in other words there is a paper trail to the volunteers recruited. Aigner is embarrassed to admit he squandered this $50,000 & has literally nothing to show for it. Aigner’s embarrassment is not my concern.

To suggest as my source did that Aigner didn’t have a choice (he was compelled to spend all or none) is hardly justification for throwing $50,000 down a rat hole. Aigner knew or should have known this expenditure would yield little if any results and anyone with a conscience would have come to the conclusion……. “I cannot spend taxpayer's money in such a foolish manner” ….and sent it back to DC.

This folks is how we ended up 20 Trillion in debt, one bad idea at a time. If he isn’t fired he should be. It is worth noting however the complicity of Travis Moskalski, Stephen Greenwood, Bill Hodges, Bob Ehrhart & Dave Hansen that allow for this nonsense to continue. To his credit I believe Hansen objected to all of this from the beginning.

The variety of groups and individuals who are in support of this type of obvious waste,,,,shame on you as well. Your own children/grandchildren’s futures are being destroyed by examples like this and either these expenditures benefit you directly or you are no

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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12/01/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: What the “Gipper” would have to say? .

Our late President Ronald Reagan often quipped “It isn’t that our opponents are bad people,…. it’s just so much of what they know just isn’t so”, it often drew laughter and was so typical of Reagan and his sense of humor.

Don Wagner’s letter immediately brought that to mind as I read it. If Mr. Wagner gets out his Wesbter he’ll find that among the various definitions of fascism is the following

“The forced oppression of another point of view”,

And anyone opposing the tax and spend crowd knows of the efforts to shut conservatives up.

Wagner implies broad support for public financing of Broadband, ignoring that scores of local taxpayers think this is better left in the hands of the private sector. Daily news stories continue to advance the technology being developed that will render whatever the county does as obsolete by the time it is finished. We have shared with the public the well reported financial fiascos in Kentucky, Knoxville, Orlando, Provo,Utah –costing taxpayers in those localities millions of dollars. This is so typical of progressive’s, they wouldn’t spend their own money this recklessly but are quite content to throw yours down a rat hole, if they deem something a good idea.

You would think by now he wouldn’t have the nerve to bring up the word GRANTS, given the public spectacle of what GRANT money is (debt) and the current example of the Aigner implemented recruiting campaign (using $50,000 in GRANT money) add in Aigner’s refusal to specifically tell the public where he spent it—or wasted it in many peoples point of view.

People have suffered and died”—it is indeed what the lady said, (I was sitting directly behind her as she spoke) and there is no evidence to support such a claim—Wagner calls it a “real concern” as if his words somehow make it so.

Ask Mr. Wagner two questions…..How did the U.S end up with a National debt of 20 Trillion dollars, and whose taxes does he propose we raise when the Board burns through the unassigned reserve fund?

He won’t have a clue as to the first question, but he will if he is honest tell you it will be an increase in real estate taxes that his spouse has already advocated for just a month ago in her own public comments.

People like Mr. Wagner envision the creation of a Utopia …..so long as rational people don’t object to them bankrupting the United States. He might also go back and reexamine the election results locally two years ago. As for my …Extreme Right Wing Views……………like telling the public the truth?

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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11/30/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Government Make Work Jobs & Where Your Money Circles the Drain .

Attending a Court hearing yesterday at the King William County Courthouse was an excellent lesson on two fronts. The first was to watch a very good Attorney argue on behalf of a decent honorable man and ultimately prevail. That left me feeling a little better about our system of government. To his credit, the Judge after refusing to recuse himself went about intelligently reaching the determination that the defendant and the testimony of the 3 witnesses was on balance not sufficient to deny this man the renewal of his Concealed Carry Permit.

The second observation however was as a taxpayer, depressing, a bird’s eye view of the numerous ways that even at the local level tax dollars are spent in such wasteful ways.

In the actual Courtroom was not 1, not 2 or 3 but 4 County Law Enforcement officers, 3 at the front of the room and an armed Plains clothes Investigator standing at the rear of the room at the entrance doors. I honestly sat there thinking to myself, is King William trying Charles Manson….isn’t he dead?

What is the collective cost of having 4 paid law enforcement officers in that courtroom---or for that matter, what purpose does it serve? Was it necessary? It certainly isn’t cost effective.

Was the contingent of the local T.E.A Party there somehow a threat that warranted this extra layer of armed law enforcement officers? You know the type that comprises this local group of radicals, men & women in their 60’s and 70’s that collectively might have 3 speeding tickets in their insidious criminal pasts.

In any event I doubt anything will come of this unless and until citizens complain. One of the Deputies on duty in the Courtroom was none other than the Supervisor from West Point who has no interest in incorporating efficiencies in local government spending, particularly when another taxpayer paycheck is coming his way. The Same guy who gave the “picking up pennies” speech in October 2015 when he was a candidate for the Board of Supervisors.

Picking up Pennies, appears this fellas interest is in picking up another easy paycheck…….at tax payers expense

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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11/27/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Progressives Deliberate & Sickening Emotional Blackmail Has No Limit .

Our group ,the King William T.E.A Party has repeatedly drove home how public schools got away for years with wrestling more money from tax payers each year with the now old tired mantra that……“it’s for the children “…..using what was for a long time a rather effective strategy. After all, who could be against the children?

It has begun to lose it’s luster for the obvious reasons, an objective intelligent person looks at s schools budget and can see for themselves around 86% of the money is spent on salaries and benefits for staff.

Not to be halted however the Citizens for a Better King William ( they should call themselves Citizens for a BIGGER King William— bigger taxes--bigger budgets—bigger salaries—bigger bloated bureaucracies) in their efforts to push through paid Fire/Rescue has now resorted to the very same emotional blackmail, sickening in how they are going about this.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I was emailed a variety of their talking points, so I did as I normally do—responded with a little logic and some basic math questions not 1 of them would answer.

No sir, let’s trot out the emotional blackmail that worked so effectively for years for the public schools and drag the children into it.

The Fire Chief from West Point went on his emotional blackmail rant with alleging how I was suggesting no one with a sick child move to King William and went so far as to suggest ( for effects mind you) that my position was reminiscent of Hitler and the Nazis ??? Allow me to remind folks what I actually said and have said for the last 9 years, consistently, truthfully and with sound logic, a trait uncommon to people like these self serving scoundrel liars.

I have said and I am now quoting:

when one moves to a rural sparsely populated area like King William , one cannot expect the same fire, rescue response times one would get in Richmond or Henrico County“ I never mention how old one is, medical conditions one might have, if you live out here or any other rural area this is a fact of life.

I have repeated that countless times and stand by that statement today. Whether it is fire/rescue response times or high speed internet-King William isn’t going to be able to afford the same services with 16.400 people. Deal with it, or move to where these services are more to your liking.

As for me (and lots of others) we simply don’t want to pay higher taxes because bureaucrats like the West Point Fire Chief say’s we should. The blackmail Chief is losing its appeal…..and its effectiveness.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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11/25/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Transparency & Ethics In Government----Go Hand In Hand .

$17,000,000.00 of our money paid out since 2014 to settle lawsuits, many of which are of a sexual harassment nature, brought against members of the U.S Congress. Until the recent commotion over Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore and the sitting U.S Senator Al Franken and Cong. John Conyers came to light where was the reporting of this financial fraud? I found it disgusting that in the Congress those filing complaints first have to undergo 30 days of counseling, then another 30 days of mediation ….. Get the picture? It is a clear attempt to thwart their coming forward, purposefully making the process so cumbersome that many of these folks won’t step forward, or won’t follow through, allowing for the continuing concealment of the conduct. The lack of transparency in this example is a concerted effort by members of Congress who believe themselves above the law.

Had there been more transparency in the process from the beginning, and individual members who are alleged to have committed the offense been treated like private citizens who immediately have to retain legal counsel at their own personal expense….but then again by now we recognize the “ two sets of rules” principle when it comes to our elected officials . Perhaps since Congress today is composed of increasing numbers of women this issue will get some long overdue attention, and citizens will pressure Congress to change the rules taking taxpayers off the hook for their legal payouts. It starts once again with more transparency, not less.

Transparency has also been at the forefront here in King William with the most recent example at Monday night’s King William County B.O.S meeting when Supv. Dave Hansen attempted to extract where Fire Chief Andy Aigner specifically spent $50,000 on a recruiting campaign. Aigner responded with a very cavalier answer by stating “the money was spent in a marketing campaign directed by F.E.M.A” , not once but twice. Transparency would expose the wasteful nature of Federal Grants like this, every person in that room understood why Aigner refused to answer the question. Any detailed explanation would shed light on how casually these gov’t bureaucrats throw our money down a rat hole. I am holding out hope that Jack Jacobs fom the Tidewater Review who was in attendance follows up on a story that needs that transparency I allude to. After all, what is the press/newspapers role in a free society if not to expose this type of horrendous waste? Extrapolate that same $50,000 across every county, town, city in America and the numbers get big very quickly.

It has been relentless in the criticism of Hansen who is constantly criticized on his sharing public information about what goes on in our local government. Other that personnel matters and perhaps ongoing criminal investigations, ongoing lawsuits------ what should not be shared with the citizens of King William who foot the bill for the local shenanigans? Why does this create such disdain for the one Supervisor who shares the view that local government should be done out in the open?

In lieu of these examples cited above, how is it possible that more transparency is anything but a wise course to follow, and why is the one Supervisor demanding it the subject of so much vile angst? Smart readers already know the answer.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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11/24/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Fox News Needs to Fact Check Claims Made By Tulsa School Teacher .

Perhaps it was one of those warm fuzzy Holiday stories that a news director thought need told so they ran with it.

A 3rd grade teacher in Tulsa decided last year to “pan handle” with a street sign…. “teacher needs money to buy school supplies” - standing on the side of a busy intersection - “panhandling”, as they say.

I sat listening to her story of how that effort last year morphed into a “Go funding page” where she raised some $ 20,000 for her effort, commendable as they are. It was however when this teacher made the statement that “we haven’t had a raise in 10 years”, a clear reference to teacher pay that my ears perked up.

In 2015 our local T.E.A Party group did a rather detailed analysis of Public School data provided by the reputable Heritage Foundation that studied public school statistics covering the period from 1950—2012. The study showed that Student populations in U.S Public Schools had increased 96%--Teacher Count during that same period was up 252%................Administrative Staffing over 700%!

That same year we took a closer look at the King William County School budget data to see if we could glean some truths about teacher and staffing compensation. I was a bit befuddled because I would hear and read these claims that our local teachers hadn’t had a pay raise in XXX number of years. What puzzled me was after attending numerous school board and budget meetings I was learning simultaneously a new language….the language that bureaucrats speak. I had never heard the terms…..

Salary scale adjustments-----step increases—compression adjustments-----and then it dawned on me what was happening. Language fraud. You see they have invented these new terms so as to avoid using the conventional language we all associate with an increase in pay---pay raise? The various school officials School Superintendent, the school Finance Director are vocally stating or in Power Point Presentations they do for the Board of Supervisors………….”we haven’t had a pay raise in XXX years

National data coupled with International data consistently shows U.S Public Schools spending ranks 2nd internationally (one of the Nordic nations spend a few dollars more) per student than any other nation in the world. Pay raises are routinely given out …….it’s just that the school administrators & bureaucrats use this new language to try and trick us with the relentless poor mouth about how underpaid they are.

Merit based pay, a concept public schools are loathe to even entertain would fix any compensation problems resulting from the out dated tenure pay system, resulting in the bad teachers—average teachers and great teachers being compensated based on tenure.



In the meantime be wary of any public school teacher making the claim “we haven’t had a pay raise in years”…….ask them about the step increases…..the salary scale adjustments…..or the compression adjustments-----before you start feeling sympathy.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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11/21/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Fire Chief Aigner’s Arrogance Has No Limits? .

If you don’t take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools” PLATO

Never was this on display as it was at last night’s King William B.O.S meeting when our esteemed Fire Chief Andy Aigner was being questioned by Supervisor Dave Hansen and Supervisor Bob Ehrhart as to the specifics on where the F.E.M.A $50,000 grant was spent, Aigner replied

“it was spent on a marketing campaign as directed by F.E.M.A”…not once but a second time when Hansen grilled him on specifically where it was spent. Citing the repeated requests for receipts and copies of exactly where the $50,000 was spent, apparently Chief Aigner believes he is accountable to no one but himself. All Aigner can do is delay the information, a F.O.I.A request with F.E.M.A that gave King William the grant will expose the truth he so desperately wants to conceal from taxpayers.

The specific question was then asked on just how many volunteers the various squads had as a result of this $50,000 expenditure of tax dollars. Aigner responded…

I don’t have that information”……………………….?

At one point in his display of arrogance he turned around and glared at me for about 10 seconds….. my suspicions are our sign messages, letters to the newspapers, my –e-mails to various Board members asking where this $50,000 was specifically spent has aroused some animosity towards me, a tax payer---- for having the audacity to even ask the question to begin with.

Now why would Aigner be reluctant to detail for anyone where the money was spent? I believe he is angry because he knows we have hit a real nerve with this particular issue, and detailing where this $50.000 was spent will expose the colossal waste of money that it indeed was. Where in King William or the surrounding area would you spend $50,000 on a recruiting campaign? The Country Courier, Tidewater Review? We have no local TV or radio stations so just where did Aigner shoot the taxpayer wad? Aigner blew the money because it was there to blow. It is just how these government types treat tax dollars…it’s there, let’s spend it.

His ….” I don’t have that information “answer to the question on how many new volunteers this $50,000 recruiting campaign produced is a result of just what? Is the Chief running such a large expansive organization he can’t keep track of new volunteers? Is he so busy reading to the school students he can’t track the number of volunteers? Isn’t that what he was hired to do? Or…………

Is Aigner reluctant to allow this information to get out because it will demonstrate what our group has been saying all along…..this is a textbook example of the almost buffoon like conduct of public officials who blow Grant money without any thought or concern of the tragic burden this places on those who’s shoulders it will fall on to repay this borrowed money (and that’s what Grant money is ), namely small children who down the road will be terribly hurt when all of this debt run up by fools like this guy comes home to roost.

Chief Aigner did what has become routine with Grant money, he spent it without any concern as to its effectiveness, and his refusal last night to answer two basic honest questions asked by the men we elected to adjudicate public expenditures is a textbook example of what Plato meant with his wise words .

Equally if not more troubling was the lack of any interest by Chairman Moskalski, Supervisors Greenwood & Hodges…not a single question by any of the 3 on this issue. The absence of concern for how $50,000 was thrown down a rat hole demonstrates the troubling judgement we entrust to men & women who are supposed to be looking out for taxpayer interests. Citizens of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd districts should be demanding these elected officials account for that $50,000.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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11/18/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Current School Board Needs To Be Sent Packing .

On Tuesday evening the K.W School Board received some good news, the low bid for the Hamilton-Holmes Renovation project came in far below what the Board of Supervisors had approved in the Bond issue that would pay for this project. The original approved Bond amount to pay for this was 13.2 million dollars. It appears the low bid came in more than a million below that. Estimates are that the actual construction costs with incidentals will be around 11.6 million. If this amount then is all that is needed it would save local taxpayers considerable money in future debt servicing payments.

Keep in mind the school budget analysis done by our group in 2014-15 that compared Nottoway County School Budget with King William schools. Debt service in Nottoway County for that year was $ 300,000.00, here in King William debt service for that same year was 3.6 million ! Nottoway (need I remind you) has 6 schools to our 4, and around 300 + more students.

We have a spending problem, exemplified immediately by Teran Mitchell ( project architect) that told the School Board the lower bid leaves money to “add a few things”….. New bleachers for the gym, security enhancements at the front entrance were two specifically mentioned along with some others.

The message King William voters sent 2 years ago by throwing off the Board of Supervisors 3 incumbents who were largely responsible for running up that past debt should have served as a clear message to the School Board that taxpayers in King William had had enough.

Those who read our posts have a decision to make. Members of our group, all volunteers ,labor to bring these issues to the public’s attention, then it falls on you to pick up a telephone and make a simple phone call to both your Supervisor and your School Board representative and tell them to rein in the reckless spending. The alternative is to steel yourself for another real estate tax increase to pay for higher debt service costs, higher than they need be .

The King William School Board is running up the taxpayer credit card….but the bill comes to you.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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11/12/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Voices From The Swamp .

In King William on Tuesday the vote was overwhelmingly for the republican candidate, a 2-1 margin, and yet our Board of Supervisors continues on a spending path that more resembles NOVA and Bernie Sanders. I am of a mind to buy a newspaper for Moskalski, Greenwood and Hodges…just in case they didn’t know how the folks in the 2nd, 1st and 3rd districts actually voted. I suppose it isn’t surprising when one takes into account the 3 of them continue to ignore what message voters sent local government 2 years ago by tossing 3 incumbents who had the very same proclivities out of office. If a decent candidate steps forward in these districts for 2019, a candidate that hasn’t gone deaf, then these 3 will suffer the same fate. Voters in King William sent a clear message two years ago—rein in the spending. Moskalski, Greenwood and Hodges … get your hearing checked fellas. We are “taxed enough already”!

Ever notice in the fall the increased number of gnats, those pesky little flies that can’t do any harm, but are annoying little pests. This year it appears there is another species of this creature---and they write e-mails and letters, some of them actually speak at public venues on occasion. I have been looking at the Library for where these bugs come from, and how to eradicate them. They can’t do any actual harm---but they are annoying and on occasion a little entertaining.

To correct a few misstatements made in a recent screed by one of the gnats, Ol Bob wasn’t kicked out of the Mechanicsville TEA Party. There is no rule’s for kicking someone out of a group that has no membership criteria or requirements to begin with. As for some facts …….I ran in 2013 for the Chair Position, and was elected to serve in 2013, beating 2 other challengers. That group (or what is left of it ) today is TOOTHLESS, now resigned to a tiny band of whiners who resented (at the direction of the local republican party establishment ) that I wouldn’t carry water for them and consistently pounded republicRATS for the same big gov’t philosophy and wasteful spending that continues today.

In 2013 Mechanicsville T.E.A Party attendance and donations increased, and at the end of 2013----- both attendance and donations were considerably higher. My public endorsement of Libertarian Rob Sarvis for Governor in 2013 was indeed a great cause of ire for the republicRAT party apologists that cowardly might now say some unkind things about me.

Contrary to the “ gnats” version, I did indeed attend the K.W Board of Supervisor meeting on the night in question and sat there listening to the outrageous statement made by “ little gnat” how “ people have died and suffered”…….don’t need anyone to give me an audio tape-----I was in the room, taking notes. Perhaps gnats suffer a sight problem. They sure do however have big mouths.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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11/03/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: The Language Game The Progressives Play .

Reading the article in the Tidewater Review newspaper of October 25th I found some excellent examples of the types of language games the advocates of bigger government and more spending have admiringly honed to a quite high skill level. It is nuanced, often times a civil or polite way of stating a position that cleverly masks what they are truly thinking but can’t express more directly. Case in Point

Some speakers identified Supervisor Dave Hansen as a hurdle to progress and characterized him as needlessly abrasive”… better translated as

Hansen is a conservative, with conservative values and beliefs represented by the voters in the 4th district who chose him over 2 other candidates. Hansen doesn’t think that every problem –real or imagined is best handled by implementing more government (and higher taxes) that ultimately will result. So…..if Hansen expresses his dissent is he a hurdle? Is he needlessly abrasive because he has a point of view that differs?

If we could maintain leadership in King William county we would have seen this coming a long time ago” -- translated ……..if only my guy/gal had won we wouldn’t be facing these objections to what the big spenders want to do. Like the folks who are part of the Never Trumpers, residents expressing this particular point of view can not get over that Hansen’s conservative message won with the voters. Hansen has brought transparency to a process that operated behind the curtain in King William for far too long. That transparency has gotten under their delicate skin.

Chairman Travis Moskalski even managed to get his spin of the wheel with another zinger of his own stating “Let’s put the negativity aside” …. translation…..Hansen and the citizens of the county who are not onboard with paid Fire/Rescue or County taxpayer funded Broadband services are just …………….negative types who’s voice or opinions shouldn’t count.

Hansen isn’t alone, I have my finger on the pulse of residents who made their views known 2 years ago when they threw 3 of the Tax & Spend Supervisors out of office---what in the hell part of that don’t these folks yet understand? VOTERS SPOKE.

One of the Citizens for a Better King William crowd ( comprised primarily by public sector folks who are terrified that the gravy train might get slowed down) recently commented in an e-mail that “no one cares what Bob Shannon thinks”…….and she is absolutely correct on that point. What this person misses however is what a few thousand of her neighbors thinks, exemplified by the vote they cast on November 7, 2015, and they won’t quietly go away.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already for the dim)
King William, Va
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11/03/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: They Said No - For Our Own Good, A Lesson Lost On Elected Officials .

I have as most people know 14 grandkids, 7 boys & 7 girls, the real treasure of my life. I learn a lot of new things from them each time I get to spend an afternoon around them. I also take my responsibility as a teacher very seriously and I am reminded of the reinforcing lessons of what caring adults taught me as a child. By the time the Catholic Nuns were done with me I had a strong appreciation for the word…… No. I heard it over, and over and over again. I suppose at around age 4-5, I must have thought to myself “I wish they would learn a new word because I hear that one more than I wish

I was reminded recently of just how powerful that word can be when I told my 2 year old grandson NO, as he was getting ready to see what a small rock tasted like, raising it to his open mouth and when I said the words “Scooch NO”( Scooch is his nickname for Isaiah) . Little Scooch immediately had an emotional breakdown at hearing his normally loving Grandpa with perhaps my legendary scowl tell him in a clear and convincing voice “ No”. The crying was genuine and with nothing held back…you would have thought I ended his small world with such a simple word. It took holding him for 5 minutes and consoling him before I earned my way back into his good graces. In time, like his older siblings he will learn Grandpa just did what was needed, what was in ….. his best interest.

Today we have a pattern in how elected officials go about pretending that every idea and suggestion that comes down the proverbial pike is worthy of being implemented as a government function. An example I cite often is a lady who spoke before the King William Board of Supervisors last year complaining about the trash that was scattered along the rural county road she lived on, and how ………“somebody ought to do something about it” This woman was actually advocating that a local governing board in a county with some 16,000 residents should perhaps consider a hiring of county staff to pick up the trash that caused her apparent discomfort. I sat there listening to her immediately recognizing how far off course we have strayed in our expectations as citizens. What in the hell was wrong with this woman, did it ever occur to her to organize a collection of her neighbors (many of whom were responsible for the trash to begin with) and agree to meet 2 Saturday mornings a month and take a section of the road with trash bags and pick it up. Civic pride alone should spur a spontaneous action on their part to keep their neighborhood appearance in good order. She has been conditioned to think this way by elected officials who are predisposed to YES, and hardly ever use the word NO.

At the moment we have a number of new spending proposals before our local governing body in King William, one for a taxpayer financed local Broadband project (a terrible idea—evidence abounds) and a taxpayer paid County Fire /EMS service, routinely performed over our counties history by volunteers. It is yet another very bad idea for reasons that have been well documented.

At various intervals I and others have publically spoken on how the U.S had piled up some 20 Trillion dollars in debt over a relatively short period of time. It didn’t happen all at once , but incrementally by one bad idea after another, fostered by men and women who as elected officials seem paralyzed at the mere thought of telling their constituents the word NO. They more often than not are YES people for the most basic of reasons, YES is certainly more popular ( Scooch certainly wished I would have allowed him to taste that rock) and it is how they get re-elected.

Here in King William County, it also explains why we have one of the highest real estate tax rates in all of Virginia, certainly among rural counties. Having watched the individuals on the Board for 20 years now I have never heard one of them say the following words

we simply can not afford this for a host of reasons, primarily because we have some 16,000 citizens, too small a tax base to spread the costs over---so NO, I can’t support this

People serving in elective office can be responsible politicians, size up the out of control costs, size up what citizens can and should be doing for themselves, recognize the limitations of government, distinguish between essential & non-essential, and learn how to say the word NO.

You begin to break the back of wasteful spending and big taxes by recognizing the value of a word we all learned as children…………..and the reasons why the simple word No is sometimes necessary.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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11/03/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: One Nagging Question These Big Spenders Skillfully Duck .

Reading the variety of letters the last several issues of CC I continue to ponder one nagging question no one seems to be asking. If the current crew on the B.O.S continues at the pace of new spending proposals the slush fund will soon run dry. These folks are not spending it in drips and drabs but by the bucket full.

Need another $19,000 to re-pave a parking lot literally no one uses…..”No problem—here you go. Need another $30,000 for ambulance equipment (something that should have been known when they decided to buy an ambulance in the first place) ……”no problem, here’s your $30,000

It won’t take long until the unassigned reserve fund runs dry , and with the proposed creation of an entire new department with the annual salaries and benefits that come with this, the extra dough lying around down there will be gone . County operated Fire/Rescue, the black hole that will soon be apparent with the coming Broadband fiasco and the usual cries for the poor underfunded schools, the annual increase in county and school employees health insurance costs ( always ours to swallow) and the …..“Our employees haven’t had a salary scale adjustment, step increase or pay raise since dinosaurs reined……you can bet the budget bloat will eat up whatever is left. The question then is this:

Just who do the advocates for all of this new spending suggest gets the tax increase? One of these folks spoke recently and was quite cavalier about another “.03--.04 on real estate taxes” suggesting that this isn’t a big deal. This person dismisses out of hand anyone else’s opinion as irrelevant.

King William homeowner’s already are burdened with the current real estate tax rate being one of the highest among all rural Virginia counties—that is a documented fact. Those that want to dispute that might want to make an appointment to see their doctor for signs of dementia.

These folks writing letters to the CC complaining about resistance to the new proposed spending binge and launching attacks on the people who do oppose it might just answer honestly that one very simple question………………who’s taxes do you suggest raising? Moskalski, Hodges and Greenwood won’t have an iota of reluctance; they will raise the real estate tax.

It reminds me of that silly quote Supervisor Hodges made in the campaign back in 2015, how he was going to…… “Pick up pennies”. Turns out the picking up pennies will be coming from homeowner’s wallets. The bevies of trough feeders continue their railing for more government, more spending and yes more taxes. They just won’t publically answer that 1 simple question.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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10/30/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Supervisor Earhart King William (5th District) --- And 2 Votes In September .

People who consider running for elective office are more often than not decent human beings, running for their own reasons, sometimes it is a desire to give something back to their communities, or a life long result of community activism, and a last chapter to what has been an interesting life. I have met a fair number of these folks along the way and have helped in their efforts whether it was simply offering them advice, to canvassing door to door, handing out campaign materials, and on occasion speaking publically on their behalf. The depth of my willingness to help is often tied to how strongly I feel about the candidate. One of our current Supervisors Bob Ehrhart (5th District) is a case in point

Back in 2011 I encouraged and did some actual canvassing when Bob was running against the incumbent and another challenger. I liked his history of community activism and his intellect. He demonstrated his quick grasp of an issue and is instinctively honest. I watched first hand his willingness to work hard at whatever he got involved in. His tenacity prevailed in 2015 and he was elected.

I know him fairly well and can’t quite put my finger on his political philosophy. My willingness to help and my endorsement both in 2011 & 2015 stemmed from my personal belief that he had the 3 I’s, …..Intellect, Integrity and Independence. A Penn State grad with a Science degree is not the average type you get on local governing boards. As such I felt as if he would certainly have the capability of critical thinking and analysis of the issues that would come before him.

He & I have had detailed lengthily discussions on broad philosophy as it relates specifically to what constitutes essential government services and what does not. Integrity matters to both of us and when Supervisor Ehrhart back in March-April went after local school official’s , specific to their misleading the public regarding their repeated claims that they had eliminated some 42 positions, when the truth was more like 22-23. I was certain voters of the 5th district had made a wise choice in electing Ehrhart. It took some guts to take on the sacred cow of the schools, rarely have you seen this tough of a grilling as Ehrhart gave the Director of Finance and the school board generally when he went after their repeated falsehoods using well documented data from VDOE own website . That admiration is being sorely tested with two votes Supervisor Ehrhart took at the end of September.

One such measure before the B.O.S was on approving $19,000 that had been approved in May’s budget for the purchase of a commercial grade lawn mower for County maintenance. A decision was made to sub contract out grass cutting, hence the money approved for the lawn mower wasn’t needed. Instead of returning the $19,000 to the General Fund it was then re-allocated to re-pave the parking lot at the Courthouse, a parking lot that very few even use and could have been left as is.

Ehrhart’s reasoning was that “the finance director said it needed to be done, and the money was there”. I routinely drive by the Courthouse, often in the middle of the day, and rarely see more than a few vehicles parked on the lot. Was this yet another example of a Judge or Sheriff wanting tax dollars to be spent for something “he wanted”, much like the $30,000 that was wasted on the security enhancements made this past summer. I have no doubt Supervisor Ehrhart understands what system of government we have here, and Judges and or A Sheriff can want all day long, their wants go nowhere, unless of course you have elected officials who mistakenly think someone installed a Monarchy ? This (re-paving project) by any definition could not make the essential definition and IGNORES the citizens expressed desires of November 2015, throwing 3 former big spenders off the Board. Supervisor Ehrhart needs a better explanation than “the money was there and the finance director said it needed to be done”.

Mattaponi VFD requested an additional $30,000 for “equipment needed for an ambulance they plan on buying”. Now since you don’t go down to WalMart and pick up an ambulance, I suspect the routine considerations of what equipment is going to be needed on an ambulance are planned well in advance.

As such, why wasn’t this request made in March –April when they (Mattaponi VFD) knew they were going to buy a ambulance? Or, with all the money lying around down at the Admin. Bldg did they find a few more “ nice items” they would like to have on the ambulance , and once again seize on the spending binge the Board ( and Chief Aigner) are currently engaging in ?

Did Ehrhart even question them as to why they didn’t ask for this money back in March-April? Did he specifically ask them just what equipment they need now---that they were not aware of needing when the decision was made to purchase the ambulance in the first place? Is this linked to this squad being in Ehrhart’s district and he is currying favor with his eye on 2019?

If for any reason Supervisor Ehrhart has had the meaning of essential government slip his mind, then this can serve as a reminder we haven’t forgot, nor do we intend to give anyone a pass.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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10/27/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: I Liked Him Better In Obscurity .

If we were not sufficiently suspicious in 2000 with the “compassionate conservative” self identifying tag he gave himself , then certainly by 2004 with the passage of the Prescription Drug benefit he added (at a 10 year cost of 1 trillion ) to a program that was already structurally deficient , by that time I personally had enough of George W . Bush, and the republicrat party. A textbook example of a human being that so desperately wanted a second term, and Rove told him ……”this will assure us of Florida & Ohio”. If a sound reason ever cried out to limit even Presidents to a single term this example is certainly a compelling argument.

After W. left office he remained out of sight, busying himself with painting and helping disabled veterans rebuild their lives. I regained a modicum of respect for him during that time. He stayed out of President Obama’s hair and that has been with a few exceptions the common tact most Ex-Presidents have taken. I also think it is the best practice so as to not impede a new President from governing, even when the new President isn’t necessarily governing in a manner you agree with. The people made a choice and the office deserves to operate without nagging second guessing by someone who has left the office. Oh, for the good old days.

This past week former President George W. Bush took to the podium to take swipes at President Donald Trump. Now maybe W. is attempting to lash out, given Trump cleaned Jeb’s clock and openly mocked him throughout the Republican primaries. Some of the Bush family just couldn’t help themselves after Trump fairly won the nomination over the bevy of establishment it’s my turn types. Trump gives as good as he gets and by now no one is unaware of that fact. He (Trump) is who he is, and the American voters have spoken.

Former President Bush highlighted the coarsening of our public discourse, the rancor Trumps abrasive style has allegedly fostered. Bush commented on how this civil discourse is dangerous to our history and un-becoming. Everything Bush said was clearly aimed at the current occupant of the White House. It leaves however the glaring question as to why Bush was silent for the last 8 years if indeed he is concerned about these issues.

President Obama was divisive, and history will show how much damage he actually did to civil discourse with his impulsive and often immediate responses over and over when perhaps reflection might have been the more prudent Presidential course.

Where was the concern (voiced this week )of Bush when Obama immediately took the side of the professor up in Massachusetts and lambasted the cop—before he had an iota of facts, or when he immediately went in front of the camera to announce “ if I had a son he’d look like Travon”, asserting that George Zimmerman was at fault. Obama never once used the powerful soap box a President has to tell the rioters and looters in the “hands up—don’t shoot” incident in Ferguson Missouri …….wait a minute, the cop acted properly. President Obama, time and time again seemed inclined to highlight the negative, to focus on the isolated incidents when police act criminally and ignoring the overwhelming percentage of the time when police act in accordance with the law in doing their jobs. How many opportunities did former President Obama pass on when he should have been vocally condemning the behavior of the MoveOn .Org folks that did extraordinary damage and destruction, or the open cries to “ kill cops” we heard over and over by the Black Lives Matter thugs? Where in the hell was Bush and why didn’t he speak up if he has genuine concerns over the coarsening of civil discourse during Obama’s tenure?

Bush knows that the establishment has much to lose if Trump succeeds in actually correcting the real underlying reasons for the destructive nature of our current state of civil discourse. Clinton, Bush and Obama with the progressive narrative and agenda they promoted did economic and cultural damage advancing the crony capitalist, one world order that they philosophically are comfortable with, in spite of any denials they may offer.

The economic and cultural damage, particularly in urban corridors has much more linkage to the harmful effects of the global trade deals they all helped orchestrate, gutting the manufacturing base that provided these same urban corridors with solid middle class employment. The ongoing regulatory nightmare they all had a hand in promoting that has made American business abandon expansion here at home further straining the job/poverty situation . We now listen to members of Congress talk about the necessity of lowering Corporate Tax rates so our generators of wealth and jobs can be competitive. The absurdity of listening to these very same people who created the high taxes and nightmarish regulatory environment—are now going to fix it .

President Trump also speaks in a brutal and frank manner about the topic all 3 of these former Presidents did nothing at all about, namely the cultural issues such as illegitimacy and fatherless households that always spell sure trouble. One of the many reasons Americans elected this guy was quietly they were often saying to themselves …..“it's about damn time someone said that”.

You can delude yourself and buy into this nonsense that Trump is abrasive or you can honestly answer these questions yourself: Which one of these Presidents thinks like I do, and speaks like I do? Which one of these Presidents represents best the principle that unabashedly say’s ….Yes the U.S is an exceptional nation and doesn’t apologize for it? Which one of these Presidents boldly say’s what he is going to do, and then sets about doing it ?

George W. Bush was leading an admirable life, using the influence and skills any Ex-President possesses up until last week, in a truly commendable manner. Go back to obscurity Mr. Bush and let a man the American people elected go about fixing the multitude of glaring problems and excesses you either dodged or made worse during your time in that office. Jeb’s a big boy and eventually he’ll get over his hurt bruised ego. In the meantime extend the same courtesy to president Trump that former President Clinton showed you.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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10/27/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: No Opposition to Fire & EMS Empire? .

Because I could not personally attend the latest meeting of KW's Board of Supervisors, I am certainly not alone in reading with great interest Tidewater Review Reporter Jack Jacobs' informative front pager in the 25 Oct edition, headlined "Residents voice support for paid firefighters"

However, unless nobody -- public commenters or officials -- has voiced opposition to KW Fire Chief Andy Aigner's empire-building proposals for taxpayer financed firefighters and a sparkling new, half million dollar fire station, can this feature be honestly considered "fair and balanced?"

Particularly after TR's report gives a certain "Economic Development Chairman" a megaphone to shout his petulantly self-serving protests against Manquin District Supervisor Dave Hansen's principled scrutiny of this and other budget-busting pork barrel projects perpetually peddled by the usual cohort of county tax trough-feeders, aided and abetted by that infamous trio of tax and spend Supervisors.

Oh, and isn't Mr. Aigner the same fellow who solemnly assured the BOS back when he was hired into a brand-new position -- created using money from the government "grant" fairy -- that he wouldn't be needing additional funding and more employees ?

Folks, if a fact-based, logical and compelling case can be made for paid emergency personnel operating out of a yet another station -- when there are dedicated volunteers right now in perfectly good stations who will be bled to transfuse the county's new hires -- then pay for it by cutting county spending on frivolities and bloated compensation packages.

Because we're TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY !

Sincerely, Robert "Sarge" Bruce
Aylett
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10/26/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Headline Story In 10/25 TR A Bit Misleading..

“Citizens voice support for paid Fire/Rescue” as the front page story read, lends to the impression that support for paid Fire/Rescue is wide spread. 2 very important elements need some dissection to give a much more objective and accurate portrayal than that headline suggests.

First is the local election just 23 months ago. 3 incumbents with long track records for expanding local government were voted out. That fact seems to get brushed aside with a casual dismissal that those election results meant nothing. Voters sent a distinct message, the big spending 3 voted out were rejected by citizens who were weary of the ever increasing bloat going on at the County level. The Real Estate tax burden this spending brings was front and center, and voters, if the results were to mean anything said ENOUGH.

The second point is who attends and more importantly speaks at the B.O.S meetings. Mr. Jacobs, new to the area may not yet appreciate what I have observed over many years of being a regular fixture at these meetings. The oligarchs abide by a long standing quid pro quo. They (oligarchs) allow the Board to spend as much as they want, on anything they want ---so long as their lucrative tax exemptions such as Land Use remain in place. As the old adage goes…. “Don’t bite the hand that feeds ya”. The Oligarchs know that to object to the spending binges politicians go on would be to risk incurring the wrath of those that can take away those same tax exemptions. I take with a grain of salt and healthy dose of skepticism anything one of them says when they speak during the public comment period. The hypocrisy of a few years ago often expressing as justification for the Land Use Tax Exemption program was to…. “keep King William open and rural”, are now expressing their support for public funded broadband and paid fire/rescue as necessary if …….“we want the county to grow”? That hypocrisy isn’t lost on those listening.

Empire builders like Chief Aigner never met a new program that didn’t need additional staff and or money. Go back and read Aigner’s own words from just 18 months ago. We still haven’t received the details on where he spent $50,000 on this recruitment campaign. Aigner is an example of why the nation is 20 trillion in debt.

It is unfortunate that more people who voted 23 months ago don’t come out and voice their objections at these meetings, but that is why they voted for Hansen, Ehrhart & Hodges. If they supported this expansion Redd, Stone & Williams would still be on the Board.

King William County (I have lived here for20 years) has about 6 structure fires and about a dozen serious automobile accidents annually that result in death or serious bodily injury. I do not dismiss the gravity of those impacted. I do however suggest before jumping to any conclusion consider the cost/benefit analysis often left out of political decision making. Citing that other localities have begun bringing on paid personnel isn’t justification to do this.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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10/18/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Mcconnell Symbolizes What Has Destroyed the Republican Party.

In a joint press conference on Monday with President Trump, U.S Senator Mitch McConnell made numerous statements that revealed just how much contempt the ruling class elitists have for the average conservative.

Responding to questions from the press McConnell stated that “first you have to win” and then enunciated what he was talking about by citing the election losses of candidates like Sharron Angle who was backed by Nevada’s T.E.A Party conservatives and received no help from the RNC in her efforts. Roy Moore is just the latest example of the establishments selective choice as to whether or not a conservative candidate gets any help from the fella’s running the show in D.C . Luther Strange was their guy and we all know why.

McConnell further showed his allegiance to the K Street crowd with the ridiculous point he made in his statement that former President Obama “didn’t pass the A.C.A until his second year in office”,… as if slowing Tax Reform , the wall or Infrastructure down has any relevance whatsoever. Mc Connell favors slowing Trumps agenda down for one very simple reason, it gives his real allies the lobbyists (representing the status quo) time to mount an effort to carve out for themselves the favorable tax exemptions they currently benefit from and don’t want to see the ax fall on. It should be clear by now that the original tax reform Trump has proposed won’t resemble anything like what ultimately passes.—because Mitch McConnell , Paul Ryan, McCain and others are doing their obligatory best to keep things as they are.

Conservatives however can take heart in some quite astounding changes taking place across the political landscape. Social and cultural rot has reached a point where green shoots are beginning to sprout. We have had enough of Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Move on.org, the lawlessness represented by porous borders, the crime spewing from the urban areas, the continued downward spiral of our nation’s public schools, and the corrupt results of a tax code that has become a form of legal bribery. Throw in the decade of republicans lying about what they were going to do if only we gave them majorities for icing on the proverbial cake.

Congressman Dave Brat’s victory was just the beginning, we are seeing gathering evidence that the American public has perhaps finally reached a point where they are awakening to what they have ignored for far too long. Career Pol’s like Senator Bob Corker are recognizing their service in DC has run its course and the public has finally caught on to the charade that has went on for far too long. Conservatives have bent over backwards, distorting any reasonable definition of the word compromise over the last 50 years. It is high time to take back some lost ground and restore a measure of sanity. Our efforts certainly will face a very concerted effort to halt any progress we might make. Conservatives have allowed Progressives to root themselves in almost every institution from government at all levels, to education, the media, and yes, the legal community. Court rulings, jury nullification, that defy common sense are now routine daily occurrences. You know it has gone too far when trial lawyers are trolling the airways with ad’s asking…….. “Have you taken the prescription XXX and developed a gambling addiction”? The inmates are running the asylum and Americans have had enough.

My intuitive senses tell me that a page is slowly turning. Is it too late? Are the debt levels at a point already where the economic damage decades of spending money we didn’t have will certainly lead to a coming debt driven economic collapse? I wish I did know the answer to that question, and I doubt anyone really does.

What I do know is this, Trumps election has provided an opening for those who understand the crucial crossroads we are at. If Trump’s agenda is stymied, if the collective forces aligned against him prevail we may not have another chance like this come along again in our lifetimes.

Move past the platitudes and slogans and make a conscious choice to do something about it, while we still have the time to. “Doing something”….isn‘t buying a license plate and deciding you did your share. “Doing something” isn’t attending meetings at groups who are complainers clubs, doing something isn’t griping on social media about the way things used to be.

Doing something is actively engaging, making time in your schedule to attend and speak up at your local school board and Board of Supervisor meetings. Doing something is sitting down and writing letters to your local newspapers, doing something is writing this and other Blogs, doing something is standing up to the local elected officials and telling them to cut spending and taxes.

If you need some motivation, ponder this scenario playing out at the end of your life when your grandson or granddaughter asks you this question……..

Grandpa—Grandma……….” What did you do to stop this from happening “?

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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10/15/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Shannon Endorses Cliff Hyra for Governor.

Bob Shannon, Founder of the Mechanicsville & King William TEA Party groups and long time local activist makes this personal endorsement that is his and his alone. This endorsement is not an endorsement of either of the two groups he founded.

The late Jerry Lund who had a local radio talk show on WRVA was a mentor of sorts when it came to my forming of political thought. Jerry had an often repeated line where he would challenge listeners to be “intellectually honest”. I can today smile thinking back to the nights when I would be listening to his program, knowing at almost the precise moment when Jerry was going to unload that challenge to a particular caller who was inclined to make excuses for one political party or the other, or sometimes a specific politician. You simply were not going to get away with it on Jerry’s show. Jerry had the intellectual chops, but more importantly he had integrity that was his hallmark personality trait.

The contest for Virginia’s next Governor moved me to drill down and consider precisely why I think Cliff Hyra is a superior candidate. In the course of doing so I find myself thinking a great deal about the common phrase I use to describe the two major political parties,…… “ two heads of the same snake”. Frequently I observe people shaking their heads up & down in agreement. A quiet slow recognition is building across the nation that neither of the two major parties are willing to address the major problems confronting our localities ,state or nation. Kicking the can down the road ---ought to be both of the parties motto.

On a recent occasion I quietly contemplated two local elected officials, one a local Supervisor, and proud democrat progressive, the other, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates who touts his conservative credentials every election cycle. I made a list of about 8-10 issues and went back through their votes and public claims only to find on each one of these issues they were almost identical in their support for expansion of these programs, more funding and support of tax dollars for a variety of economic development projects . Both support higher spending on Education, K-12 and College. Political slogans and campaign promises aside, both of these men govern and advocate for bigger government and more spending, regardless of what they say around election time. The very same dynamic is occurring in the Governor’s race.

The test I use for whether or not I’ll support a candidate today comes down to the 3 I’s, Intellect—Integrity—Independence. Hyra attended and spoke at one of the King William TEA Party meetings back in late April. Anyone who has attended the Candidate Debates we hold here, anyone who has attended one of our meetings when we have had elected officials and candidates speak to our group know how thoroughly we vet these folks. It isn’t the typical campaign stump speeches or allowing them to come in and run out the clock that they are infamous for doing, often times never answering a single question with any degree of depth. We grill them and get to the heart of the issues with a high degree at determining just what this guy or gal really believes on the issues. Hyra passed in my view with flying colors. It might also explain yet again this cycle why the two major party candidates didn’t want Hyra on the same stage with them.

You can change the mind of an honest man, but you can’t persuade or change the heart of a man who has sold his soul to the money changers or the political bosses in the parties establishment that are quietly running the show behind the scenes. They can spout campaign slogans and platitudes verbatim; they roll off their silver tongues like butter. Yet when elected as we have seen the last 10 years they immediately fall in line with their masters and do their bidding, no matter what they said on the campaign trail.

So my challenge to each of you who read this and knows me is this. Examine as you walk into a voting booth in a few weeks your own conscience and just ask yourself the question Jerry use to ask his listeners……are you being intellectually honest in your vote? Do you like so many continue to see elections as some sort of athletic contest, we gotta win, or has your political reasoning matured to a point where truth matters?

For conservatives who in their heart know the difference and want to send the two headed snake a clear and unambiguous message, cast a ballot for Cliff Hyra on November 7th. Somewhere on a golf course in Heaven, Jerry will smile down on you.

Bob Shannon - Founder Mechanicsville & King William T.E.A Party groups
King William, Va
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10/14/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Grandma Used To Say “Consider The Source” .

In a recent splash of local Facebook postings a select group of folks are asking their followers to come out and support Fire Chief Andy Aigner’s call for more paid county fire/rescue personnel and the building of a new fire station at a cost of some $500,000.00 It isn’t lost on those of us following government as to what happens when you have 8-9 million lying around in a county with a 26 million dollar annual budget---as sure as the sun comes up in the East , there will be all kinds of ideas on how the excess should be spent.

I want those reading this however to take some advice my wise Grandma used to give me as a young boy. Anytime an issue came up for discussion with her she would consistently advise me to “Consider the Source”. So just who are these folks who are using their Facebook page to solicit their fellow citizens to support this latest extravagance you ask……… Here is a random list of those who are claiming that “lives will be lost” or “these guys put their lives on the line everyday” you are not stating objective facts but using fear to manipulate people to go against plain old fashioned common sense.

A new water boy for the Oligarchs, someone who is touted as “retiring“ from one board/commission , a guy who’s tenure in King William stretches all of about 4 years, only to be appointed to another board /commission to advance the Oligarchs plan to seat this guy on the BOS in a few years. Ask this person just whose taxes he would raise when the money runs out. He’ll follow orders and smack homeowners with a real estate tax increase if he has a say in it.

A part time school employee quite comfortable with maintaining the big spenders on the Board so as to stave off any chance of part time employees losing the myriad of very generous benefits, benefits I might add you would never find in part time employment, unless of course it is government part time employment. Is this person’s spouse already a paid fire rescue employee? If so, then not at all surprising that this individual is an advocate for paid fire/rescue.

A couple who have both been gainfully employed by government and have a cool $230,000 or so coming in annually to their household, naturally they have never seen a government program that shouldn’t be expanded and given bigger budgets.

A few former elected officials, some of whom have made careers working in nice government positions with very generous compensation and benefit packages.

King William has about 6 serious structure fires per year, and about 12 or so serious motor vehicle accidents that ultimately result in loss of life or serious bodily injuries. Naturally I am not demeaning those who lose their homes or business, let alone a human life. What I am however pointing out is the emotional illogical rants that are being promoted, often times having nothing to do with facts, but self- serving in their very nature.

I would never argue for suppression of free speech, nor restrictions about what can and cannot be said on Facebook. I am simply advising as my dear Grandma use to wisely counsel me “Consider the Source”.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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10/14/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Program Director Skirts The Real Issue .

Responding to last week’s TR Letter from the program director of Three Rivers I was initially pondering if it was a philosophy lecture.

“So many young parents who really want to be healthy parents, families already at risk for poor health because of childhood experiences, what could be worse than not to be able to access affordable medical treatment, parents who have lost their jobs when they cannot work because they or a child is ill , frustrated trying to help a family with a budget that cannot be met with their minimum wage job. And of course the solution according to the writer is paid sick leave and raising the minimum wage. Let’s examine using some facts these underlying premises.

What does she mean by “parent’s wanting to be healthy”? Human beings make choices every day that impact their health, including anything they put into their bodies. If one lives on junk food and or uses any number of harmful illegal substances it isn’t a secret the outcomes will be negative. She suggests that a person or family can be at a health risk because of childhood experiences? Millions of Americans have been subjected to bad childhood experiences that cross the entire spectrum, but went on to live healthy and productive life because of the wise choices they made as adults. Should we dismiss human will, the capability of individuals that make a conscious choice to engage in very risky behavior? Parents who have lost their jobs when they cannot work because they or a child is ill-----just where is the other parent might I ask? Access to affordable medical treatment----the majority of these folks surely qualify for Medicaid, one of the richest health insurance plans and is the driving force in the state’s budget exploding. As for minimum wage, the 2.5% that actually earn minimum wage is predominantly teenagers and young adults entering the workforce for the first time and the data shows they don’t stay at minimum wage for very long before earning more money.

It is clear that the very same remedies the writer advocates for are the primary drivers that led to many of these problems in the first place. America has subsidized bad personal choices for the last 60 years, beginning with illegitimacy, and the elephant in the room. Personal responsibility is glazed over as if readers are fools and don’t see through the self -serving purpose of those now employed in the cottage industry created by the nanny state and myriad of flourishing non-profits where 85% of their budgets are spent on salaries and benefits for those employed by them. Responsible citizens often struggling themselves to stay afloat have had enough of this crap, and are not going to remain silent on the sidelines out of some fear of offending the PC crowd.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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10/12/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Public Broadband Project in Kentucky losing millions of taxpayer dollars .

From the pages of the R.T.D just this week is a very interesting article of what has become cynically referred to as the “Big Dig”, Appalachia style, referring of course to the Boston project that took decades to complete and ultimately cost twice as much as promised.

The effort to build a statewide broadband network was supposed to take a year to complete but of the 3,000 mile network of fiber optic cable, after 3 years only 68 miles have been installed.

To date Kentucky taxpayers have been forced to pay some 7 million in penalties to private sector partners with the potential of tens of millions” more. Project officials plan to ask state lawmakers for millions of dollars in taxpayer money to make up the difference.

Macquarie Capital who financed the project by selling 288 million in public bonds has a contract that requires taxpayers to help companies pay down that debt.

The situation has become so dire that state lawmakers are now inquiring how much it will cost the state to get out of the deal.

The King William T.E.A Party isn’t opposed to progress, we support the development of our counties infrastructure. This is simply further evidence of the position our group has taken all along, matters like this are best left to private enterprise that will decide when it will be profitable enough for them to risk their private capital. In a few more years the rapidly growing technology will solve the issue of high speed internet without risking more of King William’s citizen’s money.

We listened to the grand claims of the Natural Gas Pipeline built with tax subsidies and how it was going to “open up development of the 360 corridor”, yet nearly 10 years after its completion we have 1 business utilizing it.

These types of projects financed with debt ( and that is what bonds and grants are ) often times benefit a few well connected folks who make a nice buck, but leave tax payers holding the bag when cost overruns occur, and they always do. This example in Kentucky serves once again as a reminder of how government run projects usually end up very badly. Contact your Supervisor and tell them to pull back the dollars they have already allocated for this local initiative and end this before we see real estate taxes go even higher than they already are.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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9/24/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Spoiler in the race……… a response to the article by Ken Reid in TBE.

I read with interest Ken Reid’s article on TBE September 20 and was not at all surprised to hear one of the establishment’s water boys categorize Cliff Hyra as a “spoiler”. He expressed his concern that Hyra could be a potential vote by tea party conservatives and Corey Stewart voters who see Gillespie as an establishment candidate. So as to clear up any doubt Mr. Reid, yes indeed that isn’t what we see Gillespie as, but what he is.

I was forced to listen once again to the myth (and by now Mr. Reid knows firsthand it is a lie) that Rob Sarvis had taken money from this democrat linked PAC, in spite of Sarvis telling Virginian’s that this donor routinely gave money to all sides , and yes when you are a starving candidate up against the well-oiled money machines you take whatever funds come your way. I suppose Mr. Reid distinguishes a Sarvis donor as less ethical than say…..oh I don’t know, maybe a Johnnie Williams for example?

Reid specifically mentions that no Republican has won statewide races since McDonnell-Bolling-Cuccinelli and suggests that Cuccinelli’s loss was a result of Sarvis bleeding off votes. It had, if one accepts Mr. Reid’s interpretation nothing to do with the tainted integrity, nothing to do with the 6 billion in new taxes, and nothing to do with the failure of the McDonnell administration in addressing any of the major issues facing Virginia, in spite of republicans controlling all 3 top offices, the House and a 20-20 split in the State Senate? This isn’t a case of amnesia on Mr. Reid’s part, but a convenient revision of recent state political history. Questions arose in the closing months of that campaign about Cuccinelli’s own integrity, but Mr. Reid would rather tag Rob Sarvis?

Maybe Reid is concerned about the sour sentiment among conservatives resulting from the 7 year promise of repealing the A.C.A, or the republicans who now are stepping up opposing Trumps border wall, or even the promised tax reform. Reid’s musings might carry some weight if Virginians haven’t had their fill of republicans failures to get anything of substance done, or their broken promises after 7 years of voters giving them majorities in both Houses at the federal level.

Conservatives like myself who endorse Cliff Hyra are simply no longer willing to delude themselves or listen to any more of the republicans excuses as to why after they are elevated to power, only to govern like the elitist progressives they so often turn out to be.

Place the blame anywhere you like Mr. Reid, the facts tell us the failure of republican candidates has more to do with how republicans govern after they are elected, not some protest vote. Those of us who cast a ballot for Cliff Hyra will regardless of the outcome know we voted for a principle, or at least advancing one. You can keep scoring this as if it is a baseball game, it isn’t a game to those of us with clear consciences and convictions, and who have had enough.

Bob Shannon
King William, VA
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9/19/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Audacity----In Desperate Need at the Moment.

Audacity: daring, bold, insolent……….. According to Webster. At the moment also in desperate need if the momentum the Patriot movement once enjoyed is to be regained. I sense that the failure of the G.O.P to keep their 7 year solemn promise to repeal the A.C.A has fueled increasing levels of public contempt that could cause the republicrats major headaches come next years mid -term elections ,as well as this falls Governor’s race here in Virginia. Will disaffected conservatives chose to sit this one out, or perhaps throw their support behind Cliff Hyra the surging Libertarian candidate \?

I received an e-mail from one of the TEA Party groups on Wednesday suggesting that readers must ” hold Congressman Rob Wittman accountable” , stating that phone calls needed to be made to Wittman because once again he demonstrated he is a slave to the establishment bosses. I sat at my desk reading this and had to calm myself with the thought that this is yet one more example of a group of people who just don’t get it. They sent this message to their e-mail list, primarily republicans that whine and complain occasionally but never really launch anything of substance in terms of what some of us define as “ holding a elected official accountable” This same group routinely invites Wittman to their meetings, treats him as if he is some Crown Prince, complains about his voting record….and then walks into a voting booth each cycle and sends this guy back to DC. Their logic is “ well, he’s not as bad as the other guy”

Maybe a shot of audacity and its skillful use would teach Wittman they mean business. Wittman is immune to their quiet complaints and empty threats. Wittman has their number, knowing full well they will continue to support him. I got “ audacious” with Wittman back in 2011 when he refused to back Congressman Duncan Hunters bill to put on hold the repeal of “ Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” putting up some signs on 360 that asked the question….

WHY WON’T CONGRESSMAN WITTMAN PROTECT OUR MILITARY….and quietly Rob Wittman signed on as a co-sponsor of the legislation. SOMETIMES BEING AUDACIOUS CARRIES BIG BENEFITS.

A dose of audacity would be my suggestion, perhaps using those TEA Party signs for what they were intended for, smacking these guys in the kisser with the broader public. Maybe by shaming him on the signs…..after all that was why we put them up. Absent some genuine audacity their e-mail please reach just who? You must reach beyond a very tiny number of the same folks. You must recognize what you are doing isn’t working. It really is quite stupid to be frank.

The repeal of A.C.A failed, looks increasingly like that “ wall” is now getting shelved, tax reform is supposed to be in trouble and here we go with more troops in Afghanistan. The hospital and insurance industries , the Chamber of Commerce, and the Military Industrial complex have no problem with audacity----maybe the other T.E.A Party groups should put on their big boy pants and try it themselves. I can tell you from experience…………….it does indeed work if applied.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va

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8/29/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Board Speakers Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds.

The public comment period at the B.O.S meetings allows citizens to voice their concerns and opinions on local matters, a healthy forum. Monday night however 3 speakers shown the ignorance and hypocrisy one often is forced to listen to.

A former Chair of the KW Republican party , a fellow who has proclaimed his adherence to smaller government, lower spending and taxes, his belief in free market principles , his conviction that government does too much , is costing us with their wasteful ways……..got up and advocated that local government do something about the lack of high speed internet. It once again demonstrates what I have said for a long time, many who call themselves conservatives are anything but, particularly when it comes to wanting something themselves from government. Not a word from this guy the last 6 years about local spending, waste or tax inequities in King William. He shows up and let’s everyone know he has changed his stripes, he is now a progressive, has seen the light.

Another regular at these meetings who thinks the 3 minute limit for speakers applies to everyone but her, once again called for more programs, stating…… “ if that requires higher taxes, then so be it”……the hell with anyone who might disagree, this lady missed that 21 months ago 3 of her big spending Pal’s on the Board were tossed , she knows what’s best for us, so shut up and do what she says. This is someone who minimized her own tax liability, someone who ignores the message voters sent in the local election of 2015. What prevents her from writing a check herself to the county if she is so convinced that higher taxes are a good thing? What prevents her from raising the money to start/fund these programs? The really disturbing comments however came when she purposefully drug a Supervisor’s granddaughter into the discussion, noting how this child attends school in West Point. For some there is no bottom, no line they won’t cross, even when it crawls into the despicable.

We have a passionate advocate for the public schools in King William who once again demonstrates the absence of knowledge or facts…………….but is determined to give schools a blank check. I doubt based on her comments she is aware that the schools received a very significant increase in local funding this year, or that King William teachers average salary ranked 2nd out of 8 localities our group surveyed 18 months ago, and only $200 annually behind 1st place. I doubt she has a clue about what impact it has had that the schools and school board misled the public for the last 4 years with the false claims of having eliminated 42 positions, publically laid bare in April. I wonder if she might care to explain how King William schools manage to spend some $90,000 a week (yes a week) more than a county school system with 6 schools and 300 more students? Her cries for allowing the schools to spend whatever they want is emotionally based blah blah, she couldn’t defend her claims if put under any scrutiny , making these “ public comment “ periods the perfect venue for her rants to go unchallenged.

Readers who agree need to understand something that must happen if the fools and hypocrites are to be reined in. Voting every four years, and then returning to your easy chairs won’t get it done. Your voice is drowned out by the folks that came out Monday night and as the old adage goes, proved beyond any doubt by their own words what we previously suspected.

Bob Shannon
Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William,Va
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8/23/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Why Should ‘Textbook Funds’ be diverted to school Administrative Salaries?.

We enjoyed yet another ‘spirited’ discussion during the KWBOS Work Session of Monday Aug. 14th; with focus on the use of ‘State Textbook Funds’ to pay a 2% wage increase for the King William County Schools Administrative Staff, NOT for our classroom teachers.

Our school Leadership, with encouragement from the Board, stated that our High School did NOT pass the 2016-17 VA State Standards of Learning (SOL) in Math and English as a Second Language. It is my understanding, that at least 20 of our children missed this English SOL and yet will graduate with their classmates without needed skills in reading, writing, and comprehension of English.

In my discussion with a member of the School Board, I found that our school Leadership has written these children off; but the Administration did give these children a safe place to stay during their school years, similar to day-care, even if they can not read.

I ask you: whom do we hold accountable for these ‘missed’ State minimum Achievement goals? Do you believe that a school leadership that did not provide direction and support to achieve the State Standards deserves a $2,000+ salary increase, at the top? Currently our school Leadership and School Board do. What say you?

I support a 5% increase for in-classroom teachers; with NO salary increase to a Leadership that takes credit when teachers succeed, as in the past; but now, has no explanation regarding the Leadership’s not identifying the classroom teacher needs in meeting State SOL Standards; and NO direction as to how this Leadership will in the future.

Regards...
Dave Hansen … KWBOS
District 4 (Manquin)"
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8/18/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Statues & Monuments --- The Other Side Fails To Recognize The True Value.

One can’t live in Richmond Virginia and not understand the historic relevance of this city, particularly its past notoriety associated with it being the Capitol of the Confederacy during a painful and sad chapter of American history. Tens of thousands from all across the nation visit the Richmond area each year, some out of curiosity for the historical element, some have a fascination with the Civil War and all it represented during that time The greater Richmond area is surrounded by reminders of Richmond’s role and the various markers and monuments stretching along the routes that the wars path took .

On an economic basis alone these visitors pour tens of millions into the local economy, hospitality interests alone will be seriously harmed, jobs will be lost and Richmond will be denied the benefits of those that visit regardless as to the reason why. It befuddles me as to why this element of the discussion doesn’t seem to warrant the consideration it rightly deserves. It is not going to impact a banker or a stock broker, but the people employed in these industries mentioned that will be harmed by this effort to remove these monuments and statues. I know of no one who will gloat over a “moral victory” when they can’t pay their rent or feed their families. I just wish this would be taken into account by these moral preeners who seem to have failed in understanding an old economic adage “to every action there is a reaction”.

There is however another very important element to this issue that is also being overlooked, particularly by the folks who are determined to erase a chapter of American history.

Instead of seeing the Statues and Monuments in a negative light, and I understand why some do, perhaps another point of view might be considered.

I look at these statues and monuments as a testament to America’s ultimate victory of right over wrong, of justice prevailing over evil. It may have taken a very bloody and horrible war to finally correct what is a national stain on our otherwise proud history, but when it was over our national course was corrected, America did the right thing. I also am not ignoring it would be another 100 or more years until laws were instituted to correct the lingering effects of Jim Crow, but I acknowledge proudly that in time the U.S made good on its promise that “all men are created equal” .

Taking these statues down does not erase what happened, nothing can do that. Leaving them could indeed serve as a reminder of this nation’s true character, when it mattered America corrected what it had allowed to occur, it doesn’t excuse it or make it right, but taking down a concrete and steel monument does not change anything that did indeed happen.

Bob Shannon
King William
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8/16/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Citizen Initiative Reform---Why It Is So Vital At This Moment.

Frustration among Americans with the political process and the Uni-Party political body that no longer fools voters has lent to the problems we face as a nation in terms of fiscal madness, cultural rot and a divided polarized populace that is the worst perhaps in our nation’s history. Either we recognize the opportunity this presents or continue to wallow in its miserable wake. Sensing the time is right for reform is something I sincerely hope this writing conveys. We must understand in the current poisoned environment there is indeed a silver lining. The choice is to seize the opportunity or look back at what was a political golden moment that might have made a difference, had we acted.

Virginia is regarded as a state with some of the most restrictive laws on Citizen driven Initiatives and Ballot Referendum .Other than new sales taxes and certain bond issues Virginians are denied a voice in shaping law, and this simply does not mesh with the fundamental philosophy of our Founders. This was the issue that drew Del. Chris Peace and Del. Keith Hodges to attend and speak last Thursday evening at the King William T.E.A Party meeting. The following is an assessment of what was said, what weren’t said and actual comments and quotes from the two legislators.

On June 22 our group had a meeting that delivered the research that was done on the 25 states that do have greater access and easier ability for their citizens to use this valuable tool that represents a venue for direct citizen involvement in the shaping of their state and local laws. To briefly compile the benefits we found in our research we begin with lower spending, lower taxes, higher voter turnout, more creative solutions to problems and an education value in that citizens get engaged when they feel they have a say in the making of the laws that govern their lives. I found it interesting that numerous states have efforts underway to allow and or expand Citizen Initiatives. Virginia should join that list. The reasons cited are citizen frustration with the political process ( nothing gets done) frustration with citizens feeling their legislators are not listening to them, and the recognition that the growth of government at every level along with the spending and ever higher taxes have led increasing numbers to say…..enough.

Both Peace & Hodges said very little on the numerous benefits cited above, and repeated for the audience Thursday night. Their comments (and we video and audio taped the meeting) so as to be able to review their comments and write an accurate analysis as to just what was said, and what their positions are. For the purpose of brevity allow me to summarize.

Peace began with a detailed explanation of both the history of past legislative attempts to address this in the G.A citing the most recent efforts and how they had failed, attributing the failure to the democrats controlling the House during the period from 1995—99 when several bills were introduced and came up short .He also explained to the audience that Virginia’s Constitution would need amended and how that process would work. Peace raised his reservations about greater access/use of Citizen driven initiatives by telling the audience that majority rule was something that would have worked against them in the recent U.S Presidential Election of Donald Trump, citing the wisdom and value in the Electoral College. He, along with Del Hodges cited the increasing influence of the more heavily populated counties, primarily in NOVA, and the impact of lessening rural counties influence in the G.A. Del. Hodges stated that initiatives can have the effect of “tyranny of the majority”, and could “undermine representative government”. Hodges noted that initiatives would give special interest “more power”.

I listened with interest to what could best be described as “why it won’t work” or the rather bizarre suggestion that it would give special interests more power. There is wide spread acceptance today that it is the very power of special interests that has created many of the problems. Allowing citizens to have a greater say in the crafting of legislative remedies …..It’s a bit of a stretch to imagine how this would give more power to special interests.

In summary the benefits chronicled above, the evidence found in these 25 states of lower spending, lower taxes, higher voter turnout and more creative solutions far outweigh any of the concerns voiced Thursday night about “possible perils”.

This is and always has been about control, who has it and who doesn’t. The special interests already are well represented, and if anyone has doubts I suggest they visit the campaign donor lists of any elected official, including these two. Referendum and Citizen driven Initiatives would allow for caps to be placed on real estate/property tax increases, caps on several spending proposals, such as implementing paid Fire/Rescue in a county with 16,000 people, and what the County BOS should do with the gigantic unassigned reserve fund, return the money to whom it belongs by lowering/eliminating certain taxes or allow it to sit around for them to spend when the Santa Claus mood strikes.

Peace & Hodges have agreed to read a proposed bill for consideration of their backing. The effort is underway and in time we will see that their statement to consider this reform is genuine, or keeping control in Richmond is what is in their hearts.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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8/15/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Schools Need Lesson On Accountability.

At last night’s B.O.S work session Supervisor Hansen asked a simple question regarding the schools failing to pass S.O.L muster last year on Math and English as a second language . Superintendent Dr. David White refused to answer Hansen’s specific question as to last year’s results, insisting on the V.D.O.E rule that allows for a 3 year average be used, ultimately resulting on Chair Moskalski banging the gavel and declaring the meeting “in recess”.

The political machinations aside a more basic fundamental question needs to be asked “When did public sector leaved the world of reality - that accountability seems to no longer apply to the schools actual performance”. If you are not meeting your objectives in the private sector you risk being passed over for promotion, being denied a pay raise and possibly the ultimate sanction---being fired. In the public sector, particularly the schools, a refusal to examine if taxpayers and parents are getting their money’s worth is a legitimate fair question that Hansen attempted to zero in on. My kudo’s to Hansen’s efforts to hold accountable a system that takes in over 25 million a year (10+ million from local taxpayers) and is failing to pass muster with standards set by V.D.O.E

No one holds Dr. White personally responsible for the poorly equipped parents who send off poorly equipped children and expects the schools to offset the glaring deficiencies that these parents/students present. That is not Dr. White’s fault, and reasonable people understand that.

It is however relevant to recognize the famous adage of former President Harry Truman, who coined the phrase “the buck stops here” Someone, needs to hold this school system accountable and Hansen at least is making the effort. Pouring more money and pay raises on them when they are clearly failing their mission is deplorable, it should not be happening. I recall asking former Superintendent Dr. Mark Jones back in 2010 how many personnel had he fired since he had become Superintendent? His response was a timid one, he had fired 1 teacher for showing an inappropriate video to her students that apparently caused a small uproar among some parents, and this teacher was let go.

In a system with 350-375 FT employee’s normal attrition would include an annual dismissal of some 2-3% of total employee count. That would represent some 7-15 employees being terminated annually for cause, could be poor attendance, or poor performance.

In the public sector these norms are ignored, and accountability is void. Fire some folks Dr. White, maybe hold a special after school program and introduce the school systems employees to Harry S. Truman. Hansen is to be commended for his efforts.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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8/15/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Misplaced Compassion & Empathetic Enablers Yields What We Are Watching.

When one examines the photographs of the protestors in Charlottesville and last night’s protests in Richmond it just might pay to ask the question---who are these aggrieved young people taking to the streets for reasons that seem somewhat removed from anything that someone so young could have even possibly experienced yet?

They are far too young to have ever experienced much of what they claim to protest, discrimination, police brutality, harmful effects of a police state……..they simply haven’t lived long enough yet to have any legitimate claim to being impacted by any of this. So, if that is the case just what drives them and equally important ---who are they really?

Many of them are spoiled brats of indulging parents who continue to subsidize their lifestyle, paying their tuition, rent, medical care and other daily necessities so they can go off and show the world how “compassionate “ or “caring” they are for others plights. Survey them to find out how many are behind on their student loan payments, how many of them are collecting Medicaid benefits, SNAP card holders and leeching off a society that is footing the bill.

The pudgy pink haired tattooed morons wouldn’t have time to engage in this nonsense if their parents kicked their sorry asses out of the basement, cut off their stipends that affords them the luxury of playing political activists, when many of them can’t hold ( or won’t) full time employment and become responsible tax paying citizens. You want to change the world Spanky…..get off your sorry behinds and go get a full time job so you might experience what the rest of us do, having to watch village idiots of all stripes go out and create mayhem, damaging others private property and burdening society then with cleaning up your messes. The actual loss of human life alone should trigger forceful action on the part of law enforcement to put these morons where they belong—in jail.

Spout off all you want about your First Amendment rights, but remember it is allowing for peaceful protest and demonstration…..you cross that line and throw a bottle or brick, spray some innocent bystander in the face with pepper spray, hit a law enforcement officer with a stick, you get whatever comes your way moron.

For those who want to place this blame on President Trump or any other elected official, take a good close look in the mirror, then go pull the 300 nose rings out of your 22 year old son Jimmy and sell the metal for salvage money---money you can then donate to your favorite pet cause.

In the meantime stay the hell off the streets so law abiding productive citizens who paid for those streets are not inconvenienced by your idiotic juvenile conduct .

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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7/28/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Nostalgia or Wishful Thinking?.

American politics are not what they were years ago. The former Chair of the K.W Republican party noted as much in last week’s Country Courier. He is correct only on that singular point.

It is noteworthy that the reasons for this level of discourse however falls squarely on the shoulders of republicans that have forgotten conservative principles they used to stand for. The reality today is republicans and democrats are little different in how they actually govern.

Activist conservatives watch government at every level move further left, dragging future generations into debt and ruin have begun to openly condemn republican inaction. Look for example at what is happening right at this moment, 7 years of promises to repeal the A.C.A and they won’t do it.

Republican Pol’s and their mouth pieces hope to silence vocal critics of a political party that has capitulated on all of the major issues, hence the suggestion that if only we would play nice with one another. Playing nice has got us nowhere and staying silent is something we won’t do. Too much is at stake to bury our heads and pretend republicans haven’t had a role in the damage.

As for the author’s portrayal of Del. Peace as a conservative in the mold of Ronald Reagan, standing firm on his “conservative principles and convictions” ……..

Peace has championed more money being allocated to a host of supposed social ills, from seniors being financially manipulated to domestic abuse and the dizzying array of non-profits who feed off of this state funding. No conservative philosophy that I know of views these as problems government should be involved in to begin with. Peace publically champions more state tax money being funneled to these programs, while conservatives abhor spending on things like these examples. It scores big points with the public sector crowd who live off of these continuing flows of your tax dollars.

Championing the use of tax dollars to fund broadband, or economic development is another example of where a conservative would have nothing to do with. Free market solutions, born of the reality of our nation’s first two hundred years when we became the most envied economic power in recorded history also demonstrates how an economy thrived when government stayed out of the way.

It isn’t a coincident that GDP growth has crawled to an almost stall, all the while during the same time period when government got bigger and reached into every aspect of our lives. The recent launch of the GO Program is just such a textbook case of what this is all about. 28 Million dollars in state grant money is going to be doled out, and those that get to dole it out control a lot of political power. It is the elite ruling political class that uses money in this regretful and shameful manner.

If Peace were a conservative he would be fighting for cutting spending and taxes, not throwing more at problems that are far outside what our founding fathers thought should be the purview of government.

Ask Mr. Breeden or Del. Peace about those grand claims in 2010 how that Natural Gas Pipeline was going to be such a giant boom for development along the 360 corridor. Here we are some 7 years after its completion and 1 single business is hooked up to the $ 6, 500,000.00 pipeline that Peace championed.

This very week Peace circulated an update on Virginia ending the year with a surplus, as if it was a result of conservatives cutting anything….it was excess tax revenues that drove the surplus, not conservative republicans reining in state spending.

Politics has become more polarizing and contentious, but it is a result of two factions in today’s political life. On one hand you have those that want government to do more and more, confiscate more of other people’s money to cure both real and imagined ills. On the other side you have responsible people who want to cut both the size and scope of government, moving back to a system that reflected genuine conservative principles that served this nation and our communities very well until politicians discovered how much good they could do spending other’s money better than the citizens could themselves.

Honestly ask yourself which camp Del Peace belongs to, his actions speak much louder than his words you hear every election cycle when he wants you to forget his 10 year record.

Bob Shannon
Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va.
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7/22/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: To Solve A Problem Society Must First Face It .

Entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare are driven by demographics and longevity factors, which we can do little about. All those babies born after WW II are now reaching retirement age. Some 10,000 turn 65 each day and this continues for the next 16-17 years. Means testing and significant structural changes to the programs are the only way to sustain them. Lifting the caps on income subject to the two taxes are long overdue.

There is another problem however costing American society billions each year that also needs addressed, namely the number of males living in female headed households. Policies in place today are at the core of destructive cultural problems that are not going to go away by avoiding talking about them.

“In a column by Michael Giere this week he noted the 1 in 3 males today living in female headed households” The sobering consequences of this are now clear. A male living in one of these households is…..

20 times more likely to end up in prison, 5 times more likely to commit suicide, 20 times more likely to have behavioral problems, 14 times more likely to commit rape, 9 times more likely to drop out of high school, and 10 times more likely to use drugs.

The proliferation of teacher’s aides in every classroom, most often cited as a consequence of the aforementioned behavioral problems is buttressed by comments from educators who have spoken to me on the condition of anonymity. Kids can’t learn when you have other students constantly disrupting the classroom serenity necessary for a learning environment. The Catholic Nuns had a sure fire remedy and it was employed as needed and hung above their desks in full view of every student. Texas has just reintroduced spanking in schools and the value in instilling a level of discipline in boys who have no authority figure in their lives is long overdue.

One can argue the merits of the various social services that have in practical terms supplanted the “daddy” in the household with a government daddy, and the ensuing results are crystal clear to anyone with their eyes open. Conservatives, had they been advocates of this 60 year experiment today would be ridiculed if these results from this were owned by them. Instead we have in the English language a new term “the babies Daddy”, replacing what used to be father. The progressive philosophy that a father isn’t actually necessary has clear and damning evidence to the contrary. Throwing more resources at this would not change what nature has dictated as a requirement for a boy to grow up in a healthy environment…..Dad has to be around.

Over the years I have advocated for ending taxpayer subsidies that led to the social acceptance of having children out of wedlock as simply an alternate choice to the more conventional and superior manner of a man and woman marrying, then having and raising children in a household where the daily presence of a father has produced better results. No one would advocate for punishing the children, who after all had no choice in the matter.

What can be done to reverse this social trend is to end to all subsidies that rewards or promote this behavior. America has subsidized illegitimacy as a policy for 60 years and we now have ample results with which to measure the outcomes. The financial costs are staggering, but it is the long term damage to these young males that is simply inexcusable to ignore any longer. To the critics who constantly cite the disproportionate number of African American males in prison today, suggesting it is a reflection of America’s racist climate, I simply refute that on the grounds that the home life is more directly linked than any suggestion racism played a part. 60 years is ample time to weigh the results.

Community efforts, often led by churches to teach young men how to be fathers are to be commended. We do the best we can with the kids who are here, try and find a way to broaden their horizons so they can hope for the best possible outcome. It is however no longer a matter of hoping the policies that have led to these outcomes simply improve on their own, we must as a nation make a commitment to amending the very policies that have led us here. It begins with having a frank and candid discussion of the failure.

Bob Shannon
Founder Mechanicsville & King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va

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7/17/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Found Money & Lost Minds.

We learned at last Monday’s B.O.S work session that Fire/EMS chief Andy Aigner has discovered he is so very busy that he now must have a new paid F/T Assistant. Perhaps it might be constructive to ask some questions about Aigner’s assurance from just one year ago.

Over the objections of those of us who thought the idea of creating a Fire/EMS Chief was a bad idea to begin with is Mr. Aigner’s own assurances that his new position would not include any need for additional personnel, or even a budget.

What has changed in the County in the last 12 months? Has the population grown? Has the county exploded in new business growth? Has there been a rash of fires outside of the normal range? No. Here is what has changed.

You have a board with 3 members who have a proclivity to grow government. They buy votes with this conduct. Aigner has a desire to begin building his own little empire, an expected, predictable outcome when one considers the root cause. You have a new County Administrator and Finance Director who have demonstrated their own proclivity to grow government themselves. These people who’ve spent their entire careers in the public sector (or much of it) have caught the disorder by virtue of the notion “if the money is there, we might as well spend it”. Nowhere Monday evening was the mention of the 1 million dollars that the Finance director had found of returning this money to the people who were overcharged to begin with, King William taxpayers. Actual revenues have exceeded projections in some cases by fairly wide margins, the source of the found money.

The Finance Director openly suggested the money simply be given to the schools, never mentioning that local funding to the 4 schools already jumped some 1.2 million in this last budget. Easy to be generous when it’s someone else’s money.

We have an absurd 9 million now in unassigned county reserves. We have a handful of people who are hell bent on spending it. What is missing is citizens demanding the reckless spending and wasting of their money be stopped immediately.

Two of the Board members Hansen & Ehrhart have backed the elimination of the County B.P.O.L tax, a tax that most businesses pay (with of course the exemptions for the favored sons) and would among all options often heard, give a real incentive to locate a business in King William county, providing perhaps some new jobs.

The county governments Santa’s are determined to spend the large excess of cash they have to play with. A good start would be to tell Mr. Aigner…………..NO

Bob Shannon
King William, VA

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7/17/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Single Payer Is Coming — We’ve Ourselves To Blame.

Promises to repeal and replace the A.C.A ( ObamaCare) is clearly in trouble and whatever emerges from this mess will be a far cry from the solemn pledges Republicans have made for the last 8 years. Stop the presses—politicians lying. It is however a tad disingenuous to put it entirely on the backs of republicans who knew all along they were never going to take away another new entitlement that Congress gave millions back in 2009 when this monstrosity was passed. An honest assessment is in order so that we can begin to prepare ourselves for a Universal National Health Insurance plan, equally important so as to clearly understand why it happened.

In 2003 when former President George W. Bush was promoting (with Congresses complicity) the Medicare Part D prescription coverage, I was asked by a couple down in the Northern Neck what I thought about the pending legislation. I told them it was a horrible idea, adding 1 trillion in expected costs (according at that time to C.B.O’s estimates) over the first 10 years to a program that the wheels were coming off of. Keep in mind that there was no new revenue source to speak of to cover this additional 1 trillion. Bush wanted a 2nd term and knew Florida and Ohio were going to be critical to his chances. Not lost on those of us who follow these things were the growing elderly populations of both of these 2 states. The couple then went on to tell me that “their prescription costs were going through the roof”….to which I replied with the following statement

“ You own a beautiful water front home worth around a million dollars, you have a 40ft Winnebago sitting in the driveway with a 36 ft. Cabin Crusier, several water ski-doo’s, a very healthy balance in your investment portfolio-----and you think someone else should pay for your prescriptions? “ Obviously I haven’t been invited back since 2003.

Prior to the approval of the A.C.A the poor were already eligible/covered by Medicaid. It was the expansion of Medicaid after A.C.A’s passage that brought in (among the states that took the Fed’s dough & expanded their Medicaid programs ) millions of able bodied Americans who once again demonstrated that they believed they were entitled to medical coverage, and equally important their fellow citizens should subsidize the costs. You can begin to see the “entitlement mentality” here in play.

Republican Governors across the nation including Ohio’s John Kasich took the federal money, expanded his state’s Medicaid coverage and now is insisting the slow down in the growth rate of Medicaid (which is what the Senate proposal does, it does not cut the program) is unacceptable. Some might say Kasich is just doing what politicians do, he is after all a career Pol.

Republicans never intended to take away a new federal entitlement no matter what they pledged. The bargaining going on in DC, let’s call it what it is BRIBES, with 40 billion more for opioid addiction treatment, another 75 billion in insurance company subsidies (to stabilize the exchanges) is just such evidence of how impossible it is to do what is right in the long term for the nation, which is to repeal this legislation all together and craft free market based solutions that are there, if only politicians would stand up for a principle.

That isn’t going to happen and we will stumble along with some political patchwork that won’t fix anything until a future Congressional majority caves and installs universal care.

I write however to bring as the late Jerry Lund used to say, some intellectual honesty, into the discussion. Saul Alinsky stated decades ago “you must co-opt more of the white middle class in order to collapse the system and bring about the change”.

I hope Jerry is playing on Heavens golf courses, I do know for certain Saul is quite satisfied these days that the co-opting he spoke of is almost complete.

Bob Shannon
King William, Va

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7/15/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Sloppy Or By Design?.

Local government accounting and financial operations are in most cases similar. Here in King William we have a County Administrator, Treasurer, Commissioner of Revenue, and a Finance Director. Collectively we are paying these 4 positions in salary alone around $400,000 a year. Add pensions, health insurance, vacations, etc and we easily cross the half million dollar costs to local taxpayers. Are we getting our money’s worth? You be the judge.

At Monday’s July 10th work session we learned that the county administration had “found” 1 million dollars? Just where was this found? It appears that revenue from a variety of sources was not accurately accounted for. The finance director also noted that the county has had “3 finance directors in 3 years”. Does that explain this? No, unless one dismisses the technology that exists today that allows a retailer with thousands of locations to daily tabulate with the touch of a few key strokes of a computer precisely what the aggregate sales were the day before, inventory levels, and labor costs—all easily tabulated in seconds. I doubt these people are sitting down there in the admin building with ledger pad and pencil trying to add any of this up. They have systems that track these data points…….. so why does this happen?

How is a County with a 25 million dollar budget, with a limited number of revenue sources (about 7-8 total) so far off on projecting actual revenue in such an abbreviated period of time? I have said this is by design and for a purpose. How does a county with a 25 million dollar budget accrue a 9-10 million dollar unassigned revenue fund---and equally important, why?

Agency budgets this past budget year in several instances returned significant amounts of money that were not spent last fiscal year, that was then simply put back into the General Revenue fund of the county. Add the existing 8 million in unassigned revenue fund to this “found money”, and one can see the folks drooling at all this dough lying around looking for a home. Numerous parties who live at the government trough have grand designs on what to do with it. At Monday night’s work session the finance director suggested we just turn over the found million to the schools? What a generous soul, I don’t remember anyone electing her. Let’s not forget that the schools already received an additional 1.2 million this year in local funding.

County fire chief has requested a new full time assistant, after strongly stating just 1 year ago his new position would not require even a budget, let alone any additional personnel, and Walla, a year later he is so busy he now needs a full time assistant. Government make work syndrome.

School Superintendent Dr. David White was also back at the money altar declaring the schools need an additional $75,000. He can’t find $75,000 in a $ 24,000,000.00 budget? I’ll volunteer to help him find it—free of charge. Since the KW School Board can’t seem to find their noses, I suspect they struggle finding $75,000.

A responsibly run county should have a unassigned reserve fund of 10%. That would equate in King William case to around 3 million dollars. It now stands at around 10 million. There is no explanation as to how this has occurred but for the obvious……you are overcharging your customers, in this case the tax payers of King William County. It’s a Slush fund for later Santa adventures.

If taxes are not reduced or eliminated (think BPOL ) every single dollar of this excess will be spent. West Point is no exception either, the proposal of spending $150,000 for a rescue boat illustrates just how out of control spending is at both ends of the county.

The Board could remedy the revenue projection issue by ordering the Finance folks to semi -annually prepare on a single sheet of paper precisely what revenues are on January 1 and July 30, so as to set/adjust tax levels no higher than need be. This would also help to curtail spending excesses.

The K.W Board of Supervisors would bankrupt a snow cone stand in July. Either this 10 million be returned to those it was taken from, or it will be spent. It is up to each of you what the ultimate outcome will be.

Bob Shannon
King William, Va

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7/9/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Competition Produces Better Outcome, Even In Politics.

At our last meeting of the King William TEA Party we covered the 24 states that give easier ballot access to its citizens via Initiatives and Referendum. One of the facts that jumped off the page when doing my research for this, was the lower taxes and spending in the states that allow for this easier access. Another was the “creative solutions” to problems often found when you engage more citizens in the process. Whether it is Pizza or Politics an open system of real competition allows for a better outcome and a lower cost.

Once again we are experiencing the political cowardice of a concerted effort by the two major political parties in their attempts to exclude Cliff Hyra the Libertarian candidate for Governor from the planned debates. It is already enough of a disadvantage when one considers the fund raising capabilities of the 2 major parties, and the media advantage with the abundance of free press simply by their status of being the candidate of a major party. To the satisfaction of many within their ranks, they cling to the very obsolete notion that having 2 candidates is enough of a choice for voters to pick from. That point might hold water if there was any real substantial difference between the two parties, I for one will passionately argue there is not. The facts and history of the last 60 years is on my side. I stand by a statement I have made repeatedly…..

“The only difference between the 2 parties is the platitudes and campaign slogans we listen to every election cycle”. After the election is over both parties go back to business as usual, cynically concluding “we fooled em again”. Having Hyra included in every debate would benefit Virginian’s in many ways, but allow me to lay out some of the more obvious.

Conservatives have felt extreme frustration for decades, in particular after having watched Republican majorities failing to accomplish anything of substance. At every level of government, whether it be our broken health care system, the staggering debt, continued decline of our public schools or reform of a corrupted tax code – nothing of any substance has been accomplished. Republican control and campaign pledges (the last 7 years solemn promises to repeal ObamaCare ) have amounted to the continuing con game the 2 parties have run for decades. We’ve only ourselves to blame for this, our tepid “hold their feet to the fire” rhetoric is empty threats………..and they know it. It is time to insist on an agenda that forcefully takes on the pressing debt problems and social issues that have worsened, in spite of their broken promises to address them. I remind readers of the age old axiom …the definition of insanity.

In 2013 I railed against the exclusion of James Carr, the Libertarian Candidate in the race for the 7th district Congressional seat. It rankled some of my friends and allies in the Patriot movement for a host of reasons. I stated at an event for Rob Sarvis in his bid for Virginia Governor that

“His opponents kept him off the stage for one very obvious reason, they would have been exposed for the intellectual midgets they are had Sarvis had a spot on that stage”

After carefully examining what Sarvis had to offer, what kind of person he is, it’s a statement I stand by today, some 4 years later. We face the same dilemma this election, we either allow for this miscarriage of justice to live through another election cycle, we idly stand by and be forced to listen to the same platitudes and campaign slogans we hear each election ……….or we demand the inclusion of a man who has done the hard work of getting on the ballot and has indeed some refreshing and intellectually honest solutions to problems neither of the 2 major political parties have done a damn thing about.

The King William T.E.A Party had Cliff Hyra speak on April 27th. Our group has the clear distinction of hard vetting every political candidate that agrees to speak at our meetings. We use a list of written in advance, tough questions and have moderators that take no prisoners if a candidate attempts to avoid a question or provide clear specifics on his/her proposed solutions. In my opinion (speaking for solely myself) Hyra passed the 3 I”s test I have used throughout my engagement in the political arena. Integrity---no one has their hooks in this guy, he is his own man. Intellect---After his appearance at our group I’ve no doubt Cliff Hyra is a person who understands these issues and has the capacity to grasp the nuances surrounding the various solutions. Politics has plenty of empty suits, Hyra isn’t one of them. Independence---Hyra took some positions he knew in advance would not sit well with the group he was going to speak to that night….yet he stood his ground, an admirable quality.

Many object to supporting any candidate some feel doesn’t have a chance to actually win, as well as the tired foolish philosophy of voting for someone with an R next to their name so the D won’t win. Advancing a principle must take precedent over treating something as serious as choosing our political leaders like it is an athletic contest.

The first step in rectifying any of these problems is recognition that keeping such a bright, talented man from having a seat at the discussion table, in this case the debates, would be a disservice to all Virginians, regardless of their political affiliation.

If one holds out any hope for the restoration of the Republican Party then it is also very good political strategy. Leverage in politics can be a powerful tool.

Cliff Hyra has earned the respect and right to participate in each and every debate between the Candidates for Governor. Gillespie & Northam would enhance their own stature by embracing Hyra and welcoming the competition in the exchange of ideas. Our Founders would agree.

Bob Shannon
Founder of the Mechanicsville & King William T.E.A Party Groups.
King William, Va

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7/8/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Notes from the KWBOS:.

Notes from the KWBOS: "At last night’s Board meeting (6/26/17), Supervisor Hansen requested information concerning a computer malware attack experienced by the County in early June. The incident was (fortunately) minor and consisted of a rather common form of computer malware known as “ransomware” which was imbedded within an e-mail received on one of the computers located at the Regional Animal Shelter. In most cases, the sender of the e-mail does not know their own computer is infected with this form of malware (in other words, the sender of the infected e-mail is most often not the person who created the malware and is unaware that they are spreading it). The County computer in question was cleaned up (ransomware removed) and was put back in operational use by our IT consultant FB. The County’s computer network as a whole was not threatened, nor was there any indication of penetration of the network beyond the infection of this one computer. It was characterized as a “security” breach in our communications ..., early on, we did not know for certain what had happened.

In initial reaction to this attack and purely as a precautionary measure, a request was put out for Board members to provide the County with new e-mail passwords for your County e-mail accounts. We wanted to make sure that your e-mail communications were secured to the extent possible while the problem was being identified and corrected. Passwords should be changed periodically as a general practice in all computer-based applications to enhance security, particularly when we know our County system may have been or is being subjected to an attack of some kind. Again, fortunately, this most recent incident was minor and easily corrected, and the County’s network was not compromised beyond the isolated infection of one desktop computer."

Thank goodness the folks at the Animal Shelter were not watching porn; but you can trust the County to run your Broadband, as well as we do the County's. Sure you can!

Respectfully Submitted,
Dave Hansen, KWBOS, District 4
King William, Va
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7/4/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Business As Usual.

Business As Usual

Reviewing just what was accomplished by Virginia’s General Assembly I came across nothing at all surprising, quite the normal business as usual by the folks we send to Richmond to handle the State’s affairs. One might be pleased or disappointed by what transpired this year depending on just what one does for a living.

Included in the reporting on the above matters I noticed the pay raises handed out by the folks who are “good stewards” of our hard earned money. Starting salaries for Virginia state police saw a significant jump , going from $ 36,207 to $ $44, 290 a 22% increase. Veterans of the state force got an additional $6793.00. Not to be left out of the pay day bonanza was the Virginia Capitol police who will see an increase of some $ 6793.00 in their starting pay with Veteran officers getting another $ 4,355.00 next year.

All state employees will receive a 3% increase with the following getting an additional bump.

Higher Education gets an extra 1% since last year’s budget freeze didn’t allow for an increase, and workers in high turnover/high stress jobs get an extra 2% on top of the 3 % given to all state workers. Examples given for workers in high stress positions were those of nurses working in mental health jobs.

There are two considerations on this topic, beginning with Household Median Income which is still below 1999 levels for a host of reasons.

In the book “ Rescuing a Broken America “ by Michael Coffman PhD, he notes on page 65 that the average wage for a private sector employee in 2008 was $50,028, while a civil service employee was at $ 79,197. When employers paid benefits are added in the civil service employee comes in at $ 119,982, while the private sector employee with employer paid benefits tops out at $59.909.

If one examines the makeup of elected officials, some with an R or a D next to their names, one constant comes through, loud and clear. Both of them regularly dole out more money & enhanced benefits for those working in the public sector, at every level of government.

With the well documented growth of the public sector, using Hanover or King William county as an example (Hanover gov’t is now the largest employer in the County, King William schools and local gov’t administration are now closing in on Rock Tenn, the paper mill plant in West Point) as the #1 employer in King William the public sector now represents a very large and influential voting bloc. This is not lost on any politician. When one running for office only need to acquire 51% of the vote, it isn’t hard to understand why the public sector employees get such grand treatment when it comes to pay raises and benefits.

What is hard to understand is why tax payers are not in the street raising hell. Here in King William an e-mail sent to all members of our local school board on Monday June 19th asking them to speak at a future KWTP meeting on the ever rising costs of retiree health insurance for retired school employees, and the lack of any reserve funding to pay for it, is met with…………silence. Not a peep from any one of them. They (school board members) are treating this in their budgets as just another annual expense, like a utility bill. The future costs are what we are interested in…..what will this $ number be in 5 years, 10 years? How will it impact local real estate/property taxes?

Two states have done the responsible thing and passed legislation that halts after a certain hire date any state/local gov’t employees getting paid health insurance after they retire. These two states did so for the very reason the others should---we cannot afford to continue to pay for it.

A lesson obviously lost on the folks in the General Assembly.

Bob Shannon
King William, VA

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7/1/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Absurdity of the Left has no bounds.

Politics is indeed in America today a theater of the absurd, but this past week leaves me crawling into a corner for some relief from the circus that filled our news. I need to take the long Holiday weekend, turn off the TV and my computer and try to find a tiny bit of sanity in a nation that seems to have lost its collective mind.

I begin with the obviously choreographed and managed crisis on Morning Blow, the MSNBC program that has the aforementioned host , the former Congressman from Florida who now is a country clubbing insider of the Connecticut & Manhattan elite, and his long time sidekick and now fiancé, Mouthpiece Mika. Having publically called the President “mentally ill” and suggesting as Blow Scarborough did this past week that the President “was exhibiting symptoms that paralleled his mother’s dementia” what exactly did they expect? This almost comical flip flop, their defense that they simply disagree with the President’s policies is laughable. Do they think we have collectively acquired amnesia? Another President may have attempted to stay above the fray, but then again Donald J. Trump isn’t another President. Yet another visible demonstration of what lengths media types will go to in an attempt to elevate a failing news program. The feminists rail about how “offensive” it is, referencing Trump comments on Mika’s rumored face job…………..but where is the outrage from the defenders of the mentally ill, or the Democrats who just two weeks ago (after the shooting of the Congressional baseball players) who cried out for some civility in the tone?

In Virginia this week we watched as 21 year old Andrew Spieles was sent off to jail for registering some 18 dead people to vote, going so far as to make up social security numbers in his clumsy attempt to swell the ranks of the left come election time. But wait……….we are supposed to be in the midst of outrage over the Russians attempting to sway/hijack/steal the election of 2016. The left can’t have it both ways. One minute they are passionately insisting we get to the bottom of this Russian thing, the next with a straight face they are insisting voter fraud doesn’t exist and efforts to protect the integrity of the process is actually a dastardly attempt by the right to suppress voter’s rights. Governor McAuliffe has announced Virginia will not comply with the Administration’s request to turn over voter registration data for the study being done at the Federal level in an effort to determine just how widespread the fraud issue really is. Voter fraud is a practical and open practice of the left….win at any cost even if it includes election outcomes that are tainted by their very efforts. In a razor thin margin like the outcome in 2000 the process needs to be above the possibility, however remote that the outcome was tainted in any way.

Remember the Obama phones, the “free phone mania” created when our last Chief Executive created the program to hand out (at taxpayer expense) the free cell phones to the poor? The press is reporting that a recent analysis has uncovered that as much as 70% of the phones may have been obtained using fraudulent criteria. Little wonder given that the phone companies themselves were responsible for determining “eligibility”. The “fox guarding the henhouse” is perhaps too easy a metaphor to describe another tax payer rip off, running into the billions over the sordid 8 year history of this very bad idea. I’m certain that the former President will be cashing in on the lucrative speaker fees coming his way, and no doubt some of that moola will be compliments of the phone companies.

By far however, the most maddening, zany news of the week was from none other than one of my Fav’s in Congress ,Congresswoman Maxine Waters from the glorious state of California, referred to today as Detroit with better weather. Ms. Waters this week declared that President Trump must be exiled…yes indeed sent packing. No trial, no criminal conviction, no charges…..just kick out a democratically elected President. Odd, given that her home state is and has been overrun with illegals deserving of exile, draining the state’s finances, and leading to its state population reduced each of the last 6 years because people with the resources and a modicum of common sense are moving elsewhere. They may stay, but Trump has to go.

I smiled to myself as I wrote this noticing the recurring letter M that kept cropping up. Maxine, Morning Blow, Mika, and even McAuliffe……………..A better suggestion might be in lieu of exiling Trump we simply ban anyone from elective office or a TV program that has the letter M associated with their names. No crazier a suggestion than exiling a sitting President.

Bob Shannon
King William, VA

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6/28/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Republicans Need To Go On the Offensive with Health Care Discussion.

One of the most vocal complaints so far in the Senates discussion on Health Care reform has been the proposal to turn the Medicaid program back to the states in the form of a Block Grant program. It is a very smart proposal, contrary to the screams you hear from the predictable corners.

Countless examples exist for the Republicans to cite as proof of Medicaid fraud .The state’s have a much stronger ability to rein this in .The Republicans can chose to let the media and the Dem’s continue to paint them as uncaring, or put on their big boy pants and fight back. It is uncaring to continue to allow the false narrative to go on unchallenged. It is uncaring to let our children and grandchildren’s futures be destroyed because Republicans can’t find any fight in themselves.

For every TV commercial the left runs throwing Granny off a cliff, the Republicans show one with a 30 year old who has had multiple children out of wedlock with multiple fathers and expects society to continue to shelter people like this who have no sense of responsibility or self-control.

The Republicans can run TV commercials showing the immigrants who refuse to marry and sign up the mother of their children for every social welfare program that exists, milking hard working tax payers who have Representatives in the General Assembly and Congress who are nothing but cowards.

The Republicans can run TV commercials showing the 70% of people who refuse to follow a doctor’s orders and then experience costly effects of allowing otherwise easily controlled chronic conditions if only they obeyed their doctor’s to begin with. People are not dying because they don’t have health care; they are dying because they won’t obey their doctors instructions to live healthier lifestyles.

The Republicans can run TV commercials showing people at Wal- Mart , morbidly obese loading up their shopping carts when their SNAP cards are reloaded the first of the month with potato chips, soda, cookies , candy and a host of other foods any reasonably intelligent person that weighs 300 pounds shouldn’t go near. Re-construct the SNAP program like some others ( WIC for example) that places restrictions on junk food that only exasperates the health problems of considerable numbers of recipients. It is plain stupid to allow the very people who want their fellow citizens to pay for their health care, while simultaneously allowing them to use another tax payer provided benefit that makes them sick because they have little or no self-control.

Republicans can show someone leaving a Medicaid clinic covered with tattoos from head to toe….but would be burdened with paying a $15 co-pay.

Republicans can run a TV commercial showing some 10 year old who has no discipline meted out at home throwing a fit in a classroom and the attending costs of having to place a teacher’s aide in almost every single American public school classroom to act as a Zoo keeper for children who behave like animals , and for no better reason than we don’t want to talk about the national policy of subsidizing illegitimacy for the last 60 years, and the obvious social costs and cultural rot that has accompanied this.

Michael Gierre has consistently made the point of how the Republicans make these grand promises every election cycle, and how they walk away from them as if they had never made them to begin with. Republicans have the intellect and the resources, they just lack the spine to fight, something else Gierre has made clear.

Compassion has become code language for the left; they dole out social benefits like it is candy (including health care) and then dare to challenge conservatives who simply demand the abuse and waste/fraud be reined in. Compassion is their version of the dog whistle. They accuse anyone who recognizes how much debt this country is in, anyone who understands these programs are unsustainable and anyone demanding reform as uncaring.

Fixing the broken healthcare system must include in the discussion a brutally honest admission of how many Americans have grown far too comfortable gaming a system so long as bloviating pols can guilt us into continuing to pay for it. Increasingly more Americans have said enough.

Bob Shannon
King William, VA
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6/25/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Health Care Reform -- Some Facts & Myths.

Listening to the members of Congress and certainly some in the media discuss the array of impacts that would come from the proposal being contemplated in the U.S Senate leaves one to ask the question….have these folks ever really studied the topic? Do they grasp the very simple economic constructs that drive health care costs up to begin with? Much of the opposition to meaningful reform is being driven by crass political motives, and the desire by incumbents to “protect” their coveted seats by not offending anyone.

Insurance mandates drive up costs—period. Let consumers choose what options they want, ala carte. If all I want is a catastrophic major medical plan with a high deductible, only to cover major expenses such as a prolonged hospital stay, major surgery, and I choose to self- insure for the out of pocket routine care such as doctor visits and or screenings, prescriptions, let me make that decision for myself. Politicians spout that “they are going to make those insurance companies pay for X, Y & Z”, all they actually do is drive up what you ultimately pay for health insurance by this mandate driven mania that ignores simple economics.

If you want first dollar coverage and you insist on your health insurance covering every single medical procedure, every single screening and test known to man, every prescription you need………….then recognize you will need to pony up Spanky and write a big check each month. Otherwise shut up because you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. It’s been cited repeatedly how much auto insurance would costs if we mandated auto insurance cover windshield wiper blades, oil changes, tune-ups, and tires. Risk sharing is a pricing mechanism in all insurance coverages, you self- insure for more of the risk, and you lower your premiums. It is the dumb sheep that fall in line with the bloviating politicians that have caused this mess to begin with. Then there is of course “the poor”

State legislators have ducked, dodged and weaved their way around addressing the run away costs of Medicaid. No one wants to touch it because this program has the warped public image of being for the poor. If so, let’s take a look at who today is defined as qualifying for Medicaid and the numerous fixes for this program if only our legislators in the General Assembly were not such cowards.

Cost sharing in Medicaid is preposterous. The program has co-pays of some $1 & $3. This drives utilization rates through the roof because with co-pays like this people waste the programs benefits. Many get by without even paying the $1 or $ 3 co-pay? Raise the co-pays to $15 --$20 and watch what happens to the utilization problem. The health insurance companies learned quickly how to fix this in the early days of HMO’s that had the same ridiculously low co-pays and utilization problems. The private sector fixed it and fast. I was there and they simply raised co-pays ……………problem solved.

Adding to the growing enrollment of Medicaid is the eligible enrollees coming from the expanded tsunami of those collecting Social Security Disability, a program with well documented fraud. A study in 2013 ordered by then Congressman Tom Coburn ( R ) Oklahoma found that “ a random examination of 300 case files by Congressional staff found that more than 25% of the case files failed to properly address insufficient ,contradictory or incomplete evidence, suggesting a high rate of fraud or abuse”. These same folks then immediately enroll in their states Medicaid a program which grants almost automatic eligibility after qualifying for SS disability. In Dickinson County Virginia 22% of workers are collecting SSI Disability payments, the highest rate in the nation.

Turning the Medicaid program into a block grant program is the correct first step in reining in the spiraling costs that are burying individual states. Let the wisdom of the founding fathers who understood the value in “50 separate experiments” going on simultaneously work. States with responsible legislative bodies will immediately go to work first and foremost in redefining the term “disabled” The explosion in SSI Disability recipients and subsequent payments have went off the charts. One explanation (besides the clear fraud) is the expansion of medical conditions that now render one eligible for benefits. Today one can claim back pain, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome ……conditions that are very hard to medically disprove. Turning Medicaid back over to the States will pressure the states to rein in the abuse/fraud. Little financial incentive exists today since the states are receiving around 50% of the funding from the Fed’s. Watch what happens when that gravy train is cut off---states will scamper like their hair is on fire to trim the abuses and bring down the costs.

The more we do at the state level where the costs and the problems directly impact those paying for them, the less we do in DC, the more choices we give consumers, the less control emanating from above, the better the odds are we will find a way out of this mess.

Bob Shannon
King William, Va

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6/23/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: K.W County School Board In Hiding?.

In an e-mail sent to each of the K.W County School Board on Monday June 19th, and copied to all 3 of our local newspapers an invitation was extended for one or more of the group to speak at a upcoming K.W.T.P meeting. Multiple open dates were offered in order to accommodate their schedules.

The nature of the request stems from what is becoming a growing concern over the costs of public sector compensation, particularly in this case the costs of retiree health insurance being paid for by King William citizens.

Two states have now put an end (after a certain hire date) to local/state government employees receiving paid health insurance benefits after retirement because of the ever escalating costs to taxpayers. What’s even more disturbing is how the county schools are accounting for these costs. Today they are budgeting this as an annual expense, no different than say the utility bill. A future liability of this nature needs to be backed up by a source of reserve funding.

In any event these questions need to be publically answered by elected officials who are tasked with this responsibility. The taxpaying citizens of King William county need to know what these costs will be 5, or 10 years from now. How will this be paid for? What reserve funds are being dedicated to this expense, or will it just be another line in their budgets that will grow larger and larger? What impact will this have on future real estate/property taxes?

School Board members have that responsibility. They may find this uncomfortable but no more uncomfortable than the sinking feeling taxpayers are feeling……….not knowing what is coming.

Bob Shannon
King William, VA

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6/19/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: A Heartfelt Plea to the Mechanicsville T.E.A Party.

I would like to preface the following comments by first acknowledging the wonderful men and women who not only helped start the Mechanicsville T.E.A Party, but has kept it going for the last 7 years. There are so many who warrant recognition but none stands out more than Gerry Baugh, Major Mansfield and Rick Ryan. This group would have never survived its early days without the selfless efforts of these 3 individuals. In 2010 & 2011 I spent countless hours of hard work by their sides and it is one of the most gratifying periods in my adult life. They taught me what it means to be a Patriot. The sacrifices of their time, energy and talents are recognized by many within the Patriot movement. I have too many others to name them all, the men & women who helped organize the meetings, serve on the Board, helped do research on topics we discussed, helped organize the events we held at Life Church, sent e-mails and other communications to members, the list could go on for pages.

The plea is for this group to recognize a few irrefutable truths. First, how hard it is to maintain one of these groups and keep it relevant in the community. The second is to acknowledge the highly visible public profile of our road side T.E.A Party signs. It is one of the most recognized and visible indicators of our groups health. I labor here in King William to keep about 14 signs painted and re-messaged with some regularity. I am fortunate in that I have two dedicated volunteers who re-paint the signs, and then weather permitting; I get out and put new messages on them. Needless to say it keeps us all busy.

I am publicly asking for the group to turn over the signs to the King William T.E.A Party for two compelling reasons. Nothing constructive comes from seeing the signs either in disrepair or neglect. I have observed we have already lost key locations and this isn’t helpful if the Patriot movement is to have a chance to remain viable.

These signs were put up for a purpose and the damage being done is a direct result of the perception and image they convey in the state of neglect they are and have been in for some time now. It isn’t anyone’s fault. That said the public perception is obvious and damning

Much good could come from an invigorated and fresh start to once again using the signs for the purposes they were intended for, informing the public and holding elected officials accountable. I pledge should the Mechanicsville T.E.A Party agree to turn control of the signs over to the King William T.E.A Party to do 4 things

1. Find Volunteers to paint and re-message the signs, repair and replace the flags on a regular basis
2. Raise the funds necessary to keep the signs in good condition
3. Return the purpose they were originally intended for, holding elected officials accountable
4. Arrest the loss of any more locations, a loss that is certain to escalate as property owners grow weary of seeing the signs in the condition they are in with the same stale outdated messages.

Bob Shannon Founder Mechanicsville T.E.A Party
King William, Va

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6/15/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Tone Down The Language.

To use words like “subversive” or “inflammatory” when one simply disagrees with a use of tax dollars for a non-essential government expenditure is………….

The article in the June 14 edition of the Country Courier “Truth about the Broadband Initiative” uses just such language in describing the citizens who live in and pay taxes to K.W County. These citizens have every right to object to the use of our money to a project that is not the rightful use of tax dollars. It is that simple. One only need recognize the old political adage, when you don’t have the facts, attack your opponent.

It is an American principle that expressing an opposing view is part of the dialogue, an essential bulwark against tyranny. We have runaway government spending at all levels, precisely because citizens for far too long have not expressed opposition, not fought back against the myriad of reckless spending. It angers and upsets this group because we won’t shut up.

Either you recognize what is really happening or you become another sheep. The question should be posed this way. One side expresses their heartfelt and sincere opposition to spending tax dollars in this manner, while the other side bends over backwards to silence this opposing point of view.

Which side comes closer to “subversive”?

Bob Shannon
King William, VA

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6/09/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: The Theatrics of Dc Are Bad, the Hypocrisy However Is the Real Crime.

In the recurring drama of Congress and the Media’s fixation to “Get Trump”, we are once again subjected to the steady drumbeat of one investigation after another, choreographed and produced almost in the order of a bad Broadway play. Throw in the laughable calls for impeachment you might categorize this as a comedy if not for the horrendous costs and the squandering of time that should be spent on addressing the serious problems our nation faces

A walk down memory lane of investigations the last 20 years has only hardened what is my already cynical view of politics. What has come from these? Have you seen anything of substance that justifies the tens of millions of tax dollars to finance these investigations? Have you witnessed anyone going off to jail? Dozens of hearings and investigations have resulted in just how many actual prosecutions?

One might point to the criminal indictment and prosecution that did result in Jack Abramoff the fellow who took payola from K Street, dished it out to influential members of Congress, and then went off to serve a jail sentence. Abramoff was the unfortunate sacrificial lamb offered up about once a decade to create a façade of our systems feigned attempt to show the rule of law still means anything of substance. Scooter Libby was another. That few instances aside----nothing of consequence has resulted from the dizzying array, one after the other of Congressional investigations. Abramoff went to jail, while the scurrilous members of Congress who actually took the money and golf outings to Scotland walked.

At the moment the public fixation is on the purported attempt by one or more Trump campaign officials who are alleged to have conspired with the Russians in an effort to influence last year’s Presidential election. Complicating this is Trump’s personal business ties and their global complexities when one is doing business and finance around the globe. This singular factor lends some complexity to trying to sort out who did what, who talked to or met with whom, when and why. An incoming administration, recognizing that the U.S has only one President at a time naturally began however to reach out to a nation that possesses considerable global reach with economic and national security implications for our future. It could be considered irresponsible to not have done so given the grave consequences of our strained relationship with Russia at the moment. If however as it has been suggested Mike Flynn discussed sanctions that President Obama put on Russia in the last weeks of December 2016 ……. that is worthy of investigation.

Former NSA Director Mike Flynn took money from Turkey, and did not register under the Foreign Agent Register Act (FARA). Flynn alone must answer for what he did, or didn’t do. He did file under the Lobby Disclosure Act , insisting at the time he wasn’t acting on behalf of a foreign government ( Turkey) .The “ meat on the bone” is the $600,000 his firm did take, and it’s always the money that raises the suspicions and draws rightful scrutiny. Flynn should and must answer questions on this issue, legitimate questions as to whether or not he discussed the sanctions is the key. The other question as to which registration he should have used is more technical in nature but needs answered.

What is astounding however is the lack of interest and honest intellectual curiosity Congress appears to have with a much more serious violation of law that took place in the summer of 2016 when former President Bill Clinton boarded the airplane of former Justice Department Chief Loretta Lynch to discuss “ golf & grandkids”

Clinton later would apologize for the “bad optics”. Congress owes the American public an apology and or an explanation for the free pass of a real crime, one that carries far more ominous implications that the current clown circus we have to suffer.

The Chief Law Enforcement officer of the nation meeting with a former President , both attorneys, one who’s spouse is the target of numerous federal investigations going on simultaneously, a spouse who is the Nominee for President of a major political party while the target of possible criminal indictment ????

If we have to watch endless weeks of one Congressional windbag after another climb onto their self –righteous televised platforms and pontificate about high crimes & misdemeanors then let’s demand we hold investigations into what was clearly at a minimum a breach of ethical conduct, possibly an actual criminal offense by the person entrusted with assuring our system of laws is applied to all……..no exceptions. Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton, under oath answering questions. Now that would be worth watching.

Bob Shannon
King William, Va
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6/05/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Even CNN Is Getting It?.

An article titled “Here’s the Tax Scandal Every American Should Be Outraged Over”, (by Jake Novak 06/04/17 ) lays out the damning truth in what too many Americans have ignored for decades, and is now beginning to bleed through the wall of societal ignorance, selfishness & apathy.

In the article Novak draws distinctions and contrasts between what the tax bite was under the late President Kennedy and what it is today. Adjusted for inflation the Federal income taxes we are paying is twice the amount of 55 years ago. In January 1961 (per person) the federal tax bite was $ 4,121. Today it is $10,114. And yes that is per person (not per taxpayer). Over $10,000 for all 323 million people in the U.S. Wait………..it gets worse.

In 1961 about 49 million Americans paid federal income taxes. When adjusted for inflation according to Novak’s estimates each taxpayer paid $ 15,477. In 2016 93 million Americans paid federal taxes doubling the number who paid federal taxes in 1961…….but the amount in 2016 per taxpayer was $35,053.

Politicians mislead us by boasting that we have lower tax rates today, which hides the myriad of other federal taxes that didn’t exist in 1961. The author notes Medicare & Medicaid didn’t come into existence until 1965, Social Security has imposed higher taxes over that time as well.

The real scandal Novak notes is the money supposedly going into Trust Funds is siphoned off each year to pay for a bevy of other programs Congress spends on. As he notes the Federal government just grabs much of that supposedly protected money and replaces it with IOU’s. Robbing Peter to pay Paul, as the old adage goes.

As President Trumps tax reform moves forward you will once again hear the cries of opponents who will claim that rates are much lower than they were under Kennedy and or Reagan. What this falsehood ignores is the actual tax take as noted above. The government spends too much at every level.

No problem can be solved without two core ingredients, the first being a recognition that a problem exists, the second being leadership. It appears that the first step is slowly coming into focus, a recognition that a problem indeed does exist. The second part, leadership…….that’s another story.

A clarion call to take responsibility as citizens is in desperate need. Politicians continue to promote programs that are popular with broad swaths of the electorate. What the politicians fail to tell you is we are not paying for these programs but putting them onto the local, state and federal credit card. It’s a credit card balance that our kids and grandkids will be stuck with if we fail to act responsibly.

Bob Shannon
King William, Va

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6/01/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Never Let The Facts Or Truth Get In The Way.

I am bewildered by the claim of Ms. Rieling who referenced the King William T.E.A Party and her having watched our group disrupt meetings for the past few years, noting how it had come to a head at the Internet meeting at the high school on March 16. I encourage Ms. Rieling to provide evidence of members of the K.W TEA Party disrupting ANY PUBLIC MEETINGS. Our members always behave in a civil manner and anyone suggesting otherwise might be wise to consider being asked to demonstrate evidence of these malicious allegations.

A number of people recorded the Broadband meeting might provide Ms. Rieling a copy of the entire meeting, evidence of which would show there was no disruption by anyone. I did ask Mr. Spangler a question about Provo Utah and local taxpayers being stuck with 40 million in bonds that were issued to pay for this fiasco, along with also mentioning Orlando Florida and the ensuing financial mess Orlando taxpayers were stuck with trying to cover the monthly losses for this project there, running into the tens of thousands of dollars each month. If asking a question at a public meeting in a venue paid for by all taxpayers, including members of the T.E.A Party defines “disruption”……. It was a public meeting Ms. Rieling---not a Pep Rally.

Letting the argument escalate”………….once again demonstrates our critics embellishing the facts when it serves them. Having an opposing viewpoint and expressing it defines… letting the argument escalate?

“Travis, Bill & Steve work as hard as the other two”? If Ms. Rieling attended any of the budget meetings ( I was there for every one of them) she would have noted the lack of intellectual curiosity exhibited by those 3 throughout the proceedings. Almost without exception all of the questions came from Hansen & Ehrhart, the other 3 could have phoned in their attendance. What’s it say about elected officials during a budget process when they have no interest in questioning the department /agency heads asking for more of your money? These 3 are typical elected officials who are content to keep the beast fed, so long as apathetic tax payers continue to sit on their hands and allow it. It takes courage and integrity to say No.

Not having internet access lowers our property value” was yet again an example of being clueless. If anything is going to drag down your property value Ms. Rieling it is the outrageous real estate taxes that are beginning to drive buyers away from King William County.

I have listened to public officials lie and mislead taxpayers for years now, and I’m sick of it. Our wise Founding Fathers understood who was the master and who was the servant, and Ms Rieling, like many Americans today has the roles confused—fortunately I don’t.

Bob Shannon - 3rd District
King William, VA
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5/27/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Have We Lost Our Collective Sanity?.

In the May 2017 issue of “Our Children, Our Schools”, the newspaper put out by the King William County Public Schools there is on the cover an article entitled The Great Kindness Challenge, by Donna Pitts.

At the recent budget hearings K.W. County School Superintendent Dr. David O. White reminded the B.O.S in his prepared remarks on Friday April 14th of the moral obligation” they had regarding the requested funding for our 4 public schools.

Along with most taxpaying citizens I support a strong public school system. All of my 13 grandchildren, at least the ones that are school age attend public schools. That said it doesn’t mean that those of us who are supportive of public schools are fools.

We heard Dr. White repeat on numerous occasions the need for more resources, falling math scores, possible loss of accreditation of one or more schools if these additional resources were denied. We heard him also state that K.W Schools are implementing a number of remedial programs ( at some cost ) to apparently remedy the deficiencies students have in math, writing and reading.

Read the article yourself and note the subjective clap trap about what the activities were……..paper hearts with kind words, kindness posters, and a certificate from the Kids for Peace stating that Acquinton Elementary School is a Kindness Certified School for 2017 ? The picture that accompanies the article is the kids outside forming a heart shaped circle on school grounds.

I urge you to contact your school board representatives and ask them this very simple question ………….

If tax payers are being asked to put up more money because we have kids who cannot read, write or perform grade level math, is this an appropriate use of time/resources ?

It is an honest question and one that begs an answer. It is also a glaring example of why the King William T.E.A Party has such disdain for the waste of our resources in this telling example.

Surveys related to International Test Scoring continue to show that American public school students are among the most compassionate in the world. These kids and their parent’s better hope that compassion is a job skill that will be in great demand another decade from now. Most employers prefer that the job applicant possess writing, math and reading skills.

Bob Shannon Founder- King William T.E.A Party
King William, VA

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5/27/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Is Discrimination Alive And Well In King William County ?.

Two years ago a citizen applying for an open slot on the Middle Peninsula Planning District Commission was passed over and the person who was on the Commission was simply reappointed. The applicant passed over was a known member of the King William T.E.A Party, the existing member on the commission (reappointed) was a former County Supervisor who was well known for his views on government’s role in our lives, namely that this person had a predisposition towards supporting a larger role for local government and more likely to promote bigger government and more spending.

In January 2017 Supervisor Dave Hansen requested that Fred Krauss be appointed to the Broadband Project Committee, Mr. Krauss being a long term county resident, active in the community and very knowledgeable on the subject of high speed internet. Mr. Krauss was relegated to a subcommittee, his name was left out of the programs power point presentation done at the high school on March 16. It was abundantly clear the people running the Broadband project had no interest in Mr. Krauss’s participation, particularly since he was wary of the projects viability, and or use of taxpayer funds for it . In other words Mr. Krauss wasn’t inclined to tow the company line and he had substantive logic behind his reservations. Besides, Fred Krauss is the long term Treasurer and member of the King William T.E.A Party…..and the good Ol boys won’t have that.

Once again Fred Krauss name and application has been submitted for an open slot on the Economic Development Committee and it appears the current appointee who’s term expires on June 30 is headed for reappointment. Krauss , who has built a very successful real estate company since his retirement, certainly qualifies with notable business experience but is being passed over for the incumbent’s re-appointment because of………..Krauss’s affiliation with the King William T.E.A Party.

In a recent e-mail with Chairman Moskalski (Chairman Mao) Mr. Moskalski referenced the current appointee on the EDA as “willing to criticize “Supervisor Dave Hansen’s political affiliations. The only other political affiliation Hansen has is perhaps as an elected County official, unless of course one counts his membership in the K.W T.E.A Party?

It is walking dangerously close to a violation of one’s civil rights to deny them inclusion or appointment to a voluntary commission or board simply because of a political group they might be associated with. This is the 3rd such instance of this clear discrimination and invites legal action as perhaps the only way left to remedy it.

Having a different perspective or opinion than the prevailing body that sits on these boards/commissions is what makes these volunteer bodies work. That however is a secondary consideration ,relative to the now obvious motives in play. Members of any local political organization are citizens, and pay taxes to the County, and should not be subjected to second class treatment just because of their political views, nor should such views be used as justification for their civil rights to be trampled.

This may be why we will be left with no other option but to take this matter into a legal court of law. No citizen of King William should be discriminated against, certainly not for their political views.

Bob Shannon
King William, VA

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5/26/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Board of Supervisors Actions Erodes Public Trust.

Vet This week we learned that several members of the King William Board of Supervisors had prior knowledge that the Federal Government is planning to fund through various grants a High Speed Internet project that as announced will provide service to the surrounding localities. The Federal recognition of the Native American Tribes will open a flood of grant money to facilitate these intended plans . This also might explain why Del. Peace & Hodges pushed through the recent bill that will lower the hurdles for the Tribes acquisition of land apparently needed for this project. Next time you hear Peace refer to himself as a conservative, remember how fast on the draw he is to facilitate the expenditure of grant money. Peace & Hodges are lending to the financial burying of our children and grandchildren, something true conservatives abhor.

What local citizens need to ask however is just why the Board set aside some $230,000.00 of taxpayer’s money knowing these Federal funds were likely on the way to King William?

We will be watching closely and with interest just where this $230,000.00 ends up. Let’s at least hold out some hope that it goes back into King William County’s general fund.

It begs the question though just why they did this (appropriating money that several of the boards members knew wasn’t going to be needed)? Transparency is needed to maintain citizen’s trust in their elected officials. Will Chairman Moskalski publically answer some questions?

Fortunately the citizens can rely however on the King William T.E.A Party and the Watchdog Program we have to shine some sunlight on this type of conduct.

It is also worth noting that Supervisor Dave Hansen attempted at the last Board meeting to rectify this by proposing the Board simply amend the Budget and return the $230,000.00 before any of it is wasted and as usual the Budget Stooges refused to do this. It lends to the concern that this money will end up being needlessly spent, but then, that isn’t something new with this Board.

Bob Shannon 3rd District
King William, VA

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5/14/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: The 2 No Votes On The County Budget & The Principles They Advanced.

Vet Supervisors Bob Ehrhart and Dave Hansen were recently asked what was it about the County budget, approved on a 3-2 vote that caused them to vote against the budget. The only venue unfortunately for the public to learn of their views is to attend the actual meetings and work sessions, or read the actual minutes of the meetings once they are posted on the County website. The local newspapers report the “official” version, but fall short of reporting in any detail the dissenting views. As one who has attended the meetings, including the work session’s I am there to witness the actual proceedings, and take copious amounts of notes of what takes place. Our website is a public venue that affords a more comprehensive detailing of those often overlooked and or underreported dissenting points of view, such as Ehrhart’s and Hansen’s.

Supervisor Bob Ehrhart noted that…… “the escalating personnel costs, the number of administrative positions and salaries within the school district continues to rise, and county employees have received a salary increase or compression adjustment 6 of the last 7 years.” On the subject of county tax policies Ehrhart stated “so long as tax exemptions remain, the tax burden is on the homeowners and there is no fiscal incentive to cut spending. I doubt the 3 Supervisors who support the increased spending in the budget would spend their own money this way”.

It is worth noting at this juncture that Ehrhart’s Power Point presentation on Friday April 14 , during the all day budget work session publically exposed the misleading statements school officials have been making for the last 4 years, namely that they had eliminated 42 positions. The K.W County School Board deserves condemnation as well for quietly sitting silent during this period when they had to know this claim was false, and made for no other reason than to mislead the taxpaying public that the schools were operating in a frugal and or fiscally responsible manner. Citizens of King William owe Mr. Ehrhart a Thank you for having the courage to stand up and expose this literal fraud.

Supervisor Dave Hansen was quite vocal about the $225,000 seed money for the Broadband project undertaken by the County Economic Development Authority. Hansen has noted that the appointment of the new County Administrator Mark Reeter as the Treasurer for this project presents a possible conflict of interest. The tentative approval of this $225,000 in the 2017-18 budget is purported to also contain a understanding that before it is expended the Board of Supervisors must approve the expenditures, and the appointment of the County Administrator as the Treasurer for this Broadband Project could be perceived as a way of getting around that Board approval since the Treasurer also has the authority in the IDA/EDA documents to approve and dispense money. Hansen is correct in raising these questions since public funds are being used to jump start this project.

Attending all of these meetings, including the work sessions the last 6-7 years has provided me the opportunity to watch carefully the machinations that take place. What I found this particular year to be most disturbing is the absence of questions throughout the entire process by Supervisors Moskalski, Hodges & Greenwood. It was as if the outcome had been pre-determined. Why raise any questions when you already know what you plan on doing? The absence of questions represents a lack of intellectual or probing curiosity. Elected officials who are watchdogs for the public money should have scores of specific questions, yet they seemed quite satisfied to simply accept claims that more money was needed without inquiring as to why?

Ehrhart & Hansen grilled numerous agency heads and those representing the departments who were there with hands out wanting more tax dollars, while most of the time the other 3 sat silent. I watched on numerous occasions when Chairman Moskalski actually tried to impede Hansen when he thought Hansen’s questions were repetitive or irrelevant. Hansen held his own in the exchanges and Moskalski needs reminded that Hansen was elected and has every right to inquire about any public expenditure, whether or not Moskalski finds it relevant.

King William is indeed fortunate to have 2 Supervisors, both of whom are two of the best educated and most articulate men who have ever served on that Board in the 20 years I have lived in King William. Their personal integrity shown through the indignant treatment they both had to endure at various times throughout the last 12 weeks. Serving on the Board, or in any elected office isn’t easy. The citizens of King William should be grateful to have 2 such fine public servants.

They didn’t prevail in stopping approval of a budget that could have contained a more disciplined amount of spending………….but they advanced a principle, restoring a degree of honesty and accountability to a budgeting process that has sadly lacked both for quite a long time.

Bob Shannon
King William

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5/4/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Supervisor Stephen Greenwood / Congressional Material?.

Republicrats in Congress voted some 15 times over the last 6 years to repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. They knew each time they voted, the vote was for all practical purposes meaningless because President Obama would veto it. They could beat their chests crowing they had fought the good fight, promising if only they had a republicrat President in the White House they could finally get the legislation repealed? Sound familiar to King William voters, particularly those in Supervisor Stephen Greenwoods 3rd district?

Greenwood during his first 4 years on the Board cried for spending cuts to the local budget, tax reductions, indicating by his actual vote in 2014 to close the Forestry land use tax exempted class that he was determined to restore a degree of fairness to local tax policies.

Greenwood also knew he was sitting on a Board with at least 3, often 4 other members who were Oligarch props, inclined to tax and spend, so essentially his 1 vote was not going to stop his colleagues spend and tax proclivities. It was token resistance and he understood that.

In the Board of Supervisor meeting on Monday April 24, 2017 Greenwood participating via intercom made the following comments. He asked Chairman Travis Moskalski to remind those in attendance that

“we didn’t give them all that they asked for”….. .referencing the Board had only approved some $830,000 in additional local funding for the schools, not the 1.2 million they had asked for.

Greenwood after 6 budgets understands how the game is played. The schools knew they would not get 1.2 million, and would likely face some reduction in what they actually received, relative to their requested 1.2 million. This is how the budget game is played, and Greenwood knows that. So it was equally deceptive for him to tout that as some sort of disciplined budget restraint.

In late November 2015, shortly after Greenwood was re-elected to his second term he stopped by my house to pick up some campaign yard signs I had put out on his behalf and then collected after the election.

In my driveway during a discussion that centered on local funding for the schools I indicated after careful study of numerous school budgets I thought the Board could easily reduce local funding by $500,000 without impacting operations. It would have brought about in my view a few administrative positions being eliminated ( way overdue given the bloat) and some increased cost sharing for their fringe benefits that taxpayers were already paying far more of than their share. This was Supervisor Greenwoods response, and I quote

“I want to cut it a million”…his exact words. Now this is someone who had already served 4 years, and should then be competent enough on the topic to speak with some level of knowledge and understanding as to a statement like that, assuming of course he was being truthful in his words. What changed in the ensuing 4-5 months? Maybe we will never know the answer to that.

What I do know is A. What he said standing in my driveway & B. Greenwood is now Congressional material. He took meaningless votes and stands when it didn’t matter. When it did, he did the politically expedient thing and gave away the store, literally. Greenwoods claim last year to “ cutting a bunch of stuff” amounted for all practical purposes cutting a measly $500 from the Art’s Alive funding, which was restored this year thanks to “ Picking up pennies West Point Willie” , another political hack in my opinion. Greenwood will never again serve in elective office. He does however now qualify if you use the standards firmly established by the lying cowardly snakes in the republicrat Congress to replace Congressman Wittman.

I share and take personal responsibility for Greenwoods deception. I championed, along with many others in the 3rd district what appeared to be statesmanship qualities watching Greenwood stand against the wind in his first term. Turns out he was the wind, or hot air….take your pick.

Bob Shannon
King William, Va

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5/2/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: The Wailing And Knashing Of Teeth Have Predictably Begun.

In reading several articles, blogs this morning the predictable cries of “they fooled us again” have already begun. The diehard republicrats , those dastardly types have once again suckered the voters out there who like the dunces they are march lockstep every election cycle and vote republicrat. If one researched their backgrounds you would find these folks are the kids who always gave up their lunch money in lieu of facing down the school bully. Personally I liked my lunch

I won’t waste my or the readers time with “I told you so”, nor will I recount the number of times the republicrats promised you fools “this time will be different “. Already the republicrats are telling the same useful idiots they are “saving the fight for the 2018 battle”……….

Either you fight or perish. All of the bluster, all of the “ holding their feet to the fire “ nonsense I have had to listen to the last 7 years makes me ill. I laughed aloud when I heard the Lovettsville Lady on Bull Elephant telling readers that………. “We are in danger of losing the House, the Senate and the Presidency in 2020”. So what? This is an example of the loser mindset, and explains why conservatives keep getting their asses kicked from here to Texas and back. Republicrats sell out any vestige of principle…………and we frame the discussion over “losing the next election”? Pathetic.

Set around, wait for the next election cycle, buy into the crap the lying republicrat cowards will tell you, and then walk into the voting booth and repeat the same sheep behavior. Quit whining and decide if you want to be the one kicking asses or keep getting yours kicked.

All the political philosophy in the world is useless at this point. There is no political solution or strategy other than to fight. Sadly most of you don’t have the stomach for it. That much I am sure of.

Bob Shannon
King William, Va

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4/29/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Stop Lisnen To The Tee Pardee?.

Their appears to be a concerted effort to convince regular folks and even our Supervisors to “stop lisnen to the tee pardee”.

I heard it first in an e-mail that was forwarded to me, I read it in a letter to one of the local newspapers, and then when a speaker at the B.O.S meeting during the public comment period stated those very words. Allow me to speak for those of us who have toiled for 8 years now and are trying to understand just why these folks are pushing so hard to stop everyone from listening to what we ( K.W.T.P ) have to say.

It is appropriate to divide this discussion into two parts A. What we actually say……and B. Just who are these folks advocating the citizens of King William stop listening to us …and why?

Part A If you had stopped listening to the T.P , say in 2010 you might not have learned that real estate taxes here are some of the highest in Virginia, certainly among rural counties, or why . You would have not learned that local government has a spending problem that some public compensation packages are off the charts. You may not have heard absent our pounding the point that tax payers got tagged with some hundreds of thousands of dollars in highly suspect projects, from water pumping stations, to bailing out private bank loans made under highly suspicious circumstances to a failing rescue squad, to the “alternate seating in the schools”, money spent buying bean bags so the kids could choose their seating , and the recent BIG WHAMMY…how the schools never did eliminate 42 positions as they claimed for 5 consecutive years. We showed local citizens that King William schools spend some $90,000 a week more than a system with 6 schools and some 300 more students.

You would have missed out on the exposure that locally financed and operated broadband projects haven’t always gone so smoothly, or the millions in debt resulting from many of the localities that have tried this.

You would not have known that elected officials make the rules up as they go along, resulting in law enforcement picking and choosing which laws they would enforce and or which politicians would get a pass, say for example when they voted on a land use tax exemption issue without bothering to recuse themselves or disclosing their conflict.

Had you stopped listening to us you might not have been aware of the political about face of one Supervisor Stephen Greenwood , who hammered spending for his first term in office and then for whatever reason turned Judas on the very people who championed him , after his re-election. Perhaps it is the wishes of those now attempting to silence us that you would have not had the venue available that isn’t beholden to any of these special interests, but labors to restore some semblance of integrity to public office and the administration of local government.

Part B. If you examine just who these folks are advising citizens to tune us out , well it isn’t at all surprising that without a single exception they have their noses buried one way or another in the tax payer money trough. Either they work for local government or the schools, or they are on the receiving end of tax dollars and tax exemptions. Some are wanting us to shut up so they , or a spouse or a friend, family member can go about getting their pay raise every year or their health insurance increase paid for by someone else . You would have not gotten the free tutorial on “ salary compression”—step increases-- salary adjustments” …the new language used exclusively by people who labor to avoid having to say the words “ pay raise”.

The others are comprised of those who soak up the tax exemptions from A----Z that cut their tax liability dramatically , all the while they are promoting more spending. I almost laugh aloud when I hear them get up at a public comment period and state they support the schools budget, while their accountant calculates their taxes, deducting the land use tax exemptions, the BPOL tax exemptions, and the Tools & Machinery tax exemption from their tax bill. Pretty easy to advocate for more spending, so long as the bill gets sent to someone else.

Let’s end the Land Use Tax Exemption program and just give the schools another $1,000,000.00 a year? Ending that program would “change their tune” about spending priorities, and fast.

The “stop lisnen to the tee pardee” campaign exists today for only one reason. The decades old practice of local government being run by a small handful of people with considerable influence is fading, and they know it is. Their ability to hide in the shadows and run local government like the supposed Wizard behind the big curtain in the Wizard of Oz is coming to a close. All that is left is for them to attempt to discredit the only organization made up of people who want nothing from local government but to left alone. The “ tee pardee’ is the last opposition voice, it scares the daylights out of them that people…………..are indeed listening.

Ask anyone of them promoting this “stop lisnen to the tee pardee” to give you a list of 10 things in local government that should be cut….or 3 things? Ask them to share their specific knowledge on how many FT employees the county or the schools have, what their budgets were last year, how many students the schools have, what was spent on the Animal Shelter of the Sheriff’s department, Social services agencies . They have puzzled looks on their faces because they don’t have a clue about what they are talking about. They are empty headed blood sucking parasites carrying water for whatever money cause they are simultaneously sucking from.

Bob Shannon
King William, Va

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4/25/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Skunk At The Garden Party---King William Style.

I’ve been a regular at the Board of Supervisor meetings, budget meetings, school board meetings for the last decade .One consistent truth rings out at these events, the people there, almost to a man (or woman) are there for one singular purpose --- to take more of your money. I am there for one singular purpose --- to try and stop them.

They have pet causes, new ventures or self- serving interests such as their pay and fringe benefits …..And of course they want you, the taxpayer to pick up the tab for their most noble of causes. I am the proverbial skunk at the Garden party. I am fortunate in that my background has provided me with the skin of an elephant.

I instantly spot the underlying motives of an attack on the King William T.E.A Party. I am however not a wallflower prone to rolling over. Last night was a case study in why these individuals do what they do, and their underlying motives.

During the public comment period one local man got up and addressed the Board , complementing them on their hard work, imploring them to fully fund the local schools request, and could not help himself but to end his comments with a parting shot that read like this………………

“I would also ask the Supervisors to not listen to the T.E.A Party, because everyone knows the deception they practice”?

The deception we practice? Our group has been in existence for eight years now. If the K.W.T.P has been deceptive where has this guy been? Or is it that our group has stepped on his plan to suck hundreds of thousands of dollars from tax payers pockets and it annoys him?

I know most of the local advocates for bigger government and more spending. As I listened to him I asked myself…….what taxpayer trough of money does he have his snout buried in? If the KWTP practices deception why it is this fella is only now being heard from? Turns out he is one of the folks on the Broadband committee, that group of selfless folks who want to bring high speed internet to the downtrodden just dying to pay whatever the costs are to speed up their laptops.

It so happens that our group has raised valid questions about public financing of this project, and some folks don’t like that. He could have made his case to support the schools budget, or argued for the tax money to fund his Broadband project. But he chose to attack the King William T.E.A Party ? Obviously he should have qualified his remarks by disclosing his criticism aimed at our group is a result of our group raising objections to this questionable use of tax dollars.

Eight years without exception, when I trace back the criticisms it can always be linked to someone or some group with their snouts buried in the money trough. This poor lad just was given the role by his fellow money grubbers to stand up there last night and needlessly take a cheap shot at our group. I could have responded but I have learned that each time a jackass brays you don’t have to necessarily bray back at them. After all, it is a jackass.

Bob Shannon
King William

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4/20/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Dutch Uncle Explanation .

In this week’s Country Courier we had a letter from one of the Broadband committee who apparently is new to the area and has no understanding as to why he is experiencing some resistance to handing over $225,000 of tax dollars to what some intelligent people think is a waste of money. Given that this gentleman is new to the area I will take the patient Dutch uncle approach and give him some learnin, as they say.

This fella might not be aware of the rather sordid history of how over and over local tax payers (at least those of us who don’t have the coveted exemptions) have been royally cheated. One can look back at a water pumping station that tax payers got tagged with completing because of either a flawed , inept or corrupt ( take your pick )planning process that left the responsible parties off the hook and stuck the citizens with the cost. Maybe the poor lad isn’t aware of the bad bank loan made to a certain failed rescue squad that then required a “special” supplemental appropriations in the hundreds of thousands that was subsequently then made to bail out a private transaction that the bank should have had to eat….but our generous board of supervisors came to the rescue and doled out the dough.

Perhaps the poor fella never heard of the squandering of millions on the water/sewage issue that took years to resolve while local taxpayers continued to pick up the tab. He might not be aware of the $90,000 a week that KW Schools spend, above and beyond what another rural County school system spends with 2 more schools and around 300 more students. If his stay here has been of such short duration he also hasn’t learned yet what those of us who have been here a long time know----that King William County has one of the highest real estate tax rates (per hundred) even with the paltry proposal of a .02 reduction. Perhaps when he gets his first real estate tax bill he might then change his tune, as Grandma used to say.

Until then nephew - cry in your beer. The folks who have watched the handing out of millions of dollars on one bad deal after another just might not go so easy this time. BULLYING? No, the average guy or gal in King William is just tired of being ripped off on these insider wasteful scams that ultimately end up on homeowners tab.

Bob Shannon
King William, VA

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4/18/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Trumps Tax Returns ? .

It would be amusing if it wasn’t so pathetic that in these 3 particular cities, Atlanta,
Chicago and Sacramento citizens decided to protest over the weekend because
President Trump continues to refuse to release his income tax returns. The purported
logic behind their demands is tied to the topic of tax reform and the lack of details
hindering any examination of how planned reform might impact the Presidents holdings.
As such the protestors want to know what the tax ramifications would be for the
President, depending on where reform might lead. Any potential tax savings for the
President one would hope would be the same for any other American, and the ensuing
economic benefit to our economy by allowing Americans to keep more of their earnings
to either spend, save or invest in the economy. Why should the President be any
different? But is this issue the issue that should be driving citizens in these 3 particular
cities to take to the streets ?

In Atlanta ,thousands of public school students continue to be subjected to what has
become an almost laughing stock public school system, so ripe with fraud and corruption
that scores of school officials have been fired, and a number of them actually sent to
prison for a host of criminal convictions. From rigging SOL test scores, to schemes to
defraud taxpayers of millions of dollars relating to the manipulation of data to enhance
securing larger amounts of Federal Grant money, Atlanta has much bigger problems than
Donald Trump’s tax returns. If Atlantan’s want someone to be angry at they might turn
their attention to public school union officials robbing thousands of children from getting
a decent education.

That beautiful city of Chicago has been rendered in certain sections a literal war zone. A
recent report hailed the news that some 40% of upper middle class African Americans
have moved out of the city in the last decade, further straining the cities tax resources.
In a city where mothers actually are forced to have their children sleep under their beds
or behind furniture for fear of a stray bullet killing them during the nights of relentless
gun violence, I seriously doubt these mothers give a whit of thought to President Trump's
tax returns. The data and statistics resemble a third world country, lawlessness and rampant
death among Chicago’s youth clearly deserves elevated attention. While the news media
has given the violence ample coverage it does its citizens a disservice to use time to highlight
the hard lefts agenda, GET TRUMP. Releasing Trumps tax returns won’t stop a bullet---a
larger concern in the Windy City.

Sacramento…….capital of that beautiful state, what is now referred to as “ Detroit with
better weather” or my favorite Taxifornia …..has problems that will soon render that state
a financial equivalent of Puerto Rico has gone around the bend , protesting Trumps tax
returns ……after the release of a Stanford University assessment of CALPERs, the state’s
public employee pension plan.

The Stanford study focused on California’s use of a 7% Rate of Return on plan asset’s
in the annually required test to measure the plans fiscal health. The actual rate of return in
2015 was 2.4% , in 2016 the actual rate of return was 0.61 %. Stanford noted that if the
2.75 % rate of return were used ( a much more realistic figure) the average household in
California would have a debt obligation to CALPERS of some $ 92,748.00 This dollar
amount of each households obligation to the unfunded liability should have citizens of
California in the streets…….but Trumps tax return is the issue ?

Is this a result of citizen’s misplaced priorities---or the media’s focus on GET TRUMP.
I believe it is both.

It is however symptomatic of a much larger problem, namely the citizen neglect in attending
to their responsibility in a self- representative form of government. Focusing on the real issues
confronting America is hardly advanced by protesting over the rather silly idea that somehow
releasing Trumps tax returns will change any of what is mentioned above. The lefts now
preoccupied with the GET TRUMP mania, while some Mom in Chicago tonight will literally
bury her kids so they are not shot, another child in Atlanta will be handed a diploma next
month that is literally meaningless, and Californians might some day soon be willing to give
the state back to Mexico, a bargain considering where that state is headed.

Bob Shannon
King William , Va

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4/17/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics.

In politics you win some and lose some, it’s the nature of the endeavor. However,
at the latest King William B.O.S Budget meeting it was beyond anything I have
witnessed in the years I have been a watchdog on government.

Supervisors Moskalski ( Sweet Hall ), Hodges ( West Point) and Greenwood
(Aylett) displayed today that they apparently have not an ounce of shame.
Rewarding their public sector employee base is just in their nature, but to do it
with local school officials knowingly presenting falsehoods to every person in
the room went beyond what should ever be considered acceptable.

In the April 19th issue of the Country Courier newspaper, the King William T.E.A
Party will present another ½ page paid ad detailing the misleading claims public
school officials here in King William have become notorious for. We cite in our
paid ad the actual number of full time employees ( FTE’s) in the schools going
all the way back to 2005. The numbers taken from Virginia Dept. of Education’s
website are as follows

--- School Year 2005-06 Employees 316 ------- School Year 2009-10 Employees 327
--- School Year 2012-13 Employees 322 ------- School Year 2014-15 Employees 327

DO YOU SEE ANY REDUCTION OF THE CLAIMED 42 FULL TIME POSITIONS?

The morning began with Mangohick Supervisor Bob Ehrhart calling out the
Schools’ repeated claims that they had eliminated 42 positions over the last
6-8 years. The Finance Director, there to answer the Boards budget question’s,
at first pretended indignation when Supv. Ehrhart said she had misled the
public and the Board with this claim.

Her next tactic was to admit to two errors she had made, then she moved
onto how the State counts FTE positions differently than the county does,
then the years on the Virginia Department of Education’s website (where
we found the numbers for our paid ad ) were different than the years she
had in her hand.

At that point she then launched into a litany of antidotal blather about the
number of ELS (English as second language students) and other points clearly
intended to hide the central question at hand: the falsehood that the schools
had eliminated the 42 positions.

When it was all said and done she could not account for more than at best
a fictitious 17-19 positions eliminated-- and by her own admission --most
of them had already been added back. She never was able to escape what
\was crystal clear to everyone in that room----the claim to having eliminated
42 positions that local school officials have touted for the last 4 years is
patently false. This untruth was ripped bare exposing to anyone in that room,
including the 5 members of King William’s Board that they and the public
had been and continue to be lied to.

The school system had requested an additional 1.2 million dollars in local
funding of which some $950,000 or 80 % was going directly into the pockets
of pay raises and reimbursement for increasing health insurance premiums.

This isn’t just about the bloated public sector, or the factual matter of how
the salaries and fringe benefit costs are drowning local tax coffers. No it is
about a much more disturbing issue; the lack of integrity of top school officials
including the School Board itself.

Not only do they tolerate the embellishment of the facts, they openly support
taxpayers being fed misinformation and distorted costs if that’s what it takes to
get the money. I have yet to hear one of them stand up and say….” We shouldn’t
be doing this”

In spite of clear evidence that they had been lied to, Supvervisors. Moskalski,
Greenwood & Hodges, went ahead and approved the entire requested increase.
Ehrhart & Hansen were the only ones to challenge the falsehoods being perpetuated
to squeeze the additional money out of King William’s taxpayers.

Perhaps the schools and the school board can take a victory lap, but each of
them know the manner with which they secured the additional funds was a
theft by deception, facilitated by 3 elected officials that knowingly participated
in fraud.

What is wrong with politics? Anyone in that room today witnessed it firsthand.

Bob Shannon
King William, Va

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4/13/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Selfish? .

Thanks Country Courier for continuing the important public service of presenting a
variety of Letters to the Editor.

Notable to this reader in the April 5th issue were complaints from three locals – including
one recent “come here” – who bemoaned the lack of high speed internet in our rural
and sparsely populated county.

And they all want every taxpayer in King William and West Point to guarantee the shaky
scheme being pushed by the Broadband Boys.

Folks, if you really want and need high speed internet it's available right now and
none of your neighbors have to subsidize it.

On the back two pages of every issue of Country Courier advertiser Armistead offers
a great deal on high speed internet.

Problem solved, right ?

Cordially,
Robert “Sarge” Bruce
Aylett, VA

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4/13/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Supv. Hansen’s Detractors --Public Trough Feeders .

Almost from day 1 in office, Supv. Hansen has been under an onslaught of
criticism and for those who understand how the game is customarily played,
it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Hansen has set about doing exactly what he
said he was going to do. In the 20 years I have lived in King William he is a
rare breath of fresh air in that respect.

What frustrates and fuels his critics is they can not get him to do their bidding,
he is an intelligent man, and his own man. From the county administrator to the
school board to the bevy of oligarchs who have been accustomed to having the
past supervisors run the county the way they wanted it run, Hansen refuses to
play ball. His integrity is beyond reproach.

I admire his dogged pursuit to learn the issues and not be swayed by the same
old crowd who perhaps thought he would eventually fall in line. Supv. Hansen
diligently works on behalf of all of King William’s citizens, not just the folks
who have their snouts buried in the public money trough. Citizens that support
him need to stand up and cheer the guy, and stop allowing the public trough
feeders to try and stymy his efforts at reform.

Contrast Hansen keeping his word with the traitor Supv. Greenwood and his
total flip flop after he was re-elected. Integrity matters. If you promise voters
you intend to cut spending you are a person to be trusted or you are not. Would
you trust Supv. Hansen or Supv. Greenwood ? One keeps his word and the other
betrays the very voters who trusted him and voted for him.

If you pay close attention every single critic has some itch that needs scratched
by taxpayers money and as Hansen’s campaign signs said in 2015…….HAD
ENOUGH YET ?

Bob Shannon
King William

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4/13/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Cliff Hyra - Libertarian Candidate
To Speak At K.W.T.P Meeting Thursday April 27th
.

For those of you discouraged by this year’s crop of Candidates for Virginia
Governor we invite you to come out and hear what Mr. Hyra’s positions are
on the issues.

An Attorney who recently relocated to Mechanicsville from Northern
Virginia and decided to take on this challenge has some very interesting
ideas he has promoted in several public discussions over the last two weeks

Prominent among his top proposals is one to eliminate the first $50,000
from Virginia Income Tax giving relief to Virginia’s middle class who have
been inundated with increasing health insurance costs, rising food and fuel
costs along with those paying increasing college tuition. The estimated
savings would be around $2500 a year, enough to make a difference in
households struggling with these rising expenses.

Mr. Hyra stated on an internet radio podcast ( Remso Republic) first
broadcast Wednesday April 12 that he also wants to address the Asset
\Forfeiture issue that has clearly created considerable abuse in our criminal
justice system by allowing without a criminal conviction local and state
law enforcement to seize private property in far too often a random manner
without showing said property was used or utilized in any crime .

Sentencing reforms addressing the explosion in arrests for non-violent drug
offenses is another of his top priorities. According to Hyra’s data in 2012
some 40,000 Virginians were arrested for these types of offenses and the
estimated costs to incarcerate each one of these people is around $25,000
a year.

While Hyra hopes to work with Virginia’s legislature he is not opposed to using
Executive action to move these issues forward as Governor. He closed his
podcast interview by pointing out he supports some metric to measure public
\ schools progress, but not necessarily the SOL method. He is opposed to
Medicaid expansion , wanting instead to use more market based solutions
instead of expanding governments reach in our health care system.

Having listened to both his Q & A session at the meeting 2 weeks ago at the
Richmond Libertarian meeting, and his subsequent interview on Remso Republic,
\ I find him refreshing in his candid answers and proposals . Quite a contrast
to the mud slinging blather we hear from both of the major party candidates.
\ Come out and join us on Thursday April 27th at 7 pm to learn more about
this very interesting candidate. For details on location of our meeting visit
http://www.kwteaparty.com/

Hope to see everyone Thursday April 27 !

Bob Shannon
Founder King William T.E.A Party

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4/06/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Barking Dogs.

The folks in this week’s edition of the Country Courier newspapers letters to
the editor reinforce what many of us have known for some time. Typically they
lay on or under the front porch napping until someone comes along and awakens
them. In this instance the awakening involves denying them the freebies and
handouts many of them unfortunately have come to depend on, after all a dog
is dependent on others for their subsistence.

It was amusing to learn that one of the local ignoramuses found that we had beat
up hippies in bygone days. Amusing, except that it lends nothing to the discussion
and illustrates once again why the lefts philosophy is failing on such a grand scale.
When they don’t have the facts they resort to this type of juvenile name calling.
Let me lend some FACTS to help the poor lad ( or pup) out.

His writing to the newspaper is indeed a recognition of sorts of our local groups
influence on this Broadband topic and our drive to bring the facts to people in the
community that otherwise may fall prey to the savaging buzzards always circling
for some more taxpayer dough that our group makes harder for them to seize.

Maybe these discombobulated writers might consider (when questioning what
our group has done for the community) turning that question on themselves,
since I don’t recognize any of their names. Do you recognize any of their names?
Are these folks just yapping for some freebies?

The folks who wrote this week might consider how much lighter their wallets
would be , absent the efforts of the King William T.E.A party, the thousands
we have saved even the ill informed by curtailing at least a bit of the local
governments proclivity to spend and tax.

Otherwise I suggest they go back to sleep, under the porch.

Bob Shannon
Founder King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already for the dopes)

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4/04/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: K.W Supervisors exhibit indifference to Conservatives concerns.

The budget discussions are fixated on how to spend the increasing amount
of anticipated new revenue, and the unassigned reserve fund balance of
$8,000,000.00 . No mention of lowering taxes and returning the excess to
taxpayer’s. 17 months ago voters sent a loud & clear message by throwing
3 incumbent Supervisors out of office.

Pay raises, a half dozen new vehicles, fringe benefits that are out of control
and more dough to the bloated public sector pensions. Supervisor Hodges
made a campaign pledge to “pick up the pennies” a rather sophomoric
reference that he would be a good steward of the public’s money. In 17
months he has gone from picking up pennies to casually throwing money
away by the bucketful.

You can pick up the phone or stand still like sheep being led to slaughter.

Bob Shannon
Central Garage

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3/28/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Zealots Never Allow Facts to Distract Them ..

Yet again at Monday night’s B.O.S Meeting a local citizen got up and spoke in
favor of the County School budget, citing among a number of her reasons to
support the budget the “number of positions that had been eliminated at the
schools in recent years.

Ronald Reagan used to say……. “it isn’t that our opponents are bad people, it’s
just so much of what they know just ain’t so” .

This speaker yet again declared that 42 or 47 positions have been eliminated
at the schools is recent years. I have heard this now for at least the last 5 years
so I decided to do some fact checking and went to the Virginia Department of
Education own website. Each year every public school system must report certain
data to VDOE and this is the official statistics related to the number of Full Time
Employees in the 4 King William Schools

2005-06 315.87
2009-10 327.02
2012-13 322.32
2014-15 326.63

Here is how the game is played. Let’s say Employee # 205 is an Elephant and
they need more Zebras. They reassign an Elephant to the Zebra squad and claim
they eliminated an Elephant. Technically they did….. But it didn’t result in a
reduction in the number of staffing; we have 1 less Elephant and 1 more Zebra. How
can a claim be made that 42 or 47 positions have been eliminated - other than by
playing this game of reassigning or retitling what an employee is classified as. The
numbers above from the Virginia Department of Education are WHAT THEY ARE.

It’s okay if a citizen wants to advocate for higher spending in a school system
with a declining at worst, stagnant at best school population. It isn’t okay to
continue to use manipulated data to do it, at least base your proposition on facts.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party

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3/26/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: It’s The Nickels & Dimes That Will Get You..

Around 40 years ago a business mentor used to say to me “the dollars will take
care of themselves, but the nickels and dimes will get you”. In his wisdom he
was teaching me to pay attention to the small expenditures, the ones that on the
surface don’t seem to be a lot of money but collectively erode profit margins and
bloat expenses. Perhaps a bit of background is in order.

Some months back a project to enhance security at the Circuit Court Clerk office
here in King William was floated. The story being circulated was that they had a
customer that grew agitated and belligerent, so for the safety of the 3 people who
work in this office, plexi-glass and a reinforced door would be installed to enhance
security. I have questioned the County Sheriff Jeff Walton on this incident, was this
customer who acted out arrested or charged with any criminal offense? Sheriff
Walton has told me he knows nothing about this at all. What happens if someone
acts out in the Commissioner of Revenues office, or the Treasurer’s office,
Parks n Rec office, Planning department office-------do we start throwing up
plexi-glass and fortified doors in each of these offices?

Now the problem is that in this very building at the front entrance every minute
that it is open is an armed K.W Sheriff’s deputy within 80 feet of the door to the
Clerk’s office, just down the hallway. Next door in the Courtroom whenever court
is in session is another armed Sheriff’s deputy. The K.W Sheriff’s department is
housed in the back of this same building. This building is already a literal Fort Knox.
The proposed security enhancement was reported to cost around $20,000 only within
a month to bloat to a new estimate of $ 28,000, a 40% increase. I have visited the
office a number of times and this whole thing is ridiculous, given the armed law
enforcement already on the premises.

When I asked a member of the Board of Supervisors who on the Board had
voted for this I learned that the Board never had voted to approve this particular
expenditure, the Interim County Administrator had approved this and that it was
within his authority to do so. One Board member also works part time on the
Courthouse Security Detail (a career law enforcement officer himself). It appears
this particular Supervisor for whatever reason was the only member of the Board
to be pushing for this project getting done.

So here is a textbook example of what that business mentor was warning me
about, the “nickels & dimes”, tax dollars being wasted on a project that wasn’t
necessary to begin with, and the most you get from any local government officials
is a YAWN, if you question this expenditure.

Folks, this is how we are as a nation going broke. This is how in a county with
a declining population budgets each and every year keep getting bigger and bigger.
A County Administrator should not have this level of spending authority. This
administrator was never elected by anyone, and this blatant waste goes on daily
in every local government. It is time to revisit the Virginia Procurement Act and
amend it in such a manner to stop this. Otherwise we keep bleeding, very slowly
the dollars we pay in taxes to local government on wasteful expenditures like this
example.

Bob Shannon
King William

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3/23/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Getting too close to the Bee’s nest.

After discovering a large bees nest a few years back on my property and being
concerned as close as it was to my house and my small grandchildren’s safety
I made the decision to destroy it. Standing 10 feet away the bees were quite
tolerant of my presence, at 4-5 feet I began to notice a few of the hive buzzing
me, warning me if I came any closer I would invite their wrath.

In politics you encounter the same phenomenon when you began to effect change.
Initially you are ignored or tolerated but when you begin to get too close the bees
start buzzing you. In the March 22 Edition of the Country Courier I had a few angry
bees who began the buzzing. The 1st Amendment , a treasured protection that allows
the free exchange of competing ideas carries with it a responsibility to tell the truth.
In that vein then let’s refute point by point the contentions these angry bees
letters conveyed.

Mr. Campbell asserts that the K.W.T.P should “ spend more time trying to
work with local government and not belittling them “ Perhaps a fair question
would be why after one of our groups members were appointed to the Broadband
committee he was instantly ostracized by the committee itself for no other reason
than his known affiliation with our group ? Besides one other member of the Committee
this appointee has more technical knowledge than any other serving on the committee…
…..but he doesn’t march lock step with the folks who have their minds made up this
is going to get done, and won’t ignore the debt it will leave for some taxpayers when
we discover what countless communities across America has, namely that public
financed Broadband has been a bottomless black tax hole. Mr. Campbell and
others exclude folks who don’t fall in line.

500 respondents to an online survey in the first 48 hours when no one even
knew the survey existed ? It was orchestrated by the schools (of course the
schools want this) and a small handful of others who are hell bent on driving
this where they want it to go. As for King William being a “ghost town in
20 years”……allow me to remind readers of the same story line in 2010 when
$6,500,000.00 of tax dollars was promoted as being a positive thing for the
community, it would and I quote “ open up development of the 360 corridor
and the surrounding area”. This was the Natural Gas Pipeline that some 6
years after its completion serves 1 business . King William taxpayers are being
sold the same line yet one more time. If King William County is a ghost town
in 20 years it will be a result of the punishing real estate taxes that now leave
a retiree who responsibly paid off his/her mortgage , now left to renting their
homes back from the County because of the spending and debt .Scant evidence
exists of the claims made by advocates of this that it spurs economic development.

Mr. Wagner stated……” the majority of the crowd was clearly in agreement
to have the E.D.A moving forward with a way to provide that service.It has
been estimated that about 200 people were in the gym for the broadband meeting.
Let’s break down who comprised the 200. I saw no fewer than perhaps 40-50
elected officials, school board and school personnel, then you have another 8 who
are on the broadband committee, so at the very best you had no more than 125-150
citizens who were not there with an agenda. That’s about 1% of the county
population, hardly evidence of anything. The demographics were also clearly
telling. Half of the people in the room were young millennials who are enamored
with the internet, yet haven’t paid much in government costs that older folks
are expressing as a major concern with this project.

Now on the parking lot after the meeting left out and while distributing some
information to those leaving I encountered a number of folks who were kind
e nough to stop and speak to me and the general consensus was that a county
with 13,400 people could not or should not take on any further financial obligation
knowing we are already overburdened with real estate tax rates , among the
highest in the state of Virginia. Mr. Wagner assessment that everyone in the
gym as being supportive of this or to cite the clearly manipulated “ survey
results” does not accurately reflect the county populations mood regarding
new spending. Perhaps Wagner has misinterpreted the local election results
from some 18 months ago when 3 incumbent Board members were tossed
by voters. I would not interpret that as a groundswell of support for more
wasteful spending . Who are the advocates pushing this….primarily the public
sector crowd who never seem to meet an expenditure they don’t promote, the folks
who want improved internet service, many of whom have the misguided notion
that this will be FREE…… I read the Survey Monkey comments and saw the
$2.50 cited as what some think they will pay for this .

A “ accomplished consumer of right wing publications” and a “ knack for twisting
information”….Mr. Wagner can borrow some of the objective fact based research
I draw from , say perhaps the history of Greece, and then give his dissertation on
what happened in Greece and how to avoid it. Debt is at dangerous levels, and
adding to it with a very dubious benefit at best, has nothing to do with right wing…
….just right.

Wagner then goes on to state….“ Mr. Shannon continues to harp on the decline
in population by cherry picking information from the County’s Comprehensive
Annual Financial Report. I have been told that King William spends over $50,000
for this report, and if the numbers don’t mesh with Mr. Wagner’s assertions, well
maybe we should save the tax dollars and allow Wagner to give us the data himself.
The NUMBERS SAY WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY. County population and
school enrollment has declined. Mr. Wagner asserts that the county gained 550 new
residents and “potentially 100 new school children”……..

Real Estate taxes are driving people to relocate elsewhere and or pass King
William by when looking for a new home. Maybe Wagner can explain why in
last month’s MPPDC report under the heading of “DEMOGRAPHIC UPDATE,
King & Queen County is cited as having one of the fastest rates of population
growth? What else besides real estate taxes could explain it ? It isn’t the schools,
it isn’t a new manufacturing or large employer locating in King & Queen……so
what else could possibly explain it besides home buyers passing King William up
simply because they have learned what those of us living here have…real estate
taxes, driven by ludicrous spending has reached ridiculous levels and they act
accordingly.

Wagner asserts… “this has the potential for reducing residential real estate
taxes in the future”…..or “ high potential for increasing the tax base resulting
in a decrease in residential taxes” . MISINFORMATION…… it is Wagner’s
side that’s infamous for misinformation. The School Board each year cites in
their Joint Budget meetings the 47 positions they have eliminated…..yet their
own numbers reported to VDOE expose the grandiose MISINFORMATION,
citing the actual number of F/T employees in King William four public schools
in 2005-06 316, in 2009-10 327, 2012-13, 322, and in 2014-15 327

So if anyone is using misinformation perhaps Mr. Wagner might explain the
discrepancy in the claim of having “ eliminated 47 positions. Wagner might
explain to us the peculiar language of…….step increases---salary scale adjustments-
--compression adjustments, instead of simply using the universal and honest
language of a pay raise.

Thanks to our groups efforts over the last 8 years local taxpayers have said
enough and won’t be swayed by the often self- serving statements made by
the public sector folks and their advocates who keep telling us to fork over
more of our dough for their half- baked and wasteful spending plans.

That fact has the Bees angry.

Bob Shannon
King William, Va

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3/19/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Opponents Distorting Some Facts On Repeal Of ACA.

Legislation and or the repeal of legislation is a sloppy convoluted process that entails
give and take, tradeoffs, compromises and a lot of hyperbole, a lot of hyperbole.

The narrative being promoted by the media at the moment is the 24 million who are
estimated over the next 10 years who will lose health insurance coverage as a result
of the plan being evaluated now in various Congressional bodies. What isn’t talked
about is the numbers losing coverage as we speak, as well as those who would lose
coverage if the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is left in place. As they say in politics
it all depends on who’s ox is being gored.

Under the ACA millions are already losing coverage or being abandoned by the insurance
carriers who are exiting the marketplace because this current structure leaves them no other
choice but to exit. Increasing numbers of states across America where citizens who are
looking for insurance coverage under the exchanges, they often have 1 option, and only 1.

The critics who are citing the millions who will lose coverage under proposed reforms
chose to ignore that many of those are people who climbed onboard the states who
expanded Medicaid, should the Federal government change Medicaid to a Block Grant
program would lose that coverage as a result of States then being forced then to do
what they should have done a decade ago---reform Medicaid.

I argued strenuously with Del Chris Peace in 2012 when he spoke here at the King William
County Republican Party meeting over the need for reform of Medicaid, namely along the
lines of the absurd $1 & $3 co-pays. One of Medicaid’s chief problems is with utilization rates,
how frequently Medicaid beneficiaries are using the services, often times for pretty frivolous
reasons.

Back in the 1980’s when H.M.O’s and P.P.O’s first came into popular use the Insurance
industry soon saw the very same utilization problems that they easily traced to the same
ridiculously low co-pays they had in these plans. If someone perceives something as free……
…..they waste it. You had subscribers using their health insurance low co-pays to visit their
doctor’s offices for the most silly of reasons, often for something they could have easily and
safely self- treated at home. It didn’t take long after the private insurance companies raised
co-pays until they saw utilization rates drop 40-60%. All of a sudden a bee sting or an ankle
sprain didn’t warrant a trip to the doctor’s office or emergency room.

Peace argued that Medicaid was a program for the poor, and that I needed to understand that.
To which I replied…. “Del. Peace, are you talking about these poor people covered from
head to toe with tattoos & body piercings “ ? Amazing how people spend their disposable
income when their basic necessities are being paid for by someone else isn’t it?

Medicaid should indeed be turned into a block grant program so that the wisdom of our
Founders can be put to work, setting up 50 separate and distinct experiments to see who
can deliver the highest quality at the lowest costs, which is just what will happen. The truly
poor and destitute will get care.

If some 26 year old ner do well sponging off his parents (or girlfriend) collecting food
stamps & unemployment so he can lay around all day watching TV has to get off his ass
and get a job because he lost his Medicaid eligibility………………..I’ll sleep okay
and so will you.

Bob Shannon
King William

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3/17/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: “ Clowns To The Left Of Me, Jokers To The Right, Here I Am Stuck In The Middle With You”
Steely Dan circa 1974
.

Rodeo clowns came to mind, but being a big fan of Steely Dan naturally led to the musical
depiction of what I watched again last night at King William High School as the Oligarchs,
School Bureaucrats, local pols and a few others promoting the Broadband push in King William
county came to town. How befitting in the year that Barnum & Bailey shut down their circus…
……we had one last night to fill the void. Candy Cotton and peanuts, maybe a few elephants
was all that was missing.

I paid particular attention to what happened in Greece, not just because it was a textbook
case of how the growth of government destroys a economy from the inside out, but also
because I have friends and former colleagues who are natives of Greece. They had grown
up there and then came to the U.S . They have shared with me over the years what had
happened from an insiders perspective, how over time it seemed like everyone had a
“government job.” In time the remaining productive private sector simply collapsed under
the relentless weight that comes with a system like this. Those making any money began to
hide it, tax avoidance in Greece reached epidemic proportions because taxes reached such
confiscatory levels that the only escape was simply avoid paying them. Sadly this situation
turns a lot of otherwise honest people into law breakers. Here we just do it a little bit differently.
When tax rates become confiscatory you get your friends in the General Assembly and
Congress to write tax exemptions into the code so the avoidance is legal.

We listened last night to how beneficial this ( public expansion of Broadband ) would
be to the county. Of course there is a benefit to contractors who will dig the lines,
providers who will sell the equipment, a handful of land owners who will get a perpetual
stream of income with any towers needed, and some more folks will get government
jobs to operate a discussed call center.………. But here is what is being left out,
\ here is the pulling the wool over the eyes of the misinformed masses that don’t grasp
what is happening right in front of them. Many of those folks sitting in that gym last night
either think this will be a free service, or are ignoring how much estimated costs everywhere
this has been done have been off the mark.

Provo ,Utah recently sold their network to Google for $1 just to get out from underneath
the costs that were killing them, and Provo citizens are on the hook for $40,000,000.00 in
debt they are stuck with for their local government run broadband expansion. Let that sink
in for a moment………$40,000,000.00 It will be the middle class who will get stuck paying
\ this off since I am sure Provo has their own tax exemptions for the pols crony pals.

Any local economy has essential government services it must provide, and theirs a cost
to do that. We all know what use to define basic services local taxes went to support.
That is changing and not for the better. Recent data contained in the C.A.F.R (Comprehensive
Annual Financial Report) clearly lays out the trend for government employment overtaking
private employment in King William. The schools and county government have already
passed the former # 2 employer and no doubt in just a few more years will employ more
personnel than the paper mill in West Point. At some point the public sector will drain so
much of our incomes in the form of ever increasing taxes we will become a “ little Greece”
It should concern anyone in King William County that owns any property for all of the obvious
reasons.

Some in that room last night will be beneficiaries of the expansion of broadband,
but just as troubling should be the reality that many others in the room have insulated
themselves very cleverly in the myriad of tax exemptions that shield their incomes
from the coming tidal wave of even higher taxes that will be required to pay for this
government largesse.

If you work in county schools or county government and say earn $60,000 a year, and
get 2% pay raises ( or salary scale adjustments—step increases—compression adjustments)
your annual salary increases to $ 61,200. So maybe those folks who see an increase of say
$100 in their real estate taxes don’t mind so much. After all those salary increases are
as regular and certain as rain, so they are still netting $ 1100.00 , even after the higher taxes.
Naturally then this lends to both school and county employees being supportive of this bad idea.

Further compounding the problem is King Williams population has actually shrunk,
household incomes for the rest of us have been stagnant for 15 years now, while county
government grows and grows and grows some more.

Broadband expansion funded and operated by government is a bad idea. Read the 2
articles that will soon be posted on the King William TEA Party website and decide
for yourself.

Otherwise may I suggest we all learn to speak Greek.

Bob Shannon
King William, Va

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3/15/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Susan Stimpson has earned our support.

I first met Mrs. Stimpson when she was on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors
and running for the Republican Nomination for Lt. Governor when she spoke at the
Mechanicsville T.E.A Party meeting in 2013. I found her very bright, , articulate and
she actually knows the issues well beyond the superficial levels of understanding many
political candidates possess. If one examines her actual record as a Supervisor in Stafford
then you will have the appreciation I do for her skill set as a Conservative Leader. This is
a tough lady who has the intellectual honesty to tell people NO, reflecting my appreciation
for what a fine replacement she would make for Mr. Howell. In the interest of full
disclosure Susan also had the wisdom of marrying a Marine, probably where some of that
toughness rubbed off.

It was however in the summer of 2015 when I was helping 3 challengers here in
King William county that were running to replace incumbents on our Board of
Supervisors that I gained a much better measure of the person that Susan is. It
occurred to me that the reputation and record of a Supervisor who had actually
cut both taxes and spending could provide an excellent backdrop for some collaboration
with these novice candidates who had pledged to do the same thing here in King William,
if given the chance.

I contacted Susan and asked her for her help, asked if she would come down to
King William, have dinner with us and allow a photo opportunity to tie these local
candidates in with an experienced local legislator who had actually done what these
challengers were promising to do if successful in November. Susan enthusiastically
agreed to help, offered the two candidates who met with us for dinner advice based
on her own experiences in local government and did it with keen insight and a
commitment to make herself available going forward.

Nurturing and encouraging candidates who have never run for political office is a
trait we don’t see exhibited very often by elected officials. Politicians are always
there asking for our support when they are running themselves, but in this example
Susan took the time from her hectic schedule to come down here and help people
she didn’t even know.

That my friends - is LEADERSHIP and why I am enthusiastically supporting Susan
Stimpson should she decide to pursue this seat. Her commitment to genuine conservative
principles and the toughness in the follow through after elected make her the only real
choice in this contest.

I take endorsing any political candidate at every level of government very seriously,
but this decision was an easy one. Susan Stimpson is the type of candidate that should
excite all of us wanting better government. Best wishes Susan.

Bob Shannon
King William

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3/14/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: The Right Way to do Infrastructure-----at the State level.

It is going to come as a major shock to your senses to hear what I am going
to say after listening to all the voices on the Presidents Infrastructure idea……
………he should alter it and let the individual states do it in the form of a reasonable
block grant, and the states should send any additional costs to those that use the
roads, bridges and tunnels, the people who drive on them. Conservatives have
a legitimate concern about adding to the debt, and to fix the infrastructure problems
we have is going to cost a lot of money, lots of money. We know from recent
examples how much was wasted on both T.A.R.P as well as the Stimulus Package.

In some states the problem relative to roads/tunnels is much worse than in others.
Any attempt to do this at the Federal level always results in political patronage
jobs and contracts being doled out to members of Congress pals. Money gets
spent on dozens of things that have nothing to do with fixing infrastructure but
end up as payola to labor unions, contractors that are friends of friends and Federal
costs structures that are inflated ( Davis Act ) relative to what costs could be at the
state level . States are more likely to be using non-union contractors in an open
bidding process monitored by state watchdog groups.

In 2009 both Stimulus and TARP squandered billions on things that had nothing
at all to do with the intended purposes. It was a grab bag of money that made the
old practice of earmarks look like a bargain. The appropriate way to marginalize
costs as to the extent possible and keep it from turning into a large grab bag of
money is to let the states decide where the money should be spent. Voters can
reach out and impact state legislators a bit easier than allowing Congress to decide
where the money should be spent.

The decision on how the block grant money is divided can be made based on
estimates already existing that have determined which states are in the worst
shape. Some states have done a very good job at the state level of maintaining
infrastructure in their own states, hence they will receive smaller shares since
the need is greater elsewhere. I already hear the voices about how this is unfair
to states that have behaved more responsibly than others, but no remedy is
without flaw.

Let’s say for example a bridge/tunnel that crosses state lines need repaired. Each
of those states could commit a portion of their block grants ( their share of the
costs) via votes by their respective legislative transportation bodies and the job
gets done without Federal contracts that often end up going to pals of pals. I am
not naïve and recognize this same crony capitalism goes on at the state level, it’s
just easier to identify it with a state sponsored open bidding process.

Federal Block Grants can’t cover all of the costs, nor should they. States will
have some cost sharing responsibility and this is where as they say “ rubber
meets the road”. Most State transportation funding formulas far too often
provide adequate dedicated revenues for the maintenance of our infrastructure
that get re-directed for political purposes. Legislators play games and spend the
money on other things. I won’t spend time or ink on citing the well known
examples of this. Suffice to say it then creates a funding shortfall that results in
infrastructure problems getting kicked down the road.

Congress can remedy this with very specific language that prohibits a single
dollar being spent on anything else besides well defined infrastructure projects
and severe penalties for any states that are caught violating said prohibitions.
Federal Transportation Money could be withheld in future years as a means of
controlling the abuse.

As to the states needing to pick up the share that federal money won’t cover,
it comes from existing transportation funds the states already have, and if it
still is short of what’s needed then it comes down to hiking gasoline taxes and
or toll fees.

Conservatives don’t object to paying taxes, what we object to is dedicated
taxes being squandered on some legislators pet projects that have nothing to
do with infrastructure, only to hear a year later how “ transportation needs
can’t be met “ because the dedicated funds were spent elsewhere. State legislators,
particularly Governors who have some integrity and backbone could stop this
immediately if they wanted to. When they refuse to then the blame lies with
us for tolerating it.

Bob Shannon
King William

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3/12/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Better Internet Service in King William.

An article in the Mar 8, 2017 issue of “The Country Courier” titled “Is Better
Internet Service in King William’s Future?” references a survey that will be up
for 30 days to determine the level of interest. The article quite correctly points
out the internet will continue to be a bigger, more significant part of the lives for
private citizens and business owners. Today, Virginia’s Sales & Use tax has to
be reported and paid on line and on line shopping is becoming the norm.

I took the survey and noticed there were some “need to have” questions that were
missing. The “Your ideas will help us plan and construct better internet services”
implies the county will build this new service and charge for its use.

The missing questions I think should have been asked were:

1. What dollar amount would cause you not to purchase the new internet service?
2. Since the Landline is being replaced with the cell (Smart) phones daily with their data
plans – How likely are you to purchase a service that has only a home access.
3. Would you be willing to sign a monthly, yearly or multi-year contract for internet
access?
4. Will you support paying extra taxes to provide this service - if there are not enough
subscribers to make it pay for itself?

Sincerely,
Paul Jamerson
King William, VA

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3/11/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: An Open Letter To The King William T.E.A Party Critics. .

Once again as the budget season rolls around we have the usual suspects lining up to take
pot shots at the only organized opposition in King William County to the run-away freight
train A.K.A, big government. In recent days our website has received several caustic
comments/letters that illustrate the absolute ignorance of people who know nothing of
which they speak. Convenient pawns used by the Bureaucrats. A Case in point.

One writer who sent the e-mail to our website let us know that she was inflamed….but it
was at our group because……… “ all you do is tear down what others try to build up,
specifically our children and our school system, I will not allow you to put our future
(our children) at risk .

Rational deliberation and a thorough analysis of the facts surrounding budgeting is what we
do, not the emotionally charged rants that “ it’s for the children”.This emotional blackmail
strategy employed by those that have no knowledge of the facts IS OVER. Public school
spending is now being put under the microscope, particularly the vast sums of taxpayer
dollars that are often spent in very wasteful manners. I seriously doubt if one were to ask
this woman how many students were in the 4 schools, what was their budget last year, how
many full time employees do they have, or what percentage of the budget goes to
salaries/benefits she could correctly answer any one of those. Yet she rails about
our children’s future” .

According to the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report page 88(C.A.F.R)in 2007 local
funding expenditures in the 4 schools were $5,830,758. By 2016 that number had ballooned
to $10,451,449.00 , almost doubling. It is difficult for anyone to suggest that the schools
have not been adequately funded, particularly given the stagnation in school enrollment
numbers.


Now the assertion is made year after year by KW School officials that MONEY = OUTCOMES.
Let’s examine that thesis a little closer.

At the Joint K.W B.O.S/ School Board Meeting Thursday March 9, held at the Hamilton Holmes
Middle School the following findings were delivered by Dr. David O. White, Superintendent.

1. Math Scores are falling, to a point where one or more schools accreditation are under threat
2. Remedial classes are being enhanced for reading, writing and math

All this over a period where expenditures nearly doubled, and classroom time is spent
…..raising money for the Animal Shelter or picking up trash ?

Let’s look at where the money goes using the request this year for an additional 1.3 million
in local funding, in a county with a falling population and a decline in student enrollment

The FY 2018 Budget request by the School (asking for the 1.3 million dollar increase
in local funding is going just where you ask ?

$753, 130.00 to salaries…………..and $ 197,000 in health insurance premium increases
that they expect local taxpayers to pay for
(while we deal with our own health insurance costs)
…………. So of the 1.3 million dollars in additional money they are asking for almost One
million of it is going directly to their own pockets in pay raises and shifting their insurance
premiums to you…..John Q. & Suzy H. Taxpayer


As for the threat to “our children”…..maybe this lady should sign up for some of those
remedial math classes and focus on debt………….that’s the threat to your children.


Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party
(Taxed Enough Already for the unenlightened)

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3/08/2017

Dear Editor

Subject: Investigations & Hearings---With No Purpose Other Than Obfuscation. .

Just the last 10 years……Fast & Furious, the I.R.S , Benghazi, Clinton Foundation,
now we are looking at hearings and investigations into Trump’s ties to Russia, Jeff
Sessions the embattled AG, more Intelligence leaks………and for what purpose ? Does
anything ever come of these very high profile investigations or Congressional hearings
besides a lot of noise and bluster, bravado and bloviating? No it is a stage for aspiring
members of Congress who desire to further elevate their own profiles……while Rome
continues to burn.

Obfuscation has become an art form in DC. ,and Richmond for that matter. Token
legislation takes place while the real problems continue to be ignored. Their might be
some justification for all of this nonsense if anyone was ever prosecuted or removed
from office, but the low information voter is pacified by these self- serving circuses
that pass as progress or action. It is pathetically comical to watch Senator Schumer
denigrate the issue of Trump’s aides or campaign staff having committed the deadly
sin of meeting with Russian officials ………but wait a minute, Schumer and many
of the hound dogs nipping at Trump’s heels have met on more than one occasion
with foreign government officials themselves ? This is a dog and pony show which
has only one purpose, to obfuscate and ignore the much more pressing matters that
would require them to shut their big mouths and do some actual work that we hired
them to do.

The recently completed G.A session serves up once again as a glaring example
of the very point. Del. Chris Peace and Del. Keith Hodges crowed in a local
newspaper last week about the bill they shepherded through the G.A to permit
the 2 Native American Tribes located here in King William to streamline the
acquisition of additional land adjoining their respective Reservations. Odd how
fast Peace & Hodges were able to get this done……while Medicaid Reform,
Tax Code Reform, and Education reform etc. etc. gets buried. It is a bit perplexing
as to why this was such a high priority, but I suspect the federal recognition of these
2 tribes last year has something to do with it. Why all of a sudden is the acquisition
of more land a top priority? Are their development plans related to Federal recognition
that makes additional land important to the political patrons of Peace & Hodges in
the surrounding area? Just who will be purchasing this land and who will finance
said purchases?

Major problems at every level of government get placed on the back burner
and for no better reason than the machinations of how government has come to
work. You can trace elected officials top priorities by watching closely what they
focus on. The hearings and investigations are an effort to get citizens to take their
eye off the proverbial ball.

Some of us however are not fooled so easily.

Bob Shannon
King William

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