Subject: Focus On The Facts, And They Fall Our Way Every Time. .
In a recent exchange over who belongs to the K.W T.E.A Party and who doesn’t it reinforces the notion that when you affiliate with our group you apparently leave your Constitutional rights at the curb. It is almost humorous that affiliation with the only conservative voice in the county has caused such a ruckus.
A petition circulating to gin up support for pay raises caught my attention as I reviewed the $425,000 or so the tax payers are going to have to cough up to pay for county & school employees health insurance coverage premium increases. Supporters claim they have 108 signatures, not surprising since the schools employ around 330 and the county another 110---shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with 100 willing to sign on for self-serving reasons alone. I pointed out at our last meeting that 39 county employees who are covered by the county health insurance (under single coverage) pay a WHOPPING $78 a month themselves , a horrid 9% of their costs, while tax payers each month pay the remaining 91% , around $700. Reports are that after adjusting this a few years back so that everyone paid at a minimum 20% of their own costs, some benevolent soul on the B.O.S or in County administration changed it back…..no public discussion, no public hearing, they just took it on their own and decided 20% was too much.
Chair Hodges took a personal swipe at me (calling me an Idiot) by pointing out that I don’t even know the deputy Sheriff Walton used in his example at the all-day budget meeting on 04/13/2018 who as Walton stated “is in the hole every month before he gets started”, referencing of course Walton’s plea for pay raises. Hodges took apparent offense at my suggestion that maybe this deputy might find a part time job to supplement his deputy salary by pointing out this deputy is already working 3 part time jobs. Of course my first response after learning that is why with a F/T job and 3 P/T jobs can’t he pay his expenses? I do indeed hope that it isn’t related to a family illness but Hodges very conveniently ducks two other VERY RELEVANT POINTS. The first of course is the extravagance in Walton and his spending a significant amount of money on both new vehicles, and the dubious amounts spent the last 8 years on communication equipment upgrades. Public Safety Budgets have grown by 35—40% in just the last 4-6 years alone, so don’t portray tax payers as stingy with Walton’s budget requests. In a county with 13,400 (excluding West Point that has its own Police/Fire & Rescue) just where would the esteemed Hodges draw the line? When is enough enough? How much higher would these deputies salaries be if Walton pulled in the needless spending in other areas of his budget. I might suggest it also warrants some seeking out professional advice for anyone working a F/T job, 3 P/T jobs and still can’t pay their expenses. Millions of Americans have over extended themselves financially and when is that a personal problem and not one tax payers should be asked to remedy?
Hodges also has voted now on 3 budgets and might turn that discriminating lense on some of his own conduct as a Supervisor relative to the spending choices he has made. He supports asking King William tax payers to pick up the $425,000 health insurance premium increases on behalf of county & school employees, and has the unmitigated gall to paint us as selfish for simply saying enough is enough. Is funding Art’s Alive, or $1600 to the Twin Rivers Animal Society really top government priorities? Is setting aside $2,000,000.00 for “targeted economic development”, particularly given governments poor track record on picking winners & losers a top budgeting priority ? Maybe Hodges could reconsider the vast number of tax exemptions he controls and could vote to amend freeing up some money for deputies salaries? Do you keep the Oligarchs Land Use scheme going Mr. Hodges while your county deputies are underpaid? Possibly reconsider the value in scores of other expenses, if trimmed could free up money to address this issue?
No, Mr. Hodges, himself a recipient of numerous tax payer provided paychecks & pensions has the mindset that tax payers have bottomless pockets he can raid , in lieu of making tough decisions.
County Budget this year is anticipated to increase 8%. I could sit down in an hour and cut enough to address public safety genuine needs, and if that determination was made that a salary increase was warranted, so be it. I would find the money for it, and reduce the real estate tax rate far beyond the mere .02 reduction that is planned. Name calling doesn’t aid the situation, but it does provide cover for someone like Hodges who ducks the tough questions and choices that elected officials are supposed to make. Picking up Pennies has become doling out dollars, and having the audacity to suggest citizens of King William who resist this are somehow selfish. Math doesn’t lie, politicians do with regularity.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject: Observations On The Board Of Supervisors Actions On The Budget .
The summary below is what transpired in the K.W County all day budget workshop on Friday April 13, 2018.It was on balance filled with some small victories for King William tax payers, and some disappointment in the relentless struggle for those of us committed to shrinking the behemoth of government and it’s insatiable appetite each year to take more of its citizens hard earned money.
If you own a home in the county that has an assessed value today of $200,000 you are going to see a $40 reduction in your next real estate tax bill. A .02 reduction in the current rate of .90 was agreed to. Two points on this beginning with why this happened at all. Our group, the King William T.E.A Party has been relentless in pounding the unreasonable real estate tax rate, the reasons for it, the tax schemes that simply shift the cost of running local government to those owning property and the much lower real estate tax rates in surrounding localities. Moskalski, Hodges and Greenwood did not do this for any other reason than they had to, not that they wanted to. I listened to all three of them pontificate about why they were concerned about lowering too much and the impact of not knowing what future expenses would be……as if they have no hand at all in just what those expenses ultimately are to begin with.
The King William T.E.A Party blew the whistle on the $7,000,000.00 growth in the unassigned reserve fund from 2012 when it stood at $3,100,000.00 to where it is today at $10,100,000.00 Clearly there is no other plausible explanation than tax payers were being over charged. The Board of Supervisors had no choice but to offer up this token reduction of .02 because they had been exposed for the charlatans they truly are.
Other than some state funded county entities who will receive pay raises as a result of that magical grant money, no pay raises will be given to county or school employees. Before you begin feeling any sorrow, please recognize that around $425,000.00 in health insurance premiums increases will be absorbed by………YOU. How did this happen ? The King William T.E.A Party tore back the shroud over the grandiose lies and myths surrounding the constant and never ending whining of school officials who continued to insist they hadn’t had pay raises in years………………………UNTIL, the King William T.E.A Party exposed what a bunch of giant bunk that was, publishing the considerable increase from 2012 to 2017 of an Assistant Superintendent whose salary alone rose from $94,000 to around $110,000 as just 1 example of the significant increases over the last 6 years they attempted to hide behind the odd language of step increases, compression adjustments, scale adjustments etc. etc. etc. It was the King William T.E.A Party that exposed that grand lie. The Board members and the schools knew the public was paying attention to the bull they have been fed for a decade.
Don’t get too comfortable because it wasn’t without some more pork being served up. $2,000,000.00 will be set aside for Targeted economic development………the idea that government can allocate resources better than private banks and lenders seems to not want to die the death it so richly deserves. Graft & corruption also known as Crony Capitalism got a big boost today in King William County. The caveat that this money cannot be spent without the Board of Supervisors specific approval is no comfort given what is occurring all over this country, and has occurred right here already. Remember the giant money pit of fixing the water problem at McCauley Park, and taxpayers being stuck with hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix what should have been the problem of the developers? Remember the $10,000,000.00 spent to run that Natural Gas Pipeline down 360, the one that was going to open up all kinds of benefits to King William, the pipeline that today serves just 1 business? How about that mysterious bank loan made to KWVFD about 6 -7 years ago, after the economic crash and bank underwriting got tight as a tick……yet a VFD that could barely pay its monthly light bill somehow mysteriously managed to secure several hundred thousand’s in a bank loan that within two years had to be bailed out by……………….YOU. It was government officials who were smack dab in the middle of these nefarious deals, all ultimately resulting in tax payers taking a royal s______ in the end. $2,000,000.00 was officially set aside today by a group of men who collectively have never started a business of their own, but now can allocate your money better than you can for yourself. This money will be dealt out to the politically connected pals of the crony friends who will bring some more of these supposedly “great deals” like the ones previously listed who benefitted not the citizens of King William but a small handful of developers who happen to have friends in the right places. The vote on this specific item was unanimous and all 5 Supervisors should be ashamed of themselves. Instead of setting up this “graft fund”, they should have lowered the real estate tax rate around .10--.12 and given the money back to the home owners who it was stolen from to begin with.
King William will now officially have a Paid Fire/Rescue Department. It warrants a specific warning because it is being headed by a man who has already demonstrated his disdain for accountability. Fire Chief Aigner wasted $50,000 in a recruiting campaign, money spent on Radio ads that resulted in O---NADA, $50,000 thrown down a rat hole. I have thought as to whether or not Aigner would have spent $50,000 of his or his families money in this cavalier manner? You can bet he wouldn’t, but heh Aigner looks at Grant money like a 5 year old standing outside a candy store…it is there. On top of that this same guy was caught trying to spend another $10,000 two months ago to replace 3 I-Pads that were on ambulances ---and were 7 months old? Why would any person do something like that you ask? Because it isn’t hismoney he is spending. Aigner has been in the Public Safety circle long enough now to learn how the game is played, and you can bet this guy will be back next year with more grandiose plans, bigger budget requests. His past practices and clear inclination to waste other people’s money make him a particular person to keep a short lease on.
Sheriff Walton stepped up with a handout for the Supervisors, a profile of one of his deputies monthly household expenses, and told the Board how this guy “is in the hole each month before he gets started”, as if that suffices as justification for a pay raise. Since I have had family and friends in law enforcement over my lifetime and personally know these folks, I also know firsthand that almost all of them have part time jobs to supplement their incomes, as do I now. Not 1 board member asked Walton……..had perhaps this deputy considered what thousands of other citizens have to do, find part time employment to supplement his salary? Did this deputy in this example perhaps buy more house than he could afford? Men in my family over generations worked on the side as they say to support their family’s standard of living. When my health insurance premiums recently reached around $8,000 a year I didn’t whine about it, I didn’t run down to social services and try to sign up for public assistance, I analyzed the problem and did what I had to do, sought and secured additional income to pay my expenses.
++++++++++++ The folks in the public sector have become accustomed to expecting annual pay raises, someone else to pay for their health insurance premium increases, someone to fund their pensions……find another job that is more suited to your expenses/lifestyle, cut your expenses, but please stop whining like little children and do what MEN USED TO DO INTUITIVELY---BUCK UP AND ACT LIKE MEN. Maybe Walton might reconsider what he has spent on new patrol cars and grandiose radio communication equipment of dubious value? He could hand out significant pay raises and let his deputies drive 13 year old Crown Victorias, like they do in neighboring King & Queen.
My favorite though was when the esteemed Chair Bill Hodges questioned what the $1600 request from the Indian River Humane Society was for, and was told it was a request from a new entity to help with stray cats/dogs. Hodges went on the elaborate on what a wonderful job they did cleaning up in West Point the stray cat population??? This is the guy who during the campaign in 2015 spoke so eloquently of his “picking up pennies” philosophy. When you can’t see clearly that King William tax payers are already spending hundreds of thousands of dollars with the Regional Animal Shelter, and believe we need another group to handle stray cats & dogs ………and throws more money away, well I will remind our readers of the old adage……………you get the government you deserve. A man collecting scores of tax payer pay checks and pensions with a mindset that borders on delusional when it comes to a tax payers' pocket. Hodges philosophy isn’t about picking up any pennies, Bill Hodges views tax payers pockets as not yet empty so….why not ?
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject: County Administrator Is Wrong .
In public budget documents the County Administrator has proposed the Board set aside 2 million dollars for “targeted” economic development. Recent history is full of examples of how this practice has become rife with graft & corruption. The notion that 2 million dollars, taken from the citizens so a handful of locally appointed individuals (appointed by the Oligarchs) can grease their selected pal’s development plans with some “seed money” is outrageous. Google “ economic development” and read the countless examples of how insiders play this game, how graft and corruption are routine, public money used for nefarious ideas that would have never withstood the scrutiny and underwriting of banks and private lenders who would not lend private capital for these projects. Government can’t allocate capital intelligently or efficiently.
McCauley Park is a recent example where the citizens of King William had to pick up the costs of upgrading the water/sewage system after county officials either thru incompetence or corruption allowed the citizens to be stuck with much of the costs of fixing a problem that should have been solely the expense of the developers. The Natural Gas Pipeline run down 360 back in 2010 is yet another example of how tax dollars are wasted, often for the benefit of well connected political donors and the compromised politicians they routinely write campaign checks to each cycle. Much boasting of how this project was going to “open up development along the 360 corridor, and how beneficial it was going to be to citizens of King William”…….some 9 years later and 1 business is using it, at a cost of some 10 million to construct , using of course that magical grant money.
I believe in capitalism, it is a superior economic model. I cheer for the business entrepreneur who comes up with an idea and makes vast sums of money …..with a caveat, namely that they are risking their own (or private investment dollars), not money that was taken from citizens . I have asked for years for someone in County government to explain to us how the hundreds of thousands we have already spent have been of any tangible benefit to the people from whom the money was taken to finance these schemes.
It warrants also mentioning the hypocrisy in this idea at its core. For years now we have listened to the justification of the Land Use Tax Exemptions as being necessary in order to keep King William “open & rural”. Now we have many of the same folks who argue this point claiming they want to intelligently target business development within the county.
What they are really doing is steering some of your dollars to minimize certain costs their pals would otherwise have to pay for, as they should. Don’t be fooled by the specious arguments that this is somehow for your good. Let your Supervisor know what you think.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Disingenuous P.R Campaign By Congressman Rob Wittman .
In his recent e-mail he routinely sends out Congressman Wittman touts his laundry list of public appearances, ranging from the Boy Scouts to Agricultural organizations, local businesses and a bevy of other “soft targets”. Wittman boasts of his hand in the federal legislation that recently recognized the Virginia Native American tribes, the increased federal defense spending that certainly benefits a number of Virginia defense contractors (and those they employ). Wittman cites the additional funding for a list of recipients of federal largesse. Easy to hand out candy, grant money for everyone - a little tougher however to explain how we are going to pay for it. That is certainly where Congressman Wittman comes up short….way short.
Numerous attempts have been made to request Mr. Wittman schedule some time up here in King William to address the “other side of the coin”----spending cuts.
The last time Mr. Wittman made an appearance at the King William T.E.A Party meeting was 2010, so it isn’t as if we are being unreasonable in asking someone we ( that’s you & I ) have paid around $2,000,000.00 in salary since his elevation to Congress step up and answer perhaps some tougher questions than he clearly would rather avoid answering. As our roadside sign messages on 360 clearly state----YOU WORK FOR US---THIS ISN’T A REQUEST.
Note that Wittman stays in friendly audiences, many of whom are receiving large tax exemptions or expecting the river flow of new grant money with the Congressman’s help. Easy to walk in beating your chest over delivering more of other people’s dough, a little tougher to face a more discriminating audience up here in King William that wants to discuss the other side of that coin…..what spending cuts does Wittman support?
Wittman has been in Congress long enough to decide as a legislator what his top priorities are. Isn’t it a bit too clever for him to have dodged answering specifically
what spending he does suggest be cut? A few years back for example Wittman voted NO on a bill that would have cut Amtraks subsidies. This should be low hanging fruit for any member of Congress given the notorious reputation of waste in Amtraks long storied history….but Wittman voted NO?
Wittman is literally drowning future generations in DEBT. This hero worship nonsense or claiming that Wittman is a conservative is delusional. He is , has been and always will be part of the establishment that grows government larger and larger every year, despite claims to the contrary. If Wittman wants to remain in Congress I suggest he schedules some time up here with a true conservative group wanting to know where he stands on getting our nations finances in order. Otherwise find a job on K Street and resign from a responsibility he wants to duck---answering to the people who pay his salary—US.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Open Invitation To The King William School Board Representatives To Speak .
All of us want a strong public school system, one that gives our children their best chance of succeeding in life. That said, it is equally important that the school finances and employee compensation be kept in line with the ability of the local community to fund it appropriately. The suggestion made by some that the schools simply receive in local funding whatever they request is ridiculous and irresponsible. Inadequate funding, particularly for the supplemental retirement programs that have popped up the last 25 years is of particular concern since it is now coming to light how terribly underfunded some of them are (Chesterfield for example). Stories in recent Richmond Times-Dispatch articles have shown the disgraceful and irresponsible conduct of that counties school board. The emotional blackmail claim that “it’s for the children” carries with it a level of contempt for tax payers who ultimately have to bail out these supplemental benefits, promised by overzealous School Boards (with inadequate public oversight) that appear to have little concern for who gets stuck paying for it when the bill comes due. Most politicians (and School Board Reps are politicians) know all too well they get the benefit of giving these supplemental benefits out ( instant gratification ) while equally aware when the bill comes due for this generosity they will be long down the road leaving fixing the problem to a future school board.
At the Joint School Board / B.O.S meeting Thursday March 8 after Supervisor Dave Hansen asked about the KWPS OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefit) program those in attendance listened to a quite convoluted explanation from School Board Member Steve Tupponce that frankly made little sense and opened more questions than it answered.
As the only organization in the County with a mission of holding local government (to include the public schools) accountable for how our tax dollars are spent we are concerned that this issue has indeed not been as thoroughly vetted and examined in detail as it so richly deserves.
As such we are offering an open invitation to the KWPS Board Members to speak at one of our meetings in July with hopes that more light and a clearer understanding of how this OPEB program works, who is eligible, and what the future costs to tax payers will be. Our group, the K.W T.E.A Party is supportive of a strong public school system. That said we are also rightfully wary of these supplemental retirement programs that have in a growing number of localities become a financial nightmare. We hope these members, elected by the voters in King William step up and do the responsible thing, come forward and answer specific questions about a program the school board implemented without tax payers having had a say in its implementation, but will be asked to pay for should the costs get out of hand.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:New County Spending Proposals Over The Top .
Since the Unassigned Reserve Fund (watch for our coming paid Ad) has now been exposed as a theft by local government it has come to our attention the big spenders down there on Horse Landing Road have plans to spend the dough before taxpayers claw some of it back.
Various county agencies are asking for numerous new vehicles, this in addition to the half dozen or so they bought the last 2 years. Maybe King William County should just buy a car dealership; it might actually end up saving us tax dollars.
One of my favorites has to do with a reported request for a $40,000 increase for the Economic Development Agency. They are asking for this $40,000 for travel & conferences, hanging out with other localities EDA folks. Have these folks (many of whom are on public sector pensions themselves) ever heard of Go to Meeting.com? Many industries now use this as a means of negating the time and expense of travelling to a meeting. But Heh, when you spent a lifetime in the government trough yourself you have no reservations of wasting other people’s money. This is a no brainer, the request should be dismissed. Economic Development efforts to begin with are coming under increasing criticism for the waste/fraud of tax payer resources. As the late Dr. Milton Friedman once quipped “how did the U.S in its first 160 years grow the most powerful economic engine, envied throughout the world….long before government decided it could better allocate resources, it’s absurd on its face”. I have often pointed out that the national GDP rate was considerably higher before all of this Economic Development nonsense got started. Basic economics suggest that the private sector always finds a much more productive use of money—the gov’t simply allocates it very poorly - Handouts to their Pal’s and the politically connected donor class.
Use for example this local broadband initiative……the private sector is developing high speed internet solutions at break neck speed………….yet we have a group that is hell bent on wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on a problem that will soon solve itself. When you come from that public sector world you have no appreciation for the marvels of the free market, you spent your entire life cocooned in the bizarre world of bigger & bigger government budgets, never having to answer for the end results. No accountability, no cost/benefit analysis whatsoever, they just spend.
In 2019 let’s hope the citizens of King William can find some business people who understand basic economics so we can wean ourselves off these lifetime public sector types who haven’t a clue about doing anything besides wasting other people’s money on well-intended but foolhardy pursuits.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Hodges---Buy Your Friends With Your Own Money, Not Ours. .
When it comes to the county budget, Chair Bill Hodges has morphed into Santa. Hodges is circulating a petition to gather 1000 signatures in support of pay raises for K.W public school teachers. The County Administrator takes a more responsible approach, declaring the teachers and school employees can ask taxpayers to pick up the increase in their health insurance, estimated to run around $300,000 …………but not both.
The KW T.E.A Party surveyed public school salaries in 2015. Using 9 localities, the Virginia Dept. of Educations website we found King William’s average teacher salary was in 2nd place, only $200 a year behind 1st place Chesterfield. This hardly supports the impression Hodges would like you to have. Hodges wants you to believe that teachers in King William are underpaid, but the facts show something quite different. Avg. salary over $ 57,000 a year .Add the other costly perks ,10-11 weeks’ vacation, 2 weeks at Christmas, a week at Easter, a pension, subsidized group health, dental, life, disability,11 paid holidays and it is crystal clear, teachers have a pretty good gig here in King William. It’s for the children baloney has run out of gas.
Hodges, himself the beneficiary of numerous tax payer paychecks & pension payments , including his current P/T stint working security at the Courthouse is completely separated from economic reality because he has spent his entire life in the public sector, insulated from the harsh economic reality, no worry about being laid off ,or dealing with salary cuts when the economy turns downward, regular annual pay raises, tax payers continuing to pick up any increases in his health insurance costs and several pensions , typical of lifelong public sector employment. Naturally he sees things in a very simplistic manner, just raise taxes or reallocate some taxpayer money to placate people whose demands have grown unrealistic and selfish.
The schools, (with county government) are now the largest county employer in terms of employee count. Hodges can probably get 1,000 signatures since the county schools alone employ around 350 people, the county another 110 or so. Add their spouses and family members Hodges will likely get his signatures. So what, if he does—what does it mean?
The rest of us however understand this guy and know intimately how these folks think. It is to his direct benefit that government has provided employment for him throughout his entire life……because he would bankrupt a snow cone stand in July if he ever had to make his own way, on his own money. It should be a lesson for voters; Bill Hodges is the worst type of person to elect to public office. He sees your wallet or purse as his personal piggy bank; he can raid whenever he decides his public sector pals need to be stroked.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Teacher Pay and the Whining Class .
In the course of reviewing County budget documents I came across a communication from a local county public school teacher who wanted to know why the preliminary budget didn’t contain pay raises for teachers. Her simple two sentences goes on to state that it is about the children’s future and how county teachers should get annual pay raises in line with some national average. Apparently this teacher believes local taxpayers who are going to pick up the tab for a $300,000 increase in their health insurance premiums should also give them a raise to go along with this expense we are paying for their health insurance. Typical of this pampered public sector class that has grown almost demanding to a point that they are now walking out of classrooms in a number of states when either their demands are not met or they want more.
I suspect it doesn’t occur to this person how the rest of us don’t have:
9-10 weeks of vacation a year - 11 paid holidays - Pension plan - Subsidized health insurance - Subsidized life insurance
Subsidized disability insurance - Subsidized dental insurance - Next to impossible to fire them - Immunity from economic downturns
Oh, and by the way my friend….the national average for teachers is $ 38,617 annually according to today’s MSN featured story on Oklahoma teachers walking out after a $6100 raise…..but it’s for the children.
It is time to start standing up to these ingrates and tell them to go find another job if they are not happy with the above Cadillac benefits they already enjoy.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Waiting On the Sheriff? .
At the Joint School Board/ B.O.S meeting on Thursday March 9th I approached Sherriff Walton and asked if an Incident report on the High School for the last calendar year might be made available for review, since the high school has had a F/T Resource officer located there for the last number of years. Knowing a request has already been made for another F/T Resource officer for the other 3 clustered schools; I wanted to see just what offenses this Resource officer encounters at the high school. Horrific as these school shootings are it is at least warranted that we ask some tough question before we spend $100,000 on another Resource Officer. Israel has shown arming staff is a far more effective method at deterring these types of events. I personally hope the G.A acts next year and passes legislation allowing school staffing to be vetted and trained, then armed as to implement a much more effective deterrent. The reasons offered for why Israel’s approach is so highly effective is that an armed intruder has no way of knowing where/when he will encounter an armed staff member once he/she steps onto school grounds.
I explained to the Sheriff that I understood some information would have to be redacted as to protect the individual’s privacy. I have no interest in which students were involved in offenses. The Sheriff explained the two distinct categories, one type of offense that is turned over to school officials for their own resolution, and the other where a student is criminally charged or arrested for an offense that rises to a criminal level.
One might argue that the expenditure of $100,000 (salary/car/uniforms/health insurance/pension benefits) is worth protecting our children, I would however caution that effectiveness is the ultimate objective, and if we can do it with less tax dollars then where could anyone be in disagreement with that approach?
It is also worth noting that in the U.S we have around 500,000 schools, public schools, private schools, college campuses, trade & vocational schools etc. It has been demonstrated that reports of school shooting incidences have been exaggerated ( and yes 1 is 1 too many) but our kids here in King William have a much greater danger that they will be bitten by a copperhead snake than they have of being involved in a school related shooting.
I might also note that I have grandchildren here and in other localities public schools so I am conscious of the danger………………equally as to the danger of needlessly running up more debt on their backs.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:King William School System Pay Raises are out of hand. .
The following SALARY data was provided by David O. White, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools
King William School system did not want you to know this, but would you be surprise to know that Dr. White is disappointed that the King William T.E.A. Party got the data and published it in a local newspaper. I guess Dr. White is surprised and disappointed that what is public information has been made available to county residents. What should be of a surprise is that on average every employee received an average raise every year since 2011 of above 2% some got more than 4% and they continue to want more. Just how much of a raise have you received since 2011? These raise do not include other benefits that were also increased, such as paying more of the employees’ healthcare and pension costs. Dr. White does not seem to understand that he works for the citizens of King William and we are the ones paying his salary.
King William County Public Schools - Selected Information
Base Salaries - FY11-12 and FY16-17 - Total Percentage Increase from 2011 to 2017 - Average Annual Increase in 2017
King William, Va
Subject:Time To Teach Americans About The U.S Constitution Again .
It has been a fascinating 9 years, politically engaged as Americans once were. I often use the analogy of someone
driving across the west on a very straight and long highway, so they put the car on cruise control, crawl into the
back seat and go to sleep. Not surprising eventually the car runs off the road with a befuddled driver wondering
how it happened. That is precisely what we did as citizens, and now find ourselves in this financial and cultural mess at every level of government.
One can choose to ignore the debt since the ramifications of it have been postponed by shrewd and dishonest accounting in our government finances. One can choose to ignore the damage done to our very character by a never ending litany of functions that legions of Americans now believe are the responsibility of someone else, the list is endless and is accommodated by the self-serving politicians who recognize that giving away candy is a very popular endeavor………until the dentist demands payment.
How it happened isn’t difficult to understand. Throughout history warnings of a self-representative democracy jumping off track have been repeated but
human fallibility and politicians have grinded capitalism and the human spirit into the dirt. If you ask any elected official the simple question “
give me an example of non-essential vs. Essential government functions” they will stand there with a look on their face illustrating they see everything as essential. It is who they are and what they do, damn the consequences, full speed ahead.
Our wise Founders lived and studied abroad, carefully observing the various forms of economics and government for years before they sat down
and wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They understood the limitations of what government can do, should do …and should not do,
hence the limitations the Constitution originally built into the documents for our own protections. Today those limitations only exist on paper,
certainly not in any practical application any of the Founders would recognize
if they were to return today.
Until we begin teaching again the U.S Constitution and why it is such a distinctly important guidebook, our course as a nation is set in stone. Politicians will
never stop being politicians, they refuse to behave in anything resembling responsible. That would require telling citizens NO, and they just can’t say that one word.
“We can’t afford this” is a term you rarely hear in a public discussion. To a politician it is simply a matter of redistributing existing resources to accommodate the current “squeaky wheel”. Let’s hope we can convince local school officials of the need to put teaching this lesson back in the classroom as early as practically possible. We tell young people how important learning self- control is, let us put that singular lesson in front of them, the Constitution is a national form of self-control….and hope it isn’t already too late.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Forrest Gump Never Meant For Politics .
Every American has enjoyed the movie, the character was such an endearing man, ridiculed and tortured as a child he grew into a fine young man possessing some of a human beings better qualities. He loved his Momma, his country and his friends with an admirable passion.
Forrest however would never been very good at political strategies. Politics is a mean and dirty business; someone like Forrest would get chewed up and spit out in no time. He didn’t have the capacity to understand the nuances of politics. He couldn’t have calculated the underlying motives, bordering on evil. He never would have seen beneath the surface, nor understood what the next step had to be when elected officials practice the deception they do, some on a routine basis. Forrest was just too nice a guy, and that isn’t a quality that lends to effective grass roots activism. Forrest would fight, but it was to defend Jenny, or to save his best friends in combat. Forrest would have gotten rolled as they say if he had tangled with Pols.
As I stood on the side of 360 last week with about 20 or so who turned out for the “Peace protest” my mind wandered to Forrest and I thought how simple he saw everything, even the most complex problems, as if he continued to see things through the eyes of an innocent child. I left after 30 minutes with an underlying resentment over how silly it was to stand by the side of the highway with traffic whizzing by , expecting drivers to read the 4 X 8 sign being held up for passing traffic. Perhaps 12 or so drivers actually read the sign message. What a colossal waste of time and energy….especially when you understand the Mechanicsville T.E.A Party has some 100 or so permanent sign locations throughout Del. Chris Peace’s district where thousands of drivers pass every day that have outdated ridiculous messages on them that in some cases haven’t been changed in a year. What in the hell are these people thinking? I suspect that the protest was simply another example of how most of these groups have morphed into social clubs. Wonderful but misguided human beings who set out to do something positive but for whatever reason end up stepping on their own feet. One of them said to me when I expressed my frustration over this very timid approach to Peace’s vote on Medicaid expansion…..”Bob, you have to be patient, these things take time” and I replied, “ you guys have had almost 9 years and what in the hell have you accomplished? ”
Maybe they will give me the sign they were holding up on the side of the road, the one that all of maybe 12 people read and I’ll put it up down here in King William, which is also part of Del. Peace’s district. Or, maybe they will think about what I said to them about taking the fight to Peace and put it up on one of those hundred or so signs I constructed in 2010-11.
What I do know is that you can’t do this with any degree of effectiveness until you wash out the Forrest Gump in your system, and take the fight to them.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Oligarchs Water Boys .
The first few times I heard it I was mildly amused. Some of the folks have gotten to referring to Supervisor Dave Hansen as a puppet. He has Two Masters Degrees, Army Ranger credentials, and private sector executive experience. Compare and contrast Hansen’s credentials with his critics, most of whom have spent their lives in government or at the taxpayer trough. Citizens in the 4th district are fortunate to have a man of devout faith and deep conservative convictions. The fact that Supervisor Hansen and I share an abiding small government political philosophy………means just what?
Those that have been appointed to a variety of positions on the EDA, the Planning commission, representatives on MPPDC, Broadband Initiative etc. etc. ……..ask yourself just what is their political philosophy ? They are open advocates for spending your tax dollars on some specious projects. They openly profess the expansion of local government into areas that government has no business in, in the first place. They have often stated that real estate tax rates in King William are just fine; one of them has stated they are too low?
What they all have in common is that the Oligarchs had a direct say in their appointments, and they wouldn’t have been appointed if they were not marching lock step in line with the Oligarchs political philosophy, which is namely that status quo unspoken agreement with the Board of Supervisors , spend as much as you like on whatever you like (and politicians like to do that—they buy votes with your money), so long as the vaunted bevy of tax exemptions such as their exemption from the BPOL tax, the Land Use Tax exemption scheme (and it always has been a tax dodge) sweet deals on how some of their machinery gets special reduced tax breaks in the Machinery & Tools tax.
So for those “ water boys’ carrying water for their Oligarch bosses maybe they ought to do some soul searching themselves before they take to soiling the character of a man that simply stands up to them and won’t carry water for anyone. Having a suspicion about government and all of its good intentions doesn’t make anyone a puppet, any more than you folks are water boys for the county Oligarchs and the public sector trough feeders.
When the debt bomb goes off and the eventual consequences of government spending come home to roost, Hansen will have a clean conscience. Those of us recording this wasteful spending will remind citizens of the warnings that were not heeded and the men who enabled the economic carnage that follows. The 21 Trillion debt has names attached to it, and they all serve on these boards and commissions that keep the tax payer gravy train moving.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject: Put Up Or Shut Up .
The King William T.E.A Party has made credible cases that certain expenditures are out of whack, even some that shouldn’t take place to begin with. We contend with the critics always whining about how “we don’t care about the children or about public safety". On its face it is silly to suggest anything of the sort. We live here too; we have kids & grandkids in the same public schools. We are just a little better at math, understanding the long term consequences of debt. I am always amazed at how the proponents of bigger budgets and more spending contradict themselves with their professed concern’s , citing like a chant “ it’s for the children”, then why they never seem to worry about the enormous debt piling up and the impact this is going to have on their children?
Perhaps those that are barking on Face book might attend one of our twice monthly meetings and summarize what spending they might suggest be cut. We already know the hypocrites that out of one side of their mouths call for higher taxes, while simultaneously hiding behind every tax exemption they can qualify for. Pretty easy to spend someone else’s money.
Supervisor Dave Hansen has suggested that if public safety is a top priority (and it is ), if the public at large wants paid county fire/rescue ,Hansen has proposed paying for it by cutting across the board every agency budget by 1.25%, a very reasonable proposal. Who could argue with that idea? What business, household or government department couldn’t trim 1.25% out of their current budget?
Hard questions can’t be avoided. I have asked for years why a school system with just 4 schools has a Superintendent and an ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT? These two positions alone cost around $400,000.00 a year in salary and benefits. When you pin them down their response is……….. “All school systems have an assistant Superintendent”, as if that alone justifies the position or the expense.
In 2010 the Mechanicsville T.E.A Party asked on two of our signs in Hanover why Lee-Davis High school had 3 assistant principals at one school? Within a month Lee-Davis announced 1 of the assistant principals positions had been eliminated………so you tell me if pressure applied has an impact on wasteful spending. School officials have done a masterful job at making you believe that somehow if an administrative position is eliminated the children will suffer---baloney.
Public officials never spend money as if it is their own. Ask some hard questions or continue whining about the King William T.E.A Party as if that is a solution. You can bet we are not going anywhere, and it is our right to raise these hard questions. These questions need asked.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject: Open Invitation To 3rd District Supervisor Stephen K. Greenwood .
Wanting to afford Supervisor Greenwood a platform to refute the assertions made in the Recall Petition that was circulating prior to the Virginia Supreme Court ruling, the King William T.E.A Party will carve out 30 minutes for Greenwood to address our group, relative to the defense he has made in open letters to the Country Courier and on a variety of social media outlets.
In advance we would like Supervisor Greenwood to address the following past statements/positions he has taken, relative to where he now stands
Did you state within 4 days after being re-elected that you wanted to cut local funding to the schools by 1 million dollars YES____ NO_____
Did you support closing the BPOL Tax for all businesses here in King William during your first term? YES_____ NO_______
Have you pursued closing the BPOL Tax since your re-election? YES____ NO_____
Did you vote in 2014 at an all day budget work session to close the Forestry Land Use Tax Exemption? YES____ NO___
Did you vote NO in 2016 on the question during an all-day Budget Work session on closing the Forestry Land Use Tax Exemption Class YES ____ NO____
What changed your mind on closing the Forestry Exemption?
Please explain why as a Supervisor you have allowed the Unassigned Reserve Fund to balloon to 10.1 Million dollars, some 40% of King William County’s annual budget when other localities have unassigned reserve funds equal to 15% of their budgets?
Are Real Estate Taxes in King William County too high YES_____ NO_______
Why at the K.W Joint School Board/B.O.S Meeting on Thursday March 8th did you not ask 1 single question?
Last year when during a B.O.S meeting which you participated via Intercom you asked Chairman Moskalski to remind the audience that………….. “The Schools didn’t get everything they asked for” (those were your own words). Were you aware at that time that two weeks later the Schools would be asking for another $75,000 ( You voted YES ) and a month later asking for $300,000 + in the Textbook Fund be approved to be used for hiring & pay raises?
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:It Just Never Occurs To Them. .
At the recent Board of Supervisor meeting on Feb 26th a local person got up and stated the county should consider an Environmental Trash Policy. This person is employed by government and has professed in the last few years her support for funding King William schools with whatever they claim they need, no questions asked, just hand over the dough. I don’t think it even occurs to people with this mind -set that everyone else just might not be onboard with her generous giving away of other people’s money. But I digress.
She explained how King William has become an eyesore with the volumes of trash that can be found on every road throughout the county. To her credit she recently went out herself and picked up 10 -20 bags of trash, and she should be commended for her efforts. I share her concerns because weekly I have to do the very same thing ,my property fronts 360 and inconsiderate people either throw the trash out of their passing vehicles or it blows out of truck beds that simpletons use as their “trash can”
I doubt she has considered that King William with such a limited tax base can’t afford what I suspect she wants, Full Time County paid staff to drive around and pick up the trash that seems to trouble her so much. She mumbled at the end of her comments something about “it’s for our children”, the usual emotional rant progressives think will carry the day by throwing that line in. It never occurs to these folks the debt bomb headed their children’s way, they never seem to have a single specific answer as to what spending should be cut, they just want to add on more government, in this case a “environmental trash policy”----whatever that might mean.
I’ve a better suggestion for her. I started two volunteer group 9 years ago, no tax dollars were involved, no grant money, no paid government personnel were hired, we did it the way Americans did it throughout the first 175 years of our nations existence---ourselves.
We are still here, an all- volunteer force, not a single dime is paid to anyone. We buy our materials from our own pockets; we handle the conducting of our meetings, the labor associated with maintaining our roadside signs, replacement of our flags, creating our own newspaper ads, maintain our own website….all without taking a single penny from tax payers.
If this environmental trash policy is headed where I think it is , don’t be surprised if King William adds some more paid county personnel in order to do something this woman could do herself---organize---recruit unpaid volunteers—manage the endeavor----or ask taxpayers to do work you could do yourself. We have managed to keep plugging along for 9 years now without asking you for a dime of your money…….organize a Keep King William Beautiful volunteer group and stop turning to government for solutions you could do on your own.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Local Pols Struggle With Understanding The U.S Constitution .
At the Monday night 03/12/2018 Work Session of the King William B.O.S meeting I sat and listened to them discuss an upcoming Joint meeting of the Board members and the county EDA Economic Development Agency. In the course of the discussion Travis Moskalski stated that the agency and the county planning department needed to compile a list of commercial sites ready for various states of development, and the need to compile a list of industries the county would like to attract. Now Travis actually does believe that government can run our lives better than we can run them ourselves, it is just who he is and his political philosophy reflects it.
What troubled me was watching Supervisors Bob Ehrhart and Dave Hansen sitting there nodding their heads in apparent agreement. Maybe it is time to reintroduce these gentlemen to the Constitution, a refresher course of sorts.
Our wise Founders understood the limitations of government, hence the restrictions they found important to put in place to attempt to halt other future political do gooder’s who have either forgotten or never quite understood these limitations to begin with. Maybe I might just ask Hansen & Ehrhart to explain to me the authority they have to interfere with what is private businesses following their own natural course. At one point in the discussion the subject was raised about what to do when a “economic advisor”, working of course on behalf of local government brought a deal to the table with an actual dollar price in mind, and then the property owner screws it up by asking for more money…….I literally could not believe what I was listening to. Elected officials considering their options when a private property owner decides what is in his/her best interests and it screws up “their plans” for how they see the properties best use, and or its value.
It is impossible to rein in the growing costs of local government when you witness firsthand how they actually believe they have the implicit or implied authority to do things that our Founders never envisioned as the proper role of government to begin with. Much of this is driven by “we are smarter than the average folks out there; therefor they need us to direct every minute detail of their lives for them”.
Look at for example Del Chris Peace (the self proclaimed conservative) who never passes up the chance to fund more feel good legislation, using the most specious arguments then to justify what Constitutional conservatives know in their hearts is not justifiable to begin with. Last year Peace championed money to halt the growing financial exploitation of Senior’s, or his more recent proposal to expand the welfare state and use tax payers money to pay stipends to grandparents who take their grandchildren in to raise . How could anyone describing themselves as a conservative believe these are legitimate government functions?
Last year I sent an e-mail to our K.W Commonwealth Attorney Matt Kite who was featured in a Tidewater Review newspaper article, stating what a problem it was becoming in the County with Domestic Abuse cases. It has grown to a point where the State afforded Kite a new full time Assistant Commonwealth Attorney, ( in a county with 16,000 people ) I simply asked Kite to answer how many of these cases were repeat offenders? I suggested he redact any names or personal information, understanding the need for privacy, but to please answer how many of these cases involved the same individual coming home after some drinking and beating his wife/girlfriend? Since I never have received any response from Mr. Kite I can only then assume my contention that this is yet another example of how government has created a “cottage industry”, that employs lots of attorneys, lots of court personnel, lots of administrative jobs , lots of additional law enforcement ……..
There is no end to the good one can do with other people’s money. One must recognize however this is the root cause of out of control government and taxes that come with it. If we are to ever get a grip on this then there is clearly a need for those we elect to public office to have a better understanding of just what our Constitution means. Ehrhart & Hansen are two of the most intelligent individuals to ever have served on that Board. They work harder than any of us can imagine, but they need to do some soul searching and find their true North in their political belief system recognizing proper government has limitations on just what it gets involved in, and economic development isn’t one of them.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:It’s What They Don’t Tell You? .
In this week’s edition of the Country Courier a paid ad by Supervisor Travis Moskalski and School Board member Kathy Morrison we heard of the financial woes of the schools some 9 years ago and how federal funding was reduced at the height of the national economic downturn. What was conveniently not shared with the citizens was during that same time period the King William schools received around 1.5 million in Stimulus money, spread out over a two year period, largely offsetting any reductions elsewhere. Why would they leave that important point out? They accuse our group of “cherry picking” information and we have always sourced our data. The information we presented in our Yellow Insert two weeks ago came from the KW County Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The County spends about $60,000 having this Report prepared so I might suggest if the information isn’t current maybe we ought not spend the $60,000. That was however our source for the data we presented to the public
The comments by our Treasurer , paying normal routine expenses such as payroll with borrowed funds fails to address why that was occurring to begin with, after all the real estate tax rate at that time (by their own admission) was .99 per hundred. So why then was the County government struggling to pay its bills? It was the debt service costs, which have improved but only marginally since then. It was spending money in a county that ( excluding West Point ) has only 13,400 citizens, on things like a grandiose new courthouse (we could have done without ) a new athletic filed (ever see Caroline or King & Queens athletic fields). You spend borrowed millions of dollars and expect taxes to go down?
Here we are today with a 10.1 million dollar reserve fund, a significant amount of money in a county that has a 26 million dollar budget. Soon the K.W TEA Party will have for the public a review of 9 other localities and their current unassigned reserve fund levels to see if any other locality is carrying a reserve fund equal to 40% of their annual budget, evidence of what the King William TEA Party has been saying all along. Homeowners have been gouged here for years, and many of the long term citizens already know this.
It is also relevant to note that with the 3 spendaholics currently on the Board, and the proclivities of the K.W School Board to spend more each year, homeowners would be wise to pick up the phones, send your representative an e-mail or better yet attend these budget meetings the next two months and speak up. Believe me, the other side is well represented and they want more of your money. Regardless of where you stand on public broadband or a new paid fire/ems squad they will blow through this 10 million in no time and be back at YOUR DOOR, to keep the money flowing to pay for new services we don’t need and cannot afford.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Greenwood Hopes We Have All Acquired Amnesia .
Last night at the King William Board of Supervisor meeting the die was cast and Supv. Greenwood 3rd District Aylett was chompin at the bit to get his first official response out, decrying the Recall Effort underway as “absurd”……..Mr. Greenwood should know a thing or two about absurd.
Among the points in his own defense Greenwood reminded those in the audience how he is always available to his constituents (that conflicts with a half dozen folks who have personally told me he won’t return their phone calls), how he listens to all of his constituents, how hard he has fought to cut spending, and his innocence of the suggested charge of being incompetent or guilty of any type of malfeasance. Misuse of office------didn’t happen in Greenwoods mind.
I sat recalling in silence the obvious contradictions in Greenwoods own words.
Greenwood voted in 2014 to close Forestry………….last year voted against closing it
Greenwood called for cutting the local funding to King William schools by 1 million dollars, said as much standing in my driveway just days after he was re-elected………has given the schools record amounts of money and voted to allow them to reclassify Textbook funds to be used for salary and hiring
Greenwood favored throughout his first term eliminating the B.P.O.L tax……..heard a single word from him on this the last two years?
Greenwood has watched the unassigned reserve fund grow on his watch from some 3.1 million to over 10 million. Why does a county with a 26 million dollar budget need to have allowed this fund to grow to almost 40% of its annual budget? Do you know of any other locality with an unassigned reserve fund that equals 40% of their annual budget? Has anyone heard him advocate (as he did during his first term) for reducing the real estate tax rate since the county has all of this excess overcharges that has come from the hard working home owners pockets? No one with a straight face can call the piddling .02 reduction even credible, given the excessive amount of money just lying around waiting for them to come up with some new spending ideas.
Greenwood wants us to whitewash his past positions or his public statements that clearly conflict with his NEW positions of the last two years. The routine spending that goes on, almost immediately after the Budget is voted on in May is documented facts that all the wishing in the world doesn’t change. His comments via intercom last year, asking then Chairman Moskalski to “remind those in the audience that the schools didn’t get everything they had asked for”…………ONLY WEEKS LATER FOLLOWED BY SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS of $75,000, AND THEN RE-CLASSIFYING OF TEXTBOOK MONEY, to be spent on salaries and new hiring is the often cited example of how the budgeting process has become a bad joke. Everyone in county government - including Mr. Greenwood was well aware the schools were going to be coming forward with this request.
What is the old adage…..” everyone can have their own opinion, but not their own set of facts”
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Remedies that will work……………..or Political Scores to settle? .
Anyone with children or grandchildren was simply sick at turning on the TV last week to learn of another senseless tragedy playing out this time in Florida. As a father and grandfather I was for the remainder of that day sullen in my thoughts of what those families were going through, unimaginable to anyone because of its horror. It wasn’t more than 1 hour until the talking heads came out with their analysis of what went wrong, and their version of what can be done to stop/prevent these types of mind numbing events. Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough went so far as to liken the President to Pontious Pilate. The calls began immediately from members of Congress and the media for more strict gun control measures, and the banning of certain types of weapons. The reality is however failing to recognize that criminal and demented evil people always find a way around obeying any law to achieve their ends. The suggestion that all firearms should be required to have a liability insurance policy, as if the thugs who are walking around with a illegally obtained gun are going to rush right in and buy insurance is pathetically ridiculous. Adding new restrictions to law abiding citizens does nothing towards halting these types of crimes. Maybe we should turn to a solution that is utilized by Israel and has worked with no school shootings since its implementation.
In Israel each school has a number of teachers and staff members who are armed and trained in the use of the weapons they carry. Israel has compulsory 2 years of military service for every citizen at the age of 19. The number of armed school staff on site depends on geographic location, number of students and square footage of the facility itself. The larger the school and or population, the closer in proximity they are to neighborhoods adjoining the schools that are known terrorist hotbeds, the greater the number of armed staff at that location.
Here in the U.S we have utilized Resource Officers, armed local law enforcement trained to keep the school safe. That is better than not having any measures but consider the numerous advantages of the Israeli approach.
If someone is determined to kill, they will begin with killing/shooting the easily identifiable Resource Officer wearing a uniform. After that they likely know there is no more armed resistance within the facility and will at best take considerable time until law enforcement officials are on the scene. Now envision what a shooter is faced with when he decides to do something like this in an Israeli school.
First of all he/she have no idea who is armed and how many, or where they are in the building. What he/she does know for certain, they are going to be confronted with a number of armed teachers/staff who are trained to respond to threats of this nature. The person committing this act knows with a high degree of certainty they are going to likely die once their rampage begins, that is an almost 100% certainty. It dramatically changes the mental equation. It is one thing when the person committing this carnage knows they are the only one with a gun, quite another when they know they will be shot themselves.
Israel screens the school candidates for this rigorously, and likely pays them an additional stipend added to their salary, but it is not only much more cost effective than stationing a full time law enforcement officer on site but clearly working beyond anyone’s wildest expectations.
So for us my fellow Americans the question is quite simple, do we want to score some political points on gun control or implement a remedy that will stop this problem?
The choice should be crystal clear.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Those Yellow Signs------------ The Ones No One Reads .
In the 02/14 Edition of the Country Courier a former supporter of the King William T.E.A Party just couldn’t help himself when mentioning the “yellow signs”. He seems to also like using the word “great” a lot. Let’s examine his statements for any factual basis.
“The budget is for all the county, not for the few the big yellow signs represent”. Mr. Hughes is apparently unaware of the BOS election results two years ago. Define “few” for us Mr. Hughes, because more than a few went to the polls and disagreed with you, throwing 3 incumbents out. That represents more than a few voters. Is Mr. Hughes aware that the KWTP FaceBook page has some 600 likes, or that our website had 140 visits the first two weeks of February? Is this the few you reference?
“They support their case by comparing us to a distant county”…….Like King & Queen right next door Mr. Hughes, where the real estate tax rate is .53 per hundred vs. the .90 per hundred here.
ldquo;They distort and cherry pick their financial information” ….is Mr. Hughes referring to the King William County Annual Financial Report (see our Insert in this edition) We use information from the Counties own Financial report,, VDOE ( Virginia Dept. of Education) We use similar rural counties with like demographics for all of our work.
Mr. Hughes “few” is clearly mistaken in how he defines it.. The correct “few” that he may be referencing is the 12 or so regulars at every Board meeting, 12 or so that are either directly benefiting by more tax payer largesse and or are life long progressives that believe they can better direct our lives , if only we are willing to turn more of our money over to their control.
The final point is his statement he makes regarding county personnel and employees who live in the county and “why would they waste their own money”. It demonstrates the shallowness of his argument and his lack of any intellectual ability to grasp the concept of self-serving.
Let me make it very simple for him. If one is employed by the county and receives another 2% pay raise on a base salary of say, $50,000 they get a $1,000 raise. That same person who sees perhaps a .03 increase in the county real estate tax and owns a $200,000 home sees an increase in their real estate tax bill of some $60, not a bad exchange netting $940.
Hughes got up at a B.O.S meeting 5 years ago and spoke of being retired on a fixed income and how these taxes hurt him? We want people in our group who know what they believe.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject: Language Revision---Republimouths? .
A few years back I began to refer to the two major political parties as the republicrats and the democans, reflecting that no real major differences existed any longer, with the sole exception at election time when like salmon returning to where they were spawned they would begin to spout their usual campaign slogans and platitudes. Once elected or safely re-elected they both return to their natural state…spend and grow government some more. New programs, expansion of existing programs and like a mother lion, settling down to allow the crony pal lobbyists to draw on mother’s milk…..our money.
The spending deal struck last week by Congress left me wondering if my language needed revised, a reflection of some 85 billion in additional defense spending, and to keep the other side feeling as if they were still part of the team, another 65 billion for some domestic largesse. Think of it as the Eagles inviting the Patriots in for some Party chow after the win, showing a little graciousness.
The advances of the aging process are now in evidence, but cognitive faculties are still remarkably sharp, memory as clear as a bell. For example, I seem to recall something about the republimouths (my new name) crying back in 2010…. “If only we gave them the House”…..so we did. Remember the promises of some 300 billion in promised spending cuts that became 30 billion, resulting in….. No real actual cuts?
Then I seem to recall in 2012, “if only we had the Senate”….so like the rubes we apparently are we gave them the Senate. What happened then…..nothing, fat donut hole.
Around rolls 2016, and we heard…..”If only we had the Presidency, we could really get something done”……..like this week’s 2 year spending deal larded up with a new 150 billion ? Is that what they meant when they said “they could really get something done “?
The republimouths control all of DC, much like former Governor Bob McDonnell back in 2009-13 controlled all of state government, and conservative principles of smaller government or reduced spending are nowhere to be found.
Upward pressure on interest rates, coming as certain as the sun rising in the East, coupled with the U.S now running annual deficits of 1 trillion dollars, throw in perhaps some inflation triggered by the pressure of wage growth, and for the cherry on top the Fed now offloading billions of their balance sheet, one doesn’t have to be a genius to see what is coming.
With a credit score of say 790-800 , one can borrow at prime +1 , while another with a credit score of say 620 borrows……but at 8%, reflecting the lenders recognition of risk, the lower credit score tells the lender , you better get compensated for a loan that might go south.
Lenders who buy our Treasuries are now recognizing that America has a national debt that is mathematically impossible to pay off, given current spending levels. How much longer will creditor’s line up to buy Treasuries at these low rates is anyone’s guess, perhaps this week’s announcement that a treasury auction went unsubscribed is a hint of what is to come. Throw in the reported additional trillions in unfunded liabilities from the entitlement benefits that have been promised and the picture should begin to come into focus. The nation can’t borrow or print its way out of this.
Republimouths can no longer be counted on to cut any spending; anyone believing to the contrary is a fool. Hell, we have republimouths pushing Medicaid Expansion here in Virginia across the finish line.
A decision must be made to fight, and I look across the spectrum and I only see enablers.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Evidence Current Chair Hodges Has Morphed Into Hitler .
The Elected Supervisors in any locality have not only the responsibility to learn details of county policy , to include spending decisions, expansion of ,or creation of entire new agencies, how each department is constructed, when and if new employees are hired and what the compensation is at their hire. 20 years of watching the various members of the Board, two stand out as particularly hard working, Bob Ehrhart (5th district) and Dave Hansen (4th district).
These two men are blessings to taxpayers, and should be commended for the thorough job they attempt to do at learning all of the facts as they weigh their decisions. But…..a strange thing is occurring as this pertains to Supervisor Hansen. It is rumored that the new Chair Bill Hodges of the 1st district has instructed the County Administrator to inform county staff there will be no repercussions for ignoring Supervisor Hansen’s request for information or questions he may have. Hodges apparently does not like Hansen’s approach to questioning certain expenditures and county policies. Hodges is apparently telling the citizens in the 4th district to go pound sand, your Supervisor isn’t welcome at the table. Let’s take a closer examination of the alleged misdeeds of Hansen.
Hodges alleges that Hansen “wastes staff time and behaves in a bullying manner “
For those of us (including me) that know Mr. Hansen well, I am beyond puzzled since I have never witnessed Hansen behave in anything remotely close to the alleged conduct. He is well educated ( 2 Masters degrees) and one of the most polite gentile men I’ve ever met. He is however dogged and determined to learn as much as possible on each issue and that requires asking questions….perhaps questions that Chairman Hodges and some county staff would just as soon not have to answer.
Hansen is a fiscal conservative and that political philosophy clearly doesn’t gel with the big government likes of Hodges. Hansen has been relentless in his pursuit of specific expenditures, how Grant money has been spent, how the decisions were made for example on the $30,000 wasted on the now infamous Security Enhancements at the Circuit Court Clerk’s office last year, and now Hansen has the audacity to make inquiries on exact salaries and the salary increases of some of the School personnel. Our group has exposed the lying and embellishment in the school officials claims that “ they haven’t had a raise in XXX years” by sharing with the public the language games they have played, hoping hard working taxpayers in King William would remain dumb.
How is a Supervisor supposed to decide what local funding amounts to the schools should appropriately be (the schools get over 50% of all tax revenue collected) if one doesn’t examine beforehand how the money is spent? And since some 85% is spent on salaries and benefits, Hansen’s questions are not only logical, but legitimate ones. Hodges perhaps has a soft side on the issue of public sector compensation, especially since he collects as many tax payer paychecks as possible himself.
Hodges has cited Hansen’s willingness to share official e-mail communications with members of the public. Personnel matters and some attorney privileged e-mails are off limits but just what is Hitler objecting to as for Hansen’s views that citizens should know what their local government is doing? Is Hodges down there negotiating Nuclear Arms treaties?
I have filed numerous F.O.I.A requests over the years and every Supervisor serving on that Board has shared official e-mails with other citizens. It is a regular routine practice and Hodges knows it. Perhaps it is WHO HANSEN SHARES E-MAILS WITH THAT TROUBLES LITTLE HITLER.
As for Hansen’s alleged bullying, Mr. Hodges might come up with some specifics to demonstrate that. As a lifetime law enforcement officer he understands the concept of evidence and or proof. Is it Hansen’s insistence that his questions are answered, or that he insists on details , demonstrating the hard working dedicated approach he takes to the job ?
Why hasn’t any county employees filed official complaints against Hansen if his conduct crossed a line ? This is a whole lotta donut hole obstruction, nothing more than the progressives resisting someone trying to hold the line on their reckless spending. All of us that attended the Candidate Debate in 2015 our group sponsored remembers Hodges now infamous line about ………. “Picking up pennies”, has morphed into Big Spending Willie from West Point.
Hansen attempts to slow down this guy spending proclivities, and Hodges is using his position as Chair to try and shut Hansen up. Good Luck Little Hitler.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Evidence The K.W Board of Supervisors Want Citizen Input (From Select Citizens) .
Two weeks ago the B.O.S held a meeting to “solicit citizen input” on the coming Budget priorities. It is time to dispel this for the charade that it is. The 12 “citizens” who attended this farcical meeting --the usual suspects, county officials chomping at the bit to grow their empires, progressives convinced they can tell us how to better live, government wannabes drooling over bigger paychecks. These are the folks whose “citizen input” matter with the status quo crowd led by new Chair Bill Hodges 1st District.
To illustrate the point dial back to 2013 when some 50 citizens sat in the audience at a B.O.S meeting with bright yellow Gadsen Stickers on their lapels, visible to the 5 Sup’s sitting up there looking out at a sea of yellow….didn’t matter.
We’ve sent the current Sup’s 8 articles on how fast the private sector is solving this rural high speed internet problem, no need to spend King William taxpayer’s money ….doesn’t matter.
Scores of citizens who oppose paid fire/rescue in a county already overwhelmed with real estate taxes that are among the highest in the entire region……doesn’t matter
Citizens lining up to sign a Recall Petition to ask a Court to remove one of them for the mismanagement of county finances…..doesn’t matter
Citizen’s voices in the 4th District (represented by Supv. Dave Hansen) drowned out by organized efforts of Hodges and county staff to silence Hansen as if the voters who elected him ……do not matter.
The Election in 2015 might serve as a visible form of “citizen input” particularly since 3 incumbents running for re-election were thrown off the Board…….doesn’t matter.
This is almost comical if it were not so serious. The “citizens” that matter to the progressive arrogant big government types who promote these events as representative of county citizen’s views could not care less about what citizens are thinking. Local version of the swamp.
Perhaps Mr. Hodges might join me next trip round the 3rd District and listen to what citizens are saying, but these citizens input are of no interest to a guy who has spent his life in government. Hodges is a classic example of why I have been wary of electing people who spent entire lives in the public sector. These types listen only to “citizens” who happen to share their big government views. The picking up pennies mantra was a fraud all along.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Evidence Of King William Homeowners Being Ripped Off .
With the ongoing controversy here in King William County over new proposed spending it should be noted that the Unassigned Reserve Fund (according to the C.A.F.R report) is slightly north of $10,000,000.00. Last year the Budget for the County was around $26,000,000.00
I challenge anyone out there to find another locality that is carrying such a large unassigned reserve fund. What is the reason that King William now is sitting on the equivalent of a reserve fund that equals 40% of its total annual budget…..unless of course the Board and the Oligarchs have some major new spending in mind? I recall that the Virginia Statute suggests localities carry a reserve fund of 10%........but 40%
Three Supervisors who were elected in 2015, Ehrhart, Hansen and Hodges might be forgiven for this, in that they have only been on the Board for two years. Greenwood & Moskalski however have been through 6 Budget cycles and if not, certainly should have been aware of this number, and equally aware that the outrageous real estate tax rate could have and should have been lowered considerably, not the piddling .02 it was. Keep in mind that .02 reduction came on the heels just a few years ago of a .12 increase, intended as one former Supervisor stated to equalize rates after the last assessment dropped residential home values by around 15-16%. As such these two senior members of the B.O.S should be publically called out for not doing something about this theft from hard working taxpayer’s pockets. If you recall this unassigned reserve fund stood at 3.1 million in 2012, but has ballooned $ 7,000,000.00 in the last 6 years? Just why are they overcharging citizens to this extent is anyone’s guess, likely tied to some grandiose new spending that they sure are not sharing with the rest of us.
One member of our group is currently compiling the real estate tax rate (per hundred) of 9 other surrounding localities to demonstrate yet again how King William is, and has been gouging citizens who own homes here for the last decade, if not longer. When this research is completed we will release the information to the public.
Our next project is to compile the unassigned reserve funds of 9-10 other localities in order to illustrate just how much the fund here in King William is grotesquely out of line. This should be an interesting exercise in how poorly this counties finances have been managed, and the grand theft that has taken place from those that own homes here.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Why Are K.W Schools Hiding Compensation Numbers? .
FACT: Over 50% of the revenue collected from King William tax payers goes to 4 schools
FACT: Around 85-86 % of the K.W County School budget goes directly to salary and benefits.
FACT: We already know the tactic the schools employ border on (when necessary ) lying
FACT: The claims made in the last 6 years about 42 positions having been eliminated were not true.
FACT: The County 2018 CAFR report shows no appreciable change in student enrollment numbers—but a 34% increase in local school expenditures from 2012.
FACT: Employing deplorable tactics, the school board (with the school administrations blessing) sent out an e-mail (January 2016) claiming bus service would be eliminated, all athletic programs would be ceased, and scores of teachers would be furloughed. It was so outrageous after 5th District Supervisor Bob Ehrhart objected it was pulled down from the school website. It was a grand lie but it served their purpose of creating fear & hysteria among the parents of school age children.
FACT: In the King William T.E.A Party analysis done in 2014-15 we found that (using VDOE own data) that the average teacher salary in King William county was $57,341, second place among the 8 localities we surveyed , and a mere $200 behind 1st place.
FACT: In 2014 -15 we analyzed King William county school budget and compared it with Nottoway County which has 2 more schools and at that time around 300 more students. We found that (after debt service payments were excluded for both systems) King William County schools were spending $90,000 a week, more than Nottoway County’s 6 schools.
FACT: Text book funds last year were reclassified and spent on among a number of thing’s , additional salary and compensation.
FACT: The past and tired mantra that it’s…….. “For the children“………has run its course, local taxpayers are demanding accountability on how 10-11 million dollars are being spent. Long Overdue.
FACT: The members of King William County School Board are complicit in the efforts to conceal much of the spending, and have never challenged a single school expenditure. They are “rubber stamps” for the Superintendents Budget request, at the expense of King County taxpayers getting run over each and every budget cycle. Members of the Board of Supervisors for years have hid behind “well, we have an elected school board and we can’t tell them where to spend the money after we give it to them” Wrong on two counts, they can give them less, or place them back in the category style funding where funds are much easily tracked and accounted for
FACT: Our group, the King William T.E.A Party has exposed the language game they play, nothing more than clear obfuscation of the truth, particularly when it comes to the issue of pay. They use termslike salary scale adjustment----step increase— compression adjustments and then have the unmitigated gall to say “we haven’t had a pay raise in XXX years”.
Along comes a Supervisor from the 4th District, Dave Hansen who takes his responsibility to be a taxpayer watchdog on spending and the schools are doing everything it can to block his legitimate inquiry into just what employees of King William Schools are paid.
Hansen has asked a very simple and honest question in order to determine if pay/compensation in the schools is either adequate or in need of adjustment . Analyzing this requires a logical starting point, one that would naturally begin with collecting certain data .Let’s examine what Hansen has asked for and why the Superintendent and the school board are not responding, at least to this point.
If, say for example you start with 2012 salaries for 4 positions, 1 from top administrative staff, say an Assistant Superintendent or a Finance Director, 1 Assistant principal, 1 Teacher and 1 from Maintenance or Food Service, occupied through 2017 by the same individuals who have been there, (and in the same position ) you would have a starting point salary and an ending point salary, for the same 4 positions and the same 4 people. You also would have a range from top to the bottom of the school wage scale. Does that sound logical and reasonable to you? Certainly does to me.
Hansen, in an effort to allay any concerns about privacy has asked that names and any identifying information be redacted, only so long as the pay information can be verified. After all we have caught these folks red handed fudging the truth, so we must insist the numbers they give Hansen can indeed be verified.
It is our money and we are grateful to Supervisor Hansen for examining the issue on local taxpayers behalf. Our group encourages the other 4 Supervisors to join him in a fair objective analysis of school employee pay…..before we fork over another dollar of our hard earned money.
In 2012 for example an Assistant Superintendent earned $90,000 and in 2017 that SAME ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT earned say, $105,000 we can then see firsthand that employees salary increased some $15,000 or X %. Same data for the Assistant Principal or a Teacher, using those same years as data points. Let’s get to the FACTS & TRUTH, and end the purposeful obfuscation that has dominated this topic of PAY. Let’s put an end to the misleading untruths when they make the statement “we haven’t had a pay raise in XXX years”, when the truth is they had annually “salary scale adjustments, --step increases- compression adjustments---,hoping the dumb taxpayers don’t catch onto the language game that our group has now exposed.
The public has to demand their representative on the School Board for once look out for the already overburdened home owner paying outrageous real estate taxes to begin with , and come clean with just what King William County school employees are being paid, and how much specifically their pay has increased over that 6 year period.
All of us want good schools, but administrative staffing and total compensation has reached in many instances pretty outrageous levels. It is long overdue for this topic to get a thorough public scrubbing……before any budget decisions are finalized
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Del. Chris Peace --------- End the Charade And Join the Democratic Party .
True Conservatives are at their core traditionalists, for a very straightforward reason. They understand human nature and all of the temptations that corrupt it, money, power (or the retention of power) , the desire to be liked. Conservatives naturally then are drawn to the rule of law because behavior is kept in check by that clear rule. There is less chance of the corrupting influence of money and power taking hold when one sets these aside and strictly abides by the law.
In the latest edition of the Peace Progress, an e-mail communication Del. Peace sends out he touts a HB1333 ( which he proudly states he is the Chief Co-Patron) that will expand the Welfare state in Virginia. It creates the Kinship Guardianship Assistance program ( KinGap) Essentially this new program will provide kinship guardianship assistance payments on behalf of children to grandparents.
This is a conservative, who thinks further subsidies to a population that has literally exploded since the inception of the Great Society is a good idea. It might also be noted that this problem (teenage out of wedlock births) is a source for much of the horrendous societal problem’s visited upon America by the out of control illegitimate birth rates, numbering some 40% of all births today across the country, and 72% among African Americans. The old axiom that immediately comes to mind….”if you want more of something—subsidize it”. Peace would struggle explaining how this advocacy gels with a conservative political philosophy to begin with.
Peace wants to take your tax payer dollars and pay Grandparent’s to care for their grandchildren. One may argue it is a better situation for the grandchildren if they are in the care of their grandparents but several question seems to be left out of the discussion, ones that warrant being asked. What makes Peace think that these Grandparents will do any better job at raising these Grandkids than they did their own children? The other is “why are responsible members of society always expected to monetarily be held responsible for those that exhibit little personal responsibility themselves”? It’s a fair question.
One might ask Del. Peace to explain the explosion in this population and wouldn’t a better long term remedy be to return to a time when human beings suffered the consequences of their own actions? If citizens knew they were going to have to raise these children themselves and at their own expense, do you think parents then might start paying a bit more attention to where their (often teenage children) are and with whom—doing what?
One final observation taken from the first page of the Peace Progress. I have observed over the last two decades how politicians of both political parties have honed an election strategy that defies any suggestion that today there is any substantive difference between democrats and republicans
Peace states on page 1 referencing the G.A session currently underway….….”we will look to build from our past actions in the important areas of public education, higher education, law enforcement, health care, transportation and economic development “, translated means ----MORE MONEY IS ON THE WAY. The public sector has become so big, both in budgets and in the numbers employed, any politician today understands the key to election (or retention of office) requires an almost slavish devotion to pandering to these groups.
It’s no longer even debatable that Education at every level is wasting tremendous amounts of tax dollars (but they vote), that law enforcement agencies have become bloated well beyond what is needed, (and they vote) that economic development is nothing more than allocating scarce resources to political patron developers, and so long as you abide by this new political paradigm you can not only win elective office, but stay there so long as you feed these beasts.
I find it offensive each time I hear this guy refer to himself as a conservative. As they say down here in King William ….”sayin its so, doesn’t make it so”.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:The Generosity of the Misinformed & Ignorant .
One who responded to our FaceBook post on the Fire Chief and his free wheeling spending habits noted that the devices Aigner has purchased for the ambulances(that is replacing devices he bought a mere year ago) and is spending around $9,000 to buy 3 of these………..”Is worth it if it saves even 1 life”???
It is people like this that have contributed to the horrendous financial state the nation is in. This person would not spend his own money so foolishly—yet he has no reservations about spending someone else’s in such a ludicrous manner. He ignores that other sensible citizens might just have another opinion.
Cost/Benefit analysis are done every day, and done in very serious settings to determine if the benefit is worth the costs. I jokingly said a few years back….why don’t we just park a MediVac helicopter with a pilot and EMT on every lawn in King William, to highlight the absurdity of these ridiculous suggestions that spew forth from the mouths of folks who have so low of an intellect that any effort to reason with them is clearly futile.
Medical costs have escalated because of this type of ludicrous thinking. If an Insurance company can be blackmailed through pressure to spend $500,000 to give a terminally ill patient 3 more months of life…..”What the hell…Insurance companies have lots of money”. Ask this guy if he would spend $500,000 of HIS OWN MONEY, to live 3 more months?
Did this guy even ask himself before he began bloviating ……just how did the EMT’s in route communicate with the Emergency room/hospital before these devices came along? Did they use their cell phone or a radio? King William County in the last 5 years has spent 2-3 million dollars “upgrading communication equipment” Where does it end with these people who think taxpayers have a bottomless pocket ?
Then of course the question comes to mind, just what does this guy do for a living? Is he one of the public sector sycophants who think every government expenditure is justified? Odds are this person would bankrupt a snow cone stand in the middle of August. I have grown to ignore the opinion of someone who has never had a bottom line or a payroll they had to meet. Business people make better politicians because of that very reason, they have an appreciation for what a cost/benefit analysis means.
In a county with (excluding West Point) 13,400 citizens there are limits to what we can and should spend.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:A Walk Down Memory Lane For Our K.W Board Of Supervisors .
As we age obviously certain skill sets diminish, all of us do what we can to maintain cognitive levels, hoping nature and a good set of genes staves off the ravages of old age setting in. It is also why we maintain records, and on the King William T.E.A Party website we have from the archives of 2015 the Candidate Questionnaires. It is worth a return trip since the new Chair, Bill Hodges is settling in and the Board begins the process of digesting information to shape the 2018-19 County Budget. In the event that your scheduling demands won’t allow you to take that time to revisit the Questionnaire we decided to share with you some of the Jewels from the Candidates (now Supervisors) pledges they made in the effort to secure your precious vote.
Question# 12 seemed a good starting point. The question was “Has spending under the current Board been -
Too high___ Too Low___ or Where it should be____
Hodges said it was Too High and so did Stephen Greenwood? Two years of their votes haven’t seemed to jell with that opinion, all things considered.
Question #1 Name 1 item you would specifically cut from the County Budget? Greenwood stated B.P.O.L Odd since he hasn’t done anything about eliminating the hated B.P.O.L tax…..at least for those of us not granted an exemption from paying it. If you own a business in King William and you pay it you might ask the 3rd District Supervisor just when he plans on acting on his promise, or perhaps ending the exemption for the privileged Oligarch Pals
Question #2 Should the B.O.S need additional revenue next year, where would you find it?…..Greenwood answered…. “Some sort of actual cut in spending”, leaving those of us who watch the out of control spending to ask ….WHEN?
Question # 3 Should the Board exert more pressure on the School budget, which Supervisor Greenwood answered YES. If you recall last year after the budget was approved within weeks the Board of Supervisors voted first …for an additional $75,000 to give the schools, THEN several weeks later the same Board voted YES to allow the schools to re-categorize several hundreds of thousands of dollar that were in the School Text Book fund (for buying ….you know—TEXT BOOKS), ONLY TO AUTHORIZE MUCH OF THE MONEY TO BE USED FOR PAY RAISES AND ADDITIONAL HIRING. Greenwood sure exerted some more pressure on that school spending –Heh.
Question # 7 Would you support a 2 year spending freeze? Once again Supervisor Greenwood answered YES. That answer must have slipped Greenwoods mind last May when he voted YES on a budget that actually increased 4.7% -----------Where are those spending cuts Sir?
Question #10 Name 2 items in the Budget that you consider non-essential? Greenwood responded Art’s Alive & the Airport Authority…..yet last year Greenwood actually INCREASED ART’S ALIVE’s BUDGET AND NEVER SAID A WORD ABOUT ELIMINATING THE TAXPAYER SUBSIDIES TO THE AIRPORT AUTHORITY?
Question #14 Why are you running for the Board? Greenwood’s response was (and this is a real laughter) “ I am running because the citizens wishes are not being listened to, I want to try once again to cut some spending”
Our group believes elected officials should be held accountable for campaign pledges and promises they make when running for office. Maybe citizens might ask our new Chairman Bill Hodges and Supervisor Greenwood to explain the clear contradictions in what they said 28 months ago, and their actions the last 2 years.
KING WILLIAM T.E.A PARTY---TAXPAYERS ONLY WATCHDOG!
Subject:Is Anyone Paying Attention To Fire Chief Aigner’s Spending Spree? .
Fire Chief Andy Aigner is purchasing ( or has already ordered) 3 NEW computers at an approximate cost of over $9,000 for the 3 units he is buying, for ambulances to communicate with Hospitals and or Emergency rooms in real time as a patient is in transport. The technology is an obvious God send and today a technological wonder. The question is –was it really needed?
The problem revolves around what I was told---- Aigner bought 3 I-Pads’s a year ago for this very same purpose. I could not find out just what the Chief paid for these instruments a year ago…….but the first question that comes to mind is why he is replacing equipment that is only a year old to begin with? Is this a case of having that magical Grant money he is so fond of…..and the newer version has some bells & whistles the 1 year old model doesn’t? Is he one of these folks who run out each time the newest phone comes out , even if the one he has works fine ? It sound like taxpayers are now stuck with a Agency head who has champagne tastes when King William should be on a beer budget…..and cheap beer at that - Empire Building Andy.
I asked what percentage of calls made by the collective squads within the county involves the transport of patients by ambulance----NO ANSWER AVAILABLE? I asked what percentage of calls answered by the collective squads where this technology is actually used? NO ANSWER AVAILABLE ?
Would you run a business this way? Would you buy any equipment before assessing how much use the equipment was going to actually get? How did the EMT’s communicate with the hospital/emergency room before these cool gadgets came along…..cell phone, radios? Is the I-Pads he bought just 1 year ago still operating/functional …and if so, why then is he spending $9,000?
It is at least worth the Board (and citizens) to ask some tougher questions before this guy is allowed to bankrupt us with his apparent pre-disposition to buy the newest version….when the current version is perfectly capable of servicing the squads for perhaps several years, unless of course Aigner can continue to get the B.O.S to go along with this nonsense.
Remember, this is the guy who threw $50,000 down a rathole on that grand idea of a “recruiting campaign “that netted a number of ?? Volunteers. Apparently it must be some state secret because no one knows, or is at least honest enough to admit it was a textbook example of government waste.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Mechanicsville T.E.A Party Leader is Clueless .
In a fawning (almost sickening) letter in the last edition of the Mechanicsville Local, the Leader of the M.T.P praised Congressman Rob Wittman for his vote to lower taxes. Given Wittman’s decade long tenure in Congress he has a record, and not one that most conservatives get excited about. Did you know for example that two years ago a bill that would have cut the fat subsidies Amtrak receives….the good Congressman voted NO? What spending would Wittman cut, if not this low hanging fruit? It’s a fair question. Back to the letter.
The leader of the M.T.P stated that “MY 401K was rising, MY taxes were lower”….leaving me to wonder as I read it, did this guy ever understand what the Patriot movement was about? Has the National debt decreased? Has any spending been cut? Did he ever have a clue of the magnitude of the fight we are engaged in?
Leadership requires a willingness to fight, to stand firm on principles that you refuse to compromise on. This isn’t about our generation, (or our 401K’s) but what kind of country our children and grandchildren will inherit and he clearly demonstrates he doesn’t even begin to see the damage he does with this type of hero worship baloney.
This guy is the typical republicrat establishment good old boy who places a priority on winning, and everyone getting along, more than he does getting something of substance done. You can’t sit back comfortable in your personal good standing with the local republicrats and pretend you actually achieved anything.
You can only ride the Brat wagon for so long. Anyone paying attention to Hanover county government already understands the harm that has come to the citizens of Hanover under this guy’s absolute pathetically weak leadership. Has Hanover cut spending or shrunk local government? Has Hanover spent less money or lowered taxes? They re-elected the same people to the B.O.S that openly attended their meetings back in 2010-11 and lied through their collective teeth about what they intended to do. The M.T.P turned not one of them out of office.
I founded the Mechanicsville T.E.A Party some 8 years ago as a non-partisan grass roots civic organization to thwart the growth of local government, to drive out of office the good old boys who are simple stooges for the developers and the crony capitalists they have imbedded into Hanover government. What is has become under this type of vacillating weak leadership saddens me more than anything. They have accomplished nothing of substance, unless of course you include carrying water for the very establishment network we started to dismantle 8 years ago.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject:Correcting The Record In CC Stories .
Two news stories in the 01/17 Edition of the Country Courier are not completely accurate. Page 3 (Mattaponi VRS may lose Funding from King William) leads readers to the erroneous conclusion that King William County has 16,334 citizens , when the facts according to easily obtained data shows the County ( excluding West Point ) has only around 13,400 citizens.
Since West Point already has their own public safety Police and Fire/ Rescue, this leaves a much smaller service population and tax base with which to pay for this grand expansion of county services. It is worth noting that several long serving members of two squads have publically claimed since his hiring Chief Aigner has inflated the volume of calls in order to further his ambitions to create a new government empire. Without any formal approval of the Board of Supervisors Aigner is already off to the races buying equipment, applying for additional grants as if the deal is done . He already wasted $50,000 of taxpayer money is his foolish Recruitment Campaign so what does Aigner know the public doesn’t? This is not how this is supposed to work.
It also should be noted that the costs of adding full time paid Fire/Rescue personnel will also include pensions, health insurance, group life insurance , group disability insurance and group dental, costs which will be borne by already burdened home owners struggling to pay their own expenses. We are looking at multi- million dollar additional annual expenses in a county that has had no appreciable growth for over a decade and last year a budget of 26 million dollars. Where will the Board find additional revenue……they will raise the real estate tax---again.
On Page 5 mention is made of the puzzling discovery of various equipment that will have to be moved at the renovation of the Hamilton Holmes School. I have attended these specific public meetings over the last 2 years and when a spokesman from the Architectural firm Ballou, Justice & Upton made the point that his firm had been working on this project for 5 years, yet couldn’t answer Supervisor Ehrhart’s question as to whether or not the building had asbestos, and now we learn there are transformers & conductors that need to be moved……..one questions just what they were doing for the claimed 5 years “they had been working on this “
The public needs facts, unbiased information so as to weigh the supposed benefits all this new spending is going to bring. The only thing that is certain is taxes are going higher, much higher.
King William, Va
Subject: Del. Chris Peace and his pledge to review our HJR 34. .
On August 10 2017 the King William T.E.A Party had Guest speakers Del Chris Peace and Del. Keith Hodges speak at our meeting on the topic of Referendum Reform and Citizen Initiatives.
Peace and Hodges had promised to read any bill we would submit for his consideration as a sponsor or co-sponsor. Peace had reservations over the influence this would perhaps give larger localities/counties over more rural counties.
In spite of Peace’s reservations we would like to invite him to read our HJR 34 , comment on it, and offer some clarity about his position on the measure. He will either support this or he will not. We also ask the same of Del. Hodges. Citizens have participated in moving this measure forward and have every right to know where these two legislators stand.
Peace & Hodges represent districts where our research indicates broad support for this effort to reform Virginia’s very restrictive statutes as they stand at this moment, allowing citizens greater say in how laws are written.
Of the 27 States west of the Mississippi that have greater ballot access, research shows these states have lower taxes, lower spending, greater citizen participation , higher voter turnout in off cycle elections when issues are on the ballot. They also have Term Limits, and surveys show broad bi-partisan support for Term Limits
We await the Delegates written response as they pledged to do.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject: H Reporter - Jack Jacobs reveals the ridiculous .
Editor, Tidewater Review --
TR's ace reporter Jack Jacobs continues to exemplify the honorable and old-fashioned principles of "fair and balanced" in his ongoing coverage of King William County's own political swamp.
The latest examples of this can be found in the December 20th issue, where he straightforwardly reports on the financial farce featuring the usual suspects on KW's Board of Supervisors; frantic to find ways to spend the more than $2 million "savings" from bids for the Hamilton-Holmes school renovation project.
Miraculously, the School Board has managed to immediately come up with enough previously unimagined "needs" to use up all the savings.
This flies in the face of suggestions for prudently using the $ 2 million savings to pay down existing county schools' debt of more than $4 million from previous fiscal excesses -- along with county government debt of more than $2.7 million.
"Debt service" interest payments alone on just the Hamilton-Holmes renovation will bleed KW taxpayers for more than $900 thousand a year.
Then, just four pages later, Jacobs accurately quotes members of KW's School Board openly plotting to pile on some $841,000 in "capital spending" to next year's budget demands.
This for what are said to be suddenly discovered "urgent needs" including replacement of failing heating systems, some new buses and bus garage upgrades. They never noticed these new needs?
Oh, and this is just the first installment on grandiose plans to demand $17 million more over the next five years.
All on top of bloated regular school budget allocations.
Most any financially prudent adult who is not a government tax trough-feeder would choose to apply the two mil "savings" to paying down existing debt while also paying for genuinely urgent near-term needs of our county schools.
And while they're at it, to fork over plenty of that $8 million from over-taxing that the county is hoarding under the ridiculous premise of an "unassigned reserve fund" that's really a piggybank for porksters on the Board of Supervisors.
But apparently, this kind of elementary level financial logic eludes all members of the School Board, along with a contemptible majority on the BoS.
Had enough yet?
Sincerely, Robert "Sarge" Bruce
Subject: Republicrats Lose Control Of Virginia House –So What? .
Anyone watching the cliff hanger with a single Delegate seat settled with a Democrat winning it to tie the House of Delegates can’t be too surprised, all things considered.
RepublicRATS controlled all 3 power positions, the House and had a precarious 20-20 split in the State Senate from 2009—2012. What came of that period, was Medicaid reformed, or the convoluted Tax Code fixed? Did Education funding get a long overdue repair? No, the only notable example of any tangible action came in the form of a 6 Billion dollar tax increase.
When given a chance to lead they turned into turnips. Followers all, and people today are puzzled over why Democrats have made the gains they have. Tagging President Trump as many have to explain what happened in Virginia is almost comical if not outright silly. Trump has shown he isn’t afraid of tackling big issues, Immigration, Tax Reform, and now talk of finally taking up Entitlement programs. That is real leadership. Trump will also make another run at Health Insurance reform, and getting rid of the mandate was an excellent first step.
Had McDonnell and RepublicRATS shown some actual leadership when they had the opportunity to lead, things in Richmond today would look much different.
The Governor –Elect and the new composition of the General Assembly may look different, but the outcome won’t be. State Government is about to get bigger, spending more money, expanding the cradle to grave nanny state and raise taxes. Sort of like 2009-12.
It calls to mind what Rush Limbaugh said on his show two years ago,”republicans really don’t want smaller government, they just want a turn at running it”
If you are given a chance to lead, and you turn into turnips…..you’re bound to fall off the back of the truck when you hit the first bump in the road. Unless and until some new leaders take over the RepublicRAT party they will simply take turns running it---that isn’t leadership.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject: Kirk Cox Shows Why Conservatives Have Grown Weary Of The Republicrat Party .
In 2004 when former President George W. Bush along with enthusiastic members of his own party pushed Medicare Part D across the finish line I decided I had had enough. A existing program drowning in red ink only to get worse in the coming decades and this “compassionate conservative “thinks it a grand idea to add another 1 trillion (CBO estimates at that time of the first 10 year costs) No additional revenue mind you, but a certain vote getter in Florida & Ohio where Bush knew he had to win in order to secure a 2nd term. It was about getting votes then, and this measure Kirk Cox is pushing is nothing more than that.
Cox is quoted as stating that “we have to do more to strengthen families” ignoring families were much more stable and strong many decades ago when we had much smaller and less intrusive government. Cox cites that “households are now two income households “ without any mention of how government spending, mandated benefits , out of control real estate & property taxes, and strangling regulations have often resulted in why families today feel the need to have two incomes.
The growth in the public sector, the annual pay raises, defined benefit pensions, the large subsidies by taxpayers for additional group disability, dental coverage and health insurance have created a monster. These public sector folks have now become defiant, as if the rest of us are obligated to keep their lucrative gravy train going. Certain V.R.S pension benefits for “public safety” employees are geared to begin pension payments at age 50? Who in the hell retires anymore at age 50?
Cox like most elected officials is aware that if (Cox) keeps these folks happy he has an almost lock on keeping his seat. In most districts the public sector component is now large enough that securing their vote gives an elected official or candidate an almost certain margin of victory. Cox’s measure has nothing to do with strengthening families but strengthening his…… voting base.
For decades now we hear every election cycle the cries for how strong their support is for education, law enforcement, our brave fire fighters and EMS folks…..this is now such a significant voting bloc it must be constantly almost worshipped, and the worship is money & more taxpayer provided benefits.
Not that long ago a grandmother, Aunt or stay at home Mom watched over their family & neighbors kids. Arrangements were made and families strengthened by relying on one another. At every turn , whether it be health insurance costs, child care costs or general cost of living, well documented evidence exists that shows governments paternalistic nanny state cradle to grave mindset has only contributed to driving these costs even higher. Remember when you could reach a private arrangement with your neighbor to watch your kids for whatever amount the two private citizens arrived at as fair? Try doing that today with the mandatory child care regulations that a babysitter has to comply with if they keep X number of kids, and if they watch these kids between the hours of X—Y. Child Care licensing , now an interest of the STATE, is only one example of the over –regulated society that has caused considerable economic damage. It was for centuries the responsibility of the parent to determine if their child care provider was a responsible person. Today we have the Nanny state requiring licensing and background investigations that have lent to ever spiraling costs for childcare.
RepublicRATS that have bought into the cradle to grave mindset need to recognize that Medicaid is drowning Virginia, that sooner or later we must address the 20 billion in VRS unfunded liabilities, the transportation & infrastructure needs have to be given adequate funding, and adding $500,000 costs to a benefit that is not necessary is exactly what it appears to be, another cash grab at locking up votes, nothing more or less.
Cox has been in the General Assembly for too long and this measure alone should serve as the needed impetus to send him back to the private sector where he can’t use our money to keep himself employed in the political arena. If RepublicRATS are now champions of larger government and more taxpayer provided benefits Conservatives need to look long and hard at the Libertarian Party, a place where we have a fighting chance of reining this nonsense in.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
Subject: How Many Subsidies Do You Require From Us? .
Editor, Country Courier
While the last letter in the Dec. 13th issue was apparently cut short, the unnamed writer's point was apparent:
This family's children are suffering because their home's internet just isn't fast enough to suit them.
It is likely the letter went on to support the idea of a taxpayer-subsidized Broadband scheme that's currently under consideration ( see page 13 of the same issue ).
Well, relief is immediately available from www.callarmistead.com, who advertises in every issue of COUNTRY COURIER.
Yes, this unnamed family might have to pay a bit more for more speed (about two bucks a day), but the rest of us taxpayers won't be getting stuck with the bill.
Assuming the kids attend public school in KW, the exorbitant real estate taxes we pay are already handsomely subsidizing their "free" education.
Isn't that enough?
Sincerely, Robert "Sarge" Bruce
Subject: K.W Board Of Supervisors Go Christmas Shopping (W/ Your Credit Card) .
Perhaps the Christmas season might have prompted the B.O.S to simply get into the spirit of the season and do a little shopping, and they shop BIG, we’re talking millions. They do it knowing full well by the time the bill arrives in the mail most of them will be gone, leaving a future Board to once again raid home owner’s wallets to pay for their grandiose spending.
Monday night’s “work session” the Board took up the proposals on just what to do with the 2.2 million they have as a result of the construction bids on the Hamilton Holmes renovation project coming in below expectations.
K.W School Superintendent Dr. David White actually challenged Supervisor Dave Hansen when Hansen pointed out that this money belongs to local taxpayers by claiming “ No Sir Mr. Hansen , that money belongs to the Schools“ Dr. White seems to be ignoring where the money comes from and specifically just who will have to pay it back.
A representative from Davenport (the Bonding Company) went through the various options the Board has on what they can do with the 2.2 million. One suggestion was to use it to pay down the outstanding debt associated with some older bonds. This certainly seems the appropriate course given what the K.W T.E.A Party shared with the public on the 2014 -15 School Budgets of both King William Schools and the public schools in Nottoway County. That year (the schools actual budget documents) Nottoway had budgeted $300,000 for debt service---King William Schools $3.6 million.
That is where as they say “the train jumped the tracks”. Naturally the school board members have all kind of grand designs on how to spend the additional 2.2 million. After all the Board members and the SB members all want a nice picture next year at a ribbon cutting ceremony with the caption reading “look what we did for you” They are POLS, just being POLS, not a concern in the world for taxpayers who question having to pay back the additional debt, driven by these grandstanding self- gratifying buffoons on both Boards.
I sat and watched the power point presentation by the person from the Builder who shown those in attendance computer created renditions of what the additional projects would look like. One must understand the dynamics going on behind the scenes between the builder and the SB members
The Builders job is to use every dollar of that 2.2 million left over, and this guy knows the School Board along with the Superintendent wants to spend every single dollar of it---a perfect storm you might say. The builder knows he has a willing audience inclined to spend the additional money so naturally he is quite happy to help them find ways to spend it---it is his job .
By a 4-1 vote (Hansen voted NO) the Board approved an additional $100,000 to allow the builder to move forward with drafting plans for the projects being planned for the 2.2 million left over.
For voters in King William that believed in 2015 they voted to put the brakes on this nonsense , save this as evidence that Picking up Pennies Hodges, Judas Greenwood, Big Spender Travis and surprisingly Bob Ehrhart are responsible for what will be higher taxes for homeowners sooner than you might think. Hansen is the only one who supports paying down debt with the 2.2 million.
Ehrharts recent pronouncements that he will not support any additional real estate tax hikes is too clever by half. Ehrhart knows where all this new spending is leading, and his promises can’t stop the 3 on that board who have no reservations about raising homeowner’s taxes when they run out of money. At the rate they are spending it, it won’t take very long.
Ehrhart will say ……..“well I voted NO on a real estate tax increase”, but one can’t hide from their conscience, and Ehrhart will have to live with his complicity on these wasteful spending projects that ultimately will lead to another hit on homeowners wallets.
One might ask Ehrhart when you run into him why there was no mention at their work session of the already existing high debt service of the Schools, or that home owners in King William are already paying one of the highest real estate tax rates of all rural Virginia counties. Ask him why some of that 9 million unassigned reserve fund wasn’t used for this school project.
This is a Supervisor with an intellect that many thought would keep him on the right path. It appears Ehrhart after two years has fallen into what often happens……………he turned into a politician when we thought he was a Leader.
Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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
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
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 wasin 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
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
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
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
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
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
Subject:NoOpposition 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
King William, VA
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
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.
Founder King William T.E.A Party
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.
Dave Hansen … KWBOS
District 4 (Manquin)"
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.
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
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
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
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.
Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va.
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.
Founder Mechanicsville & King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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
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.
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.
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.
Founder of the Mechanicsville & King William T.E.A Party Groups.
King William, Va
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!
Dave Hansen, KWBOS, District 4
King William, Va
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.
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.
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.
King William, VA
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
King William, Va
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.
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
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
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.
Subject: Board of Supervisors Actions Erodes Public Trust.
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.
Subject: The 2 No Votes On The County Budget & The Principles They Advanced.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
What is wrong with politics? Anyone in that room today witnessed it firsthand.
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.
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 ?
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
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
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.
Founder King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already for the dopes)
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.
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
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.
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
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
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…
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
Otherwise may I suggest we all learn to speak Greek.
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.
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
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.
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
4. Will you support paying extra taxes to provide this service - if there are not enough
subscribers to make it pay for itself?
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
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.
King William T.E.A Party
(Taxed Enough Already for the unenlightened)
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
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.