FF Letters
King William County Virginia
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King William "TEA" Party

(Taxed Enough Already)

Donations

What Can I Say ?
If You like What we do - Your Donations will Make it Happen !!

How To Donate:
Mail A Check:
Payable To - King William Tea Party Inc
King William Tea Party Inc.
106 Cherry Hill Circle, East
Aylett, VA 23009
or

Come to Our Meetings and Donate There.

How are your Donations Spent?

1. The Materials that create the Yellow signs you see around the county.
2. The ads and inserts you see and get in the local Newspapers.
3. Some of our Meetings call for space to be paid for.

Not a penny of the Donations goes to a salary for any of our volunteers and officiers.
In fact they donate their materials, time and talent without protest and all for a reward
of knowing they are among the last defenders of the freedoms we were given by our Founding Fathers.

If our Tax Dollars were spent in like manner - There would be no National Debt.

King William TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party

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Letters Begin
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11/18/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Citizens Of King William County Are About To Be Shaken From Their Slumber

The old adage that “we get the government we deserve” is certainly coming to the asleep folks in King William and it will cause these people to sit up in their chairs. Our group, the King William T.E.A Party has been attempting now for over 13 years to get your attention. No worry the powers to be in the County are going to get it, and soon. As Grandma used to say “you want to dance……sooner or later the band has got to be paid;The bill from the band is on its way.

King William has hired a new County Administrator at a salary that’s rumored to be $25,000 more than we paid the last C.A. (Must be that transitory inflation). What will become of the “interim” county administrator? Not to worry, rarely does government falter in finding creative ways to keep the poor lad collecting a pay check, so……WALLA, we will now have a Deputy C.A , a position that the County eliminated some 10 years ago is COMING BACK ! Now of course a position with such a noble title has to come with an equally noble salary, and the NEW Deputy C.A is going to make a nice round $100,000. Ain’t life grand these days if you can get hired on by the County chieftains.

Our Press Release sent out today to the Country Courier contains even MORE GOOD NEWS! At our last meeting Mr. Fred Pearson, the Appraiser hired to do the “do over” county property assessment stated that property owners should expect to see assessed values climb by 50-60% over the current assessed value! YIPPEE KI YA

Sheriff Walton is getting 6 new deputies (around $600,000 a year in costs) the Fire Emergency Service (13 new F/T Hires) folks can not be left out, and the grant money (magic fairy dust kind) runs out in a couple of years, add another million plus in new county expenses….the party is going HOT .

All taking place in a county with no growth to speak of, a declining (stagnant at best) school student count (yet BIGGER BUDGETS FOR THE SCHOOLS) AND IN ANOTHER YEAR, ….BOOM THE tax bombs will start going off. This year the Board of Supervisors will muddle through using the 6 million in the Unassigned Reserve fund they have yet to squander……but next year you can expect a much higher price tag on the King William bloat.

Maybe Wind Bag Moren, that Supervisor that tagged his campaign signs with LOWER TAXES will wave his Magic Wand and I’ll have to eat crow. Don’t hold your breath on that one.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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11/8/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Afraid to answer?

On November 2nd, the King William T.E.A. Party formally invited four key county government officials to speak at our November 11th meeting.

The evening's program centers on the costly fiasco of last year's necessarily rejected Real Estate Tax Assessment and what might be under consideration by the Board of Supervisors for the upcoming assessments and the annual budget process,

Invitees include long time Supervisors Moskalski and Greenwood, Revenue Commissioner Funkhouser, and the new Reassessment Project Manager.

Many questions surround numerous controversial and often inaccurate changes the fired former appraiser made, including year of construction, square footage, true market price valuations, grade levels on certain land parcels and buildings, and more.

Incompatible software is said to make an easy resolution and or correction to inaccurate data very challenging.

Citizens have questions and our group is keenly interested in just what our elected officials and those involved in the process plan to do to address these questions.

Supervisors Moskalski and Greenwood have 10 years now on the Board and an understanding of the relevant elements of this issue. The Commissioner of Revenue and the reassessment contractor have a vital role in this.

Their willingness to openly address these issues might go a long way toward calming legitimate concerns of our county's property owners.

As of this writing – a full six days later – only Ms. Funkhouser has had the courtesy to reply, citing a previous engagement but indicating her willingness to appear at a later date.

Directly or indirectly, King William's taxpayers pay all their salaries. We have the right to ask fair questions and then hear publicly what they have to say on these vital issues.

Sincerely,
Robert "Sarge" Bruce
Aylett,Va

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10/24/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Misinformation

The CDC and the Main Street Media are the winners - Hands Down. This is a case of the Pot Calling the Kettle Black. The so-called Fact Checkers have decided if it does not work for their agenda – it is Misinformation and will be blocked. Think I’m wrong (Check out Facebook and YouTube). This must be the first Epidemic ever - that needed a mass Media Campaign to convince a population “We have a Pandemic”. Just when do you think these people were planning on giving you the below information?

The below Table at the end of the letter is from the VAERS data base. (https://wonder.cdc.gov/vaers.html) The Data Base was created 30 years ago by the CDC to track adverse vaccine reactions for all Vaccines. Ask yourself if the below information was presented to you before you got vaccinated – would you?

Think there are only 3 Vaccines? You would be Wrong.

There are other, potentially safer and equally effective vaccines now in the pipeline. The Novavax vaccine called NVX-CoV2373 and the Vaxxinity Covid-19 vaccine, known as UB-612 both barely made headlines. Both keep you from catching the virus, its Variants and not just suppressing the symptoms they cause.

How often have you heard the Pro mRNA vaccines fans say they have science on their side? Did you see any of it? If their science is so Rock solid there would be a televised debate between the CDC and America’s Frontline Doctors - Then both sides could present their science, and then you decide.

Need more information? Go to: https://americasfrontlinedoctors.org/files/alabama-preliminary-injunction/. Here you can download the (PDF) 67-page preliminary injunction filed in IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA (Case 2:21-cv-00702-CLM Document 15 Filed 07/19/21) The Stating of the case’s Evidence is presented in a readable format all can understand.

Want to find out what the MDs who are not part of the Government’s Medical Bureaucracy have to say about Covid and how you should be protecting yourself from the Sars-CoV-2 Virus and the Variants? The following link will provide you with a path. (This is not a one size fits all discussion America's Frontline Doctors ) - go to: https://americasfrontlinedoctors.org

Find Out what has been suppressed and you have not been told - Then decide what you want to believe.

Click Here For the Link To - Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VARES) Website
Vet

Sincerely,
Paul Jamerson
King William, Va 23086

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10/11/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: What Is The Point In Having A Law That Isn’t Enforced?


In a recent Daily Signal, commentary by Hans von Spakovsky detailed results of the Election Audit recently completed in Maricopa County, Arizona.

“what is the point in having laws on how elections are to be held” ….

Joe Biden, according to the Arizona’s official vote count won that state by a mere 10,062 votes out of nearly 3.35 million votes cast, a squeaker as some elections come down to that close of a contest. The touting of the machine count matching the hand recount misses the point. According to von Spakovsky that is quite misleading since the hand recount would be expected to match the machine count. This is what warrants much closer examination.

Election law violations that are being glossed over

23,344 mail in ballots voted from a PRIOR address
9,041 more ballots returned than voters received (how does that happen)
5,295 voters that potentially voted in multiple counties
2,592 more duplicates than original ballots
2,382 in person voters who had moved out of Maricopa County

Add these possible illegal votes up and you get 42,654 votes that are highly suspect, particularly when the razor thin margin of 10,062 decided the declared winner. Remember also that this is just 1 county in Arizona

Numerous other problems are listed such as voters whose ballots were counted despite the fact that they registered to vote AFTER the state deadline for registration had passed.

Federal and State election laws already exist that beg the question..why are these laws not being enforced. Why are individual state legislators not screaming at the top of their lungs, demanding law enforcement investigate this (along with a number of other states)?

Audits are intended to determine whether voting machines worked properly, whether applicable state & federal laws and regulations were followed, whether the voter registration list was accurate and up to date and allowed only eligible individuals to vote; and whether all eligible voters were able to vote, that their vote was properly counted, and that their votes were not voided or nullified by fraud, mistakes or errors.

Confirmation that Joe Biden won that state, not by a long shot.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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09/2/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Republican Glenn Youngkin Sends Conservatives Mixed Campaign Messages?

In today’s Bull Elephant Jeanine Martin reports some updated campaign promises from Glenn Youngkin. Is Youngkin reaching out to fiscal conservatives or whispering sweet nothings ? It is in my opinion a mixed bag at best.

Conservatives have been raising the question as to why the General Assembly has not mentioned a word that the 2-billion-dollar surplus Virginia is sitting on could be used to cut state income taxes, as have 8 other state legislatures. Youngkin goes halfway with a proposal to provide a 1-time tax rebate of $500 for joint filers & $300 for individuals. He (Youngkin) also advocates to eliminating the sales tax on food, along with suspending Virginia’s gas tax for a year. Now if Youngkin was calling for a reduction in Virginia’s income tax rates I would look past the pandering nature of a 1-time rebate. Politicians have seen how popular this handing out cash /checks has become and he appears to have fallen into the “ me too” crowd with this rebate proposal.

Where my heart begins to warm to Younkin is his proposal to putting an end to rising property taxes and a mandate that would require voter approval before property taxes can be raised. I like that almost enough to endorse his candidacy….almost I said. Local governments would certainly fight this proposal tooth & nail since that is their primary revenue source for most local governments. I like this idea since they could still raise local property taxes …but voters would have a say in the matter with Youngkin’s proposal.

Youngkin wants to also double the standard deduction which his campaign claims would save individuals $259 a year & families $518 annually.

In lieu of championing Parental Choice, Youngkin wants to open 20 new Charter Schools in the state. He then drops into conservative purgatory by advocating 100 million dollars in teachers raises, then throws some 200 million at the public safety crowd, proposing to spend this money to provide law enforcement with more financial support. Deifying the public sector has gone on long enough, and Mr. Youngkin needs to be reminded many conservatives have grown very tired of shoveling cash to teachers and public safety personnel. Their budgets have become ridiculous in almost every locality.

Youngkin is inching his way closer to the hearts of fiscal conservatives, but his proposals only go so far, not nearly far enough.

To win over many of us who are still wrestling with a vote for this guy he needs to adamantly come out with a specific pledge to adopt true School/Parental Choice, he needs to specify a permanent reduction in Virginia’s income tax rates (using the 2 billion before the fools spend it). Half measures won’t sell with the conservatives out here who are tired of campaign slogans and platitudes. Sharpen your pencil Mr. Youngkin if you want to win us over.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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08/26/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Our Real Battle Isn’t With The Left, It Is Within The Republican Party?

On last evenings Larry Kudlow program U.S Senator Marsha Blackburn cited that an infant born in the U.S today is born with a $83,000 share of the National debt. Can’t yet open their eyes but are in the hole for $83,000.00. What are you doing about it?

Pause for a moment, especially if you are a new parent or grandparent and consider the ramifications of what Senator Blackburn said. If you are not disturbed by this revelation, I am not sure if it is even possible to disturb you to begin with. Perhaps many simply believe there is nothing that can be done about it anyway, and just go about their business operating in a zoned-out mindset. Contrary to that defeatist attitude there is plenty we can do about it, but it begins with a mental adjustment and a hard recognition of just who the enemy is. Allow me to lay out both of these in some detail and clarity.

I begin by asking the question, if your new grandbaby just born is already in a $83,000.00 hole at birth, likely to get worse, and you are not fighting mad, then what would do it?

Perhaps the Chinese economic problem with declining birth rates and the same Chinese owning $2,000,000,000.00 of the outstanding U.S Treasuries, at some point to remedy the declining birth rate the Chinese propose that the U.S just start shipping them American children as a means of solving their declining birth rate problem, and to begin paying back the dough we owe them. Maybe someone like Elizabeth Warren or AOC would be responsible for the negotiations and given their political stripes it doesn’t sound so ludicrous at all. Of course, they would have to be white children, preferably males (kill 2 birds with 1 stone), rid America of the privileged white males and pay down a measurable amount of the debt. OK, I know how ridiculous that sounds, but rather we actually start trading American children outright………. how far off is that from Option 2, economic slavery of an entire generation?

After all the Biden administration is getting ready to walk away and leave American citizens to the certain slavery and torment the Taliban will subject them to. In Southeast DC there is a detention center housing some 500 American citizens who allegedly participated in the January 6 event at the Capitol, and many have not been formally charged with a crime, some are reported to be held in 23 hour/day isolation and beaten routinely by the guards. One man is reported to have lost an eye. SO, if our government allows these examples - why would it be so farfetched to consider the trading American citizens as a form of debt repayment?

Last week a brouhaha erupted over the KW County rescission of an offer allowing the county republican party to use the old courtroom to hold an upcoming meeting. Once the county recognized the hypocrisy of allowing 1 group to use the room while denying it’s use to other groups, it hit the fan. The current Chair of the KWRP lashed out blaming 1 rogue member of the committee who has a association with the King William T.E.A Party for hindering the work needing done (and I quote him here) “necessary to beat back the democrats and their leftist agenda” What a farce these folks are. The Chair further stated that the KWRP is the “real and only conservative party in K.W County”.

This is the 2nd point in need of clarification. Just when has the K.W Republican Party spoke up to demonstrate their conservative bonafides?? Ever hear a peep from these folks at Budget time? Ever hear a single public comment over the outrageous real estate tax rate in King William? Ever hear this front group for the Oligarchs utter a peep over the colossal mess the real estate assessment was earlier this year? Did they publicly object to the County wasting $430,000.00 buying the property down on 360 near the Fire Station to needlessly add a satellite office to the Sheriff’s department?

This local republican party Chair attacks the only conservative voice in King William that relentlessly fights for lower taxes & spending cuts.

Throw in as further evidence of the sincerity of republicrat conservatism, last week 18 Republican U.S Senators voted FOR the Infrastructure bill adding 256 Billion to our debt and only about 21% of the money actually going to any infrastructure. Real Conservatives heh?

You can continue to bury your head in the sand and pretend this will all just work itself out by itself or roll up your sleeves and join the real fight. We meet the 2nd & 4th Thursday of each month and have now for 12 consecutive years. We welcome the help.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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08/23/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: We Are In Danger Of Forgetting What “Exacting Standards” Ever Meant.

It may be a remnant of having been taught by Catholic Nun’s, maybe a really tough football coach who accepted nothing but your best, or the summer of 1972 spent at Parris Island, South Carolina, 13 weeks in a place that substituted for hell on earth, but with a purpose, Some might suggest it is only an aging man who longs to return to a simpler time in America.

We can all remember when you stole something you were punished, regardless of the value, you paid a price for the misdeed. Today it has to be in excess of $900 in California before it is even considered a crime.

Running a red light or slow rolling a stop sign has become customary, drivers watch this happen routinely.

Students had a reverence for the teacher, and teachers had free reign when it came to disciplining an unruly kid. Today we read with regularity 14-year old’s physically assaulting a teacher, often with impunity. Sister Stella Marie would have had my head on a platter for even thinking such a thought.

Born biologically a boy or girl meant the sport you played and the bathroom you used were a given. Today we are watching adolescents literally mutilate themselves because some pointy head school counselor tells them they were just born in the wrong body. This occurs frequently without the parent even being consulted.

An election was held with a certain reverence, you made the time before or after work, maybe during your lunch break to physically get to the polls because if was your duty as a citizen. Voting was held on one single day, no excuses, no early voting and you had to show an ID when you got there. Americans were rightfully proud of participating and the very high standards that insured it was done properly.

When you received an “A” in school it actually meant something, it reflected you studied, went home each night and faithfully did your homework and were so proud when you showed that report card to your Mom. Today we see schools dropping all together basic competency requirements apparently making the schools job a lot easier while society picks up the social costs of legions who can not read or write at 7th grade levels. We even get the bonus of paying ever higher annual costs for such failure.

American military was feared and respected around the world. Rare was a nation willing to poke America in the eye because of the sure swift response they knew was coming. Today at major U.S military bases we are witnessing “transgender balls” being held. Our enemies are noting this.

Politicians support lower taxes, better schools, Parental control over their children, election integrity, laws enforced uniformly, a strong military, the list goes on and on.

So why then isn’t this reflected in actual policy outcomes? It is crystal clear to this Ol fella, we have compromised to a point where exacting standards have lost all meaning. We’ve no one to blame but ourselves. We are terrified at the suggestion that we might offend someone.

A society, any society, reaches a point where the adults have to take control. Keep compromising with politicians, keep accepting mediocrity. Why - It has worked out so damn well?

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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08/21/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: DO NOT QUIT YOUR JOB

As the mandates are increasing and the “deadlines” fast approach, YOU SHOULD NOT QUIT YOUR JOB. Do not be fooled if your boss says you must resign. Make your boss fire you and do not sign anything or agree to anything that says otherwise. Do not agree with “voluntary resignation.” If you are fired, you are eligible for unemployment. Anything else and you are not.

If you are fired, you place the costs back on them and you get or you fight for unemployment benefits. Let them experience the burden associated with their choices. Avail yourself of any government dollars that have gone to support those previously unwilling to work. Use all tools and resources you can including the CDC’s unlawful mandate to halt rents, etc. We suspect you ordinarily would not take advantage of these systems, but these are extraordinary times.

In the last 18 months we have watched the Communists in America radically change the definition of simple words in their efforts to strip away our rights. Words such as “vaccine,” “herd immunity,” and “cases” have literally been redefined by the Communists to support this power grab. By changing the traditional definition of just four words, these usurpers were able to create, in the minds of the media and the public, a frightening global emergency. Do not allow these tyrants to crush what remains of your rights. Do not “agree” to be fired.

We are at the “delta” variant. The last variant is totalitarianism.

Stand Strong. You are the Hero you have been waiting for.

America’s Frontline Doctors, a project of the Free Speech Foundation, is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, charitable organization.
https://americasfrontlinedoctors.org/do-not-quit-your-job/


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08/05/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Country Courier Gets an A For Effort

Kudos to Ms. Walkers article in the August 4 edition on the Outdated Property Assessments Impact, I particularly appreciated the box listing the various counties real estate tax rates, once again noting among the counties listed King William takes the top spot.

Missing in the analysis however is a few issues that warrant more attention. If the members of the Board of Supervisors or the interim county administrator are going to zero in on causes such as the $335,885 (over 3 years) lost as a result of utility taxes not collected , or the assessed property values being outdated, lets then take a look at some of the much larger revenue drains resulting from King William Land Use Tax Exemption Program.

Some year back the previous Commissioner of Revenue and I examined the revenue that was lost as a result of the programs actual effect on what Fair Market Values would bring in vs. what is collected under land in the Land Use Tax Exemption calculation. My recollection is it is around $1,200,000.00 each year. Ms. Walker in her reporting left that giant hole out of the story. A phone call to the current COR Mrs. Funkhouser could easily retrieve the current estimated lost revenue from Land Use and plug that into a follow up story.

Also Ms. Walker makes no mention on how much is not collected in the BPOL (Business Professional Occupation License) revenues because of the exemptions for those engaged in Agriculture and Forestry. These folks are exempt from paying this tax as well. I would be curious to see what that number is. Mrs. Funkhouser should easily be able to provide that estimate.

It is noted that if properties were assessed at current values and the real estate tax rate “equalized “using .72 as the rate, property owners would not see any increase in their tax bills. If that is so, then it leaves the KW County revenue collections at the same dollars collected. So, it comes back to what it always does, SPENDING. Either the Board of Supervisors end the Land Use Tax Exemption, end the BPOL exemptions, CUT SPENDING, or raise the real estate tax rate again on homeowners because they cannot control SPENDING.

I have and will again point readers to the .53 rate right next door in King & Queen County, which does not have a LAND USE TAX EXEMPTION program. Throw in for good measure what 5th District Supervisor Ed Moren promised in his campaign two years ago for office……..” lower taxes .“ Moren perhaps was referring to lower taxes for himself and his crony Oligarch pals, all benefitting nicely from this tax DODGE. Lower taxes Supv. Moren, just when might we expect them?

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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08/01/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Rob Wittman Patriot………. or BrownShirt ?

For some time now individuals that were participants in the January 6 incident at the U.S Capitol have been rounded up and held in very disturbing conditions at a Correctional Treatment Facility in South East DC. . Routine stories are making their way to the public about reports of mistreatment to include 23 hour per day isolation and beatings by guards that have resulted in serious bodily injury. It is troubling that other than a handful, members of Congress have been mum on the topic.

Obviously, those on the far left could care less, all the while sympathetic to ANTIFA & BLM members who have set Federal Buildings, police departments, police/rescue vehicles on fire, looting and destroying hundreds of private businesses and in one such incident a police building was set ablaze with full knowledge that human beings were inside the building at the time the fire was actually set.

Lawlessness in a nation supposedly governed by a rule of law can not be tolerated. Questions linger over the origins of January 6, and whether or not the actual breech of the Capitol building was orchestrated by covert operatives belonging to ANTIFA and or BLM . If arrests are warranted in the January 6 event, so be it. But Americans are being held without formal charges and being treated in a manner that otherwise would be causing outrage if it were anybody else.

Tuesday morning, July 27,2021, at around 6:30 am , the FBI raided the home of and arrested a King George County Virginia man , reportedly in attendance at the January 6 event . This man is also affiliated with the King George T.E.A Party, currently or in the recent past.. It is our information that he is also now being held at this facility in S.E DC.

Rob Wittman now has someone in his district that has been caught up in this highly suspicious round up. I have yet to hear Wittman make any public statements on the issue itself. Citizens in the 1st Congressional district must speak up and demand that Wittman act on this. Does Wittman believe in the presumption of innocence? Does Wittman believe that these Americans/Virginians deserve to be treated in the manner that is being reported?

The opportunity presents itself; this is an example of where those we elect to represent us need to speak up. Does Congressman Rob Wittman give a damn over what is clear mistreatment of Americans, or has Wittman joined up with the 2021 version of the Brownshirts?

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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07/29/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Calling State Senator Amanda Chase To Lead On Cutting Taxes

The Patriot movement was a strong supporter of Senator Amanda Chase efforts to secure the Republican nomination for Virginia Governor. Setting aside the chicanery of the Republican Party of Virginia and the ham fisted twisted manner in which they decided on how to handle the nomination, Chase has a second wind on regaining a leadership position should she chose to exercise her considerable clout.

We now know that Virginia has a $2,000,000.00 surplus, about 10% of the states annual budget and the special session is likely going to focus on how to spend the cash sloshing around in Richmond, given the windfall flowing from Congress in the Recovery Act into state coffers. Already numerous proposals have circulated suggesting the money be spent on any number of “noble ideas”, such as the Governor suggesting some 700 million be spent on furthering rural broadband. One might argue (as I have ) that 5G is going to make much of this government funding look pretty stupid when all we really have to do is be patient and let the private sector technology solve the problem for us, without wasting tax payer money.

What is oddly missing (here in Virginia) in this discussion is any mention of using the $2,000,000.00 to do what 8-9 other states have done, CUT THEIR STATE INCOME TAX? The Attorney General of Arkansas has already filed a lawsuit challenging the Congressional insistence on this money not being permitted to be spent on reducing state income taxes. Weird that the Governor of North Carolina has already proposed millions from the Recovery Act be spent on upgrades to NASCAR tracks in his state? We can use this money to upgrade privately owned racetracks but not on tax cuts?

Since I have not heard any members in our General Assembly suggest cutting taxes I am calling on State Senator Amanda Chase to take a leadership position, perhaps a bold one but Chase is bold if she isn’t anything else.

Odd that during the Northam administrations 4 years new taxes and existing taxes have been introduced /raised some 21 times, and during the first 2 years of Northam’s administration Republicans controlled the House……

A tax cut would be good for Virginians and good for Virginia’s economy. The money is there, other states have either cut taxes or have proposed tax cuts on the docket, so why not Virginia? All it takes is leadership, and Chase is being called to LEAD. Will she?

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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07/15/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Glenn Youngkin---Go Big or Go Home

Recent polls have Republican Youngkin trailing former Governor Terry McAuliffe by some 2 points. Can Youngkin excite voters to cross over and support his candidacy? Youngkin certainly will have the money needed to run an effective campaign……..but what about his message ? I routinely read his press releases and comments from the stump. The platitudes and slogans can only go so far in convincing voters, particularly conservatives that he is worthy of our support. I do not fall into the trap of the ill informed who view politics as a sort of athletic contest……. We gotta win mantra does not get me too excited. This isn’t a damn baseball game.

Republicans when they have been in control of both state and national government have been a disappointment, and that is being kind. From George W. Bush passing (leading the charge) to expand Medicare, adding a Prescription Drug Benefit to a program that is structurally collapsing, to Governor Bob McDonnell’s 6 Billion dollars in new taxes, it should not come as a shock that conservatives are wary of simple platitude and slogans. What could Youngkin do to move the needle and assure victory this fall? Here is some concrete and very specific suggestions I do hope Mr. Youngkin takes to heart.

CRT Critical Race Theory is one of the most controversial issues facing Virginians, specifically parents who have rightful concerns about public schools implementing this, teaching our impressionable children that their country, and its history is evil, that even after all of the progress America has made, making the wrongs of its past right, we should view every aspect of todays society through the prism of race. It is a bad idea, with origins that themselves stem from how communism was originally based on creating chasms between classes, and todays Communists have injected race in place of class. Glenn Youngkin has spoken about it but he hasn’t said……

As your Governor I will ban it being taught in Virginias schools.

Oklahoma has indeed just done that with a number of other states working on also putting a Ban on this being taught in their state public schools. Come out forcefully Mr. Youngkin, you will actually pick up some support in areas where Republicans traditionally have not done well.

Parental Choice (Wise Winsome Sears turn of a phrase) is tied to the CRT but has been simmering below the surface before CRT entered the picture. Virginians are weary of continuing to pour ever increasing amounts of their hard-earned dollars into a public school system that each year experiences internationally declining test scores in core subject student performance. The term “the money should follow the student” is gaining acceptance as a method to end the pitiful public-school monopoly. Federal overreach and increasing control of how public schools are run (the Fed’s have been using money to further this dangerous meddling) has led us to where we are today.” It’s for the children” mantra has lost it's MoJo, blackmail doesn’t work any longer, tax paying Parents are demanding control over where their children should be educated, not indoctrinated. Competition is a good thing, our Founders understood this and Youngkin must be bold and declare Parental Choice will be a central plank to his term as Virginia Governor. Once more, Youngkin would pick up votes in quarters where Republicans have traditionally not done well in statewide races. Independents and Democrats who suffer with their children in failing public schools would rally to his cause………if only he’d come out with clarity on this issue.

Third is the issue of cutting taxes in Virginia. We are now watching as a 2 billion surplus has brought out the far-left flank who view this as their money. A 2 billion surplus represents about 10% of the states annual budget, it should be given back to its rightful owners, Virginia needs and deserves a tax cut. It is also good economics after Northam raised and or created around 21 tax increases over the last 4 years. 9 other States have recently enacted tax cuts because the evidence is clear, they work. Youngkin must once more be crystal clear on this issue, does he support allowing the General Assembly gathering in yet another special session to decide how they are going to carve up the dough………..or does Youngkin favor cutting taxes and giving that 2 billion back to it’s rightful owners.

Platitudes & Slogans are the typical platform of political candidates. I have often asked candidates in races such as this………..Do you want to win or come in a respectable 2nd place?

Go Big or Go Home Mr. Youngkin. Those of us who fall into the category of critical thinking intelligent voters will do what we have been doing now for years, write in another name on the ballot unless or until we are convinced you mean business.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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07/14/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: The Underbelly Of Local Government Waste

At the King William T.E.A Party meeting Thursday July 8 , K.W Sheriff Jeff Walton took and answered questions from an engaged audience who wanted to have a better understanding of expenses lending to a 46% increase in the county Sheriff department’s budget since 2018.

Among the bewildering answers from the Sheriff was the posing of the question regarding the “satellite office” being opened on property purchased by the County, down on Route 360 in front of the K.W VFD. If one recalls the former County Administrator drove the purchase using some $ 430,000 of the Unassigned Reserve Fund.

Our group did some research on 15 rural counties (with populations between 13,000—18,000) and the data compiled was population, square miles of each county, whether or not the respective county sheriff’s departments had their own “satellite office” and finally a comparison of each counties local real estate tax rates. If you have lived in King William for any length of time you can not be shocked by what the examination of above data reveals.

King William at 275 square miles was the second smallest county in the 15 surveyed. Yet it is also the only county Sheriffs office in all 15 that has a “satellite office “ Walton was quick to point out it was the former County Administrator that brought the idea of a satellite office to him. Convenient ---or true, it is irrelevant in my opinion. Wasn’t Walton capable of saying….

Ma’am, I do not need a satellite office and it would not be a good use of tax payer money in my opinion”

Walton is an elected official and he can not dodge responsibility for this blatant example of waste. If the other 14 counties can run their operation out of 1 location---so can King William. King William’s Board of Supervisors has some blame to share for going along with this to begin with. Why is it so hard for politicians to simply say NO to bad ideas?

When asked about the 2 Resource Officers at the high school & middle school, citing how Israel handles security at all of their schools using teachers & faculty that are armed, Walton replied “Well this isn’t Israel “. Walton did not refute the estimated costs of a Resource Officer posted at each school ($100,000 per officer per year when one includes salary, pension contributions, subsidized health insurance and other generous benefits, a vehicle, uniforms etc.) Has it dawned on anyone that the same amount of money being spent on “expensive hall guards” could be used to give every deputy in his department a $5,000 + pay raise? Isn’t Walton always arguing that his deputies are under paid? In government it is never a question of how do we efficiently use our dollars….but always demands for just MORE ? The 46% increase over the last 4 years in Walton’s budget gets a little easier to understand when one sees examples like this.

Another question that draws worthy scrutiny is why a Judge has control over the number of deputies assigned to Courtroom Security detail. Often when Court is in session there are 4 deputies at the same time in the courtroom? Who are they trying….Al Capone? Is it costs justified, no it isn’t, it is another way a government cottage industry operates. Unless Taxpayers raise hell…. the gravy train keeps flowing. If a prisoner needs transferred the entire Sheriff’s department is steps down the hallway. 2 deputies is all that is necessary under normal circumstances, cut some expense here.

Discussion on the reported $5,000 radios went nowhere. Safety concerns aside it is clear much more research needs done on this particular expenditure. If 5G is as close as one is led to believe why not be patient and employ the coming 5G technology, buy 5G compatible radios/cell phones instead? One concern is when the County engages in negotiations with a company like Motorola the expertise is all on one side of the table. Who in the County government has the tech know how to make these decisions on a favorable basis of the tax payers? Walton admitted he himself did not, so just who is negotiating on our behalf? It is a fair question. Is the County being talked into buying systems and equipment that it doesn’t need?

I have often listened to folks who immediately jump on the “it’s for the children” mantra each and every time the school budget is criticized. We hear a similar outcry when we challenge law enforcement expenditures….” Don’t you want a safe community” nonsense.

Negligible growth in King William population, little to no growth in new business, yet school expenditures and public safety costs continue to skyrocket. Citizens work hard, play by the rules and pay their taxes on time. This runaway spending borders on tax payer abuse. Unless and until tax payers stand up and tell the Board of Supervisors this must stop, it will, like the gravy train keep rolling on. It is in your hands.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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07/06/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Fair Questions That Deserve Some Answers

It isn’t a secret that each month the Federal Reserve purchases around 120 billion in bonds, around 80 billion in Treasuries, the other 40 billion in a variety of mortgage backed securities. This technique has been employed at various times when either economic conditions are such that monetary intervention is deemed to be beneficial to accomplishing goals, again for a variety of desired and measured outcomes.

It can be to stoke the pump as they say, injecting liquidity into the money supply, stimulating the economy at periods of weakness. In the case of liquidity…….1 of every 4 dollars in circulation did not exist 18-24 months ago, the system is awash in cash. Plenty of cash sloshing around.

Housing markets are quite hot, some say perhaps too hot. Existing home inventories are so low that prices are a bit frothy and have been for some time. Other than prices which are beginning to squeeze out cash strapped buyers, lots of liquidity available there as well.

So why does the Federal reserve continue to buy this vast amount of Treasuries each month in light of the liquidity in the marketplace?

Each month the Treasury holds auctions, often more than one a month to secure financing for America’s ravenous spending. Congress is spending a trillion plus more than we are taking in annually in revenue. Financing (the Treasury auctions) is a form of borrowing, often from individuals, nations, institutions (pension funds /Insurance companies etc) A good deal of our outstanding debt is held by other nations and many cite that even with the ultra low rates on our Treasuries we can continue to have buyers line up because the U.S is the best house in a bad neighborhood.

If this were indeed true, then why would we need the Federal Reserve to buy 80 billion of these treasuries (debt instruments) each month? More inquisitive folks are beginning to ask that very question. Is there another more ominous reason to explain this?

When a treasury auction is not fully subscribed (not enough buyers to buy the amounts being auctioned) then rates would naturally rise in order to attract the needed buyers. Yet what concerns would that issue raise? Would the “debt servicing costs” have anything to do with it? As Granny used to say “you bet your sweet bippy it would

Some speculate that the large and continued purchases each month by the Federal Reserve is to keep interest rates artificially suppressed, and I for one lend credence to that suggestion.

Problem is that game can only be played for so long. If one takes a dollar out of their left pocket and puts it in their right pocket ……….are they any wealthier ? The answer is obvious, and sooner or later the fancy notion of MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) is going to be tested in ways that may have some quite unpleasant effects on all of us.

Time to get our financial house in order because time is running out.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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06/28/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Under The Radar Taxes, Both New And Higher

The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy was one of the groups with a presentation on Saturday June 26, 2021 at the Virginia T.E.A Party Summit, titled “ Pushback against Socialism”

A nice handout from the Thomas Jefferson group entitled THE ROAD TO HIGHER TAXES, compiles the new taxes along with the tax increases that have been passed during the 4 years of the Northam Administration.

The handout chronicles by year the new & increased taxes, including Northam’s first two years when Republicans still controlled the state legislature.

It is indeed sad that the creativity used to dream up the bevy of new taxes/fees seems to end there, not a scintilla of that same creativity is utilized to think of ways to cut even a single dime of state spending, or end any number of duplicative state programs that could save considerable sums of money. Name a government program once begun that ever gets axed? Incremental pick pocketing of Virginians is now the new norm. Take for example the following new tax/fee under the heading “ to be determined” …….

All customers of the major electricity providers (Dominion Virginia Power & Appalachian Power) begin to pay a usage based tax on their electric bills to fund a new Percentage of Income Payment Plan, providing subsidized electricity to certain low income customers. The tax amount will be set in a State Corporation Commission proceeding.

Poor policy decisions drive up power costs for all…….and then we ask those paying full freight to pony up some more for the low income customers whose power costs were driven up to begin with by wrong headed political decisions. It is as if responsible Virginians are now being asked to subsidize not only others electric costs, but the bad decisions by Pols that led to the creation of the problem to begin with. Government policy sets inflation and higher costs ablaze, then they rob Virginians to plaster over their bad decisions.

For those wanting to read the outlandish detailed list of Northam’s tax parade visit www.thomasjeffersoninst.org

Thinking Virginians might also consider getting off the sidelines and engaging in the fight. What is your top priorities in life if not looking out for the future of your children & grandchildren? If this runaway tax & spend train is not derailed, their future will include being economic slaves of the state.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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06/08/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Do Patriots Have Cause For Optimism ?

Increasing numbers of average Americans are coming to terms with a reality that as a nation something is deeply wrong. The polarization that divides us has never been more evident. Conservatives are certain much of it has to do with the distrust sown by our elected officials whose decisions are increasingly at odds with what citizens want. How far we are off track is tied to those in power wanting to remain in power and their willingness to use whatever methods FIRST secure their power. The best interest of the citizenry (their subjects) and our country are an afterthought, if a thought at all. One clear example at the moment is the controversial issue of voting integrity. Every poll out there has shown every identifiable group, across every sector of American society favors strict Voter ID, and voting integrity measures….yet leading members in Congress , as well as many within our state legislatures go directly against what a majority of citizens say they want. If cheating is necessary to retain power…..so be it in their minds.

One question most often asked is “how do we find our way back”…..and it may help to first define just where it is we are trying to find our way back to . Efforts to do just that often end with defining that as a return to the fiscal and constitutional principles that served America well for its first two hundred years. Liberty and economic growth spanning a century raised the standard of living for most Americans beyond our wildest dreams. The economic model we once followed was the envy of the world. Prosperity blossomed all at the same time our freedom was secure. What went wrong was in my view a burgeoning shift from self- reliance to a …… “a falsehood that took root that government can solve anything…everything”. It is the only explanation for why today taxes, regulation and intrusion by government into every aspect of our daily lives is what it is. ( Think of Bidens proposal to allow federal authorities unimpeded access to our personal banking transactions ) Both political parties have played this game when it served their narrow purpose. But this discussion is on how we may see some glimmer of hope that the tide is turning and in some very small but distinguishable ways.

Nothing will bring a household budget into shape more so than the loss of income. When one spouse loses a job it is immediate that a review of expenses come into the picture. Do we really need that 3rd car, does a gym membership or a 45 ft RV sitting in the driveway for 11 months of the year a necessity? Eating out 3-4 times a week might get the axe. Choices, often tough choices must be made for the fiscal health of the family unit.

Society is no different. So long as government (at every level) has the resources they just go about their merry way expanding government programs and creating new ones…….until they can’t. Are we at that pivotal point yet, maybe not , but signs are increasingly pointing towards just that day of reckoning that we all intuitively have known was coming at some point in time.

In March President Biden noted at a press conference “91 of the Fortune 500 companies paid no Federal Corporate Income tax the year prior” For those with a brain the immediate question came to mind, who has been in Washington DC for 50 years writing the Tax Code? Well if you identified the same Joe Biden you get moved to the head of the class.

One can begin with asking the question why is the Federal Tax code some 100,000 pages? Exemptions for this favored class or that favored class fill the pages, and is added to each year. Always with the noblest of intentions these EXEMPTIONS are more often than not simply a way for legislators to reward their campaign donors, who join the ELITE FAVORED CLASS, directly as a result of the fistful of dough they pony up at campaign time . No different at the state or local level, the examples have been repeatedly cited, over & over. Pay to play. The downside to that is the collective enormity of these exemptions and the effect it has on collected revenues. I have dozens of times pointed out that every TAX EXEMPTION, is nothing more than shifting that cost to someone else. The following two points will highlight for you why this is now the cause for optimism I allude to in the title above.

In the haggling over Bidens Infrastructure proposal is the chasm between the handful of very high tax states (New York, New Jersey, California, Illinois to name a few) over the SALT (State and Local tax deductions) that were capped at $10,000 in 2017 during the Reforms that lowered both Corporate and Individual income tax rates. The states with the outrageous state/local taxes want that repealed….and why not. Essentially those living in other states are subsidizing these high tax states by having to make up revenue when the unlimited SALT deductions drain federal coffers. Supporters of the SALT limits argue, rather convincingly that the limits on deductions for State/local taxes will force these big spenders to reduce wasteful spending. THE FIGHT OVER DWINDLING RESOURCES HAS BEGUN (read on)

Coupled with this is the proposal to implement a NEW GLOBAL 15% CORPORATE INCOME TAX. Now just where does this idea originate, and equally important, how did we reach a point where this even reached serious discussion?

The TAX EXEMPTION game is played all over the world, it is one of the ways as mentioned elected officials stay in power, doling out tax exemptions to their pals.

The problem however (and it is beginning to come home to roost) is when government continues in its expansive ways, coupled with a reduced level of economic growth, things start to get SQUEEZED. Nothing frustrates Pols more than running out of money (Didn’t Margaret Thatcher once warn us this would happen) THE FIGHT OVER DWINDLING RESOURCES—ROUND 2.

Like the family that has to review their budget and trim expenses the United States is quickly coming onto the very dynamic that will hopefully bring about the re-alignment of our spending priorities. Authorities can only raise tax rates (and new taxes) so much …………….until those stuck paying the freight begin to PUSH BACK. Key is PUSHING BACK.

When that occurs (and it started with the Patriot movement 13 years ago) will these elected officials take note. Competition for dwindling resources will hasten the process………and thankfully that has begun.

If as my friend with the Richmond T.E.A Party has said, I was a free rider for most of my life, well you know who you are and you know what you need to do---ENGAGE IN THE FIGHT, or watch as your income, your liberty and your children’s future are being squandered by the self serving interest of those in elected office, slowly doling out your last nickel , perpetuating the certain decline of the greatest nation in recorded history. We all have that choice.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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06/02/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Open Letter - No Parole

Virginia Parole Board
6900 Atmore Drive
Richmond, VA 23225

Subject: Kenneth Wayne Woodfin Parole Board Hearing April 28, 2021 - Offender # 1109868

Dear Members of the Virginia Parole Board:

I am writing to request that convicted capital murderer Kenneth Wayne Woodfin be denied parole. On October 24, 1984, Mr. Woodfin’s reign of terror across Central Virginia began. Mr. Woodfin murdered his estranged wife and then tossed her body into a cemetery in Petersburg. After murdering his wife, he returned to his mother’s home and picked up his wife’s sister, Ms. Susan Hall. He drove Ms. Hall to the home she shared in Richmond with his best friend, Frank Gabbin, Jr. Mr. Woodfin entered the home where he shot both Ms. Hall and Mr. Gabbin. An eye witness saw him at the home just after hearing the fatal shots.

After committing those murders, Mr. Woodfin attempted to murder Hanover County Deputy Sheriff Willard “Bubba” Worsham, who was in uniform and on duty in his police vehicle in Ashland. Deputy Worsham was alerted to Mr. Woodfin’s firearm by his K-9 unit just before Mr. Woodfin fired at Deputy Worsham’s head. Deputy Worsham was struck by a bullet from Mr. Woodfin’s .357 Magnum revolver. Officers responded to the scene and chased Mr. Woodfin in his vehicle for several miles before he abandoned the vehicle and escaped.

On October 26, 1984, Richmond Police Officer Cheryl Nici was working in uniform in front of the Richmond Marriott. She carried a copy of Mr. Woodfin’s picture in her back pocket, as it had been distributed to law enforcement officers across Central Virginia. Mr. Woodfin and a companion approached Officer Nici and engaged her in conversation before entering the hotel. A short time later, Mr. Woodfin left the hotel approached Officer Nici and handed her a piece of paper, which she placed in her pocket. Later Mr. Woodfin ambushed her from behind and shot her in the face at point blank range with a .357 Magnum revolver. Mercifully, Officer Nici survived this unprovoked attack, but she has suffered with the residuals of the attack ever since.

Mr. Woodfin’s reign of terror across Central Virginia came to an end when he was finally arrested. Duly impaneled juries rendered their guilty verdicts for all three of the murders he committed and also found him guilty of shooting both uniformed law enforcement officers. Mr. Woodfin was sentenced to three life sentences for capital murder and first-degree murder in the killing of Ms. Whittaker-Woodfin, Ms. Hall, and Mr. Gabbin. He was also convicted of attempted capital murder of another Hanover deputy and two Ashland police officers who came to Deputy Worsham’s aid at the time Woodfin ambushed him.

Details of Mr. Woodfin’s crimes can be found at Woodfin v. Virginia, 236 VA. 89 (1988). At no time since his killing spree has Mr. Woodfin shown any remorse for his actions. In April 2014, Mr. Woodfin gave an interview with NBC Channel 12 and claimed that he did not commit any of his crimes and that instead he was in the woods being tortured by three men. A summary of this interview can be accessed at https://www.nbc12.com/story/25227148/convicted-killer-speaks-from-prison/.

Honorable Members of the Virginia Parole Board, please exercise your authority and judgment by denying Kenneth Wayne Woodfin parole. The serious nature and circumstances of his crimes show that Mr. Woodfin is a risk to the community. If released, he would pose a danger to all citizens of the Commonwealth, particularly law enforcement officers and the families of his victims. Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully submitted,
Signed __________________________________________________Date __________________
Printed Name _________________________________________________________________________
Address (Optional) ___________________________________________________________________
E-Mail (Optional)______________________________________________________________________
**If my address is annotated above, please notify me of your decision by e-mail or letter. Thank you.

Additionally:

* You may also electronically sign the form letter and E-Mail letters requesting denial of parole for Kenneth Wayne Woodfin to the Virginia Parole Board Victim's Advocate Jamillah Harris at
* jamillah.harris@vpb.virginia.gov

* You can also sign your form letter and scan a copy to attach to an E-Mail.

* Letters can also be faxed to the Virginia Parole Board-Victim's Advocate Jamillah Harris at Fax: (804) 674-3284

You can also mail all signed form letters that include your printed name and your signature to: The Commonwealth of Virginia Parole Board, 6900 Atmore Drive Richmond, VA 23225.


PDF Open Letter - Link Below:

No Parole
or go to
http://www.kwteaparty.com/PDF/6 2 2021 Woodfin No Parole Letter-1.pdf

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05/19/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Biden Should Go To Jail For Bribery

Legislation contained in the latest stimulus funding has a new expanded Child Care Tax Credit in the form of direct payments starting in July 2021. Each child in a household from infancy to age 17 will receive $300, with children over age 6 receiving $250. The family income caps are very generous, up to $150,000 for a 2 couple/family income and $75,000 for single parent income. These cash payments are monthly and are a major change from how the Child Care Tax Credit has been administered in the past. Normally the parent(s) when filing their Federal Income Tax Return each year would get these credits, but the Biden Administration has decided to literally play Santa Claus in July. They are monetizing the credits in the form of actual cash payments

What is truly astounding is that 39 million households will be receiving these direct payments each month. If Congress should decide to make these payments PERMANENT, the 10 year estimated costs are 1.6 TRILLION dollars.

Biden touts how this will lift so many children out of “poverty”. Can you really (with a straight face) call a child living in a household with a family income of $150,000 “living in poverty, or for that matter a child living in a single parent household with $75,000 annual income in poverty?


Folks, welcome to Joe’s Strange New World. The left’s demands for Universal Basic Income is being implemented. The self respect and pride that not so long ago was a hallmark characteristic of Americans is slowly being replaced with growing numbers willing to sell their dignity, their liberty and their self-respect for a political handout.

Why should Biden go to jail; you ask? How do you think a plurality of these new welfare recipients, (and yes that is what they are) will vote in the next election? When the money is being distributed to numbers of this magnitude, I can’t see past the political implications of what is driving this.

The most disturbing element of this is how so many of these folks receiving this money fail to recognize the essential funding source. These funds are nothing more than a loan from the future earnings of these very same children.

Biden is buying votes in my opinion and has figured out he can do this in this particular manner which avoids campaign finance laws that would render this a criminal act under any other circumstances.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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05/06/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Exposing the Hypocrisy of the Tax Code

I couldn’t help but smile to myself when listening to Joe Biden decry the 95 companies in the Fortune 500 that paid no Federal Income Tax in the recent year, asking Ol Joe “who has been in Washington the last 48 years writing the Tax Code “? Joe’s political base is comprised of some folks who are not as they say the sharpest knives in the drawer so naturally, they buy this guys line without asking the obvious question. I have often referred to the tax code (at every level) the dirty currency of politicians.

Here at the local level let’s examine the B.P.O.L Tax (Business /Professional /Occupational License) This tax is collected by businesses that operate in King William County, well most of them anyway with some very interesting EXEMPTIONS. This is the TAX to obtain and or renew your license to do Business in King William. There are a number of categories depending on what type of business you operate. I happen to fall into the Financial Services category and the tax is a computation of the total gross revenue, (not adjusted gross revenue, but TOTAL gross revenue, so if my gross revenue is higher - I pay a higher tax. Sound simple enough…..right?

While filling out my renewal form for this BPOL license a few months ago I retrieved my gross revenue for 2020 (and it was higher than 2019) so I had to write a BIGGER check for my 2021 Business License. Some would say this is fair, and the estimated $400,000 the county collects from the BPOL tax is money that goes to the 4 local public schools. But here is the rub, every business in the county, every self-employed person who pays this tax needs to be asking the Board of Supervisors some TOUGH QUESTIONS. Why do I pay this every year but those engaged in the Farming and Timber industries are EXEMPTED, even when their revenues are up ? It is a fair question, is it not?

Corn, Wheat, and Soybeans recently hit multi-year highs, Lumber prices are up 45 %, and good for the Farmers and those harvesting timber on their properties. Unlike the rest of us however who pay a higher tax when revenues have increased these folks are EXEMPTED. Why is that? Re-read the opening paragraph unless you are a member in good standing of the 85% clueless sheep.

It isn’t enough that these folks get a big fat break on their real estate taxes with the Land Use Tax Exemption program, they are also spared from having to pay the B.P.O.L tax. Next door in neighboring King & Queen County (where they do not have a Land Use Tax Exemption program) the Real Estate Tax rate is some 40% lower, so on a comparable $200,000 home here you would pay around $1720, where next door in King & Queen you would have a real estate tax due of an estimated $1060. They (politicians) shear you like sheep when you behave like one.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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To Download your copy of the below letter - go to
https://www.americasfrontlinedoctors.com/mask-the-law/<


04/12/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: “Organization’s Mask Policy/Open Letter from America's Frontline Doctors” ;

Date: April, 12, 2021
To Whom It May Concern:

I am sending you this notice, related to Organization’s mask policy. My findings raise significant concerns, both medically and legally, of the current mask policy in place. Masks are ineffective for the purpose claimed by the mandate, potentially harmful, and only authorized for use by an EUA.

Masks are ineffective and in many ways they harm.

It’s a myth that masks prevent viruses from spreading. The overall evidence is clear: Standard cloth and surgical masks offer next to no protection against virus-sized particles or small aerosols. The size of a virus particle is much too small to be stopped by a surgical mask, cloth or bandana. A single virion of SARS-CoV-2 is about 60-140 nanometers or 0.1 microns. The pore size in a surgical mask is 200-1000x that size. Consider that the CDC website states, “surgical masks do not catch all harmful particles in smoke.” And that the size of smoke particles in a wildfire are ~0.5 microns which is 5x the size of the SARS-CoV-2 virus! Wearing a mask to prevent catching SARS-CoV-2, or similarly sized influenza, is like throwing sand at a chain-link fence: it doesn’t work. There has been one large randomized controlled trial that specifically examined whether masks protect their wearers from the coronavirus. This study found mask wearing “did not reduce, at conventional levels of statistical significance, the incidence of Sars-Cov-2-infection.”

Consider also, that the existence of more particles does not mean more virus. Research shows less virus does not mean less illness. Dr. Kevin Fennelly, a pulmonologist at the National Heart, Lung and Blood institute debunked the view that larger droplets are responsible for viral transmission. Fennelly wrote:
“current infection control policies are based on the premise that most respiratory infections are transmitted by large respiratory droplets- i.e., larger than 5 [microns] – produced by coughing and sneezing, …Unfortunately, that premise is wrong.”

Fennelly referenced a 1953 paper on anthrax that showed a single bacterial spore of about one micron was significantly more lethal than larger clumps of spores. Exposure to one virus particle is theoretically enough to cause infection and subsequent disease. This is not an alarming thought - it simply means what it has always meant, that our immune system protects us continually all our life.

There have been hundreds of mask studies related to influenza transmission done over several decades. It is a well-established fact that masks do not stop viruses. “Part of that evidence shows that cloth facemasks actually increase influenza-linked illness.” Bacteria are 50x larger than virus particles. As such, virus particles can enter through the mask pores, yet bacteria remain trapped inside of the mask, resulting in the mask-wearer continually exposed to the bacteria. Related to the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, there was almost universal agreement among experts, that deaths were virtually never caused by the influenza virus itself but resulted directly from severe secondary pneumonia caused by well-known bacterial “pneumopathogens” that colonized the upper respiratory tract. Dr. Fauci and his National Institute of Health studied pandemics and epidemics and concluded, “the vast majority of influenza deaths resulted from secondary bacterial pneumonia.”

All parties mandating the use of facemasks are not only willfully ignoring established science but are engaging in what amounts to a clinical experimental trial. This conclusion is reached by the fact that facemask use and Covid-19 incidence are being reported in scientific opinion pieces promoted by the CDC and others. The fact is after reviewing ALL of the studies worldwide, the CDC found “no reduction in viral transmission with the use of face masks.”

Any intervention, especially one that is prophylactic, must cause fewer harms to the recipient than the infection. The cost-benefit of mandating an investigational face-covering with emerging safety issues is especially difficult to justify. Anthony Fauci was very clear that asymptomatic transmission was not a threat. He stated, “in all the history of respiratory-borne viruses of any type, asymptomatic transmission has never been the driver of outbreaks. The driver of outbreaks is always a symptomatic person.”

Wearing respirators come(s) with a host of physiological and psychological burdens. These can interfere with task performances and reduce work efficiency. These burdens can even be severe enough to cause life-threatening conditions if not ameliorated. Fifteen years ago, National Taiwan University Hospital concluded that the use of N-95 masks in healthcare workers caused them to experience hypoxemia, a low level of oxygen in the blood, and hypercapnia, an elevation in the blood's carbon dioxide levels. Studies of simple surgical masks found significant reductions in blood oxygen as well. In one particular study, researchers measured blood oxygenation before and after surgeries in 53 surgeons. Researchers found the mask reduced the blood oxygen levels significantly, and the longer the duration of wearing the mask, the greater the drop in blood oxygen levels.

Moreover, people with cancer will be at a further risk from hypoxia, as cancer cells grow best in a bodily environment that is low in oxygen. Low oxygen also promotes systemic inflammation which, in turn, promotes “the growth, invasion and spread of cancers.” Repeated episodes of low oxygen, known as intermittent hypoxia, also “causes atherosclerosis” and hence increases “all cardiovascular events” such as heart attacks, as well as adverse cerebral events like stroke.

Informed consent is required for investigational medical therapies.

Regardless of the lack of safety and efficacy behind the decision to require employees to wear a mask, it is illegal to mandate EUA approved investigational medical therapies without informed consent. Mask use for viral transmission prevention is authorized for Emergency Use only. Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA, means “the products are investigational and experimental” only. The statute granting the FDA the power to authorize a medical product of emergency use requires that the person being administered the unapproved product be advised of his or her right to refuse administration of the product. This statute further recognizes the well-settled doctrine that medical experiments, or “clinical research,” may not be performed on human subjects without the express, informed consent of the individual receiving treatment.

The right to avoid the imposition of human experimentation is fundamental, rooted in the Nuremberg Code of 1947, has been ratified by the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki, and further codified in the United States Code of Federal Regulations. In addition to the Unites States regarding itself as bound by these provisions, these principles were adopted by the FDA in its regulations requiring the informed consent of human subjects for medical research. Add State info here if possible. The law is very clear; It is unlawful to conduct medical research (even in the case of emergency), unless steps taken to … secure informed consent of all participants.

Furthermore, by requiring employees to wear a mask, you are promoting the idea that the mask can prevent or treat a disease, which is an illegal deceptive practice. It is unlawful to advertise that a product or service can prevent…disease unless you possess competent and reliable scientific evidence… substantiating that the claims are true.

The FDA EUA for surgical and/or cloth masks explicitly states, “the labeling must not state or imply… that the [mask] is intended for antimicrobial or antiviral protection or related, or for use such as infection prevention or reduction.” As you can see from the image below, masks do not claim to keep out viruses. Vet

Illegally mandating an investigational medical therapy generates liability.

There are proven microbial challenges as well as breathing difficulties that are created and exacerbated by extended mask-wearing.

Requiring employees to wear a mask sets the stage for contracting any infection, including COVID-19, and making the consequences of that infection much graver. In essence, a mask may very well put us at an increased risk of infection, and if so, having a far worse outcome.

The fact that mask wearing presents a severe risk of harm to the wearer should – standing alone – not be required for employees, particularly given that we are not ill and have done nothing wrong that would warrant an infringement of our constitutional rights and bodily autonomy. Promoting use of a non-FDA approved, Emergency Use Authorized mask, is unwarranted and illegal. This mandate is in direct conflict with Section 360bbb-3€(1)(A)(ii)(I-III), which requires the wearer to be informed of the option to refuse the wearing of such “device.” Misrepresenting the use of a mask as being intended for antimicrobial or antiviral protection, and/or misrepresenting masks for use as infection prevention or reduction is a deceptive practice under the FTC. It is clear, there is no waiver of liability under deceptive practices, even under a state of emergency. As such, forcing employees to wear masks, or similarly forcing use any other non-FDA approved medical product without the wearer’s consent, is illegal and immoral.

This letter serves as official notice that I do not consent to being forced to wear a mask. I will not fail to take the maximum action permissible under the law against your organization, and against you personally. Accordingly, I urge you to comply with Federal and State law, and advise employees they have a right to refuse or wear a mask as a measure to prevent or reduce infection from Covid-19. Any other course of action is contrary to the law. I am willing to testify as to the veracity of the contents in this document. Please confirm no further pressure will be exerted upon me to follow this illegal mask mandate, and that I will not face any retaliatory disciplinary action.

Sincerely,
Name

https://www.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?doi=10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.4221
Berenson, A (November 24, 2020). Unreported Truths about Covid-19 and Lockdowns: Part 3: Masks
https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817
https://www.thelanced.com/journals.lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(20)30323-4/fulltext
https://www.thelanced.com/journals.lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(20)30323-4/fulltext
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090313150254.htm
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4420971/
https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/virus-vs-bacteria-difference
The pathology and bacteriology of pneumonia following influenza. Chapter IV, Epidemic respiratory disease.
The pneumonias and other infections of the respiratory tract accompanying influenza and measles, 1921 St, LouisCV Mosby (p. 107-281)
https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/198/7/962/2192118
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html
Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective
and Environmental Measures, Jingyi Xiao1, Eunice Y. C. Shiu1, Huizhi Gao, Jessica Y. Wong, Min W. Fong,
Sukhyun Ryu, and Benjamin J. Cowling (Volume 26, Number 5, May of 2020).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1orSO094uY
Arthur Johnson, Journal of Biological Engineering (2016).
The Physiological Impact of N95 Masks on Medical Staff, National Taiwan University Hospital (June 2005).
Bader A et al. Preliminary report on surgical mask induced deoxygenation during major surgery. Neurocirugia 2008;19:12-126..
Aggarwal BB. Nucler factor-kappaB: The enemy within. Cancer Cell 2004;6:203-208, and Blaylock RL.
Immunoexcitatory mechanisms in glioma proliferation, invasion and occasional metastasis. Surg Neurol Inter 2013;4:15.
Savransky V et al. Chronic intermittent hypoxia induces atherosclerosis. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2007;175:1290-1297.
https://www.fda.gov/media/137121/download
https://ca.childrenshealthdefense.org/wp-content/uploads/CDE-Superintendent-Letter0from-Childrens-Health-Defense-California-Chapter.pdf
21 U.S.C.§ S360bbb-3 (The FD&C Act)
21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(e)(1)(A) (“Section 360bbb-3”)
C.F.R. § 50.20
http://www.invertedalchemy.com/2020/12/belief-is-not-medical-counter-measure.html, 21 C.F.R. § 50.23, 21 C.F.R. §50.20 21 C.F.R. § 50.24
FTC Act, 15 U.S. Code § 41
https://www.fda.gov/media/137121/download
Russell Blaylock, Id. (quoting Shehade H et al. Cutting edge: Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 negatively regulates Th1 function.
J Immunol 2015;195:1372-1376. See also: Westendorf AM et al. Hypoxia enhances immunosuppression by inhibiting CD4+ effector
T cell function and promoting Treg activity. Cell Physiol Biochem 2017;41:1271-84. See further: Sceneay J et al.
Hypoxia-driven immunosuppression contributes to the pre-metastatic niche. Oncoimmunology 2013;2:1 e22355.

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04/13/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: “Tool in the Toolbox” ;

It is budget time again for the King William County Board of Supervisors and guess what tool will be used again.

You guessed it – throw more “Money” at it. If anyone knows a time that this has worked, and the problem went away – Please write a letter to the editor with the particulars. We have all heard the cry of be a “Team Player” and stop complaining – you are the problem. The following is a walk down memory lane to refresh everyone’s memory about how well throwing money at any problem will work. The following is from a “Letter to the Editor” I wrote in May of 2019.

In the May 15, 2019 issue of the Country Courier on page 12 Supervisor Dave Hansen’s letter to the Editor gave a “Description” of which can only be described as a “Progressive’s Dream” come true. We now have an unelected county administrator deciding the salaries of the county employees without the Board’s review or approval as long as it is performed within budgetary constraints. Who decides what the constraints are?

The Voluntary Fire and EMS units in King William have been having financial trouble since before the 2015 election. I am sure most of you will remember the County Administer Trent Funkhouser, at that time having a meeting in each of our voting districts to get citizen input and suggestions on how to proceed. To my knowledge no citizen suggestion was implemented. The manager of the Voluntary Fire and EMS’s Salary was in the range of the about $55,000.00.

The solution after Mr. Funkhouser left and a new County Administer assumed duty was to hire the current Chief of Fire & Emergency Services for $71,936.00. I believe the citizens thought this would result in a handle finally being applied to the Voluntary Fire and EMS unit’s financial troubles. What seems to have happened is the problem got bigger.

The local Mattaponi Volunteer Fire & Rescue figured out how to stay out of financial trouble. Mattaponi Volunteer Rescue Chief Curtis Mason Jr. offered to pay over $500,000 to fund & help run King William Volunteer Fire & Rescue and the county would not have to pay a cent. He was told “No”. The reward was the Mattaponi Unit will now not take calls for King William as reported in the Tidewater Review. You would think Curtis Mason would be the new King William Chief of Fire and Emergency Services with that kind of track record.

As stated in Supervisor Hansen’s letter The Fire Chief‘s new top salary is $100,710.00 and the County Administer gets to decide the wage.

We owe a Thank You to Supervisor Hansen. Can any citizen recall a Supervisor providing this type of information in a dollar and cents format with a clarity that all can understand in an election year. The next time you hear a candidate declare he or she is a team player – be sure to ask which team. (End of the May 2019 Letter)

Today in 2021 the county owns the King William Volunteer Fire & Rescue, grounds and buildings and are looking to hire 13 new personal in 2021. Does anyone miss Chief Curtis Mason Jr. and Supervisor Hansen Yet?

Sincerely,
Paul Jamerson
King William, Va 23086
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04/04/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: This Is Going To End Very Badly For K.W Taxpayers

Combing through a variety of Budget documents I came across a statement on two school expenses that caught my attention. Public Schools implemented some years back a O.P.E.B program (Other Post Employment Benefits) Initially it was intended as a supplemental retirement benefit for 1st tier school employees, Top administrative officials, principals, assistant principals, but like all government (or should I say taxpayer funded programs) the list of those eligible for this benefit was expanded. Politicians (school boards are politicians) cannot resist handing out goodies each year, especially since it carries no immediate costs.

I am reminded that just 2 years ago the Richmond Times Dispatch newspaper did an expose on the nightmare in Chesterfield County that this program has created by going on for 20 years without any public recognition in their Fiscal accounting to pay for what was when discovered a staggering 100 million dollars in an unfunded liability that had been glossed over for 2 decades.

Here in King William County, we have the very same program covering a considerable number of school employees that our group (K.W.T.P) pushed School Board Rep Steve Tupponce for some answers on when this came to light. Let me be polite and say that Mr. Tupponce was evasive in the details we wanted to have more information on. Was KWCPS reserving for this future expense ? If so then where is it in the school budget accounted for? According to documents this is now required to be “booked” as a liability and stands at some $500,000.00.

Another benefit that the schools have to pay for (and that means you Mr./Mrs. taxpayer) is the Compensated Absences……a clever play on words for what it really is. At retirement now any Accumulated Vacation/Sick Leave is paid out in dollars to the retiring employee. Just 4 years ago our group highlighted that the K.W taxpayers doled out some $129,000 that year alone. It is now listed at $400,000.00 and I assume that is also for 1 year. In a aging society and an aging work force one can see where this is headed as more school employees retire.

King William County growth is stagnant at best, the numbers speak for themselves. With a liability of these two programs snowballing where will the money come from when as Grandma used to say “the band wants to be paid”? If the County continues on with stagnant growth it means that this quite significant liability falls on whom?................if you guessed yourself, you get moved to the head of the class. Tupponce, the rest of this crowd, to include the current Board of Supervisors will be long gone, leaving a future B.O.S and School Board to deliver the bad news. Ain’t gubbermint grand?

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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04/02/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Was The $235,000 Paving Proposal Of K.W Squad 1 Parking Lot…..A Red Herring?

Among the wasteful proposals and requests for outlandish sums of even more of hard-working King William Tax Payers money was the $235,000 that was proposed to pave the gravel drive and parking lot at Squad 1, just off Route 360 in Central Garage. Was it a serious proposal ---or was it a Red Herring, a throw away proposal intended to fool the citizens? I am suspicious for the following reasons.

Having been a regular ---combatant---for the last 12 + years during the Budget Cycle I have watched and learned at some of the dubious methods a variety of the players have engaged in.

There is a serious increase in the proposed spending for the new Budget and I suspect that this proposal was intended to lead citizens to believe that by dismissing it , the Board of Supervisors could mislead folks into believing that they had somehow “got religion” on the runaway spending. This week several of the Supervisors made public statements that this proposal wasn’t likely to be approved. By doing so they can now point to this specific smack down to attempt to sway citizens that they are going to be fiscally prudent on the new spending requests.

Take a look also at the enormous amount of money proposed for the Regional Animal Shelter, hundreds of thousands of dollars…………yet at the end of November the Facility housed some 12-15 stray dogs and cats. I said a few years back we could save some money if we gave each animal a private suite at the downtown Radisson. It isn’t much of an exaggeration.

Throw in for good measure the K.W. Superintendent of Schools, Dr. David White’s reluctance to answer my question……….how much money was not spent as a result of the schools being closed a good part of this past year…His Answer……….” We don’t know yet “Is there anyone out there that believes that? Or is his current budget request before the Board on his mind?

Maybe we ask our Supervisors to query Sherriff Jeff Walton on the proposal to buy a bunch of $5,000 radios---yes at a price tag of $5,000 EACH. I seem to recall these agencies just bought NEW RADIOS…..just a few years back? I suspect the silly concept of having to have the newest shiniest tech gadgets is a part of this warped mentality. Each of us know folks who have a cell phone that works just fine (often purchased in the last few years) but they shell out $1100--$1200 each time an upgraded version comes along, not because the phone they have isn’t working but they have to have the newest gizmo the upgrade contains. Walton should at least be questioned about this. His budget has ballooned over the last 5-8 years.

It is inevitable that real estate taxes are headed north, the spending is out of control. Only if enough citizens stand up and demand it be cut will it happen. The “paved parking lot was what we call in basketball…..a head fake.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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04/01/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Just What Is GRANT MONEY?

The King William T.E.A Party labors to educate citizens about topics that have been mislabeled or carry popular misconceptions about what they truly are. Even calling it GRANT MONEY defies the truth ,with little consideration for how much this is damaging the economic prosperity of future generations.

Now if one were to ask Supervisor Bill Hodges, Travis Moskalski or school board reps Terry Stone or Steve Tupponce they would explain it quite differently than what you are about to read. These folks, employed or, in the service of the public sector for their entire adult lives (or a large part of it) view GRANT MONEY as if it is manna falling from the heavens. GRANT MONEY is not what these folks would have you believe. They would explain it as money coming from State or Federal government allowing for the financing of wonderful noble purposes. I have listened to these folks wax on philosophically about the “funding” for broadband, or the bicycle paths/ crossing lanes being constructed at the Route 360 & 30 interchange. GRANT MONEY was used to build the Natural Gas Pipeline back in 2010/11 that was going to open up all kinds of commercial enterprise down Route 360---a BOOM—was the phrase used by many who promoted this particular project. Yet some 11 years later this has benefited only 1 commercial enterprise. GRANT MONEY is often described as “seed money” to get a worthy project off the ground. (Worthy defined by just whom)

GRANT MONEY is not magic money falling from the heavens. It is

BORROWED MONEY, OFTEN FROM SOURCES THAT ARE NOT FRIENDLY TO OUR NATIONAL INTERESTS, THAT YOUR 2-YEAR-OLD GRANDCHILD’S……. FUTURE EARNINGS WILL BE TAKEN IN ORDER TO REPAY, BOTH THE INTEREST AND PRINCIPAL AT SOME FUTURE POINT IN TIME

GRANT MONEY IS THE EQUIVALENT OF SNEAKING INTO YOUR GRANDCHILDS ROOM LATE AT NIGHT WHILE THEY ARE ASLEEP AND…………. STEALING THEIR PIGGY BANK. YOUR GRANDCHILD THAT YOU LOVE DEARLY, FUTURE EARNINGS ARE ALREADY LARGELY SPOKEN FOR BECAUSE - ELECTED OFFICIALS, YOUR SUPERVISOR AND YOUR SCHOOL BOARD REP ARE SO ENAMORED OF THE IDEA OF CURRYING FAVOR WITH VOTERS THEY SPEND MONEY WE DO NOT HAVE.

I sincerely believe that the folks mentioned above know and understand what they are doing is wrong. They do it anyway, and regardless of their motives they are bankrupting our grandchildren’s future. It has been misunderstood by even well intended people, who advocate for King William to seek out even more grants, without understanding that we have a spending problem and that isn’t helped by advocates for even more of it, regardless of how well intended they might be.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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03/24/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: If only the King William Board of Supervisors would ask some tough questions?

Local government spending is dominated by support for the schools. .55 to .60 out of every dollar of local revenue ends up there. Elected officials spout the tired refrain over and over “I support good schools”. It is a cop-out since it affords them the easy out on asking school officials tough questions. It warrants mention here that it would help if the local newspapers asked these questions. The King William T.E.A Party on the other hand has no reservations about asking those questions, and then sharing with our fellow citizens what we have learned. The following contains an e-mail exchange I had with the K.W School Superintendent this past week. In my initial e-mail I asked the following questions of Dr. David White.

What amount if any has not been expended this school year because of the amount of time the schools were closed, surely there had to be significant savings. White’s response

“It’s too early for us at this time to estimate what our carryover funding will be”

Now anyone familiar with modern financial/accounting software would understandably be wary of that answer. Modern software allows for tracking of any expenditure or revenue in the most minute detail. All of us can see when we get a bank statement or a paycheck it shows the Y.T.D data on every category imaginable. K.W. Schools have a myriad of people in the Administration with the word “finance” in their titles………….just what do they do all day, inventory the pencils ? The schools have a running total on everything, they know how much money they have not spent from this year’s budget so I have to conclude because of where we are at in the County Budget planning Dr. White would rather that answer remain below the surface so as to maximize the chance that the Board will allocate the additional money the schools are requesting.

Dr. White further goes on to state “However, per Resolution 19-28 ( copy provided in his response ) unanimously approved by the former Board of Supervisors in May 2019, any carryover money from the current fiscal year will be placed in the schools capital reserve fund to address future capital needs”…as the Church Lady on SNL used to say …..” isn’t that special”

A school system should have a reserve fund. It is apparent that in this case and based on the schools past practice of misleading King William taxpayers, from how many positions they claimed to have eliminated back in 2015, (claimed it was 42), when the truth was it was around 17, to the past claims that they “hadn’t had a raise in years”, when the truth was they had numerous salary scale adjustments,…. step increases, ….compression adjustments (all code language meant to hide what they actually were PAY RAISES)

We have 5 Supervisors who behave like cowards, they refuse to do even a modicum of due diligence and ask some tough questions? Dr. White knows what money has not been expended because of the amount of time the schools were shut down, and perhaps he has shared that with the B.O.S. What they are hoping is that you, the hard-working tax payer is kept in the dark.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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03/24/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Issues with King William County Government

King William County Government has some issues that need to be corrected.

The county should be to taking a better more active approach to reduce spending by the county and school system.

Younger people are moving away and families seek jobs elsewhere. The county needs is to bring industry here. More gas stations and restaurants don't help families pay bills and the high taxes in the county.

The county needs to find a solution to generate good paying jobs that help families and our economy. With better paying jobs we may be able to keep our younger generation in the community.

New ways of doing business must be developed in creating jobs, affordable housing and recreational opportunities.

Changes need to be made at the top with a mindset of reducing expenditures. In the over 42 years my wife and I have lived in King William, we have witnessed with the ever changing County Administration a emphasis on more and more spending rather on reducing spending. The acting County Administrator appears to have fallen in line with excess spending already. Example is the letter from the acting County Administrator rubber stamping the request for $235k to pave the fire station because dust from the gravel is detrimental to the equipment. So ask yourself why this has not been a problem over the past 40 years. Does this mean the fire trucks won’t go down unpaved county roads and citizens roads and driveways to put out a fire? I doubt it or is it because the county now owning the station they feel they have the opportunity of unlimited taxpayer funds to fleece the taxpayers for more money? The list goes on like the over expenditure on the building by the fire station on route 360, and $24k and $60k tractors and new police vehicles for the next several years just because they have over 100,000 miles on the existing vehicles. Just why does King William need a satellite police station and the extra expenses required to man the station?

You recently agreed to provide a pay difference to the new Treasurer and Commissioner of Revenue that were already receiving a salary 92% more than the average taxpayer in the county. Did the though that the prior Treasurer and Commissioner of the Revenue had over 25 years’ experience in the jobs.

There are many more items I can mention, but you get the picture.

This past year we have seen case after case of the county working against the citizens that pays your salaries and the salaries of all the county and school employees.

The past County Administrator worked against the taxpayers continuously and even tried to stack the Board of Equalization with all county employees or kin of the administration staff, that you went along with.

Last week I called the county complex and school system on two different days and got nothing but an answering machine. Friday I called the school system and tried five different numbers in the administration and got nothing but voice mail. I did not receive any calls back last week from the county administration or the school administration. Yesterday I did get a call from the county. However, still no call back from the school system.

Why is it how when you request information form the county, county employees want to treat it as a freedom of information request? This is uncalled for. I requested a copy of the 2021 proposed budget which should be readily available and posted on the county website. I was told I had to submit and was told I have to submit a freedom of information request.

I feel certain you are aware these issues in the county which are your direct responsibility and fall under your supervision.

There needs to be a change in the mindset in the county complex and school system of working against the taxpayers. The feeling there is an endless money source from taxpayers and ignoring State of Virginia codes needs to change. It appears that the county and county employees have lost track of the fact that they work for the citizens of the county. These charges needs to come directly from each of you the Board of Supervisors.

This brings me to my final point, which is the various boards you have setup in the county. I have been told more than once by county employees, that the county does not have applications for the boards. I know this to be incorrect as I personally have submitted applications for many of the boards and am aware of some other county citizens that have also applied. One such person has applied for over 20 years. When a person applies, they never receive any comments as to why you are not recommend.

I have applied for the NEW Advisory Board, Board of Equalization, Planning Commission Board and Economic Development Board. Still Waiting.

Sincerely

Fred Krauss
Aylett, VA 23009


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03/20/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: H.R.1

I’m writing because I am concerned about a current bill in the Senate, HR1, which will cast doubt on the integrity of the elections in our country.

1. Unchecked Voter Identification — States will be required to register voters on the day of elections. There will be no requirement of the voters to bring ID to the voting precincts to confirm identity or residence. H.R. 1 allows for people to simply “sign a statement” confirming identification. With no buffer-period to verify personal information, this provision could easily lead to voter fraud.

2. H.R. 1 would destroy the sanctity of the election process and will endanger our democracy by requiring ballots to be counted outside the county’s precinct.

3. Automatic Registration of Ineligible Voters — H.R. 1 interferes with states’ abilities to determine qualifications for voters and destroys the accuracy of the voter registration rolls.

4. H.R. 1 would also allow candidates to be paid a salary out of their campaign funds. Those are the same campaign funds that would now be funded by the public coffers.

5. H.R. 1 would federalize our election processes, which are currently run by the states. Classic D.C. politicians trying to make sure the game is rigged in their favor. The Politicians already in Washington should not be choosing who goes to Washington—voters should! It must be remembered - It was the States that created the Federal government.

6. The bill would give public funds to the politicians' election campaigns. Under no circumstances should public money be used to fund political careers with no accountability on the use of such funds.

There are other reasons to oppose H.R. 1, but I’ll just leave you with these. Write and call Sen. Tim Kaine and Sen. Mark Warner and tell them to oppose H.R. 1.

Sincerely,
Dorothy Jamerson
King William, VA23086
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03/18/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: King William Could follow Henrico County Leadership

“You can’t begin to fix a problem until one admits there is one”. Wise sage advice. So the wasteful spending and the lack of accountability in the public schools goes on and on. It appears our neighbors in Henrico County are coming around and publicly admitting it. In a Citizen Staff post from March 15, 2021 elected officials in Henrico vented their frustrations with the inability to hold public school officials accountable for the money they spend ….and the declining results. It’s for the children nonsense is wearing a bit thin.

Henrico’s proposed Budget includes a 983.9 million dollar general fund of which 57% is directed to the elected Henrico School Board, which then has full authority to spend that money however it sees fit.

Four of the Supervisors expressed frustration with the reality that they hold no oversight over whether that money results in the educational outcomes they desire—and no ability to take action if it doesn’t……other than theoretically reducing education funding in the future, which seems highly unlikely. What a novel idea?

Board Chair Dan Schmitt said this: It’s a lot of money, and let’s face it—our constituents come to us, and they say “Well, you keep funding them! You keep giving them the money, so you should be able to ask questions” Schmitt said “And I struggle to answer those questions “.

Supervisor Tommy Branin said “I hesitate in ever thinking that this Board would ever say that we would not want to fund (schools) because we understand the importance of our schools, but I will ditto the sentiment that it’s time they become accountable for the education of our children. What a cowardly statement, no one is suggesting not funding the schools. Decide what you want to say Mr. Branin, quit pussy footing around or resign.

First, let me commend the Supervisors of Henrico County for at least publicly stating the obvious…..public schools have evaded any and all accountability for decades. Their solution year after year after year……just give us a bigger pile of taxpayer dough. It was only a matter of time until taxpayers would have a belly full of the nonsense. Rising real estate taxes and property taxes can only go on so long as voters sit quiet and take it on the chin.

King William gives a similar percentage to our 4 schools, yet we see the same declining test scores and ZERO ACCOUNTABILITY as to how the money is spent.

Ask yourself why there was not even a MENTION at the Joint School Board & B.O.S meeting last Thursday of the following

How much money was left over from last years School Budget, a fair question since schools we closed for much of the school year---SILENCE

Why wasn’t putting the schools back on CATEGORY BUDGETING even mentioned - SILENCE

Supervisor Greenwood last October specifically said and it is on the public record “the schools need to spend what is budgeted and no more”---SILENCE

How much have School Health Insurance Premiums increased this year….always dumped on the backs of tax payers ---SILENCE

What if anything could be cut, where could some spending be decreased ---SILENCE

Folks the Public School model is broken, we spend more money every year…and the results? Student populations in the King William County schools are almost exactly what they were 10 years ago….yet the budget has ballooned by millions. Why? ---SILENCE

It hasn’t been lost on me as to why the K.W Board of Supervisors has yet to announce the real estate tax rates for this year. I suspect they are working on the wording as to how they will justify the new, likely higher rate when it is announced. In the meantime the schools have laid out their “needs based “budget requests for local funding. As I told former West Point Supervisor some years ago when he said the following

“We can not control what they do with the money once we give it to them”….and I replied

Well then Sir, you give them less. It is time to restore some badly needed fiscal discipline to the public schools………….or open up your wallet/purse to have it picked some more.

Watch for our coming paid ad in the Country Courier for some revealing information on just how poorly these school budgets are managed. It is sickening to say the least

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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03/15/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Ol “ Pickin Up Pennies Bill Hodges” Stays True To Form

Observations over decades of watching politicians I have acquired a keen sense of how they think. Their basic instincts are so predictable as to almost set your watch by them. Case in point: Supervisor Bill Hodges (1st District West Point)

On March 8th, the topic was discussed regarding the county supplement that has previously been paid to Sally Pearson and former Treasurer Harry Whitt. Apparently, the former County Administrator removed the annual $7820.00 paid out collectively to the two long term holders of those offices, reflecting a supplement to their State salaries of $71,557. This salary (set by and paid by the State) is based on the office & the size of the locality (population) One would suspect the county administrator did this knowing that two new people would soon occupy both of those offices and would not have earned or been expecting to receive the same compensation paid to Whitt & Pearson, who had held those offices in excess of twenty years. I would agree with that position.

Hodges first ran for the Board seat in 2015 and those of you who had attended the Candidate Debate we held that year might remember a statement Hodges made that night that was intended to reflect his political philosophy, or at least how he approached the fiscal side.

Hodges went on to tell the story of how/why he explained to his grandchildren that he would not walk by a penny but stop and pick it up. When his grandchildren suggested it was only a penny he said and I am quoting “well, if you pick up enough pennies soon you have a dollar”

Bill Hodges is precisely the type of candidate for elective office that is the very worst type to elect. He has spent his entire adult life in the employment of government at one locality after another. These people develop a warped view of money, apparently coming to view taxpayer’s pockets as limitless. Hodges stated (regarding the supplements) “I’m more inclined to leave it, we had voted that additional money in there and unless y’all want to vote it out, I think it’s there”

Collecting himself a myriad of government paychecks he simply views taxpayers hard earned dollars as something to give away without any consideration in this case of cutting supplements that 2 new office holders haven’t earned, being new on the job.

Bill Hodges may indeed “pick up pennies” when it comes to his own personal pocket, but he had a chance to pick up quite a few pennies on behalf of the people who earned them. Citizens of West Point certainly can do better, much better.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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03/12/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: KWCPS School Budget Pleadings

King William T.E.A. Party patriots dedicated our entire meeting on the evening of March 11th to "attend" by Zoom and YouTube the annual joint budget meeting between the Board of Supervisors and the School Board.

Because no parents, students and other interested citizens could attend in person or even to send in public comments during the carefully scripted presentation and the haphazard questions and observations by Board members, here are but a few of our points on the Superintendent's most recent, bloated, multi-million dollar "it's for the children" wish list --

Not a single question on what could be cut
No mention of Supervisor Greenwood's statement back in October about "schools needing to spend no more than budgeted"
No discussion or even a question about CATEGORY budgeting that forces accountability
Were there really NO savings in this budget year from students being essentially shut out for most of the time while Federal COVID money flooded in?
What about the increase in HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS that must undoubtedly be picked up yet again by taxpayers?

We are expected to simply take the word of a known group fiscal fudgers that the new budget is based on actual needs.

All this while KW County's anticipated revenue is expected to have a $2 MILLION HOLE due to the Real Estate Assessment disaster.

Hold on to your wallets folks, because BIG TAX INCREASES are coming.

Sincerely,
Robert "Sarge" Bruce
District 3, Aylett,Va

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03/12/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: King William Schools…..& What Wasn’t Said !

This last fall’s Board of Supervisor meetings, and the statements during those meetings say much about what we have known for quite some time, public schools waste a lot of money. Pinning them down on the topic is a challenge in and of itself.

Last nights Joint Board of Supervisor & KWCPS School Board Members Meeting was a farce. The volume of “Pats on the backs” for the wonderful job school personnel did during the challenging time that the Covid Pandemic hit was a recurring theme. Let us talk a bit on what wasn’t discussed.

Not 1 question from the Supervisors as to what could be cut---or reduced…not once. No mention on the question the King William T.E.A Party raised in the recent paid ad we ran highlighting who, and when were the schools removed from the CATEGORY spending budget they had previously been on, a regimen that requires the schools to spend according to what money that is budgeted to specific areas. Eerie silence on that subject---why?

No discussion as to what Supervisor Stephen Greenwood said back in October “the schools need to spend what they are allocated, and no more&rdquo; Obviously in the course of the audit of the Treasurers office questions arose as to the frequent school requests to the Treasurer’s office for additional money that the Treasurer then dispensed in accordance with the protocol.

Conflicting statements regarding additional demands on transporting students with the current buses/vehicles we have. Dr. White said that about 25% of all students are doing “virtual learning from home”, so why is it a problem to transport the remaining 75% of students who are physically attending actual classes?

How is it that King William schools dispensed 181,000 meals (with only 2200 students)? If these kids were home during the periods when school was closed they were obviously in the care of 1 or more adults, a parent, grandparent, neighbor……..can these folks be expected to fix a bowl of soup and a peanut butter sandwich…..or is that where we are now as a society, removing any responsibility whatsoever from the parent? Why am I responsible for this?

Once again, we heard of the terrible salary / pay of the school personnel. More coming on that topic as the WATCHDOG does some research. Look for upcoming information shedding some light on how much truth is contained in the poor mouthing that went on last night. In years past these meetings ALWAYS mentioned the increase in Health Insurance Premiums each year, and ALWAYS ABSORBED BY YOU & I . No mention of that last night? Because our group always seizes on just that issue to more accurately report on what school personnel’s actual CADDILAC benefit costs are.

Our next meeting Thursday March 25 we will expand on these issues so that citizens can see for themselves just how much embellishment went on in last night’s meeting.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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03/7/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: King William Collects the B.P.O.L (Business, Professional, Occupational, License)
Tax…………………………. from some of us?


King William Collects the B.P.O.L (Business,Professional,Occupational,License) Tax…………………………. from some of us?

B.P.O.L Tax (Business, Professional, Occupational License) has been paid…by some of us? King William County has just collected some $350,000 + in the hated B.P.O.L tax, paid by most self employed and small business owners, with noted exceptions of Farmers engaged in Agriculture and those engaged in the Forestry industry. Adding insult to injury is just how this tax is calculated to begin with. The B.P.O.L tax is a multiplication of a rate ( in my case .0038) times GROSS REVENUE ? Even federal income tax is calculated based in ADJUSTED GROSS REVENUE (after normal business-related expenses are subtracted)

My gross revenue was up slightly over the previous year, so I ended up paying a little bit more than 2019. It peaked my curiosity so I did a bit of reading on commodity prices. It appears that Corn, Wheat and Soybean prices are up recently anywhere from 15%--37%. Lumber prices have skyrocketed---ask any home builder or someone engaged in construction.

I am always happy to see anyone doing well, and in this case the folks growing Corn, Wheat and Soybeans, along with those cutting timber are getting nice increases in the products they are producing---Good for them.

My revenue was up last year……..and I paid more in B.P.O.L taxes. But these “exempted groups” saw increases in their revenue ……….and pay nothing? Does that seem equitable to someone in King William county operating a small business or working for themselves? I don’t think it is.

As I wrote the check to King William, I pondered why it is that these groups already get 1 GIANT SWEETHEART DEAL, after another on what they pay in taxes? The Land Use Tax Exemption alone forgives some $1.300,000 in property taxes for a relatively small group. If you own a automotive repair shop, a beauty salon, HVAC repair business etc.---you pay.

I have often cited that unless and until these EXEMPTIONS (which simply shift the tax burden to others) are ended you will not see any spending restraint at the local level. King & Queen County (WHICH HAS NO LAND USE TAX EXEMPTIONS) AND A REAL ESTATE RATE OF .54

End the TAX EXEMPTIONS and watch what happens to SPENDING. The correlation exists.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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03/5/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: “A Vaccine Bill of Rights” ;

There now is a need for A “Vaccine Bill of Rights”. The number of People who do not trust what is being presented as science is growing as are the Doctors that are independent of a conflict of interest. (For example, pharmaceutical companies have an inherent conflict of interest, as do government or quasi-government institutions. Their information can be included in a discussion but cannot be the sole source of information).

An example of an “Independent View” of Masks is presented by Dr. Lee Merritt, MD, (America's Frontline Doctors) Summit, Summit II “See the real Truth about Masks”. No matter your view on the wearing of a mask – watch the 20 minute talk/video and I suspect you will have some real questions about the current version of the Science that has been presented. (You may even question why the CDC and other government officials are exempt from legal action for the results of their actions)
https://www.americasfrontlinedoctors.com/custom_videos/mask-myths/

If you agree – Send the below “Vaccine Bill of Rights” to your various elected government officials.
Posted in Press Releases (https://www.americasfrontlinedoctors.com/category/press-releases)

If you wish to see a Bill that is being considered in SC - Bill Title: Memorialize the US Congress re: Vaccination Bill of Rights. - Go To: https://legiscan.com/SC/text/H3988/2021

Sincerely,
Paul Jamerson
King William, Va 23086
******
The Vaccine Bill of Rights

A MEMORIALIZING RESOLUTION for the State of Virginia to protect its citizens against unconstitutional and medically irresponsible COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Whereas the Founders designated that a Bill of Rights was necessary to guard individual liberty against encroachments from state and federal actors, public and private; and

Whereas the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution explicitly directs states not to “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”; and

Whereas no COVID vaccine is FDA-approved but some are authorized under a temporary Emergency Use Authorization as experimental (investigational) agents only; and

Whereas emergency use products are specifically prohibited by federal law 21 U.S.C. §360bbb-3 from being mandated: “Authorization for medical products for use in emergencies … require …the option to accept or refuse administration of the product”; and

Whereas the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) affirmed in August 2020 that under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), experimental vaccines are not allowed to be mandatory”; and

Whereas decades-old universally accepted Codes of Medical Ethics, including the Nuremberg Code and the Declaration of Helsinki absolutely prohibits any form of coercion whatsoever to individuals participate in a medical experiment; and

Whereas 40 percent of respondents in at least one US poll reported that they would opt out of taking experimental COVID vaccines: and

Whereas it is neither feasible nor safe to mandate experimental vaccination given the large number of COVID-19 recovered patients in the general population and the FDA/Pfizer/ Moderna protocols which excluded COVID-19 recovered patients; and

Whereas it is neither feasible nor safe to administer experimental vaccines to many groups of patients, such as persons with post-natural infections, waning titers, allergic reactions, as well as childbearing women, etc.; and

Whereas public and private measures are nonetheless being considered to mandate experimental vaccinations in order to participate in certain public activities and functions of daily American life, including but not limited to: employment, in-person school attendance, public transportation, and concert performances; and

Whereas “vaccine passports,” “digital health IDs,” and other such required documentation pose substantial risks to personal privacy and equal treatment before the law for all citizens of Virginia as well as the United States generally; and

Whereas administration of the experimental COVID-19 vaccines according to guidelines established by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices do not provide adequate protections for average Americans concerned about potential health hazards associated with the inoculations; and

Whereas the public is entitled to receive unbiased, transparent, easily accessible medical information related to all vaccines from their public health officials; and

Whereas the emergency powers assumed by the chief executives of certain states as well as municipal leaders violate certain unalienable rights guaranteed under the US Constitution and its and Bill of Rights and therefore deserve redress; and

Whereas while these legitimate grievances are pursued by the courts of various states, state lawmakers must enshrine certain rights against encroachment by decrees that are not medically or scientifically indicated, such as vaccine mandates, in order to ensure the continuity of these rights; and

Whereas that a COVID-19 Vaccine Bill of Rights memorialized by this resolution against COVID-19 vaccine mandates provides an example of adoption for other legislative bodies across the United States to be recognized and upheld by the attorneys general of those states; and

Whereas that the major principles of this Vaccine Bill of Rights will include a minimum of four
(4) of the following six (6) provisions:

● No persons will be mandated, coerced, forced or pressured to take an experimental or “investigational” medication.

● No physician or nurse shall be asked by an employer to promote a COVID-19 vaccine.

● All persons reserve the right, at all times, to determine what is in their own best medical interest without threat to their livelihood or freedom of movement.

● All persons must be given access to independent information to help them determine what is in their own best medical interest, including the risk of death based upon age/condition from contracting COVID-19 naturally. This must include information from sources that are independent of a conflict of interest. For example, pharmaceutical companies have an inherent conflict of interest, as do government or quasi-government institutions. Such information can be included but cannot be the sole source of information.

● The frail elderly are additionally entitled to a knowledgeable, independent advocate with medical training to help them determine their own medical interest.

● Private businesses operating within the jurisdiction have no legal authority to require or mandate or coerce medication or experimental medication for any persons; and

Whereas technical guidance for employers released by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in December should not be understood to undermine employee constitutional rights laid out herein; and

Whereas state legislative bodies must practice oversight of such federal assistance consistent with their enumerated powers; and

Whereas out-of-state commercial vendors, including Ticketmaster, cannot require venue operators and organizers to mandate proof of vaccination from concertgoers and other paying customers before freely entering a venue on private or public property; and

Whereas K-12 vaccinations cannot be required without certain clear and consistent exemptions applied, among them medical and conscience clauses, or risk forfeiting a district’s or school board’s authority in the State of Virginia to authorize such a mandate, nor can a vaccine mandate for these populations be a factor in state school-aid funding; and

Whereas interstate carriers such as airlines and all forms of public transit calling for so-called “vaccine passports” as a condition of entry cannot be allowed to operate with state licensure and waivers, and furthermore this resolution would call on federal entities such as the FAA to issue new rules prohibiting COVID-19 vaccine mandates for all carrier crews and customers; and

Therefore, be it resolved that the legislature of Virginia memorializes a COVID-19 Vaccine Bill of Rights for the purposes of defending the constitutional liberties of its citizens, promoting sound science, and outlining a framework of best practices for state authorities and federal regulators to develop in this evolving phase of experimental vaccine administration and implementation.

Be it further resolved that copies of this resolution be sent to the President of the United States, the United States House of Representatives, the United States Senate, the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Posted in Press Releases (https://www.americasfrontlinedoctors.com/category/press-releases)

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3/4/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: “ A $67,901 Audit That Has Yet To Provide Any Fruit For King William Citizens"

A Tidewater Review article reports that to date the only question regarding the Audit ordered by our former County Administrator is some missing bank deposit slips/receipts. “Were they shredded…. who shredded them and when” is what we have to date to show for the reported costs of $ 67,901 dollars. Did the former County Administrator have evidence of money being misappropriated or was this the power play many suspect? What is maddening about this is in a County with a 26-million-dollar budget how much better use $67,901 could have been put to, particularly given the revenue loss related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We could have given $1000 raises to 68 schoolteachers. We could have bought Jeff Walton two of those new shiny patrol cars he is wanting. We hear all the time about building maintenance that is long neglected, whether it is HVAC units at one of the schools or roof maintenance at one of the county buildings, was this expenditure really necessary?

I doubt we will ever know. I do feel going forward before any county administrator orders something like this the Board of Supervisors need to hold a public hearing on what evidence exists to show that an expenditure of this magnitude (not to mention the stain it has on someone’s reputation) be voted on so someone is held accountable. Assume nothing comes of this then no one is held to account for a significant amount of money wasted.

One thing that has been well documented and shown is the need to put the KW County Schools on a diet. Supervisor Stephen Greenwoods comments from a Board meeting back in the fall, when questioning both the former County Treasurer Harry Whitt and former County Commissioner of Revenue, Sally Pearson, Greenwood said and is on record “the schools need to spend what they are allocated and no more

Visit our website and look at the pictures of the new Vans the schools purchased with the Cares/COVID-19 windfall of some $450,000 dollars. I pointedly asked School Superintendent, Dr. David White about these purchases, namely if the schools had vehicles that were so aged, they needed to be replaced then why wasn’t it in the Capital Expenditure portion of the schools most recent budget? It is a fair question to ask, although I already understood what had transpired. The County Administrator gave the schools their cut of the $1,400,000 the County received (the schools received around $400,000--$450,000 of the 1.4 million) and they went on a “shopping spree”. Watchdogs that we are - We don’t miss these things.

The emotional blackmail (it’s for the children) that has long been a tactic of school spending advocates won’t work any longer, Student populations in the 4 schools are almost exactly where they were 10 years ago…………so even a dummy has to ask, where are they spending some 5-6 million more with no increase in student counts? We ask the Board to put the schools back on Category Spending and freeze this year the local contribution to no more than it was last year. It is a good place to start.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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2/24/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: “I Can Do So Much Good With Someone Else’s Money"

I first heard that phrase in a cynical reference to the mentality of elected officials. There is no end to how much good they can do for you if only you willingly open up your wallet.

At Monday nights B.O.S Zoom meeting we got a taste of what is to come. Agency heads and department managers are lining up with their grandiose ideas on how much more they are requesting and the illogical reasons for it.

Both the new County Treasurer and the Commissioner of Revenue suggested their salaries need to be higher, if not for themselves then for future agency heads? Our new Treasurer made it a point to state that she took a pay cut to take this position. The only rational statement made by any members of the Board was perhaps Supervisor Charles Garber 4th District who said “she should have examined the pay before she decided to run for elective office.

I have for years resisted the “cry me a river” salary comments of any elected official for not only those reasons but for another that does not get the exposure it so richly deserves, namely the total compensation that includes Cadillac benefits, heavily subsidized by the taxpayers that add tens of thousands of dollars to what they are paid.

Public Sector employees receive a defined benefit pension plan, rarely found anymore in the private sector. This quite generous benefit is worth thousands of dollars for the average public sector employee. Put in a certain number of years and each month after retirement they receive a check for the remainder of their life. Throw in another hefty plus in that they pay little towards their health insurance, often times no more than 20-30% of the actual costs. Guess who is picking up that tab—the taxpayer. Public sector employees get a myriad of Paid Federal /State Holidays off, paid of course and many of them at retirement receive a cash payment for any unused vacation/sick leave. Around 2015-16 King William County taxpayers shelled out (1 year) $130,000 just for this unused vacation/sick leave time on the books.

Board members Stephen Greenwood and Travis Moskalski both pledged to take a look at the salaries of these two offices, maybe these same two might exhibit that empathy towards the King William citizens who lost their jobs and or their businesses this last year before they go doling out more of our dough.

It also warrants examining the number of “new” positions created by the former County Administrator before the COVID-19 pandemic hit decimating county revenues and eliminate all new positions added since January 1, 2020. A stagnant revenue base, a real estate assessment that has been thrown out and countless citizens damaged economically by what happened.

If the Board touches the real estate tax rate perhaps King William citizens might speak up. Our group warned you 5 months ago this assessment mess was coming, and we were correct.

You have been warned……….Again

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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2/19/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: “Student Loan Debt And Taxpayers Getting Stuck With It? "

It appears the new administration is haggling with the far left on how much if any college debt should be forgiven. I will attempt to make the case that not one thin dime should be with some data/facts to demonstrate.

First of all - it is not a crisis. 1.5 Trillion is a big number but the average per borrower is $28,500 for the 4-year college grad. Median household income is $76,400 for these borrowers, hardly poor. 7% who hold loan debt are below the poverty level. 90% of current student loans are not delinquent.

The debt could be repaid with $ 181.00 monthly payments over a 20-year period. Another method of repayment available is the “income based” repayment model, already available that forgives the outstanding balance after affordable payments are made for a period of time. This is already generous to a fault in my view.

The average lifetime income for a college grad is some $1,000,000.00 over high school graduates.

It would be incomplete to leave out the moral hazard element of this. The U.S is deeply in debt, so calling it “forgiveness” is deceptive at the least and downright dishonest at worst. This is not forgiving any debt, it is simply adding it to the 30 Trillion and further burying future generations who will repay this through much higher taxes, diminished economic standards, or both.

Another moral hazard not lost on those of us with a brain is that future generations of college students will naturally expect taxpayers to belly up to the bar once again and pay off their student loans. Where does it end?

It would not be complete without addressing the elephant in the room, and that is the outrageous increases in college costs over the last 30-40 years. The problem lies squarely there, and until that is address the rest of this is literally meaningless

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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2/18/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: “A Question For The Tidewater Review Newspaper "

Last night the local King William T.E.A Party hosted Winsome Sears, a candidate seeking the Republican Nomination for Virginia Lt. Governor as our guest speaker. Those in attendance listened to this articulate accomplished woman speak to the issues facing Virginia and the nation, and just where she stands on how these issues would be best addressed. A former Marine and a historic figure in her own political right, Sears was the groundbreaking first, and still only Black Republican Woman, the first female veteran, and the first immigrant elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. She and her husband own their own business and reside in the Winchester area.

My question for the Tidewater Review Newspaper is this: We submitted a Press Release well in advance of the papers submission deadline, this event was held in King William County and a qualified Candidate for the State’s 2nd highest office came here to speak to our community, so what is the reason that this newspaper decided it wasn’t newsworthy enough to announce her event?

Is it that Mrs. Sears is black, a conservative and a woman ..or all three that served to justify not announcing this in advance of Sears speaking here ? Certainly, it is news, and certainly a news story that she was coming to King William county. Any issue of the Tidewater Review carries stories and announcements of much less consequential significance than this event.

Perhaps it is an ingrained dislike for our group, the King William T.E.A Party and a reflection of the often terse exchanges between the newspaper and our members. All of that aside I do believe the Tidewater Review must answer why this newsworthy appearance here last night of the accomplished candidate, Mrs. Sears (in King William) was totally ignored and not reported on.

We read daily of how the mainstream media is biased, how they fawn over the far lefts politics and report on their views with regularity. If any newspaper had an opportunity to dissuade this opinion the Tidewater Review blew the chance to show objective professional journalism by choosing not to run this press release. Shame on you Tidewater Review.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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2/14/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: “Budget Crunch Time for King William Board of Supervisors"

This time is different…….an oft repeated phrase intended to illustrate that unlike a past incident, this time something really is “different”. As we head into the budget deliberations maybe in King William County this time is indeed different. A recap of this last year is in order to have a thorough examination as to why this time may indeed be different!

It must begin with the circus like environment surrounding the real estate assessment and just how this one example alone illustrates what happens when government (or politics) gets involved. For whatever logic former County Administrator Bobbie Tassinari used in deciding to remove the assessment process from the Commissioner of Revenues office, where it has been done throughout the county’s history, only she knows……….and she is now gone.

Oddly the Board of Supervisors have now decided to put it back under the supervision of the newly elected Commissioner of Revenue (are you dizzy yet?). A sort of “musical chairs” type assessment. This certainly doesn’t show the current B.O.S in a favorable light. Why didn’t they challenge the former County Administrator at the time she made this decision? After all in the span of some 3 weeks Supervisor Travis Moskalski has gone from declaring it “the best assessment this county has ever had”…………..to “ apologizing profusely last week for the true mess the assessment has been, ultimately resulting in the B.O.S throwing the assessment out entirely.

Thrown into the mix was a somewhat surprising audit (again ordered by the former CA) into the offices of both the Treasurer and Commissioner of Revenues office under the most suspicious of circumstances. Had Mr. Whitt or Mrs. Pearson done anything warranting the time and considerable expense of these audits……or was this another example of the power grab by the C.A who seemingly wanted everything under her control?

One of the benefits of the audit was a close examination of unusual disbursements coming out of the Treasure's office; payable to the county schools. Either the frequency and/or the amounts of money were so much that –remarkably – they even drew the ire of current Chairman Stephen Greenwood who declared in a public meeting and is on the record with the statement that“the schools need to learn to spend what they are allocated and no more

Mr. Whitt when questioned about this at a public Board meeting defended himself by declaring he was following protocol and dispensing the funds as they were requested from the schools. Mr. Whitt, unlike the Board has no control over school spending.

This brings us to the dilemma the Board now faces with this pending budget. Since the County is now going to use assessment values from the last cycle (2015) and the spending spree under the former County Administrator was humming along anticipating new revenues that simply vanished when the Covid virus hit and decimated expected windfalls ….what will the BOARD do?

NEW positions would be a great starting place. Any new position created in the last 18 months needs to be eliminated. All of us out here where reality exists have had to cut back and spend less………why should local government be any different? Contrary to Mrs. Tassinari’s assertions that the county is growing…the facts say something quite different.

Will the Board raise the current real estate tax rate, already one of the highest among the rural counties across Virginia ? County revenue streams have been decimated and two of the largest commercial tax payers received significant reductions in an assessment that has just been thrown out . One of them dragged the County into court over past assessed values, arguing they were too high. Now both are all but certain to object to paying taxes on the 2015 assessed values, particularly since the new assessment inexplicably reduced their values by considerable amounts.

Who is left holding that bag? Supervisor Ed Moren promised in his campaign for office just 18 months ago to “lower taxes” What is his position now that all of this has unraveled? Can Moren now turn around and raise the current rate ? We shall see.

As for the schools the Board needs to start with putting them back on Category spending. This affords a much higher degree of accountability since they schools would have to submit a budget that details what they plan on spending in 7-8 categories. The schools were on Category spending until a former Supervisor quietly led to them being taken off of it, a mistake by any measure but politics being what they are ….. Now this same former Supervisor is back on the School Board and will surely argue to leave the schools free to spend their budgeted monies any way they see fit ( Re-read Chairman Greenwood's remarks above )

In a perfect world the B.O.S will leave the real estate tax rate as it is, order the schools back on some much needed financial discipline and eliminate the positions added to the county payroll by the former CA. In a perfect world the B.O.S would after doing the above order a BUDGET FREEZE FOR 2012-22. Sorry Sheriff, no fancy new cars this year. Tell the agency heads of every county agency, earn your salary and tighten your belts like every citizen has had to do.

Should all this happen, then we could say “this time is different” and it actually means something.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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2/9/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: “It Does Not Take A Majority To Prevail…But Rather An Irate, Tireless Minority, Keen On Setting Brushfires Of Freedom In The Minds Of Men “
Samuel Adams------ Father Of The American Revolution


Real progress in reining in government is hindered by the benefactors of the status quo, those with their collective heads buried in the taxpayer trough, public sector employees with an entitlement mentality, fed annual pay raises, continued subsidies for their Cadillac benefit packages found nowhere else, those pocketing vast sums from tax schemes, doled out to the people writing the big campaign donation checks each election cycle. But every once in a while, we do reach the goal line. It appears the K.W. County Administrator, Bobbie Tassanari is now gone. I would breathe a sigh of relief if it were not for the fact that along with her departure the $10,000,000 Unassigned Reserve Fund is also gone. This County official was a big government progressive, often displaying an arrogance common among the type. On one occasion she abruptly demanded that the King William T.E.A Party take down it’s display table at a County Board of Supervisor meeting and when challenged as to why, she replied “ I don’t want your propaganda in here”

She was unwilling to accept the limitations in a County with such a small tax base making King William today and into the future a bedroom community to the greater Richmond area. We do not have the infrastructure here to attract any consequential development and in spite of that reality Tassanari insisted on continuing to promote that growth was occurring. Her advocacy for relentless spending would ultimately lead to this real estate assessment mess. Home owners in King William today recognize that our real estate tax rate per hundred is one of the highest among rural counties anywhere in Virginia. Thank the King William T.E.A Party, and the efforts over a very long period of time to educate our fellow citizens.

As such, raising the rate itself to fund the grandiose spending wasn’t possible, citizens would not accept a higher rate, and County government knew it. Where to turn then , little real growth, citizens up in arms about already high rates and commercial properties receiving large reductions in their assessed values, putting even more pressure on where to FIND THE MONEY for her little Utopia? Enter………….FAIR MARKET VALUE TO THE RESCUE

That term is a part of the Virginia Statute, calling for property in an assessment to be valued at 100 % of FAIR MARKET VALUE. Here is where the “train jumped the track”, and property owners were shocked when the new terribly flawed assessments began rolling out. It was made all the more irritating when property owners were reminded of Mrs. Tassanari’s own words “land values have remained level” What will ultimately happen now that this person has departed ? The Board of Supervisors will hire a replacement, likely another career bureaucrat, the Board will tout their impeccable credentials and experience ,and the game will resume.

County officials must however understand one small detail, the irate tireless minority isn’t going anywhere.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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2/5/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: The Burden Current Americans Are Placing On The Shoulders Of Today’s Children
And Future Generations Is Not Only Politically Reprehensible, It Is Morally Despicable


In August County Administrator Bobbie Tassanari, is quoted in a Tidewater Review newspaper article stating

I didn’t think initially I could spend all of this money”, referencing the additional $1,450,000 CARES money King William County received as a result of this pandemic. Some $400,000 of this made its way to the County Schools.

I noticed a few weeks back while passing by the fenced in lot at the high school 3 Vans, all with temporary tags on the back (see photo at our website www.kwteaparty.com ) I decided to make an inquiry with Dr. David White KWCPS Superintendent as to where these Vans came from and how they were paid for. The following is my e-mail exchange with Dr. White two weeks ago.

Vet Vet

Dr. White, were these vans (picture contained in the e-mail) included in the KWCPS Annual Budget and if so were they under Capital Expenditures? If not, then what funds were used for their purchase? What is their intended use? Were they replacement vehicles or additions?

(Reply)

Mr. Shannon, The vehicles were all replacement vehicles for 2 cars and a van (surplus vehicles) that we sold on govdeals. The vans are all used and were purchased off of state contracts. Due to the Covid -19 pandemic, the vans are necessary to transport out of county placement and special education students to allow for physical distancing between students and drivers. Because of limited DMV hours, we are currently waiting for an appointment to receive license plates. I hope that satisfies any concerns that you may have regarding these vehicles.
Sincerely David

I wrote (via e-mail) on Friday January 29

Thank you - Dr. White for the kind reply. Since my question wasn’t answered as to the funding is it safe then to assume it was Covid funds that paid for these vehicles? Bob Shannon Dr. White replied ……….”Yes they were purchased through CARES funding which is the proper usage of the funds to ensure safety in the time of the pandemic”

I am certain prior to the additional $ 400,000 (money falling from the sky) that made its way to the schools they had vehicles to transport these aforementioned students. Were these students previously being transported on a horse and buckboard wagon? They had vehicles already to do this. Had replacements truly been needed for the existing vehicles why wasn’t replacement costs in the capital expenditure 2020-21 budget?

Folks, your kids and grandkids are going to be the ones buried under the mountains of debt this reckless spending represents. They did not have to buy these new vans………..but the public sector folks who are running the show would have spent every single dollar, had it been $400,000 or $ 4,000,000—they are truly irresponsible and yes…….. despicable. When the consequences of the debt happens, driven in large part by the waste of borrowed money, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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1/31/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Assessments…….. King William County Supervisors Are Conflicted

In a span of some 3 months, we have watched with interest as the Board of Supervisors have wrestled with the serious issues that surround how this Real Estate Assessment has been done. The decoupling from Virginia Statutes that dictate how an Assessment is to be done is now crystal clear. Property owners have RIGHTS. Rights that have been trampled in more ways now that one can count. From asking for property cards to show what other properties were used in arriving at the assessed values charged, to denial of requested records and documents in a timely manner, to different values assigned to a deck or garage from one like property to another the list goes on and on. We just learned for example this week that some $2,000,000 worth of property wasn’t even included in the assessment. Accidental or intentional—we simply don’t know.

Listening to the Supervisors themselves leaves any citizen to ask, “what in the hell is going on down there.”

Back in late October/early November in a recorded Board meeting Supervisor Charles Garber (4th District) told the owner of BrightMinds (the company that did the assessments)

Mr. Chastang, you did not perform what you agreed to do in the contract you signed with King William County” Supervisor Garber had apparently read the contract and was making that statement with some basis in fact. That is a declarative statement with no ambiguity, made by an elected official charged with responsibility to seeing to it that taxpayers of King William Counties money is being spent in a responsible manner. Where does Garber stand today?

Just this week another of our Supervisors said “This assessment is the best assessment that has ever been done” Attributed to Supervisor Travis Moskalski (2nd District) That statement can be depicted in one of two ways. Either Moskalski is saying what it appears he is conveying, namely that this assessment is the best that has ever been done…….or it is the best ever done in lieu of how shoddy past assessments have been done. Moskalski is never at a loss for words so we’ll let him clarify what he meant.

Making this issue all the more muddled is another question as to whether or not County Procurement policy was followed. Last year the County amended its Procurement policy allowing up to $100,000 be spent without sealed competitive bid or needing approval by the full Board. Just how this was done (the awarding of this contract) is another open question. Some have suggested the County Procurement policy was indeed followed, while others have said perhaps not.

Property owners need to understand one thing, either this gets corrected, one way or another, each of you out there goes through this circus again in another 2 years.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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1/24/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Mary Sue Bancroft ……..too clever by half

I support and encourage others to vote for Bob Ehrhart for Treasurer on February 2. Bob has long been actively engaged in King William County public service, both in an elected official capacity as well as an unpaid civic minded volunteer for decades. Just where has Mrs. Bancroft been over the years she has lived here? I do not recall ever seeing her at a Board of Supervisor meeting, don’t recall ever hearing her speak during a public comment period, nor has she ever graced the 11 ½ years of King William T.E.A Party meetings. Has she ever even written a single letter to the Country Courier over that time frame?

Amazingly she is now willing to spend considerable sums of money in paid campaign ads, 3 alone in this January 20th edition, citing how qualified and honest she is?

Ehrhart knows quite well how local government works, he worked as hard as I have ever witnessed a Supervisor work, learning about each issue and carefully weighing what position he should take. That isn’t however at the core why I am endorsing and asking citizens to vote for him. I saw a side of the man that you had to be there to appreciate back in January /February 2017.

Local schools consume the lions share of our tax revenue, and absent curbing some of their extravagances, spending cannot be cut . In a power point presentation Ehrhart put together for a daytime budget meeting on the schools spending it was Bob Ehrhart that publicly tore into the grand lies being told by then School Superintendent Mark Jones and School Finance Director Deb Stickley, grossly inflating the number of positions that were reported to have been eliminated during the economic downturn of 2009-10. The schools were stating they had cut some 42 positions…..when the truth was ( taken from DOE’s own website ) they had eliminated perhaps 18-19 positions at the most . My point is then that Ehrhart had the guts to take on a Sacred Cow in the courageous straightforward manner that he did. It was Bob Ehrhart’s finest moment.

Now, one of the issues ( in the Treasurer’s office ) has been the monies the Treasurer has dispensed with some regularity that is above and beyond what had been budgeted for the schools . Who has demonstrated the guts & willingness to take the special interests on---- Bob Ehrhart. Mrs. Bancroft has no history of her ever engaging in our counties affairs……..she just wants us to take her word for it.

Ehrhart has worked tirelessly, often without any pay on behalf of making King William a better community. We need a Treasurer who won’t cower making the tough calls. That’s Bob Ehrhart.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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1/22/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: Corrupt Is Bad Enough, He Is Also Dangerously Stupid

My sinking feelings aside, watching Joe R. Biden inaugurated a few days ago brought me to a recognition that the citizens of this nation just seated the most corrupt man to ever serve in this most nation’s highest office. No intelligent person regardless of political philosophy or leaning can ignore the overwhelming evidence of how dirty this Biden family is. As if the bar for elective office wasn’t already low, we now have a President who has spent his entire adult life learning how to parlay public service into a cash machine, raking in a fortune by selling access to American power. Biden isn’t the first politician to do this, and certainly both political parties have scores of examples of just how far this corruption has run. Trump named it “the swamp”, and the swamp creatures are now back in the driver’s seat.

Among Biden’s first executive orders the shuttering of the pipeline stands out as a clear signal as to where this man is going to take this nation. American independence from foreign oil has rightfully been a proper national goal for decades. The economic costs and disruptions to energy independence is certain to serve as a reminder to any of us who lived through the period of the early 1970’s and the long gas lines. I was a young Marine stationed in Philadelphia and recall the vivid images of having to buy gasoline on odd/even days depending on your license plate number, requiring you to plan your gas purchases so you could make it home on weekends to see your family. It was a miserable period to live through.

Biden’s actions cancelling this pipeline is estimated to destroy some 47,000 jobs, good paying jobs. It also moves us backwards as a nation in President Trumps accomplishments that broke this dependence on foreign oil. The United States had become under Trump an energy “exporter”.

The mopes (and yes they are mopes) that cast a ballot for this despicable man never paused to consider that in England gasoline is selling for $6 a gallon and around $5.65 in Germany. When we reach the point (and with the Green New Deal thrown in to boot) that it is costing you a hundred dollars to fill your gas tank remember who brought us to that.

Last year the U.S Dollar fell around 12% in value against a basket of competing currencies. That decline is and will continue as DC now is getting ready to pump out another 1.9 TRILLION dollars we don’t have to begin with. We are told that we need to continue this stimulus spending because so many are out of work.

Old Crooked Joe just added another 57,000 to those roles with his reckless action. Open the borders as he is planning and tens of thousands more pour into this country, decimating the number of available jobs, particularly for entry level unskilled labor.

It is said “we get the government we deserve”……..and we are about to get an economic disaster delivered by a corrupt incompetent.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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1/8/2021

Dear Editor

Subject: The Self-Serving Moral Preening has begun!

“That, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends , it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government , laying its foundation on such principles , and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness…….

What happened Wednesday in DC was inevitable. People, otherwise peaceful and law abiding have run out of rope as they say. Sufficient evidence exists as to the serious misconduct in the Presidential election, namely how it was conducted in at least a half dozen states. At what point do we come to terms with the rule of law being rendered meaningless, and if so just what are a free people left to do?

When the U.S Supreme Court refused the Texas case, filed in an effort to negate what was clearly a violation as to how 6 states violated the Constitution in just how they had conducted the election in their state, just what are citizens to make of this? Many believe they (USSC) simply displayed cowardice in refusing to hear the case.

Individual State legislative bodies are to set the time, date and manner as to how a national election is to be held. Like Congress, the state legislatures are now routinely delegating their responsibilities to bureaucrats who are all too willing to placate the loudest in the room, with outright disdain for the rule of law. Personally, I hold these legislators at the state level responsible.

Repeatedly ,numerous election officials, courts ,and others made changes to the rules and manner ( on occasion within days/hours of the election) in which the election was to proceed in their respective state, often times changing the date/time as to when mail in ballots would no longer be counted, rules governing the matching of signatures, refusing to permit observers to watch the counting of the ballots, some permitted processes were so outlandish as to render the integrity of the election itself preposterous. How do you fight mob rule?

Reform of voting regulations must be addressed, but that is a discussion for another day. Today January 8, 2021 is a day to address what happened Wednesday.

If the U.S Supreme Court and the state legislatures refuse to do their duty, therefor allowing the virtual circus atmosphere that surrounded November 3, free people who want to retain the rule of law are left then with only 1 choice remaining.

Re-read paragraph one.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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12/16/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Pols Build Their Constituency With Your Money—ALWAYS

Reading the cover story in the December 16 edition of the Mechanicsville Local left me pulling my hair out. Why are tax paying citizens so inclined to buy this bunk. I am referencing the County employees getting bonus…….

In a unanimous vote (hardly surprising) the Hanover Board of Supervisors approved a bonus payment of $750 for full time employees and a $375 bonus for part time employees. This includes all county and county school employees, some estimated 5,000.

County Administrator John Budesky states in the article “this represents an effort to reward employees whose merit raises were cancelled this year due to Covid budget constraints”. Now I have been around awhile and any definition of merit raises, typically meant that specific criteria to determine which employees merited receiving a merit pay raise…..but this is not done the same way in the public sector. And why not, it isn’t their money so dole it out to everyone. They (Supervisors) can remind the ever growing public sector next election cycle just who approved their bonus and or last raise. Having been involved in local elections for a number of years I have identified that the public sector has now gotten so large if a candidate can lock up their votes they are alone enough to get them across the finish line.

Budesky goes on to state “Our employees have gone well above and beyond in the efforts to address those ongoing needs” Let’s delve into that issue in an honest manner.

Just what does that mean “gone well above & beyond “? The employees of Hanover County are paid to do a job, paid a salary which includes a benefit package that is vastly superior to most private sector employees. The pensions alone are now drowning states in debt. Their health insurance is largely subsidized by you and I and 12 or more paid holidays that most private sector employees do not receive. Often overlooked is the cost of buying back of unused sick leave and or vacation at their retirement, paid out in lump sums and swelling each year within county budgets.

To the best of my knowledge not one Hanover county or school employee has lost their jobs during this health pandemic, nor missed a single paycheck. Not one of them has lost their health insurance like the millions in the private sector. 8 million in the private sector are still out of work. Ten’s of thousands of small businesses have mortgaged their homes, borrowed from every available source of funds to try and keep their businesses afloat. Bankruptcies galore.

Equally appalling is the source of the funds used to pay for these bonuses…….. Budesky say’s that “the majority of the funds to pay for this are CARES Act related funds “? Congress in their rush to “save us” apparently put little restrictions on how this money (borrowed money I might add) was to be used. Engage or the leviathan will swallow us.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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12/16/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: A FEW QUESTIONS FOR SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATE TERRY STONE.

Former 4th District Supervisor and School Board member Terry Stone is on the ballot for the special election coming in February.

Given the current special audit underway with allegations that the Treasurers office paid out more money to the schools than the Board of Supervisors had allocated a few questions come to mind voters might ask Terry Stone.

Public Schools have two spending mechanisms. One is categorical spending where the money is dedicated to each specific spending category as they prepare their annual budget. This requires the schools to return to the Board of Supervisors for approval if they want to spend money from one category (say for example textbooks) in another category, assuming they are on the category spending method. The other method is allowing the schools to spend the money as they see fit without any particular guidance on what they spend funds on. Obviously, the schools prefer the latter over the former. Tax payers need to pay close attention, unless you are one of these folks who believe the schools should get as much money as they want, and spend it on whatever they want to. Even 3rd District Supervisor and current Chairman Stephen Greenwood admonished the schools over excessive spending with comments at a Board meeting in October when Greenwood said ……..“ the schools need to spend no more than they are appropriated”, referencing former County Treasurers Harry Whitts comments when he addressed the Board and answered their questions about this practice of his office simply sending the schools the money when they asked for it.

If King William tax payers are to get a fair shake then Stone needs to answer the following questions. Who removed the schools from category spending when Mrs. Stone was indeed on the Board of Supervisors….and why was it done so quietly? Should the schools, given this current debacle on their prolific spending be put back on category spending where they would have to come back to the Board of Supervisors if they wanted to spend or transfer money from one category to another? If not - why not?

Finally ask Mrs. Stone if the local contributions and or overall school spending can be reduced? If not why not?

Tax payers in King William want good schools and are willing to foot the cost for them, we are simply tired of being played for suckers by a out of control public school system.

The school boards (elected or appointed) are rubber stamps for a Superintendents wish list when it comes to spending others money. It is time to demand that the King William School Board do it’s job. When was the last time you heard a school board member utter the words?

We should cut some of this “……..the answer NEVER.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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12/14/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Deification comes with a big cost that is being ignored.

Human beings are susceptible to allowing their emotions to often hinder logic. The old axiom about “fools falling in love” is perhaps a fitting example to illustrate how our emotions at times blind us from sound judgement . It’s one thing to personally get a little carried away with being smitten when we are young, quite another when we begin to apply this on a national economic level over a sustained period of time. Mature contemplation as to the consequences of one’s actions come with age and common sense.

Americans seem today to have deified certain professions at an overlooked long term cost. Maybe service in the Military is a good place to start from a historical perspective. We have long honored military service and rightfully so. I have walked the hallowed grounds of Arlington National cemetery and quietly pondered the gratitude we should all have as a nation for those that lie there. Legendary bravery is told and retold of how many men & women have paid the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our nation, and we should honor those who have served in this capacity.

The advent of mass media after World War II comes to mind. We now had a medium where heroes were displayed on the big screen and Americans enjoyed learning of the battles when men made enormous sacrifices to save and assist their comrades in the heat of battle. I often think of Pat Tillman when I see todays players in the National Football League dishonor our nation and Tillman’s sacrifice. But I digress.

Somewhere along the way this deifying spread and we began to apply this to other professions, law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel and teachers. Do they deserve to be respected, absolutely they do. That said, there is an element to this that is not being accounted for and it is adding up---fast.

It is being discussed as it should be the costs associated with public sector compensation, namely the pension costs that are now in many states and localities out of control. How did this happen and what can we do about it? It is without argument that these professions must be paid fairly and deserve recognition of those that chose to engage in them. Taking that into account however ignores the challenge local/state governments face (cost born by taxpayers) when it comes to reasonable compensation. Is reasonable compensation and the determination of such colored by deifying the profession? I can make the economic argument that it is.

In 2016 a discussion ensued as to King William counties local contribution to our public school system, namely could it be cut ? The school board at that time engaged in behavior that was sickening, sending out an e-mail to all parents in the community …..that bus service was going to be ended along with all athletic programs, scores of teachers would be furloughed and any extracurricular programs curtailed should these budget cuts be implemented. The reaction of the community was astounding, I have never before or since witnessed such nonsense on such a large scale. The Board of Supervisors meeting was literally turned into bedlam. Speaker after speaker (most contemptible were how children were used ) got up and spoke of the hardship these cuts would impose on them……..when nothing of the sort was even being contemplated. How can one have a reasonable rational discussion of runaway budgets when one side behaves in such a deplorable manner? Scare the hell out of the misinformed and this is evidence of why a solution to these costs are so difficult to address. We had deified “teachers”, and the bureaucrats in the public school system understand this very well and know how to manipulate public opinion using the very tactics they used in this example.

I wrote a post a few years back when a member of a county fire department announced their retirement at age 51. Other than the public sector today few workers receive a monthly pension payment every month for what could be in this case another 35 or more years. One of my detractors wrote that apparently Mr. Shannon wants a Senior citizen dragging him out of a burning building? A ridiculous proposition indeed…….but what about a transfer to an administrative position , maybe reassignment to a dispatchers position when age becomes a hindrance to the performance of more rigorous duties ? Keep working to normal retirement age like the rest of us, rather than doling out monthly pension payments for perhaps decades? More Americans are now working well beyond normal retirement age for a host of reasons, so where does someone think this retirement at age 51 is okay? We have again deified the profession of public safety so the budget, along with any discussion of pensions is now out of bounds, forbidden..

We can bury our heads in the sand and hope this just magically goes away. We can raise taxes at every level of government to pay for this or we can begin the process of unravelling this deification of public sector professions that has gotten way out of hand---your choice.

When someone is injured in the line of duty, a law enforcement officer or public safety personnel, that is what workers compensation is for, a way to adjudicate the injury and compensate that person fairly. We ( tax payers ) are already on the hook for hefty pension payments, we pay a disproportionate share today for their health insurance ( often times tax payers are paying 70-80% of their true health insurance costs as it is ) but when is enough enough? Respect the job they do, but stop with the deification, it has led to where we are today, their budgets can’t be touched because of this.

For those of you who will criticize this opinion, allow me to suggest you first attend some budget meetings and educate yourselves on how much of the entire county budget alone goes to just the schools. Add in the Public safety component (sheriffs department, fire/rescue, and increasingly Social Service myriad of ever growing functions) and you have about 90—93% of the county budget in just those select departments. When you deify these profession’s, you have boxed yourself in with regard to controlling the cost of government. Apply some common sense before the Leviathan swallows you

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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12/6/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES

A line from Forrest Gump, repeated often throughout the movie anytime the main character Gump is referenced as being stupid. It raises its ugly head again in the 3 trillion dollar Secures Act funding Congress passed earlier this year when the China Virus exploded onto the scene threatening to blow the entire U.S economy up. Was it appropriate for Congress to step in and literally throw trillions of dollars to shore up the faltering economy? Perhaps so , but the following is yet again another text book example of why these measures often end up being in hindsight colossally stupid.

A company called TB12 Inc. engaged in sports performance and nutrition was granted a PPP loan for some $ 960,855.00 Now, I don’t know much about what this company does or how many people it employs, but I do know this from reading the story yesterday on my home page

Tom Brady, the current quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and legendary hall of famer formerly winning 6 Super Bowls with the New England Patriots owns TB12 Inc. The estimates are over his career he has earned a staggering 350 million dollars playing football, something he is certainly quite good at. His recent contract with Tampa Bay was for 2 years at 50 million.

Fiscal conservatives rail against examples like this, and once Congress starts throwing money around examples like this are bound to surface. It is also why fiscal conservatives argue against this type of spending in principle, it is not something the federal government should be engaged in to begin with. This is what we have capital markets for. Desperate as things may have been capital markets can and will step in to provide funding when it is appropriate.

Is/was this appropriate? Why would taxpayers want to provide bridge funding for a company owned by a guy who has the net worth and access to capital that Mr. Brady surely has?

For anyone wanting to defend this allow me to remind you once again of that infamous line in the movie ...........STUPID is as stupid does. A Balanced Budget Amendment offered by some who argue it would curtail this type of ridiculous spending only goes so far. You need men & women in elective office that refuse to sanction such nonsense.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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12/3/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Tax Dollars hard at work

Either I’ve too much time on my hands or once in awhile I need some comic relief. Take your pick but for those who yearn for simpler times (like me) when government did the things government was designed to do and if nothing more the following should get your heart pumping.

Hamster Fights. In a somewhat unorthodox experiment researchers from Northwestern University in Illinois received more than $3 million in government funding in order to watch hamsters fighting. High costs were not the only thing that was controversial about the experiment, though, as some of the hamsters were injected with steroids to see if the drugged hamsters were more aggressive against those who hadn’t been drugged. Animal Rights Activists put an end to the experiment.

Swedish massages for rabbits. $387,000 U.S National Institutes of Health paid $387,000 to the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine to fund a series of Swedish massages for rabbits to discern whether Swedish massages are helpful in recovering from an illness. The scientists found that rabbits who received 30-minute massages immediately after exercise recovered fastest.

Study of how many times “hangry” people stab a voodoo doll $331,000. The National Science Foundation decided to plough $331,000 into a study which looked at whether hungry people tend to be angrier and more aggressive. This test was conducted by allowing people to poke pins into voodoo dolls as they became hungrier. For those who have ever been hungry you can guess what the conclusion was. ( I always have dinner before attending a Board of Supervisor meeting )

Gambling habits of Monkeys $171,000 U.S National Science Foundation decided it was going to look into the gambling habits of monkeys because, well, why not. The aim was to look at the “hot hands” of monkeys and to see if they had the same problems of human gamblers. The research found they do in fact love to gamble.

Jazz Playing Robots $2 million. In 2015 the U.S Department of Defense gave a $2 million dollar grant to a team of musicians and researchers to develop robotic music computers which could perform a trumpet solo and play along with human musicians. This grant came shortly after the Department of Defense complained about a lack of funds.

I may drop out of sight for awhile myself, rumor has it that a new study is being launched about political activists who have a conservative leaning and don’t like politicians very much. Apparently, they are interested in at what point our heads explode. Maybe I can don a Rabbit costume and get one of those massages to calm me down a bit.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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12/3/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: ASSESSMENTS….THE NEW LOCAL GOVERNMENT STEALTH TAX?

King William County is embroiled in an assessment fiasco, open admissions that the firm doing the assessment is in violation of 5-6 deviations from the Virginia statutes that define how an assessment is to be done. If the law is to mean anything our Board of Supervisors must remedy the process. Void the contract with the firm, order a new assessment from scratch or ultimately gloss over the problems and let the Board of Equalization and perhaps the Courts sort this out ? Appeal decisions are due in Mid-December to hear back from Bright Point on what if any remedies/relief result from their appeals. Don’t hold your breath.

On Tuesday I listened to a friend of mine who owns a home with 20-25 acres over in Caroline county describe for me the new assessment he had received. He was floored by what the acreage was assessed at , he has owned this property for many years and has roots in Caroline going back a century so he is familiar with land prices .He said to me that there is no way he could sell an acre let alone the entire property for what it was assessed for. It is clear since this is not exclusive to King William County that something else may be at play in this assessment business oddity.

Local governments have a limited number of revenue sources, real estate & property taxes account for the lions share of what they collect. They are therefore limited as to how they can raise revenue should they need it. It is no secret that spending at the local government level is ever spiraling upwards. The major recipients of local tax dollars, public schools, local law enforcement (sheriff depts.in rural counties) public safety entities such as fire/rescue and the ever growing array of units that fall under the heading of Social Services. Since these functions have received an almost deified status reining in, let alone cutting their budgets is almost considered a mortal sin to even suggest. These four entities combined consume almost all of a local government budget. It may warrant mentioning that these same 4 often come back during off budget cycles (November/December when no one is watching) and request supplemental funding, always for the most noble of reasons. So what does a local governing body do when revenue is either flat or isn’t keeping up with the insatiable demand for more of our money? Enter the STEALTH TAX.

What a clever bunch they are, use the assessment process to quietly reach deeper into tax payers pockets to keep the machine well oiled .I do not have a real estate back ground, nor do I claim to have any expertise in the matter of assessment processes. What I do understand quite well is the fishy smell emanating from these local governments who will stop at nothing when they need to raise additional money. Listening to citizens with eerily similar complaints from surrounding counties and watching what is happening here it isn’t a stretch at all to suggest the use of highly suspicious assessments as the new tool to get the revenue they must have, and if they have to alter assessment procedures to do it, then so be it------the BEAST must be fed.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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12/1/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Put away the RACE card (CLUB)

Bank Robber Willie Sutton when asked why he robbed banks replied….” Cause that’s where the money is “. The controversy today over Voter Fraud has some similarities. If one is going to set in place a systemic system of stealing votes to impact the outcome of an election ( particularly a national election) then you follow Ol Willies wise counsel , you go “where the votes are”.

The election of 1960 is a case in point when evidence suggested the win John F. Kennedy had achieved came from a rigged Cook County-Chicago Democratic machine that manipulated the theft of votes by stuffing the ballot boxes with scores of fraudulent votes, literal names taken off tombstones in cemeteries across the city of Chicago. In 1960 voting was done in person with little absentee voting. In those days stuffing the ballot box was the method of vote theft, paper ballots filled out fraudulently. Illinois put Kennedy over the top and despite many encouraging Richard Nixon at the time to contest the election, Nixon was said to not want to “put the country through that”.

Now in 1960 the “machine” was controlled by white political officials who may have had either an Irish or Italian lineage and the allegations that fraud had been committed in large scale did not elicit the “ethnic response” we are hearing today for suggesting that the alleged fraud that may have occurred in Detroit, Philadelphia. Atlanta and or Milwaukee has given rise to the suggestion that African Americans are being unfairly singled out as being naturally dishonest. These cities are large enough in numbers and run by Democrats for decades. These large urban centers have over the last 25-30 years experienced documented cases of wide spread fraud . Anyone who wants to view for themselves can visit Tom Fitton’s website Judicial Watch and read for themselves the case details taken from court records, that include prosecutions that led to people going to jail, convicted of Voting Fraud crimes.

Recent cases in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York have actually resulted in election results being tossed and the “loser” in the contest being installed in office once the fraud was certified to have occurred.

Large urban centers have been hotbeds of election fraud, that is not an assertion, but a fact. To drag out the RACE card ( or CLUB ) is nothing more than a attempt to intimidate election officials and cowardly politicians .

Allege racism and maybe you can get officials to back off investigating. Too much is at stake, beginning with having confidence in our free and fair elections. No room for compromise. Let the chips fall where they may.

Over the last 50 years each time the subject of mail in ballots have been discussed, those on both sides have said it is a “recipe for disaster”. If we had only listened to them we could have avoided this current travesty unfolding as we watch.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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11/27/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Mandatory Step we must take to restore good government.

Obviously at the moment if one mentions corruption you are immediately drawn into the clear convincing evidence that the Presidential election went terribly wrong. For those of us who took the 2 ½ hours to listen to the Legislative panel that gathered this week in Gettysburg Pennsylvania we listened to descriptions of the precise measures that are employed in 3rd world countries to steal or alter the outcome of a vote. When records show that 1.8 million mail in ballots were sent out to citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ……..yet 2.4 million were returned ,you have to be delusional partisans to not at least recognize this election was full of fraud. It would be comforting if this was an anomaly, but we all know better. Numerous local election results have been thrown out in these same states just this past year because of fraud and irregularities that were well documented.

Where do the origins of citizens willingness to accept behavior like this from public officials come from? Voter fraud has went on time immemorial, records show several U.S elections back in the 19th century were subject to extreme and highly questionable tactics employed by individuals who had little integrity and would stop at nothing to insure the outcome was favorable to their party/candidate. In 1960 it is now widely accepted that Illinois was stolen from Nixon (via Chicago/Cook County Democratic machine) turning the outcome to John Kennedy’s advantage. His late father was known to have bragged “I agreed to pay for a win, I didn’t say I would pay for a landslide”, or words to that effect.

It is however worthy to step into the present and ask ourselves why this happens on such a large scale and across a myriad of states? How did our political system become as corrupted as it appears to be today?

When corruption or cheating is a topic it is often met with a quiet resignation that it happens all the time, everywhere and noting we do will change it. Human nature some would say. What does appear quite different today however is the brazenness of it and the publics willingness to accept it as if nothing we might do can or would change it. The cowardice of our elected officials, law enforcement or courts who often seem reluctant to take action to stop it. That explanation however falls short of asking ourselves the real tough question………why do we turn a blind eye to it when it occurs?

5-6 years ago, a former Supervisor here in King William voted on a measure that had to do with the Land Use Tax Exemption program. This particular Supervisor did business with numerous owners of large tracts of land in the program and as such should have either recused himself or openly admitted the conflict of interest publicly before he voted. He did neither and voted anyway breaking the law in my view. I invited our County Commonwealth Attorney to an upcoming T.E.A Party meeting to discuss the very Statute that dealt with this issue. Not surprisingly the county commonwealth attorney defended the Supervisors actions as legal and not a violation, insisting that a quid pro quo was necessary in order for it to be violation of the Virginia Statute. The Statute for anyone wanting to read it themselves lays out in plain language and never mentions anything regarding a quid pro quo as a necessary component . I argued that after reading the Statute and the variety of amendments over the years I saw no mention of a quid pro quo anywhere and concluded that the CCA simply did not want to pursue any actions against this Supervisor for his own political reasons. Don’t anger the Oligarchs who have an outsized influence on this guy remaining in office. Even my action when I went to the Virginia State Police ( being one of 3 options ) and filed an actual criminal complaint went nowhere. After several meetings with a State Police Investigator he finally relented, agreeing to forward the complaint to the Virginial Attorney General’s office told me…. “Mr. Shannon, even if it ultimately resulted in a conviction, it is a Class 3 misdemeanor with a $50 fine”. Tells you how serious our legislators take the Conflict of Interest issue itself?

In 2015/16 then K.W County School Finance Director was caught red handed lying to the public, claiming some 47 positions had been eliminated at the public schools during the dramatic economic downturn of 2009--2013. Supervisor Bob Ehrhart had done some extensive research into these claims (made repeatedly and in a document/handout from a Joint School Board/ B.O.S Budget meeting) yet in spite of incontrovertible evidence, the general public yawned without so much as a single letter to the local newspaper from a concerned citizen over this blatant lie told by a public school official. Don’t rely on the School Board members to EVER correct the record, it was the King William T.E.A Party and Supervisor Bob Ehrhart that caught this and made it public.

Our current County Administrator engages in similar conduct, claiming King William county is “continuing to experience growth” ( it isn’t ) or that …” land values have remained level” told only to support the ongoing spending spree county government is on , attempting to convince citizens that the ----county is growing , therefore we can afford the bigger budgets, and claiming land values have remained level…….in a attempt to sway skeptics when they see those in the Land Use Tax Exemption program receive very very favorable assessments, all the while home owners get hammered. How can land values have remained level when a homeowner see’s a 40% increase in the land portion alone of his/her property?

In conclusion then it is both reasonable and practical that a path forward is clear, at least to me. The only remedy possible involves citizen re-engagement that starts with the examples cited above. When they lie or mislead us we instantly and with a degree of furor respond that we are not going to let the lies pass without challenge. If readers are sick of this pass we have been giving elected officials, law enforcement and members of the permanent administrative staff, then it is incumbent readers organize and act.

“We get the government we deserve”, an old axiom that this Presidential election makes crystal clear. We have allowed this conduct that in the past seemed inconsequential to morph into what now is clearly an out of control national disease.

TELL THE TRUTH, must become not some symbolic rallying cry but a heartfelt conviction with specific and tangible action, if we are to have any chance at all of reversing this sickness that has poisoned our collective public bodies. Beginning In January the King William T.E.A Party will take this topic up in discussion to explore effective ways that we can SHAME these folks whose salaries we pay when we catch them engaging in making false statements to the public.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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11/18/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: TIDEWATER REVIEW's Emily Holter: Her own Bias, or easily duped ?

Our group has lamented the haphazard manner with how newspapers today do their jobs. Journalism ……it existed decades ago when the news reporter dug then dug some more to report the facts. Not so much today, particularly when you have young journalists fresh out of college. We know today what they hear ( relative to politics/ history ) on almost all college campuses.

Since Ms. Holter attended college recently one must ask if her political leanings are such that the Patriot movement, and the King William T.E.A Party in particular, are getting even-handed treatment. Here is what we do know.

In a recent e-mail exchange Ms. Holter said regarding K.W County Administrator that “ she is an accurate and valuable source to any publication” Has Ms. Holter ever challenged statements by this accurate & valuable source, ie: just how does she squares the public statement: “ land values have remained level” , when the new assessments have increases in the land portion of someone’s home of 30%, 40% 60%……or……statements regarding King William county “growth,” non-existent by almost any measure.

Ms. Holter told King William T.E.A Party's Treasurer in a recent e-mail response that “ I can not in good conscious ( she must have meant conscience ) include statements that come from your various newsletters, as they are not factual”. Where does Ms. Holter get the background to say such a thing ?

Will she offer a single specific example of our group saying things that are not factual? Fairness demands she cite for us just what she is referencing. Surely she has to have in that “journalist mind” what she is referencing. After all an integral part of her job is checking facts, which would lead one to assume she has an example on the tip of her tongue where she can illustrate the K.W T.E.A Party making statements that are not factual. Maybe the following is a better explanation.

In an outburst 2 years ago by County Administrator Bobbie Tassanari ( in the public space foyer of the Administration Building ) before a B.O.S meeting, KWTP's Secretary had set up a table to hand out literature from our group. Ms. Tassanari literally blustering said he would have to take down and remove the table. When our Secretary asked her “ why”, she relied “because I don’t want your propaganda in here.”

Apparently Mrs. Tassanari momentarily forgot what country she was in, or that the citizens paid for the building and the ongoing maintenance. Since Ms. Tassanari and Ms. Holter are in routine contact it’s a safe bet that Ms. Tassanari conveyed her disdain for the King William T.E.A Party.

Ms. Holter has an opportunity to correct her own record. First share some specifics… “ I cannot in good conscience include statements that come from your various newsletters , as they are not factual”, and while she is on her fact finding mission she can go back to the” accurate and valuable source” ( County Administrator ) and query her on the statements referenced above regarding land values and county growth.

In conclusion it may warrant that Ms. Holter take off her “ rose colored glasses” when she is speaking to ANY GOVERNMENT official and take what she is being told with a healthy dose of skepticism …..unless of course Ms. Holter has a anti-conservative bias herself.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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11/18/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Supervisor Garber (4th District) is the only one asking tough questions on Assessment

If one listens to the Board of Supervisors November 5th meeting (available online) the central focus that evening was the K.W County Real Estate Assessment fiasco that if nothing else illustrates the problem in how local government collects it’s largest source of revenue. To say that it is not done fairly would be an understatement of epic proportions.

Unlike the other 4 Supervisors who seem content to carry the County Administrators water in regard to her strange support for BrightMinds Steven Chastang sorry performance to date, Supervisor Stewart Garber was the only one in that meeting to drill down and make the point…………….BrightMinds has not come remotely close to complying to the terms of the contract they signed with King William .

Garber repeatedly hammered Mr. Chastang with tough questions, making it clear on more than one occasion BrightMinds has not done what they contractually agreed to do. Chastang gives new meaning to the term evasive, citing more than a few times that “I don’t have those numbers for you this evening”----when asked about the number of parcels he actually visited or did not visit.

Questions about how certain commercial properties were assessed have led to even more suspicions that this process has flaws that go beyond mere human error. Why for example ( or how) after Commissioner of Revenue Sally Pearson has stated “ both Rock Tenn & Purina have made improvements to their respective properties since 2015 “ (last assessment) yet the new assessed values are lower than the 2015 values? This at the same time other commercial properties have seen increases that are in select cases 100—200% or more higher? If larger commercial properties are assessed at lower assessed values and the rate eventually is lowered the amount of revenue lost as a result of this will ultimately lead to higher real estate tax bills for other citizens ( primarily home owners ) The loss in revenue stemming from these commercial properties lower assessed values has to be made up somewhere else. In such a small rural county with less than 14,000 residents (excluding West Point) the tax base is not large or diverse enough to recover the lost revenue anywhere else.

It was also learned this week that aside from Mr. Chastang’s BrightMind contract to do this assessment he is employed by King William aside from his contract to do additional assessment work? Reasonable people can disagree, but does this not taint the process even further? Is Chastang’s processes and methods designed to get a desired outcome in terms of revenue the County Administrator wants? Is it odd that some elected and other county officials received rather tame assessment increases (7%, 9% & 14% for a few favored government officials) while others were tagged with 39%------ 100 % increases? Is litigation the only course left to answer these questions and ultimately resolve this mess?

Sadly many home owners out there who are not paying attention will in 2021 receive letters from their mortgage companies informing them that their monthly payments are going to be adjusted (because their escrow account have been drained by the higher real estate taxes) and then it will be too late to do anything about it. The time to drill down and ask the tough questions is NOW, and Stewart Garber seems to be the only one willing to do just that. Kudo’s to you Mr. Garber.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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11/10/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Parents must heed the clear signs or risk raising programmed kids

Last year numerous news reports cited the percentage of Millennials who expressed a desire for a socialist economic model over capitalism. I seem to recall it was a clear majority of this generation that holds this view. While one might hope they get some learning as they say on how swell this has worked out in Venezuela, a nation that just a generation ago had a solid & growing middle class. One of South America’s wealthiest nations as a result of it’s abundant oil reserves, today it teeters on chaos, unable to even feed it’s own people. The street gangs in Caracas Venezuela today fight over a new treasured turf……..the best garbage dumps and landfills. From Middle Class to starving, thanks to this grand experiment called Socialism.

I imagine if one of these Millennials were asked just what happened in Venezuela……..their eyes would glaze over and their facial expressions would expose the ignorance. If they were politically savvy they might spout the tired refrain that is often cited by their older socialist brethren…..if only Venezuela had properly funded the government functions it would have all worked swimmingly.

Which brings me to my central point in this post. Passing the outdoor sign on Route 30 in front of King William High School today I read the following message

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” I expected at any moment to hear a distant chorus of Kumbaya playing somewhere in the schools central offices.

I grew up during a time when American resilience and rugged self- reliance were a part of our national character, and our education. I remember reading about the frontiersmen and the brave pioneers that forged America into the nation we were to become. I recall as a boy thinking how brave Lewis & Clark had to be to undertake what they did. I have admired the up from their boot straps entrepreneur’s , going it alone with the inherent risks . I have known a significant number of people who failed in business, time & time again, only to rise up and eventually succeed. What in the hell has happened to us as a people ?

The message displayed on that sign outside of King William high school is a partial explanation. Kids are easily manipulated with messaging, but like cement, it begins to harden if they hear the message often enough. Kids admire School officials as authorities, and unless the kids have parents teaching them values that are more reflective of our national identity……………you end up with a generation that thinks in a collective mindset. The resilience and self-reliance is replaced with nanny state thinking……rely on government for your care…. while your soul gets lost in the process .

Thank 3rd District School Board Rep. Steve Tupponce next time you see him. Steve supported 3-4 years ago removing U.S History from the High School S.O.L Tests. What message did that send these kids ? U.S History really isn’t important……ultimately resulting in the Millennials who prefer Socialism over Capitalism. Thank you Mr. Tupponce.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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11/8/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: A Conspiracy to spin a false story or the story has some credence?

As Yogi Berra said often… “it ain’t over till it’s over”, it appears the Presidential election may drag on for some time ………and perhaps for good reason. Stories abound as examples of voting irregularities and misconduct that may or may not have affected the final outcome. Truth is, if the deep state is as embedded as some suggest, being aided by the Major News Media, along with big techs clear bias, we may indeed be debating this for decades.

The Trump campaigns strongest legal case is tied to what the Constitution says about just who has the legal authority to change or amend voting procedures in each state. Legal scholars that have weighed in on this singular aspect have said that the Founders wanted the individual state legislatures to decide just how that states elections were to be held. In state after state (using the Corona Virus often as justification) many states election boards unilaterally made significant changes that bypassed the states legislative bodies . From mail in ballots, setting deadlines, to deciding on what errors would disqualify a ballot were tinkered with and amended, often several times within weeks on an election raise legitimate questions as to how this has been handled. This one question almost begs the U.S Supreme Court to weigh in.

One particular story making the rounds has to do with Michigan and how in the “ middle of the night” ( after vote counting had been suspended ) some 138,339 ballots turned up and if the story is credible all 138,339 were Biden votes, not a single one went to President Trump. I wonder what the Vegas oddsmakers would give that of actually happening.

Now if this story happens to turn out to be true every American with a brain and or a conscience has to be disturbed. Stay tuned and remember what Ol Yogi said.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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11/5/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: King William County goes off the rails with proposed Day Care Idea

When King William County purchased two properties off of Route 360 in Aylett , the old Pharmacy and the office next door , spending some $300,000--$400,000 on said purchase tax payers wanted to know just what the County was doing in the real estate business to begin with. Initially rumors surfaced that a Public Safety Complex housing a Sheriff Department “ satellite office” and perhaps a dispatchers function was what the County had in mind. Many, including myself questioned why a county ( excluding West Point ) with a population less than 14,000 people needed a “ satellite office”.

Now we hear that the geniuses running our local government had proposed a “day care center”…free I might add for some 100 children. Some of the funding would be paid using the Covid 19 money that King William received. Our information indicates that some 25 slots were to be reserved for Teachers. Pandemonium then ensued with various county officials within the County Administration , Parks n Rec department weighed in on just how this new free day care should function, staffing related fights were reported resulting in a long term county employee who just happened to disagree with the County Administrator ( and we all know now what happens when you disagree with her ) being fired and perhaps now the entire project may die the deserved death it deserves.

Those of you out there who have children and pay for day care yourselves know just how expensive it is. I have been told that full time day care can run anywhere from $1000---$1800 a month, a big expense for sure. My question is just when and why did this now become a government function ? When did tax payers take over the costs associated with having children that are not theirs to care for to begin with ? And why would 25 slots be set aside for Teachers or anyone else ?

Folks , it must now dawn on you what the King William T.E.A Party has been preaching for over a decade. You put money into the hands of government officials………and they will find something to spend it on, costs do not matter, whether it is a legitimate government function, to them it DOES NOT MATTER, they are going to come up with these whackadoodle programs to spend the money on. ( More on this at our next meeting Thursday 11/12 6:30 pm-Ripleys )

Could government spending and local property taxes be cut…..indeed they can be. But with the folks now running the show down there it simply isn’t going to happen. If you have children , then understand there are certain costs associated with that decision. Don’t dump YOUR RESPONSIBILITY onto someone else’s plate.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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11/5/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY ,STORY, EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY ,STORY……..

In a line from an old Rod Stewart song we take a look at just one of the numerous voting abnormalities occurring in Milwaukee ,WI now getting much deserved scrutiny . Biden was declared the winner in Wisconsin in the early morning hours on Wednesday after Trump who led as election day came to a close. Leads flip, no one denies that ,but the numbers cited below certify that something is terribly wrong in the ballot dump that took place in the early morning hours in Milwaukee.

During the campaign we all heard the repeated cries of Trump supporters that fraud was the only way Trump could lose. Some of us attributed this to a campaign tactic to reeve up Trumps base. Was this all that happened in Milwaukee, the lead flipped as the mail in ballots were counted---case closed ? Is this simply an example of Trump supporters whining because they have lost……..or is something much more sinister occurring ? Let’s take a look at what transpired there.

Official tallies coming out of Milwaukee show that 83.67% of registered voters cast ballots in the 2020 Presidential contest. Nationwide voter turnout broke records , highest turnout in over 100 years. That doesn’t explain the change in turnout in Milwaukee from 2016.

Records show that in 2016 registered voters turned out in Milwaukee to the tune of some 61%. Should we expect a higher percentage in a year with such a hotly contested election…..of course , but this increase ( 83.67% ) is so far out of a normal pattern one must have enough skepticism to at least agree these votes should be given a 2nd review.

Biden was declared the winner in Wisconsin by around 20,000 votes. The final tally shows Biden with 49.57% Trump with 48.94 %, razor thin is an understatement. One poll just days before the election showed Biden up in Wisconsin by 17 points ?

Voter fraud can occur almost anywhere. It is however a much more prevalent problem in the larger cities. The jump in registered voters that reportedly voted in Milwaukee ( from 61% to 83% ) warrants a much more detailed review of these mail in ballots. Should Candidate Biden win this election fairly then all Americans must accept that. My suspicions however, shared by a considerable number of Americans is that something is amiss in numerous voting in States around the country that defies accepting this scenario described. Was a trunk load of ballots held somewhere in case that reportedly 17% advantage didn’t come to pass ? None of us know but this example signifies something is amiss. A recount in Wisconsin , particularly Milwaukee is the only way we can know. If a carefully monitored recount shows these votes to all be valid we can accept that. This is the United States of America, where the integrity of elections has always been sacrosanct. Unless recounts occur in every locality where abnormalities of this magnitude have taken place we risk becoming a banana republic plagued by the voting fraud that should shame any citizen with a conscience.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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11/5/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Corona Virus magically disappears from the News?

As some have suggested might occur, the Corona Virus has suddenly taken an odd and silent step back from the spotlight the very day after the election? Did Joe Biden out of an act of mercy wave his magic wand and vanquish the dreaded virus ? Did the virus have a time stamp that was set to expire on November 3rd or, is this yet another example of the revolting collusion between the political left and their minions in the media ? It might be funny if this nefarious behavior wasn’t doing so much damage to our society.

The biased and corrupt news media played along with Democratic strategists after analyzing the limited faculties of large numbers of Biden supporters ,many drawn from the 5/10/85% dissection . 5% of Americans are well informed, 10% are somewhat informed and the remaining 85% ( of which the lefts constituents are largely drawn from ) .A good many of the voters who answered the exit poll question as to whom they were supporting and the reasons why answered that their #1 concern was the Corona Virus and thought Biden would do a much better job dealing with this than President Trump has. Biden has parroted almost as his own solution many of the very measures President Trump has in fact already deployed.

Biden , his strategists and a complicit media were all too happy to play these dummies for their votes. Drum up a hysteria over the Virus, scare the daylights out of as many people as possible and corral them into a voting bloc….Kudos Joe, it appears to just maybe have worked.

Never mind the facts, the mortality rate is around .2 % of those diagnosed, most people , particularly the young bounce back with little to no lasting effects and a vaccine will be available shortly in any event. A virus that is introduced into any population is bound to do some harm. But as that Democrat aide to President Clinton( and former Chicago Mayor ) Rahm Emanuel once said “never let a good crisis go to waste” .

In this case, they spun a virus into a voter turnout machine and many of the folks with not a lot of grey matter bought it. We could hope that should Biden be successful in his bid, he would lay out ( along with his policy changes on dealing with the virus ) how as President he plans to sanction the Chinese who this virus originated from …………..but then you can’t bite the hand that feeds you !

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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Vet


11/3/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: King William County School System’s Resolution of June 16, 2020

(NOTE: The full text of KWPS Superintendent White's Resolution that School Board members Robinson and Tupponce courageously refused to sign follows this posting, along with a link to a petition to remove Dr. White)

In a incredible statement contained in a Resolution from June, the King William County Schools have shown how the insidiously toxic propaganda of the Education/Indoctrination establishment is quickly moving into even the smallest rural school systems after gaining a foothold in the larger and more populous systems in Northern Virginia. It was only a matter of time.

It begins ( the Resolution ) at the outset with a false narrative being promoted by those within the U.S Public School system as a means of attempting to hide the true underlying reasons for the failures; namely the declining test and achievement scores of their students.

The Resolution states in its opening paragraph “the prejudice and injustice that persists in our Country.” One might try and imagine what Country these folks are living in.

Dr. Larry Elder and Dr. Bob Woodsen, regular guests on numerous TV programs (and both highly respected black conservatives) have laid out in great detail the underlying cause of much of what ails Black America, and it is not racist cops or wide spread systemic racism that is creating the problems. It is the number of fatherless homes these kids are being raised in. 50 years of data has shown kids raised in these circumstances doom a child to the dismal outcomes we are seeing. Some facts to digest

Some facts to digest

In 2019, 9 unarmed black males were killed by police. 19 unarmed Caucasian males were killed by police that same year. In a nation of some 330 million that is hardly a large number. It also warrants noting that when police have been in the wrong ( and far too often people jump to false conclusions before any investigation is completed) the police officers involved are vigorously prosecuted and punished, as they should be.

Study after study has shown that in almost every one of these incidents had the suspect complied with police instructions they would still be alive today. One unjustified death is one too many but we need to have honest discussions, beginning with the true scope and the underlying causes of the problem.

Both Dr. Elder & Dr. Woodsen make it abundantly clear that children raised in a fatherless household are much more likely to drop out of school, enter into the criminal justice system, have children themselves out of wedlock and experience substance abuse issues. Dr. Elder recently said, “we are about to enter into an honest discussion of the problem in lieu of the misleading and false narrative that systemic racism is the root cause.

The Resolution goes on to state, “Each of us , individually and collectively are responsible for creating and nurturing an anti-racist learning environment.” What in h*ll are they talking about ?

In the last 3 years King William County tax payers have forked over more than a few million dollars to enhance the technology in our 4 schools to give kids in a small rural county ChromeBooks and high speed internet access to eliminate the implied disadvantage students in a county like ours were supposed to be at.

America overcame the sin of racism by remaining true to its ideals. It was not a foreign occupying force that heralded in civil rights and a New Era in terms of how all of its citizens were to be treated, but rather a collective conscience that brought about the Resolution. No one today could make a credible case that racism is systemic, as this Resolution suggests.

It is necessary and proper as well that ALL new text books and curriculum being introduced into our public schools must be thoroughly reviewed and vetted by concerned parents; particularly those interested enough to sign the petition calling for Dr. White's dismissal. After all when King William Schools pulled U.S History from the High School SOL test 4 years ago………….WHERE were you folks who are now all in a furor over this? Children denied learning their nations history are apt to believe the “social justice” garbage now being promoted as TRUTH.

The King William T.E.A Party was the only voice in the County that raised objections to this. I personally spoke at the time to Steve Tupponce, 3rd District School Board Representative, and asked him pointedly, “does King William Schools have the option of declining this removal of U.S History from High School SOL testing ?” Tupponce admitted that the School Board indeed didn't have to go along with this removal. But he supported removing it, and citizens with kids in the school system just might ask Mr. Tupponce about his decision.

The only remedy to fixing what ails our public schools is COMPETITION. Claiming that racism is a problem in King William County and its schools is nothing more than attempts to shift responsibility away from the real culprits; the fatherless households that have been shown to be the real REASON FOR THE PITIFUL OUTCOMES.

Injecting racism won’t change that one iota.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086
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Remove Division Superintendent Dr. David White from King William County Public Schools!

In recent events, King William County Public Schools division superintendent, Dr. David White, has shown his agenda to shove the Black Lives Matter mentality down the throats of our community. With a letter to our parents of King William County students, a resolution highlighting one race over another, and an under the table set up of a rally supporting those that burn our flags, kneel to the Pledge of Allegiance, and burn down cities and towns creating hate. With all of that said we need to ban together as a community to let Dr. David White know that we will not be divided. We will not tolerate such to go on in our community involving our schools, thus creating division amongst our students, our families and our staff!

To Read and Sign this Petition - Click on The Link:
Petition
or go to:
https://www.change.org/p/the-king-william-county-community-remove-division-superintendent-dr-david-white-from-king-william-county-public-schools?recruiter=868178144&recruited_by_id=b1edaa70-39ef-11e8-8873-c97f586af45f&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=petition_dashboard&fbclid=IwAR02ILCDCKroKAFIPYpLmnhMP3rrNRXMUFszqRZhEZcCNTk6_RzXKqGBO7o
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10/28/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Victor Davis Hanson’s advice for the weak kneed

In a recent FaceBook posts I read some words from those “ arm chair quarterbacks”. If you understand the 5-10-85% rule there are folks out there clueless as to how government actually works and how best to rein the beast in. Hanson makes it quite clear in dissecting what Donald J. Trump did differently from both Mitt Romney and John McCain. Titled “Why the Elitists Hate Trump” ,Hanson shows how effective Trumps strategy was in contrast to both McCain & Romney who were satisfied with “losing with dignity”. Trump was determined to WIN, losing is just not a part of this guy’s DNA. RESULTS matter, Trump understands that.

Here are direct quotes from the arm chair quarterbacks –their own words. “I agree with the T.E.A Party as a whole (the qualifier) and what they stand for. But what I don’t support is how one talks to people“ ……“If they could be less aggressive with those that believe in the same ideals we could really fix this county”. Poppycock nonsense

They profess their support for the T.E.A Party………….but have never attended 1 of the 300 meetings we have held, nor donated $1. They admit it is our group that has labored away as real volunteers…we attend the meetings and report to the citizens what is happening in our local government…….they don’t like how we report it. A few questions for these closet supporters who never have a single syllable of criticism for the folks stealing them blind……but can blabber on about our “techniques”.

When former Supervisor Bob Ehrhart caught the School Finance Officer lying about how many positions had been cut back in 2016………why not a word from you?

When the entire School Board lied about all bus service would be cut, all athletic programs would end, teachers would be let go, none of which was remotely true……..why not a word from you ?

When the candidates running for the B.O.S last year refused to answer and return the Candidate Questionnaires ……why not a word from you?

When the Tax Scheme , Land Use Tax Exemptions shifting the tax burden to home owners and small businesses has been exposed for the tax dodge that it is……….not a word from you?

When $3300 was squandered during the renovations at HHMS on a private shower in the Superintendents office was exposed……….not a word from you?

When we have repeatedly asked for your suggestions on just where county spending should be cut……………not a word from you?

Pompous, nonsense as to our techniques. We recognize you have a simple choice, fight to win, against people who consider lying and stealing your money is okay, or lose with dignity.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

Victor Davis Hanson: Why they (Elites) Hate Trump

Victor Davis Hanson is an American classicist, military historian, columnist, and farmer. He has been a commentator on contemporary politics for the National Review and The Washington Times and is currently the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

This talk will explain alot of the self destruction the left displays and endorses.

To Hear this Presentation - Click on The Link to hear the 45 Minute Talk:
Victor Davis Hanson
or go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEmrZKcxUMA
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10/28/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Something Fishy Here

What percentage increase in the new Real Estate Assessments did you get hit with?

If you listen to Board of Supervisors Chairperson Stephen Greenwood (Aylett District) from the 10/26/20 board meeting, "some people will pay more and some will pay less when the Board equalizes the tax rate in the spring of 2021"...

Looking at the accompanying Property Cards from the Assessor's own web pages, Manquin District Supervisor Ed Moren's property has only a paltry 7% increase, Aylett District's Greenwood just a 9% increase; and our esteemed County Administrator Bobbie Tassinari a less-than-average 14% increase.

Is it likely that this lowballing of assessments benefits many more of our county government's "favored" residents?

All of these folks will likely be paying less!

And certainly less than those of us hit with far larger increases with virtually no chance of getting an equitable adjustment.

It is also rumored Mr. Greenwood is going to run for KW Treasurer (hand picked by the County Administrator who lives in his district?)

Vet Vet Vet

































Seriously, citizens don't you think there is something fishy here?

Bob Ehrhart
KW 5th District Resident
**********************
Information on Real Estate Records You need to know.

Code Of Virginia - Title 58.1 Taxation - Chapter 32 - Real Property Tax
(Click the Below Links)


Property Appraisal Cards

Public Disclosure Of Certain Assessment Records



















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10/25/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Blowhard Joe

Listening to Joe Biden’s yesterday in Bristol Pennsylvania left me ready to cry or laugh…I couldn’t decide which. Let’s start with his pledge to “lower health care costs” a blatant lie if a politician every uttered one. Competition lowers costs---nothing else has ever worked.

In 2009 when the A.C.A ( Affordable Care Act ) the Obama’s legacy legislation was passed I had a typical Major Medical Plan with Anthem , a $10,000 deductible, no -doctor co-pays, I simply wanted health insurance to protect me against catastrophic expenses in the event of a major illness. I was perfectly content to pay for doctor visits/prescription coverage out of my own pocket. I was paying a premium of $239.00 a month and was satisfied with what I had. By the time I reached Medicare eligibility last year that same exact plan ---no changes—was now costing me almost $800.00 a month. So much for making health care affordable!

In Germany today a gallon of gasoline costs around $5.75 a gallon. In England the same gallon of gasoline is around $6.50. Joe has embraced the idea that the federal government will wean Americans off fossil fuels and to satisfy the far left ,if elected , he would most certainly head down the same road as Germany & England -----with the same results. Imagine a fill up at Valero now costing you $125.00. That is Joe’s vision.

On taxes Joe is a lying swamp creature. He said that 91 of the Fortune 500 Companies are paying no Corporate Federal Income Taxes. Joe has been in DC for half a century….who has been writing the TAX CODE, that allows for what he is demanding is unfair……guys like Joe, who with a wink and a nod dish out these generous tax dodges to the very same Corporations Joe now cites as unfair. Joe plays on the ignorance that surrounds this topic.

I would like readers to recognize and understand something that is relevant to this topic. I have regularly referred to the tax code at all levels, Federal, State & local as the dirty currency of corrupt politicians” because it is precisely just that. I have examined enough detail to connect the dots, slick politicians write each year more deductions & tax credits into the code for their select big money campaign donors. Here locally the Land Use Tax Exemption is one example.

The most compelling point however on this topic is the wide spread ignorance on the very subject of Corporate Taxes. Corporations do not pay taxes….it is just another cost that is passed along to the end user—YOU. If more people understood this voters would not fall prey to the misleading political hogwash Ol Pol’s like Joe seem to trot out every election cycle to try and gin up anger and envy over the topic. Whether it is a hot dog at the ball park or a new kitchen appliance—the CORPORATE TAXES—have been padded into what you the consumer are paying. Elect this clown and he will raise Corporate Taxes—but don’t delude yourself-you are the one picking up the tab.

It has been said , “people vote their own self interests”….let’s hope so

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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10/23/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Another Severed Head

Bobbie Tassinari (County Administrator) has removed yet another [department] head; her most recent conquest – Rick Nunnally, who was deputy fire chief.

In ~18 months now, she has fired one fire chief (for whom I became the scapegoat), a deputy fire chief, the director of Parks/recreation, and two planning directors.

Most disturbing to me was the termination of Ron Etter who I believe finally had this county moving in a business friendly positive direction. Mr. Etter was active in the community moving to revise ordinances and serving multiple functions. Under my paid FOIA request, not one email, text message, etc. by/between the county administrator, chairman Greenwood, or the planning chair Don Wagner indicated friction or dissension. In my opinion, his termination will tumble the county backwards again (recall the loss of Dragon Run under different planning director & Brian Hodges, EDA chair).

The only tension I could uncover was interaction involving Sergio Tassinari (spouse of the County Administrator). Isn’t it odd that Sergio Tassinari resigned from the BZA and then returned immediately to the BZA after Mr. Etter was terminated by his wife [without apparent reason]?

The County Administrator has even “flexed her muscle” and tried to mire and intimidate both the commissioner of revenue and treasurer, who are elected officials over whom she has no authority.

These 5 male board of supervisors seem to have forgotten they represent the citizens and the County Administrator works for them. Rhetorically, one has to wonder if testosterone and gonads are missing from them all.

Bob Ehrhart
KW 5th District Resident
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10/22/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: A Most Cynical Money Grab

In the Tidewater Review newspaper this week County Administrator Bobbie Tassanari shows readers why the public has lost any trust in what they say…….as a result of just how they say it.

Tassanari says “ they more than likely won’t see a drastic increase in their tax bills.”

More than likely ? Look up the word ambiguity in Webster’s and do you see her picture? She goes on to state… “the Board has already made it clear that they really don’t want to retain more than 1% --if they can help it “ , ………“they really don’t want “ …..TRANSLATION: The promise of equalizing the tax rate AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN FOLKS ! You will pay more in 2021.

Tassanari is referencing state guidelines that discourage local governments from retaining more than a 1% increase over the previous real estate tax collections. The Board of Supervisors can ( and will in my view) vote to retain more than the suggested 1%, feeding the out of control spending going on in King William. They'll do this with the pretense of holding a Public Hearing, ignore angry taxpayers, and then vote to keep all the money. Utopia can’t wait……they covet your dough.

It explains why the assessment process was taken from the Commissioner of Revenue and put under control of the County Administrator. She had a number in mind (regarding how much revenue she wanted). While the Virginia Statute reads that real estate must be assessed at 100% of FMV (Fair Market Value) there has always been a spread between ASSESSED values and theoretical sales prices. Tassanari wants the money and ripping the process away from Sally Pearson was nothing more than a raw power play. The County Administrator knew she could instruct the new assessment firm (Brightminds) she wanted 100% FMV assessments. Every aspect of the process has thwarted citizens attempting to appeal their assessment. A homeowner is being asked to scroll through 18,000 + pages to find their property tax card ?

With Hansen & Ehrhart no longer on the Board transparency is lost. The not so clever “ parsing of words “ in the TR article are dead giveaways to Tassanari’s plans. None of these pathetically compliant Supervisors will challenge her authority as to how this is being done.

Using the example cited in the TR newspaper article, if a home previously assessed at $250,000 in 2015 under the current rate of .86 the annual real estate tax bill is $2150. That home with a 40% increase in the new assessed value would be taxed at a value of $350,000. Now if the current rate of .86 is applied that $2150.00 Real estate tax is….$3010 – that's $860 MORE !

Several members of the Board back in April/May when this subject was discussed referenced their intentions ( at that time ) to “ equalize” the tax rate; meaning they would lower the rate so that the actual real estate tax bill would be approximately the same. In order to do that in the above example the real estate tax rate would have to be lowered to .60. Never going to happen. Visit the K.W.T.P website for more information.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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10/16/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: New Real Estate Assessments creating problems

I have lived here now for 23 years and have not seen anything like this mess. Questions have been raised with the Procurement process used in the awarding of this assessment contract. Was the contract awarded to the firm that is doing the work using sealed bids ? Why wasn’t a sales study done as required both before and after the assessment ? Why is the appeal process being done with very little public notice ? Why are property cards not being made available to homeowners who request them ? Did this new firm doing the work actually visit these homes ? If not why not ?

Back in May/June of this year the County Administrator told the Board of Supervisors that “land prices have remained level “. How can that be since the 1.6 acres of mine , previously assessed at $35,000 , went to $45,000 in this new assessment ? We have a considerable number of home owners who have reached out to me telling me of increases that far exceeded the overall 38.9% increase I received. The assessed values appear to be highly inflated, much closer to what a sales price might be, not the spread you typically see between assessed value and sale prices.

Was this the goal all along ? If the County Administrator ( who took the assessment process out of the Commissioner of Revenues office) continues on with her grand spending , is she attempting to refill the Counties depleted coffers to pay for her bloated new budget ? Counter to the job losses and business closings in the private sector the County has been on a hiring spree according to my sources.

I have sent numerous e-mail communications to 3rd District Representative ( and current Chairman ) Stephen Greenwood asking these and other questions but have not had any response from Greenwood.

During Board discussions earlier this year several members made it a point to state their intentions of “ equalizing” the real estate tax rate to offset any impact due to the increases in the new assessed values. The current rate is .86 per hundred ( compared to next door in K & Q of .54) To equalize the taxes owed ,using my property as an example they would have to lower the rate to .52/.53 ?

These increases hit retirees particularly hard for those on fixed incomes. Maybe we can expect Supervisor Ed Moren to ride in on his white horse and come to the rescue. After all Candidate Moren promised voters LOWER TAXES on his campaign signs last summer. Don’t hold your breath. Moren is solidly in the big government progressive club , determined to do his part in creating Utopia, big government progressive types always seem inclined toward.

If you expect Supervisor Greenwood to intervene………….don’t. He showed his true colors in 2016.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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10/15/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Our Patriot Brethren in the Militia’s

I recently had the privilege of meeting the Leaders of the King William County Virginia Militia when they spoke at the King William T.E.A Party meeting on Thursday September 24th 2020.

The volunteer spirit and steadfast defense of the U.S Constitution with an emphasis on the treasured 2nd Amendment is cause for all of us to thank these men & women for their willingness to step up and assist local law enforcement and public safety services in a time of need. Many of these same people demonstrated that love of country with previous military service that exemplifies their love for our American institutions and way of life. They give countless unpaid hours in this vitally important role they play in King William county and across this land.

I do however want to speak to another issue I humbly ask that they take to heart, and that is the spiraling out of control debt that at some point will have horrendous consequences for future generations.

The King William T.E.A Party is comprised of very similar like minded Patriots who have been waging an education effort for 11 years ,in an attempt to educate more members of our community as to the danger this represents. We have documented the waste and used our limited resources to share this information in hopes that it resonates and brings more citizens out to speak up against the damage that is being done.

While defending our Constitutional rights as free people we must simultaneously recognize and act in a manner that balances the need to defend our Constitutional rights with an equal recognition that debt is as dangerous a threat to our society as is any other.

A rational analysis of the economic impact of current spending/debt demonstrates there is more than losing our 2nd Amendment at stake . We are fast approaching the point when simply servicing the debt will require amounts of our resources that will devastate our way of life.

Please consider joining our group to help in altering the course we are on. The new real estate assessments and the coming higher tax bills are just such an example that illustrates it is out of control even here at the local level.

We could use your help.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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10/14/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Has Chairman Stephen Greenwood gone into hiding?

In a recent post I detailed for those that follow our groups efforts the lack of a response from District 3 Supervisor Stephen Greenwood ( current Chairman of the Board ). I had also copied 3rd District School Board Representative Steve Tupponce and the other BOS members , along with the K.W County School Superintendent Dr. David White asking for clarification of comments made by Chairman Greenwood at the Monday September 28, 2020 B.O.S Meeting.

Greenwood specifically mentioned the schools need to spend what is appropriated and no more than that. My question was addressed to those mentioned above as to whether or not the SCHOOLS might be audited , given Greenwoods comments , as was the Commissioner of Revenue and the Treasurers offices. To date still…….not a word.

Have they now all gone into hiding, are they ducking a response because the citizens of King William County are also up in arms over the new real estate assessments mailed out this past week showing assessed values increasing 30—40—50% in some cases ? Has the spending binge King William has been on this year beginning to worry them as to how they are going to pay for all of it once Spring rolls around and these bills start coming due ? Are they afraid that their bloviating last April about lowering the real estate tax rate from .86 per hundred might not work out as they promised ? Several of them including Supervisor Moskalski said they would “ equalize “ the rate so that the rate would be lowered to reflect no increase in home owners actual real estate bills……Supervisor Ed Moren (5th District ) during the campaign last summer actually put signs atop his campaign signs promising lower taxes. Has Moren gone underground ? Lost his voice ? Or does Moren simply hope voters are distracted and might forget what he promised when he was vying for your vote ? Rest assured the King William T.E.A Party won’t let anyone forget.

Quietly they burned through the $10,000,000.00 Unassigned Reserve Fund , now it appears the $2,900,000 Covid Money has been spent…..if you think this Board has any plans to equalize the real estate tax rate let alone lower the rate…….you need to see a Doctor for the apparent delusion you are suffering from. With anemic growth and declining revenues , less money coming into the county tax coffers ,one might think the spending would slow down a bit. Further evidence of how little the average citizen understands how these things work. Utopia can not wait, even if it means picking your pocket yet again to satisfy their insatiable appetite for spending other people’s money.

Please contact me if any of you see these scoundrels have come out of hiding…I’ve a few questions for them they appear to be ducking.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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10/14/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: HELP…….my Ox is being gored !

11 years,that is how long the King William T.E.A Party has been in existence. We have met uninterrupted twice A MONTH FOR 11 YEARS. Our meetings are well publicized. Visit our website www.kwteaparty.com to learn what we are about. Do the math and that is some 240 meetings. Our officers spend from 4-10 hours a week on research, reviews and meeting prep. Over 11 years and it is into thousands of hours-----------Not 1 of us are paid a dime or reimbursed for the out of pocket expenses-----------We run this operation on less than $4,000 a year. This pays for newspaper ads, sign materials, paint, vinyl banners and website related costs. Lean operation for sure.

This group is the only conservative voice in King William county. The local republicrat party is a part of what Lou Dobbs has begun to refer to as the UNIPARTY. Name once when the King William County Republican Party spoke out on local government spending, or tax policy inequities….. You can’t . The local Republicans are as much a part of the problem because of their steadfast loyalties to the Oligarchs running the show. They cower in the shadows.

The new Real Estate Tax Assessment have just went out …….and the folks out there are squealing in drowning pitches over the outrageous increases (and coming Tax Bill headed their way ) Two points I would like to drill down on

1. Where have you folks been all this time? I have spoke to groups across Virginia over these years and am often asked..…”why aren’t more people engaged in this fight ?”. My answer has always been the same. People have not yet felt enough personal pain to get them off their couch and into the fight. Until that pain threshold is breached the fight remains the labor of the limited number who understand the stakes, the 5/10/85 rule. 5% are well informed, 10% are somewhat informed and the remaining 85% are too busy watching “ Dancing with the Stars” Have we reached that pain threshold ? It appears we are at least getting closer with this real estate tax assessment mess.

2. One must understand that the real estate tax problem is a direct result of a spending problem. You can not separate the two issues. The Board of Supervisors, driven by their desires to keep the public sector beast ( county administrator—schools—public safety behemoth ) do what Santa Claus politicians do…….they keep handing out you’re dough until you stand up and say Heh, just wait a minute , you folks are getting carried away !

This new Board elected a year ago is comprised of 5 men who either are A. big government progressives or B. Do not have the intellectual gravitas to distinguish the difference between legitimate government functions and spending $400,000 a year to house a dozen stray dogs & cats .

The King William T.E.A Party meets Thursday October 22, 6:30 Ripleys on Sharon Road. Turn off the TV and get engaged, do your civic duty. Or keep getting steam rolled.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)
King William, Va 23086

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10/13/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: “ King William County Real Estate Tax Assessments………….”

You ain’t seen nothing yet…bababa..baby you just ain’t seen nothing yet, here’s something you’re never gonna forget……no no you ain’t seen nothing yet. “ Bachman Turner Overdrive” 1973 King William County local government is about to give it some new context.

Before the misinformed go off on a tangent blaming the wrong party (wrong party being Sally Pearson Commissioner of Revenue) lay the blame where it belongs. The County has had a real estate tax problem and a spending problem for the last 25 years. It is now being EXPOSED for the entire citizenry of King William to witness. If you have opened your NEW REAL ESTATE assessment notice you already know what I am about to discuss. Remember the words of our County Administrator Bobbie Tassanari from just a few months ago……..”land values have remained level “ It wasn’t true and she knew it when she said it.

The County Administrator took over the assessment process from Sally Pearson , who handled this responsibility for the last 25 years. It was this same County Administrator who uttered the words underlined above. Homeowners are receiving new assessments that have went up 25, 35, 45 % or more ? The 1.6 acres I own was previously assessed at $35,000. The new assessment now shows the same 1.6 acres assessed at $45,000 ? The total increase was 39% for me. So much for land values remaining level heh? Why did Tassanari make that statement that she knew at that time was false? Read on.

The Board of Supervisors had an open window in April to make adjustments to the price used in calculating the Land Use Values on an acre in Forestry and Agriculture. They can only do this in the year that a new assessment is underway, hence once they passed on making any changes (values have been at $1500/Agriculture and $612/Forestry for some 5-6 years) they knew they could not change these values until another assessment cycle came around. The Oligarchs could rest easy for another 3-4 years knowing whatever additional money the County spent would come from homeowners and small businesses in King William, the same pockets these scoundrels have been picking for decades. Missing Dave Hansen & Bob Ehrhart yet?

While everyone knows real estate prices eventually recover it is simply appalling the number of half truths and outright lies that continue to spill out from Horse Landing Road . The spending has continued unabated, and this current Board isn’t about to slow down. The County has been on a hiring spree, and with a bloated budget come April , don’t look for the Board of Supervisors to “ equalize” the real estate tax rate as they promised some months ago. The current rate of .86 per hundred would have to be lowered to some .59 for most homeowners who have seen the gigantic increases in their assessed values. The King William T.E.A Party has been pounding this tax/spending issue for 11 years. Come join the only CONSERVATIVE VOICE in King William, or get out your checkbook and write the check. Send a note reminding Supervisor Moren what CANDIDATE Moren promised last summer…..something about lower taxes.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already)……or soon will be !!
King William, Va 23086

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10/9/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: “ Supervisor Greenwood and the King Willian County School Board are ducking YOU!”

The King William T.E.A Party, the only conservative voice in King William forwarded an e-mail to all 5 member of the Board of Supervisors, to Steve Tupponce, 3rd District School Board Representative, to Dr. David White , School Superintendent, and the Tidewater Review newspaper, along with the Country Courier asking a very simple straightforward question regarding comments made on Monday September 28th at a regularly scheduled Board of Supervisor meeting. During the course of an audit of the Treasurer’s office abnormalities were raised regarding the frequency of disbursements to the County schools from an account controlled by the Treasurers office. It appears the Treasurers office serves as a sort of conduit for some of the money that ultimately flows to the schools to cover certain expenditures.

Greenwoods comments that “the schools need to spend what is appropriated and no more”, was/is an apparent reference to more money being disbursed than was appropriated to begin with. The question we posed to Chairman Greenwood was whether or not the schools should be independently audited, as was the Treasurer and the Commissioner of Revenues offices ? It is a fair question, and one that tax payers deserve to have answered. After all Mr. Greenwood we are using your own words!

Several years ago, former Supervisors Hansen and Ehrhart made a motion to put the school budget back on a Category format ( they were previously on Category spending until a certain former friendly Supervisor quietly moved them off it )

Currently the schools spend the local appropriations in pretty much any manner they see fit with little oversight and certainly no sanctions or penalties when they spend above and beyond what is appropriated . It has been a customary practice now each November for them ( the schools ) to come back and ask for supplemental additional money clearly indicating a lack of any discipline or regard to the budget that was approved just 6 months earlier. Budgeting requires a certain serious deliberate thought when a budget is being laid out. This County government and the schools included have turned the definition of the very word BUDGET into a bad joke.

One would be almost delirious to expect this current Board to even consider returning the schools to CATEGORY SPENDING where some degree of accountability would exist. At a minimum however Supervisor Greenwood needs to explain what he meant on September 28, or at least answer the questions we raised in our e-mail.

The propensity again of this current Board , and certainly the big government County Administrator is to create their little version of Utopia here in our garden called King William County. The bad news Spanky is …….the bill is coming due in 2021 when these new real estate assessments hit your mail box. Let us know when you have felt enough pain.

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party ( Taxed Enough Already )
King William, Va 23086

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09/29/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: “ Trump and Women Voters ?”

The routine analysis in polling shows the President is trailing among women, suburban women in particular. Considering at times his rough mannerisms and often gruff demeanor I understand the ways the President might be rubbing this particular voting segment the wrong way. In all fairness his children certainly speak to the great job he has done as a father.

It has been said “we didn’t elect a Pope”, but a Leader during a time when our Nation needed one, badly needed one. If nothing else is said about Donald J Trump he is indeed a Leader.

Specific to his lagging numbers among women I would like to remind them that Trump has brough home their son’s & daughters from the wars and conflicts Joe Biden was almost universally supportive of. Trump has yet again been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize resulting from his Peace initiatives in a troubled part of the world where peace has long been sought but little progress made. Others have pledged to bring stability to the Middle East, but Trump was the one who has as they say,”moved the rock”.

Trumps advocacy for school choice is and should be resonating with Mom’s everywhere who have children in the public school system, and desperately want them to have a brighter future by giving them every opportunity to get them out of the hordes of failing public schools. Where is Joe Biden on the topic of school choice? Biden is beholden to the Education establishment, your kids future be damned.

Those kids grow up eventually and enter adult life hoping for opportunities that can only be enhanced by the re-election of the President. Biden is a swamp rat of some 47 years. It isn’t a coincident that over that corresponding 47 year period the U.S has been in a economic decline for the better part of Biden’s stay in DC.

If your last name happened to be Biden ……….well , then you did quite well. It is not even a close call. Biden is a corrupt snake oil salesman that will say and do anything to get elected. Trump has kept the promises he has made, and liking his style or personality should be the last thing on your list of considerations.

Bob Shannon

King William, Va 23086

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09/22/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: “TYPICAL BUREAUCRAT ……King William County Administrator”

In the Tidewater Review newspaper article of September 18, County Administrator Bobbie Tassanari detailed how skilled she is at spending taxpayer’s money, marveling…

When I first started this (doling out the $2,900,000.00) I didn’t think there was any way we’d be able to spend all of this money but I have been proven wrong. I think we will spend at least 98% of it, I truly do” ……….what would have been shocking was if she hadn’t spent it all. The $10,000,000.00 unassigned reserve fund has been squandered, $2,900.000.00 is pocket change after blowing the former.

King William schools have received and spent a considerable chunk of the money, coming back after the original dispensing of the funds asking for an additional $360,792.00 to meet demands it had not ANTICIPATED?. HVAC units, and a new school bus? What is the purpose each year when they prepare a budget? Did they not know a HVAC unit was coming to the end of it’s useful life ? Does the need for a new school bus just pop out of thin air? And by the way, does $250,000 for 2 HVAC units sound a little high?

$651,000 to cover unexpected department costs associated with the COVID -19 outbreak? Included in this is $87,500 in King William’s contract with All Points to expand broadband access. A year ago taxpayers were told that the County Administration building, the County Courthouse complex and the Schools had installed equipment to have high speed access at those very locations, so where is this $87,500 being used to expand internet access to?

The County plans to use roughly $107,500 of the relief funds to make improvements to county facilities including the courthouse, its 360 complex (in a County with no growth we needed a 360 Complex) and the Parks & Recreation program. What does this have to do with the COVID 19 Virus?

The HVAC units, the school bus should have been included in the 2020-21 School Budget. Expanding internet access, spending money in the Parks & Rec Department , it is clear as a bell Mrs. Tassanari doesn’t have any problem spending someone else’s $2,900,000.00 , especially when there is no one else asking hard questions. Government Bureaucrats recognize all of this money is being borrowed and the kids of the future are the ones who will pay dearly for this waste and extravagance. Were their legitimate unforeseen costs related to this virus? Of course there were, but the examples cited above show what is truly going on.

Bob Shannon Founder and Past Chair King William T.E.A Party

King William, Va 23086

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08/14/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: “History”

Way back in 2009, in a backlash against the radical assault on the Constitution by Democratic Party leaders and the Obama administration, alarmed conservatives across America came together to form the TEA PARTY movement.

"Taxed Enough Already" was the rallying cry for a countless number of groups of concerned citizens and they were determined to fight the out-of-control government at the national, state and local levels.

One of these groups sprang to life right here in King William. It was organized by Aylett resident Bob Shannon, who was driven by concern for the future of his children and grandchildren being threatened by the overspending, overtaxing and ignoring of the rule of law.

Sadly - most of these groups have faded away. They were victims of an all-out assault by the powerful forces of both the major political parties who were determined to crush this grassroots rebellion.

For eleven years now Bob Shannon and a dedicated group of supporters have kept fighting for and representing homeowners and small businesses best interest in pushing back against politicians and bureaucrats in our county by "comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable."

King William T.E.A. Party's volunteer, citizen watchdogs have worked tirelessly to uncover official wrongdoing and to expose their carefully hidden favoritism; problems have grown more acute under the current Board of Supervisors.

As The K.W. Tea Party presses ahead against strong opposition, we ask all our fellow citizens and taxpayers in King William “What are YOU doing to help?”.

Sincerely,
Paul Jamerson
King William, Va

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07/31/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Salad Gate - From a July 24th 2020 news story in Richmond Times-Dispatch.

It is my experience that this 'salad gate,' is being discussed in a 'closed meeting' and thus none of the Supervisors can discuss the issue. The 'Closed Meeting' is often used by the KW Supervisors to cover their tracks; without public discussion.

It is my bet that the Board Attorney's are moving this forward; keeping in mind that the new Law Firm stated in their proposal that issues such as this would require additional fees. Given their history, I can not imagine their turning this to someone else. To the County, $30,000 is a small matter of Budget 'adjustment,' that no one will discuss because 'the issue is in litigation.'

GOD bless America and the KW Board of Supervisors for having the ability to spend taxpayer money with NO taxpayer input.

As an elected official, Sally can 'dig in her heals,' and have her staff wear offensive Halloween Costumes (chiding this merchant) with NO accountability; other than to 'apologize,' for her poor judgement. Meanwhile, you can bet that the current $30,000 is just the down payment.

Dave Hansen
King William, VA 23086
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07/31/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Dave Hansen

Dave is and should be a elder statesman of the County. As such I am of the opinion that anything Dave say's or writes ( with his obvious consent ) should be posted anywhere and everywhere it can be.

Letters to the Editor..............I plead the case that this is vitally important and one of the missing ingredients in our efforts. Silence lends to the public being misled into believing that everyone is content with what our local government is doing, and how they are spending our money.

Nothing wrong when the time is right to ask the BOS for a detailed accounting of how much was spent for what specifically and with whom. Sounds like a natural for a FOIA request.

Bob Shannon Founder and Past Chair King William T.E.A Party

King William, Va 23086

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07/30/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Salad—Gate…………………King William Style

From a July 24th 2020 news story in Richmond Times Dispatch:

There’s a food fight, of sorts, going on in King William County, and it’s gotten a little messy.

A county farmer, Christopher C. Couch, doesn’t believe the salads he packages and delivers to customers around the Richmond area should be subject to the county’s meals tax; county officials believe otherwise.

Both sides have dug in their heels, believing they are in the right.

Beyond an unresolved dispute, thousands have been spent in legal fees in the yearlong battle and hard feelings have emerged. Couch has used his farm’s website and social media to wage a public battle against the county, and he conducted a failed write-in campaign in November to unseat the county’s commissioner of revenue, Sally W. Pearson, who is responsible for administering the tax.


https://richmond.com/news/local/there-s-been-a-year-long-food-fight-in-king-william-county-over-less-than/article_de7dde31-f69d-5c52-8141-c755e74fe70d.html

Only in government does one find such ludicrous behavior and this situation really does as they say “take the cake”….or perhaps salad ?

Where else other than government would any entity spend $31,000 to collect revenue of around $200 ? The ongoing saga of a contested food tax where the County insists it is owed and a single vendor who claims it isn’t could you find such a glaring example of government run amok ?

It also points to a sad chapter in the individual Supervisors who have yet to utter a single word on this matter. Why hasn’t even one of them spoken out and asked that this be stopped ?

Just who is the county's legal representative collecting this $31,000 spent so far in legal fees according to the reports in several newspapers ? Is the county attorney handling this ? Has King William hired outside counsel ? How can this be stopped before local tax payers have to get tagged with another dollar in expenses ?

In any private sector for profit business the decision would be made to write it off. I have never encountered a business entity that would even consider spending $31,000 to collect $200, for any reason. This exemplifies government and why our wise Founding Fathers insisted on limiting it’s corrosive wasteful power.

This is also a example of why the King William T.E.A Party is here today, nonsense like this would be glossed over if not for our groups pushing it into the sunlight. I am way past bewildered over this.

It makes no sense but this type of nonsense goes on for only one reason…………you, the citizens sit still for it.

Bob Shannon Founder and Past Chair King William T.E.A Party

King William, Va

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07/5/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: W King William County New Vehicles Shopping Spree?

A recent F.O.I.A (Freedom of Information Act) request detailed over the last 18 months the ongoing buying spree of new vehicles for a variety of county functions. Collectively King William since January of 2019 has spent a whopping $ 400,000 on a new ambulance ($ 266,000) to 5 other vehicles to include 2 new Sheriff Department purchases of Ford Inteceptors. The most recent was in March of this year , after the Covid virus had foretold of dramatic declines in local government revenues….but heh as the Drill Instructors at Parris Island used to say during smoke breaks “ smoke-em if you got em”. King William county officials apparently have taken a variation of that old axiom with “spend it if you got it”.

So as you trek on into Richmond each morning in your 12 year old Ford Taurus or your 15 year old Chevy Lumina wondering how much longer the old beater is going to go, know that your county government officials won’t have that same worry.

Can an ambulance be restored to working condition for less than $266,000 ? I don’t know. What I do know however is that 10 years ago the entire budget for the Fire/Rescue squads (all 5 of them at the time) was less than what we just spent on 1 ambulance.

I have often observed in the past how several other surrounding counties law enforcement agencies seem to be doing just fine with 15 year old Crown Victoria’s still on the road. Apparently Sherriff Walton hasn’t got the memo on that fact.

I wonder to myself just what the total fleet number is at these days. How many vehicles does the county own and maintain ? Who gets a car/truck as an employee perk like that brand new, sparkling white $22,000 Escape SUV? Are these used exclusively for work related duties or are certain officials permitted to take 'em home and drive 'em for personal use as well ? In a county with only around 13,500 citizens (excluding West Point) you have a pretty small tax base to spread these costs around.

When the new real estate assessments are rolled out come December, it is now suspect that the Board will lower the real estate tax rate in order to equalize your actual tax bill, but heh somebody has got to keep the U.S Auto industry afloat. Certainly King William county is doing it’s part. I joked a few years ago the County should just apply for a dealership franchise……….we might save a few bucks.

Much like the discredited statement recently by county officials that “ land values had remained level” (see the 2015---2019 Land assessed/sale prices on our website) the King William T.E.A Party reveals yet another example of the spending mentality of our local government.

At least at Parris Island I knew it would end after 13 weeks.

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

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06/12/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Riots

I have been speaking with friends, trying to make sense of the riots. Those conversations made me think that gaining respect might be an unspoken motive. But, as my father ( a B-47 aircraft commander ) often said, one cannot command respect. It must be earned through deeds and attitude. Rather than respect, the violence engenders fear.

Antifa, or BLM, has published demands, about ten I believe. They are remedies to the usual gripes: reparations, free health care and college, guaranteed income (work or not), etc., etc. However, the nature of the demands betrays the noble purpose of respect. Basically, if demands achieved, members of Antifa / BLM become freeloaders. No one respects freeloaders. Instead, they are shunned.

The race hustlers effectively convinced urban poor that they shoulder no responsibility for their plight. Instead, the cause is all things whiteness and the solution is to confiscate ill gotten gains of the wealthy.

The looters are not philosophical. They just want stuff. They are the product of ill advised social policy, which has replaced fathers with the welfare state. The looters are useful idiots exploited by Antifa / BLM leadership.

Antifa / BLM can take no credit for the age of enlightenment. Mediterranean and European thinkers did that. Our founders are included in this group. It does not mean that they can not embrace those concepts and grasp the prosperity that democratic / capitalist systems afford.

Lacking pride of authorship, Antifa / BLM turn their backs on the individual freedom enlightenment espouses and instead chooses socialism. The dismissal is misplaced, since we all stand on the shoulders of those giants. It comes with a price. Ignorance puts realization out of reach.

If the cause of the riots is ignorance, what is the remedy? I don’t think it is a mystery. Tough love comes to mind, but our leaders lack the political will. I believe that incentivizing fatherhood and stop subsidizing illegitimacy would go a long way to alleviating problems of the urban poor. Fathers anchor families, provide discipline and shunt poverty. If fathers can end poverty, and I think they can, then the ten demands will be met by self reliance, the only moral and affordable solution.

The politically correct will not accept any of the above. They will accuse racism. Any solution to poverty which includes blame and excludes government intervention is racist. In the face of riots, can we pussyfoot action, water canons anyone? Is truth now a synonym for racism?

Rick Ryan
Old Church

Socialism is the ideology of envy. Fairness and equality are euphemisms for wealth redistribution, the fulfillment of envy.

Socialism begins as an economic utopian ideal. The promise of providing creature needs, work regardless, is seductive. Socialism removes the incentive to work, but society needs work done. Socialism then evolves into a coercive instrument which compels work. ****************************************************************************************************
06/5/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Why The Citizens Of King William County Do Not Trust Gov’t Officials

Just months ago, a statement that was put out during the King William County Budget deliberations which once again demonstrates why citizens of King William County do not trust what they are told.

Quoting from official materials used during the Budget process was the following

“ Reassessment is underway and residential assessment values are anticipated to increase 20%, land values remaining level, commercial assessment values are expected to increase between 5-10% “. Just who was responsible for this statement , who authored it, who approved the way it was worded ultimately lies at the County Administrator desk. She presided over the Budget Town Hall where this information was first distributed to the public.

I raised at that time the conflicting data the County Administrator was using , on one occasion stating that growth in the county was around 2% per year-------then stating on another occasion that King William had grown about 10% over the last decade ? My plea to the Tidewater Review newspaper was to ask the County Administrator (Mrs. Tassanari ) to clarify the obvious discrepancy. Was King William growing 1% per year or 2% a year. Neither number warrants any expansion of local government , but that is another story for another day

I decided to examine in greater detail this assertion that land values remained level. In order to do just that I requested the County records of Land Sales from 2015 & 2019 to examine what had taken place. What were the actual numbers, had land values remained level ? In a few days the final analysis I did will be posted on our website and our King William T.E.A group FaceBook page.

Not only are the findings as clear as could be that land values had indeed increased over the period from 2015-2019 but the reasons for why this grand lie was spun to begin with is abundantly clear. Only in a year of reassessments can the $612 ( Forestry )and the $1500 ( Agriculture) be adjusted. These are the dollar values assigned to an acre of land in the Land Use Tax Exemption program, and they can only be adjusted IN THE YEAR OF A NEW ASSESSMENT.

Small Businesses and homeowners have yet again been tagged as the source for any needed additional revenue. The Oligarchs got precisely what they wanted and are now safe for another 3 or 4 years with their real estate taxes remaining level.

Nothing changes until you Spanky get off your behinds.

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

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05/15/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Misdirected Resources When Government Has Control

In the most recent issue of Imprimis the monthly publication from Hillsdale College (and a must read for Conservatives) Dr. Larry Arnn, current President of Hillsdale authors a piece entitled “ Thoughts on the Current Crisis” For our purposes I have singled out a particular element for a reserved focus, namely how behemoth out of control government agencies squander so much of tax payers money, yet in this instance the damage and harm goes far beyond just the waste of tax dollars.

Arnn cites how “the blame lies with the bureaucratic form of government that has developed in our country since the 1960’s” The CDC was created in 1942 to fight Malaria, in 1946 renamed the Communicable Disease Center. For many decades it focused it’s full efforts on its original mission, but by the 2000’s the CDC , like most executive agencies had become largely independent of political control and lost its focus.

A 2007 report by the late U.S Senator Tom Coburn cited just how far the CDC (renamed yet again the Center for Disease Control) strayed from its mission, spending hundreds of millions on international junkets, lavish facilities, CDC studies on gun violence, how parents should discipline their children and chronic conditions among lesbian ,gay and bisexual populations.

In 2017 alone the CDC spent over 1.1 billion on chronic disease prevention and health promotion, $215 million on environmental health, and $285 million on injury prevention—all purposes that are addressed by other federal agencies.

That money could have been used to prepare for communicable diseases, including replenishment of our stockpile of masks and ventilators, left depleted after the 2009 swine flu pandemic and never built back up.

President Trump’s decision to cut funding to the W.H.O (World Health Organization) of which the U.S is the primary funding source is buttressed by a cursory examination of some facts on the W.H.O. recent budget documents that show the W.H.O spends two times more on travel than it does on medical supplies.

We witness this colossal waste at every level of government, and the reason for it by now should be obvious to all, or at least those paying attention. Government has become far too big, controlling the beast is almost impossible. The King William T.E.A Party has documented numerous examples here at the local level over the last decade.

One wonders when citizens who have more of their resources taken to fund this will say enough is enough. Cut government at every level back to manageable size, it’s long overdue.

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

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05/06/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Like Members of Congress K.W Board Of Supervisors Engage in Self-Dealing

Monday April 27 the K.W Board of Supervisors voted and approved the new County Budget for 2020-21. While the actual approved amount was reduced from the initial proposed budget earlier in the year (prior to the Pandemic) it was still a higher Budget than the previous year. Given the horrendous economic damage being done this was beyond irresponsible. The spending should have been cut, if nothing else symbolically to show that the Board recognized the pain being felt throughout the private sector. 20+ million jobs lost and the Board actually approved more new hires, adding to the County Sheriff and Fire/Rescue staffing in spite of any tangible evidence that this is necessary , particularly at this critical time. When county revenues take the level of a hit that is coming ……what does the Board do then ? Our group suspects we will hear the following refrain next Spring ……………

While we had planned on lowering the real estate tax rate to .73 per hundred, the services needed by our citizens and the revenue losses have been devastating we have no choice but to leave the rate at XXX in order to provide the services our citizens deserve .A.K.A another hit to the already burdened home owners.

Transparency is lacking in providing the citizens clear justification for why they spend what they do, and where they spend the money. The King William T.E.A Party has helped over the last decade expose more than a few examples of waste, not to mention the lies we have documented by county/school officials on these spending topics.

Citizens must demand better from our elected officials or accept they will reach even deeper into our pockets to keep the empire building ongoing down on Horse Landing Road. A good step in the right direction is we demand more transparency in just what these county entities are up to. There is a way forward if we insist the County adopt the following measures.

1. King and Queen reports in detail a form of a County Crime Log in the Country Courier Newspaper periodically showing every category of crime (most of which is traffic infractions), Hanover County Sheriffs department does the same thing in the Mechanicsville Local. Knowing that every law enforcement agency compiles this data for a host of State/Federal reporting purposes shows that King William could easily do the same thing if it chose to. Rumors periodically circulate of these “illegal drug rings operating in the area---yet where are the newspaper stories reporting any arrests? Jeff Walton should have to account for the request for more money/staffing by answering just what they are doing in some detail.

2. County Fire/ Rescue is adding both personnel and asking for more money. The same thing goes for them, similar to the updates a recent Fire Chief would give at periodic B.O.S Meetings how many crews and vehicles are dispatched each month for free taxi rides to someone’s doctors appointments ? If the numbers are as high as I have seen myself then pressure should be brought on the General Assembly to change the law that requires these local Fire/EMS squads to perform such ridiculous services.

3. While we are on the subject of accountability let’s ask our County Commonwealth Attorney Matt Kite to answer a question I sent him several years back on his proclaimed increase in the number of domestic abuse cases in King William . If one recalls at the time in the Tidewater Review Newspaper Kite claimed the number of cases justified the tax payers expense of providing him with a full time assistant. I simply asked Kite to provide some details. Absent his willingness to account for his “case load” this 3rd term should be his last.

The old adage that “get the government we deserve”,is going to come home in a big way next year when the Board will have to come up with more revenue and will simply go back to the same well they have been drawing from for decades….homeowners.

We have already shown they won’t touch their Oligarch pals, hell they are in on the tax scam themselves. Don’t we now wish we could get back that $3300 frivolously spent on Dr. Whites private shower? They ( politicians ) never learn because citizens let them continue to get away with their prolific wasteful spending.

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

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04/30/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Like Members of Congress K.W Board Of Supervisors Engage in Self-Dealing

A month ago news reports were abuzz with stories of members of Congress selling portions of their stock portfolios using information that was not yet public regarding the spread of the Corona Virus. This has always been a reason why the U.S Congress has a public confidence rating somewhere between admitted felons and the ones not caught yet. Is this happening right here in our own back yard? You be the judge.

I reviewed the 195 pages posted on the King William County website as it relates to Monday nights (April 27, 2020) budget meeting. You can find it under the tab “BOS Agenda Packet”. This document deals with this current budget that was voted on Monday night.

In the course of the review, about halfway through the document I came across the following

----THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER AS WE MOVE FORWARD IN THE BUDGET PROCESS-----

The second Bullet point under this heading reads as follows:

Reassessment is underway and residential assessment values are anticipated to increase by 20%, land values remaining level, commercial assessment values are expected to increase between 5—10%

In the Land Use Tax Exemption program an acre of land in Agricultural use is taxed at $1500, an acre in Forestry at $612. This is the dollar value in use since 2015. A very important point to understand is this

These values can only be adjusted in the year of a new assessment, so by passing on Monday night without any adjustment in these values ,any opportunity to adjust these rates are lost for at a minimum 3-4 more years since King William County does not do annual assessments .

Who buys this notion that residential real estate assessed values have gone up 20%, commercial values from 5-10%--------------- yet land values have remained level?

Why is this relevant? Two of the current Supervisors have land they own in the Land Use Tax Exemption program. Another has land in the program owned by his family. Connecting the dots yet Spanky? This might explain what Supervisor Ed Moren meant when he pledged on his campaign signs last fall ---- LOWER TAXES (for the select few).

If you own a home in King William next January when you get tagged with an even higher real estate tax bill just know …………………..Moren wasn’t referring to you.

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

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04/27/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Property taxes and April 27 Public Comment

To: KW County Administrator & Board Members

As a general statement, King William County should level fund all departments/budgets in FY 2021. The Governor has advised state agency to prepare for budget cuts…. Henrico, Chesterfield and Richmond have slashed millions (including Fire/EMS Department) and cut positions.

1) King William should not buck the 4 year trend of lower taxes but the rate of $0.73/$100 for calendar year 2021 does that. According to the Commissioner of Revenue, home reassessments show an increase in property value of ~20%. A split rate of 0.86/$100 of assessed value for calendar year 2020 and then $0.73/$100 of assessed value will cause homeowners to pay an additional $29.

2) Candidate Moren (and his PAC) need to live up to the promise [or deception] made to voters last November. In order to uphold this promise, he must support/propose a rate lower than $0.73 to normalize the amount paid in FY 21.

3) I do not see how this general government meeting satisfies the condition under the emergency declaration and interpretation by the office of the attorney general that the meeting is necessary to prevent "irrevocable public harm". [See footnote 15 @ https://www.oag.state.va.us/files/Opinions/2020/Sullivan-Opinion- Request.pdf]. What "fact specific determination" was made by legal counsel to determine this to be a necessity (especially since Zoom limits the timeframe allocated for online meetings and citizen involvement)?

Bob Ehrhart
5th District
King William, VA

(To see the Letter in a PDF file with the Charts)
Use the Link

Letter
or Go To:
http://www.kwteaparty.com/PDF/04 27 20 Budget_FY21.pdf ****************************************************************************************************
04/22/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: States & Local Government Denied Federal Aid In Latest Package

Controversial is using a mild term when describing opposition to the Democrats push to include aid to State & Local governments in the just passed increase of an additional 488 billion added to strengthen the response to the Corona virus economic damage, much of it self- imposed by government measures in a attempt to contain the spread.

Aside from the suggestion that badly run State & Local governments are using this Covid 19 pandemic as a way of trying to cover up their badly managed economies with hopes that money will flow from Washington and buy them a little time or provide them political cover for problems that existed long before this virus became an issue. Local governments/public schools have become bastions of bloat and the silver lining in this terrible situation we find ourselves in at the moment is that we have an opportunity to rein in excessive spending and realign our priorities.

I cited in a Letter to the Editor that ran in last weeks Country Courier a few examples here in King William to illustrate the point. Taxi service to Bojangles and caring for hundreds of stray dogs IS NOT AN ESSENTIAL GOVERNMENT FUNCTION. The dizzying array of Non-Profits we dole out tens of thousands to each year, entities that often duplicate each other’s services is one more example. Funding for a Regional Airport Authority (West Point ) so that wealthy folks who fly can have taxpayers subsidize their hobby --- that can go as well. We could save over $100,000 each year by converting the Regional Animal Bed/ Breakfast to an old fashioned pound. If it is such a worthy function let private citizens raise the money themselves for the services they want to provide the animals….we have more pressing issues like human beings losing their jobs and delinquent taxes that are sure to rise as the economic damage worsens.

In a school system with 10 fewer students why have they added 39 more full time employees than they had 10 years ago? It warrants once again asking the question ……….. Just what does a Assistant School Superintendent do, and with a salary alone of $110,000 how much of a pay raise could we give teachers if that $110,000 was re-allocated to teacher pay? 4 Schools---could Dr. White handle the responsibilities himself? Public Sector Job Losses are now in the tens of millions and yet not 1 single position has been eliminated at County government or the schools.

As we get deeper into 2020 the REALITY will begin to sink in with regards to revenue declines coming to King William County, and the very tough choices this Board will face. A few years back one of the Supervisors referenced me as “that idiot”…… and I simply have become accustomed to that type of vitriol, comes with the job.

I would much rather be an idiot than a coward, and eliminating some carefully chosen NON-ESSENTIAL spending requires just a tiny bit of backbone. Does this Board have any? We will soon find out.

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

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04/13/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Is Congress Making Matters Worse?

In an attempt to load up a Phase 4 Stimulus the Democrats are now demanding that any new package include Aid to States & Localities. Is it allowing States & Localities to avoid cuts to non-essential spending? The following lends some insight to what is to come across America if spending is not reined in. While Illinois may be the proverbial poster child for bad fiscal management many states are not far behind. California, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut among others are in equally bad financial conditions.

In a recent New York Times article, the Coronavirus has put this fiscal nightmare on a whole new accelerated path. The article addresses the effects this current plight has on the public pension funds crisis unfolding across the entire nation. Read on to get some idea of where this problem is going to create unprecedented tensions between those who collect these pension benefits and the broader public forced to pay the tab.

Compounding the problem is the excessive risk these plans have taken on with exposures in equities and alternative investments that experts agree are not matched with an aging workforce and the anticipated payouts. California’s pension balance in just recent weeks dropped a staggering 69 billion from a peak of some 404 billion in mid-February. These public pensions have taken on more risk keeping their “fingers crossed “ this additional risk would inflate the plans assets as payouts demand more money to meet their obligations.

Zeroing in on Cook County Illinois the damage is leading legislators to impose a dizzying array of new taxes/fees driving the county to an almost assured bankruptcy, in the not so distant future.

Just how bad is it? Cook County has a record 57,000 delinquent property tax payers—property taxes feed more than 400 municipal pension funds in Cook County. What are legislators doing to address this?

The State has doubled it’s gas tax Tripled a real estate tax transfer fee

Raised taxes on cigarettes, vaping, electricity and even dry cleaning fluids

Made marijuana legal (for taxes), approved gambling so casinos can be taxed.

Tags for cars and trucks went up in January, raised parking meter rates and installed parking meters where none had previously existed

Raised taxes on restaurant meals, added a congestion tax on single occupant cars and tacked on a $3 fee on ride sharing services

Peoria recently added a yearly “property fee”, making it a fee so it can be applied to churches and schools.


End public pensions and cut spending…………or get ready for some parking meters.

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

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04/11/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: King William's Government couldn't be bothered

Did you miss the Board of Supervisors internet video conference on April 6th that replaced the legally required in-person public comment meeting for KW's taxes and budget ?

We almost missed it because Aylett District Supervisor Stephen Greenwood, BOS Chairperson, didn't bother to answer repeated requests from the King William T.E.A. Party for information on how public attendance was to be handled in light of statewide COVID-19 restrictions.

Beginning on March 26th -- many days in advance of the meeting that was noted in the last two issues of COUNTRY COURIER -- we emailed this simple question to Greenwood and copied all Board members as well as our esteemed County Administrator:

Several follow up emails were sent and direct phone calls reached only voicemail with no one bothering to take a moment to respond to the emails or return the calls.

This astonishing level of arrogance begs the question: Were all five Supervisors and the County Administrator too busy to answer a simple question or were they hoping KWTP wouldn't alert county taxpayers?

A last minute check of the county website on the morning of the 6th revealed a new notice that "attendance" at the meeting was restricted to those who could use a special computer video app or dial in by phone.

This tactic worked quite well for the officials because the pathetic 16 minute video conference that evening was "attended" by only eleven persons; 5 supervisors, 2 administrators and 4 anonymous viewers.

The only public comments noted were two from KWTP supporters, previously emailed to the Administrator. Nobody viewing the online proceedings spoke up.

See this farce for yourselves in a YouTube video that's also posted at kingwilliamcounty.us

KWTP has repeatedly warned county taxpayers that with the loss of Supervisors Ehrhart and Hansen, the last shreds of transparency and accountability would be sadly absent in this newly-installed Board of Supervisors.

Hold on to your wallets because the county's 2020-21 taxes and spending are on track to hit hard. Particularly with the expected 20% increase in real estate assessments.

Sincerely, Robert "Sarge" Bruce
District 3, Aylett
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04/08/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Economic Pain Abounds……………Unless

Citizens of King William County already harmed by the current virus related issue need to sit up, pay attention and then do their job as citizens and stop relying on that mythical “ someone else” to do it on their behalf.

The Board and the County Administrator have this ridiculous notion that reducing what was a planned budget increase of over 3 million to a little over 1 million in new spending isn’t going to cut it. I suggested to Supervisor Ed Moren to sharpen his pencil and do some cutting to non-essential staffing both at county government and the 4 schools. When former Supervisor Tom Redd (West Point ) stated in frustration “ we can’t control Mr. Shannon what the schools do with the money after we give it to them, my response was very simple……….Mr. Redd, then give them less”. A few facts for some background

An estimated 20 million Americans are being furloughed , small businesses being shuttered, many perhaps permanently and just what is local governments reaction………….”we will only spend 1 million more , not the 3+ million increase we had planned on”

At last months Budget Town Hall we learned that hundreds of stray dogs irresponsibly bred were now the responsibility of tax payers to feed shelter and provide Vet treatment. The costs of this wasn’t stated but it was 100-150 dogs that were abandoned. A government function? I went through the drive through at Bojangles yesterday and when I was exiting I came across the FREE TAXI service, and noted that the Bay Transit Van had a driver and 1 passenger in the vehicle. In a crisis situation is this a prudent use of your tax dollars---I say it isn’t. Providing a ride to Bojangles is not a government function?

King William next year faces some daunting challenges. Sales tax, Food Beverage revenue is certain to decline as will the BPOL taxes. Aid from Virginia will fall as the Governor has ordered a hiring freeze and instructed Agency/Department heads to begin searching their own budgets for further reductions. Localities are also certain to receive some more bad news in the name of required V.R.S contributions, given the dismal equity market performances. Ironic isn’t it as citizens are opening their 401K statements and being stunned, they will be asked to cough up some more of their hard earned dough to bail out their public sector brethren’s pensions.

It is time for the Board of Supervisors and the County Administrator to “ get real” as the kids say and recognize that non-essential applies to them as well. A ratio of 1 Full Time employee for every 5 students in our 4 schools is ridiculous. King William schools have some 10 fewer students than they did in 2010…………..yet have hired an additional 39 FT employees.

The County Administrator has literally assured home owners their real estate tax bill will be higher---do the math for yourself. If assessments have risen 20% at a rate of .73 your real estate tax bill will be higher. This is just what you need to hear after you’ve opened your 401K statement.

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

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04/08/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Supervisor Moren,

I was indeed aware that nothing more than proposed new spending was pared back, no spending cuts as I am advocating for have been proposed.....that would be news.

King William County growth by any measure is sub-par at best. Two conflicting statements made by the County Administrator, the first of which appeared in the Tidewater Review newspaper article some 6 weeks back first cited growth over the last decade of 10% or around 1% a year, hardly anything warranting an expansion of local government. At the County Town Hall Meeting ( which I attended ) the County Administrator stated that King William was growing around 2% a year. I had asked Emily Holt , the reporter at TR to do her job and go back to inquire as to which is it, 1% annual growth or 2% annual growth. Both of these statements can not be correct.

It warrants considering that the lone pharmacy in the County ( excluding West Point ) could not survive after decades in a prominent location . Demographics and the lack of infrastructure will keep King William rural regardless of what measures local government takes to change that. No less than Dr. Milton Friedman said so, (not Bob Shannon ) when he explained what was needed to spur growth. If the Board wanted a tangible incentive to spur growth perhaps you might examine what transpired in Spotsylvania County when they eliminated the BPOL Tax.

As for the spending side of the reduced increase in the initial proposed County Budget , the Board is still planning on spending more money than the Board spent last year, a reduction in the planned increases does not equal a spending cut.

On the Revenue side one can reasonably expect both sales taxes, BPOL taxes and likely State Aid will be reduced next year, while property assessments are reported to be coming in around 20% higher. Equalizing the real estate tax bill homeowners will receive will require a reduction below the proposed .73 As I had previously mentioned V.R.S is certain to deliver some bad news next year when they calculate the required contributions from localities given the equity markets performance and the already staggering 20 Billion dollar deficit the plan is operating under. Where will that money come from ?

King William County Schools and County government should cut non-essential staffing, reflecting the carnage occurring in the real world. By my own numbers the Schools have some 10 fewer students than a decade ago, but FT employee count is some 39 employees higher than it was in 2010. 422 FT employees for a student body of some 2200 ? That is a ration of 1: 5, a FT employee for every 5 students.

Technology has reduced administrative staffing in the private sector by some 35-40% of levels in 1998. Yet colleges, Universities, Public School administrative staffing levels continues to rise Why isn't technology having the same effect in the public sector ?

I would ask that you also consider what you placed on your own campaign signs in the closing weeks of last years contest, LOWER TAXES, suggesting you advocated for a tax reduction. Difficult to do that when spending increases are planned and the rate was left at .86 If the economic impact of what is happening at the moment lingers or has a more lasting effect.....get out your pencil, sharpen it and find some bloat to get rid of, can the notion ( and a silly one in economics ) that local government can spend itself into prosperity. As Dr Friedman noted some years before his death when asked about this relatively new creation of EDA's his response was

"How did the U.S create the most prosperous nation ever known to man, admired around the world long before EDA's came into existence?" That would be a grand starting point before the Board throws anymore of our money down a Crony Capitalist rat hole.

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

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04/07/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Local Government should follow States lead

Amidst the startling economic fallout from this global health crisis comes the silver lining , if only elected officials have the wisdom and backbone to implement the needed changes.

The fall off in revenues that will be collected by government at every level in the coming years has led Governor Northam to order a hiring freeze and department/agency heads to look for cuts that can be made in the current budget year to offset what is going to be a revenue nightmare for Virginia. Not being a fan of the Governor I am onboard with this specific order. It is ridiculous while we watch the carnage occurring with the private sector to not also recognize the lingering impact this will have on a serious decline in taxes and fees collected by government at every level.

That leaves then only two choices since King William can not run deficits or print money. The County Administrator must prepare for the Board’s consideration the elimination of any position within county government that is non-essential. I could list more than a few. The Board must then follow through on recognizing that King William is going to experience the same declines , particularly in sales taxes collected and perhaps BPOL revenues, given that no business is immune to what is happening. Lean times are on the horizon and the Board must recognize they have two distinct stark choices, cut spending or openly share with the citizens just how they plan on making up the revenue shortfalls with increased or new taxes. No back room discussions---but transparency and disclosures done openly with the citizens who deserve no less.

Perhaps in the back of the Board’s mind is the new real estate assessments that will be in place beginning January 1, 2021 as being their saving grace, bailing them out of the financial crunch they will face. If the current rate is left intact this will lead to a huge increase in homeowners real estate tax bill, at the same time these people are losing their jobs and watching their retirement/investment assets take a major league hit. It is a lose-lose proposition all the way around. At a MINIMUM the Board needs to lower the real estate tax rate ( equalize it as they did in 2015 ) January 1 so that homeowners are not further hurt . Not to be overlooked is how real estate prices are likely to fall as a result of the broader economic fallout continues.

Others have observed that while private sector unemployment rises the public sector deserves to share in the pain. Essential and Non Essential are not merely words , they are realities that deserve serious consideration by our elected officials as we muddle through what is going to be a long tough slog. Let’s all hope the Board sees the wisdom in taking their Leadership responsibilities seriously and begin the tough choices that need to be made. Raising taxes is not a consideration.

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

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3/24/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Economic Pain is Coming to King William Citizens from All Directions

Just about the time workers in the private sector receive their 401K statements in early April, King William's Supervisors will be settling on a new County Budget.

Among the decisions the Board faces is just what to do about a coming tidal wave in the V.R.S ( Virginia Retirement System ) Defined Benefit Pensions that state and local government employees receive at retirement. This is a monthly payment that they get for the rest of their lives, and depending on marital status, their spouse/partner as well then receives continued payments for the rest of their lives. The number of companies/employers who still offer this type of pension has almost disappeared anywhere else but………… the public sector.

Defined Benefit Pensions are tested annually to determine their funding levels. Specifically tested to determine the current funds ( how much money the pension fund has ) to meet future costs. Recent Virginia estimates are that Virginia’s system is underfunded to the tune of an estimated $20 Billion. At some point this means the state ( which is you Mr./Mrs. taxpayer) is going to have to increase funding in order to meet payment obligations.

Further aggravating this situation is what is currently happening in the Stock Market (hence the earlier reference as to when workers open their statements in early April). Many people are in for a quite unpleasant surprise when they see the hit their 401K account have taken the first quarter of 2020. While this bit of a shock is sinking in beginning next year local governments are going to be asked to increase the localities contributions to recognize what is currently happening.

The localities' contributions are set and re-set annually and it is a formula that is a percentage of the localities payroll. Say for example this year the required contribution from King William is X, then X will be re-set next year and can only be reasonably expected to be higher, possibly much higher given what is happening this year with regards to the VRS Funds actual performance. Who pays that higher contribution? YOU DO !

So, as the 5 Santa Clauses on the Board of Supervisors increase spending, as homeowners brace for more sticker shock when the County's Year End Real Estate Tax assessments are finished (expected to be about 20% higher), the State will be coming to the table in 2021 with its hand out for a bigger contribution to offset the damage being done by the gyrating Stock Markets. After all, that $20 billion short fall is CURRENT; sure to be a much larger number reflecting the shrinking returns of the VRS plan.

It isn’t enough that King William's private sector workers are asked to pay for about 60-80% of the health insurance for county and school employees……..you are going to pony up even more when their pension plans tests show they need more money to stay afloat.

But hey, Mangohick District's new Supervisor Ed Moren promised LOWER TAXES, so maybe he, the rest of the Board, and the County Administrator have a magic wand for just this coming crisis ?

Shouldn't most of it be whatever's left of that $10 MILLION hoarded from years of excessive tax collections that's hidden away in the “Unassigned Reserve Fund?” Or is that already going to be used “under the table” to fund new employees?

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

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3/20/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Stupid on Steroids

It has to have occurred to others who are paying attention to the County’s plans to expand the Sheriffs department by opening up a “sub station” at the parcel located on Route 360 here in Central Garage where King William Pharmacy will close it’s doors in the coming days. Some months back the County announced that it had purchased this parcel along with another sitting in close proximity to this one. The Empire Builders are in charge and they are going to expand local government ( and the costs ) regardless of what is happening at the moment in the “ real world” Since 2010-11 King William County population has grown by about 1,000 people, anemic by any measure.

The rich irony in this development is that a County that can not support one Pharmacy centrally located on a major state highway…..yet finds that it needs to expand it Sheriff’s department is simply indicative of that old adage “the inmates are running the asylum “

In the coming weeks the King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already) will release a paid newspaper ad that details the last 10 years of the County budget numbers.

What citizens must understand is the spending increases would be much higher if not for the accounting games being played by the County Administrator and the Board. One might recall the $10,000,000.00 Unassigned Reserve Fund ( now down to around 6 million after the land buying spree ) much of which is going to be used this year to try and conceal the explosive amounts of new spending. Plans to fund some of the new hiring (Sheriffs department & new Fire/EMS personnel) are going to be paid by using some of these funds, which keeps it in a way “ off the books”. What about next year then ….what does the Board then do when they have blown through the 6 million left in the Unassigned Reserve fund? What do they do then , they raise your taxes after the new real estate assessments hit on January 1 ,2021 by either leaving the rate as it currently is, or pretending to “cut taxes” by lowering it a few pennies , but ultimately collecting higher taxes on inflated new assessed values ?

Back to the central point however, we need a New Sheriff Department Sub Station about as much as we need a 2nd nose.

When you open your 401K statements in a few weeks, and after you get over the initial shock ask yourselves if reconciling working a few more years until you can retire meshes with the foolish way your hard earned dollars are being squandered by these silly people running your local government. If you happen to be one of the expected millions to lose your job may I remind you 3% pay raises and yet again local tax payers are picking up the tab to the tune of hundreds of thousands in health insurance premium increases for the growing legion of government this year, but heh…………I’ve already told you the inmates are running the asylum.

Next year “the bonus” is you get to bail out their sinking pension plans.

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

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3/18/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: K.W Board Of Supervisors Leadership Is About To Be Tested"

We live in interesting times and never has that been more true than today. While this too shall pass it is possibly going to have both economic and social consequences that Americans have possibly never faced in their entire lives. All of which leads to this discussion

Vet At a time when the Federal government is getting ready to deploy that “helicopter money” a phrase made infamous by former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake , King William County’s elected officials have a brand new paradigm they face in the upcoming budget decisions . Should they error on the side of caution and put on hold the grand new explosive spending they have planned for ….or make matters worse by taking money out of the hands of citizens with some predictions of unemployment exploding in light of current circumstances ?

After all, one of the basic assurances when you are employed in the public sector (and schools) is the almost guarantee of continued employment, regardless of what is happening in the rest of the economy. When as many as 1 of 5 Americans may be facing unemployment just how important is a 3% pay raise? How badly does Jeff Walton need 3 more deputies (the anemic growth alone suggests he does not) maybe Walton can just defer his new car shopping for a year or two. Given that a few years ago when King William Fire/Rescue was entirely manned by volunteers…..can they somehow make do with current staffing until at least this economic tsunami passes? I think they can and must.

The rub and danger however is an examination of their (Supervisors) personal backgrounds, 3 of the current Board members come from and spent their entire lives employed in the public sector/military/law enforcement where the ingrained mind set is…….tax payers still have a nickel in their pockets and therefor we can just raise taxes if we need some more money to carry out our grandiose new spending plans. In the real world doing more with less is a reality, not so much where Greenwood, Hodges, and Moren come from.

At a time when the Federal government is planning on mailing out $1,000 checks to every adult American is raising real estate taxes a smart thing to do ? The new higher real estate assessments are going to hold up for just how long in an economy on the verge of collapsing ?

Maybe these elected officials will examine their own consciences and follow a path of prudence. Don’t hold your breath.

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

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3/13/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: "It's for the children...."

Along with just a handful of other spectators, King William T.E.A. Party's volunteer watchdogs attended last week's Joint Budget Meeting between KW's Board of Supervisors and School Board at the handsomely renovated and very impressive Hamilton Holmes Middle School.

Surprised so few came out for this important step toward formulating the county's 2020-21 budget. It was quite a show and all the better because it was free.

Not so free is what county taxpayers are expected to cough up: Millions yet again to support in grand style our very handsomely-paid Superintendent with his battalion of administrators, staffers, teachers and various full and part time employees. 422 now on the payroll for just 2189 students.

KWCPS has fewer students now than ten years ago but the staff grows and grows and the budget has ballooned by millions to nearly half of our small, rural county's total spending.

"All for the children," of course.

Interested citizen-taxpayers can see for themselves Dr. White's slick PowerPoint show by visiting the official website kwcps.k12.va.us and hitting the NEWS button.

But for a decidedly different perspective, see Bob Shannon's penetrating analysis at kwteaparty.com and hit the LETTERS button.

So, if "the children" are truly a priority for KW's tax dollars, then the Board needs to find the money from cuts in other areas.

Or, how about using what's left of that $10 MILLION tax overcharge that's been hoarded for years in the "unassigned reserve fund."

After all, the Board shows no intention of giving any of it back to the homeowners and businesses it was taken from.

Sincerely, Robert "Sarge" Bruce
3rd District (Aylett)

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3/13/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: The Earthquake…..Then Comes The Aftershocks (CHAPTER I)

In a few short weeks citizens of King William County will begin to open their 1st quarter statements on their 401k plan account balances (the Earthquake). Most of us have these types of pension plans today…….but alas in the public sector the defined benefit pension (you get a check each month for life) still exists. These plans have almost vanished in the private sector because of their increasingly expensive costs (and people are living longer, making them all the more expensive). VRS, (Virginia Retirement System) is the plan that covers most state and local government employees, including all of the County employees and most of those employed by King William County Schools. VRS is currently around $21,000,000.00 underfunded, simply meaning they don’t have the dough to make future payments according to the annual testing these types of plans undergo. Now what do you think happens to that 21B when stock market returns drop by 25%? It gets worse …much worse. Why should this matter to you …..Read on.

Each year the State sends localities what their contribution is to VRS for the coming year. It is expressed (using a formula) as a % of payroll. In 2021 you can bet the farm as they say that % is going to go through the roof because of what is happening at the moment in the equity markets ( hence the VRS plan balances go South ) Who is going to pick up these increased costs---you are Spanky-- So while you are trying to determine how many more years you will now have to work before YOU RETIRE, you are going to have to kick in more of your hard earned dough so the COUNTY/SCHOOL EMPLOYEES are assured they can still ride off into the sunset with a monthly check coming in.

Adding insult to injury the County Administrator and School Superintendent are asking for in the coming budget pay raises for everyone, along with YOU MR./MRS. TAXPAYER, to eat the increase in their already heavily subsidized Cadillac health insurance plan.

The question then begins to come into focus. What do these pampered public sector folks want, ----a pay raise, and their health insurance costs to be picked up by YOU, or for YOU, to bail out their sinking Cadillac pension plan? They should not get both.

Chew on this the first week of April when you open those 401k statements? CHAPTER II IN THE COMING WEEK will deal with the second aftershock this New Board is going to shove down your throats. The King William T.E.A Party tried to warn you.

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

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3/11/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: King William Joint School Board & Board of Supervisors Meeting

Last night the two bodies met to lay out for the Board and the general public the Budget Priorities of Dr. White, King William County School Superintendent. It is an exercise the public should pay close attention to given that local contribution to the 4 schools is about 45% of total spending by County Government. Each year of course they need more money, in spite of a student population that is by the new C.A.F.R ( Comprehensive Annual Financial Report ) count some 10 students less than a decade ago.

The King William T.E.A Party is analyzing what was presented last night ( some of what was troubling ) along with historical data on aggregate salaries at the 4 schools over the last 10 years

One immediate number that jumped out last night was that the schools now employ some 422 Ft employees. Now the Ol Marine’s memory may be slipping but I recall a number from just 4-5 years ago that the # FT employees was then around 360. If so ,one must ask why the hiring binge with a stagnant student population ?.

Of course the Superintendent and his minions will automatically come right back and cite the State & Federal mandates, and they indeed have a point. Public Schools have become a 24 hour Nanny substitute for many parents who have now turned over their kids to a entity whose primary role has morphed from what it once was ( educating kids ) to a entity that is now in total charge of almost every element of a child’s life. Read on

We now feed many of these kids 2-3 meals a day, we are charged with their health care, we are charged with handling emotional issues, behavioral problems, and last night Dr. White announced that schools now have to dispense (at no charge ) menstrual products for female students , tampons, pads etc in the age appropriate school settings. We have as a society collectively lost our minds.

We are where we are because as a society we have subsidized illegitimacy for the last 50 years, and I see no abatement to these irresponsible policies at the State or Federal level. In the 1950’s –1960’s if one had a child out of wedlock one ( and immediate family ) took responsibility for the situation, it wasn’t dumped on their fellow citizens to raise the child. Subsidize bad decisions…..and guess what you get, more bad decisions. Localities myriad of ever growing Social Service agencies have become a non productive cottage industry consuming ever more resources of the hard working responsible citizens. They produce nothing ( unless of course you count the number of public sector jobs) often times duplicating services for a sect of society that can’t behave normally.

Yes, I know out of wedlock births are declining, more a consequence of Americans having fewer children since the late 1970’s than a result of any moral resurgence and knowing what your teenage kids are doing at 10 pm. And yes, I agree we should not punish the child who had no control over the family situation they find themselves in but a return to the immediate family assuming the consequences of their bad choices will deter some of this going forward.

The Supervisors were afforded an opportunity at the end to ask questions…..and beside Supervisor Greenwoods one question about shopping their health insurance plan the rest were pointless questions . I didn’t hear anyone ask “Dr. White , could you give us an example of what you could do without in your budget request, just what if anything could be cut “ ?

Dr. White asserted that the 3 school parking lots were in terrible shape because of "deferred maintenance";. Why.. two years ago didn’t county/school officials insist that a portion of the 13 million spent on the Hamilton-Holmes renovation be used to address these deferred maintenance issues?……. If one recalls after funding had been approved (we borrowed the money in spite of the $10,000,000.00 unassigned reserve fund lying around) additional roofing problems were discovered, underground infrastructure issues surfaced, all the while we were going happily along with $3300 being spent to put a private shower in Dr. White’s office ???? It is the equivalent of someone with water pouring through their roof…..and they go out and buy a Big Screen TV---stupid.

You see folks , the mindset of people in county government and certainly in the schools is this

-----------we can spend whatever we like on whatever we want and come to the hard working tax payers of King William each year in March with requests for even more of your money because you are SAPS and the Board of Supervisors can’t gather enough spine to say the words “enough is enough”. When Garber and Moren were making campaign pledges last summer/fall about how “we support strong schools in King William” no one was asking any hard questions.

The average Teacher salary in King William Schools is around $58,500.00. Throw in a Pension that very few get today, throw in a Cadillac health insurance plan (that you subsidize to the range of 65—80%) the group life, group disability, group dental, the buy back of unused sick leave/vacation, the underfunded OPEB program……….for essentially a part time job (they work about 9 months out of the year) . The Superintendent and the entire school board are disgraceful in their subtle efforts at manipulating the B.O.S and the general public each year when they come forward and ask for EVEN MORE. If the parking lot is in desperate need of repaving…..maybe they might have thought of that when they wasted a ton of money on the renovation project, $500,000 or more could have easily been trimmed from that projects costs

-------------You could have paved a lot of parking lots for that kind of dough.---------------

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

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3/06/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: County Government Deceit – Oh let me count the ways....

In closely reading the front page article in Tidewater Review's March 4th print edition: King William considers lowering property tax rates for upcoming budget season as homes are reassessed, one can forgive what a young and inexperienced reporter writes. Filled with county government hoopla, it includes not a word from responsible critics of years of overtaxing and overspending.

So it's a much harder to casually brush aside a concerted effort on the part of the County Administrator, Bobby Tassinari, as well as second term Supervisor Travis Moskalski, in their artfully contrived remarks.

Let’s begin with this assertion, apparently based on what was fed to the reporter:

Looking to match competing counties, Hanover, Caroline, New Kent and York’s rates, the board has previously decreased the personal property tax rate by 2 cents each year to remain on par with them.

Note there is no mention of King & Queen county, right next door. We believe this is deliberate because KW's current real estate tax rate is a whopping 86 cents per hundred, largest of any comparable rural county, while K&Q has a rate of just 54 cents.

And these assertions, attributed to Ms. Tassinari:

For more than half a decade, homeowners have been paying taxes on property assessed in 2014. With a growing population, property values have increased but the county’s assessment has remained the same.

Long time watchdogs note that Ms. Tassinari has – with regal benevolence – called for the two cent reduction in three previous years while ducking the shocking twelve cent increase in the rate in 2015. Is this an error on her part ? No, it's how some career civil servants pretend fiscal prudence when what followed in the article clearly illustrates just the opposite from a well known “tax and spend” supervisor:

“We’ve been moving in one direction while everyone else around us is moving in another direction and we haven’t captured assessment values the way that they have been,” Supervisor Travis Moskalski said.

Now I am not suggesting Mr. Moskalski and Ms. Tassinari can’t do basic math, but perhaps they can explain for us just how King William County amassed an eye-popping $10 MILLION Unassigned Reserve Fund if not for OVERCHARGING HOME OWNERS TO BEGIN WITH ?

“ Because the county has fallen behind on assessments, the county is only collecting an estimated 75 percent of the property tax that should be collected,” King William County Administrator Bobbie Tassinari said.

By whose measure ? It's as if she's saying that homeowners have been cheating local government. If she wanted to offer full disclosure she might make mention of how a small handful of wealthy citizens escape some $1.4 million in annual taxes with the LAND USE TAX EXEMPTIONS on their “farms.” But hey, these are the folks who pull the strings of county government.

It's their quid pro quo of allowing the Board to spend as much as they want so long as their lucrative tax breaks are not disturbed and the bill is sent to someone else.

Ms. Tassinari implies ordinary homeowners are not paying their fair share with the comment “the County is losing money to fund public services” Tell that to the millionaire bosses so conveniently overlooked.

Homeowners and businesses in King William have been gouged for decades. King & Queen County does not have LAND USE TAX EXEMPTION and don't exempt these “farmers” from MACHINERY and TOOLS tax. This explains the obnoxious difference in the rates to begin with.

And then this:

At its February work session, several board members said they want to lower the rate to the 70-cent per $100 range, Tassinari recommends the board lower it to 81 cents per $100. Pay close attention folks because “several board members” claiming to want to lower the tax rate is just laughable political posturing intended for naive taxpayers. You'll know this when they vote on the budget in May.

And more:

“We could drop it lower with the new assessed values but I think that will keep us from reinvesting in our infrastructure," Tassinari said. “The cost to provide services is just amazing; to provide these services we need a reasonable rate."

WARNING ! “New assessed values” are coming in at 20% over what's being taxed now so get ready for “an average increase of $417” on your “average” $205,500 home unless rates are slashed. And “reinvesting in infrastructure” is the typical poor-mouthing from very well paid bureaucrats looking to spend other people's money for “services” that our rural and negligibly-growing county can't afford without continuing to gouge homeowners and businesses.

With the school division in need of $2 million, fire and emergency services seeking a new fire truck and ambulance and staff, as well as staff pay increases, the county will need additional capital to ensure citizens receive proper services.

Always more, more, more. And we can't overlook the latest weepy assertion that “it's for the children” so KW County Schools will need an extra $2 Million.

The most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report clearly shows that the four King William County schools now have 10 fewer student than they had in 2011. But the school expenditures have ballooned since then by several million dollars. How can that be ? Citizens know that around 86 cents of every dollar they spend goes to salaries and benefits, so let’s drop the pious “it’s for the children” camouflage.

With the increased cost of the school employee health insurance that taxpayers subsidize and surely the higher demand from the State next year for an even bigger contribution level for the Pension plan ( currently underfunded by some $21 billion ) we know where the money goes, and it has little to do with the children.

Finally:

With four [sic] months to go before the vote is made, residents will have several opportunities to voice their concerns during public comment periods and town hall meetings.

Consider this a fair warning to hang on to your wallet while giving your Supervisors an earful in person, by phone or email. How? Kingwilliamcounty.gov has contact info. And so does kwteaparty.com

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

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2/28/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Economic Pain Coming To King William Citizens From All Directions

Just about the time workers in the private sector receive their 401K statements in early April the King William B.O.S will be settling on a new County budget. Among the decisions the Board faces is just what to do about a coming tsunami in V.R.S (Virginia Retirement System) the Defined Benefit Pensions state and local government employees receive at retirement, a monthly payment that they get for the rest of their lives, and depending on marital status, their spouse/partner as well then receives continued payments for the rest of their lives. The number of companies/employers who still offer this type of pension has almost disappeared anywhere else but………… the public sector.

Defined Benefit Pensions are tested annually to determine their funding levels. Specifically tested to determine the current funds (how much money the pension fund has) to meet future costs. Recent Virginia estimates are that Virginia’s system is underfunded to the tune of an estimated 20 Billion. At some point this means the state (which is you Mr./Mrs. taxpayer) is going to have to increase funding in order to meet payment obligations.

Exasperating this situation is what is currently happening in the Stock Market (hence the earlier reference as to when workers open their statements in early April). Many people are in for a quite unpleasant surprise when they see the hit their 401K account have taken the first quarter of 2020. While this bit of a shock is sinking in beginning next year local governments are going to be asked to increase the localities contributions to recognize what is currently happening

The localities contributions are set and re-set annually and it is a formula that is a percentage of the localities payroll. Say for example this year the required contribution from King William is X, X will be re-set next year and can only be reasonably expected to be higher, possibly much higher given what is happening this year with regards to the VRS Funds actual performance. Who pays that higher contribution---YOU DO

So, as the 5 Santa Clauses increase spending, as homeowners brace for more sticker shock when the Year End Real Estate Tax assessments are finished, the State will be coming to the table in 2021 with their hand out for a bigger contribution to offset the damage being done by the gyrating Stock Markets. After all that 20 billion short fall is CURRENT, sure to be a much larger number reflecting the shrinking returns of the VRS plan.

It isn’t enough that King William private sector workers are asked to pay for about 60-80% of county /school employees health insurance……..you are going to pony up even more when their pension plans tests show they need more money to stay afloat.

But heh, Supervisor Ed Moren promised LOWER TAXES, so Moren perhaps has a magic wand he has been saving for just this coming crisis?

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

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2/28/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Tip of the iceberg.

Dear Editor

Sincere compliments to KW County's Administrator and her staffers for efforts at providing transparency in the workings of county government.

The official website, kingwilliamcounty.us, has a tremendous amount of information that is readily accessible to anyone who will take the time to have a look around.

Special compliments to Olivia Lawrence, Executive Assistant, for her wizard-like technical expertise and diligence in posting up-to-date info on activities of the Board of Supervisors, including meeting Agendas and then transcribed Minutes.

Because she has spearheaded the initiative of video recording BoS meetings and promptly posting them on YouTube, there is no excuse for residents not knowing what -- at least on the surface -- is being done by our elected representatives.

However, what's seen in the videos is only the tip of the metaphorical "iceberg" where most of it is hidden deep underwater.

How, one might ask, can the merely hour and a half BoS meeting on February 24th adequately cover detailed information in the official Agenda packet's 325 pages?

One obvious answer is that the vast majority of what the Board is considering and voting on is unseen by the public -- even by those who take the extraordinary amount of time necessary to dig deeply into county web postings.

Now, the three budget-busting holdovers have been joined by two new Supervisors who claimed in their campaigns to be honest public servants and good stewards of our tax dollars.

How does this square with the UNANIMOUS vote on Feb 2th to approve the latest steps toward building the environmentally and financially shaky Sweet Sue solar farm?

King William T.E.A. Party's volunteer citizen-activists are watching. Above and below the surface....

Sincerely, Robert "Sarge" Bruce
3rd District (Aylett)

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2/14/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: The Board Of Supervisors Should Address This Issue, But They Will Not.

As the March 1 deadline approaches (most of us) who own a business or are self employed and live in King William County must render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. I am referencing of course the B.P.O.L (Business Professional Occupational License) tax. The instruction letter that comes with the actual form is humorous; I noted with a smile that for example if you run a “carnival” you must pay this tax, even if your “carnival” just happens to roll thru King William. If you are a butcher, a baker, or a candle stick maker as the old adage goes, fill out your form and write the check. If you are a plumber, electrician, fix cars or sell real estate, you pay. If you provide a service, prepare tax returns, accountant, or paint houses, King William county takes another bite out of your apple. I will fork over around $350, money that could make a car payment, pay 2 monthly utility bills or buy groceries for a month.

Who doesn’t have to pay this? The Oligarchs who farm and or cut timber, Pals of the ruling class yet again are exempted. Why? Many of them have incomes and a net worth that dwarfs most of us who are hit with this tax. These same folks get tens of thousands in tax relief in the Land Use TAX EXEMPTION PROGRAM. In some cases additional tens of thousands in FEDERAL TAX SUBSIDIES annually, along with exemptions on much of the MACHINERY/TOOLS equipment used in their operations. All taxes should apply to everyone--- or no one. This defines precisely why I have often called the tax code at every level of government, the corrupt dirty currency of politicians.

Review any campaign donor list and you will see the clear cut evidence of what I am saying. It is a laundry list made up of names of those who receive these grand and valuable tax exemptions & subsidies, and it comes at your expense. Tax exemptions simply shift the tax burden to others. It sickens me when I hear one of them get up during the County Budget season and make glowing remarks about what a great budget the B.O.S have presented. I wonder how much of a different perspective they might have if they had to cough up what their fair share of that budget is.

The B.P.O.L tax goes to the schools, and it was consistently around $350,000 a year until last year when it ballooned to some $460,000. This leads then to the question……if the B.O.S isn’t going to just eliminate this tax, could they adjust the rates given the significant increase in the amount of revenue it is bringing in? The suggestion that the B.O.S should consider ending the EXEMPTIONS FOR THE B.P.O.L TAX is out of the question given that this Board is not going to alienate their best buddies. 3 of the Board members themselves have (or their families) land in the LAND USE TAX EXEMPTION PROGRAM.

Citizens, particularly those who own a business or are self employed are the only ones that can get off their duffs and do anything about this. Dwell on that this week as you write that check.

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

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2/14/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: “What Was Not Said”

On February 11th KW's County Administrator and various representatives of the county departments held a "Budget Townhall" to present the Proposed 2021 Budget requests and to hear from taxpayers while the final 2021 budget is being developed.

What came to my mind was:

There was a complete lack of supervisors on hand to hear the comments or answer any questions of the citizens.

What was not said - there is now a mindset of it is now "OK" to increase the county workers in various areas without having to find a way to do more with less. I did not hear any concern about how the proposed additional workers would impact the future of taxation in the county or how it would be paid for. This will give you visions of what is now happening at our state government.

It would be worth a county resident’s time to go online and get an agenda packet for the Feb 11 meeting and see for yourself this wish list. You can go to the county website & try to find it or you can go to (http://www.kwteaparty.com/KWCounty.htm) near the top of the page you will find links for the agendas (on the county Website) and the County Meetings that have been uploaded to YouTube.

Sincerely,
Paul Jamerson
King William, Va 23086
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2/14/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: What you don't know...

There's an old expression that goes, "what you don't know won't hurt you."

Wrong then and wrong now.

KW's County Administrator held a "Budget Townhall" on February 11th to hear from taxpayers while the 2021 budget is being developed between now and the end of April.

Only about a dozen people showed up and half of these were King William T.E.A. Party's patriot activist watchdogs.

Concerned that all five members of the Board of Supervisors are likely to approve the biggest budget increase in county history, we were alarmed at what we read in the official handout "FY2021 Proposed Budget Requests."

And out of the county's more than 16,000 residents, only 108 bothered to respond to the county's online budget survey. Anyone want to guess how many of these are already on the county payroll ?

So, it's no surprise that big increases in funding for Schools, Sheriff and Fire/EMS topped the list.

Want to see it all for yourself?

You'll have to dig deep on the county website, but it's just been posted at

kingwilliamcounty.us/government-overview/boards-commissions/board-of-supervisors/bos-agenda-packets/

Find the link February 11, 2020 -- Town Hall

Since most of this bloated, budget busting wish list is probably going to be approved, homeowners and businesses are in for a rude awakening.

Not to mention the likely 20% increase in new real estate valuations/assessments that's coming at the end of the year.

Millionaire "farmers" don't have to worry because their comfy Land Use Tax Exemption is apparently untouchable.

There's still time to put the brakes on this: Contact your Supervisor (info on the county website) and give him an earful !

And for a real show of "but it's all for the children," come out on the evening of March 10th to the "new and improved" Hamilton-Holmes school for the Joint Meeting of the Board of Supervisors and the School Board.

If not, what you don't know is going to hurt you plenty and don't say KWTP didn't warn you.

Sincerely, Robert "Sarge" Bruce
Aylett, VA
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2/14/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: The Statistical Validity of any Survey

Often you hear the phrase that the …..Data field was too small to have any statistical or scientific validity. If for example the survey asks the question “ Is Blue the most popular color” and the Survey has a response from 50 people and Blue is the majorities preference it would be erroneous based on that small of a survey to assume Blue is the most popular color, beyond of course the 50 who answered the survey.

Yet we found ourselves Tuesday evening at the King William Budget Townhall facing a Survey finding that was well….simply too small to have any statistical or scientific validity, yet added to the handout as if it mattered. Of the 108 that reportedly took the Survey a preference was for increasing the budgets of the School & Public Safety in particular (Sheriffs/Fire & Rescue)

A fair question then is among the 108 that took the Survey how many of them are County/ School Employees? Let’s assume 25% were, taking the number down then to 75 or so that don’t have a vested self interest in promoting larger budgets.

County Administrator Bobby Tassanari also added to the confusion Tuesday evening by stating that King William was growing around 2% per year, just 3 weeks after stating in the Tidewater Review newspaper that King William has grown around 10% over the last 9-10 years?

The Budget Requests unveiled Tuesday evening are the typical starting point each year, announcing just what the various agencies/departments are asking for. Collectively even if the Board of Supervisors cuts their budget requests in half the increase this year in total spending will be huge.

On the topic of real estate taxes and the ongoing County wide reassessments the picture then becomes much more cloudy. The local budget is one that straddles a calendar year and the new assesses values absent a lowering of the current rates will hammer already beleaguered homeowners with another shock when they open their tax bills after January 2021.

I listen closely to what these people (government officials) say when they speak. I noted that when asked a question about just who pays the salary of a specific person the County Administrator said "we have another source that pays part of it". It is revealing how they can always find a revenue source to fund spending, but can’t seem to find a revenue source to reduce taxes.

On the good news front, it was reported this morning that wine prices are expected to fall as a result of a bumper grape crop. Maybe I’ll take up drinking

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

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2/1/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: A Canary In The King William County Coal Mine?

The job that our group takes most seriously is to serve as we often tout in our advertisements as the “only conservative voice in King William”….a role we take quite seriously.

This year we are adding an emphasis in our Group website and FaceBook page, encouraging citizens who care about these issues to link up various news stories that have an application here in King William. You will see this year an increased emphasis on this outreach effort. Most people today who are well informed routinely visit our website and FaceBook page in order to get a true conservative perspective on issues that matter.

Case in point: The story coming out of Covington KY on cuts in local government services because of the horrific impact this city is experiencing as a direct result of it’s public sector pension nightmare reaching the point where local elected officials are having to make significant cuts to other services as a result of the annual increase to try and keep these pensions afloat. I asked the question yesterday

How many citizens in Covington raised hell about this the last 10-20 years as the problem worsened, reaching the crisis it now is? “ One might naively believe that elected officials playing Santa Claus is harmless………..until you come to understand it is your money that are playing Santa Claus with.

Our group, the King William T.E.A Party has regularly raised the issue of the K.W County Schools OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits) costs, noting for example that the 2017-18 C.A.F.R Comprehensive Annual Financial Report stated on page 61 that not a single dime had been reserved to pay for these promised benefits clearly indicating that both the Board of Supervisors & the K.W School Board is ignoring this problem hoping that they can escape responsibility when as they say ….the chickens come home to roost.

Stay in the know, or bury your heads in the sand as the folks in Covington did. This Public Sector Pension issue is rearing its ugly head across America. Politicians curry favor with an ever expanding public sector to score votes, trying to hide the underlying real costs until they can’t.

Visit the website http://www.kwteaparty.com/Schools.htm to see Season 37: Episode 3 FRONTLINE - investigates the role of state governments the Covington story. Take a good dose of Pepto-Bismol however before you do.

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

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1/31/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: A Window Into Their Intellect

Often positions offered up by elected officials (and Candidates) give a window into just how well thought through their proposals are , perhaps their intellect , or both. Case in point from this recent local elections here in King William County was a proposal by then candidate , now Supervisor Charles Garber. Garber ran 4 years ago and again this cycle. Ran is indeed an appropriate metaphor for his effort since he ran mostly in the opposite direction of anyone asking a question. He refused to answer the King William T.E.A Party questionnaire in 2015, and wouldn’t answer it in 2019 either.

In a campaign advertisement back in October Garber offered the usual “I support good schools, strong public safety….etc etc “, the usual novice campaign propaganda crapola.. He also suggested as a way of bringing more business to King William - a 2 year Exemption for new businesses from the BPOL tax (Business Professional Occupational License) It warrants noting that many of Garber’s backers, particularly the Oligarch pals are already exempt from paying this depending of course their occupation. Garber went on in his explanation for this exemption that

“many new businesses don’t make a profit their first two years anyway”…his own words.

Now given his clear intentions to not answer a single question from our group I found it at the time pointless to reach out and ask him to elaborate or expand on his statement. It is an unflattering view of voters that they didn’t catch this and inquire themselves before they cast a vote for this guy.

If one values or weighs how important it is to properly vet even local candidates then someone might have asked the esteemed Supervisor Garber this…………

Mr. Garber, if new business often don’t show a profit their first two years…….they would not pay the BPOL TAX TO BEGIN WITH? So just how valuable an incentive is this? Every candidate that has run for the BOS in the 22 years I’ve lived here has talked about incentivizing new business to come to King William County……..and besides a Chicken fast food place, an auto parts store not much has happened and home owners (and those of us who are not members of the TAX EXEMPTION circle) continue to pay the outrageous real estate taxes as a result.

Supervisor Garber has also in recent days recused himself from voting on the Sweet Sue Solar Farm project now before the Board. Not exactly a shining example of “Profile in Courage” or leadership. No political backbone and obviously not too deep of a thinker.

And voters in the 4th District kicked to the curb a guy who possesses 2 Masters Degree’s and showed he had lots of courage. In whose book was that a good trade?

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

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1/31/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Dispersion Of Energy And The Unintended Consequences

Imagine for the moment a boat on a small pond representing a problem, let’s say for this exercise the boat (problem) is the monopoly of public education. We so desperately want to solve the problem (school choice) and in order to do so we have to capsize the boat.

At our disposal we have two choices, we have 1 very large boulder we can launch with some degree of accuracy, certain to capsize the boat, or we have piles of small pebbles we can throw at the boat. The very large boulder carefully aimed will indeed capsize the boat, it will create a tsunami of sorts and the boat will surely capsize and sink.

The handful of pebbles will create scores of ripples, maybe even rock the boat but will not result in capsizing the boat (a.k.a solving the problem) Which course of action would you choose ?

The Patriot movement is symbolic of the analogy described above. We (Patriot movement) were the 1 large boulder 10 years ago and the problem was the A.C.A. (Affordable Care Act) We had a very focused approach, unfortunately in no time we splintered into a 1000 causes, rendering our focus ineffective at best, inept at its worst, dispersing the energy we had, ultimately resulting in losing sight of what our initial goal was, to stop or reverse the A.C.A

Today most of these groups have faded or morphed into a splintered collection of clever activists raising gobs of money from well-intended people who jump from one goal to another in the blink of an eye. The Patriot movement, comprised of human beings lost the opportunity to utilize the strength of the numbers we represented, always with the very best of intentions but with a lack of focus and clarity.

I find it humorous that for example the VTPP, once the state organization has now for the most part morphed into a new organization raising money with the stated purpose of focusing energy onto the most pressing legislative actions, or what they deem are the most pressing legislation they think warrants highlighting.

Hanover County now has a militia … I don’t even know where to begin with that idea. These very same people who failed to keep two T.E.A Party groups relevant……and they are going to form a militia?

Those of us still around today need to recognize the horrible error that occurred when we began throwing pebbles and walked away from launching the boulder. We could have capsized the boat.

You pick 1, perhaps 2 issues, remain focused and prepare to launch the boulders, or stand there hurling handfuls of pebbles with the attending results.

It begins with leadership and a recognition that 1-2 issues at best should be the focus.

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

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1/22/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: Those Voting For More Government-----You’re Going To Get Your Wish

Those of us who have lived here in King William any length of time, more importantly been paying attention to local government will recall about 11 years ago when the Natural Gas Pipeline was being constructed the constant blabbering from Pol’s and those who stood to directly benefit from the project who shouted repeatedly that this project was going to “open up development along the 360 corridor” It is fair today some 11 years later to point out that the development hasn’t taken place. I have cited on numerous occasions the land locked nature of the County , the lack of infrastructure as being leading reasons why King William will remain a bedroom community with little commercial growth potential for those very reasons.

So what then is the logic behind the County buying prime real estate on the very same 360 corridor ( near KWVFS #1) ? My findings so far is (one tract was assessed at some $460,000) What did the county pay for this 1 tract? Can’t yet seem to pry that information out of the tightly closed group that certainly know the answer. Equally of interest is just what the County Administrator and this new Board planning on building down there? A clue can be gleaned from the words of the County Administrator in a Tidewater Review article a few weeks ago when she casually mentioned several county agencies had outgrown their space? I sense that the county has intentions on some grand expansion of one or more county functions. We know from the pledges made during last years campaign for local offices the candidates running pledged support for everything under the sun, and in politics a pledge of support only means one thing, more spending, lots of more spending.

One thing is for certain; both the County Administrator and all 5 now serving on the B.O.S have shown an overwhelming predisposition towards expanding local government. It was the county administrator that first proposed last year the county turn over all county owned land and any entity generating ongoing revenue to the control of the county E.D.A ( Economic Development Agency) All of those serving on this E.D.A board (one exception) have no experience whatsoever with starting or running a business. They have never risked a single dime of their own money but we are supposed to believe that all of a sudden they have the insight and wisdom to take tax dollars and spend it more wisely than the folks it was taken from?

King William County is going to grow; it just isn’t going to be the kind of growth that benefits anyone, unless of course you happen to land the government jobs that will result from another example of needless waste. When they roll this information out on just what they have planned for these 4 lots purchased ( with your tax dollars ) don’t expect any significant tax reduction, despite newly elected Supervisor Ed Moren’s bloviating on his campaign signs in the closing weeks of last fall’s election. Spending is going higher….likely much higher, and we all know what comes with this. Don’t say the King William T.E.A Party didn’t warn you.

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

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1/17/2020

Dear Editor

Subject: County Administrator Gives New Meaning To The Word Vague

Quoted in the recent edition of the Tidewater Review newspaper King William County Administrator Tassinari made several statements that at best were vague and at worst were purposefully misleading. Tassinari states that the county has grown by almost 10% in nine years? Just what is she referring to, population, tax revenue and if one takes her at face value so what …..almost 10% over a decade Hardly numbers to write home to Mom about - An average of almost 1% per year. Big spending plans that she alludes to are hardly supported by anemic growth. We all know what that means.

The County bought four properties? Has King William went into the real estate business Mrs. Tassinari? How about some details on these 4 purchases? Who were they purchased from, what was the assessed values, and what was the actual price the tax payers paid for these properties? With former Supervisors Hansen & Ehrhart now gone one can bet a lot of county business will be done in the dark.

Tassinari stated that the county has collected year to date over $11.5 million in general property revenue…………….. How much is that relative to this same time last year ? Are collections up 10%....20% or down? In politics this is “setting the stage for a blockbuster big budget”, the mentality of these folks is we can afford it because the revenue is there. It never crosses her mind that perhaps any revenue increases should be returned in lower tax rates. They have BIG spending plans and the tax payer can go pound sand.

Tassinari mentions that real estate tax rates have dropped by .02 each fiscal year since 2016. She purposefully ignores that the rate per hundred was raised by .12 after the last assessment. By her own words the new assessments underway anticipate an increase in assessed values by some 20%.

Newly elected Supervisors Moren and Garber made grand statements about their support for just about everything imaginable and the citizens of King William better hold onto their wallets because they are about to fulfill their campaign promises………….in grand style.

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

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12/31/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Road To Hell (& Serfdom) Paved With Good Intentions

I took a little time off over the holidays to relax, catch up on some projects around my house and watch a little football. I did not stop reading or following the news. Perhaps my silence made for a welcomed Holiday treat for some. Break is over and time to get back to work.

Across Virginia we are watching a groundswell of opposition to the perceived threat posed by the “ gun grabbers” that certainly have the upper hand now in the General Assembly. Multitudes of localities (including King William) have passed new ordinances and or resolutions that declare their locality a “Gun Sanctuary”……whatever that is supposed to mean.

Virginia Governor and our Attorney General have already declared these new ordinances and proclamations meaningless in the eyes of the law. My understanding is last month when the King William B.O.S met and passed this new “ ordinance” they had an overflowing crowd pack the room reflecting the local support for this token measure.

Here however is the rub. Data shows that among this group around half do not vote or are even registered to vote. These “sportsmen and 2nd Amendment advocates” seem to be clueless as to how this danger came about to begin with. How does one square ignorance? Virginia government didn’t wake up one morning and be comprised of legislators, from the Governor on down that secretly held these views. These enemies of our Constitution have been in elective office for decades, or at least espoused the anti- Constitution views throughout their time in the public eye.

The danger began long ago with the public’s acceptance of a K-12 Education curriculum that has been dumbing down future citizens with eliminating an appreciation for the hard fought for protections our wise founding fathers incorporated into the governing documents that make up our Constitution and Bill of Rights. When the King William School Board voted to remove U.S History from High School S.O.L testing 4 years ago where were these same folks?

It is much harder to get something back after you have lost it than to do the required work and safeguard it to begin with. The passionate folks who showed up at the last Board meeting in support of this token measure would be wise to heed the warnings of the words of Benjamin Franklin…. “it’s a republic if you can keep it

Today Americans who care about these treasured rights sadly fight a rear guard action, they wait too late to engage. Watch as Spring approaches and this new Board, comprised entirely of progressive big government types go on a spending spree that will record budget busting new spending not seen here in decades.

Take little comfort in this newly passed local gun sanctuary ordinance that might leave you feeling you accomplished something, but what good will meaningless words on paper be when you don’t have enough money left to buy ammunition?

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

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12/31/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: “Creditability – Learn from History or Relive It”

When Bill Clinton (D) was impeached for perjury his supporters spun it as “Just about Sex” implying it was all consensual. Juanita Broaddrick stated Bill Clinton raped her. There was no “Me Too” movement for her or the other victims. These victims were called “Trailer Park Trash”. His supporters said “Leave Bill alone and Let him go back to work”.

The same group also supported Obama (D) and called his scandals phony. During his term in office we saw Fast & Furious, New Black Panthers, Acorn, Benghazi, IRS-gate, Project Gun Runner, ACA executive orders – not legislation to make changes and others still to come to light. Benghazi alone should have been a reason to impeach him. If any attempt was made to bring attention to these abuses: it caused the supporters of Obama to claim the person making the attempt was a radical, extremist, racist or any negative term they could come up with. His Supporters never saw a reason to question any of his actions or even consider looking for abuse.

Today we have a President who has been impeached in the House by these same types of people who saw no problem with Bill Clinton or Obama. They want you to believe they think “No one is above the law”. If there is one thing they do not have - it is “Creditability”. The process that led up to the impeachment would be better called “Impeachment by Gossip”. Their history says it all.

Think it is only a Federal problem?

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) says he is not opposed to counties declaring Second Amendment Sanctuary status but he vows “consequences” if those counties refuse to enforce gun control. I guess the Sanctuary cities and counties that do not enforce the Federal Immigration Laws are OK and have no “consequences” to fear from the rule of Law as has been shown to date.

Sincerely,
Paul Jamerson
King William, Va

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12/18/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Equal Time

First, carbon dioxide, CO2, is a minor greenhouse gas at 0.04% of atmospheric composition. The major greenhouse gas is water vapor ( steam ) and condensed steam ( clouds ). Water vapor is about 1% of the atmosphere, 25 times greater than CO2. Of course, there is no technology which can mitigate the greenhouse effect of water vapor and clouds, not that meddling AGW* believers haven’t considered. On the other hand, CO2 yields easily to meddling under the false belief that ceasing use of fossil energy will end global warming and save the planet.

Second, CO2 has a very interesting property which limits its greenhouse effect. The property derives from the fact that the average global temperature change ( delta T ) caused by CO2 depends upon the logarithm** of the CO2 concentration. An explanation of theory is given at the end of this essay.

Rick Ryan,
Old Church, VA

To read the rest of the Letter with the References:

Click the Link

Link: Equal Time


or go to:
http://www.kwteaparty.com/Pictures/2019/Nov/12 18 19 Equal_Time.pdf


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12/07/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: The Irony (And Stupidity) Of It All

A proposal is in front of the Board of Supervisors to give $25,000 to the local Historical Society. Rest assured given the make up of this new Board the dough will be handed out. This is the most progressive Board in the 21 years I have lived here and I am, predicting a new record in this next County Budget in spending. 3 Santa Clauses are returning and we have 2 that will certainly keep their campaign promises to support everything under the sun.

What is particularly ironic about this specific request is just 4 years ago King William County Schools dropped U.S History from its S.O.L testing. I contacted Steve Tupponce when I read the announcement in the Country Courier and asked Mr. Tupponce several questions starting with did King William County have the ability to opt out of this idea of dropping U.S History from the S.O.L. testing---he told me YES the School Board could ignore the Virginia Dept. of Education and keep U.S History in the S.O.L testing. I also asked Mr. Tupponce if he supported dropping U.S History from the S.O.L tests and he said he did.

Is it any wonder that surveys show this Millennial generation by wide margins have a favorable view of socialism? They leave high school today with very little economic education; certainly what they are hearing about capitalism isn’t favorable. Even at the college level, or perhaps especially at the college level capitalism has become the scourge among the progressive elitist class of professors teaching in most of these institutions of higher learning.

As a taxpayer and grandfather it appalls me that tax dollars are going to be spent promoting history while simultaneously history is being devalued in the school system right in the same community. It is ironic and stupid. We get the government we deserve

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

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12/04/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Have We Learned The Lesson Yet ?

In December of 2009 the original T.E.A Party groups gathered in Ashland to form the new State organization, the V.T.P.P (Virginia T.E.A Party Patriots) later referred to as the Federation. Months after the formation of the King William T.E.A Party I was privileged to be a part of this meeting and the day long discussions that ensued. Jamie Radtke was elected as our first Chair that day. Among the topics discussed was the vital importance of the groups maintaining a genuine non-partisan position as it pertained to the two major political parties. If we were to be effective then citizens needed to see our movement as truly independent and not some mouth piece for the Republican party. I was personally quite outspoken on the Republican Party and the clear role they had played in the growing problems at every level of government. The old Umpire adage came into play that day, the newly formed Federation was to “call em as we saw them” . It was the only way this movement was going to work, if it was to work at all. We went so far as to require any members who had a role in party politics to openly declare that role or step aside and allow another without those ties to official party apparatus to lead their local groups. If , for example one served officially on a local Republican Party Board in any capacity then that individual must declare that or step aside. Months later when Jamie Radtke announced she would seek the Republican nomination for the U.S Senate seat she abided by our rules and did the right thing, she stepped down as the Federation Chair.

Some of the groups over the ensuing years maintained that arm’s length distance from official political attachment with local Republican parties. Sadly others did not and were essentially co-opted by their local Republican Party establishment. I have studied why and how this happened and the reasons range from political novices who were running these groups, some of the group leaders became enamored with hob knobbing with party officials, it gave these folks a inflated opinion of themselves by considering they were now an insider, some had the warped view that politics is like a sporting contest and we have to win. It was beyond frustrating to watch what was happening with the co-opting of these groups by Republican Party folks and not be able to stop it. I am at least proud to say this never came close to happening in the King William T.E.A Party.

In yesterday’s Bull Elephant an article titled “ Revolution “ by S. Chris Anders he details the evolving citizen push back over the new Democrat majority rolling out what can only be described as mind numbing legislative proposals that must have Karl Marx smiling . Anders also correctly points out how the citizens of Virginia may have awakened from their slumber and are beginning to act. Anders states in his piece regarding who is leading this movement pushing back against tyrannical government …..“ one not led by politicians ,nor talking heads, nor the establishment, nor political parties, not even the media, but rather a movement unlike ever seen before in this century, a true revolution of the people” . Anders goes on to state “Now some may argue the 2008 T.E.A Party movement was such, and at it’s beginning it may have been. But the T.E.A Party was shortly neutered by aligning with the Republican Party and it’s politicians. The fact is that the T.E.A Party movement held the most power and sway when both the Democrats and the Republicans feared it. And that must be the lesson we apply to the new movement for liberty and freedom in Virginia: never be co-opted and manipulated by a political party for it’s gain.”

Further into Anders writing he states “If we hope to restore and preserve freedom and our individual rights, we cannot be as the T.E.A Party was, taken over by the political class and end up being loved and manipulated for the personal gain of elected officials. Instead we must always be feared and respected by members of both political parties if we hope to defend the Constitution in Virginia. For if we allow politicians to take over this movement we will become lapdogs for the politicians, telling people what they must accept, rather than attack dogs for the people, telling the politicians what they must do. There must be no compromise, we have lost too many of our constitutional rights over the past 100 years to compromise, be civil or reasonable any longer.

I have said and wrote these very warnings over the last decade, sadly without the desired effect or outcomes I had hoped for. S. Chris Anders has revisited the topic. I pray this time more people are paying attention.

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

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11/15/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Time For Supervisor Elect Ed Moren To Step Up To The Plate

In the closing weeks of the local election campaign Supervisor Elect Ed Moren put a sign on the top of his existing Campaign signs that stated the following

---------------------Lower Taxes Vote Ed Moren-------------------------------------

Well Supervisor Elect Moren you won, and now those folks who read your last minute conversion message for lower taxes want to inquire just what are your plans on how you are going to lower taxes and when tax payers can expect these lower taxes to take effect?

All of us recognize you haven’t yet taken your seat but now that you have won it maybe you can share answers to the above questions . Will it be this year, is it real estate taxes you will lower, are you planning on eliminating the BPOL tax, perhaps amending the Land Use Tax Exemptions? If you have this notion that the anticipated higher assessments will allow a few pennies being chipped away, resulting in real estate taxes not really changing our group will remind tax payers in King William that wasn’t what you said on your campaign signs, you specifically said lower taxes…..not lower rates.

In your first run for elective office you have certainly learned the nuances of campaigning, you got out there with lots of big signs, you highlighted your service on the local EDA and Broadband Initiative , had ton’s of free favorable press Thanks to the local newspaper’s crack reporter who covered you like a blanket, but that is as they say now in the rear view mirror.

Time to set aside the slogans and platitudes that you seemed to master and get on to the hard work of governing. I might add if you have a naïve notion that your promise of lower taxes is going to be forgotten……you need to remind yourself that the WatchDog is on duty, and won’t let voters forget what you promised.

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

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11/15/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: The 5/10/85 Rule Actually Panned Out In Local Elections

I have observed over the years that the voting population is comprised of 5% of voters who are very well informed , active in their community affairs, attend a host of meetings , follow what government is doing and they ask questions, lots of questions.

10% are somewhat informed, perhaps these folks watch local news , read up in the newspapers what is going on and occasionally turn up at a local government meeting when a subject interests them.

85% are “ free riders” , rarely attending any public meetings, relying instead on what their neighbor tells them or someone else say’s they should do. Evidence abounds to support this dissection into 3 distinct groups.

Supervisor Dave Hansen & Bob Ehrhart received 569 votes out of a total of some 5500, around 11%. It would serve the new Board well to not ignore 569 King William residents who apparently found Hansen & Ehrhart’s job performance satisfactory enough to warrant voting for a second term for these two gentlemen. Hansen and Ehrhart represented a governing philosophy that suggested local government should rein in some spending, reduce the tax burden and restore some tax equity to the local tax code. This message found favor with some 569 citizens whose views should not be dismissed out of hand.

It also is a testament of sorts to how government works, and what is wrong with citizens who have a laziness when it comes to doing their share of the required work if we are to ever get government back under control. We get the government we deserve.

Imagine if 569 people showed up at the first Board meeting in January and demanded lower taxes and spending restraint. I was in the Board meeting room back in January 2016 when the 500 or so people showed up to protest the rumor started by the panic e-mail sent out by the School Board Chair Kathy Morrison that was a violation of the Schools own e-mail policy……but had the desired effect, it got people out of their easy chairs and down to Horse Landing Road in massive numbers.

If you cast a vote for Hansen or Ehrhart last week you now know what the next step is. Voting every 4 years isn’t doing what your “share” is either. The King William County Board of Supervisors Meeting schedule is on the County website. They generally meet the 4th Monday of each month at 7 pm. Go back to your couch and cross your fingers hoping for the best. Or get off your behind and perform your civic duty. If 569 people showed up even at one meeting we would see major shifts occur in how our government operates. If 569 people showed up even at one meeting we would see the real estate tax rate cut significantly, we would see the Land Use Tax Exemption program ended. We would see some of these bloated budgets trimmed. Get engaged or wait for your next real estate tax bill that will be coming in your mail after this new Board goes on to what will be a much higher budget come March/April

It is your choice

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

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10/30/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Voters---Get Out Your Check Book……4 Million In New County Debt On The Way

For the mere 5% that are well informed you might want to steel yourself for the next tax increase the County Administrator has in store for you. Apparently this woman thinks borrowing 4 million dollars when we have some $7,000,000 in the unassigned reserve fund (Slush Fund) is a sound financial practice. Apparently the progressive big spenders have other plans for that 7 million.

One might question the expenditure to begin with, upgrading the County Communication equipment. I sent an e-mail to all 5 of the Supervisors two weeks ago asking for some documentation or data on the scope of this alleged problem . How many times Y.T.D or in 2018 was their an incident where Police/Fire/EMS could not get a signal? Were there any injuries or deaths as a result of this? After spending some 3 million a few years back on upgrading communication equipment should King William County be spending another $4,000,000 + upgrading the system yet again? It is a fair question and we should not just take the word of a few people that this is necessary.

What makes this disgusting is the recommendation that we borrow the $4,000,000 from Motorola to “finance” this upgrade instead of simply using money we have on hand and just pay for it.

With the election a week away, voters need to put on their thinking caps and actually ask some hard questions. How is debt re-payed……by debt service annually? What happens in your household when you take on new debt? You have to service it—right? The County is headed towards another tax increase, in spite of Candidate Moren’s phony signs suggesting this guy will “lower taxes” He is a grand big government progressive wolf in sheep’s clothing, note that he has not said a syllable on just how he plans to “lower taxes”, particularly when he is hanging out with the status quo crowd, these folks are going to give you some new shiny things to play with…..then send you the bill for them next Spring. Most of these Candidates have blathered on claiming they support everything under the sun (translation: more spending)

Don’t say you haven’t been warned by a group that has been paying attention and understands how these things always work out. Empty Platitudes & Slogans……., if that is what you vote for, you actually deserve what you get.

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

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10/30/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Why I support Samantha Bohannon for K.W County Commonwealth Attorney

In 2011 over breakfast with Matt Kite I told him I didn’t care about his politics, my only question was would he treat everyone, regardless of their standing in the County equally under the law? Kite assured me he would.

Kite has failed in his pledge. Kite spoke in 2014 at a KW TEA Party meeting to address the Virginia Conflict of Interest Statute after a Supervisor voted on an issue where a conflict indeed did exist. I read the Statute, all the amendments, the court cases since its passage, the complaint was legitimate. Kite, growing frustrated with my insistence that the Statute makes no mention of the need for a quid pro quo (Kite’s position) eventually telling those in attendance … “Well Bob, I guess it means what I say it means” The arrogance and tone was sickening. It revealed his true character.

Contrast that with the zeal in how Kite has persecuted the family of Supervisor Dave Hansen. Beginning with Hansen’s denied Concealed Carry permit application Kite enlisted the school board members who testified they had riffled through Hansen’s coat (hanging on a Chair) and allegedly found a pistol. Assuming the pistol was in the jacket Hansen is a former State Trooper, an Army Ranger with a distinguished record. In a follow up e-mail I sent Mr. Kite I asked him if he ( Kite ) was speaking at our meeting and left the room to use the bathroom and one or more of us riffled through his coat while he was out of the room, was that a violation of the law? Kite never responded. Fortunately Hansen ultimately prevailed.

What was the role Kite played resulting in the Hansen’s losing custody of their only grandchild? This grossly exaggerated incident never warranted Kite using taxpayers’ resources. Kite has selectively chosen to excuse the breaking of the law by one elected official, while relentlessly persecuting another very honorable man. Kite doesn’t like his politics. That is not only a broken promise, but an abuse of his office and authority.

Kite has also wasted tax payer funds, taking a full time assistant on the basis he stated in the TR newspaper of the domestic abuse case load. I sent via e-mail a question to Mr. Kite asking for the number of domestic abuse cases his office handled either Y.T.D or the most recent year. Kite never responded.

I have met with Mrs. Bohannon and believe her integrity is intact and her assurance that every citizen in King William will be treated equally will prevail. She strikes me as an honest intelligent woman.

Kite is entitled to his political views. It is however beyond improper to use his office in the manner in which he has. He does not deserve to remain there. Consider what might happen to your family if you fall out of favor with this guy and Vote November 5 for Samantha Bohannon.

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

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10/26/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Virginia’s Climbing Debt-----Ponder This When You Vote November 5th

I moved to Virginia 40 years ago and recall at the time the view that Virginia was a fiscally well run State, often cited in numerous financial publications I regularly read. The story they are telling today however is quite a different one. It warrants your consideration when you head to the polls to choose the next King William Board of Supervisors. Here are the daunting numbers

A few years ago the V.R.S (Virginia Retirement System ) had a deficit of around 10-12 Billion. This is the retirement system for Virginia public employees, ranging from our public schools to the variety of other State employees. That number has climbed to 21.5 billion in just a few short years. The funded ratio (what does the current monies on hand actually cover) is 77.1% and puts Virginia in 31st place among the 50 States. The 21.5 billion is the 18th largest deficit among the 50 States, in dollar terms, hardly the fiscal conservative state it was 40 years ago. $2540 would have to be collected from every Virginia resident ( every adult and child) to bring this into a fully funded plan

If one considers the 1 billion Virginia is going to have to find to now cover the cost of Medicaid Expansion (Federal Funding has now run out) it isn’t hard to see a State Tax Increase coming in the near future. (Thank you Del. Chris Peace)

Now throw in what we learned here in King William recently about the O.P.E.B (Other Post Employment Benefits) in the 2017-18 C.A.F.R ( Comprehensive Annual Financial Report ) These are supplemental benefits promised to a broad swath of employees here in our 4 schools that have according to this C.A.F.R have not been funded a single dime! K.W School Board members playing Santa Claus and you are stuck with picking up the tab. If these benefits remain unfunded you can expect your current real estate tax bill to climb even higher in the not so distant future.

Two of our current Supervisors have taken this debt subject on, calling for reductions in spending to attempt to rein in what we all know-----we have a spending problem……..not a revenue problem. Supervisor Bob Ehrhart 5th District has noted that the County has some 26 million in outstanding Bond debt. Ehrhart has called for reining in the spending. Ehrhart took the sacred cow (school spending) on when no Supervisor on that Board in the 21 years I have lived here had the courage to do it.

What has his opponent said about this, Candidate Ed Moren ---NOTHING. Moren is now running around putting signs atop his campaign signs with the message of LOWER TAXES—VOTE FOR MOREN . Does Moren think the voters are dopes? Apparently so because he has yet to offer one specific suggestion on just how he plans on lowering the taxes. Moren has however lots of new spending plans.

Supervisor Dave Hansen 4th District has voted NO on each of the 4 budgets during his first term because spending was too high. Hansen’ two opponents have not said a single specific word on these topics. “Voice of the People”……& “ A New Direction” might make for clever campaign slogans but are nothing more than that. Shumaker & Garber are go along to get along guys who will pump even more of your money into bigger budgets and bigger local government.

The growing debt issues are REAL. Bury your heads in the sand, or exercise your brain. Our kids are going to drown if this isn’t reined in. Think about that November 5th when you make your decision.

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

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10/25/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: King William Land Use Program

Since the adoption of the Land Use Taxation program in King William County, I watched participants in the program justify its existence.

The program has cost King William County taxpayers over fifteen million dollars since it was adopted.

Here are some reasons for the program as stated by those participating in it:

1. Farm and forest lands don’t require certain county services, and therefore, the land owners shouldn’t have to pay for them: examples are schools, social services, emergency services, recreation, libraries, trash disposal, administration services, and others.

2. Without the program, farms and forestry businesses could be taxed out of business. Selling of farm and forest lands will drive residential growth.

3. Commercial timber production will not be viable, because of increased land taxation over the 20 to 40 years needed to harvest the timber.

Simply put, most participating in the Land Use Taxation program want to pay taxes à la carte for county services. Do you or any other businesses in the county have the option to pick and choose what county services to pay for?

Farmers and foresters pay full real estate tax on their homestead, but that is limited to the one acre plat the residence is built on. However, that is a small price to pay for the tax savings on the rest of their land. That is the best return on investment a person could enjoy!

The King William County Commissioner of the Revenue department spends significant funds administrating the Land Use Taxation program.

For those part time river property owners, who do not qualify for the Land Use Taxation program, virtually none require schools, social services, and recreation facilities.

Schools alone constitute roughly 50% of the King William County’s budget. Shouldn’t those part time river property owners enjoy a 50% reduction in their real estate tax? Using the same logic as those participating in the Land Use Taxation program, they should!

Prior to the adoption of the Land Use Taxation program, were farmers and foresters going out of business in great numbers?

Timber takes many years to mature, however, foresters knew that before planting trees. That was their choice!

To top this off most of those that have land in the Land Use program are also receiving thousands of dollars in tax breaks and grants from the Federal government which the rest of us are paying for. Isn’t it time to turn the funding spigot off and give us taxpayers that are funding the Land Use program a break on our taxes.

Check it out for yourself. Just search by zip code. https://farm.ewg.org/search.php?fips=51000®ionname=Virginia

Of the candidates running for the King William County Board of Supervisors, only two will vote to eliminate the Land Use Taxation program. They want to make real estate taxes fair for all citizens. Those two candidates are Dave Hansen and Bob Ehrhart.

Keep this in mind when you vote on November 5. 2019.

Fred Krauss
Aylett, VA
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10/25/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Candidate Ed Moren Is Now Going To Lower Taxes ?

Less than 2 weeks until the election Candidate Ed Moren is adorning his big campaign signs with a new message HE IS GOING TO LOWER TAXES? Moren lends new meaning to the word crass as it is used in politics. Only one of two explanations exist for this last minute conversion of Moren’s. Perhaps he is hearing the boiling over frustration of homeowners who have been burned but I sense this is some half baked tactic to try and position himself as a quasi-conservative, hoping voters in the 5th are fools. Don’t fall for it.

Since Candidate Ed Moren hasn’t answered a single specific question that I am aware of, and refused to return the Candidate Questionnaire of the K.W.T.P let’s explore the veracity of Moren’s claim promising to lower taxes, shall we.

There are only 3 ways to significantly lower the real estate tax rate that has been draining home owners pockets for decades in this county (Moren knows this). The first would be to end the Land Use Tax Exemption program which would lower the rate by some .06 per hundred. (a penny = $150,000). The 2nd would be to cut local funding to the bloated school budget by $500,000--$1,000,000. This would add another reduction of .06 or so. The 3rd would be to use some of the $7,000,000 SLUSH FUND, the dough literally stolen from home owners and small businesses over the last 7 years. The math adds up to a reduction, getting the rate down to a manageable .74 per hundred, much more in line with where it should be. After all home owners in King William on a $200,000 home are paying some $614 more every year than our neighbors right next door in King & Queen . That is money that could be going into your retirements savings or your grandkids college fund. C

andidate Moren isn’t going to touch the Land Use Tax Exemption program, a tax scam he himself participates in. He has already quietly assured his Oligarch pals they are safe. Look at where his Campaign signs are located if you doubt that fact.

Candidate Moren won’t touch the local funding to the bloated schools spending, he worships along side the trough feeders himself. He is a big government guy regardless of any claims to the contrary. He say’s as much in his newspaper ad…I support this, I support that, he will hand out money (your money) if elected because that is what politicians do.

Candidate Moren also likes the idea of the $7,000,000 SLUSH FUND, play money should he get on the Board that allows Santa Claus new life. His advocacy for using your money to fund the EDA’s grandiose plans for subsidizing new business in King William is a fool’s errand. Moren might think that his Hail Mary pass will fool voters in the 5th. Since he hasn’t said a single word on just how he is going to lower taxes it is logical he has no plan, just a cynical old political trick he hopes will fool some good folks.-----------Don’t Be Fooled.

When a candidate makes statements like “ lowering taxes” but can’t cite how they plan on doing it……..you are being played.

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

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10/18/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Noise From The Cheap Seats

Well, it appears some of our self-described staunch conservative friends have decided to expose just how little they know about the budget, and equally how deceptive they can be about their motives.

In this weeks Country Courier a Mr. Bob Hubbard takes some shots at Supervisors Hansen & Ehrhart and the local T.E.A Party group . If you are aware of the Land Use Tax Exemption program showing some cracks, then you immediately understand what drives his dribble. They insist they want to keep King William open and rural…….until of course a Solar Panel Farm project comes along and they can make an extra buck.

Hansen and Ehrhart have shown the guts to take this tax inequity issue on full frontal, and the Oligarchs are hopping mad about it. Homeowners are now fully aware that these tax scams are one of the reasons they are paying one of the highest real estate tax rates in all of Virginia. Our group doesn’t need Mr. Hubbard to cherry pick anything. The Virginia ranking for 2017 shows King William with the 10th highest real estate tax rate out of the 96 Counties listed

I have often chuckled to myself how these staunch conservatives align themselves with Supervisors Moskalski , Greenwood and Hodges, all the while throwing rocks at Hansen & Ehrhart, the only two on that Board that have made any effort to cut spending, and we all know why. The 3 budget stooges have a quid pro quo agreement with the Oligarchs, spend all you want, play Santa Claus whenever the budget rolls around…..just don’t mess with the tax breaks they have. All of the challengers for these Board seats have openly come out and said they support Land Use Tax Exemptions. Voters need to be mindful that these candidates who are in my opinion water boys for the status quo crowd will……. when they blow a hole in the budget …..Will be coming to you Mr./Mrs. homeowner for the needed dough.

Hubbard manages to even go so far as to poke fun at the $2 per person in savings, expecting readers are so dumb as to miss the central point, the Board consistently has a 3-2 vote negating any effort to cut spending……not so sure how he tries to lay that at the feet of Hansen & Ehrhart ? I have sat through some 45-55 budget meetings, some of them the all day budget work sessions and often times I am in the room by myself. I find it curious that I have never seen Mr. Hubbard there, yet he wants to lecture us about budget discipline?

Hubbard apparently (wanting specifics) missed our reporting in 2015 that King William schools that year spent $90,000 a WEEK MORE THAN ANOTHER COUNTY WITH 6 SCHOOLS AND SOME 300 MORE STUDENTS

Mr. Hubbard apparently has also missed the scores of shiny new patrol cars cruising up and down 360 while surrounding rural localities still have 13 year old perfectly serviceable Crown Victoria’s on the road.

Perhaps the staunch conservative finds it okay to use taxpayer money to fund the Regional Airport Authority (so fat cats who have flying for a hobby don’t have to eat the costs themselves) , or maybe he is okay with county & school employees paying a piddly amount of their health insurance costs while tax payers are being buried with the annual escalating costs of their own premiums. Mr. Hubbard must be okay with the Schools spending some $129,000 to buy back unused vacation and unused sick time in just one year alone.

Maybe our staunch conservative friend see’s no problem with the $7,000,000 Slush Fund the Board has squirreled away for their laundry list of planned new spending? The State suggests local governments have adequate reserves of some 2.5—4%. Why has the Board been stashing so much money that belongs to citizens to begin with? Hubbard apparently doesn’t like hard questions

Maybe Mr. Hubbard missed the $2,000,000 the Board gave the local EDA, one of the more wasteful foolish ideas in recent memory. These EDA’s have been bastions of waste and crony capitalism

A staunch conservative would let the private sector bring high speed internet to King William, that is the Free Market approach. Our group the King William T.E.A Party has posted scores of articles on how fast the private sector is bringing a resolution to this issue---without the government getting involved in something a “stanch conservative” would not advocate for. Candidate Moren (besides ducking our Questionnaire) has refused to explain the debacle on these government funded Broadband projects in Provo Utah, Orlando Florida or the State wide mess in Kentucky, costing tax payers billions of wasted dollars.

Mr. Hubbard confuses the removal of a tax exemption with a tax increase. Apparently this staunch conservative feels entitled to avoiding taxes that everyone else has to pay.

The lack of any mention specifically of King & Queen County by Mr. Hubbard is clear evidence that his letter has no purpose other than the obvious.

These folks hate Hansen, Supervisor Bob Ehrhart and our group because we have pulled the curtain back and exposed the game these folks have been running for decades.

Can anyone ever remember this staunch conservative getting up during a public comment period and telling the Board you should cut this, or this expenditure is something government should not be involved in to begin with? Mr. Hubbard is a member of the group that is now only publicly speaking out because this group knows the average citizen in King William is now onto the scam. He ridicules us for highlighting SHOWERGATE. He belittles the efforts of our group (the only conservative voice in King William) as taking pot shots at situations of where money was spent in the past. Put your cards on the table Sir, this is nothing more than the desperate attempt to rid the worries of the Oligarchs who see that citizens are sick of the lop sided local tax code that is now beginning to crack. Get rid of the tax exemptions, Land Use, the BPOL Exemptions and watch how fast Mr. Hubbard and his Pal’s find lots of spending cuts. It is the only explanation as to why right next door in King & Queen (where there is no Land Use Tax Exemption program) spending is restrained and the real estate tax rate is .53 vs. the .86 it is here.

King William County is sitting on $7,000,000 that was literally stolen from home owners and small businesses in the county who don’t enjoy the numerous tax breaks of a small handful that has had an iron fist on local government for decades. That is what is worrying this staunch conservative.

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

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10/17/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Candidate Moren Conveniently Leaves Out Some Facts In CC 10/16

The Natural Gas Pipeline did received a $10 million dollar grant (see CC story from 2010) and I recall it was 100 jobs added, so 10 million / 100 jobs = $100,000 per job Candidate Moren. Even if one takes his claim of 200 new jobs, then tax payers spent some $50,000 per job. Maybe in the world Moren comes from this is how Capitalism works. Taxpayers are not supposed Sir to pony up their hard earned dough to expand any business. Candidate Moren also slips around the mention of where all of this economic development that this subsidized pipeline was supposed to bring….it hasn’t happened.

Candidate Moren has apparently been hanging out with the MPPDC folks who often cite that they return an 8/1 ratio in economic activity for every tax dollar they spend. I challenged the MPPDC Director at a meeting some years ago to explain to me how he arrives at that 8/1 ratio. Where does he get the numbers to show taxpayers that his claims are valid? Moren does the very same thing in his letter claiming a 7/1 ratio with no supporting documentation or explanation at just how he arrived at this claim. His mention that he spent some time in the “private sector” is a bit disingenuous since he stated it was heading up the “government division” The admission in his own words illustrates that his private sector experience was working in the military industrial complex where government contracts flow like honey.

Michigan jumped full bore into spending tax dollars on EDA projects. In a thorough state-wide examination of the claims made by EDA proponents an interesting fact emerged. Of the number of jobs promised with these EDA projects guess what was found? Only 2% of the projects came even close to the promised # of jobs, smoke and mirrors by the Crony Capitalist scams being funded with hard earned tax dollars. How come Candidate Moren makes no mention, not a word about the bragging claims from 2010 that this project was going to open up all kinds of economic development along 360? Leave the money in the hands of the people who earned it Candidate Moren, trust that they can best decide where they should spend /invest their own money.

Substance matters and Candidate Moren has yet to answer just why he refused to respond and answer the Candidate Questionnaire that was sent to him. He still has time - the questions are posted on our website - if he has changed his mind and is now willing to be candid with the voters in the 5th district. As for Bob Ehrhart’s 25 years in state government…….since he has left he has had to hustle and earn a living stitching together income from umpiring baseball games, and refereeing basketball games, substitute teaching stints. Bob Ehrhart answered our Questionnaire—Candidate Moren has not, and discerning voters know why.

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

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10/16/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Candidate Benjamin Shumaker Isn’t Fooling The Smart Folks

I learned many years ago that a Candidate for elective office has a technique they employ to avoid talking any specifics about the subject matter they would like to avoid talking about. I often refer to it as “running out the clock” The goal for the candidate is to gab on and on about a topic that they are comfortable about so as to avoid topics they are not wanting to discuss. Some of them are quite skilled at it. Political candidates and elected officials that have spoken at the King William T.E.A Party meetings have been often surprised when I set the tone before the meeting begins telling them you have 3-4 minutes to introduce yourself, highlight your Bio etc, then we get down to why we invited you here to begin with…..to answer these citizens questions. I have attended hundreds of these events over many years and the candidate/elected official never gets around to answering one single question or addressing one single issue in any meaningful way.

Candidate Benjamin Shumaker has adopted this tactic , spending a lot of time in front of K.W voters talking about his misspent youth, what a wild lifestyle he lived , immersing himself in substance abuse, and how he has turned his life around. All of us are happy Candidate Shumaker has taken the path of redemption and clean living. We commend him for it, but……

Are you running for a guest spot on Dr. Phil or the Board of Supervisor Seat in the 4th District Spanky ?

You see Candidate Shumaker has adopted the tactic I reference above, talk , talk some more and then some more about minutia, meaningless filler material to hopefully run out that clock I mention above. I have been quite harsh with candidates /elected officials I’ve invited to our meetings that have tried this crap. I reminded a State Senator and a Congressman years ago that we invited them to answer questions we had---not blather on about meaningless nonsense.

If Shumaker wants to speak to the voters in any meaningful way then I suggest he take up the hard questions he was asked to answer in the King William T.E.A Party questionnaire that to date Shumaker has declined answering. Apparently he believes catchy campaign slogans & platitudes,and big signs suffice for real answers. Sir—they do not

Homeowners are being buried with excessive real estate taxes , the tax code in King William is jammed with tax schemes ( many of his patrons benefit from ) the schools routinely lie about their expenditures and any number of departments waste vast sums of money ( see all the Shiny New Police Cars cruising up and down 360 these days )

Either speak directly to these issues that voters care about or carry your Lifetime Movie Network story to Dr. Phil’s show.

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

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10/14/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Eutopia For Just A Few More $$$$$

In an e-mail sent to our Board of Supervisors (on our website) I asked a few questions on the proposed spending some 2.2 million---4.4 million on a Emergency Communications Upgrade proposal from Motorola in order to correct the dead zones in the County where emergency personnel ( Sheriff’s department/Fire-Rescue) can not get the needed signal to communicate via radio/phone.

As one can read for themselves in the e-mail I simply asked for some documentation to illustrate just how big of a problem this really is. Given King William County now spends some 6 million or more on Public Safety one should expect records are being kept that documents when a Deputy or Rescue Squad personnel has no ability to communicate. After all, public safety is one of the legitimate functions of government and citizens support these people having the equipment they need to effectively do their jobs.

My specific question for the Board members were asking if they could share the number of incidents when this occurred, asking if they could cite for example the last 12 months or 2018, was it 2, 22 times…… this lack of ability to communicate happened, a reasonable question given that they are looking to spend 2-4 million dollars . Will it solve the problem I asked?

To date Supervisor Bob Ehrhart has been the only response. Initially he asked me if I would spend that money if one of my grandchildren’s lives depended on it---to which I replied NO. That type of emotional blackmail is a tactic elected officials always seem to fall back on when they can’t make the case on the merits.

Politicians have this misguided and childlike mindset that only if we spend a few more $$$ we can achieve Utopia. We cannot, life is full of risk , some of which can be mitigated and some not. If this lack of communication was occurring with any degree of frequency we (the public) would have heard more about it. I asked the Supervisors if they can cite a single death or a building fire that could not be contained because of this communication problem, again a reasonable question when sums of money of this magnitude are proposed to be spent. It warrants reminding KW citizens that the County has spent some 3 million just a few years ago for a “communication upgrade”

Politicians being politicians are inclined to cast off any objections or simple inquiries from a citizen that impedes their ability to do what they want to do, in this case spend some 2-4 million on a problem that may be exaggerated to begin with.

The unwillingness to answer my questions can only be attributed to one of two reasons. Knowing they do not like me or our group, ( King William TEA Party ) allows for one, the other is they are hell bent on spending this money regardless of the actual specific numbers of occurrences---- the expense would be obviously a waste of money to begin with. Politicians are always inclined to deliver Eutopia---problem is Eutopia can get very expensive

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

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10/13/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Is the Land Use Tax Exemption Program in King William starting to crack?

Farmers work hard, and have a long proud history of being positive contributing members of American Society. They deserve the recognition they have earned over what good they have done, from feeding all of us to preserving the land as good stewards. The King William T.E.A Party has always recognized their positive values. Our objections are to how the tax code is abused and Land Use Tax Exemptions are just that, an abuse that began back in the 1970’s when the Virginia General Assembly first passed this program. All Tax Exemptions are nothing more than shifting the tax burden to someone else. If the people in these programs had been smart they would have decades ago recognized that sooner or later the grandiose spending here in King William pounding home owners with absurd real estate tax rates was going to have to be slowed and spending curbed or home owners were going to push back. The “ quid pro quo” as I have described and that still exists today between those benefitting from these tax scams is the Board of Supervisors can play Santa all day long ……so long as the tax bill is sent to someone else. Members of the K.W Board of Supervisors have always understood the game and how it is played. Spend all you want, but don’t dare to threaten this program. All of these parties had to recognize sooner or later citizens were going to say enough. The reasons for the program cited in an effort to justify its existence are beginning to crumble. Case in point - the Sweet Sue Solar Panel Farm project.

Arguing about this program always brings out a defense of the programs very existence. That defense uniformly begins with the following

We want to keep King William county rural and open “. My first and uniform response has consistently been to point out the absurdity of a statement like this is, particularly in light of the facts & reality. King William County has had large tracts of land for sale for the entire 21 years I have lived here. I chuckled to myself some time back when one of the Oligarch families who had a FOR SALE sign for 20 + years took the sign down after my point began to resonate with citizens. Apparently they thought this would only reinforce my point that the argument that King William would be “overrun “with development was bunk. This program is a tax scheme---nothing more, nothing less. I have also asked the question since King & Queen County does not have such a program (everyone there pays the same rate on their property---.53 vs. our .86) why King & Queen hasn’t been overrun with development? It is a fair legitimate question that the defenders of this tax scam seem to never have a answer to .

Now we have this 1262 acre project, the Solar Panel Farm being pushed that is yet further evidence of their hypocrisy using “keeping King William open & rural” is exposed for the grand lie that it truly is. As I told one of the Oligarchs a few years back---business is business, and if the Saudi Royal family backs a Brinks truck down your driveway with enough cash in it you will pave over every square foot of the County.

End the program and watch what happens to spending and real estate tax rates ---they will plummet because the costs of a bloated county government will now have to be equally shared by those that have quietly stood by and watched wasteful spending and home owners being used as suckers will end. Sometimes folks - things are that simple.

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

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10/12/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Transparency --------And Why It Is So Important

No one agrees with an elected official on every vote they take. Often we find ourselves scratching our head when a Pol takes a vote that appears contrary to how we thought they would vote. It is frustrating when this happens but we march on.

What matters is how government operates. Are communications clear and shared with the public. Other than personnel matters ( privacy laws) nothing should be held back from citizens. Anytime citizens learn for the first time months or even years later as to an action our government takes or has taken is wrong, plain and simple – wrong.

One such example was back in 2013-14 when the Board of Supervisors allowed the King William Schools to move from Categorical spending to an open type architecture that permits the School Board to spend the funds allocated in whatever manner they choose. No public discussion, or input was done on this change, it was done quietly and without the citizens allowed to have a say in this decision.

The Schools had been put on categorical spending years earlier because the manner with which they were moving money around just didn’t sit well, so some discipline was put into place with categorical spending which required the School Board to come back to the Board of Supervisors if they wanted to move money from category A to category B. This added a layer of oversight to how tax dollars were being spent.

Over the last 4 years two Supervisors have been quite dogged in their pursuit of open government. Supervisor Bob Ehrhart 5th District has been told he “ ask’s too many questions”. Ponder that for one moment. An elected official that “ ask’s too many questions”. What troubles his critics is that Ehrhart slows the process down for them, they want to move faster and Ehrhart say’s NO, we need a better understanding of what is being proposed. We elect them to be good stewards of our money. Another Supervisor Dave Hansen 4th District has also been harassed by county and school officials for much the same reason. Neither of these gentlemen are the go along to get along types. From the County Administrator, the School Superintendent, and 3 of the other Board members, they have all bellyached about how Ehrhart & Hansen slow the process down with their constant questions and inquiries .

If one is following what is happening up in Warren County Virginia then one can see firsthand what happens when you ask too few questions. Some 21 MILLION has been embezzled, and all 5 of their County Supervisors have been charged with MALFEASANCE.

Voters in just a few weeks will have a decision to make and I implore all voters to take this into consideration as they make their minds up as to whom they will vote for. If Hansen and Ehrhart lose---- citizens lose ...TRANSPARENCY is lost without these two men on this Board. The Board of Supervisors goes back to operating in the dark. That serves no one’s interest.

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

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10/07/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Supervisor Dave Hansen ( 4th District) displays wisdom in his No vote

It is said that wisdom comes with age, and perhaps we can attribute that axiom to a vote Supervisor Dave Hansen took some time back when he was the sole NO vote of the King William Board of Supervisors to turning over $2,000,000.00 to the County E.D.A ( Economic Development Agency) Today we watch in almost disbelief the current financial debacle playing out in Warren County Virginia.

Criminal indictments are pouring out almost each week, all 5 of the Warren County Supervisors have been charged with Malfeasance, the former head of the Warren County EDA is facing a very long time behind bars , a County Sheriff has committed suicide and some evolving details specifically related to land sales and land transfers are adding a local element to all of this.

In Warren County the EDA chief arranged a family members sale of land to the EDA , only to learn the money was allegedly used to pay off gambling debts. Another land transaction had Jennifer McDonald ( EDA Director) selling a 30 acre parcel to another developer for $1, and civil lawsuits are now attempting to recover some of the 21 million that was stolen, in that transaction.

All of this brings up 3 disturbing questions here locally

Who first suggested turning over all King William County owned property to the EDA here ?

Was this the idea of the County Administrator herself or did someone else first suggest this ? If so then whose idea was it ? Current Chair Supervisor Bill Hodges was the only YES vote to this very bad idea . It warrants noting that his son is the current King William EDA Chair.

What hasn’t Candidate Ed Moren said a single word about this ? He sits on the King William EDA and has been silent. Did Moren support turning over this taxpayer owned property to the control of this EDA agency ? Was it his idea to begin with ? Voters need to know where Moren stands on this question.

One can like or dislike a Candidate for elective office. I have heard a variety of reasons why a voter will often select a particular candidate. Knowing a candidate , even having grown up with someone is not in my humble view criteria I personally use. I want someone in office who has control over budgets and tax payer funds to have a guardian mentality, someone who takes the responsibility of spending others money very seriously.

Supervisor Dave Hansen has been doggedly tough about every single dime the Board spends, and equally skeptical of expansion of spending authority given to unelected and unaccountable boards that result in what we are watching unfold in Warren County Virginia. Voters in the 4th District should bear this in mind on Tuesday November 5th when they go to the polls.

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

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10/06/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Breaking Down The Political Speak Of Candidate Moren

In politics today one need not search for their true intentions if one simply listens to their own words. This week Candidate for the B.O.S Seat in the 5th District, Ed Moren ran a ½ page ad that declares what “I support”. He supports spending more money; it’s as simple as that.

“Developing our children’s potential “ = More money for the schools (in spite of no change in student count in 10 years. Moren hasn’t said a single word on SHOWERGATE?

“Ensuring our Fire/EMS departments have the resources” = More money spent perhaps on radio ads? Aigner could serve as his advisor on the subject.

“Strengthening and sustaining our Sheriff’s department “= Watch the parade of more new vehicles for the Sheriff to cruise up and down 30 & 360 writing traffic tickets.

“Strengthening smart economic development” = Warren County EDA mess coming our way. Ask Candidate Moren about “all the economic activity the Natural Gas Pipeline that was promised 10 years ago ….after spending 10 MILLION of other people’s money.

My favorite pledge of Candidate Moren however was the following……. “Engaging in a top down and bottom up review of our current tax structure “…………Earth to Ed, Earth to Ed, come in Ed

Moren knows all too well the promise that he has quietly made his Oligarch pals, that he has no intention of touching land use tax exemptions. He uses this tax scam himself. Rest assured this guy will dole out more dough (your dough I might add) and when the hit to home owners comes, and it will,remember Candidate Moran’s empty words.

I have said and it warrants repeating, should Candidate Moren come to your door just give him your wallet, because Supervisor Moren will be back for it.

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

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10/02/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: “Go Team”

The Warren County “Team Players” have added a new dimension to the term “Team Players”. * Before the $21 million allegedly went missing, before the sheriff put his gun in his mouth and fired, before the announcement that the entire top tier of the Warren County government had been indicted, there was the dream.

*It was a dream of renewal for Front Royal, VA, which fell on hard times after a rayon manufacturing plant closed in 1989, leaving 1,300 people jobless and 440 acres full of toxic waste. The land cleaned up and the EDA promising a new direction and future - it all fell apart.

It seems the Team is now facing charges for allegedly letting a woman get away with embezzling thousands from a government agency. **According to Virginia State Police, indictments were handed down by a Warren County special grand jury for 14 people connected to the Front Royal – Warren County Economic Development Authority (EDA).

This type of embezzlement, misfeasance and nonfeasance can only happen when your local government has a “Go along to Get along - Team Player” environment. When you vote for people who do not ask the unpopular questions - you leave the local government open to the above abuse – Out of sight, Out of mind is not the best choice.

King William County has 2 Supervisors who have asked the questions deemed “Unnecessary Questions” and went on to look for the details the professionals and experts said were not necessary to see. They are Supervisors Hansen and Ehrhart.

Sincerely,
Paul Jamerson
King William, Va

Sources – *The Washington Post, the Rappahannock News and **WHSV
(Links on www.kwteaparty.com)

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9/28/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: EDA Mess In Warren County Raises Questions in King William ;

In a follow up story this week in the Washington Post newspaper the unfolding saga with all 5 Warren County Supervisors being charged with Malfeasance - one particular element simply jumped off the page. It caught my attention immediately because I was in attendance some months back when County Administrator proposed to the Board of Supervisors that all County owned property, to include property that was generating revenue be turned over to the control of King Williams EDA (Economic Development Authority) My recollection was that this proposal was immediately rejected by 4 of the Supervisors with current Chair Bill Hodges in support of the proposal. It might be of interest that the Chair’s son is the current Chair of the King William EDA. Also serving on that Authority Board is a number of Candidates running in the November election. Case in Point

Jennifer McDonald, was the Director of the Warren County EDA (currently under criminal indictment in this fiasco / 28 counts of embezzlement) A Washington area developer “Truc Tran” (facing numerous civil lawsuits) bought from Mrs. McDonald a 30 acre tract of land that had been turned over and controlled by Mrs. McDonald for $1 Tran had stated he planned to develop this 30 acre parcel with financing provide by wealthy immigrant investors and a 140 million federal contract his technology company had secured. None of this turns out was true, Tran according to the Post story never had the money.

The sale of the 30 acre tract for $1 engineered by Mrs. McDonald to Mr. Tran is the one element of this that now raises serious questions about what is going on here in King William. I was in the room at the County Administration Building earlier this year when the County Administrator first proposed this idea of transferring all county owned property to the King William EDA. Here is the dilemma voters now face.

Who first proposed this very bad idea (turning over County owned property) to begin with? Was it the County Administrator, or someone on the Board of Supervisors, maybe someone on the EDA?

Why is that important? What we are watching in Warren county can happen anywhere, even here because these unelected, unaccountable individual’s, most without any private sector business experience of their own fall prey to the worst kinds of schemes imaginable .

Voters need to Rush out and ask the Candidates----did you support this, did it originate with you? If their judgement is that bad - is this person even competent to serve in the office they are seeking? These are fair legitimate questions that demand an answer.

A 30 acre tract of land, controlled by an EDA, sold for $1……….this is the type of Crony Capitalism we must guard against. The fact that this proposal was made is bad enough. Now we need to know ……….just whose idea was this to begin with?

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

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9/20/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: “Showergate” And Their Shameless Conduct Of King William School Board”

Each of us over the years have had to listen to the poor mouthing that goes on among various King William County School officials, always trying to emotionally blackmail citizens into coughing up some more of our hard earned dough, in spite of Supervisor Bob Ehrhart telling us that the hard working citizens of King William already provide in Local contributions some $10,000,000, twice the amount, the State of Virginia requires our locality to provide. Let me repeat that, twice the amount, Virginia’s funding formula only requires King William to provide around $ 5,000,000---yet we , the taxpayer dole out twice that amount, much of it wasted.

Among the various sad stories we repeatedly hear is how often teachers have to take money from their own pockets to purchase classroom supplies? Please ponder that for just a moment, teachers taking money from their salaries (that they work hard for) to buy classroom supplies

Perhaps I am a stickler for details, perhaps because I have worked in the private sector my entire life I pay closer attention to expenses. It would be fair to say one of the reasons I admire both Supervisor Ehrhart & Supervisor Dave Hansen is they have displayed the guts to take on this sacred cow of Education and objectively shown where they waste money in numerous ways. Have you heard a single word of criticism from Ed Moren, Benjamin Shumaker or Charles Garber on this topic? No, and the reason for it is purely political, they are willing to squander your hard earned tax dollars to BUY THEIR VOTES.

Next time you hear this story about teachers taking money from their own pockets to buy school supplies for the kids ask just one question………”the $3300 spent installing a private shower in Dr. Whites office would have bought a good bit of classroom materials, and the hard working teachers could keep their salaries they earned. We more than adequately fund our schools, classroom supplies or PRIVATE SHOWERS IN SOMEONE’S OFFICE?

The King William County School Board should be ashamed of themselves, and voters should remember this on November 5th when they go to the polls. If you pay taxes in King William County Hansen & Ehrhart deserve your support for being the only ones courageous enough to call this nonsense out publicly.

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

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9/20/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Sad Reality Of The High Real Estate Taxes On King William’s Aging Population

No topic comes up as frequently as the real estate tax rate and the impact this has had on them personally. One stopped to talk with me the other day when I was working on one of our TEA Party signs .This gentleman and his wife moved to King William 20 years ago. They bought a nice home, nothing extravagant, to live out the remainder of their lives in quiet tranquility.

In 1999 his real estate tax bill was $700; today it is $2,000 having tripled over that time. Today this gentleman is 75 years old and like most his age he is on a fixed income. Also like most folks his age he has the normal increased costs of aging, more spent on frequent trips to the doctors, more medications etc. Really nice people and not a drag on any county services, they take care of themselves ….yet they are being squeezed by the relentless increases in what they have to pay annually in real estate taxes.

He said to me “Bob, you pay your mortgage off and then rent your house back from King William County”. How many other retirees or those nearing the paying off of their mortgage are facing the same dilemma? This came home with me when back in 2002-03 I received a 2nd letter from my mortgage company informing me that my monthly mortgage payment was being adjusted again because my escrow account had been drained. In a phone call to my mortgage lender I learned that an increase in my King William Real Estate Tax Bill (paid at that time from an escrow account) had drained the escrow account for a second time. If you’re close to paying off your mortgage (congrats) but think about this gentleman’s problem and I request you ask yourself this single question---please

Among the candidates running for the Board of Supervisors which ones will fight to constrain county spending…..and which ones will significantly increase county spending? After you answer that question ask one more. Among the same candidates who will they pass these increased costs onto? Two of the incumbents have taken a stand on the tax inequities currently in place, while the challengers have blathered on about their support for this agency, and that agency…..translation….bigger budgets.

How many other citizens in King William are faced with this gentleman’s problem? How do we help people in this situation—we first cap spending, and then we look at removing King William home owners as the B.O.S “ punching bag. This has gone on far too long.

Voters are not stupid, our group has publicized the numerous Tax Exemptions that put the burden on people like this man who is paying far more than his fair share. There is only one explanation for why someone who has a $200,000 home here is paying $614 more a year than in King & Queen .The question is …which of these Candidates running, Moren, Shumaker, Garber, Aigner are willing to step up and be honest about this issue.

Look where their BIG CAMPAIGN SIGNS are located and it answers the question for you.

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

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9/18/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Candidate Ed Moren Apparently Doesn’t Like The King William TEA Party

One of our supporters that lives in the 5th district stopped by today when he saw me outside. This gentleman shared with me a comment Candidate Ed Moren made in a conversation with him a few weeks back. Candidate Ed Moren told our supporter ……. “you better hope the King William T.E.A Party never gets control of the Board”……. apparently referencing the Board of Supervisors. Candidate Ed Moren has apparently learned of our devious plans of an armed insurrection we were hoping to keep secret. The Intelligence Division of the King William T.E.A Party has an apparent leak.

What is it that Candidate Ed Moren believes the King William T.E.A Party might do?

We would cut the real estate tax rate

We would close the SLUSH FUND and refund the $10, 000,000 literally stolen.

We would trim some of the School Budget Bloat?

We would end the warped & distorted tax code in King William

We would ask every business pay the BPOL tax or eliminate it.

We would put every department and agency receiving tax payer money on a diet

Let’s get to the heart of the matter shall we. Come out in the open Candidate Moren.

------------------------This Is All About Land Use Tax Exemptions----------------------------------

Mr. Moren is a waterboy for his FAT CAT PALS that have been grooming this guy for the last 18 months. He is hoping that the FAT CATS can get him across the finish line so their REAL ESTATE LAND USE TAX EXEMPTIONS remain in place. Doubt me……next time you drive up Route 30 or 360 look where his BIG EXPENSIVE CAMPAIGN SIGNS ARE LOCATED. Maybe he is hoping voters who grew up with him are a sucker and ignore his actual intentions. When Candidate Moren comes to your door, just give him your wallet, because Supervisor Moren will be back for it.

The incumbent Supervisor Bob Ehrhart has displayed the guts to stand up to Moren’s FAT CAT PALS, openly discussing the inequity of the local tax code, and they are not going to have that.

Supervisor Ehrhart had the guts to call out the Schools and their lies they had told the citizens of King William on a host of issues, from the number of positions they had previously claimed to have eliminated (claiming 42 when it was more like 18) the lack of pay raises hiding behind deceptive language, using terms like “salary scale adjustment, compression adjustments,step increases----all while claiming they hadn’t had a pay raise in XXX years

Supervisor Ehrhart answered every question on the King William T.E.A Party Candidate Questionnaire---while Candidate Moren has not answered even one. Ask yourself why?

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

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9/14/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Voice Of The People?

Local elections are normally pretty ho-hum events, often incumbents running un-opposed. Rarely are there hard fought knock down fights for part time positions that don’t pay much money or carry much notoriety with the office. In King William we have no challengers for Supervisor Bill Hodges, Travis Moskaski, and even Stephen Greenwood has token opposition in a single issue candidate, a Fire Rescue guy who outside of that self- interest has never shown much interest in local government. Greenwood could go down just on the bitterness many in the 3rd district feel towards him, myself included. Whatever explains his Judas like behavior after his re-election in 2015 it is time for this guy to go.

Interesting contrast however is in the 4th & 5th districts, Supervisor Bob Ehrhart ( 5th) has two opponents, one a retread with a 12 year history of go along to get along and the other whose picture appears now on almost every other page in the local press, perhaps linked to the newspapers top reporter/photographer having some interest in promoting his Pal. Just how Independent this guy is remains a big question. Appointments to various committees is usually an inside baseball game here in King William. No one gets appointed that the Oligarchs haven’t blessed. That might also explain why this candidate hasn’t answered the King William T.E.A Party questionnaire---he would expose his water boy qualities. Discerning voters in the 5th are not fools. Growing up in King William does not carry the clout it did 40 years ago. Voters want to know what a Supervisor is going to do if/when the County goes on a spending spree and needs new revenue. Ed Moren appears to want to DUCK that question.

In the 4th district we have a guy whose bright shiny campaign signs carry the mantra “, eyes ears, and voice of the people”……almost comical if you figure out the Grand Oz behind the curtain pulling this cat’s strings. My question is whose paying for those quite expensive campaign signs? Shumaker’s literature has a disclaimer at the bottom Paid For By Friends of Benjamin Shumaker……….One can fairly surmise given Shumaker’s own reluctance to answer any questions that the voice of the people is in all reality the voice of those paying for and placing those expensive signs. The signs location alone speaks volumes about whose interests this guy will represent…………….and it ain’t the people.

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

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9/9/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: A Dangerous Trend in King William County Government?

At the Board of Supervisor meeting Monday August 26th a quite revealing statement surfaced when Supervisor Travis Moskalski stated he indeed was aware that a private shower was included in the renovation plans for the Hamilton Holmes project. The shower was installed in the Superintendent’s office at a cost of some $3300.

Controversial as the shower itself is, I detect something much more ominous, namely how our local government is operating today. Citizens in two particular districts are being harmed, and I do not mean the use of that term to be metaphor or substitute meant to inflame anyone’s passions, but rather a true description of what is actually transpiring now in a routine manner.

I have questioned Supervisors Hansen and Ehrhart as to whether or not they knew about this private shower being installed in the Superintendents office and they have both denied knowing anything about this outlandish expenditure, on it’s face alone an insult to local tax payers. So how is it then that Moskalski knew of this while two other Supervisors did not?

A pattern has developed over the last number of years where the status quo crowd, both on the Board of Supervisors and the various agencies have “frozen out” certain members when it was apparent these people are not the go along to get along types, but serious people either elected (Hansen & Ehrhart) or appointed to these boards/commissions who don’t tow the line as they say.

A few years ago when the Broadband Initiative was first formed elements in our county pushed for the inclusion of one of our members Fred Krauss - Krauss is Treasurer of the King William T.E.A Party. Fred’s deep knowledge of the topic is respected. Krauss has a conviction that this quasi-government effort was unnecessary since the private sector was already moving at lightening speed in solving the high speed internet service lacking in many rural areas across the country. Fred was ostracized and kept out of a number of meetings and discussions, making it crystal clear his views were not welcome.

Our group also raised public awareness on the hazards of getting government involved by citing the financial blackholes these types of government driven Broadband projects had become in Provo Utah, Orlando Florida and the ongoing train wreck this has become in the State of Kentucky. Members of the Broadband Initiative here locally seem set on a path of spending local tax dollars regardless of legitimate concerns as to whether or not this is even necessary.

Citizens who share our views and wariness of these types of government activities, along with the voters of the 4th & 5th Districts who voted for Dave Hansen & Bob Ehrhart are essentially being told----we don’t care what you think. Is this how government is supposed to operate?

Remember this when Tuesday November 5th rolls around. They hate Hansen and Ehrhart because they are honest.

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

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9/3/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Candidate Ed Moren ……….Is He Afraid Of Something?

Appears in the 5th District, Board of Supervisor Candidate Ed Moren is in panic mode incapable of agreeing to a debate without him controlling the venue, duration of the event, who participates and who moderates the debate and how questions are decided on. What is he afraid of?

If Moren wants some very good questions to answer, perhaps he might begin with the ones the King William T.E.A Party sent him some 6 weeks back---unanswered to this date. Or is Mr. Moren reluctant to share with voters in the 5th District what his answers are? Why is Mr. Moren so concerned about how the questions are chosen? Is he hoping to control what positions he would have to divulge with voters by answering questions from a group of conservative citizens who happen to live and pay taxes in King William. Is the King William T.E.A Party not to his liking since answers to our questions would expose just where he stands on issues that are a concern to voters? If you own a home in the 5th District and Mr. Moren breaks the bank with higher spending just where does Mr. Moren go for additional revenue to cover his grandiose spending? Does Mr. Moren expect voters to wait until after the election before he tells them where he stands on any of the issues?

It will be higher taxes on HOME OWNERS…. Since Mr. Moren has surely already promised his Pal’s he won’t touch the tax scheme A.K.A Land Use Tax Exemption program. Maybe Mr. Moren would end the EXEMPTION HIS PALS ALSO GET ON PAYING THE HATED B.P.O.L TAX? No, I’m equally sure Mr. Moren has also assured his Pals he won’t go there. Is Mr. Moren planning on cutting any spending in the county budget? If so, perhaps Mr. Moren might share some of his ideas on spending cuts.

This candidate is counting on support as a result of having grown up here. His support is quite narrow even when you throw in the Land Use Tax Exemption crowd If you own a home in the 5th District, or a small business and you are paying the B.P.O.L tax then focus razor like on just where Mr. Moren will go when he needs more revenue. Has Mr. Moren pledged to home owners he will not raise the already nose bleed real estate tax rate? He won’t tell you that …I just did.

Voters are not fools, and they are already wondering why Mr. Moren won’t answer the K.W.T.P Questionnaire. If you own a home assessed at $200,000 you are already paying some $614 more than if you owned that very same home in King & Queen County. Unless Mr. Moren comes clean about his positions on spending & taxes rest assured that $614 will be even higher when he is done. He is a water boy for the status quo crowd.

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

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9/3/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: The Shumaker Shuffle

In a mailer sent out by 4th District Supervisor Candidate Benjamin Shumaker one wonders if this guy is living on the same planet. Dissecting the political diatribe left me scratching my head. Let’s start with the most glaring statement

AS YOUR SUPERVISOR YOU CAN COUNT ON ME TO:

Keep taxes low & cut government spending………KEEP taxes low? King William County has among rural counties one of the very highest real estate tax rates in all of Virginia. Mr. Shumaker apparently thinks voters are either stupid or ill informed.

Cut government spending? Once again Mr. Shumaker doesn’t mention a single expenditure that he would advocate cutting. Where’s the BEEF ?

Make teachers a top priority with competitive pay? Shumaker must have missed the King William T.E.A Party survey from 2015 showing among 8 localities King William teachers had the 2nd highest average teacher pay, a mere $200 behind 1st place Chesterfield. Shumaker drags out the old tired playbook of local politics with a blatant and sickening appeal. Translation: Bigger School Budgets (in spite of no change in 10 years of student count)

Provide law enforcement and first responders with the tools needed to keep our community safe ? ….1st of all, King William isn’t Oakland or Chicago…..second Sir, perhaps you might have a discussion with the Sheriff on his predisposition to annually buy a bunch of new expensive police cars when other small rural counties are driving 14 year old Crown Victorias.

Stop the bullying …….Apparently, Shumaker believes that conservatives who voiced the opinion in 2015 that they wanted SPENDING CUT, AND LOWER TAXES, and then insisted on such are BULLIES. 3 Incumbents were thrown out Mr. Shumaker, all 3 Progressives like yourself.

Mr. Shumaker describes himself as a “common sense conservative”…..just like Eric Cantor, Del. Chris Peace and Congressman Rob Wittman, all of whom have presided over bigger budgets , bigger deficits , higher taxes and more bloated swamp

Shumaker hangs out with the status quo crowd, Pals with the local Republican party that has NEVER EVEN ONCE CRITCIZED LOCAL GOVERNMENT SPENDING , NEVER SAID A SINGLE WORD ON THE OUTRAGEOUS LOCAL REAL ESTATE TAX RATES, NEVER SAID A SINGLE WORD ON THE DISTORTED LOCAL TAX CODE , NOT A WORD ABOUT THE BLOATED SCHOOL BUDGETS OR THE LYING TO TAX PAYERS ON A VARIETY OF ISSUES.

By his own words this guy is a YES man and if elected county budgets will be larger, money thrown at the schools and the public sector will flow in even larger quantities because the agreement is -------don’t stir the pot---Look at his campaign sign locations………..it’s all you need to know

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

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8/29/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Our Schools ?

"Our King William Board of Supervisor’s meeting of Monday 8-26-19, once again, strayed from substance going off towards personalities. In my opinion, Chairman Hodges doing his best to stay on subject found it challenging at times to maintain decorum between speakers and Board members. This was demonstrated when our Superintendent of Schools stormed out of the meeting, with his entourage when asked to explain what was described as his failed ‘leadership,’ in the continued falling District student SOL scores, as reported in the Richmond Times and the Tide Water Review, this past week.

The Superintendent’s statement that our School District is still ‘accredited’ by the State; does not explain the last three years of continued SOL decline; let alone the this year test results that document the King and Queen School District out performing King William in the State tested areas of Writing, Reading, Math, only to equal K&Q in Science; as reported by the Tidewater Review, Staff Writer Emily Holter on in the 8-20-19 issue. The article goes on to document a year-over-year King William School District student SOL decline in Writing, Reading, Science, and History. Tide Water Review. According to the TR article . .. ‘In all subjects except reading and science, the school division fell below the state average.’

The Tide Water article quotes our Superintendent as saying … ‘the division is working to improve scores by reviewing the data to determine which areas fall below the state average.’ I suggest that leadership look at the SOL results, as documented, to find this answer.

In addition, our KW School Super According to White, the division is working to improve scores by reviewing the data to determine which areas fall below the state average … “We are meeting this challenge head on with data analysis, goal setting, and implementation of new instructional models in the classroom across all grade levels”

I ask you, who is accountable; the KW Board of Supervisors, the KW School Board, our teachers, the administration? In my opinion, it is clear; with the logical answer being Superintendent White’s performance. That Dr. White’s leadership is THE ISSUE. In my opinion, the continued decline in student SOL performance cannot be explained by the reported smoke screen answer by Superintendent White …‘“The requirements have resulted in fewer tests being administered overall at the high school,” and “The tests are representative of only a small number of students.”

I have a suggestion. We know that the Superintendent recently created and hired an administrator for the position of teacher improvement, and the abruptly transferred that individual, placing another in the position. Mr. Superintendent: Why the abrupt change; and why does our Superintendent think the teachers are a problem?

As I stated, several times during the KW Board meeting … this documented continued District SOL decline is NOT that of teacher performance or administration staff support; but rather a clear issue of failed leadership, on the part of our District Superintendent. Our decline, in State measured educational performance, lies at the feet of our failed leadership. It is my opinion: that a clash of Individual personalities cannot, as some will claim, can be used to cloud the issue. This documented continued decline in our student education at the District level is NOT an issue of a like or dislike of an individual, elected or not.

Superintendent White stated that I am not an ‘Educator’ and I do not understand his leadership methods. I ask you; do you need to be an ‘Educator’ to see that the District leadership is failing our children and teachers or are you, as our Superintendent suggest … that you or I are simply not educated enough to understand?

Let us cut through the smoke and mirrors, that a few ‘informed’ letters-to-the-editor may blow our way in this matter. Let us stay focused on the educational needs of our children and teachers. I ask you, what is the KW School District leadership’s plan to immediately stop the State student tested (SOL) academic performance decline excuse a leadership course that continues to lack accountability and has failed our children, our teachers, and our County? Our children, teachers, and County deserve and answer, NOT excuses.

I, for one, believe that the continued decline of student-tested performance, during the past three years can be blamed on a continued decline of ‘student performance.’ I ask you, "what is so hard to understand about this?"

So ... do you thing that the attachment and/or the aforementioned material will show up in the local news print? Probably not; however, you have the material and will shortly be able to review the KWBoS meeting video.

I ask you, can we continue to fail our children, teachers, and community as documented in three years of falling State Standards of Learning testing? What will you do, now that you have this material, to bring a stop to this ?

I encourage you to contact your KW Supervisor, and School Board representative to discuss this issue; along with your suggestions when possible.

Regards
Dave Hansen
KWBOS
Manquin (District 4)

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8/29/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: BS is Flowing Thru the KW Swamps

As seen in recent letters to the editor and the ugly rumor mill, political campaigns in King William seem to have become like what is happening in DC….Why else would ranking members in the both the democratic and republican party come after a true independent who has declared and demonstrated people allegiance and not party allegiance? The crap was running so thick in the last two editions; I needed to a get out a level spreader!

1) Past Employment – A chronically critical writer distorted facts, lacked details, and merely sought to sensationalize. Sure I ask a lot of questions; but, a large portion of the messages/text were sent during my official breaks and during my time off (i.e. I worked flex hours with two 6 hour days and two 10 hour days which folks didn’t know). Furthermore, the rest were easily mitigated (DHRM policy) by 2 days worth of compensatory leave I never claimed working at the state emergency center…The real reason I left state employment - they wanted to control my dialogue and prevent me from speaking out against issues and costs facing our citizens (such as stormwater, sea level, etc.). The agency agreed it best to accept by retirement in lieu of additional staff resources. To her credit, Sarah Fearing investigated this when on staff at the TR and decided out of professional journalism or respect or whatever, it was not newsworthy…Enter the local smear tactic.

2) Unprecedented Turnover in County Government– Absolutely false; the ONLY person who left after feeling some pressure was the finance director who was brought to the County by the [then] supervisor in the 4th district. After that supervisor lost in 2016, the finance director was under more scrutiny by the BOS members and citizen groups….She followed that same supervisor back to employment with Hanover County….This was probably a good thing because it allowed us to hire Mrs. Tassinari, who I did recruit for the finance position by messaging her through my personal account on indeed.com. Again, blatant misrepresentation by both writers for which Mrs. Tassinari could have corrected (if she was actually asked). Mrs. Tassinari had to “clean up” that office because even things such as split levy accounting had not been done! The two planning directors left to better their careers and financial status.

3) Lastly, a very wealthy landowner supported a candidate in 2015 that advocated land use tax exemptions and the writer is doing the same in 2019. Consider the following confirmation: he/family own ~1,769 acres in land use exemption and pay ~$17,270 in taxes. Under the Fair Market Value (which the state also uses to determine how much money a locality would get for schools), he would pay ~$25,639. The candidate he is supporting also has his property in tax-exempt “land use”. From 2015 to 2016, that candidate’s file documented a reduction in acreage; however, the County did NOT update the records/assessment….Additionally, the writer of that letter has collected $3.2 million in Federal farm subsidies. https://farm.ewg.org/persondetail.php?custnumber=A08735957. Do the families who are struggling, on fixed income, and the 12% below poverty level now see a pattern as to why that writer doesn’t want someone shedding this light? In addition, that wealthy family is “kin” to candidate Aigner who was terminated by the County….Need I say any more for the various “motives” for his letter?

4) In closing and if nothing to hide, why have candidates NOT answered for themselves? http://kwteaparty.com/CandidateQuestionaire2019.htm

Bob Ehrhart
Supervisor 5th District
King William, Va

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8/29/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Platitudes & Slogans Aplenty-----little content from K.W Candidates

Politicians LABOR to fool most of the people some of the time , or some of the people most of the time. Citizens permit this obfuscation . Politics has devolved into blabbering of slogans and platitudes . Among the humorous political ads we still smile recalling one that became American satire with the elderly lady looking into the camera when she removes the top bun on her hamburger and asks -------------“where’s the beef?” -----------

Governing at any level requires certain personal qualities if anything is to get done besides wasting other citizens' money:

INTELLECT, the ability to understand the issues in a comprehensive way. Grey matter between the ears. Attend a Board of Supervisor meeting to get the sense that some of these folks don’t have the intellectual chops to handle the responsibilities they are charged with.

INTEGRITY, a candidate who is free to analyze an issue without a preconceived built in bias, and the iron will at times to go against the grain , standing up to pressure that can be punishing when they believe the position they settle on is the right thing to do. Absent backbone, an elected official and or candidate caves . Easier to spend someone else’s money than to say NO.

INDEPENDENCE, a candidate ( incumbent or challenger) who isn’t beholden to a group that often makes up a large chunk of their voting base, often times resulting in bad government if for no other reason than to appease this very group they are counting on for support.

If a citizen takes his/her civic responsibility seriously then they must vet these candidates , and that can only be done by ASKING QUESTIONS---LOTS OF QUESTIONS.

So what do we have here in King William this election cycle? I see big slick campaign signs popping up (their locations can tell you a lot if you are paying attention) with some old platitudes … A NEW DIRECTION, or THE EYES, EARS AND VOICE OF THE PEOPLE.

It is a straightforward proposition that if someone is promising a NEW DIRECTION……or to be the EYES,EARS AND VOICE OF THE PEOPLE these candidates are obliged to go a bit further and explain in some specifics what they mean by these SLOGANS.

They refuse giving anyone specific answers (our group has certainly tried to elicit some details from them in our online Candidate Questionnaire) because they know full well where they stand on these issues……….but they simply don’t want to expose their lack of Intellect, Integrity and Independence before Tuesday November 5. Once again hoping they can fool all of the people some of the time, or some of the people all of the time.

In 2015 we demanded these candidates answer the questions and voters in King William threw 3 of them out of office. EXPLAINS WHY ALL BUT TWO ( Ehrhart and Hansen ) HAVE GONE INTO HIDING.

Voters who don't pay attention get the government they deserve.

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

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8/24/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: “Showergate” ….Apparently Got Under The Superintendent’s Skin ?

At the Board of Supervisor Meeting, Monday August 26, Dr. David White, King William County School Superintendent openly railed against 4th District Supervisor Dave Hansen stating Hansen “is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the King William T.E.A Party” Perhaps Dr. White could explain that perplexing statement, or does the good Dr. hold the view that conservatives in King William should be denied representation on the Board. Since the other Supervisors on the board seem inclined to favor certain tax advantages bestowed on a small select group of influential citizens are they “ mouthpieces for the Oligarchs or those feeding at the tax payer trough “ ? Do the views of the local T.E.A Party members/supporters not count in the good Dr.’s opinion? The T.E.A Party members and supporters pay taxes, but Dr. White suggests by his words that our opinions should be….silenced? Just how would Dr. White explain the local election results of 2015 with 3 incumbents being thrown out of office other than the obvious? Voters wanted spending cut and taxes reduced……..not a position Dr. White apparently agrees with.

Supervisor Bob Ehrhart noted back in the Spring during budget negotiations the Virginia SOQ (Standards of Quality) has a formula to suggest a localities financial contributions. The State say’s King William County has a minimum contribution of some 5.2 million. King William’s hard working tax payers are apparently very generous since the local contribution this year was over 10 million, twice what Virginia say’s is the county obligation. Dr. White’s continued cries for “more money”…..is beginning to fall on deaf ears. The emotional blackmail scam that “it’s for the children” , after learning part of the renovation dollars spent on the project at Hamilton Holmes was to …..install a private shower in the Superintendents office is evidence of how arrogant these public sector folks have become.

Perhaps it warrants a chronicle of the last 5 years and the schools bloviated and exaggerated claims that turned out to be (trying to be polite here) not quite so true on further examination.

School officials had claimed that 42 positions had been eliminated at the schools during the economic downturn of 2009—2012. Supervisor Ehrhart in a power point presentation, using data from VDOE (Virginia Department of Education) showed that number to be wildly exaggerated. Turns out the positions eliminated were around half the number claimed.

Then in 2014 the King William T.E.A Party took a close look at Nottoway county schools vs. King William schools budgets and learned the following (again data taken from the two school systems own websites) Nottoway has 6 schools to our 4, has some 300 more students that particular year, yet King William County 4 schools were spending some ……$90,000 a WEEK more than Nottoway. In spite of our demands for an explanation they had some stooge get up during a B.O.S meetings and talk about how horrible Nottoway county schools were. Given the Tidewater Review story this week about the significant decline in King William student test scores I suggest the Superintendent might want to focus his energy on something besides lashing out at the one group in the county renown for telling the truth, even when the truth is unpleasant.

…county teachers were “underpaid”. Turns out in our survey (again using VDOE data) King William teacher average salaries among 8 localities was in 2nd place, only $200 behind Chesterfield. Facts didn’t match up to the claims.

At the School Board/ B.O.S Joint Budget Meeting last year Supervisor Hansen questioned the School Board about the funding (or lack of) of the O.P.E.B ( Other Post Employment Benefits) . 3rd District School Board Rep Steve Tupponce stood up and gave one of the most convoluted explanations to a question I have ever heard. Tupponce was clearly attempting to duck answering the question. Low & behold in the 2017-18 C.A.F.R (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) on page 61 at the bottom the Auditor states in direct clear language that to date………………King William has not reserved a single dollar to pay for these promised benefits, something that is going to come back and bite homeowners yet again when the costs of these promised benefits come due to be paid out. Repeated attempts and invitation to the School Board members to come and speak at one of our meetings have been ignored.

Once again it was the King William T.E.A Party that revealed the “language game” school officials got away with until we dug into the details. We heard for years how the school employees hadn’t had a raise in XXX years. So, we went back at looked at the actual salaries in 2012 for 4 positions, the Assistant Superintendent, a School Principal and two teacher grades . We then looked at what these same 4 individuals were earning in 2017. Turns out the Assistant Superintendent went from $94,000 annual salary in 2012 to then $110,000 salary in 2017. Same type of increases for the other 3 positions we examined. The TRICK is to understand the terminology the school officials use. Terms like salary scale adjustment, step increases, compression adjustments, all intended to purposefully mislead local tax payers who absent the King William T.E.A Party WATCHDOG would never have learned what lying deceptive people some of these folks truly are. They look at taxpayers as SUCKERS, and picking our pockets for every whim they so desire….including installing private showers in their offices.

Some advice for Dr. White, make an intellectual argument to defend your positions in lieu of name calling. As for the shower…….their is no way to defend something like this.

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

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8/24/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: "Letters"

It seems the progressive element of our county has started their letter writing campaign. These letters are very informative and provide an insight to their version of what the future should be. They carry common themes. Examples are “We Need Team Players”, Stop the “Unnecessary Questions” and let the “Professionals” do their job.

The theme of the letters say Supervisor Hansen and Supervisor Ehrhart are a disruptive presence on the King William Board of Supervisors and are not team players. When these two supervisors wanted to have the proposed work at Hamilton Holmes School reviewed by a second party - they were not called team players. Now, after the fact it would seem the non-team players’ suggestions would have found the roof problem and have gotten the county a better deal. Supervisor Hansen proposed using part of the $10,000,000.00 Unassigned Reserve Fund to pay for the work which would reduce the amount of long term bonds needed. The team players said no again.

The letters say the County Administrator is the only one who can hire, fire and direct the county employees. I suspect the voters of our county probably never thought for a second their elected supervisors could not use the county employees to root out and help fix the broken processes without permission of the County Administrator. The team players say “No” to the idea that a supervisor who works for his constituents can use the county employees to help solve the problems they elected him or her to get fixed. These are the same employees that those constituent’s taxes pay.

When you read these letters - ask is this “What you want your future to be?” - Your elected Supervisor a “Yes” man for the progressive team who goes along to get along.

I prefer the Supervisor who asks the questions, seeks to fix the broken processes and is a Team Player for his constituents. The next time you hear a candidate declare he or she is a team player – be sure to ask which team.

Sincerely,
Paul Jamerson
King William, Va

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8/23/2019

Dear Editor

King William must “tap the brakes” on the local EDA

In an eye-opening presentation last night Hanover Attorney Earl “Sandy” Sanders spoke to the ongoing tragedy in Warren County EDA’s fraud and the terrible harm it has caused, both in terms of the legal fees (estimates have now jumped to over 1.2 million) local taxpayers will be forced to pick up, but the embezzled amount of money is also now estimated to run as high as 21 million dollars. Our own Betty Lucas also contributed with her research into the bevy of problems across Virginia, her handout had a litany of financial travesties all committed with the most noble of “good intentions “. These EDA’a are running amok and must be either reined in, banned with new legislation or reforms that will stop the colossal rip off of our tax dollars. Most appalling is the ease with which this money is often stolen.

On Thursday September 12 Virginia Senator Amanda Chase R-Chesterfield will be our Guest Speaker on this very topic. Chase , an outspoken critic has elaborated in great detail how these unelected bodies have abused the public trust, often spending vast sums of money on projects that ultimately do nothing more than waste considerable sums of our tax dollars. The meeting will be held at the Pamunkey Regional Library on Sharon Road at 6:30 pm .

Here locally the only member on the current Board of Supervisors who stood his ground in opposing the Board turning over $2,000,000.00 to King William’s EDA was Supervisor Dave Hansen who adamantly said NO to this decision. In a subsequent proposal by County Administrator Bobby Tassanari she went a step further, proposing that the Board hand over all county owned property and any county generated revenue to this EDA. Only in government can this kind of ludicrous nonsense be promoted. Fortunately both Supervisor Dave Hansen and Supervisor Bob Ehrhart stood their ground and said NO to Tassinari’s ridiculous proposal

Before King William finds itself mired in this type of financial misery citizens need to stand up and speak out. Not only do we have the very tiny tax base of less than 14,000 people (excluding West Point) to absorb the level of legal fees and losses represented in Warren County, we simply have to recognize how with increasing frequency these EDA’s are turning into giant black holes.

Visit VaRight Blog and read Mr. Sanders expose on Warren County (that he presented at our meeting last night) Handouts prepared by Betty Lucas can be obtained at our scheduled meetings.

Come join us Thursday September 12 and hear what Virginia Senator Amanda Chase has to say. Her insights and considerable study of this issue will open your eyes to just how big of a problem these EDA’s have become.

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

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8/22/2019

Dear Editor

The Long Knives Of The Oligarch Class In Country Courier

The last two issues on the local Country Courier newspaper, particularly two Letters to the Editor were almost humorous. Both are entrenched members of the Oligarchs who are clearly desperate to get rid of Supervisor Bob Ehrhart 5th District. Both writers have went to extraordinary lengths to denigrate Ehrhart, painting him as some sort of hindrance to getting county business done, alleging his “ investigations” and constant harassment of county employees as a bad thing. One only need understand their hidden motives for attacking a decent honest man who has worked quite hard over his first term on the Board. These two characters have one and only one motive behind their self-serving diatribes on Ehrhart. They are afraid of the man.

I have lived in King William County now for some 21 years and have never until Ehrhart’s election heard an intelligent and open discussion on the issue of local tax inequity. No logical reason exists to have a real estate tax rate of .86 per hundred when just next door in King & Queen county it is .53, the only difference is that King & Queen does not have the Land Use Tax Exemption program, shifting the tax burden onto the backs of those that own a home here. Pressure exists in King & Queen to curtail wasteful spending down there because everyone is paying the same tax rate.

Both of these “critics” have considerable savings in their tax bill as a result of the Land Use Tax Exemptions they enjoy, but also the exemptions they receive from not having to pay the BPOL tax all other small businesses pay in King William, but as Ehrhart pointed out in his letter (also in the August 21 edition) they collect a handsome sum in Federal Farm Subsidies (your money) It’s as if these guys have several seats at the “tax exemption buffet bar” and they hate Ehrhart because he threatens their cherished tax breaks, that come at the expense of every other tax payer in King William county. Ehrhart had the guts and the gall to finally put these issues front and center on the table.

It should also be pointed out that their warm fuzzies for one of Ehrhart’s challengers for the 5th district seat plays the same game himself with land he owns in the same Tax Exemption scheme. These tax exemptions that these men cherish will be protected with Mr. Moren, a detail that they hope voters gloss over. They certainly have the right to express their opinion; they should however fess up with the readers as to what drives their desire to get rid of a Supervisor who has done a good job.

Unlike the Oligarchs the King William T.E.A Party has an obligation to tell the truth. We are “The only CONSERVATIVE voice in the county”.

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

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8/20/2019

Dear Editor

K.W. B.O.S Candidates Give The Term “ Vague” A Whole New Meaning

In the course of driving around the county seeing a variety of new campaign signs it should occur to voters how important it is to know what each of these candidates plan on doing if they are elected to lord over the county budget the next 4 years. I certainly want to know whether or not I can be expected to reach even deeper into my pocket to fund their grandiose spending priorities, which to date have been a closely guarded secret. Case in point

One candidate in the 4th district has the same signs he put out 4 years ago in his failed effort claiming he wants to go in a NEW DIRECTION. Mr. Garber was a no show in 2015 for the Meet the Candidate night our group hosted, didn’t show up for the Candidate Debates, and never bothered to answer the Candidate Questionnaire. So is it a fair question to ask Mr. Garber just what he means by a NEW DIRECTION ?

Another in the 4th district race Benjamin Shumaker put up a impressive website and when I read what his “Issues Tab” had on it I laughed to myself thinking that this guy is a big nothing burger---two buns with nothing in between.

Over in the 5th we have two candidates running to unseat the incumbent, Otto Williams and Ed Moren. Williams is a known quantity with previously serving 12 years on the Board, and one only need to give his record a cursory review to understand why voters threw him out in 2015. This guy raised real estate taxes more times than one could count and by his own admission could not find anything to cut in county spending. Ed Moren is hoping voters don’t get too curious and start asking him some tough questions. After all he had the same opportunity to answer the Candidate Questionnaire and decided not to. His touting of “ bringing broadband to the County “ is indeed one example of political hyperbole since not 1 single household has been hooked up to date. Moren still hasn’t answered the questions on why publicly funded broadband in Provo Utah, Orlando Fl.and the entire state of Kentucky has ended with taxpayers being left on the hook for multi-millions in bond debt and the doomed outcomes these cities/states have experienced. Moren is apparently one of these guys who does not understand the private sector very well, and relies instead on a “government fix”.

Allow me to lay out just what is actually going on here. The Oligarchs and those in the public sector with their snouts buried deep in the tax payer money trough want two particular Supervisors removed from office. The two Supervisors ask too many questions, they challenge the relentless push for spending more money each year, they openly discuss how warped the local tax code is, how favored tax status is bestowed on a very tiny group of people with influence that goes well beyond the tiny numbers they represent. These two have been trying to “drain the local swamp” and the swamp monsters do not like it. These two have also exposed the routine lies county/school officials have told the public over the years attempting to hide the wasteful excesses taxpayers have grown sick of.

Shumaker even states that (a convenient way to duck hard questions) he is going to “listen to what his constituents have to say…….. The constituents he is listening to is the very same tiny group that has been grooming this guy for the last several years.

Voters clearly decided in 2015 to opt for some elected officials who would examine the issues such as the outrageous real estate tax rate, the unequal application of the existing tax code that forces most small business owners to pay a BPOL tax, while a handful of the folks mentioned above are exempted from paying it, and the whole issue of Land Use Tax Exemptions, that do not exist next door in King & Queen County. That might help explain why a home owner in King William shells out EVERY YEAR, A WHOPPING $614 more in real estate taxes on a $200,000 home. These candidates who won’t answer any questions are hoping they can use their charisma and local backers (and we know who they are) to fool just enough voters to get across the finish line. Don’t be fooled by clever slogans and slick website, these candidates are in the races to preserve and protect the status quo crowd. Otherwise they would answer the clear unambiguous questions the King William T.E.A Party posed to them just as we did in 2015.

Their silence speaks volumes.

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

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8/18/2019

Dear Editor

King William Tax Payers are shown No Respect by County Officials

In the course of the renovations at Hamilton Holmes School we have learned that a private shower was installed in Dr. David White’s office. A County with one of the highest real estate tax rates among all rural counties in Virginia and a school system that has mismanaged tax payers monies yet again displays their sickening arrogance and little regard they have for the over burdened tax payers of King William. This is just disgusting

Less than two months ago Dr. White made a plea to the Board of Supervisors for more money to address the “maintenance that has been neglected for some time now”.

As the renovation project made its way we learned that the roof on the building was leaking and an additional amount of money would be needed to repair the roof.

If a business owner wants to install a shower in his/her office they are using their own private money, if a CEO or officer of a publicly traded company does the same thing they have a Board of Directors and or shareholders they must answer to.

In the public sector however the lack of accountability is appalling. We are annually bombarded with cries for how the 4 schools we have here are underfunded and always in need of MORE money. This, despite a student count that hasn’t changed in 10 years.

Citizens must remember that only two of the current Board of Supervisors have attempted to rein these excesses in, Supervisors Hansen & Ehrhart. It was Ehrhart that exposed the lies told about the number of positions the school officials had claimed they had eliminated three years ago, and Hansen weighed in repeatedly about expenses that needed cut in the school budgets.

Our group, the King William T.E.A Party analyzed 8 counties teacher salaries in 2015 and shown King William among the 8 localities had the 2nd highest average teacher salaries , behind the 1st place locality by a mere two hundred dollars---hardly the underpaid status they wanted us to believe. We also asked how it is that in 2014 King William’s 4 schools were spending $90,000 a WEEK more than Nottoway County with 6 schools and some 300 more students. We have never received an explanation.

We all want good schools, but King William isn’t even funding O.P.E.B ( Other Post Employment Benefits) that have been promised . The 2017-18 C.A.F.R (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) on page 61 (at the bottom) states that fact, that no monies have to date been reserved for these benefits. What does that mean in practical terms? When the bill comes due another tax increase, and it will be home owners who get tagged.

I do hope Dr. White enjoys the private shower we provided for with our money. Sadly you might say it is King William tax payers who got hosed.

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

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8/8/2019

Dear Editor

Aigner Bloviates About His Spending Plans?

Candidate for the 4th District Supervisor seat announced on his FaceBook page some of his thoughts about just what his priorities would be should he succeed in his efforts come November. Much like Shumaker and Garber, Aigner didn’t get too specific about any spending restraints (vague generalities) .He was quite specific however about how he would address what Aigner describes is a lack of resources and low pay within the Sheriff’s department. He also mentions how bringing more business to the Central Garage area would help lower taxes.

I would bet the proverbial farm this guy could not answer the most basic questions about the county budget, current spending excesses, and county demographics. It may not have occurred to the “grant money Guru” the amount of money our good Sheriff has spent on buying new police cruisers over the last 4 years or so. If as Aigner suggests deputy salaries are so deficient then maybe a rearranging of spending priorities in the Sheriff’s budget are a place to start.

Aigner like many running for the Board over the years makes general statements about bringing more business to King William to lower the outlandish real estate tax rate, but like his predecessors offers no specifics as to how he would do this. Aigner cites his decades of serving the public, but fails to mention or recognize candidates coming from a lifetime of working in the public sector seem disconnected from economic reality, he comes from a world where the common belief is “all elected officials have to do is raise taxes a few more pennies “to continue on with their grandiose vision of creating utopia. More government, bigger government is Aligner’s ultimate result.

Just what Andy Aigner will bring is more spending and higher taxes for home owners. Remember that this is the same guy who spent $50,000 on radio ads that resulted in 0 new volunteers. Numerous volunteers within the existing squads have declared this guy a liar, fudging and inflating a host of data to illustrate the improvements he made as the Counties first paid Fire Chief. The reality is if you think taxes in King William are too high now, let this fella get hold of spending and find out who he really is……a guy that could not run a snow cone stand in August without bankrupting it.

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

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8/7/2019

Dear Editor

So Many Questions……………Too Few Answers?

Add to the real estate tax rate, the BPOL tax ( who pays it and who does not ) the Land Use Tax Exemptions, the bloated school budgets, now we have to throw in a proposal for another “communication upgrade” ranging from a mere 2.2 to 4.4 million when the current system seems to be working just fine.. albeit King William County has already spent multi millions the last 8 years “upgrading our communication system”. I have routinely warned King William tax payers what happens when you let $10,000,000.00 lying around, the spenders will spend it.

This is simply another question that the cowardly empty suits running for a seat of the Board this November will likely duck, given that not one of them besides Ehrhart & Hansen were willing to go on the record regarding where they stand on these issues.

It should trouble voters in the county just why these candidates are so reluctant to answer specific questions on what their top priorities are and where local tax rates are headed given their silence. The vague generalities of “I support our schools, our law enforcement and Fire/Rescue“ should carry a large red warning flag so as to allow voters to know in advance each of these empty suits asking for your vote have spending plans in mind that are likely to reach a little deeper into your pocket should they secure a seat on the Board come November.

King William indeed needs a “communications upgrade”……….from the silent candidates who seem to be unwilling to “communicate their intentions if elected

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

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8/1/2019

Dear Editor

K.W.Tax Payers……Do you want to buy a brewery? One bad idea.

Vet
Consideration is being given by the Board of Supervisors as to the County agreeing to co-sign a grant application for the proposed Brewery off Route 360. The discussion is just that, and I do hope readers who live here in King William will give their Supervisor an ear full as Grandma used to say. Just what financial obligation this puts local tax payers on the hook for is my concern. Is their a liability attached to the County given this is ultimately going to be a business serving alcohol? Is the County obligated to pay money back with our tax dollars if this business fails? Should government be involved in this to begin with? I say no, this is and should be a private business transaction.

In the coming months we are hoping to have State Senator Amanda Chase speak at one of our meetings on the very controversial topic of Economic Development Authorities. Senator Chase has to her credit been a very outspoken critic of the unbridled authority given to these unelected officials, particularly their ability to issue bonds and spend tax dollars with very little oversight. Senator Chase represents Chesterfield County and has detailed the abuses and waste many of these EDA’s have been engaged in. She is a tough intelligent lady that has a particular expertise on this topic.

The central question for those that have enough economic intellect is why and should government be involved in activities of this nature. The EDA’s claim to help foster a climate for economic development by providing start up funding and guidance is poppycock nonsense.

The late Nobel prize winning economist Dr. Milton Friedman was once asked about this idea of EDA’s to which he replied

“How is it that the United States built the economic dynamo that it has become, the envy of the free world without government being involved until recently”?

Dr. Friedman’s words should remind all of us that economic growth historically has been quite robust without these EDA’s involvement. Their claims as to the benefits are often when challenged not what they say they are, unless of course you count the bureaucrats that it provides public sector jobs for.

What business develops in King William should be a result of activities that are best left to private investors risking their own money and private lenders who decide if the project warrants investing in to begin with. Let individual investors and private lenders decide if an idea has genuine prospects of becoming a viable economic project…………that is called CAPITALISM. These people serving on these EDA’s are not CAPITALISTS---they are CRONY CAPITALISTS steering your tax dollars to their crony pals. Let your Supervisor know you don’t want your hard earned money to be used to fund projects like this

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

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7/30/2019

Dear Editor

Update on Candidate Questionnaires and Obfuscation

Not unexpected the Candidates for this falls Board of Supervisor contests have exhibited just what is wrong in American politics. The deadline having passed Friday we have received back two questionnaires.

The same campaign signs from 4 years ago for the “ghost candidate “in the 4th district claiming on his sign to offer a NEW DIRECTION?

Just what this fella means by a NEW DIRECTION apparently is some closely guarded secret. This person 4 years ago was a no show at our “meet the candidate” night…..no show at the candidate debates, and never responded to the candidate questionnaire we sent him.

His NEW DIRECTION is nothing more than a slick slogan someone suggested might catch voter’s fascination? Maybe NEW DIRECTION might be an attempt to hide that the NEW DIRECTION is nothing more than a return to the good old days before the King William T.E.A Party began to expose the shenanigans. The real estate tax rip off, the phony explanations of the Land Use Tax Exemption fraud, the continuous lying by school officials on a wide variety of financial and personnel related issues, possibly the giant unassigned reserve fund 10 million stolen from over taxed home owners for the schemes being cooked up by the local EDA?

Another candidate in the 4th has rolled out a slick new website and anyone interested in the “ nothing burger” this fella is, only need to click on the ISSUES tab to clearly see what defines obfuscation. He states that he will put his constituent’s interests ahead of his own, as if voters in the 4th are dummies. Just which constituents is he referencing? The same Oligarchs who have been grooming this guy the last few years? A Supervisor is the one that ultimately makes the decision and yet this guy tries to hide behind this thin veneer of cleverness with vague and ambiguous language. He supports law enforcement, public safety and good schools? Mom and Apple pie were left out.

November is a long way off without having to get a bit more specific than NEW DIRECTION, or a fancy website .Challenging subjects like tax rates, spending priorities and Land Use Tax Exemptions deserve detail.

A more intellectually honest approach would be to be truthful, look home owners and small businesses in the eye and tell them “ we plan on continuing to dump the financial costs of our schemes on YOU !

They have their ingrained supporters, the people who having been gaming the system in King William for decades. Perhaps Garber & Shumaker will tell voters why they refuse to answer the candidate questionnaire. Hansen & Ehrhart both answered the questions.

Citizens in King William deserve better, Garber & Shumaker should step up and get specific or drop out

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

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7/26/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Progressives Efforts To Distract King William Voters

A theme is beginning to surface in the campaign discussions among candidates and the various voices that are stepping up their efforts to discredit two honorable intelligent men currently serving on the Board of Supervisors.

Several years back these same critics began their campaign to paint Supervisor Dave Hansen as a distraction and as a hindrance to getting county business done with Hansen’s relentless drive to get answers to legitimate questions that deserved answers. It is as if a more desirable Supervisor (according to their warped self-serving view) would be one that remained silent and compliant with their desire to grow spending and taxes in order to satisfy their insatiable desire for bigger government. Hansen was accused of “wasting staff time” and county resources for doing what voters elected him to do………….study the issues and then act accordingly. I have observed the people who have served on the B.O.S for the 21 years I have lived here and have never seen anyone work as hard as this guy Hansen does.

Now we see these very same critics turning their sights on Supervisor Bob Ehrhart, oddly the very same criticisms that Ehrhart takes up too much staff time and those of county officials by “ asking too many questions”…or sending too many e-mails? Starting to see a theme develop here? Discerning voters are watching with keen interest as these folks do their dirty work.

And just who are these folks aiming their arrows at Hansen & Ehrhart you ask? The movie titled “The Usual Suspects” comes to mind.

County officials, public sector agency heads, and those with their snouts firmly buried in the tax payer money trough. If you are feeding at this trough then continue on with your sniping. One in particular who wrote a local newspaper this week, a guy who was always advocating for more spending and higher taxes…..Yet owned land that he kept in a Land Use Tax Exemption program. The Hypocrites are trying to distract voters from the REAL ISSUES.

Voters want to know what the candidate’s plans are for real estate taxes. Voters want to know what their spending priorities are going to be, Voters want to know what spending they will openly advocate for CUTTING, do these candidates defend the hoarding of some 10 million dollars stolen from homeowners? Should the schools be put back on categorical spending restraint’s?

The rest as they also say in the movies is “smoke and mirrors”.

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

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7/12/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Voters in King William are Smart folks

This local election cycle has a anomaly in two of the districts that hasn’t escaped discriminating voters’ attention. In Districts 1, 2 and 3 the incumbents are running unopposed or in the case of District 3, the challenger is what would be described as a single issue candidate, perturbed perhaps over the tensions in the Fire/EMS sector. The candidate opposing Supv. Stephen Greenwood has no history of political engagement, other than the very narrow attendance at Board meetings when local funding for Fire/EMS was on the agenda.

Contrast that with Districts 4 (Manquin) & 5 (Mangohick) , seats currently held by Supv. Dave Hansen and Supv. Bob Ehrhart. I could be mistaken but It appears both Hansen & Ehrhart have a small army they are going to be competing with. It is quite clear as to the reasons why.

Hansen has acquired the unofficial title of Dr. NO……Ehrhart has exhibited a deliberate thoughtful approach to the issues he deals with as a elected official. Voters have watched over the last 3 ½ years how hard these men have worked. No one has their hooks in these guys which are precisely why certain factions within the County want rid of both of them. Rounding up as many opponents as possible is their apparent strategy to unseat these two. They tried this very strategy in 2015 against Hansen and it failed. It will fail yet again because voters are smarter than these people give them credit for.

King William needs independent voices on the Board with the spines and integrity to stand up and represent the average homeowner who has been the “punching bag” that Bob Ehrhart has often alluded to. Voters are not fooled by Supv. Moskalski’s claims to have lowered real estate taxes 4 straight years, while failing to mention Moskalski raised it .12 cents, 4 years ago to a rate of .94. He conveniently leaves that out. Even with the reductions in the rate it remains well above the .82 cents where it was when Moskalski raised it .12 ,4 years ago. Please Mr. Moskalski explain to voters how the unassigned reserve fund swelled by 7 million dollars in such a short period of time? Moskalski insults people’s intelligence with his campaign claims.

Equally intriguing is the underlying concern that is exhibited by loading the ballot with candidates in Hansen and Ehrharty’s district races. Are the status quo crowd worried that another incumbent might be vulnerable? After all if all 5 of the current Supervisors are re-elected the dynamics won’t change, it is still a 3-2 voting bloc advantaging for the status quo….so just what has them going to these lengths to unseat two of the Supervisors most deserving of re-election? Can it be that one of their chosen Son’s might get knocked off comes November? Could there be an alternate candidate waiting in the wings to unseat one of the other 3, and shift the dynamics in a manner that would end their Iron grip on County affairs?

3 ½ years ago voters booted out 3 of the 5 incumbents. Those lessons haven’t been forgotten or were the efforts in vain. November could reshuffle the deck….and that is why they are so desperate to oust Hansen & Ehrhart.

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

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7/10/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: “Cat Must Have Their Tongue” ?

The recent T.E.A Party sign message asking School Board Rep Tupponce about the notes in the C.A.F.R (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) 2017-18 (bottom page 61) to be precise, that plainly spells out that the O.P.E.B (Other Post Employment Benefits) for County School Personnel, the promised benefits that at that point has received no funding, has been met with deafening silence…not a single word from Tupponce or any other School Board members for that matter. Maybe it is as Grandma used to say “cat got their tongues”

Our group, the King William T.E.A Party has been monitoring this issue from the time that the Richmond -Times Dispatch newspaper detailed the scandalous Chesterfield County situation where estimates now range as high as 99 million dollars in unfunded liabilities there with just this one benefit program that was hidden from Chesterfield tax payers for almost 20 years, according to the RTD reports.

Obviously we wouldn’t expect in a much smaller system here in King William that the numbers would be that damaging----but it would help to know just where we stand. Already having one of the highest real estate tax rates, is this another one of those hidden tax bombs that will indeed go off somewhere down the road? Tupponce can accept our groups invitation to come and speak at one of our meetings (he has declined numerous invitations over the last 9 months)

Then again perhaps Mr. Tupponce’s health insurance doesn’t cover getting the cat to let go of his tongue. A bake sale might help ….so he can come and speak to us. The WATCHDOG is on duty.

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

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7/4/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Public Sector’s Ludicrous Pension System On Display

Reading the latest Mechanicsville Local yesterday I happened to come across a story of a rightfully proud local family celebrating the retirement of their daughter, a Fire/EMS employee of a city in the western part of the state. I am happy for the familie's joy and grateful to this woman who served for 30 years in this vitally important public service capacity.

What caught my attention however was the mention of her graduating from a local high school—class of 1988. My first thought was of my oldest son who graduated from that same school two years after this woman, wondering if perhaps they might have known one another. It also occurred to me that given my son’s age and her graduation in 1988 this woman is no more than 48 years old. Where else today can a person retire at age 48 besides the public sector? Life spans over the last century have continued to climb and tax payers could be providing this woman a pension and lifetime health insurance for as many as perhaps another 40 or more year.

I have made this very same observation regarding military retirement payouts. As a former Marine I can not be challenged as to my deep appreciation for the sacrifices made by those that serve for a career in any of our armed forces. Math is math as I have often said over the years and allowing anyone regardless of occupation to begin collecting a lifetime pension at age 38, 39, 40 is one of the many reasons we are experiencing such financial strain. People are living far too long to ignore the escalating costs of these types of benefits provided by an already over burdened tax payer being bombarded with a never ending array of increasing costs.

Service connected disabilities aside, a healthy person retiring at such a young age isn’t a subject that should be ignored. The numbers are climbing (those eligible for such generous benefits) and the costs (often hidden) are well documented. States, cities and counties across America are being overwhelmed with the numbers. Public Sector pensions are drowning in red ink and this is just one such example as to why. Time to examine a just revision to the programs recognizing this is just one more example of debt we are piling onto the next generation.

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

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6/25/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Latest Yellow Sign - To: Editor, Country Courier

Vet
That new T.E.A. Party sign on 360 across from the Country Courier's offices reads like this:

REP. TUPPONCE
2017-18 C.A.F.R.
PAGE 61
WATCHDOG ON DUTY
Here's what it means: KW School Board member Steve Tupponce has repeatedly dodged KWTP's invitations to explain why there is NO money set aside in the budget to pay "Other Post Employment Benefits" to retired teachers. Potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars and rapidly growing.

On page 61 of the 2017 C.A.F.R (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) it states in plain English that these benefits aren't funded by a single dime.

Little wonder why Tupponce and none of the other School Board members will speak on this issue at one of our meetings.

When teachers and other school employees begin to retire and want the promised benefits…..what do you think happens ?

KWTP's Watchdogs want you to know that county taxpayers will have to cough up the money !

Ask Tupponce and the others who are running for reelection WHY.

Sincerely, Robert "Sarge" Bruce
Aylett, VA


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6/2/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: King William County Schools----A Money Pit?

Citizens want good public schools, all of us do. What is becoming more clear with the details emerging is the poor decision making of our School Board, the Superintendent and the Board of Supervisors. They should be ashamed of themselves for their selfishness and greed exhibited by the vast sums of their fellow citizens hard earned tax dollars being wasted.

At the last Board of Supervisors meeting Dr. White, K.W County School Superintendent gave the B.O.S an update on the renovation work at Hamilton-Holmes school. I inquired with Supervisors Hansen and Ehrhart (the only two that seemed concerned with the runaway costs) and could not get a specific number as to how much this project to date has went over budget. You may recall the original estimate was around 12.5 million. Ehrhart shared that the “roof work” has turned out to be much more expensive. In the very same news article in this last edition of the Country Courier a study from ABM (facility management firm) cites some $4.900,000.00 is needed to address what is cited as a “critical maintenance needs at the 4 schools”.

For some backdrop I contacted Dr. White to confirm budget numbers I wanted to cite from the years of 2012 and 2019-20. Actual expenditures (minus debt service) for those two budget years were respectively $ 20.969,520 (2012) and $ 25.076,701 in the current year. Over the last 10 years ( by the schools own admission ) the change in Student Count is ZERO. I confirmed the accuracy of the information I use .The first question is the obvious one. How with no additional students does a school budget climb over $ 4.000,000 in such a short period of time? But I digress, let’s get back to the current spending on the Hamilton Holmes renovation, the….. “.00. To address the critical maintenance needs.

Cost overruns at Hamilton-Holmes aside, lets address the arranging of misplaced priorities, a sole responsibility at the feet of the School Board Members and the Supervisors that approve this nonsense. How many of you out there who had a roof leaking, or a foundation crumbling would opt instead to spend your own money adding aesthetics before fixing the roof or the foundation?

If 15% of the Hamilton -Holmes cost were aesthetic niceties (some $2,000,000.00) that should have been spent on the critical maintenance needs that are now why they are coming back to ask for another $4,900,000.00

Only in the public sector do you have this kind of financial travesty go on.

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

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6/1/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Moskalski’s Campaign Mailer Explains Why The K.W.TEA Party Exists

In a bid to secure a 3rd term, 2nd District Supervisor Travis Moskalski goes a bit over board with the facts. Our organization for 10 years has strived at holding elected officials accountable, an element missing in modern American politics. Accountability begins with an “unvarnished rendition “of what has transpired, not what Moskalski wants you to believe transpired. Half truths and embellishments seem to be a political skill this young fella has honed to a science. About the only thing he said in this campaign mailer that is true is his statement on pay raises. Travis is very generous with the public sector employees, after all it isn’t his money he is tossing around. Let’s take a look at some of his other claims.

The “ 250 new jobs” he takes credit for helping create is specious….because there is no way to know with any finite degree just what conditions leads to the creation of a single job let alone an imaginary number. It is a nice claim to make but no economic or rational way to truly determine a factual basis to its truth….which is why politicians love to do this.

Travis voted against proposals that would have imposed more than $750,000 in new taxes on Farmers”…….I’ll say this the only way an old Marine can say it “what a bunch of bull”. This $750,000 in fact is taxes they are already obligated to pay if not for the very generous tax exemptions Farmers are currently receiving under the Land Use Tax Exemptions their crony political Pals handed them in the early 70’s (adopted later in King William County)when this tax scheme was first passed. Ending the Exemptions wouldn’t be “new taxes” , and Moskalski knows that.

“ Travis has voted for decreased real estate taxes each of the last 4 years”……The Unassigned Reserve Fund of K.W County in 2012 (when Moskalski was first elected) was $3,200,000. Just 7 years later this same fund had ballooned to some $10,900,00. With virtually no real growth in the County over that time period the only method of raising that much new money IS THE TAX RATES WERE EXCESSIVE TO BEGIN WITH. So to brag that he lowered real estate tax rates .08 is not only disingenuous but dishonest as well. Travis and his Amigo’s have been gouging home owners for years, giving us back .08 after stealing 7 million is akin to the bank robber holding the door for the incoming customer as they flee the scene.

Travis is also aware of Orlando Florida, Provo, Utah, and the entire State of Kentucky with the horrific colossal train wreck of Public Broadband projects; he just hopes you are not. The private sector is making breathtaking progress at solving the rural high speed internet problem so don’t pat yourself on the back too hard Pal highlighting efforts that are not necessary and will ultimately end up wasting more of our hard earned dollars in your hair brained schemes.

The public sector folks love this guy, the Oligarchs (many who call themselves Conservatives support him) but what about the average intelligent citizen in his district who doesn’t have their snouts in the taxpayer trough? Moskalski needs to go—period.

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

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5/18/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: “Tax the Rich and Redistribute the Wealth”

In the May 15, 2019 issue of the Country Courier on page 12 Supervisor Dave Hansen’s letter to the Editor gave a “Description” of which can only be described as a “Progressive’s Dream” come true. We now have an unelected county administrator deciding the salaries of the county employees without the Board’s review or approval as long as it is performed within budgetary constraints. Who decides what the constraints are?

The Voluntary Fire and EMS units in King William have been having financial trouble since before the 2015 election. I am sure most of you will remember the County Administer Trent Funkhouser, at that time having a meeting in each of our voting districts to get citizen input and suggestions on how to proceed. To my knowledge no citizen suggestion was implemented. The manager of the Voluntary Fire and EMS’s Salary was in the range of the about $55,000.00.

The solution after Mr Funkhouser left and a new County Administer assumed duty was to hire the current Chief of Fire & Emergency Services for $71,936.00. I believe the citizens thought this would result in a handle finally being applied to the Voluntary Fire and EMS unit’s financial troubles. What seems to have happened is the problem got bigger.

The local Mattaponi Volunteer Fire & Rescue figured out how to stay out of financial trouble. Mattaponi Volunteer Rescue Chief Curtis Mason Jr. offered to pay over $500,000 to fund & help run King William Volunteer Fire & Rescue and the county would not have to pay a cent. He was told “No”. The reward was the Mattaponi Unit will now not take calls for King William as reported in the Tidewater Review. You would think Curtis Mason would be the new King William Chief of Fire and Emergency Services with that kind of track record.

As stated in Supervisor Hansen’s letter The Fire Chief‘s new top salary is $100,710.00 and the County Administer gets to decide the wage.

We owe a Thank You to Supervisor Hansen. Can any citizen recall a Supervisor providing this type of information in a dollar and cents format with a clarity that all can understand in an election year. The next time you hear a candidate declare he or she is a team player – be sure to ask which team.

Sincerely,
Paul Jamerson
King William, Va

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5/16/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Political Abuses Of Language & What We Can Do About It

It has gone on for years, nothing more insulting than the fiasco surrounding the contorted contest underway for the nomination in the 97th district House of Delegate race between incumbent Del. Chris Peace and challenger Hanover Supervisor Scott Wyatt. The “Establishment” vs. the “Extremist

Peace, admittedly falls into the establishment mold and has painted Wyatt and his supporters as Extremists. What do those words mean? What is the political purpose in using them? Let’s look at how they are being defined in this example.

I come to this discussion with a level of expertise since I, along with the King William T.E.A Party have been mischaracterized for a decade as Extremists. Traditional beliefs in fiscal responsibility, adherence to Constitutional principles or if one thinks government has become too big, confiscates too much of our money then by Peace supporters definition of the term …….we are Extremists. Government, taxes and spending are out of control and extremists want these excesses reined in. After all the nation is some 22 trillion in recognized debt and ample examination has indeed shown the harmful impact this is having , not to mention the lasting damage that will be done to future generations. Virginia’s budget has doubled during the 13+ years Chris Peace has been a member of the General Assembly.

Establishment……. then you are inclined to hold firm to a belief that everything is fine, that state, local or the federal government can continue on the path we are on, we will somehow muddle our way through this morass and everything will work out. One could make an intelligent argument that being Establishment as Peace defines himself by his willingness to reach across the aisle to “Work with the other side”. Medicaid Expansion is just one such example.

Responsible citizens who believe they should not pass on mountains of debt to the next generation are not Extremists, just responsible members of society competent in basic math.

Establishment advocates are content to go along with the current manner with which our government operates, often times themselves beneficiaries of the status quo, receiving narrow, yet quite generous tax exemptions or the recipients of tax dollar transfers that they derive an advantage from. Staying in the Establishment camp makes sense to them.

There is nothing Extreme about insisting government live within its means. There is nothing extreme about not wanting to bury the next generation with debt. There is nothing Extreme about criticizing excessive spending or arguing government is involved in functions it has no business in.

You resort to name calling when you can not defend your ideas, philosophy or position.

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

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5/4/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Lots Of Talking With Little Content

Benjamin Shumaker, challenging incumbent Dave Hansen for the 4th District (Manquin) Board of Supervisors seat here in King William, has the following quotes attributed to his own words

“I understand about being conservative, I get that”…….”We just have to work together”….” The current Supervisor has lent to the meetings being disruptive”….” The yellow board irritant”, an apparent reference to the Secretary of the K.W T.E.A Party

In his lengthy letter in the latest COUNTRY COURIER he kissed all the right “rings,” mentioning – as was scripted for him I suspect – the “orderly King William Mass Meeting” vs. the “ disruptive Mass meeting in Hanover”, further going on to include a “ disruptive lady” who was a Wyatt supporter.

Last summer when I saw the article (with a photo in CC) announcing Mr. Shumaker’s “retirement” after serving just a couple of years on a local county-appointed commission, it was quite clear that the Oligarchs had found their new water boy. Shumaker has lived in the County for around 5 years and is hardly at retirement age, nor can I recall such public accolades for anyone else who serves such a short time on a commission…

So, what was really going on there?

Our county's comfortable King Pins certainly don’t like Mr. Hansen, and needed a compliant, obedient person who would stick tightly to a status quo outline, someone who would “tow the line”. They have that someone with Shumaker who fits their needs as they say to a T.

For a guy who never appears at a loss for words perhaps then he might use some of them to lay out specifics on where he stands on POLICY.

The King William T.E.A Party doesn’t give a rat's rear end what he thinks about our necessary tactics in fighting the entrenched power structure, although he did score some bonus points with his Bosses by taking a swipe at our group. Shumaker and his puppeteers are desperate to defeat Hansen and they've decided that pandering to the tax-payer-trough crowd is key.

There is no doubt where Dave Hansen stands on any issue. He has been crystal clear and consistent in his efforts to reduce spending and level the playing field on the local tax code.

Now, since Shumaker has established his willingness to write, perhaps in the coming days he might sit down and lay out his platform for his positions on a variety of issues. The most open and effective way to do this will be in filling out King William Tea Party's CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE, soon to be posted at www.kwteaparty.com

Additionally, our group has extended two invitations to him to speak at a meeting; both of which he ducked, and demanded that his name be removed from our email notice list – with the threat of legal action - Looks like he's hiding from accountability.

Meanwhile, his letters full of religious pieties and empty generalities won’t impress well informed and issues-oriented voters who are fed up with the arrogance and tyranny of the Board's Three Progressive Budget Stooges.

If KWTP's tactic of holding elected officials (and candidates) accountable, and demanding answers to where one stands on the issues leaves him uncomfortable, then maybe an old political axiom might be worthy of his consideration:

If you can’t take the heat—get out of the kitchen………

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

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5/2/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: King William County Can’t Fix It’s Roads?

If one wants to get a front row seat to the pernicious effects of local governments mismanagement of tax payer money, Monday nights Board of Supervisor meeting was the place to be. A update from the Regional VDOT Rep on current plans for local road repairs was complimented by several residents who spoke about long standing and dangerous conditions on several heavily travelled roads within the County. Isn’t fixing the roads one of those basic government functions? How is spending money on Art’s Alive or an Animal shelter a higher priority than repairing road conditions that are described as dangerous?

Equally wasteful is the shift in authority now vested in the County Administrator allowing her to move county personnel into higher job classification categories along with attending pay raises that boggle the mind. Our Fire Chief Andy Aigner is headed to a salary of $100,000 from a current pay scale of some $71,000. This is just one example, the new classifications and attending pay scales are across the board simply ridiculous.

We will post on our website in the coming days the 1 page handout distributed Monday night that lists these changes in pay scales and you decide for yourselves if this is an zany as I believe it to be. Give some thought as well if giving this unbridled authority to a county administrator who no one voted for a good move.

It warrants noting that only 1 Supervisor, Manquin Districts Dave Hansen voted against this. Kudos to Mr. Hansen for once again demonstrating his promises to guard tax payers against these types of abuses. One might inquire of Supervisor Bob Ehrhart why he can’t find the money to fix our badly damaged roadways ,,,,,but find the money to further bloat the county payroll. Ehrhart voted yes on these ridiculous pay increases and voters in his district need to ask why.

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

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4/25/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Undecided Delegates In The 97th District –Ask This One Question

Del. Chris Peace brought the unwanted attention to the issue of his credibility and integrity on himself after claiming for years he didn’t support Medicaid Expansion……only to turn around and vote for it. Claims of compassion aside Peace went on to compare Medicaid Expansion to Social Security and Medicare. Too clever by half, since tax payers have paid all of their working lives into the latter two programs , while most of the 300,000—400,000 now eligible for Medicaid benefits have paid little to nothing , relative to the costs and the benefits they will receive. Medicaid is already swallowing some 25% of Virginia’s entire budget. Here however is the deciding question delegates should ask of both candidates before they make their final decision on Peace or Wyatt

When next year the Fed’s pull the funding for the expansion, the General Assembly will almost certainly face a revenue shortfall since the costs of expansion will exceed 1 billion annually, a cost that now the State will have to pick up. Ask Del Peace if push comes to shove will he support a tax increase on hard working Virginian’s to pay for this or which current programs will he support cutting to cover the new costs ?

Then ask yourself if you can believe him.

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

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4/24/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: The T.E.A Party Is Trying To Change King William?

It is rumored that one of the candidates running for local office recently made the statement that “the T.E.A Party is trying to change King William”………

Given my long involvement in the local group I found the statement a bit odd, just what was this candidate trying to say? The people who are involved in our group are all tax payers, have lived productive lives contributing in many ways to our community, and most of us have lived here for more than 20 years. Some of us have children and grandchildren living here so obviously we want a safe community with good schools. Maybe this is what he was really referencing with that declaration

We are sick and tired of paying real estate tax rates that are absurd, we are sick and tired of paying taxes that others are exempt from. We are disgusted with public/elected officials lying to it’s citizens and Yes lying is not too strong a word.

What do we want to “change” one might ask? We want taxes reduced, the local tax code simplified and reconciled in a manner that all citizens and small business owners in King William County be treated the same.

We want elected officials and people appointed to the various boards/commission who have never started a business, never owned a business to stop pretending that they know how to take 2 million dollars that belongs to us and spend it on economic development, of which they know absolutely nothing about, given their respective backgrounds.

We want our county employees and those employed in our schools to be adequately compensated for their work. That includes a reasonable evaluation of their current pay and very generous benefits they are already receiving ( particularly in the schools ) to include 8-9 weeks off in the summer, 12 paid holidays, 10 days at Christmas, another week at Easter. Pension benefits and the large tax payer subsidies of their health insurance costs are left out of any reasonable evaluation of their overall compensation package. School Administration is bloated. One position alone paying a salary of some $110,000 could be eliminated and those same dollars used to give 55 teachers a salary increase of $2,000 apiece. We have asked the question but we will ask it again. Why with just 4 schools, a FT Superintendent ….who has a FT Secretary do we need a Assistant Superintendent? It is a fair question.

Certain government functions and expenditures are considered essential. Then there are some that are simply not and never have been a function of government. Our group is an open advocate for shedding many of these non-essential functions and returning the savings to those whom the money belongs to.

If that is what this person meant by the TEA Party trying to change King William….then yes indeed, guilty as charged

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

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4/23/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Del Peace Takes Another Swipe At The Only Conservatives Left Standing.

In a recent Richmond Times-Dispatch article Del Chris Peace explains that this political fight he is engaged in to remain in his seat representing the 97th District is a result of the T.E.A Party purity test? Last year when Peace suddenly found that he supported Medicaid Expansion he did something very similar stating that those opposed to Medicaid Expansion were similar to the last vestiges of massive resistance, an insulting reference to the Jim Crow days when holdouts fought to stifle progress in the Civil Rights struggles. Peace knows better but any honesty on his part wouldn’t fit with the current political need to broad brush fiscal conservatives who have had enough of this guy. He simply can not be trusted.

Peace went on to cite the example of former Congressman Dave Brat’s loss last year and the seat now in the hands of the Democrats. What Peace conveniently leaves out is the underhanded role the Republican party played in the very example Peace cites. Brat was never embraced by the republican establishment and going back to the primary itself did everything they could to undermine the guy. But let’s get as they say to the very heart of the matter

Peace has a record, and besides not having any legislation worthy of mention the state of Virginia’s finances was a matter examined at a recent King William T.E.A Party meeting 2 months ago. Here are some of the facts that Peace can’t run from being a part of having been in Richmond now for some 14 years.

Mercatus Center at George Mason University published this report in July 2017. Here are some results

Budget Solvency measures whether a state can cover its fiscal year spending using current revenues. (Virginia ranks 31st)

Long Run Solvency measures whether a state has a hedge against large long term liabilities. Are enough assets available to cushion the state from potential shocks or long term fiscal risks? (Virginia ranks 16th)

Trust Fund Solvency measures how much debt a state has . How large are the unfunded pension liabilities and OPEB liabilities compared to state personal income (Virginia ranks 11th)

What happens to these numbers next year when the Fed’s cut off the generous funding for Medicaid Expansion? Virginia General Assembly will face either cutting existing programs or raising taxes……something surely on the minds of the voters as the 97th District Convention approaches next month……..or should be.

Perhaps Del Peace has an acting future in Hollywood. He certainly has enough acting talent, already demonstrating he can “play the part of a Conservative , at least every election cycle”.

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

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4/18/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: You Can’t Say You Haven’t Been Warned

King William citizens should visit The Bull Elephant and read the article posted by Charles McAndrews from Fairfax County to get a clear understanding of what is quietly happening at the local government level. The article is “Charles McAndrews Comments to the Fairfax Board of Supervisor on this year’s Fairfax County Budget.”

Mr. McAndrews states that “ real estate taxes have increased over the last 20 years 3 times faster than household incomes” Has anyone in King William done a similar survey ?

Mr. McAndrews serves on the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance Board and has lived in Fairfax for over 50 years. He rightfully brings a focus on the Fairfax County unfunded liabilities, liabilities of 5.3 billion dollars ( 2,84 billion with County Employees----3.46 billion with Fairfax School Employees). Ladies and Gentlemen….this is in just 1 county

Since 2000 Mr. McAndrews points out the county school spending has increased some 122% , while the same schools enrollment has only increased 24%. Here in King William we have had over the last 10 years an additional enrollment of 11 students ( yes this isn’t a misprint—11 students) Contrast that with the increase’s in our own County schools spending over that 10 year period. This should be a question asked and answered by our local elected officials, given the schools are asking for a significant increase this year in local funding

Compounding this problem is the very generous retirement dynamics in the public sector. In Fairfax county employees can retire at age 55 with 90% of their salary. Where in the private sector can you find such generous retirement benefits ?

The King William B.O.S will no doubt be bragging about another .02 reduction in the real estate tax rate , after piling up a 10.9 million dollar reserve fund , from a mere 3.2 million just 7 years ago, but that would be asking the wrong question.

On page 61 of the 2017 C.A.F.R Comprehensive Annual Financial Report it states in plain English that the O.P.E.B Other Post Employment Benefits had not at that time been funded by a single dime. Little wonder why the school board members declined the invitation offered by the King William T.E.A Party to speak on this issue at one of our meetings. When these school employees begin to retire and want the promised benefits…..what do you think happens ?

Stay silent and apathetic, that is your right . Just don’t say you hadn’t been warned as to what is coming to King William , Fairfax style.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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4/18/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: District 1, 2, & 3 Supervisors Oppose Tax Reductions

Over the last 6 years, King William has built a $7.5 million dollar reserve fund by overtaxing its citizens. This tradition continued on April 8th, when the supervisors from districts 1, 2, and 3 voted "NO" to the following targeted tax reductions.

1. Eliminate the vehicle car tag fee and return $425,000 to taxpayers annually.
2. Raise the personal property relief rate from 35% to 45% and return $125,000 to taxpayers annually.
3. Lower the rate an additional 2-4 cent/hundred of assessed value and reduce the real estate property tax annually. (Note: reassessment is also underway & will likely increase your property value just after the election; thereby, negating any tax reduction.)

Even when options to collect revenue from sources other than homeowners were presented, these three supervisors said no and voted to continue overtaxing citizens.

Perhaps the most disappointing was the representative from district 3 who (when he ran for re-election in 2016) promised to support reductions and also told me so privately in 2017.... I don’t think he had even read the 2020 budget and definitely has taken no initiative to stop the bleeding of residents; instead rubber-stamping nearly everything that supports big government and public employees...... SMH.

Robert Ehrhart
King William, VA
5th District Resident & Supervisor

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4/9/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: More Money Moskalski

At last nights Board of Supervisor work session during a presentation on the next real estate assessment process (now underway) Supervisor Dave Hansen asked a number of questions on the initial information made available last night by the new firm doing the actual work.

Preliminary study has shown a recovery in home values and some marginal increase in home sales and pricing over the last 3—4 years. Hansen drilled down into the effects on home owners if the next assessment should increase significantly, namely Hansen asserted this would result in a much higher real estate tax bill for home owners at the current real estate tax rate of .88

One would have thought someone had set Supervisor Travis Moskalski’s chair on fire at that very moment. Jumping into the discussion Moskalski felt compelled to explain Hansens assertion by stating that this would be the case if one applied the current rate of .88

Just why was Moskalski so determined to make that distinction? Does Moskalski already know what is coming? Let’s dig a bit deeper into the subject.

Let’s assume for the sake of this exercise the next assessment cycle results in assessed values climbing 15%. If your home is currently assessed at $200,000 your new assessed value would then be at $ 230,000. If one applies the current rate of .88 the home owners would be required to cough up another $ 264.

Let’s look at the effects even if the current rate is reduced .02 to .86 in that same scenario. We start with the current tax of $ 1760 on a $200,000 assessed value that comes in (using the .88 rate) . Now if the assessed value on that same home jumps the 15% then we have a new tax bill stated above of $2024, not the $1760 the home owner is currently paying

If the rate is reduced .02 to .86 what would the new tax bill be should the next assessment come in 15% higher? $1978, some $218 higher than the home owners last tax bill.

In other words then , to keep the real estate tax bill the home owner would receive from climbing any higher the current rate of .88 would need to be reduced by .11 per hundred.

The Board, having been gouging home owners for decades now is considering a reduction as mentioned of some .02. If assessed values come in at 15% above your last assessment get ready to write a considerably larger check (or see your monthly payment adjusted by your mortgage company ) when the assessment is completed.

Think the Board will lower rates by .11? Not so long as More Money Moskalski has anything to say about it. Moskalski has spending plans and he isn’t going to let home owners get in his way. It is Time to send this guy down the road.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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4/8/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Message To All King William Candidates

You can run, but you can’t hide, a WATCHDOG can sniff you out. It appears one such candidate running for the Board of Supervisors has deluded himself into believing he can quietly dodge our groups 10 year effort at holding elected officials and candidates accountable.

This person has stated he is going directly to the citizens and talking with them about “ what they think”……too clever by half since the issue is WHAT YOU THINK. This person has declared he will not be speaking at our 2nd Open Night Mic event this Thursday, and given his attempts at hiding I wonder if he will answer the Candidate Questionnaire we will be compiling for this years elective office seekers.

For example would this individual answer the following questions?

Are Real Estate Tax Rates too high and what should they be?

Is Land Use a Tax Dodge or does this person support shifting the tax burden for services to home owners?

Is King William County schools spending in need of being reined in?

Should the schools be put back on a Categorical Spending plan?

Do teachers in King William County receive adequate pay?

Most businesses pay the BPOL Tax, yet Farmers and Foresters are exempt –why?

The elderly and disabled must be means tested for tax relief, yet no such means testing exists for other forms of much more generous tax relief . Would this person end this inequality?

Once a Budget is approved in May should pay raises be given out in an off budget session?

Should tax dollars be spent on economic development when scant evidence exists to show it ever works out?

Was it wise to expand the County’s Fire & Rescue services when there is no growth in the County?

You see folks; Supervisor Hansen has answered each of these questions….yet it appears his challenger wants to avoid answering them at all costs. Smart folks understand why.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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4/6/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Taxpayers vs Trough-Feeders

What an eye-opening, nauseating experience; sitting in the audience at the most recent meeting of KW's Board of Supervisors to hear public comments on the officially proposed upcoming budget and tax structure.

First came a parade of folks bellying up to the tax money trough, pleading as always for more and more handouts for their pet projects and, of course, "for the poor teachers and for the hard-working government workers."

This was followed by comments by each of the five supervisors.

Remaining true to their campaign promises, both Supervisors Ehrhart (Mangohick) and Hansen (Manquin) cited specific items that need to be trimmed back or cut outright and called for substantial cuts in real estate taxes.

Then, the usual three -- Moskalski (Sweet Hall), Greenwood (Aylett) and Hodges (West Point) -- praised to high heaven the wonderful plans to shovel even more tax dollars to county government and school employees whose generous salaries and benefits already grossly exceed the county's household average.

As if that wasn't sickening enough, the "Three Budget Busters" praised the County Administrator's proposal for an insulting two penny reduction in KW's obscene 88 cents per hundred residential real estate tax.

Like brushing a few crumbs from the royal table to the lowly peasants.

Remember this in November when the whole Board is up for election.

Sincerely, Robert "Sarge" Bruce
Aylett, VA
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4/2/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Those With Sensitive Feet Need Not Apply

I catch myself smiling each time I hear someone tell me about the T.E.A Party…..who has never attended a T.E.A Party event in the 10 years of the movements existence. It is as if these folks have a child like mindset that believes no one will challenge their veracity on the topic.

In the early days a common refrain amongst those involved in the movement when the subject was raised as to the practice of politicians who said one thing during a campaign, only to do the opposite once in office was “we are going to hold their feet to the fire”, indicating pols who behaved in this manner would be held accountable by the types espousing this bold proclamation. Small problem however quickly ensued since human beings shun confrontation. No one wanted the job of holding their feet to the fire….it requires a certain steeliness in one’s spine to fill this particular role. I have repeatedly admonished groups who shy away from this particular element of our responsibility. You either hold their feet to the fire or waste a lot of time and energy bloviating about it. Anyone watching the King William T.E.A Party for 10 years has no illusions about how seriously we take that responsibility.

Amazing as it sounds we have local candidates stepping forward with announced or rumored plans to seek local office this fall, some of whom have had an active role in local politics while others have never been seen at a Board of Supervisors meeting, a budget meeting, a school board meeting, T.E.A Party meeting etc., yet naively believe we should turn over a 26 million dollar budget to people who haven’t a clue of what they are talking about. It does automatically lend to the question……….what are they thinking?

Now we have heard yet again the assertion that the local T.E.A Party is “bullying people” by asking them to attend one of our Open Mic nights to answer questions from voters and to share with those in attendance their specific views on substantive issues like tax rates, and spending priorities. In 2015 we had no fewer than 3 candidates who refused to answer our Candidate questionnaire, and really expected voters to cast a ballot for them on Election Day.

Clever catchy slogans like “I believe in lower taxes” or “I understand about being conservative” ain’t gonna cut it here in King William. Don’t expect our group to wither because someone calls us a name. We won’t allow candidates who haven’t a clue what they are talking about to get through the gauntlet.

If you happen to be afflicted with sensitive feet perhaps you might reconsider your plans because indeed we do hold their feet to the fire. That is our job and what we do. We are as we state on our website and in much of our printed material the only conservative voice in King William. Put your slogans and platitudes back on the shelf if that is all you bring to the table. The citizens of King William deserve to know what any candidate’s position is on the issues. Our responsibility is to see to it citizens get a fair shake. We are immune to the name calling and understand it is often indicative that these folks are empty suits (or heads)

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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3/29/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: History and Insanity

We have all heard “If you do not learn from History – You will live it again” and the ever popular “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

A look at the current King William Board of Supervisors will give a good example of both of the above sayings. You only need to follow the evolution of our current Fire and EMS saga.

It started with the new County Administer (at that time) hiring the current Fire Chief. The supervisors were told they could not fire the chief without also letting the new County Administer go too. (Insanity- If true - this needs to be changed) The new chief said to the Board of Supervisors - he would not need a budget – just his salary.

This did not last long and History starts to repeat. The chief discovered he needed a fire vehicle he could use to get to the scene of the fires & accidents. (Solution - A new county purchased SUV with all the toys) Next he discovered the workload was more than expected and the solution was to hire assistants to help. Next he didn’t have enough volunteers to answer calls and the solution more paid help.

On Jan 28 I attended the King William Board of Supervisor’s Meeting at the King William County Administration Building (180 Horse Landing Road). The public comment period for our local citizens should have raised questions that demanded answers. King William Volunteer Fire & Rescue was in financial trouble and it seems to those present was “for sale”. The Kitty Litter Plant offered a building that could house a Fire & Ems unit. Mattaponi Volunteer Rescue Chief Curtis Mason Jr. stated he had a check for over $500,000 to fund & help run King William Volunteer Fire & Rescue and the county would not have to pay a cent. He was told “No”.

The Solution was the county would pay over $500,000.00 for the King William Volunteer Fire & Rescue’s land, building, equipment and pay off its the past debts. The Kitty Litter plant’s offer of a building was to be accepted and both the King William Volunteer Fire & Rescue’s building and Kitty Litter plant building were to be manned. This raises the questions of how much will it cost to renovate the Kitty Litter building, where is the equipment coming from to fill both the Kitty Litter building, the King William Volunteer Fire & Rescue building and at what cost for all.

The solution always seems to be “There is no problem that cannot be solved with other people’s money”. A question for thought “As reported by the Tidewater Review” - Did the removal of the Mattaponi Volunteer Rescue from making runs in King William create the need for the Kitty Litter building and all the extra costs involved?

It must be remembered the new chief was in charge & failed to come up with a solution for the King William Volunteer Fire & Rescue’s financial problems. During this time the Mattaponi Volunteer Rescue with Chief Curtis Mason Jr. had managed to accumulate over $500,000.00 dollars, maintain services and offered a solution to the county.

What do you think will be the future based on past history? I bet it won’t be “problem solved” unless the supervisors decide to go with solutions that seem to work for the Mattaponi Volunteer Rescue.

Sincerely,
Paul Jamerson
King William, Va

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3/29/2019

Dear Editor

Subject:Read Between The L---I---N---E---S

Our good Delegate Chris Peace is sending out mailers once again touting conservative credentials he simple doesn’t have. Typical of Pol’s who trot out their campaign slogans and platitudes every cycle like clockwork.

What made yesterday’s mailer particularly pathetic and obnoxious was Peace touting the local government officials here in King William who are endorsing his re-election effort. It was a Who’s Who of the biggest Progressives one could find. From our vaunted County Commonwealth Attorney, to 2 Supervisors and a host of other County officials who never met a government program they didn’t love and thought could be made even better with some more of your hard earned dough.

Even a handful of the School Board members lent their names to Peace’s effort. Peace refuses to support opening up Virginia to School Choice, yet sends his own children to private schools. He throws more money each year at Public Education for political purposes only; he has wasted millions for no other reason than to court the education establishment’s votes.

Peace gets warm hugs from open Democrats and others who have done nothing that comes remotely close to anything conservative. Supervisor’s Moskalski and Hodges endorsing Chris Peace? That tells you……….all you need to know.

Peace and the names on that mailer have been and continue to operate with the same tax & spend policies that have driven us to where we are. A local budget that is out of control, tax rates at nose bleed levels with no end in sight. Peace champions more spending on every program imaginable, which makes him political soul mates with the names on that list. More money for schools, more money for public safety, more money for education, and yes more money each year for the dizzying array of social safety nonsense. Peace and his endorsers have that in common, they may attach labels to themselves but the WATCHDOG won’t let them do it in a vacuum.

Peace is counting on the public sector crowd and those with their heads in the public money trough to get him across the finish line. For those of you who have some common sense, read the names on that mailer and ask yourself a very simple question……..why are these folks, none of whom are conservatives endorsing a guy who calls himself one ? It is about the money, and about keeping it flowing. Peace isn’t a conservative and these people lending their names to his effort are simple tools to keep the game going.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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3/28/2019

Dear Editor

Subject:Don’t Dare Say Our Group Didn’t Warn You !

This evening the King William T.E.A Party will hold an “ Open Mic Night” for any and all candidates seeking elective office this November This invitation has been extended to any of the incumbents seeking another term , and or candidates who have publicly stated or told someone they were considering running….or are running.

To date many of the responses have been declines for one reason or another, and we certainly understand all of these folks have lives that pull them in different directions. Scheduling conflicts aside we have set aside Thursday April 11 to hold a 2nd “Open Mic Night” for those that could not attend this evening. Our group has demonstrated and provided a certain platform available for the candidates, and the citizens to drill down on their policy positions.

We identified many years ago that the primary problem with elected officials is a lack of accountability when one contrasts what they say during a campaign and what they actually do after they are elected. This can only be addressed through vigorous examinations of their campaign pledges and their actual records. Agree or disagree with the T.E.A Party, most would agree this is a function we do very well.

After the candidates get a 2nd chance to speak on April 11 it is our intent to run paid newspaper ads citing who showed-------and who didn’t. As the old adage goes “you can run , but you can’t hide” not of least from the WATCHDOG. We are “The only conservative voice in King William County”.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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3/28/2019

Dear Editor

Subject:Cynical Pols In King William Think Voters Are Stupid

“Well we lowered real estate taxes in 4 of the last 5 years” ………will be the Budget Stooges proclamation after the budget is approved. This latest .02 reduction will leave us here in King William at .86, still one of the highest rates among all of Virginia’s rural counties. As we have noted numerous times since it’s release, the most recent VaCo report clearly states that the average county real property tax rate is .67 - Hardly worthy of any ticker tape parades or balloons for reducing it to .86.

Real Estate tax rates just next door in Hanover are at .81, and King & Queen at .54. The Unassigned Reserve Fund, at some 8-9 million (after buying Squad 1 KWVFD Land, building and equipment, and setting aside some 2 million for the E.D.A’s grand schemes) is still excessive by any measure. The recommended levels for reserve funds are suggested at 10%----to 15% of annual expenditures, which would be less than 4.5 million at the upper range of the recommended level.

If the reserve fund was absurdly high to begin with why didn’t the Board of Supervisors simply lower the rate 3-4 years ago by .10 per hundred or more? This would allow for homeowners to get some measurable relief instead of this dribbling out .02 reductions.

They did it the way that they did for one simple reason; they can make a political claim to having lowered the rate 3-4 times the last 5 years. How much integrity does their claim have when they started with an absurd nose bleed rate to begin with?

In an election year they may fool some of the voters but not quite as many as they think. Voters have the WATCHDOG, and we have been on guard reporting to King William citizens how the spending and tax policies need a major overhaul. Perhaps in November we will elect a new Board that will indeed do just that next January.

When you go to the polls in November remember the current Chair Bill Hodges platitudes from 3 years ago when he used the “picking up pennies” refrain. If he has picked anything it has been taxpayer’s pockets with his extravagant spending and handing out off budget pay raises to his crony public sector pals….. At the expense of hard working home owners who deserved a real reduction in the scandalous rates we are still burdened with. Hodges, Moskalski and Greenwood insult us with believing they have fooled anyone. Progressive tax & spenders, and voters know it. Give all 3 of them the old heave ho in November.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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3/20/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Voters Beware Of The Johnny (& Susie) Come Lately’s

2019 in King William is an election year and we are hearing of citizens expressing an intention to run this Fall for seats on the Board of Supervisors. Some words of caution from someone who has been on the front lines for 10 years. I know the issues, I know the actors, and I understand the various remedies each of them will offer up.

Allow me to warn you of electing someone from the King William School Board to the Board of Supervisors. These people have close affinities with the schools and will simply write the schools a blank check, a very bad idea. On page 61 of the recent C.A.F.R Comprehensive Annual Financial Report it states in clear language that K.W Schools have a liability for their OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits) at the end of 2016 of 1.5 million dollars, yet they have not set aside a single dime to fund these promised benefits. The King William TEA Party has repeatedly invited the School Board to speak at one of our meetings to address this issue and explain why this program isn’t being funded for future liabilities it has already incurred. Ask a BOS candidate coming off the School Board the question………”why has this been allowed to have occurred in the first place “? This is one example of the irresponsible manner with which the Schools have been financially managed. By his own admission Dr. White, KW County School Superintendent in a article in the Tidewater Review newspaper admitted “the need to address maintenance issues that have been ignored“ Anyone from the SB running for a seat on the B.O.S needs to point out specifically where any spending in the school budget could/should be cut. When has any one of them publicly challenged a single expenditure? They are rubber stamps for the Superintendents budget requests, and taxes and spending will most certainly march North with these types on the B.O.S. They are Progressive spend-a-holics.

We also have a bevy of candidates who have come out of nowhere. Either they are single issue candidates or they have suddenly taken an interest in local matters of substance. I have never seen these folks at a B.O.S Meeting, at a School Board meeting, I have never seen them at one of our meetings, or read letters they have written to local newspapers on a single issue? Why all of a sudden then do they decide a seat on the Board is an endeavor they can lend anything of substance to? Ask them what was last year’s County Budget? Ask them about County population growth, where do they stand on Land Use Tax Exemptions, on the BPOL tax (and the select groups who are exempt from paying it) Ask them if they have ever attended a single Budget meeting, or spoke out publicly on even one issue ?

Platitudes & slogans don’t make a good Supervisor. How can you place any confidence when they don’t even know the issues, and can’t make an intelligent articulate argument either way? Good Schools…Public Safety make for good political slogans but not much else. We all remember a candidate from West Point that spoke of “picking up pennies” . He has grown local government in leaps and bounds. Choose wisely my friends.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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3/12/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: School Personnel Detached From Reality

Having attended last Thursday’s Joint School Board and Board of Supervisors meeting at Hamilton Holmes Middle School,here are a few observations.

Dr. White K.W Schools Superintendent made specific mention of the low morale problem among school personnel. Of course the remedy according to Dr. White is an across the board 5% pay raise for everyone. He cited the lack of a pay raise last year and the need to keep King William schools compensation attractive/competitive.

Last year in an effort to keep anyone’s take home pay from declining, measures such as higher co-pays and deductibles had to be raised in order to accomplish this. Have these folks already forgotten the hundreds of thousands tax payers picked up in their increased health care costs ?

In the economic contraction beginning in 2008 and lasting for 6 years did a single school employee get laid off or lose their job? Did 1 school employee have to take a pay cut? Did a single school employee have their pension contributions cut ? Did even one of them lose a week of the 12-13 weeks they get off each year?

During that same period of time millions of Americans were laid off or their jobs eliminated. Millions took pay cuts and lost their companies matching contributions to their 401K plans. Millions found new employment elsewhere often at wages well below the job they had lost. Millions had to absorb large cuts to their take home pay resulting from ever escalating health insurance premiums eating into their take home pay.

Personally I experienced around a 30% reduction in my earnings for several years , and watched as my health insurance costs ( which I pay 100% of ) escalate from a manageable $3000 annually to over $8000 annually .

These folks as Grandma used to say “ought to count their blessings”. They enjoy jobs where they are insulated from the ups and downs of people employed in the private sector that underwent real and lasting economic pain.

We ran paid newspaper ads last year showing significant pay increases from 2012—2017 among the administrative staffs at the schools, the Assistant Superintendent alone went from $94,000 salary to $110,000 salary.

As a spokesman for the maligned tax payers in King William let me say this as bluntly as I possibly can…..” we are sick and tired of having to listen to the whining sob story each year from this crowd”. If you believe you are not being adequately compensated for the 9 month a year job you have, if you don’t account for the Cadillac benefit package you have…..fine. Quit your job at the schools and come out here in the real world and subject yourself to the very same harsh reality the rest of us dealt with for 10 years. Stop whining and leave the cocoon you have been sheltered in for your entire career.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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3/7/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Pandering Congressman Rob Wittman

Despite the repeated invitations by the King William T.E.A Party conservative…Congressman Rob Wittman continues to duck us. No less than 2 weeks ago the good Congressman met with and spoke to the K.W Republican group at the very same place where we hold any number of our own meetings. Now that he knows where to find our group perhaps he might have one of his staffers contact us to schedule and speak to our group. After all Mr. Wittman, it has been 9 years since your last visit.

+ Wittman has been in Congress now for some 12 years, apparently learning the ropes as they say, visit only groups that have their collective hands out, whether it be the continuation of federal farm subsidies, or groups wanting DC to dole out some federal high speed internet dough, Wittman carefully avoids groups like our for a simple reason……….no one else will ask tough questions Congressman Wittman would just as soon avoid.

This past summer Wittman spoke at a picnic of retired federal civil employees, denouncing President Trumps efforts to rein in the out of control spending , Trump advocating for no pay raise ( 1.9% was proposed ) and Wittman declaring “ while I agree that spending needs cut the President is wrong to try and do it on the backs of retired federal employees”

Fine Mr. Wittman, then perhaps you might offer up some specific detailed spending cuts you advocate for? After all you have been up there for 12 years now so it is safe to assume you must know where we might find some areas within the budget that can be cut?

This is the guy who voted NO on a bill several years back that advocated spending cuts to AMTRAK, the poster child for wasted federal tax subsidies. Wittman fools no one, he is a typical pandering POL who runs around doling out other peoples money and ducks groups like ours because we have no reservations about exposing what a phony conservative he is.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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3/7/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: The O.P.E.B (Other Post Employment Benefit) Crisis Is Worse Than Any Of Us Thought)

It came first to the public forefront locally last year when the Richmond Times-Dispatch uncovered the scandal in Chesterfield County Schools, reporting that a post-employment benefit program (key word OTHER) added to the Schools benefit package some years back was not being funded, and the unfunded liability in Chesterfield alone is now ESTIMATED to be as high as 99 million dollars.

Numerous attempts to secure 3rd District School Board Representative Steven Tupponce to come and speak at one of our meetings has been met with repeated declines. If this OPEB program is adequately funded in King William why would school board members be reluctant to just come and tell us so?

My research into this nationally utilized supplemental benefit program primarily for public schools has uncovered some disturbing information. Across America these public sector benefit programs are severely underfunded, some states and localities are much worse than others.

Case in point: PENSION & O.P.E.B UNFUNDED LIABILITIES—FISCAL IMPACT ON MARYLAND AND PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS (authored by Larry Maloney & Jay May) is the following.

In Prince George county each household owes $ 10,130 ….just to cover the unfunded liability of that counties OPEB program. This totals 3.1 billion dollars--------for just that 1 county!

In Prince George county according to this report, the total unfunded OPEB liability eclipses Teacher pay at $ 282,596 per Teacher, it would take the school system 10 years to fund its OPEB obligations if it reduced teacher compensation by $28,000 per teacher, per year.

In a accompanying piece the report lists by state the rankings of where each state stands in regard to the level of underfunded liabilities and Virginia falls in 18th place under the heading STATE-TO-STATE COMPARISONS COMPREHENSIVE FISCAL HEALTH AND TRUST FUND SOLVENCY. I take little comfort in that ranking, but it does explain why the King William County School Board doesn’t want to talk about it. How big is the problem in King William? What are the ultimate costs going to be for each tax payer in King William……apparently it is a secret?

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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3/3/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Unassigned Reserve Fund stands at $10,900,000. (Plus or Minus)

I have heard there is an unassigned King William county Reserve Fund that stands at $10,900,000.00 (Plus or Minus). It seems out of alignment with the other Va countie’s Unassigned Reserve Funds. What should this money be used for.

I just watched “Season 37: Episode 3 – FRONTLINE” The Frontline program investigated the role of state governments and Wall Street in driving America’s public pensions into a multi-trillion-dollar hole. Marcela Gaviria, Martin Smith, and Nick Verbitsky go inside the volatile fight over pensions playing out in Kentucky and examine the broader consequences for teachers, police, firefighters and other public employees everywhere.

I do not know if our county’s employee pension programs are properly funded or not. It seems to be a subject that is avoided and documentation on how well funded the pension program is - is a “Trust Me” item.

I suggest a big portion of the King William county Reserve Fund be invested in this future expense now while there is time to make sure the funds are there to meet the expense.

To watch the 54 minute Frontline presentation on this topic – go to: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/the-pension-gamble/

Sincerely,
Paul Jamerson
King William, Va

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3/3/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Board Of Supervisors Should Tap The Brakes On Moving K.W.V.F.D

Twice over the last 2 years Fire Chief Andy Aigner has specifically mentioned the “possibility” of I.S.O. ratings improving and then potentially lowering local home owner’s fire insurance premiums. In the interest of full disclosure perhaps Mr. Aigner might offer some more details. My research into the subject disclosed that local fire officials are often the source for information on the subject. Should Mr. Aigner be capable of detailing what if any impact moving both Squad 1 and equipment would have on home owners fire insurance costs---up or down, and in what areas of the county will be helped or hurt by the moves being contemplated? After all he is the Fire Chief and local citizens should be able to expect him to elaborate on this in more detail than he has to date. Or does he know and just would rather not have to publicly discuss it? Remember this is the same guy who less than two years ago stated” I won’t even need a budget”. The same guy who spent $50,000 tax payer dollars I might add on radio ads.

Numerous others including a person who has been involved for decades in the volunteer fire/rescue services have said home owners in portions of Central Garage & Aylett could see their fire insurance premiums increase significantly with the planned move of Squad 1 over to the Purina complex. It just makes sense then to “tap the brakes” and nail down with some clarity how home owners fire insurance premiums would be impacted, good or bad.

The haste with which this issue was sprung on the community alone should make one very wary of the behind the scene motives of those involved. What is the harm in putting this on hold until the facts are in? After all, home owners in King William are already buried under real estate tax rates that are preposterous to begin with, don’t they deserve some assurance matters are not made even worse with this clumsily planned move that could yet again hit them in their pocket? I think voters will also have this on their minds when November rolls around and these Supervisors will be asking you for their vote.

Slow down the train and get the facts before we find out too late that home owners get tagged with higher fire insurance premiums.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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2/23/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Del. Chris Peace’s Hail Mary Pass

Del. Chris Peace is now supporting legislation that would return the 976 million dollar tax windfall Virginia has coming as a result of President Trumps Tax Reform of 2016-17. An increase in the Standard State Deduction returning the money to Virginians would contrast with Governor Northam’s announced plans to spend the money until……………Northam found it more politically advantageous to throw some dough at voters hoping they would forget the embarrassing fiasco he is currently embroiled in. But let’s get back to Peace.

In 2013-14 Del. Peace and I verbally sparred in the Mechanicsville Local over my open declaration that Peace supported Medicaid Expansion from reading the language contained in that year’s budget. I placed one of those yellow T.E.A Party signs in a prominent Hanover location stating that Peace Supports Medicaid Expansion. Peace and his minions immediately seized on his denial as proof that the old fella from King William was off his rocker. If Peace said he opposed Medicaid Expansion, well then that was that. It wasn’t enough that I turned out right about Peace, the comments he made when he had his change of heart last year and actually voted for Medicaid Expansion stating that opponents were the last remnants of Jim Crow . Every conservative in the 97th district should kick this guy to the curb in May when a convention is held, or November when and if he is the republican nominee. 12 years is enough of this guy , he has got to go.

Chris Peace has no political philosophy or convictions, he is a progressive big government type that parades around the 97th district each election cycle citing slogans and platitudes that fool the low information voter ( yes they are on both sides ) Peace relies on the not so bright that follow the “ our guy isn’t as bad as their guy” mindset. It is ridiculous and does tremendous harm when one considers that Virginia’s budget has doubled in the years Peace has been in the G.A. I’ve no doubt that absent the political heat he is feeling with a serious challenger to his nomination Peace would have been quite content to have went along with Northam’s plans to spend the dough……..until they both ended up in hot water. Call it a death row religious conversion.

This isn’t intended to be an endorsement of Peace’s challenger Cold Harbor Hanover Board of Supervisor Scott Wyatt. Wyatt has shown no serious conservative chops himself, exposing his own flawed political philosophy in his comments in the Mechanicsville Local last year, clearly unwilling to take on any of the county sacred cows. What leads anyone to believe Wyatt would be an improvement over Peace leaves me beyond puzzled. I have every intention of continuing my practice of voting and writing in someone’s name for that race.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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2/2/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: County Agency Heads Assertions Need Challenged

Before Decembers Board of Supervisors meeting when off budget pay raises were handed out contrary to the assertion made last Spring when the County Administrator stated “staff is recommending no pay raises for county & school employees” Sheriff Jeff Walton had claimed that he was losing staff because of the pay scale for his department.

When challenged by Supervisors Hansen & Ehrhart for details regarding turnover the Sheriff told the Supervisors that he had lost 2 employees. As it turns out 1 of those 2 had left law enforcement all together.

Monday night we listened to Ms. Carol Mitchell, Director of the K.W County Social Services Agency make the same claim, namely that she needed adjustments to her staff salaries so as to stop the loss of employees leaving for greener pastures. Sitting in the meeting myself I waited for one of the Supervisors to press Ms. Mitchell for some specific details on how many staff had left her agency over pay related issues. Not a single question was asked, in spite of evidence that these claims when challenged do not hold up to closer scrutiny.

Some 15 months ago Ms. Mitchell stated that the Board had given her leeway in matching salary offers that competing agencies made to her staff, so as to retain them. Assuming she has this “authority” she stated she was given by the Board, why is she now clamoring for salary adjustments? In her comments she also used the phrase “livable wage”, asserting that some of her 16 staff are being paid a subpar salary that isn’t livable ?

The total compensation of public sector employees is a handsome package taken in totality. Tax payers are subsidizing county employee’s health insurance premiums (79% according to the County Administrators own numbers) this is a generous expense the employees are relieved of having to pay themselves . Where else today do you find defined benefit pension plans , Ms Mitchells employees will receive a monthly paycheck for life assuming of course they stay there. This handsome pension benefit alone is worth thousands of dollars per year.

I have suggested that the County develop a “compensation grid” that would monetize the value of the Cadillac benefits, mostly paid for by tax payers I might add. This grid would help illustrate the dollar value of their total compensation rather than singularly focusing on salary alone. It is long overdue and should be something the Board of Supervisors insist be done. It is a true means of determining the total compensation Ms. Mitchell’s staff is receiving, and not having to rely solely on claims that should be substantiated if they are to have any credibility.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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1/31/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: “Fire and EMS – Oh My”

On Jan 28 I attended the King William Board of Supervisor’s Meeting at the King William County Administration Building (180 Horse Landing Road). The public comment period for our local citizens should have raised questions that demanded answers.

When you have long term fire and EMS volunteers comment and say the county’s new plan to reorganize and manage the KWV Fire and Rescue system will make the volunteer system suffer, all should take notice. The two problems I was able to hear were: one - creating a work place atmosphere where communication is one sided and two - volunteers and members being picked to support the county stations at the expense of the volunteer stations which will also get reduced funding.

Mattaponi Volunteer Rescue Chief Curtis Mason Jr. stated he had a check for over $500,000 to fund & help run King William Volunteer Fire & Rescue and the county would not have to pay a cent. He was told “No”.

It would seem our new Fire Chief and at least three members of the board are more of the problem than the solution. The “Our Way or The Highway” Attitude when you have a viable solution that will keep tax payers from having to bite the bullet should not be lost.

The conservative Supervisors Hansen and Ehrhart showed the concerns, values and attention to budget issues they promised their constituents when they ran for their current positions back in 2015. The three progressive Supervisors and their allies seemed to be on a fast track to get the deal done - ASAP.

If we have a debate for the next election I suspect there will be some Fire and EMS people there with some questions for at least three of our supervisors they may not want to have to answer.

Sincerely,
Paul Jamerson
King William, Va

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1/31/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Was 5th District Supervisor Ehrhart’s Vote A NO Vote Or A Show Vote ?

One of the most disingenuous issues in politics is the votes taken at times when the legislator is given a pass on an issue that is being voted on. The pass is given when a legislator votes in a manner that conceals his/her real intent, this is a recognized practice, occurring at every level of government.

One such example was ObamaCare, (Affordable Care Act) where certain Democrats in Congress at that time recognized in their districts this legislation was very unpopular and could easily de-rail their re-election efforts. Head counts indicated the legislation had enough votes to pass so individual members were given the out to vote against it ( Show Vote ) so as to allow them to claim during their upcoming re-election campaigns that they were against the proposal. It is one of the behaviors among politicians most distasteful.

Monday night’s Board of Supervisor meeting had two measures that were voted on relating to the proposal of King William County acquiring the building and land where the K.W. V.F.D sits and the refinancing of the various equipment loans, with King William tax payers assuming that debt.

Supv. Ehrhart voted NO on both motions, the first to acquire the property, the second to assume the debt associated with the existing bank loans that would have to be renegotiated. The question is just what does Supv. Ehrhart really think about this significant expansion of the Counties Paid Fire Department? Ehrhart knows that the measures were going to pass because 3 of the Supervisors are progressive big government types. Knowing this allowed him to attempt to appease members of his district who are not in favor of this government expansion.

I raise this question because of a vote Supv. Ehrhart cast in December approving off budget pay raises for a variety of county employees with the Sheriffs’ Department along with certain others. This YES vote Ehrhart took in December is contrary with past positions Ehrhart has taken with regard to budget discipline. What drove his YES vote ? Is he playing politics , already telling people he intends to run for another term on the Board and concerned that voting against off budget pay raises would hurt his re-election effort? Only Supv. Ehrhart knows the truth. The problem is once you vote in a manner that doesn’t comport with positions you took in the past, going forward then every vote you cast is suspect.

Ehrhart’s answer about his December YES vote was that ...”law enforcement is an essential government function”…….No one would argue with that statement, yet the lingering question remains “Just what is the purpose Mr. Ehrhart of a budget then to begin with “?

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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1/31/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: Is Chairman Hodges Playing Three Card Monte?

A Shill pretends to conspire with the mark to cheat the Dealer, while in fact conspiring with the Dealer to cheat the mark………………Let’s begin with who is playing which role

The Shill in this example is the Board of Supervisors, the Dealer is the Crony Capitalist getting the taxpayers dough, and of course the mark is the tax payer.

All of the official county documents, the budget and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report state that the Unassigned Reserve Fund stands at $10,900,000. This topic is clearly something both the Board & county officials wish would just go away.

The King William T.E.A Party (Taxed Enough Already) has been energetically exposing this financial scam.... that is a direct result of home owners in this County being over charged on the real estate tax rate for at least a decade. In 2012 this Unassigned Reserve fund stood at $3,200.000, some 6 years later it is now at $10,900,000. We are finally seeing the two local newspapers exhibiting some interest in this topic, long overdue on their part. Citizens are smart enough to not take the official version most often sourced by the same county officials playing the Three Card Monte.

At Monday night’s Board of Supervisor meeting Chairman Hodges abruptly corrected 4th District Supervisor Dave Hansen , when Hansen cited the excessive $10,900,000………….Hodges said “ Mr. Hansen , that fund is at $7,900,000, not $10,900,000. Hodges went on to explain that some 3 million had been appropriated, 2 million to the E.D.A (Economic Development Agency) and a million spent on debt reduction? They would love to hide that 3 million, pretend as if it isn’t there to begin with. Not so fast say’s the Watchdog.

Now during last year’s budget indeed some 2 million was set aside for “targeted economic development”, and that is a major consideration in this three card monte game being played. Technically the money wasn’t to be actually given to the E.D.A until a recommendation was made to the Board, and the Board approved of the funds expenditure. The Shill is now “pretending to conspire with the mark “(looking out for us tax payers of course) while the reality is the dealer (crony capitalist pals) are waiting for the game to play out.

We learned Monday night that estimates are being gathered for drainage, and road improvements that would bring the roads in a certain private development up to V.D.O.T standards.

In a county where 360 & 30 are awash in buildings that sit empty for prolonged periods because there is no demand for the space………..why in the hell would we spend tax payer money making improvements to a private commercial development under the false narrative that this would somehow magically bring new business into the county? When the estimates for the drainage and road improvements come in, you can bet this is the logic that will be pitched to justify spending that 2 million on improvements to private commercial property.

These empty buildings on 360 and 30 already have paved roads, water /sewer and adequate drainage, yet still are sitting empty because the area is just land locked and does not lend itself to commercial development. Another reality is that the numbers are just not there to support many types of business/industry in King William.

But I seem to recall the Oligarchs always explained the rationale for the Land Use tax exemptions as being justified by wanting to keep King William open and rural.


The only people who can stop this fraud is the folks sitting out there content to watch their money being stolen , spent to enrich the Boards & Oligarchs Pals at the expense of the average citizen.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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1/25/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: New Strategy For King William Board Of Supervisors & County Administration?

It is becoming clear that this Board has developed a new approach to controversial proposals such as the one announced in last week’s issue of the Tidewater Review that the County tax payers were going to buy the property of the K.W Volunteer Fire Department and assume all of its debt. Total price tag around $560,000, budget neutral according to the County Administrator quoted in the article. Conveniently left out is the anticipated costs of the needed upgrades to the private commercial site the new squad is to be located. A walk down memory lane seems to remind us of the statements made just 18 months ago by the then newly hired County Fire Chief that he “wouldn’t even need a budget” Fast forward to this point when quiet discussions held outside of the public domain resulted in a decision that the public has had scant opportunity to even weigh in on. The list of unresolved issues surrounding this proposal begs the question……………………what is the big hurry on this all about?

Aigner claims that response times won’t be impacted? Moving from the centrally located site where the Squad is currently housed, in the middle of the most populated area of the County alone needs challenged. Remember these are words from a man who claimed he wouldn’t even need a budget, a man who wasted $50,000 of taxpayer’s money on a “volunteer recruitment campaign”. And if the County is buying an existing facility already suited to house a paid county operation……why in the hell are we moving it anyway? Why not just leave it there saving whatever costs there is going to be with the upgrades to the proposed site, paid for I might add by taxpayers? Aigner also claims homeowners insurance costs will drop, the same thing he said 18 months ago……yet can’t cite any specifics because he knows it is baloney, he thinks citizens are too stupid to question such a grandiose claim.

The most disgraceful element of this sorry story so far however has been the innuendo and smearing of the volunteer organizations as being dysfunctional, how poorly they made financial decisions and managed their finances over a long period of time. And they wonder why volunteers dried up in King William? What did they think would happen when they started paying fire/ems? Rest assured this is the start of Aigner's empire building project that will each year require hiring more permanent personnel and bigger budgets for his new kingdom.

But I digress. The heart of this article is the new tact the B.O.S and County Administration is now taking when a controversial proposal like this comes along, one that they know will invite the publics scrutiny. Discuss it as privately as possible (you know Supervisor Hansen was kept out of the loop) reach a decision and then ram it down King Williams citizens throats as fast as possible before any substantial opposition has any chance of engaging.

This isn’t how local government should operate, but we are not living in normal times.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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1/22/2019

Dear Editor

Subject:You Say Tomato, I Say Tomatoe……………..;

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Perspectives are often different, depending on just whose lens one is viewing almost anything. Facts however as they also say…. are stubborn.

Last Tuesday evening the County Administrator barked at a volunteer with the King William T.E.A Party telling him “this is my meeting in my building and I don’t want your propaganda here”. Setting aside her assertion that it is her building and her meeting, let’s address her characterization of our handout material as propaganda.

I’ll limit the discussion to the referenced materials that she defined as propaganda and let the readers decide where the truth lies.

We have reported the Unassigned Reserve Fund (currently at $10,900,000) as excessive and by every measure it is. Using the recommendation by the Government Finance Officers Assoc. of no less than 5% to 15% of the general fund operating expenditures King William should have an unassigned reserve fund between $1,500,000-----$ 4,500,000……so apparently reporting this excessive amount of the $10,900,000 is ……. propaganda ?

We challenged the false claims of school officials that “we’ve not had a pay raise in XXX years”…and factually reported that the Assistant School Superintendent (among others) had a salary in 2012 of $94,000 and in 2017 that same salary had climbed to $110,000. Is this propaganda?

Last April the County Administrator stated that “staff was recommending no pay raises for county or school employees, because tax payers were picking up an increased cost in county/school health insurance premiums that ran into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Her own calculations show tax payers are paying some 79% of the total health insurance premiums while school/county employees picking up only 21% of the total costs.

Yet at the Decembers Board of Supervisors meeting the same County Administrator recommended pay raises for a variety of county staff, including Fire/EMS and members of the Sheriff’s department. Having deliberated a budget in May - then handing out off budget pay raises. The King William T.E.A Party simply reported the facts to the citizens of what actually occurred. Is this propaganda?

County officials really dislike the King William T.E.A Party. They resent our group pulling the curtain back and exposing the relentless lying and falsehoods that surround how and on just what they spend our hard earned money. That is what has their shorts in a knot. Propaganda? Another old adage comes to mind …………. “The pot calling the kettle black “.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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1/17/2019

Dear Editor

Subject:“ Unfortunately We Have Not Kept Up With The Maintenance Of Our Buildings”

The January 8 edition of the Tidewater Review carried a story on the county and the upcoming budget priorities, detailing progress on Hamilton Holmes renovation along with a myriad of other pressing needs that will top the list in the 2019 discussions. What was quite surprising as I read it was the rather candid admission by King William County School Superintendent Dr. David White that “we’ve not kept up with our building maintenance”…..

This is an interesting question for the school board members to answer, several of which have been on the school board now for quite some time.

They have however kept up with adding additional staffing (in a school population that hasn’t changed in 10 years) they have managed to keep up with doling out $130,000 in one year to buy back unused vacation & sick leave, they have managed to keep up with OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits) and salary increases which we documented in one of our paid newspaper ads last year. Perhaps the school board needs to pay more attention to what most would describe as a priority…the maintenance of the physical structures themselves.

But what the heck, you got 11 million lying around in the unassigned reserve fund and we are going to fund a contagious animal building, so as long as home owners sit on their hands this type of incompetence and waste will continue.

Look no further than the levels of local funding to the schools over the last decade. Contrary to the relentless poor mouthing about inadequate funding the local contributions to the schools in 2012 was $ 7,856,937 and in 2017………. $ 10,598,065. The only question then is where has it been spent……..obviously not on maintenance.

And as a topper for this discussion ponder the student population numbers from those same years, in 2012 the 4 King William schools had 2187 students and in 2017 2180 students.

These 4 schools spending are out of control, and rational people can see it simply by the numbers posted above. All of us want good public schools, but clearly something is wrong when a Superintendent publically states maintenance hasn’t been kept up in spite of their ravenous appetite for spending money, it is what they spend it on that deserves closer scrutiny.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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1/12/2019

Dear Editor

Subject: I Came, I Saw, I Conquered

The phrase“I came, I saw, I conquered” has been attributed to Julius Caesar. One would also think from actions our government and its bureaus, agencies and committees they have adopted it as an unofficial motto. I think a more appropriate motto would be “We fool most of the people most of the time”.

The measure of how you win is now defined by “How much you can increase the budget and at the same time game the constitution to remove the people’s rights under the law”. We have all heard the statements “It’s for the Children or it’s in the Public interest”. The only thing I can see the Children or the Public getting is the Balloon Payments when the bonds become due.

How do you fight back? In King William when we have elections and (Thanks to the Tea Party) there have been debates for the positions on the board of supervisors. You will notice all candidates run under the banner of being an Independent. A more accurate description would be progressive or conservative to define how the winners have voted or will vote.

If you attend one of the debates and wish to ask a question – you will need to phrase it so it cannot be answered by a half truth. Example “Last election you said you were going to cut spending and I have seen the budget increase each year. What programs did you cut where the dollar amount spent was less than the dollar amount for the preceding year and is lower after your term than when you entered your public office after the last election - give three examples?

There are countless other examples like “How many votes did you vote “abstain” that resulted in increased spending or an over reach for local government”(On this one you may need to do your homework and be specific) that allowed a budget increase or power grab without you voting for it.

The Next Local election is not far away. You can say fooled me once shame on you – fool me twice shame on me. The time for “Bait and Switch” in local politics is over. Get caught in a half-truth – loose a vote.

Sincerely,
Paul Jamerson
King William, Va

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1/11/2019

Dear Editor

Subject:Your Officially Sanctioned Harassment Continues?

You expect this in tin pot dictatorships, or nations run by criminal thugs,,,,but in the United States, here in our own County of King William ?

A month ago the property owners of a lot where we have a T.E.A Party sign, a sign that has stood in the exact same spot for over 8 years received an official letter from the King William County Zoning Department informing them that the sign on their property was in the right of way, and that if not addressed by a deadline date of December 10, 2018 “will result in a formal notice of a violation being issued for this matter and enforcement action pursued”

The letter from the County Zoning Administrator was dated November 29, 2018 allowing as the deadline noted a mere 10 days to address this zoning violation.

Inquiries made by one of our members led to learning “the county wasn’t even able to answer where the right of way actually was”, they would look into the matter and let us know “

We have since learned that now the Zoning Administrator has decided that the sign in mention wasn’t at all in the right of way to begin with? Wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect that these Zoning officials would know where the right of way is before they start sending letters out?

One might think that a local government agency has better things to do with their time than the example like the one described here. After all the sign has stood in the exact same spot for over 8 years. Logical intelligent people understand just what is going on. County resources provided by tax paying citizens are being used for purely political purposes, namely to badger the WATCHDOG, the group that has been consistently exposing the shenanigans.

How much county time and resources were wasted in this example, who knows? What we do know is we are not going anywhere. What is troubling is the abuse of official government that ironically is paid for by the very people they are harassing.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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12/30/2018

Dear Editor

Subject:Your Retirement Plan…..Or Hodges, Moskalski, Greenwood, Ehrhart’s Plan??

Citizens in King William who own a home and pay real estate taxes perhaps have overlooked the practical effects of the onerous real estate tax rate we pay here in King William. You may instantly cite what the rate is (currently .88 per hundred) but do you understand the impact this will have when you stop working and then have to rely on Social Security, perhaps a pension or the 401k savings you have accumulated.

Budget cuts that would get the real estate tax rate down to a more reasonable level , say .74 per hundred - could have a considerable impact on how much you will have accumulated for the day when you no longer have a paycheck. Taxpayers can get off the retirement plan the Board of Supervisors has for you, and do much better planning for yourselves.

Getting the rate down to .74 per hundred is doable. It would require cutting some expenditure’s by modest amounts, and eliminating some of them. I doubt the value of King William belonging to the Regional Airport Authority, or funding our membership in VaCo, handing out money to organizations like Art’s Alive or the nosebleed levels that taxpayers subsidize the county & school employee’s generous compensation/benefit packages. Wouldn’t you just love someone paying for 90% of your health insurance premiums? But I digress. Let’s just assume we could get the rate down to .74 per hundred. The most recent VaCo Study states that Counties average real property tax rate in Virginia is .68…………so .74 would still provide King William with adequate funds to pay for local costs of government.

At that rate let’s begin with a home that has an assessed value of say $225,000. Currently you are being taxed annually for some $ 1980.00 each year. At a rate of .74 your real estate tax bill would drop dramatically to $1665.00 each year, an annual reduction of $315.00

Assume you are 40 years old and will likely work until age 65. If the rate of .74 held (subject to some spending discipline) over the remaining 25 years you would be working (and paying that rate of .74 per hundred) assuming of course you save the $315.00 each year, at 8% you would have an additional $ 21,573.00. Ask any retiree in King William if they had an extra $21,573.00 in their savings would they be better off?

Two members of this Board for the last 7 years (Moskalski & Greenwood) have been gouging us for their entire tenure, hence it is the only plausible explanation for why the Unassigned Reserve Fund has ballooned from a reasonable $3,000,000 to a ridiculous $10,000,000. When you do retire, I hope you are comfortable, and if you are not remember this little exercise. The old adage is indeed true, “we get the government we deserve".

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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12/27/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Seizing A Golden Opportunity??

In the last few days an article on The Bull Elephant caught my attention, namely the poll/survey done by the reputable Mason-Dixon Polling Organization.

The question posed to Virginians ( in the survey) was what Virginia should do with the estimated 1.2 billion increase in State revenue that is a result of the recent changes in federal tax law

Those surveyed were asked a very simple question: “Do you feel Virginia should use the money to expand funding for current state programs, or return the money to the 2.8 million Virginian taxpayers by doubling the state’s standard deduction for individuals and couples” ?

I was simultaneously shocked and pleased of the surveys response. 59% of the respondents said the money should be returned. It crossed party lines, every age demographic and took into account detailed responses by region, gender, party ID and race. Even the Richmond Metro region said by the lowest margins in the survey (53%) return the money.

Governor Northam not only has released plans for how he wants to spend this 1.2 billion, but adding insult to injury he wants to spend even more ? At what point do citizens openly rebel, I simply do not know the answer to that question. Here is what I do know based on these survey results and what we see happening around the world, to include right here in our own backyard. If one looks at Paris France and the recent violent rioting that resulted from a new tax proposal that would have driven gasoline in France to around $7 a gallon, or one looks at the recent smack down in California of a proposal to begin taxing text messages…..one can see the signs that reasonably intelligent people have had enough of blowhard pols who think they can spend your hard earned money better than you can. Are we at a tipping point on government spending and taxes? Should fiscal conservatives take some heart from this survey and the other examples I have cited? I think so.

Now here in King William we have watched with disdain how the Unassigned Reserve Fund ballooned from $3,000,000 to over $10,000,000 in a relatively short period of time. Our Supervisors on the Board , two of whom have been there during the precise period when this fund swollen have had every opportunity to give that money back to the folks ( primarily homeowners) who they have gouged with a real estate tax rate that is absurd. This ballooning of this fund can’t be logically or mathematically explained any other way. Growth rates in the County have been subpar, this $7,000,000 is a direct result of tax rates that are well beyond what is needed to fund county expenditures. A $ 3,000,000 unassigned reserve fund is certainly adequate to serve a county with an annual budget of around 26 million. There is no reason to hoard these absurd levels of cash. They are after all Politicians and they will spend it, best exhibited on December 17, 2018 when they handed out off budget pay raises to a bevy of county employees, 6 months after voting for a budget that contained no pay raises since county taxpayers were being asked to pick up hundreds of thousands of dollars in premium increases for county and school employees. With $10,000,000 lying around, and an election year coming up no one should be shocked by their budget fraud. Hodges, Moskalski , Greenwood and now even Ehrhart have morphed into Santa………..using YOUR MONEY.

Suppose we frame this in the same way to King William citizens, particularly the hard hit homeowners, should the King William B.O.S return the $7,000,000 or spend it ?

It is not only a fair question but one that this Mason-Dixon poll tells me we would win, hands down.

How do we go about this county survey ? Let’s discuss this on Thursday January 10 and put into action whatever plan we come up with.

----------------------------------------SAMPLE QUESTION------------------------------------------------

King William B.O.S has over taxed us and collected an excess $ 7,000,000. Should they spend it or return it to us?

It is a straightforward direct question and one I am anxiously awaiting we ask the folks here in King William.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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12/26/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Quiet Budget Fraud In King William County?

Back in May 2018 during the annual budget negotiations the County Administrator stated she was not recommending any salary increases in lieu of county taxpayers being asked to pick up hundreds of thousands in health insurance premium increases. Given the paid newspaper ads the King William T.E.A Party had run in the Country Courier around that same time showing the lies and distortions over the supposed lack of pay raises the schools had claimed for years , noting that for example the Assistant Superintendent salary had went from some $94,000 in 2012 to $110,000 in 2017 the Board was feeling some pressure from this information disclosing the truth of the matter. I was pleased at the time to see some level of budget restraint, after all picking up their health insurance premium increases was money that would have had to come out of their pocket, so a balance of sorts was struck by this reasonable proposal.

Along comes December on the eve of an election year and the same Board on December 17 voted 4-1 to hand out off budget pay raises to a myriad of county employees. What is the point of even having a Budget when each year these Supervisors morph into little Santa’s and decide to dole out pay increase that just 6 months ago were denied?

A recent front page story in the Country Courier had current Supervisor Travis Moskalski touting the 3 real estate tax reductions in recent years. Moskalski failed however to mention or attempt to explain how the County Unassigned Reserve funds grew from 3 million to now 10 million over the last 5-7 years, a period when Moskalski has been on the Board . There has been no growth in the county of any consequence so the only explanation is that homeowners have been gouged for a long period of time. Moskalski gouges us for 7 million and hands us back a couple of pennies….what a guy.

Even the most recent VaCo ( Virginia Association of Counties ) Annual Report shows the average real property tax rate across Virginia for COUNTIES was .66 vs. King William where it stands today at .88. Moskalski has the low information voter and the public sector crowd in his camp but discerning citizens know better. The Unassigned Reserve Fund grew by some 7 million as a result of overcharging homeowners. Typical of politicians they are now spending this excess, literally buying votes for their re-election hopes.

Neither local newspaper’s, the Tidewater Review or the Country Courier appear to have any interest at all in reporting this fraud. To the contrary they allow their newspapers to be used as a free form of election campaigning, giving distortions and half- truths headline coverage.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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12/11/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Progressives Define The Truth As Venomous?

Just in time as we watch the rioting in Paris France do we see yet another example of how riled Progressives get when someone tells or illuminates the truth.

What is happening in France foretells what is coming here to our shores in just a few short years when Americans reach the same boiling point over excessive taxes and reckless government spending. It will begin in California, Oregon, Washington state, New Jersey, New York and then spread. The states mentioned above are already publically recognized as the worst of the worst, yet Virginia my friends are not far behind. Looking at VaCo (Virginia Association of Counties) own 2017 report per capita debt in Virginia doubled over the last 8 years. A bloated welfare state with open borders………it was only a matter of time until the silent majority in France said …enough of this.

For decades now anyone who dared to ask questions or criticize the level of spending in Education was labelled as a backward , knuckle dragging Neanderthal who didn’t get the memo that the spending was “for the children”….implying of course that even the simple asking a question or inquiring as to an expenditure rendered you uncaring about our children’s welfare. I’ve 14 grandchildren, all of whom attend public schools. As Bill Clinton was quoted as saying …………..that dog won’t hunt.

The budget facts are what they are, around 86% of the schools budget goes to pay and compensation/benefits. By the writers own admission this word game they play attempting to avoid the common language--- pay raise, --- is because they have their own language …terminology relative to their occupation-------what hooey. Please name for us Oh Wise One another occupation that uses their own terminology for pay raises? It was designed, intended and purposefully used in an effort to whine poor mouth and try to emotionally squeeze another buck out of our pockets. She attempts to somehow paint this profession as worthy of having their own language…what a bunch of double speak nonsense.

A couple of years ago we pulled off of VDE own website King William County average teacher pay and at that time it was around $57,000. Add the Cadillac benefit package and that isn’t too shabby for a 9 month a year job.

Advocating for the schools is one thing, refusing to acknowledge that other taxpayers in King William might have the view that school personnel pay and compensation needs to be challenged is equally the right of those paying for it to disagree. Perhaps this wise voice can possibly compel the school board to elaborate a bit on the OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits) …..So long of course it is in the English language so us commoners can understand it.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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12/01/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Supv. Moskalski Needs To Do A Fact Check On His Claims

Posted on one of our roadside signs is a fact stated in the recent VaCo (Virginia Association of Counties) Publication is the average real property tax rates for both cities and counties. Counties across Virginia have an average of .67. Supv. Travis Moskalski boasts of the 3 real estate tax reductions, yet King William has a current real estate tax rate of .88, a full 30%, or .21 cents per hundred higher average than the number listed above. Some context is needed here.

Less than 6 years ago the County had an unassigned reserve fund of a little over 3 million dollars, appropriate for a county with an annual budget of around 25 million. Last Spring it was widely acknowledged that unassigned reserve fund balance had grown to some 10 million.

Any cursory examination of the data will show that was not a result of an explosion of growth in King William, general population, school population, business growth was subpar at best. Well then the logical conclusion can be easily drawn that homeowners in particular were paying a real estate tax rate far in excess of what was necessary to maintain the prior unassigned reserve fund balance of around 3 million. Why is it that prior to an election year the Board of Supervisors reduced the rate? The unassigned reserve fund BALOONED during the last 7 years when Moskalski was on the Board….why didn’t he reduce it to a much more reasonable level than where it stands now, particularly since we know it is so much higher than the Virginia County average? Does Moskalski have plans for a new spending spree? Why are they (the Board) hoarding this much money that could be used to give homeowners a real tax cut and bring King William in line with the county average ?

Moskalski boasting that they have had 3 reductions is akin to my butcher overcharging me 30 - 40% for 7 years, then bragging “Bob's, big weekend sale on Pork, 5% off our regular price”.

The County needs new representation on the Board, and next year we have an opportunity to put an end to these types of gimmicks that have resulted in the average homeowner having had thousands of dollars literally stolen from them over Moskalski’s tenure on the Board.

Spending in King William can be cut; I have watched and examined the county budget, along with participating in the process for the last 10 years. I know the numbers and hope to see the citizens of the County go to the polls next November and send some folks to the Administration building with some very sharp pencils, the backbone, integrity and iron will to finally address the absurd manner the county has been financially managed . As I so often say, this is in your hands. Stand up, demand spending cuts, along with substantial tax reductions, or continue to have your pockets picked.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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11/27/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Account For The Utility Tax Money You Already Have King William

There is a proposal in front of the K.W Board of Supervisors that is to the tune of some $800,000 to upgrade the county 911 system. I seem to recall several “Upgrades” in the last 8-10 years but that is a side issue for another discussion. The matter at hand is where this $800,000 will come from. I was reminded when I paid my recent Verizon phone bill that existing 911 taxes are collected today ,each month on our various phone charges, whether it is a land based line or a cell phone. To be accurate I retrieved my actual Verizon bill and noted the various detailed taxes/charges that are already being paid by each one of us for 911 services in our communities. The following list contains the typical phone charges for these various taxes. Under the heading Fees & Other Charges are the following

E-911 Tax .75 ---------------------------------------- Va Communications Sales Tax ------$2.43

Fed Excise Tax .45---------------------------------- Va Public Rights-of-Way Use Fee - $1.09

VLD Carrier Cost Recovery Charge $1.25 -------- Fed Subscriber Line Charge ---- $6.50

Fed Universal Service Fee $2.86 ----------------- Local License Tax Surcharge ------ $0.18

VLD Long Distance Admin Chg. $0.74 --------- Va. Gross Receipts Tax Surcharge - $0.05

Va. Tax Recovery Charge $0.04 ---------------- TOTAL TAX, FEES, OTHER CHARGES $16.34

Whatever portion of that that flows back to the county given these charges apply to every single phone out there has to collectively add up to some significant amount of money. I am sure if I take the time to dig through the K.W Budget/Revenue section I can decipher what the amount is. The question is----was this money supposed to be collected to pay for 911 upgrades----or like so many “dedicated revenue sources” was it siphoned off to be spent elsewhere ?

It is a fair question and one our Board of Supervisors should truthfully answer before they spend the anticipated $800,000. Accountability isn’t just a word; it is something all citizens should demand from our elected officials. The Watchdog is on guard.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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11/21/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Moskalski Does His Very Best At Warping Some Facts

In an orchestrated campaign effort Supv. Travis Moskalski was featured no less on the front page of this week’s CC as the guest speaker at the Mattaponi Crime Solvers meeting. Why spend money running campaign ads when the local newspaper will do it for free?

As to Moskalski’s statements on the grand scheme of things in King William a few notes are worthy of mention that don’t quite gel with his pronouncements.

Let’s start with the real estate tax, one of my favorites. Moskalski touts the .02 reduction in the real estate tax rate, the third in the last 3 years? A deeper examination of just where King William stands is easily found in the VaCo Budget Choice document just released this very same week. Titled

MEDIAN REAL PROPERTY TAX RATES IN VIRGINIA

CITIES ------------------ CY 2009 - $0.90 --------------- CY 2017 - $1.07
COUNTIES------------- CY 2009 - $0.55 --------------- CY 2017 - $0.67

Note that currently in King William the real estate tax rate is .88, some 21 cents or around 30% higher than the County average. Moskalski thinks the average citizen is too dumb to understand the mechanics of how King William amassed a $10,000,000.00 Unassigned Reserve Fund---this 10M was a direct result of overcharging (I call it gouging) home owners for over 10 years, 7 of which Mr. Moskalski was a Supervisor responsible for this gouging.

Moskalski makes It a point to highlight the renovations underway at Hamilton-Holmes, (in spite of the hiccups) is still under the original estimates? Not sure how factual that comment is either. The yet to be determined costs associated with replacing the roof is up in the air. It is my understanding the renovation has easily blown through the contingency fund set aside so the jury is still out on that bloated claim. What we do know (again from the VaCo report) is that the average school renovation costs is $5,468,919---------less than half of what they are spending on Hamilton Holmes. Those inconvenient facts Supv. Moskalski are there for anyone wanting to read the VaCo report themselves.

This report also includes Virginia Debt per Capita…….in 2007 the number stood at $ 680, in 2017 around $1500. Seems the brethren Pol’s in Richmond have also been up to their eyeballs in piling more debt onto the backs of Virginian’s. Virginia is running out of capacity to add additional debt. Makes one wonder where the G.A will find the new 1 billion they will need in 2020 when the Chinese are not funding Medicaid expansion costs in 2019.

Buy into the self-promotion of Moskalski’s comments or learn some facts. Attend our meetings, held twice monthly and get the truth in a non-partisan honest reporting of what is actually happening in government. <

Happy Thanksgiving to All !

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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11/13/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Expose The Facts And Let People Decide For Themselves

Yesterday a new study was released on the 50 states on public school teacher pay. It excluded special education teachers so it is applicable to the average teacher’s salary in each state.

Oklahoma came in dead last at $40,530. New York came in at the top spot recording the average at $ 80,540. So you are asking where did Virginia rank……..you’ll have to attend our meeting Thursday night to find that out. Ripley’s Restaurant, meeting is at 6 pm.

Locally teacher pay (including schools administrative staff) became somewhat controversial last year when the King William T.E.A Party took on the claims made for several years that the schools hadn’t had a pay raise in XXX years. A paid ad we ran in the Country Courier newspaper showed the salaries for 4 different positions in 2012, and what those same positions paid in 2017. The facts didn’t quite align with what the public was being told. It would be fair to say the creation of a whole new language was exposed, language that is only used in the public sector such as …..Scale adjustments, step increases, and a few other terms that deserved exposure. Suffice to say an Assistant School Superintendent that was paid $94,000 in 2012 and $110,000 in 2017 did in fact receive one or more raises in spite of their attempts to mislead with this new language. It is worth noting that local taxpayers last year absorbed an increase in their health insurance premiums that ran into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, hence no pay raise (or whatever they call them) were given last year.

11 paid holidays, 2 weeks at Christmas, a week at Easter, 10 weeks during the summer, a pension, health insurance heavily subsidized by King William citizens, group dental, group life insurance, group disability and the bevy of other goodies, such as getting paid at retirement for unused sick leave/vacation days and it really is a very generous package overall. We are still trying to get some needed details on the OPEB-- Other Post-Employment Benefits that were added some years back, but no one seems willing to publically discuss in any detail.

Our group has invited any of the School Board Representatives or the Schools Finance Director to come and speak at one of our meetings so we can flesh out whether or not this is being financed properly, as well as the scope of just who is eligible for these relatively new benefits. If you recall the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper earlier this year exposed the train wreck in the Chesterfield County School System when it was learned these OPEB benefits were not being funded, leaving Chesterfield taxpayers on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in future liabilities when these promised payments come due. Is this the case in King William? We simply can’t find this out and one might ask ……….are the school officials hiding this?

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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11/5/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Who Does John Warner Carry Water For?

Among the losses last night seeing Dave Brat defeated by 1900 votes (out of 329,000 cast) the .6 % he needed to retain the seat does indeed raise the issue of former U.S Senator John Warner’s endorsement of Abigail Spanberger in the closing weeks of the campaign. No doubt the bitter Cantorites had their knives out wanting to smash Brat, still stinging from their smack down by 7th District voters in 2013 when Brat beat Eric Cantor in the Republican primary. That was of course to be expected of this cowardly crowd. Glowing words of party unity seem to be just that. Anyone ask if Eric Cantor considered appearing with Brat to endorse him and elevate his chances at re-election? Appears that party unity takes on a new meaning- when the shoe is on the other foot.

Brat is a very honorable and decent, intelligent man. What was so exciting about sending him to DC was having someone in Congress who had rock solid integrity, and the intellect, particularly on the economics front to seriously weigh in on the national debt and the fixes for the entitlement programs that desperately need a working remedy. We had someone in Congress with the background and deep understanding that given time would have risen to prominence on this single issue.

Former Senator John Warner, an establishment RINO if there ever was, did one of the most despicable acts when he publically came out and endorsed Brat’s opponent.

Brat carried 8 of the 10 counties, but Henrico and Chesterfield gave Spanberger her margin.

The question will linger for some time, would she have had those 1900 votes had John Warner been a responsible respectable man of principle? I say not. Whatever damage this new member representing the 7th district does, I for one will remind Virginians of the treacherous traitor who lent his stature to the harm.

God Bless you Dave for your dedication, hard work and sacrifice. History records what we all do, or fail to do. History has recorded your valuable contributions to your fellow Virginians.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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11/5/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Incompetent At Best, Worthy Of Examination By Authorities

It was learned this past week that the Hamilton Holmes renovation project took yet another costly turn, having learned the building now needs a new roof. This comes on top of other revelations after the project was begun such as the costs of moving underground utilities and the removal of asbestos came to light. Anyone attending the B.O.S meeting some 18-20 months back when the President of the architectural firm gave the Board a power point presentation and then

Thanked a variety of county and school officials for their hard work and support over the 5 years they had been working on this renovation projects planning” has to today be scratching their heads in a state of bewilderment.

Just what were they doing during those 5 years? How is it after the project had been approved, after a budget had been set they are just now finding the rather glaring deficiencies in the state of the existing structure? What 12 million dollar project is approved and or begun with such a lack of construction understanding of what shape the building is in before contracts are approved or a green light is given? Can you imagine having a contractor begin agreed upon work on your home and then come back with news of this nature?

Citizens of King William are now being informed that up to an additional amount of some $700,000.00 may be required and another $ 100,000.00 for more consulting fees? One could have easily detected something very odd was going on the night this power point presentation was given when the astute Supervisor Bob Ehrhart asked the simple question

……..“Is there asbestos in the building that is going to need to be removed”…..and the astounding response was…………..we don’t know. It begs once again the question what …were they doing for this 5 years?

Citizens want good schools, but this is a classic case of contracting being done by a group of people in county government who have no private sector experience in matters of this sort.

Any feature in this project that is largely aesthetic in nature should be removed given the cost overruns this is now experiencing. Faculty and students should be in a building that is safe and comfortable. That said, any public building constructed using tax payer money should be constructed with safety, comfort qualities, and cost containment the only considerations. Want to work in some fancy digs, go apply for a job at the Bull & Bear club.

No one would spend their own money in this absurd reckless fashion.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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11/1/2018

Dear Editor

Subject:Show Me the Money

To those touting the claim, “we have the money” here is more accurate depiction.


1) At the start of this budget cycle, King William had an unreserved fund balance of ~$10 million (the Board has since appropriated 2 million to the capital improvement plan).

2) The county operating budget has increased the last two years.

3) In September [and not support by me], all non-essential program funding was restored from the budget reduction two years ago.

4) Change order costs for Hamilton Holmes School (including potential roof repairs not originally identified) will now likely exceed the budget line (I’m the only supervisor who did NOT approve these additional costs).

5) Additional funds are anticipated due to Medicaid expansion (~$11K locally in 2020).

6) Another budget increase will likely come from Social Services in December, based on a state report advocating higher annual salaries.

7) Meanwhile, we still remain one vote away from eliminating the $25 vehicle tag fee which would benefit all residents (especially low to moderate income).

8) King William currently has a debt obligation of $34.7 million.


Taxpayers do the math: $34.7 million - $8 million in reserve = $26.7 million debt. Does that sound like “we have the money” or ca-Ch’ing to homeowners with more spending?


Bob Ehrhart - Supervisor, District 5
King William, VA

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11/1/2018

Dear Editor

Subject:Voters Get What They Deserve

Listening to the variety of paid political TV ads, reading the mailers sent out by various candidates, watching the exchanges that take place at these debates leaves me both sad and confounded. Are these folks the best America has to offer? Are these the people that will magically discover hidden leadership qualities within themselves after they are elected? If recent history is any indication we can’t get very excited over the crop of candidates in Virginia, or across the nation for that matter.

Several mailers of Congressman Rob Wittman tout his “5 bills that became law”, Virginia Indian Tribe Recognition, a Maritime Bill, Protecting Social Security and Medicare, Building up our Military, yadda yadda yadda. All of these measures will either increase spending significantly or dole out new benefits. It isn’t lost on discerning voters that the 11 years Wittman has been in Congress the national debt has skyrocketed. Wittman has become quite proficient at promoting empty accomplishments such as “holding Congress accountablewhatever the hell that is supposed to mean? His consistent refusal to come and speak at a King William T.E.A Party meeting alone speaks volumes about his integrity. We have pounded him for some specifics on just what spending cuts he actually supports…….to no avail.

Last week we had a Virginia U.S Senate Candidate, Libertarian Matt Waters here at our meeting and some 15-16 people turned out. Mr. Waters is a serious man with serious ideas on just how to go about addressing the national debt issue, yet surprisingly very few citizens came out to hear what this man had to say. Even the local newspaper refused to publish the press release our group sent them, apparently to make room for another breath taking story on Halloween or perhaps a tractor pull. A U.S Senate Candidate with some real heft didn’t make the cut. Was it an oversight? Is a newspaper responsible for reporting events that are of some level of consequence? That is one of their primary roles.

So……voters will continue on the path of treating elections as some sort of athletic contest, chants of “we gotta win”…..or “my guy isn’t as bad as their guy/gal”

Meanwhile the out of control spending at every level of government marches on. Voters get what they deserve. Democrats give away the store; Republicans give away enough to stay in power.

Vote, but just remember you do have the right to write in someone’s name on the ballot on Election Day if the choices are not up to the job. Some might dismiss this as an empty symbolic gesture; some might say it is the only rational sane thing to do.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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10/30/2018

Dear Editor

Subject:Thoughtful Policy Can Make The Difference

On Thursday November 8 the King William T.E.A Party will host noted author and political policy analyst, James Bacon. Among Bacon’s numerous accomplishments are of course his book “Bacon’s Rebellion”, and his regular writings that appear on his blog, aptly named after his book, as well as his now routine articles that appear on The Bull Elephant. I read his articles regularly and find his approach to complex issues both refreshing and informative.

Bacon’s focus is on policy, he lets his readers fill in their own political views. Jim sticks with a thoughtful and carefully vented policy analysis that lays out the facts.

We had the pleasure and good fortune of having Jim speak at one of our meetings back in 2010 when he was well received and complimented by those in attendance that evening for his refreshingly honest assessment of what was going on in the political policy world at that time.

On Thursday November 8th Jim will dissect how the individual States can rein in a clearly dysfunctional Congress. Jim argues that the state governments not only have a role to play in resolving many of the pressing issues but how the states may be our last best hope in the restoration of some sort of normalcy.

This particular meeting will be held at the King William County Administration building in the old courtroom where our Board of Supervisors meets. The location is 180 Horse Landing Rd. King William, VA 23086. The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm

For those in our community who care about these matters please join us . It is a unique opportunity to hear from someone who has gained a considerable following, deservedly so.

For more background info on James Bacon please visit baconsrebellion.com B

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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10/22/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Letter-to-the-Editor

Folks, soon, one of the most important elections in King William County will be taken by the Board of Supervisors; to determine the Board Chairperson for 2019. The ‘routine’ has been to rotate the Chairman’s position and this is the time for Supervisor Ehrhart to be chosen as the Chairperson.

I encourage you to support the ‘routine’ selection process in support of Supervisor Ehrhart; because, as Chairperson can introduce Motions that he has championed in the past, with little or no support from other Board members, such as:

the immediately reduction of Homeowner’s Property Taxes by 4 cents per hundred. This would bring our Property Taxes below 90 cents for the first time in seven years. We can afford this because of the huge excess currently held in the County non-designated Reserve Funds.
the elimination of Vehicle Taxes, for the elderly and poor;
the elimination of the Business Professional Licensing (BPOL). This will support current and future business in our County; and
King William County pulling out of the yearly fees paid to the Airport Authority, from which the average citizen gets little.

All of the aforementioned, millions of dollars in savings to King William County Citizens can be had when Supervisor Ehrhart is elected Chairperson; because, I will immediately second every motion, and all that would be needed is for Supervisor Greenwood to vote YES or ABSTAIN.

It will not matter what any other Supervisor votes, Chairperson Ehrhart’s motions will pass and millions in Taxpayer money will go back to the Taxpayer.

Regards...
Dave Hansen … KWBOS
District 4 (Manquin)"
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10/15/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: A Point Of View Worth Considering?

On Thursday October 25th @ 6:30 pm, the King William T.E.A Party will host U.S Senate Candidate Matt Waters as our special guest. Waters is the Libertarian Candidate running against incumbent Tim Kaine and Republican challenger Corey Stewart.

Increasing numbers of discerning voters refuse to self-identify as republicans or democrats. I personally attribute this to the growing recognition that on many governing issues the two parties have little that distinguishes them from one another. Every election cycle we listen to the same old refrain of slogans and platitudes that we have grown weary of listening to when they are attempting to secure our precious votes. It is what happens after they are elected that warrants closer examination.

It was a republican Virginia Governor that gave us a new 6 billion dollar tax increase, it was Congressional republican majorities that pledged in 2010 and again in 2012 to cut spending, halt the expansion of Medicaid and to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) . Many Republicans like Del Chris Peace who adamantly insisted in 2014 that he was opposed to expanding Medicaid here in Virginia, turned around and voted for it earlier this year.

Republican lawmakers in DC yet again just refused to provide the necessary funding for President Trump to build the wall along our southern border. Is this what can be expected from a political party that champions itself as the party of lower taxes and smaller government? Is this a matter of too little competition in American politics?

Matt Waters is a serious, deliberate and thoughtful man. His suggestions to reform much of our federal government are practical and well thought out. The incumbent and his republican challenger hardly address the spending issues at all.

Waters has proposed shutting down the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S), and to end the Federal Income Tax. It is Waters that has suggested we close/eliminate several cabinet level departments until we bring spending in line with revenue.

If you are concerned about Federal spending and the ultimate price our children and grandchildren will be burdened with please join us at the Library to hear what this serious man has to say.

You can continue to view voting as some sort of athletic contest , you can hang onto the outdated notion that “our guy isn’t as bad as their guy”, or forgive these ongoing and routine lies they continue to tell you……or inject some long overdue competition into a stale political process that plays us for fools. It is up to you to change it.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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9/29/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Wittman Continues To Duck And Dodge King William T.E.A Party

This past week our 2 local newspapers detailed Congressman Rob Wittman’s 3 visits to area groups to “meet and discuss their concerns”……..

All 3 of these groups are located in the King William County area. All 3 of these groups are “soft audiences”, friendly groups inclined to give the Congressman a warm welcome with softball questions.

Is that the criteria Wittman uses when he states we should contact his office to arrange meeting with him to discuss our concerns? His staff has continued for 6-9 months to stonewall our repeated requests for Wittman to come and speak at one of our meetings. Why is Wittman so reluctant? What was the National debt when Wittman was first elected? What is it today?

Our group is comprised of citizens who live in his district. Our group is comprised of intelligent individuals who have insight into the world of politics and how it works. Our group has tough questions on Wittman’s record and his dodging the topic of spending cuts. Our group wants to ask Wittman what spending cuts he has that would address the national debt that is spiraling out of control.

In a recent visit to another group, Wittman took President Trump to task on the President’s proposal to withhold the proposed 1.9% pay raise for retired Federal employees. Wittman stated that “we must find inefficiencies elsewhere”. This guy has been in Congress for 11 years and apparently he is still looking for these elusive inefficiencies. This is the same guy who voted NO on cutting subsidies to Amtrak and we all understand why. If Wittman can’t cut this low hanging fruit, he won’t cut anything.

That might explain then why he keeps ducking the King William T.E.A Party and trots around the district pandering to groups he knows won’t ask the tough questions he would have to answer at our meeting.

Taxpayers pay this guy’s salary, and those taxpayers include members and supporters of the King William T.E.A Party. He works for us, perhaps in November voters need to send Wittman packing. He can chose to accept our invitation and convince voters he is worthy of keeping his job. He isn’t likely to do that because he is a typical politician, dole out some money /benefits to select groups that he can then expect to send him back to DC every two years. He has over 11 years learned how to play the game. Rob Wittman is symbolic of what is wrong in Congress and why our national problems worsen while Rob continues his hunt for those elusive inefficiencies.

If you care about holding government accountable pick up your phone, call his office and ask his staff why Wittman continues to duck us. Ask him why he refuses to speak at a King William T.E.A Party meeting. He certainly has found time to speak to plenty of other groups.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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9/26/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: And The Wheel Goes Round And Round And Round

In a recent episode of political pandering Congressman Rob Wittman spoke at a picnic of retired civil service employees, denigrating President Trumps call for cancelling a proposed 1.9% pay raise for federal civil service retirees. Wittman made the statement that “we must look for inefficiencies elsewhere”. Like Amtrak subsidies Rob?

At Monday night’s Board of Supervisor meeting the requested supplemental appropriations for Bay Area Agency on Aging, Bay Transit, the Library etc., those in attendance listened to much of the same. The (unelected) County Administrator waxed poetically about the needs of citizens for the services of Bay Transit. Supervisor Dave Hansen correctly pointed out the limited services that government rightly should provide, public schools, law enforcement, maintenance of a court system among others, but government has no business being in the taxi business. Chairman Bill Hodges commented “it’s their money” as if the requested additional funds were the sole property of those who use the service. I wonder if Hodges ever considers the intentions of local voters who just 3 years ago threw 3 incumbents off the Board? Did voters throw these 3 off because they wanted more local government spending? Of course not, but Hodges is a pawn for the same elitist crowd, shielding the oligarchs tax schemes, and the public sector crowd who never saw a budget they didn’t think needed more money. His own words speak volumes about the lack of intellectual depth, or honesty for that matter. The money also belongs Mr. Hodges to the people who cleaned house down there in 2015, and they sent a message you just chose to ignore. Voters wanted less government, not more.

Supervisor Bob Ehrhart keenly observed the fallacy that this service was so vital by questioning the County Administrator on her own words, namely that when hours at Bay Transit were cut some years back “ridership fell off”. Ehrhart correctly noted that these folks must have found alternative methods then on how to get to work, school or their shopping needs. Park ingenuity or personal responsibility so long that you can get someone else to pick up the tab?

People like Wittman, Bill Hodges and the County Administrator just don’t get it. They can always find more reasons for spending additional money that doesn’t belong to them to begin with. When you hear someone like these folks make statements that “we need to find the inefficiencies elsewhere “the question is obvious-----why don’t they ever find these inefficiencies? They bend logic into a pretzel to justify spending more. Why…… These folks are rewarding the constituencies that keep them in power. Until there is a constituency that applies an equal amount of pressure to curb their appetite to give away your money nothing much will change.

Citizens of King William County, it truly is in your hands.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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9/21/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Pizza, Pols And Parity

It is times like these that move me to recall the late Jerry Lund, the former WRVA radio host and his constant reminder that absent intellectual honesty nothing else mattered. Jerry was one of the very best. Jerry made us examine our own conscience.

In almost every single element of our daily lives competition has been the determining factor in selection, costs and ultimate value we receive in products goods, and services. I often use the most simplest of example, citing pizza to make the point. In our area anyone can get a reasonably good large pizza for $6--$21 depending on where you go and what type of pizza you like. The $21 pizza might be a little better tasting, but even the $6 pizza is pretty good. Absent competition that would certainly not be the case. The same can be said about hundreds of other goods and services, costs are restrained and choices abundant because we as consumers can chose where and with whom we do business. In the end we have a system that serves us well, lowering costs and offering us choices.

For well over a century now American politics has been controlled by two political parties, and up until about 35 years ago the two parties had distinct differences that made them a real choice for citizens who elected to participate in the process. Policy positions had considerably differing approaches to the vexing problems that face a modern society. No intellectually honest person could make that argument in 2018. What has happened that brought this about is not hard to understand. Once politicians abandoned the pay as you go philosophy, no generation should bury the next in unyielding debt, and came to understand they could retain political power by buying votes the results we see today should not be hard to understand. We are mired in problems that could be fixed, but as Rush Limbaugh said two years ago :

Republicans don’t really want smaller government, they just want a turn at running it

Today intelligent Americans are waking to this truth, and beginning to question if indeed there are any substantial differences between the two political parties, I refer to them as the republicrats and the democans. Set aside the platitudes and the slogans they dust off and trot out each election cycle, government grows bigger, the debt grows bigger and the problems grow bigger.

Withholding support from the republicrats who lie and break promise after promise to address the debt issue, or to build the Wall , insisting they won’t expand Medicaid, (I could go on & on) is another way of injecting COMPETITION into a system that has shown just how corrupt and flawed that it is.

Congressman Rob Wittman in a textbook example of pandering this past week spoke at an association of retired federal employees picnic, pledging to fight President Trumps attempts to curtail spending by denying the 1.9% pay raise being proposed for federal employees by Congress. Wittman said we should look for efficiencies elsewhere? This is the same Wittman that voted NO on proposed spending cuts to Amtrak two years ago. 11-12 years in Congress and Old Rob can’t seem to find those efficiencies anywhere, given his predisposition to only having the ability to find things that require more spending. This is also the same Wittman who can find time to pander to just about any group he is buying votes from…….yet can’t find the time to visit the King William T.E.A Party , because he knows why we have asked him to come and speak at one of our meetings.

Wake up folks, there are choices. Come listen to the U.S Senate Candidate, Libertarian Matt Waters when he visits our group on Thursday October 25. Mr. Waters has proposed the shuttering of the I.R.S, along with 4-5 other cabinet level departments as one measure of bringing spending in line with revenues.

Of course this does require something you might find a bit discomforting, it requires you to examine in your own personal value system…………..intellectual honesty. God Bless Jerry Lund for instilling that in thousands of his listeners over his long and distinguished career.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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9/14/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Refusing To Deal With The Reality Of The Republican Deceit

Honest people can respectfully disagree with one another. Some believe that republicans winning elections will advance conservative causes. Some believe that half a loaf is better than no loaf. Some believe that elections are some sort of athletic contest, and that winning is more important than advancing a goal or principle. Some follow “my guy isn’t as bad as the other guy”, and use that rationalization as justification for ignoring a candidate’s actual record, regardless of how many times the voter has been lied to. Some chose to ignore that a candidate has raised taxes, or lent support to public monies being used for a host of wasteful spending, or supporting subsidies for political patron’s crony capitalism schemes. I often simply ask politicians “give me a few specific things you support cutting

Lots of reasons are used to rationalize what has become delusional behavior. I listen to people that I know reasonably intelligent people who come up with excuse after excuse as to why we must ignore a candidate’s record and support them anyway. I hear “we have to get rid of XYZ”…or “you have to win first before anything will change”. It is as if these people have already forgotten what was promised in 2010 “if only we gave them the House”, or in 2012 “if only we gave them the U.S Senate

What amount of the 300 billion in promised spending cuts did we get in 2010? When was the Affordable Care Act Repealed (as promised)? Just how did Medicaid Expansion happen in Virginia? We have had Republican Presidents, Republican Governors, and Republicans control both houses at the National and State level a half dozen times in the last 25 years. What has improved? Where have the debt levels gone at the national and state level? What can you cite as evidence that allowing Republicans control of anything has helped move conservative causes forward?

I am reminded when I listen to these people advocating blind loyalty to a political party that continues to show utter contempt for all conservatives of the line in the movie “A Few Good Men“uttered by a drunken Tom Cruise after his co-counsel failed to verify that a defendant actually was where he said he was, and Cruise blurted in an angry rage directed at Demi Moore

Let’s continue to follow the advice of the galactically stupid” ……………sound a little familiar?

Our nation faces more problems than I can count, but none more important to our very survival , none more perilous than the levels of debt that are going to bury us, certainly change the future our children will have. Our children and grandchildren face a bleak future because we refuse to appreciate the dire consequences when the financial collapse that is coming occurs.

Which political party occupies the White House or sits in the Governor’s Mansion won’t matter when our currency collapses or the economy goes into a death spiral and renders capitalism dead. Who sits on the Supreme Court won’t count for much when inflation spirals out of control and we have citizens eating garbage because our money becomes worthless. Who among you are so arrogant that think what we are watching at the moment in Venezuela can’t happen here? As I often tell students I speak to “math is math, it doesn’t change when you cross an ocean or speak in a different language, it is still math”

The only remedy that will work to reform the Republican Party is to withhold our support until they begin the process of restoring the principles that served this nation well for the first 175 years of our existence. Rush Limbaugh said two years ago on his program “republicans really don’t want smaller government …they just want a turn at running it”.

Why would the republican establishment change if they watch you every election cycle ignore the broken promises, the outright lies, the piling up of more debt……….when they know you will walk into a voting booth each election cycle and vote for them anyway ? They have no incentive whatsoever to change a damn thing. What is the logic behind the blind support for republicans when it is republicans that allowed Medicaid Expansion to occur in the first place? Why in the hell do we fear democrats in office when republicans often are responsible for the damage being done?

Winning is secondary to advancing a principle. Standing on principle is our only way out of this. Standing on principle served our nation well. Republicans have won countless elections yet our public education system is worse, our financial situation is worse, our liberty, freedom and culture have suffered.

Come up with a strategy that actually has some promise, actually has a sound well thought out and detailed chance of succeeding ---or “continue to follow the advice of the galactically stupid

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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9/6/2018

Dear Editor

Subject:$$$$$$$$--- Hamilton-Holmes Renovation Project--- $$$$$$$$ We Warned You

At the County B.O.S meeting on Monday August 27 the audience heard from an official at the Architectural firm overseeing the project, and Dr. David White, Superintendent of King William Schools. No one should be shocked that additional money is going to be asked for, given the revelation that more items have been uncovered as the work has progressed.

If you happened to attend the BOS meeting some 18 months back when this Architectural firm had a power point presentation that night, the firm’s President thanked the school board for the work they had done the last 5 years in anticipation of starting this renovation project.

Now we learn the roof is damaged, asbestos exists that needs removed and the gym needs $60,000 to sound proof it. It was also recently discovered that underground utility lines were not where they thought they were and would have to be relocated/reconfigured as well.

The obvious first question is just what were they doing for that 5 years---playing checkers ?

The King William T.E.A Party had suggested before this project was approved ( given it’s 12 million dollar price tag) and the fact that no one on the Board of Supervisors, nor the School Board has any commercial construction experience, the BOS consider hiring an outside commercial contractor on a fee basis to thoroughly examine the proposed plans for some savings that might be realized. This reasonable suggestion was never taken into serious consideration………….and look where we are at now. When you are spending your own money you economize, you look for savings and frivolous features that can be cut to keep costs down. When you are spending taxpayers money ….not so much.

Some of the work proposed in the original plan was cosmetic in nature. In hindsight one might ponder if the major structural problems they are now encountering shouldn’t have been their top priorities before we even talked about basketball rims? Only a fool would miss what is going on here. How much more money will this renovation need before it is finished? No one really knows. What we do know is that the contingency fund has dwindled down to a very small amount of money, and with these newly discovered major problems King William taxpayers are about to be hosed for who knows how much more.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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9/6/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Tepid Leadership In Troubled Times

Among the issues we deal with in American politics today none is more confounding than the weak vacillating, almost cowardly leadership we see exhibited by the Republican party at the state and local level.

In a Bull Elephant post written by David Willis on 09/01/18 the author begins by asking the question

I’m truly starting to wonder if the rank & file of the Republican Party in Virginia have the stomach for the fight we must have in Virginia…..no one wants to be accountable and no one wants to hold anyone accountable”. Remember all the tough talk from the T.E.A Party?.

At the state and local level the Republican Party is being led by men & women who have clearly demonstrated they don’t have the stomach for the fight. The article centers on the broad range of censures being produced by a swath of county committees with language that runs the gamut of plain spoken tough truth (Culpepper County) to the watered down soft soap mish mash that literally makes a conservative skin crawl. Puss boots in Fauquier County wet their pants with the calls in Culpepper for State Senator Jill Vogel to immediately resign, a pledge to deny her any future support and calls for her to be removed from her position as Chair on the Senate Finance committee. I personally wish they would bring back public hangings.

Contrast that with Fauquier’s censure language that “reaffirms the creed of the Republican Party of Virginia and express our extreme disappointment and disagreement with Senator Jill Vogel’s vote in support of a budget that included funding for Medicaid expansion”. What in the hell does that even mean anymore…..reaffirm the Republican creed?

Also noted in the article , Vogel had campaigned when she ran for Lt. Governor last year promising to oppose additional taxes , public funding for abortion providers, as well as rejecting any budget containing Medicaid expansion in Virginia………ultimately voting for a budget that contained all 3 . The Democratic committee of Fauquier County praised her.

Those stressing “civility”, insisting that we avoid using incendiary –provocative –caustic language in the censure statements?? I am just thankful it wasn’t these types who prevailed at our nation’s founding. Patriots possess warrior’s blood, Patriots are bold and decisive. The Republican Party is being led by men & women who are more concerned with their vaunted & treasured standing within the party than they will ever be with solving any problems.

Freedom and Liberty must be fought for if they are to be maintained. Sacrifice of one’s personal standing is a necessity. Declaring War within the party is long overdue.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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9/4/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: VA Write, 29 Aug. Blog concerning Gov. Northam’s $70 M Charging Station deal with Micron

Charging stations ( CS’s ) are another pinko progressive solution in search of a problem. Let me count the ways:

EV’s, like hybrids, can the recharged at one’s home, at night while you sleep. Exurban CS’s not needed.

Governor, never saw a boondoggle I didn’t want to fund, Northam wants to sprinkle charging stations around Virginia DC exurbia. EV range is on the order of +/- 280 miles. This is more than enough range to accommodate almost all home to work to home trips in California east. Exurban CS’s not needed.

Of course, there is no convincing pinko progressives, but CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas ( look up water vapor ). The pinkos have fraudulently adopted CO2 as an excuse to expand government. Control energy and you control the nation. Congratulations.

When one counts electric utility fossil fuel use, the electric transmission and distribution energy losses and the energy needed to produce batteries, the carbon foot print BS is a push. Wind and solar are prohibitively expensive and chronically unreliable. You can't look just at nameplates ( rated power ). Service factors ( less than 50% ) must be considered. Almost equal amounts of backup power ( fossil, hydro, nuclear ) are needed to guarantee reliability of the grid. Oh, by the way, there is an efficiency penalty for both charging and discharging a battery. No energy conversion is 100% efficient.

Battery replacement – how often does one replace the battery in your dastardly fossil fueled vehicle? Every two to four years. Replacing spent batteries in your EV will wipe out any offset fossil fuel savings. When batteries last as long as fuel tanks, then, we may have something.

When EV’s become more prevalent, and they will, entrepreneurs will risk their own money and build CS’s along interstates. Recall, CS’s are not needed for commuting. I’m not against EV’s, although the environmental impact is neutral and the technology is still nascent. However, I am against using tax payer money for something that is superfluous. This reminds me of subsidizing Amtrak so that rich nutmeg, garden and empire state fat cats can commute cheaply to the big apple on our nickel.

Governor Northam, this deal is a shameless ploy to extort campaign contributions. You must stay awake at night thinking of ways to spend tax payer money to keep Demo’s in power.

Rick Ryan, PE, North Carolina
MS, Mechanical Engineering, U of Md., College Park, 1986, Areas: thermo and fluid dynamics

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9/3/2018

Dear Editor

Subject:Citizens For A Better King William (C.B.K.W) Where Are They Now?



Shortly after the elections of 2015 a new group was formed in King William, apparently in opposition to the 3 incumbents being tossed from office and the fear ( hysterically humorous) that King William had been taken over by revolutionaries who were going to end school bus service, all athletic programs, cancel the extracurricular activities and lay off scores of teachers. The “sky was falling” according to this new group. Meetings were taking place, luminaries included a former Supervisor, local progressive leaders from every corner of government huddled together to lay out plans to combat this dastardly shift in the political winds. This new group was comprised of folks who were collecting paychecks from the public trough, or simply protecting the public trough at large. Those horrible conservatives that wanted some spending restraint and lower taxes had to be stopped.

No one has heard a word from these folks in quite some time. Just what has happened to this group? The King William T.E.A Party knows a thing or two about running a grass roots civics organization , staffed by an all- volunteer army ( none of us collect a paycheck from our group) who doesn’t have taxpayer resources at its disposal, so we have to do it the old fashion way . Volunteers plan our meetings, volunteers plan our Education programs, write the content for our website and paid ads. Volunteers paint and maintain our hated roadside yellow signs, volunteers work on securing guest speakers, and manning the tents we set up at local county functions.

What has happened should be a textbook example of who controls the reins of local government and the ensuing effects. Voters delude themselves into believing all they have to do is throw out a few folks.

Once 3rd District Supervisor went Judas on us, the reasons for this groups existence became redundant. These folks were “ out of the woods” so to speak. What real danger existed to their little progressive heaven they are trying to build ? They had a 3-2 vote advantage on the Board of Supervisors, they have county government supporting more local government, they certainly have the school board and school administrations support, the courts have demonstrated no reluctance whatsoever to use their resources, primarily to get a particular Supervisor who stubbornly refuses to knuckle under. Why bother with the hard work running a grass roots civic organization, when you have all of the local government doing the work for you?

We now have paid Fire & Rescue, 2 million set aside to further their “targeted infrastructure plans”, larger allocations to the schools, more hires announced this week in the County Administration, higher funding for the stray cats n’ dogs constituency, and the boondoggle renovations underway at Hamilton Holmes. Add to that a Full Time Assistant County Commonwealth Attorney ( to combat that spike in domestic violence ) The tax scams are intact, the exemptions and reduced taxes for the favored sons haven’t been touched….the CBKW have all the levers of local government already doing their work for them….why bother with a new effort ?

This is precisely what happens when you think just voting once every 4 years is enough. You get swallowed by the legions who work full -time, year round, finding new ways to pick your pocket.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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9/2/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Help Wanted (Needed) King William School Board

Despite an 8 month effort to secure an explanation of the O.P.E.B (Other Post Employment Benefits) School Board member Steve Tupponce demonstrated yet again why citizens need some new candidates next year to replace the entire School Board. (A little background)

Tupponce was provided an e-mailed copy of a study done by the Wharton School at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania. The topic was on the alarming scope of the public sector pension problem, made worse by elected officials who compound the problem by adding these additional supplemental benefits. The King William T.E.A Party has been highlighting this issue for one reason…...it is going to result in massive real estate & property tax increases as these obligations come due . Apparently Tupponce (read his responses below) believes that citizens can continue to be duped by these clearly evasive responses that fool no one.

The study shows for example that the current national level of underfunding is 4.4 Trillion dollars, according to Moody’s Investment Services. This is equal to the entire economy of Germany, or 1/5 of the National debt.

Using a 5 trillion dollar shortfall / 158 million American workers = an obligation of about $32,000 per worker. Ask Mr. Tupponce where you are going to get an extra $32,000 out of your budget?

Olivia Mitchell - Professor of Economics & Public policy at Wharton says the “Problem is worsening because State & local governments have neglected to take corrective action”.

Mitchell added “I think the place to start is transparency” which is precisely why our group has been pushing the school board to come forward and address this issue in the honest manner it deserves.

Mitchell added “property owners will be held responsible for unfunded liabilities through a stealth tax” A stealth tax will be the coming higher property and real estate taxes that will be required as a direct result of Tupponce and the other Board members playing Santa Claus, doling out benefits that they know by the time they come due and have to be paid for Tupponce and the others responsible will by then have gone on down the road leaving someone else to clean it up. Here are some of Tupponces illogical & evasive responses.

Tupponce: “I understand the transition mentioned in the article and the effects of the economic crash had on defined pensions in the private sector “ ?????

The article was on Public Sector pension underfunding and only mentions private sector pensions in passing, namely that private sector pensions must pass rather rigorous annual tests that public sector pension’s side step with all types of accounting shenanigans. The assumed rate of return used in many of these public sector annual reports is preposterous, much higher assumed rates of return which again only compounds the already serious problem when the assumed rate of return doesn’t materialize.

Tupponce: “I agree that State & localities, including the School Board need to address the underfunding of VRS. I will continue to work with my fellow board members, Supervisors, and State representatives to address the underfunding”???

No mention of what the central question is and has been the last 8 months asked of Mr. Tupponce….namely the OPEB benefits, the additional supplemental benefits handed out by the local school board. Are these only making the already existing problem even worse? Our suspicion is that is precisely what is happening. Our website has detailed the findings of a series of in depth R.T.D articles from earlier this year, showcasing the tens of millions of dollars of supplemental benefits handed out by the Chesterfield School Board, with the findings that no monies have been set aside to fund these rather grandiose benefits, Taxpayers in Chesterfield are in for some hefty tax increases on their homes & property when these costs come due.

Virginia annually gives the localities a percentage of payroll they must contribute to VRS, Tupponce hopes to dodge this distinction. Tupponce (and the School Board) have no control over VRS contributions; King William forwards to the State whatever the State tells them to each year. Tupponce understands this, so why does he continue to side step what we are asking, not about VRS (we already know that’s a problem) but the more locally controlled O.P.E.B benefits he appears to want to avoid discussing in greater detail?

Tupponce : “I would support that the School Board adopt a policy that would apply a portion of any year end surplus to be used to pay down King William’s obligation for the teacher fund until it is zero” ???

The issue of a school’s year end surplus is a question in and of itself. Why should any public school even have a year-end surplus, and what should be done with any surplus----return it to the people who paid the taxes that the surplus represents, an overcharge, like any other government surplus, it represents an excess charge, taxes that were too high to begin with. Tupponce talks as if the “surplus” belongs to the schools to begin with.

King William citizens deserve a school board that represents the citizens who shell out increasing amounts of their hard earned money and deserve to have it spent judiciously.

That isn’t happening and Tupponce’s own words demonstrate just that.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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8/29/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Life Inside The King William County Cocoon

Having been a attendee at the monthly Board of Supervisor meetings since 2009 I have witnessed and listened to some very odd statements, and at times silly rants by some characters whose only audience is their cohorts in that room. It occurred to me that I was wasting my and others time by speaking myself during the public comment periods, given the composition of the audience that you generally see at these meetings. Why take up 3-5 minutes of everyone’s valuable time when you recognize no one there wants to hear what you have to say anyway. I, and the King William T.E.A Party have much more productive means of communicating our message. Those B.O.S meetings are in many respects an echo chamber for the status quo crowd who love hearing themselves and patting themselves on the back for what is more often than not a self- righteous , self-serving exercise .

Monday night was particularly interesting in that one of the speakers during the public comment period engaged in precisely the type of echo chamber stunt that certainly gained her a few brownie points with her contemporaries, but clearly illustrated how ridiculous it is for any citizen to remotely associate the republicrat party with conservatism. This woman took a cheap shot at Supervisor Dave Hansen with her donation of some copy paper so that “the county would never have to not honor it’s volunteers because of a lack of paper”….referencing of course Hansen’s comments last month on the official recognition for people doing their jobs, jobs that come with a very nice salary and Cadillac benefit plan. Hansen did not, nor intended to diminish the genuine contributions that VOLUNTEERS, make in our community. It didn’t matter , it served up a soft ball pitch , just the example the Hansen haters salivate over, in this clearly orchestrated and coordinated attempt to shut down the one true conservative voice on the Board.

Since this person is associated with the republicrat leadership in King William , allow me to pose a very simply straightforward question. When has this woman or any other republicrat in King William commended Hansen or his efforts to rein in spending or cut taxes? Isn’t that what the republicrat party represents? Can anyone cite when the local republicrats touted or commended Hansen for at least trying to promote spending cuts, tax cuts, bedrock principles ( or so they claim) during Hansen’s 3 years on the Board ? It is appropriate to condemn Hansen if you think he has said or behaved in a manner that is deserving of condemnation……..but when has this person ever taken to the podium and complimented Hansen’s conservative promotion of principles they are supposed to embody?

This woman is a member of the status quo crowd, and apparently needs their blessing in order to stay in their good graces. What better way to stay in those good graces than to get up and take the kind of cheap shot she did Monday night. I am sure she received plenty of kudos from this collective band of progressive fools who are driving the county, the state of Virginia and America into bankruptcy. Just be honest and stop calling yourself a conservative.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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8/26/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Year 10 Off To A Great Start !

In our discussion last night, the first K.W.T.P meeting of year 10 we dove deep into the Survey results, wrestling with what the King William T.E.A Party top priorities should be. One of our long time members Rick Ryan presented his findings after analyzing the Surveys completed by those actively involved in our groups efforts.

Opened up for a broader discussion we were reminded of two distinct factors that we could not ignore. The first is why so many of these local T.E.A Party groups have declined; many of whom no longer even have regular meetings. Numerous articles have been written on what happened to these local grass roots civic organizations that were flourishing a few years back, where did they go wrong, how did they get off track? One cause listed was the co-opting of these groups by Republican Party organizations that have simply absorbed many of the folks who once comprised their membership. We see clear evidence of this in Mechanicsville where they now are routinely using T.E.A Party signs to put up campaign signs for republican candidates and incumbents. The non-partisan language in the Charter of the Mechanicsville T.E.A Party group is a document they should dust off and read again. Apparently calling yourself a non-partisan group and fulfilling that declaration has been lost of those folks. Objective intelligent citizens who correctly see both political parties sharing in the cause of the nation’s problems resent the groups abandoning their claim of non-partisan.

The second factor cited in various writings on what happened to these local groups dealt with what is best defined as a “dispersion of energy”………chasing far too many issues than the limited manpower, and other resources would allow for. I recalled my own personal observations how these varying groups lack any understanding of having actual action plans, jumping from one hot button issue to another two weeks later. No follow through, or specific concrete steps on just what to do about any particular issue, they move onto another discussion without actually doing anything about the issue. An analogy is a business that this week produces candy, next week light bulbs, and then cosmetic jewelry a month later. No cohesive specifics on a strategy exist.

The King William TEA Party refuses to fall into that trap. Our original mission was in the beginning what it still is today……….

Cut Government Spending----Cut Taxes—Honor Our U.S Constitution. Tweaking our format as to just how we stay true to that mission is a prudent and wise choice to make when we recognize the danger of becoming a social club or a gripe session , where people gather to vent their complaints, yet have no action plan to address any of the issues in a manner that meets measurable objectives. We don’t exist just to exist.

Educating citizens is the key on all 3 of the clearly annunciated goals of our group. It took us 5-7 years to reach a point where citizens of King William in the majority came to understand that real estate taxes here were out of control and much higher than they needed to be. It has taken an equal amount of time to construct the case that much of the spending that goes on in local government is not only unconstitutional but wasteful. Local government and school officials spreading mistruths and in select instances actually lying to the public had to be exposed, and that takes time and energy to attend the various meetings and gather data. In our efforts to teach citizens why the U.S Constitution is so vitally important to preserving a self- representative democracy we must find, identify and then report on evident abuses that are occurring in the present to demonstrate what our wise Founders meant when they asked the question “are we to govern ourselves as a nation of laws …..or a nation of men”. In that vein one can look at what is transpiring presently in the use of taxpayer resources and our legal system for no better reason than to vilify a certain Supervisor who has attempted since his election to actually do the very things he pledged to do as a candidate. If the law were applied - if the rule of law prevailed - this would not be occurring. When …men become the law no citizen is safe, no citizen can take comfort in believing they won’t be the next target.

We are witnessing locally and at the national level the criminalizing of political points of view……the legal process being used as a tool to punish anyone who dare to challenge the powerful special interests who enjoy the status quo designation and resent whether it be President Trump or a local official who wants to shrink the size and scope of governments overreach, cut or reduce spending and or reduce the tax burden for the average citizen.

The old adage is that tough times don’t last, but tough people do. Increasing numbers of local citizens recognize there is no other conservative voice that refuses to cower to the pressures brought to bear by those desiring to grow government or sustain whatever advantage they may enjoy by the status quo being maintained. Criticize and condemn us, it will not in any way diminish our determination. Government is too big, it consumes resources that are better left in the hands of citizens to decide these resources best and most productive use.

That is our mission, and we begin our 10th year with a renewed commitment to not stray from it. We remind our fellow citizens in King William, this requires more of an effort than simply voting once every 4 years. Get involved; attend our meetings, volunteer, run for office or the school board. Preserving our liberty and protecting our constitutional rights require hard work and a constant vigilance. As former President Ronald Reagan once said “where do we go if freedom& liberty is lost here”.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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8/16/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: T.E.A Party Calls Out Both Political Parties Cowardice

A few weeks back I wrote on the K.W Democrats Meeting Announcement that runs in a local newspaper, citing how in the actual newspaper announcement they criticize “the tax breaks for the rich”as a reason to come and join the local Democratic party. No one has been more critical than I have over how the tax code has become the “dirty currency“ of American politics, at every level of government. I have repeatedly used that actual language. Elected officials of both parties every year tweak the code, often very quietly to reward their donor patrons who are not writing those campaign checks for nothing.

I openly challenged the K.W Democrats to explain since they are so focused on tax breaks for the privileged folks why so silent on the local tax code abuses that have gone on for 60 or more years, right here in their own backyard ? I asked why a butcher, baker and candle stick maker has to pay a BPOL (Business Professional Occupational License) tax, but a farmer doesn’t? I asked them to challenge why someone age 65 or someone disabled who applies for real estate tax relief under King William County guidelines is “means tested” while some of the wealthiest people in the county receive almost unlimited tax relief, regardless of their financial status ?

It might be explained that local Democrats don’t read our postings on our website…….but we all know that isn’t true. Maybe they are a part of the very same hypocritical machine that allows the quid pro quo to continue. Local government and the public sector are allowed to mushroom and the Oligarchs get to keep things just as they are---everyone is happy.

I noted in an e-mail this week that Hanover County government is considering a $500,000.00 Architectural study to access the viability of using one of the now abandoned county buildings as a County Historical Society location. Hanover has issued hundreds of millions in Bonds that is going to come back and really sting homeowners there in the not so distant future .…….I asked if the Hanover County Republican Party had an official position on this glaringly wasteful expenditure of $500,000.00 ? Would someone ask the members of the Hanover Republican party to officially comment on this---for the record? I suggested that each member of the Hanover Board of Supervisors be asked the very same question, you know the Supervisors that ran in 2011 , attending and speaking at the MTP meetings, telling everyone they intended to “rein in runaway government spending, cut waste and lower taxes in Hanover------those folks. Odd how they have all morphed into big government progressives after they got a taste of the power associated with giving lots of other people’s money away. Get Sean Davis, Canova Petersen, Wayne Hazzard, those bastions of conservatism to go on record with what they think of this $500,000.00 expenditure.

For that matter where is the Mechanicsville and Patrick Henry T.E.A Party groups…and just what do they exist for-------to put up campaign signs for Wittman? It saddens me that I once had anything to do with such cowardly weak groups.

Limited Government is necessary, but the government we have today has become a cancer, literally eating away at the financial and moral fiber of our nation and our human souls.

Bumper stickers, Patriot license plates, Make America Great hats and T-shirts……that is your solution. Get your heads out of your ___, it is going to take some hard work, asking lots of tough questions, questions that too few of us are asking, and even fewer are willing to answer.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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8/16/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Non-Profits, The Tax Code ---No Oversight

James Bacon continues his excellent research and reporting on his website/blog and is now a regular contributor to The Bull Elephant. Bacon is also noted author of “Boomergeddon” detailing how the Boomer generation is facing a bleak retirement thanks largely to runaway deficit spending, the debt bomb and the rising debt service costs that will create economic havoc at some point.

In a TBE piece this week Bacon dives deep into the proliferation of Non –Profits and raises valid questions as to the lack of oversight or accountability in how they often spend their funds. Bacon cites the impact on the tax code, given the growing money being bequeathed from Foundations and Endowments. The U.S Tax Code allows for generous deductions made by the likes of Bill Gates (who Bacon praises for his good works on eliminating Malaria and reforming education).

Among Bacon’s notable points

1.6 million Non-Profits now employ some 11.4 million, making them the 3rd largest employer in the country after retail and manufacturing

In 2016 PHP Staffing Group reported employment in the Non Profit sector over the previous 10 years had grown 20%, compared to 2-3% in the for profit sector.

Non Profits now comprise 10% of the U.S Economy

Having attended local government meetings now for a decade I have sat through budget meetings where various local Non–Profits present requests for county funds . I have also examined just what these local non-profits actually do and found considerable duplication of services provided by already existing non-profits and our own County Social Service agencies.

Bacon cites the lack of oversight and accountability in non-profits as an area that should be of concern given their explosive growth. Equally troubling is the lost tax revenue since these institutions are largely funded by endowments created by very wealthy individuals who take extremely generous tax deductions as a result of their funding.

I have examined their budgets, and often like public schools and other government agency operations the vast majority (85% and more) are spent on salaries/benefits with little of the actual money going to the supposed beneficiaries of the programs they run.

Boards established to provide oversight are often mere rubber stamps. Bacon contrasts for profit oversight with non-profit oversight and cites the differences making it very clear this proliferation of non-profits, particularly given how it impacts tax revenue needs more attention. It is among the views of some a tax abuse situation, starting out well intended as they often do, but doing not much more than providing employment opportunities in endeavors that contribute little to our economy or the people these non-profits are supposed to be helping.

I hope the King William Board of Supervisors begins to ask some tougher questions about how the non-profits they dole out our money to spend it. Isn’t that what we elected them to do ?

If Board members like donating to non-profits that are not much more than progressive feel good endeavors………………….let them do it with their own mine, not mine.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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8/15/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Local Newspapers Impact On Good Governance?

In a Barron’s news story of the July 30 edition author Mary Childs examines the impact of newspaper closings on municipal bond fund investors, the study showing in localities with little or no local newspaper coverage the investor and the taxpayer are likely to get hurt with higher costs.

The central theme was however what caught my attention. Childs goes into several studies that have been done to document what impact local government has when there is scant news coverage of what local government is up to.

When local papers close - it costs local government money, according to a paper presented at the 2018 Municipal Finance Conference at the Brookings Institute

Why does this happen? The author speculates it’s because, without local papers, there’s less information available to the public. Officials in local government have no one playing the role of watchdog.

The loss of monitoring that result from newspaper closures is associated with increased government inefficiencies, including higher likelihoods of costly advance refundings and negotiated issues, and higher government wages, employee, and tax revenues according to the author. Is any of this starting to resonate with you yet?

We are fortunate that King William has two newspapers (3 if you count the King William Local). Is reporting on what happens in King William government balanced? It is a fair question to ask.

My own observations are that the reporting lacks balance. We get news on local government that leaves out what I would call “the other side”. Limited resources alone might explain it. Perhaps a lack of intellectual curiosity might be partially responsible. What I do know is that there is a missing ingredient, and that is a conservative perspective. The local coverage lacks any critical analysis on what local government is spending, why it is spending it to begin with, and certainly the long term impact it will have on the citizens in terms of taxes.

Our group, the King William T.E.A Party has an ongoing feasibility examination of what can be done about correcting this. As the only conservative voice in the County we are considering a Monthly Newsletter, sent out to all County residents at no charge. If we can successfully launch this Monthly Newsletter the citizens of King William will have a genuine keen eye reporting what isn’t reported. It doesn’t matter why, it only matters that someone is trying to do something about it.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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8/8/2018

Dear Editor

Subject:Is E.D.A Chair Terrified Of A Camera ?

When it was suggested in January that we begin filming Board of Supervisor meetings I wasn’t convinced that the time and effort would be worth it. Attendance at these meetings consist of around 25 regulars , advocates of more spending, more government and more public sector spouting how underfunded their agencies are and how they are in desperate need of more of your money. I had the view that the number of citizens that would tune in to watch would be miniscule, hardly worth the trouble we would have to go to ,to record these meetings and then put them online for citizens to watch.

A few very wise folks however convinced me that filming the meetings would have a deterrence effect. Public officials make statements, (then repeat them) that they knew at the time to be false. The King William T.E.A Party has cited the false claims of the elimination of 42 positions in the schools , the statement made and repeated with some frequency that school employees hadn’t had a raise in XXX years as two of the more outlandish examples where these school officials were caught lying to the public.

----What a difference it makes when the meetings are being filmed------- Attending the Joint School Board /B.O.S meeting on March 8th of this year I sat in an almost stunned state, it was one of the most somber and quiet meetings I have been to in 10 years. It was clear as well as to why the meeting was so quiet. These folks now understand they are going to be held accountable for what they say and they should be.

Filming the public meetings of the County E.D.A has really got under the skin of the Chairman . What is it that recording these meetings that bothers him so much? Is he aware that what is discussed and statements he and others makes will be aired for all of the citizens of King William to hear? Is he afraid that how the E.D.A plans on spending the $2,000,000.00 the B.O.S gave the EDA in May will be scrutinized? Is the Chairman against open transparent government? Why would he insist on Supervisor Hansen giving him a tape of a meeting he is in attendance at? Is this an attempt to harass Hansen? Is the Chairman trying to stop the recording of these meetings and if so - perhaps he can share with the citizens his reasons why. What is this guy afraid of?

Recording the meetings is what is nagging this guy, he knows what is said and discussed will now be openly shared with the citizens at large, as it should be.

The handful of people in King William, people like Supervisor Dave Hansen who actually think that government should be open and transparent scare these folks who would love to continue to operate in the shadows outside the keen scrutiny of citizens.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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8/6/2018

Dear Editor

Subject:King William Democrats Asleep At The Wheel?

I read with a smile on my face the meeting announcement that runs in a local newspaper by the local Democratic Party, specifically their statement regarding “tax loopholes benefiting the rich”. What is inspiring is that in this instance the local Democrats and the King William T.E.A Party are on the same page. Surely the end of time must be near.

Anyone attending our meetings over the years certainly knows how critical our group has been regarding how the tax code at every level of government is used to reward political patrons and donors on both sides of the political aisle. What disappoints me however is the absolute silence from the D’s on the local abuse, specifically the exemptions on the B.P.O.L tax (Business/Professional Occupation/Licensing Tax), and the Land Use Tax Exemption Program that literally steals hundreds of dollars a year from the pockets of the average homeowner in King William County. In the event that the D’s are ignorant of these local abuses, I will, if invited be quite pleased to accept a speaking invitation to enlighten them on the abuses taking place right under their noses. No charge, be quite happy to speak to this group and share with them some specifics on a tax scam that empties all homeowners wallets in King William each year, and driven by design to insulate and benefit by design a very small number who just happen to have considerable political clout. Members of the K.W B.O.S are complicit in this tax scam , the quid pro quo being that the Board gets to spend as much as they want, literally on whatever they want………..so long as the status quo regarding these tax scams are left untouched. That could change in 2019 if voters decide it has went on long enough.

Since the D’s are always spouting off about “fairness”, perhaps that invitation to speak to their group will be forthcoming. If the local D’s are sincere about wanting to stop tax abuses, perhaps they might start right here in their own backyard? Or are the local D’s prepared to defend these examples of tax breaks for the select few?

It is abundantly clear the King William T.E.A Party is a truly non-partisan group, we go after both political party establishments with equal vigor. In recognition of that, maybe they will take me up on my offer to attend one of their meetings and address what they quietly elect to ignore. Or does the local D’s carry water for the same small group of Oligarchs?

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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8/4/2018

Dear Editor

Subject:Reflections After 9 Years

The summer of 2009 was particularly hot. For days I pasted flyers on windshields, stood on the parking lot of Wal-Mart, Home Depot, the local Food Lion and the Friday Night Classic Car event at the high school. I spent a few nights at the high school football games handing out flyers for this new local grass roots political organization that will celebrate in a few weeks its 9th anniversary. What have we learned - Some interesting things indeed.

I would be remiss if I did not begin by noting the truly inspirational people who have become some of my best friends, people who are passionate about America, its proud history and a burning desire to tackle the problems we do face. In many respects extraordinary people who labor away, low key with heads down, not seeking any public recognition, quiet Americans who have given their energy and time to do things we should have been doing all along while the problems festered. The baby boomer generation, the generation that stood silent for too long just might redeem themselves yet. These are intelligent people who recognize the dangers if the debt and spending are not brought under control. They don’t cower to our critics, they seek no personal favor for themselves, no grant money or government contracts, they don’t grovel for tax exemptions or favors from the ruling class. Restoring fiscal accountability and the rule of law are their only priorities. We’ve much work to do

We have learned that integrity is often lacking among government officials. The abuse of legal authorities who selectively look the other way depending on their political flavor is bad enough, though not unique to King William, it occurs in every locality.

Citizens have said to me “Bob, this has gone on for centuries”….or….” this is the way it has always been”, a sad testament to the apathy that compounds the problem because the very people who are abusing their power and authority know all too well….the average citizen won’t do anything about it anyway. They might gripe and complain in silence but they won’t actively try to fix anything because it requires a lot of hard work and patience to do so.

We have learned that government and school officials will lie. They want more money, bigger budgets (primarily going to compensation/benefits) and are completely comfortable standing in a public setting and saying things they know are not truthful. This was most visible over a 5 year period when school officials continued to repeat the falsehood over how many positions had been eliminated at the schools during the period of 2010—2015. Only through our research and reporting was this exposed. We listened to, (repeatedly) their claims of the absence of any pay raises for XXX years, until our group shared the facts and showed this as absolutely untrue. When a new Board Of Supervisors were elected in 2015 school board officials in clear violation of their own stated policy used official KW County Public School E-Mail to spread one grand lie after another , working faculty and hundreds of parents into a near hysteria. It was such a grand example of the lengths public sector officials will go to in order to keep the money flowing. If it requires lying, so be it. If it requires repeating the lie , then repeat it as often as necessary. Most troubling is the SILENCE from everyone associated with the schools and the school board. Each person serving clearly knew the statements being made were false…….yet they said nothing.

Not one of them had the courage to step up and say …….. “wait a minute here, this isn’t right, we have not eliminated 42 positions at the schools”…… or……” lets tell the citizens the truth and stop playing these language games with pay raises,” How does a Assistant Superintendent salary in 2012 ( $94,000) go to 2017 ( $110,000) while simultaneously making such outlandish statements regarding pay raises ?

We learned wages for the average citizen in King William were stagnant for over a decade, a well reported and documented fact. Yet in the public sector the band played on.

We learned in just one year the schools spent some $130,000.00 buying back unused vacation & sick leave from retiring employees. Does your employer buy back your vacation if you don’t use it? Do you even get paid sick leave where you work?

We learned many single county employees were paying a mere 10% of their health insurance premiums, while taxpayers, often paying outrageous health insurance premiums for themselves and their families were being stuck with picking up the other 90% of county employees monthly premiums.

We learned tax relief for those K.W Citizens who are disabled or over age 65 is means tested, yet generous tax relief in a half dozen forms is doled out to some of the very wealthiest people who live here. Why does the butcher, baker & candle stick maker pay a BPOL tax, but not a farmer? Why is the real estate tax rate right next door in King & Queen County some 40% lower than it is here? In 2013-14 we learned that despite Nottoway County having 6 schools and some 300 more students, King William Schools were spending $90,000 a WEEK more than Nottoway. To date we have received no plausible explanation as to where that huge excess is being spent.

We learned King William County with a annual budget of around 26 million dollars has a Reserve Fund of 10 million, around 40% of the entire annual budget when most local governments have between 10-15% Reserve Funds ? How can a small rural local government build up such a large reserve fund----by over- charging citizens with excessive taxes—it is that simple .Hoarding money that was taken by coercion from other citizens, and for what purpose ? Giving away others money conveys power, and we have a group of Supervisors who appear to enjoy this maligned form of governing. It is time to cure this local government disease, but it will require some leadership, someone who can say NO, and has the spine to stand up to the critics.

We learned $35,000 was spent “enhancing security” at the office of the Circuit Court Clerk, with an already armed deputy at the front entrance, 3 or more armed deputies/court security personnel right down the hallway in the Court room, and the entire Sheriff’s department housed in the rear of the very same building. The building is already an armed fortress-----was this really necessary? (With $10,000,000.00 lying around what’s $35,000)

We learned an elected official can violate the Virginia Conflict of Interest statute with impunity so long as that elected official stays in the good graces of the right folks, while another elected official is relentlessly harassed and badgered because he won’t play ball ,going so far as to break apart a man’s family if that’s what it takes .

We learned our new Fire Chief spent $50,000 on “paid radio ads”……and got nothing in return for what everyone knew would be a colossal waste. Was it a secret in King William that we had a shortage of volunteers ---I don’t think so. Would this guy have spent that $50,000 in this manner if it had been his own money?

We learned our local newspapers lack the will to report the news, and it doesn’t matter why. What passes as “reporting” is a version of the events that often conceals the other side of a story. It has gone so far as to include an attempt to censor/edit our groups paid ads to placate the Oligarch crowd.

We learned that the local power brokers will not appoint any member of the King William T.E.A Party to any of the various Boards or Commissions. Only Team players need apply.

We also learned 3 years ago that no one has an iron grip on who serves on that Board, evidenced by voters throwing 3 of the 5 sitting Supervisors out of office in 2015. 2019 might bring us a few other new faces. Perhaps someone may step up who understands the problems and has the 3 I’s,---Integrity, Intellect & Independence.

Americans woke up in 2016 and elected a problem solver, a no nonsense business leader who is not your typical politician. Will we see something similar in King William in 2019? Stay tuned. Americans are sick of politicians who spout campaign slogans and platitudes,and then fall in line with the big government, go along to get along crowd after they are in office.

Watch the Watchdog, and prepare yourself for what could be an interesting 2019.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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7/17/2018

Dear Editor

Subject:Hard Working Duck & Chicken

Abandoning the civil tone pleaded for by some of our weaker sisters, the King William TEA Party adopted a harsher tone last January. The spiraling debt at every level of government, despite record revenues hasn’t slowed down the spending machine. We continue to pound that message—relentlessly. What’s at stake….. The very future of the children and grandchildren who will inherit our mess, the fiscal train wreck boomers have permitted by their apathy and ignorance.

We decided to employ a little humor and fun in the TEA Party sign messages with the use of hand drawn characters……a duck and a chicken. Repeated attempts to get Congressman Rob Wittman to speak at a King William T.E.A Party meeting on just what spending cuts the Congressman would support have been ignored. Wittman calls himself a conservative but voted NO on a bill to cut Amtrak subsidies. If Wittman won’t cut subsidies to one of the most outlandish examples of government waste …..what would he cut ? Trying to DUCK us, or just plain CHICKEN on the topic of spending cuts? You be the judge. He can schedule speaking to all sorts of groups, the boy scouts, local farmers, quasi gov’t groups advocating for more spending on a variety of programs..…but can’t squeeze us in, so we employ some unusual tactics to get his and the public’s attention. Is it working? Read on

Recently the owner of a property who has allowed one of our signs on land he owns had a visit by the Historic Virginia Land Conservancy, a group whose rumored mission is to conserve Virginia’s open land and spaces, preserving the rural nature. The visit however was specifically to inform the land owner that the T.E.A Party sign wasn’t permitted under the statutes that govern land conservancy? The sign has been there for 6 years so it is a bit odd that we are now hearing the sign is not to be allowed. Is it the sign or the SIGN MESSAGE asking ……is Congressman Wittman a CHICKEN? It is a fair question given his refusal to address our issue, what SPENDING CUTS he would support. It appears he would rather DUCK us than answer this question.

Our group is fighting for your kids and grandkids as well. We asking you to pick up your phone and call his office and tell him to CALL OFF THE DOGS. The timing of this sudden pressure from this Land Conservancy group is just too damn coincidental. Wittman is annoyed and is now unleashing whatever stooges he can to shut us up, namely our pointed criticism of his cowardice in addressing the question of spending cuts.

Tappahannock office number is (804) 443-0668. Mechanicsville office is (804) 730-6595. Pick up your phone and tell him to stop using government agencies to harass the last true conservative voice, the King William T.E.A Party. No one else is fighting to rein in the spending that will ultimately lead to this nations ruin.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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7/09/2018

Dear Editor

Subject:True Meaning Is Often Gleaned Using Their Own Words

The word “populism”, and or “populist” has gotten a workout in the media the last 2 years. It use & application is a rather obvious attempt to publically ridicule supporters of President Trump, if not he himself then certainly his policies. Let’s begin with the traditional definition of the word itself

POPULISM: a political approach that strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel their concerns are disregarded by establishment elite groups.

Ordinary people who feel their concerns are disregarded by establishment elite groups ?

Just who are the people who feel their concerns are disregarded …….in today’s America that is a long and diverse list. For the sake of this discussion may I focus on one specific group, fiscal conservatives who have legitimate worry over their children and grandchildren’s future, both from a fiscal and cultural standpoint. One could make a convincing case that proponents of government intervention and the use of tax dollars have grown in tremendous proportion, relative to either government revenue or GDP. How else then would one explain the explosion in our national debt - that will at some point cause horrendous consequences for our economy. Since our public schools have removed what was once an emphasis on U.S history it warrants pointing out what happened here in the late 1920’s and 1930’s, when some 1/3 of American were without work. Millions lined up daily at churches and public settings where a cup of soup and bread were dispensed to do nothing more than feed citizens who were literally facing malnourishment and or starvation. Who among us wish to revisit that period? One may argue that something like this couldn’t happen in today’s modern economy………a classic definition of naïve.

The same vocal critics of populism are simultaneously arguing for the elimination of the Electoral College, our system of selecting a President. After Trumps election their voices calling for the election of a President by a simple majority vote became both numerous and loud. I wonder if the shoe had been on the other foot, had Clinton won the electoral college vote, yet lost the popular vote to Trump…………would we be forced to listen to this dribble ?

So my question for my confused friends is this “how to you rationalize the clear hypocrisy in your simultaneous criticism of populism, yet call for a true form of populism (eliminating the electoral college system) as a means for the selection of a President”

Fighting back the philosophy of my progressive friends isn’t all that difficult; simply listen to their own duplicity in their arguments. They intellectually hang themselves.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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7/08/2018

Dear Editor

Subject:The Dangers of Flying Squirrels, Gnats and Fools

Life provides over time an array of things that scare and bedevil us by varying degrees. I had flying squirrels find their way into the attic crawl space here in my house. It appeared they chewed the edge of the wood on one of the vents, eating around the wire placed to keep out varmints. Once established they set about chewing everything in sight. I hadn’t had a sound night’s sleep in months because these little fellas create quite a racket. Once I learned that they can chew through electrical wires and actually start a fire…. they had to go. Ultimately, after some research, I bought a steel trap and following the instructions to use a peanut butter cracker for bait, I trapped each of them, one by one.

Gnats, those pesky tiny bugs, seem to find delight in hovering around your head and face during the summer months, more annoying than dangerous. Fortunately, the bug spray works very well for me, so I can work outdoors for hours without having to constantly swat at them to drive them away. Other than sometimes flying into your ear or nose, I know of no real danger with the gnats, even when they swarm you they are essentially harmless.

Fools…..now that is another story, particularly when they have access to public money and the authority to spend it. Everywhere you look today there are examples of real harm being done to the long term financial health of America, at the Federal, state and even the local level.

In the private sector you are spending either your own money, the money of investors, or in the case of a publicly traded company , the money of shareholders. In these examples the harm is limited to your own pocket or the people who invested in your project/business with full knowledge that they may earn a return or loss some or all of their money. The rules are there and are clear. Various forms of self-correcting accountability exist for each entity that spent their own money or the money of investors. If it is self-funded one quickly is held accountable if they feel the pain of losing their life’s savings or a good chunk of it. If the money of investors is lost the accountability is the well going dry and those investors are not likely to line up for a second goring. In the case of a publicly traded company, investors can take it up with the Board of Directors and possibly institute legal action if negligence is demonstrated.

In other words in the private sector all have some measure of accountability inflicted on or to them. Now read carefully what happens in the following example of public sector spending, a recent and very highly publicized example ( Thanks to the K.W.T.P ) of a county official who spent $50,000 of other citizens' money, under the guise of a recruiting campaign for new volunteers for our local fire/rescue squads.

We warned that this expenditure was going to be a bust, that in such a small rural county it wasn’t a secret that these squads could use some additional volunteers. After the funds were spent it took an outright dog fight to get any details as to how it was spent, where it was spent, and what results if any came about as a result of the expense. Ultimately we came to learn there were no tangible benefits resulting from this $50,000 that had been spent.

The question then is obvious….where is the accountability for this decision ? Was this guy fired? No. Was he demoted or warned not to do it again? No. There is no accountability and therein lies the problem. This same individual was caught just months later trying to spend another $10,000 to replace equipment that was 1 year old, and no plausible explanation as to just why. The excuse that it was “Grant money” is no excuse. He had a responsibility to his fellow citizens to walk away from taking the Grant money since everyone knew it would be wasted. What was missing, what allowed him to spend it anyway ? He knew full well there would be no consequences……no accountability.

Now, King William has an Economic Development Authority; an advisory type panel that has been given over $2,000,000.00 to spend it on “targeted economic development.” Evidence abounds how these local EDAs have become such wasteful bastions of vast sums of public money being spent foolishly……also with little to no accountability. In Chesterfield county it has been established that their local EDA spent several million buying privately held land with the proposed project now being scuttled. This has drawn criticism by both community leaders and elected State officials who are calling for investigations and new restrictions on reining in the unchecked authority these EDA bodies have in spending money that doesn’t belong to them and carries no accountability if it is ultimately wasted.

Government debt has reached epidemic proportions, and it didn’t happen overnight, but over a long period of time. Decades of bad decisions by unaccountable , often unelected individuals who have the grandiose notion that they are wiser than the common folks, and will make better decisions in the use of the money than had we left it in the pockets of the people who it was taken from to begin with. If tangible economic opportunity lies in King William County, intelligent investors and entrepreneurs will find them, and will find the seed money to pursue them . Artificially subsidizing economic development only removes a layer of the risk associated with development, risks that should rightfully fall on the shoulders of the investors, not the tax paying citizens who had no say in the decision, nor will they share in the returns should the investment prove profitable. This is a textbook example of crony capitalism. That $2 million should be clawed back and returned to its rightful owners ( King William taxpayers) before a dime of it is spent.

In 2020 the citizens of King William County will once again go to the polls to elect a new Board of Supervisors. In contemplating who you want to represent you after January 2020 ask yourselves a very simple question about the choices you will have. Does this man or woman truly believe in accountability, or just mouth it during a political campaign ? Is this candidate someone who has a record of insisting on accountability in how public money is spent, or yet another “go along to get along type” like we have now? Has this candidate publicly spoken out and been critical of poor spending decisions, or been silent while your hard earned money was being squandered ?

The budget in King William can be cut, taxes can be reduced, fairness in how the citizens are taxed can be achieved. None of this happens absent the insistence that accountability be restored. Fixing this can be done, but it rests in your hands to stand up and insist public accountability in how these people foolishly spend millions of your dollars.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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7/04/2018


Dear Editor

Subject: Inevitable Truths

Half of the Colonists wanted to try and appease England, the other half wanted to fight

It is the very same dynamic today, look at the appeasers within the very TEA Party groups around us. Look at the fools who continue o cry for " civility"

I ask them where has this civility gotten us? Republicans have controlled much of government for the last 2-3 decades. Where are we ? Has things improved or become worse ?

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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7/04/2018


Dear Editor

Subject: Inevitable Truths

All of us a certain age come to understand the inevitable truths that have stood the test of time. One of those is how human beings are very slow to react to circumstances around them that are changing, often times changing for the worse.

I lived in southern California for 18 months in 1972-73. People loved California and what wasn't to love. The weather especially in Southern California where I was, was simply great. I remember thinking on Christmas day swimming in the Pacific ocean that my friends and family back in Central Pennsylvania were freezing their behinds off, buried in a foot of snow and here I was living the good life.

The economy was healthy, inflation had not yet reared it's ugly head, crime was contained to certain parts of L.A, children were safe to walk the streets of their neighborhoods in San Diego and Oceanside, it was a really great time to live there.

Today Californians are leaving in droves. I visited the area again in 2005 on a trip to Catalina Island. I was almost left in a state of disbelief how much the area had changed. My friend I was traveling with had lived their in the late 70's when her former husband who was a Marine Officer stationed at an Air Base a bit further north . By 2005 L.A had been transformed into an almost 3rd world city

Crime , taxes and runaway state spending is now driving many middle class people to Texas , New Mexico and Arizona. The people in Central Virginia are going to suffer the same fate because like our Californian brethren we are sitting silent while the theft and fraud swallow us. I can only imagine if the citizens fleeing California today had the chance to turn back the clock 40 years and arrest the problems back when they could be dealt with, they would, if only to preserve the once beautiful state of California, and the lives they had built there.

An oddity for sure that humans are so prone to idly stand by while their very lives are being destroyed. We still have time here in Virginia, but citizens are standing idle , hoping " someone else" fixes the mess.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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7/04/2018


Dear Editor

Subject: Public Sector Theft & Fraud On A Grand Scale

In a companion piece to “ Foggy Bottom” it became apparent the other story coming out of our recent meeting of the K.W.T.P was the Grand Theft going on in the public sector pension and disability benefits .Taxpayers should be raising royal hell over it….since it is coming out of their pockets. Just how bad is it? Read on.

A retired University of Oregon head coach and athletic director is collecting $46,583 …..A month. No one will argue that public sector employees are not deserving of a decent benefit package, but who in their right mind thinks anyone should be receiving $46,583 a month, courtesy of taxpayers? The retired head of Oregon’s Health & Science University is collecting $76,111 ….a month.

Illinois, the granddaddy of bad behavior has the crown however. Benefits for public sector employees in the Land of Lincoln have increased 1000% over the last 3 decades, six times faster than the states revenue growth and eight times faster than the median household income growth. Cities like Chicago and Illinois in general are now losing populations who see the train wreck coming and are moving out of the state.

Think this is confined to Oregon & Illinois…think again. In Scranton Pa 58% of police & firefighters are on disability pensions, retiring well before normal retirement age. The average age of retired police officers in Scranton is 44.9 year olds.

In Harvey, Illinois the city was ordered to hike property taxes to pay for the firefighter’s pension obligations. This pension fund is reported to be 78% underfunded. It (the tax increase) wasn’t enough, so now the State has garnished Harvey’s tax revenues, laying off 40 city workers with more pain on the way.

Locally King William County School Board members have continued to duck our request for more information on the OPEB (Other Post-Employment Benefits). VRS the Virginia Retirement System for state and local gov’t employees is still underfunded by some 8 billion dollars. In light of that then, should the school board be adding to the problem with promised benefits they won’t fund properly ? Should this issue get a close and public examination, it’s a fair question, and one that they seem to be running away from answering.

Few citizens in the county work at private sector jobs that buy back unused vacation and sick time that wasn’t used. Did you know right here in King William county taxpayers shelled out around $130,000 a few years ago in buying back this benefit, because a retiring county or school employee didn’t use it ? That was the cost for 1 year.

Not long ago in Hanover County the largest employer was the Amusement park, King’s Dominion. Today the largest employer in Hanover County-----is Hanover County government. Here in King William when one combines the 4 schools and county employee’s, they are now closing in on surpassing what has been King William’s largest employer, the paper mill in West Point .

States and localities will face a day of reckoning, and it isn’t far off. The problem with the examples above all began with elected officials who like giving away candy, and stay in office because the public sectors votes have grown large enough to supply these politicians with a majority big enough to secure elective wins, certainly at the local level.

Pick a side Spanky, and pick it soon. Or get you pockets picked clean. Maybe in 2020 we will seat a new Board of Supervisors who will truthfully share with the hard working taxpayers of King William how their money has been squandered by the bucket full. That means some new faces are needed. Intellect (you have to understand the problem) Integrity ( you have no loyalty to anyone other than the Oath you take) & Independence ( you are not in any of the special interest pockets). 2020 could look much brighter for taxpayers that have been taken for suckers in King William for an awfully long time.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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7/04/2018


Dear Editor

Subject: Wake Up Foggy Bottom-----You Are Getting Your Pocket Picked !

At last Thursday night’s K.W.T.P meeting the group dived into the worsening public sector pension crisis examining both its scope and causes. the facts are what they are, we are well past the alarming stage, having reached the crisis proportion. The only explanation as to why elected officials continue to ignore the remedies being proposed is they ( elected officials) have been the root cause for the problem, having promised benefits that are not only unreasonable but beyond taxpayers ability to meet them. Politicians have an almost sickening loyalty to public sector employees whose ridiculous demands are driven by the understanding of the quid pro quo. You keep the gravy flowing ……..and we will keep you in office. It is quite frankly that simple.

Ask yourself this simple question, “ why does the King William B.O.S continues to insist local taxpayers burdened with their own escalating health insurance premiums continue to pay a ridiculous portion ( up to 90% of some ) of both county & school employees premiums “ ? The answer is obvious, these two entities now constitute a large enough voting block to almost assure their re-elections keeping them in office and continuing to dole out the gravy.

According to the Pew Charitable Trust the problem is out of control. 2016 (most recent year for complete data) the total states pension debt stands at 1.4 trillion in the red. Pension debt has increased for 15 straight years.

Reason blogger Eric Boehm notes: “the really scary part is that pension debt levels keep increasing despite the fact that taxpayers contributions to state level pension plans have doubled as a share of state revenue in the past decade”.

Evidence: In 2016 for example public sector defined benefit pension plans continued to use an assumed Rate of Return in their annual required testing of 7—7.5%, when their actual rate of return nationally was 1%---yes that isn’t a misprint, it was 1%. That simple miss on the rate of return added an additional 146 billion to states pension debt that year alone.

Lowering the rate of return to 4.5% ( the rate being used in most private pension plans assumption) would cause the estimates of total state and localities underfunded debt to balloon to some 6 trillion, from the current estimates of 1.4----1.7 trillion. Currently states have an estimated 2.6 trillion in assets to cover total promised benefits of more than 4 trillion. As the report notes, “for many states and localities it means virtual bankruptcy”.

It then begs the question why are localities adding OPEB (Other Post-Employment Benefits) when the pension obligations alone are so dire? Why do the King William County School Board members continue to duck our invitation to speak at one of our meetings and answer some questions about these supplemental benefits they are handing out?

The Federal government isn’t in the position to bail out these state/local pension plans, with 21 trillion in red ink Congress won’t be in the mood to pick up the tab for this mess. What does that mean then? States and localities will hit you with new and much higher taxes when the grand benefits for these bloated pensions hit. With an aging society and workforce the day of reckoning isn’t far off. At least we can rein in these supplemental benefits if you speak up and let the current crop of Supervisors and School Board members know you want it knocked off.

They are hoping you continue to snooze away while they pick the last nickel from your pocket.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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6/25/2018


Dear Editor

Subject: Tariff & Trade Deals Almost Done---Busy Week

Often we find ourselves frustrated, feeling as if every problem in Washington DC just drags on and on and on. I finally decided to take the proverbial bull by the horns and tackle this trade/tariff issue by myself. It wasn’t easy or cheap, I had to create incentives to get this done and I threw in some benefits to the U.S in terms of getting rid of some undesirables, cleaning up our cultural decline

I just rolled up my sleeves and started with our neighbors and good friend’s to the north, Canada. I wrapped that up pretty quickly so I jumped back on the plane and headed to China, South Korea, then onto Japan, next up the European continent. It was a very long 48 hours, tense negotiations made all the more difficult by language barriers but it turned out successful.

I got everyone onboard with simply eliminating all tariffs across the board, no tariffs on anything coming or going with each of these nations. As a tough negotiator I insisted on some other conditions as a mandatory non-negotiable part of the agreement

For example, I got Canada to agree to take Alec Baldwin, Robert DeNiro and Barbara Streisand. Japan has taken in as new citizens Elizabeth Warren, Chelsea Handler and Bernie Sanders. The French now have Bill Maher and Rev Al as permanent guests. Germany has added two new citizens, Rosie O’Donnell and Maxine Waters. China was a tough nut to crack but I pounded the table until they accepted Peter Fonda, Morning Joe and Mikka Mao.

Negotiations are ongoing with Poland….no one seems to be willing to take Nancy Pelosi.

Who say’s old people lose their sense of humor?

Bob Shannon
King William, Va
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6/15/2018


Dear Editor

Subject: King William E.D.A Telegraphs It’s Next Punches

Monday evening the Board of Supervisors held a Joint meeting with the County Economic Development Agency, that included a power point presentation by Christy Morton, V.P External Affairs VEDP ( Virginia Economic Development Partnership) which was intended to bring the two bodies up to speed on this state agency’s work the last few years, what they have focused their energy and attention on, as well as some proposals that would move localities forward in their efforts to engender economic growth at the local level.

Let’s begin with the fact that 4 of the 8 members of the local E.D.A didn’t even show up for the meeting . Should we read anything into that? (More on this oddity at the end of the article)

3 themes continued to resonate throughout the meeting. The first was the need to consider incentives via tax abatements, possible tax exemptions for certain types of new businesses who might entertain locating in King William. Supervisor Dave Hansen 4th district correctly pointed out that our local tax revenue code already has a considerable number of carve outs, with land use tax exemptions, BPOL exemptions, reduced machinery and tools tax rates for the privileged few, and any further tax giveaways would fall on the already burdened property owner’s shoulders.

The second was a constant drumbeat on the topic of needed infrastructure .Anyone studying the evolution of private –public partnerships understands how this has evolved over the last 50-60 years. It used to be through proffers developers would build into the costs of their project what amount they would have to pay for the needed roads, public water/sewer expansions, often times additional landscaping and barrier construction to protect adjoining neighborhoods quality of life. This was factored into the overall project costs and either was a viable project from a ROI ( return on investment) or it was not. Around 40 years ago the notion took hold that since members of the public at large would receive some benefit from this expansion of infrastructure the public should share in the costs….hence the birth of private-public partnerships. It should then not shock anyone that moving forward the idea took root that if developers could off load all or most of the infrastructure costs…all the better. This is where we stand today. Crony capitalism rears its ugly head when local politicians can be convinced taxpayer dollars should be spent on aiding these project’s, because after all, the greater public will benefit as well by increased numbers of available jobs, more revenue for the local tax coffers once these projects are completed…….it all sounds really good, but unfortunately and far too often it doesn’t quite work out quite as rosy as these EDA folks would have you believe.

One can cite the recent collapse of the Mega-Site project in Chesterfield that has reached scandalous proportions after millions in tax dollars were expended in land acquisition costs, one could cite the 40 million in bonds Hanover County issued to pay for infrastructure along the Route 1/I-95 corridor on a major deal that went south when the economy tanked 9 years ago. Hanover tax payers are in for some unpleasantness as the repayment of that 40 million becomes evident in higher real estate tax rates to finance this reckless decision that sticks the citizens of Hanover with now having to pay that back….and no additional revenue given the project went bust. Risk /Reward paradigm has been permanently altered in a way in which the developers offload a great deal of the risk ( cost associated with infrastructure they used to have to pay for ). I believe in capitalism and all that goes with it. I enjoy watching private investment prosper and flourish, that is the beauty of our system, or used to be. Big risk used to be accompanied with potential big rewards, the way it should be.

The third recurring theme was the observation that King William county has no site ready parcels over 25 acres……just in case a large project came along that required more land than 25 acres. This is perhaps their weakest argument for a number of reasons. First of all there is and have been for decades now some very large parcels of land that have been for sale for many years. Demand for land in the county is so weak that several parcels have been put up for sale ( and sold) at auction. What does that tell you when a land owner has to resort to an auction to try and sell the parcel ? If it were not the case then explain these tracts that have been for sale for two decades ? My concern is that the E.D.A will foster some half- baked logic to justify spending citizen’s tax dollars to buy a large parcel for no better reason than what if….just like what has occurred in Chesterfield County. Millions of dollars taken from one group of citizens to buy land for proposed maybe, possible could be …projects that don’t end up happening then. Who came out ahead in that transaction? The party that sold the land, they got their money and taxpayers got the shaft. It will be interesting to watch if this occurs, and whose land gets purchased with tax dollars. It is one of the very reasons elected officials are now calling for investigations in Chesterfield County.

Given what I listened to on Monday night I am confident we will see perhaps as much as $2,000,000.00 that was taken from private citizen’s, hard- working taxpayers here in King William, funneled through the hands of the wise ones that make up this E.D.A to very suspect projects that never would have withstood the rigorous underwriting a private lender such as a bank, or venture capital group would have used in determining the projects viability and likely profitable conclusion. Economic Development Commissions and agencies are coming under increasing doubtful reviews, and for good reasons.

Why did 4 members of the EDA not even show up for this Joint meeting Monday? Perhaps it may be because the decisions have already been made how this money is going to be carved up……and if so, why bother then to attend a meeting that was all for show to begin with?

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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6/11/2018


Dear Editor

Subject: Congressman Rob Wittman Finds Time For….Friendly Audiences

A featured headline story in this week’s edition of a local newspaper told of Congressman Rob Wittman’s visit to a county Ruritan meeting. Repeated attempts to schedule the Congressman to come and speak at a King William T.E.A Party meeting have been met with excuse after excuse by his handlers who tell us it is a challenge to schedule him to come to one of our meetings and answer some specific questions about SPENDING.

It appears Wittman addressed rural broadband at the Ruritan meeting, (more spending), and spoke of building up the military (some more spending), and no doubt was questioned about the trade issues that could have an impact locally on our farmers.

It appears Wittman selectively picks his audiences where he knows he will get favorable treatment, kid glove questions and be permitted to run out the clock with his polished style of nuancing any subject that would otherwise requires some old fashioned straight shooting truth, the kind that we see President Trump engage in. I asked him a few years back why he hadn’t joined the Freedom Caucus, his answer was simply indicative of why conservatives are so very wary of this guy. He is a career Pol with the establishment dictating his every move.

Our group last had Wittman here in 2010, and if he has the time to speak at the Boy Scout gathering, the various defense contractors (more spending) the Ruritan’s …….maybe it is becoming clear why he ducks the King William T.E.A Party. He knows he will have to answer specific questions on what we have been asking him for the last number of years, just what federal spending would CONGRESSMAN ROB WITTMAN CUT? It isn’t lost on his voters here in the 1st district that this year the Federal Deficit is projected to exceed 1 trillion dollars.

The guy has been in Congress now for 11 years, we have paid him over $2,000,000.00 in salary during that time and the King William T.E.A Party isn’t asking for a favor, the KWTP hasn’t forgotten the servant vs. master roles our Founders envisioned, we are simply asking him to do his job, do what the citizens want, just lay out for us in a public forum what SPENDING ROB WITTMAN WOULD FAVOR CUTTING. We have pointed out on numerous occasions his NO VOTE a few years back on cutting subsidies to Amtrak….the bloated joke and glaring example of wasteful federal spending. Maybe the Congressman knows that question will come up and he will have to explain why he said NO on cutting such low hanging fruit.

Entitlement reform, the noose hanging around our children’s necks, civil service reform, a host of other spending related issues……Wittman continues to DUCK. Maybe our group might be a little tougher audience than the Boy Scouts, something he learned back in 2010.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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6/7/2018


Dear Editor

A version of the following Letter to the Editor was submitted to a certain local newspaper. It was ignored with no explanation given. Why? Robert “Sarge” Bruce

Subject: Bearing false witness against a good and honorable man ?

Vet
Imagine if this lurid headline and “news” story had appeared on the front page of an otherwise well respected local newspaper:

Newspaper Publisher Convicted of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor

King William, VA May, 2018

In a Circuit Court ruling on Wednesday, John Doe, Publisher of the Two-County News, was found guilty of Contributing to Delinquency of a Minor.

Now – This looks pretty bad for Mr. Doe's reputation, but it might have been a bit less damning if the real “rest of the story” was also included:

According to testimony by the Commonwealth's Attorney and a Social Services worker, Doe was condemned for using traditional, bible-based, common sense means in attempting to correct the behavior of a 13 year old grandchild whose repeated and increasingly defiant actions had put a her outside reasonable boundaries of acceptable behavior both in school and in the family.

While they admitted that Doe's actions involved nothing more than making a show of briefly leaving the child in her school's parking lot when she refused to get in his vehicle for a ride home, he was criminally charged with “contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”

Perhaps thinking he was emulating King Solomon in the familiar bible story, the presiding judge chose to “split the baby,” finding Doe guilty but sparing the child's mother.

The child, who had been immediately taken from her mother and grandfather at the time of the incident months earlier and placed in government operated foster care, will remain indefinitely in state custody.


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Well, didn't run, but it's all true if you substitute the words, “Manquin District Supervisor Dave Hansen.”

Now, isn't it reasonable to believe that Hansen, a good, decent, honorable, God-loving man, was unfairly accused and unjustly convicted by those bending facts and time-honored definitions at least, or bearing false witness at worst?

And isn't it reasonable to conclude that many readers – just skimming headlines or reading the short, no-context, front page article – would immediately smear the lifelong good reputation of this brave Vietnam War Army officer, former Colorado State Trooper, FEDEX executive, and duly-elected Manquin District Supervisor, with the horrible and patently false label of a “child molester?”

So, what -- if anything – is the local “Two-CountyNews” going to do to correct this ugly injustice? And finally, will YOU be next to be singled out for unjust prosecution for using traditional, bible-based, common sense methods in attempting to correct bad childhood behavior?

Sincerely, Robert "Sarge" Bruce
Aylett, VA
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6/7/2018

Dear Editor

The following Letter to the Editor/Guest Commentary was submitted to a certain local weekly newspaper. It was rejected with this absurd excuse: “...we are not going to publish the particulars of the case as they touch on the welfare of a minor.” Perhaps the editor should contemplate the “welfare” of a 13 year old girl who was “legally” kidnapped from her mom and her grandparents and kept from them for months now in state custody. Robert “Sarge” Bruce

Subject: How Do Little Pygmies Kill Big Bull Elephants ?

Vet
Nature documentaries show us how little pygmy tribesmen swarm around an elephant and mortally wound it with hundreds of spear thrusts. The noble animal dies slowly in agony.

This is the way that political pygmies in Washington, DC are attempting to “kill” President Trump, and how their fellow tribesmen in King William are now swarming and stabbing Supervisor Dave Hansen.

Why are spearmen of the status quo in our county torturing Hansen, a genuinely honorable man whose long history of exemplary duty includes Vietnam War service as a US Army infantry officer, twelve years as a Colorado State Trooper, then rising to station manager with FEDEX, before retiring to live out his remaining years in King William?

Because this duly elected representative of the good people of the Manquin District has been steadfastly performing his duty as a watchdog on local government by repeatedly asking tough questions, diligently pressing stubborn bureaucrats for answers, and exposing shady practices.

As all this is obviously intolerable to the deeply entrenched power structure in our rural county, its spear-carriers are on the hunt. When the first set of false charges they attacked Hansen with was rightly dismissed in court, they swarmed and stabbed with another. Sound familiar?

This time with ugly charges of child endangerment when this wise and loving grandfather employed time-honored and effective parenting principles in a situation involving his 13 year old granddaughter's demonstrably unacceptable behavior.

The facts of the incident will undoubtedly strike a familiar note for all of us who have struggled to properly raise headstrong and defiant kids.

When he came to pick her up at school she repeatedly refused to get in the car. So, Hansen followed advice he had been given previously by a county social services worker and briefly left her at the school.

When she walked back into the school, the situation was absurdly escalated when the school's Resource Officer called KW's esteemed Commonwealth's Attorney. He – astonishingly – instructed the deputy not to take her back home, so she was dropped off at the county's Social Services office.

That county officials -- including social services and law enforcement personnel – then chose to criminalize the incident by bringing charges against both granddad Hansen and the child's mother is a travesty that should deeply concern all reasonable, right-thinking parents and grandparents.

Particularly when the absurdity of “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” became the conviction that was loudly trumpeted in local newspapers and gleefully amplified on “social” media. The postings conveniently neglected to include Hansen's side of the story, of course, thus befouling Hansen's otherwise sterling reputation.

Isn't the real contribution to “delinquency” to be seen in authorities enabling adolescent misbehavior?

Finally, adding much more anguish to the official persecution and mob-mentality media postings, little Lilly has been “legally” kidnapped from the arms of her loving mother and grandparents and dumped into the foster care system.

Where's the REAL child endangerment in all this?

Sincerely, Robert "Sarge" Bruce
Aylett, VA
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6/7/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Often It Is What The Headlines Don’t Say?

In the May 23rd edition of the Mechanicsville Local a feature story heralding the election of a former King William County Supervisor and 8 year School Board member who works for Hanover County currently as the Assistant Superintendent for the schools finance and operations, as the President –Elect for 2019 of the GFOA (Government Finance Officers Association) Many very commendable achievements were listed over this persons career in government finance, culminating in her selection next year to serve as President of this nationally recognized organization.

What I found in the article interesting and worthy of closer examination was the following passage:

She also led a committee that modified retiree health benefits and established an OPEB (Other Post-Employment Benefits) Trust to address the liability associated with GASB Statement # 45,Accounting and Financial Reporting by Employers for Postemployment Benefits other than pensions” (this of course is referencing Hanover County)

In this year’s King William county school budget the very question was raised as to whether or not King William County schools were adequately funding the counties own liabilities associated with our OPEB costs. Supervisor Dave Hansen specifically asked this question at the Joint King William B.O.S/ School Board Budget meeting on Thursday March 8th.

Repeated invitations to the School Board to attend and address this at a K.W.T.P meeting have been met by silence.

Has King William adequately addressed this, or in a few years will the aging school employee retirements bring about another real estate tax hike further aggravating already intolerable rates? We just don’t know, and they don’t seem inclined to discuss this.

Why was this specific issue highlighted in the Local article? We know from an expose in the Richmond Times-Dispatch last month this issue has blown up in Chesterfield County. This same individual was instrumental in putting these benefits in place here in King William schools…..does she know something local taxpayers don’t ?

Absent the King William T.E.A Party shining the spotlight on this, it would certainly be swept under the rug, and left (like in Chesterfield) for a future Board to have to clean up. Maybe this person already understands that and knows it was on her watch these benefits were put in place without adequate funding. We don’t know ………because no one seems to want to talk about it. The question then…….is why?

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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5/31/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: More Of Del Chris Peace Pompous Puffery

Those paying attention these last number of years can’t now feign shock by Del. Chris Peace’s supposed change of heart, deciding to advocate for the expansion of Medicaid. For Peace to use the rationalization that those opposing expansion represent massive resistance allow me to share the discussion in 2012 when Del. Peace attended and spoke at a King William County Republican meeting, which I also attended in hope of getting Peace to explain to me why with Republicans controlling the Governor’s Mansion, the House and a 20-20 split in the State Senate was nothing being done on major issues that have plagued the state’s finances for two decades. When I posed the simple question to the Delegate he simply “ shrugged his shoulders”….that was his actual response. I specifically asked him why Medicaid Reforms were not being proposed considering at that time Medicaid was consuming 1 of every 5 dollars Virginia was spending. I cited the utilization problems with $1 & $3 co-pays, and how raising those co-pays to more reasonable levels of say $10…$20 would bring down the excessive utilization problem saving millions. Peace responded…… “this is a program for the poor” . I told Del. Peace that the poor didn’t cover themselves from head to toe with tattoos, or spend scant resources on shoes that could feed a family for a week. Apparently Chris Peace & I define the term “poor”quite differently. Citizens are relieved from having to apply plain common sense to their personal choices because enabling politicians like Chris Peace subsidize their bad decision making by taking money from people who use better judgment with their resources, and ultimately allowing others to spend their disposable income in such irresponsible reckless ways. Anyone who cast another ballot for this Peace character should have their mental health examined.

Peace was supposedly up in arms in January 2014 when I placed a TEA Party sign on 360 stating that Peace supported Medicaid Expansion, rumored to be so livid at the time that he suggested he might take legal action as a result of the signs message. The poor fools in the Mechanicsville T.E.A Party got so rattled they took the sign down, which I retrieved and put back up on my property that fronts route 360. I knew then what many are learning now, Del Chris Peace has no conservative values, he is and has been a pragmatic politician void of any genuine convictions. I was slammed by many within the TEA Party groups who labelled me as crazy and harmful to the good Delegates reputation.

Peace can’t defend his change of heart on Constitutional or moral grounds, no one is denied medical care, Peace can’t defend his change of heart on fiscal grounds, estimates are that in 2019 the net cost ( after the Fed subsidies ) to Virginia taxpayers will be $ 55,000,000.00 and in 2020 1.001 BILLION. The only political measure remaining then is the one progressives (and he is a Progressive) drag out instinctively, the tried and true charge that anyone opposing this boondoggle is a racist. Quid pro quo I suppose, calling me a racist is equivalent to calling Del. Peace a conservative. Look at his record, he has learned that the burgeoning public sector and dependence crowd is now so large that he can benevolently give more of your money to them, collect the dumb ass vote who will pull a lever for anyone with an R next to their name, and he stays in office as long as he wants. It is how politics works today. There is no longer a difference between the two political party establishments, other than the slogans and platitudes they trot out every election cycle, and it works, especially with the dumb ass crowd.

This guy has got to go, and shining a spotlight on his true political character is the first step. The second step is for the dummies to stop enabling this guy. It does little good to whine about it after the fact. Step up and act like you have the good sense God gave you, don’t cast another vote for this shyster.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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5/29/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Special Discussion At The K.W.T.P Meeting ,Thursday June 28 6:30 Pm

At our meeting Thursday June 28 the group will hear an update on the public sector pension problem that has only grown worse since our last update back in the winter.

According to the April 12 report from Pew Charitable Trusts the comprehensive 50 state collective deficits (for 2016) now stand at 1.4 trillion up some 300 billion since 2015.

The (PCT) report estimating the public pension’s underfunded liability, details the assumed rate of return on pension assets being used is around 7.5%, when the actual rate of return for the median plan in 2016 was 1%. If the median rate was lowered to even 6.5% the deficit would balloon to some 1.7 trillion. Given the low interest rate environment private pension plans have lowered their assumed rate of return to 4.5%. Christopher Burnham, President of the newly formed Institute for Pension Fund Integrity recently said if public pension funds were to use the more conservative 4.5% the deficit could be a staggering 6 trillion.

Why is our group so laser focused on this issue? The RTD (Richmond-Times Dispatch) recently reported on Chesterfield counties problem when it was discovered that tens of millions of additional dollars were never reserved to pay for other post-employment retirement benefits that were promised to those retiring from the Chesterfield County school system. It will require tens of millions to fix it. Is this happening right here in King William county? We can’t seem to find even 1 member of the K.W School Board willing to step up and answer questions on this OPEB issue. Why do they ignore our repeated requests for answers is the key question, if these benefits that the school board has promised are adequately being funded?

Public pension liabilities are now so large should we should not be compounding the problem with additional promised benefits by local politicians who love handing out candy. When the bill comes dues these same politicians will be long gone, leaving local taxpayers to have stuck with the bill.

The Federal government (and Congress) is not going to bail these pensions out, nor should they. State governments idly have allowed this problem to grow worse, either through ignorance or complicity. It is going to require massive tax hikes at the state level to ultimately fix these underfunded pensions. Knowing what happened in Chesterfield County why sit back and let the problem grow even worse by ignoring the financial consequences of what is happening right here under our very noses. Ask your School Board representative this one question….”are these OPEB benefits you are promising people being properly reserved or are home owners going to get hammered yet again when the bill comes due “ ? It is a fair question that demands answers.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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5/26/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Del. Peace’s Pompous Puffery

Within hours of 4th District Supervisor Dave Hansen’s conviction on Friday May 17th Del Chris Peace 97th District took to Facebook denouncing Hansen and suggesting that he must resign. Peace stated in his post…… “With decision making authority for thousands of children in the schools and youth in the care of local social services”…….Let’s begin there. Hansen, other than a vote of the budgets has no authority over any children, in the schools or in the care of social service agencies. Peace knows that…..so why would he make such a false and misleading statement?

Some history is in order to fully comprehend what this latest chapter in the “Get Hansen” saga is all about. Begin with the campaign back in the summer of 2015. The Oligarchs and the entrenched power structure were concerned about not having Hansen in their clutches, so much so that they threw in a 3rd candidate in an attempt to bleed off some of the anti-incumbent sentiments, hoping that would ensure the incumbents re-election. It didn’t work and Hansen won the seat, fair and square. These folks were afraid of Dave Hansen’s independence and their inability to control him.

No sooner was Hansen seated than the local power structure using the school board as their cutting tool spread near hysteria with e-mails that Hansen would reduce local school funding with such severity that bus service would be ended, all athletic programs would be cancelled etc. etc. That didn’t work….next came the almost comical scenario where some zealous school board members (with no legal authority to do so) rifled through Hansen’s personal belongings and allegedly found a pistol that Hansen had forgotten to remove from a coat pocket before entering a school building, after school hours and with which Hansen had a concealed carry permit to begin with. That went to court and Hansen won, resulting in the “get Hansen” crowd from being stymied yet a third time. Nonetheless this is a determined crowd and they would not relent. After all, it was rumored that Hansen had an affiliation with that notorious T.E.A Party, and that is just unacceptable.

So here we are today, Hansen having left an out of control 13 year old standing on a school parking lot, after refusing to get into his car and buckle her seat belt. He didn’t strike or physically accost her, he didn’t put her over his knee and spank her - he left her standing on a safe school parking lot and drove off. It was an honest effort by a frustrated loving grandfather to teach his rebellious granddaughter a valuable lesson ….. that was until the county commonwealth attorney stepped in and injected the rather heavy handed measure of ordering the school officials to call local social service agencies, essentially kidnapping Hansen’s granddaughter under the guise of “protecting her”. The cottage industry of social service agencies went to work from there on.

King William County has been run quietly for decades by a small group of people with influence over local government that isn’t in any way representative of their numbers. They allow local government to operate and spend what they want , so long as their vaunted Land Use Tax Exemption program, their exemptions from the BPOL (Business Professional Occupational License) exemptions remain, saving them millions of dollars in taxes stay in place.

The big spenders on the school board, county department heads who want what they want regardless of the costs or burden on local taxpayers literally hate this guy. Hansen was and remains a threat to this crowd. The power brokers write the campaign checks for politicians like Del Peace, and when they say jump…..Peace jumps. Discerning adults here in King William County understand this, understand that Peace was doing as he was told, after all these people can either write the checks every election cycle or refuse to. These people want rid of Hansen, who won’t stand silent and allow them to conduct business as usual in the shadows. Hansen represents the average citizen in King William and Peace is a collaborator in their concerted efforts to destroy this honorable man by whatever means necessary. Hansen represents an end to the old order, and this won’t be tolerated. Peace was just doing what is expected of one of the team’s players.

And who are those calling for Hansen’s resignation - the usual suspects. The same folks who want things to return to normal, they want to return to the old days when decision making was done by a very small concentrated band of people who liked things just the way they were ….before this man came along that they saw they could not control. Hansen is an intelligent man with 2 Masters Degrees and isn’t in their clutches. They will not relent in their self-serving zeal to get him. The citizens in this county need to tell Del. Peace to focus on stopping Medicaid Expansion, fix the underfunded VRS system, and work on issues that for the 11 years he has been in the General Assembly have only gotten worse. If Peace wants to impress us, then introduce legislation addressing these vital state issues. If we want to see a water boy, we’ll just attend a football game this fall.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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5/23/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Local Governments (Hence Local Taxpayers) Are Taken To The Cleaners?

At last nights B.O.S meeting a discussion ensued over a $50,000 cost to run the planned high speed internet cable from the schools clustered complex on Route 30 another few miles down to the Regional Animal Shelter, this would hook up the County Administrative Building and the Courthouse. What is beginning however to become clear is these often rounded numbers that seem to suggest some oversight on the actual procurement process itself is badly needed.

Why for example is it $ 50,000.00 and not $ 48,791.00, or $ 52,163.000, but $ 50,000.00? Same issue with the school renovations at Hamilton Holmes….precisely $12,000,000.00, not $11, 973,412.00 ---but 12 million?

Just last week it was announced a mall on Bell Creek Drive in Mechanicsville had sold for 12.2 million---A MALL. Maybe we should just start buying malls to house our schools, after all this is not construction of a new school building, but a renovation of an existing building. Should it costs that much...I simply don’t know. Here is what we do know.

We do not have anyone on the B.O.S that has a building or construction background…..so how do they know taxpayers are getting a fair deal on these contracts? We are relying on no more that the Architect or Builder to tell us we are. Why not consider an outside commercial developer or commercial builder who has built shopping centers, office buildings, large apartment/condo properties, pay them a fee to rigorously vet any proposed contracts the County engages in before any deal is signed ? If, for example they examined the renovation plans at Hamilton Holmes thoroughly and came back with a conclusion that the project should cost no more than 10.5 million what would spending $20,000 on the commercial developers review have really cost us ? The $20,000 expense would have been a bargain.

When any of us contract to say put a new heating/AC unit in our house, and we get 3 bids from competing Heating/AC contractors, specifying that we want a specific brand system (Rheem — Carrier for example) we know the 3 contractors have the exact same specifics (they know the brand we want) , they have come out and estimated the job, labor costs etc.

The difference is that in the public sector these people we rely on are spending someone else’s money, not their own. In the example of the new Heating /AC system, we are spending our own money. It is time to reform the public procurement process here in the county. Millions are being spent by people who do not have the expertise to make these decisions. Maybe running that cable another few miles should cost $50,000; I would feel better as a taxpayer if I had a professional assessment of what we are being charged—wouldn’t you?

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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5/21/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: The Hypocrites of King William County

Any of those that have ever taken an adult child, particularly one that has their own children back into their homes to live with them regardless of the reasons, knows firsthand the challenges that accompany this. This young man or woman are no longer your kids, but an adult with their own developed personalities that pose the types of difficulties only someone who has experienced this can even begin to understand. I admire the love and devotion this effort requires. Just when one should be enjoying their golden years, leisurely travel, relaxation that one has earned, their life is turned in every literal sense upside down. When the returning Son or Daughter brings children with them the challenges only multiply tenfold.

Those who are gloating over the conviction in King William court on Friday of Supervisor Dave Hansen might ask themselves how well they would hold up if their personal lives were put under the same magnifying glass. The criminal justice system in King William has been utilized for the political persecution of an honorable and very decent man. They couldn’t get him in January 2018 over this intrusion into his personal belongings that were passed off as an offense of carrying a concealed weapon onto school grounds….but they waited patiently until another opportunity would come along.

Many of us are skeptical about the increasing substitute parenting by social service agencies that is threatening parent’s rights to choose the most appropriate manner with which to discipline their own children & grandchildren. Did Hansen administer corporal punishment when his granddaughter was behaving poorly—NO, did he assault her physically—NO. He simply drove off allowing her to contemplate her own actions, likely the most appropriate choice at the time.

Has this event in even the most miniscule of manners affected Hansen’s ability to serve the citizens of this county –NO, yet his political opponents take this unfortunate event as an opportunity to further persecute this fine gentleman.

Look deep into yourselves, your own personal conduct and ask the very simple question……..how well would I or my conduct hold up if I were scrutinized in the very exacting manner that Hansen has had to contend with. Stare into the mirror for just one moment and ask yourself if hypocrisy isn’t what you see, even if for just that one moment.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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5/14/2018

Dear Editor

Economic Development Authority? --- What Chesterfield Has Learned?.

According to the Chesterfield Observer on 05/02/2018 the megasite development project planned in the Chester area was an attempt to develop an industrial megasite in hopes of adding large scale manufacturers that might have added thousands of new jobs.

The project has been withdrawn for a variety of reasons. Local citizens objected over its location and the disruption to their communities. Much larger questions however have been raised about Economic Development Authority organizations that should cause the citizen of King William to watch closely what is going on here in our own backyard.

In Chesterfield some 1.2 million dollars was spent by their E.D.A on nonrefundable purchase options and pre-development work related to the proposed megasite. Even though it is not moving forward with the megasite the E.D.A is recommending that the Board of Supervisors execute the purchase options and acquire the property. Why, ……with the site not compatible with the county’s comprehensive plan or zoning ordinances are the members of Chesterfields E.D.A still advocating the county buy the property ? Estimates are that it would take around 200 million to acquire and develop. Chesterfield County had planned to provide the 15.5 million the E.D.A had agreed to pay for the 1675 acres, and were counting on the state government to fund costly infrastructure improvements needed to market the site to industrial manufacturers. If this was such a grand idea----why aren’t private interests charging up to finance this deal themselves?

State Senator Amanda Chase R-Chesterfield, called on the E.D.A to withdraw its zoning application and Chase said “all seven members of its board of directors should resign their positions. “Chase further added “these EDA’s shouldn’t have this type of unfettered authority, the government doesn’t need to be in the development business” They need to stop spending thousands on purchasing land that’s not a core function of government “she added. “ It’s clear the law needs to be changed.

BARD (Bermuda Advocates for Responsible Development) founder Mike Uzel wants elected officials to seriously investigate both the EDA and the county’s economic development staff and develop a responsible plan to change the way these entities operate, or end their operation entirely. Uzel said “the lack of transparency and oversight we have observed has been appalling; citizens trust in our local government has been destroyed by their actions”

Senator Chase had introduced a bill during the 2018 General Assembly that she said would have increased budgetary accountability and oversight of economic development authorities , but the bill was continued until next year for further study.

The reasons to ask the K.W Board of Supervisors to claw back the 2 million set aside this budget season for our own version of a county EDA are illustrated not just by what has happened in Chesterfield raising all kinds of questions, but when has government allocated capital better than the banks and private investors ? With little oversight how many land purchases are done at a true arms-length transaction? If local taxpayers are asked to subsidize developer’s infrastructure costs can tax payers then be expected to receive dividends if the venture is successful?

The concern is what happens when these deals don’t work? How often are the benefits to the greater community exaggerated and embellished only to to gin up support for forking over hard working average citizen’s money?

Let’s stop this potential boondoggle here in King William before a single dollar is spent and lower the real estate tax rate another .06-.08 per hundred. After all, that is from whom the $2,000,000.00 was stolen from in the first place.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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5/14/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Let’s Begin Draining The LOCAL SWAMP .

Hard hitting letters this past week by Supervisor Dave Hansen & Bob Ehrhart laid bare the challenge these two men face in reining in the spending. Thanks to the Country Courier and the Tidewater Review for allowing another point of view to be heard. I have lived here for over 20 years and haven’t seen two men of this caliber ever on the Board. We need Intelligent, objective men with integrity. Neither of them could ever be accused of being held captive by a small handful of folks who have disproportionate influence on spending & tax related matters. Citizens made a wise choice in 2015 electing them.

Both letters made clear the lopsided fight they are waging. 3 on that Board have carved out the support of a public sector class that believes taxpayers are obligated to cater to their every whim, while Hansen & Ehrhart have taken a reasonable approach asking…..what about the hard working folks out there who have to pay for all of this spending ?

Head nods have taken the place of Recorded Votes, almost a banana republic governing style. Why would they engage in this behavior……because they want to avoid a record of their votes.

The detailed analysis at this past Thursday nights K.W.T.P meeting on the subject of Public School Gun Violence laid bare the facts, that this issue and the adding of another Resource Officer at the 3 clustered schools ( at a cost of approx.. $100,000 ) is just such an example of poor decision making by these 3 Board members. The rate of public school gun violence has actually been on the decline from the 1990’s –yet media hysteria and self-serving politician’s foster the myth that the problem has gotten worse.

A shooting at a public school in America is a very isolated incident. Elected officials must have a sense of proportionality. I wonder if any of the 3 of these men could actually cite any specific data. Instead of a careful analysis ……..“Let’s throw some money at it” ----or----“we are doing something”. The debt being piled up poses a much graver threat to these kids than gun violence on school property.

The squandering of resources was visible on a grand scale when I attended a court hearing back in January at the King William County General District Court. In the Court room were 3 uniformed & armed Security Guard’s, and in the back of the room a plains clothes Investigator. I sat there waiting for Al Capone to be ushered into the room…., it was just that ridiculous. If Sheriff Walton really needs funds for increased salaries for his deputies, he might just reconsider how he spends what he already has.

Meanwhile we are still awaiting a response from the King William School Board members who have been invited to speak at one of our groups meetings this summer, and answer some questions about the OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits) that are being promised to county school employees. Articles in the Richmond –Times Dispatch recently revealed that Chesterfield County taxpayers will have to cough up some 20- 30 million because of irresponsible schoolboard members who have set these programs up without setting aside the reserves needed to pay for them. The King William T.E.A Party holds school board representatives to account. These school board members set these benefit programs up, knowing when the bill comes dues they will be long gone, leaving a future Board to fix the mess.

We can’t correct these problems by ourselves. It is clear that if local government spending is to be reined in, and the taxes lowered in any meaningful way……two things will have to occur.

The first is for the public to engage. You can’t simply vote every four years and declare you have done your part. You must get off the couch and get engaged as responsible citizens, pick up the phone and call your Supervisor, send them an e-mail, write a letter to the Country Courier and or the Tidewater Review---do your part, quit relying on other citizens to do what you should be doing. Waving around a flag or wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat or T-shirt is hardly doing your part.

The second action needed is to get that 3rd vote on the Board of Supervisors. We are not going to change the minds of Greenwood, Moskalski or Hodges, they are who they are, and we just have to live with them for another 19 months. I am talking about who will be seated in January 2020, and just what the Board will look like after the next local election.

We need to re-elect Bob Ehrhart, talk Dave Hansen into serving another term…….and then find 1 more principled person, one more rational man or woman who isn’t beholden to the Oligarchs, the Public School machine or the bureaucrats down on Horse Landing Road. We need Someone who has no ties to any of these special interests, someone who has the spine & moxie for the fight and the will to stand their ground and say NO.

Two exclusions as for qualifying candidates should by now be clear. Electing anyone who has served on the school board is a recipe for trouble. These folks have already demonstrated a kinship with the school official’s that taints their judgment. They are predisposed towards giving the schools a blank check. Just 4 years ago we had a former school board member and never once did this Supervisor call the schools out for lying or exaggerating their claims about how many positions they had cut, or the lie that they hadn’t had a pay raise for XXX years. This Supervisor knew this wasn’t true……….. Yet remained silent. Schools receive over 50% of the county total revenue, and you can’t cut local spending if you can’t control the schools waste.

We must stop electing Supervisors who are lifetime public sector employees. They have spent their entire adult lives in an insulated bubble. Salary increases almost every year (although they never call them pay raises---they have their own language), Cadillac benefits, largely subsidized by their fellow citizens, and a growing entitlement attitude that has become sickening. You put one of these folks in an elected office and they give away the store---literally. No realistic connection to what is happening in the real economy; they simply raid taxpayer’s pockets to take care of their brethren. King William County and K.W County Schools combined are now overtaking the paper mill in West Point as the area’s largest employer…….what does that tell you?

Can we find 1 person in the County who will step up and serve all the citizens, particularly the hard working tax payers? Is there someone out there who has the intellect, understands the issues and has demonstrated that they grasp the issues?

Serving in elected office isn’t for those with weak knees; it requires someone who can take the heat. The 3 I’s, as I often say, Independence, Integrity & Intellect. A man or woman guided by solid principles and who won’t be pushed around. Find someone who actually does what they say they are going to do if elected. In 2019 we can elect another individual that spouts campaign platitudes and slogans, or a Supervisor who follows through on what he/she says they will do if they are elected. Find someone who understands the limitations that the wise Founders placed on government power, or be swallowed by the self-serving interests that have taken over your local government. Hansen & Ehrhart need 1 more vote on that Board. Let’s find that for them.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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5/02/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: A Stacked Deck (Op Editorial) .

When the draft budget is presented by administrators, the deck is already stacked.

Three supervisors have never initiated any substantial reduction ($5K+) in the budget since they were last elected. Oddly, two of these supervisors were active in the KW Democratic Party; but, now appear to depart from party ideals & shift the tax burden (through exemptions) to low/working/middle income households.

Had it not been for the “lists” developed by Hansen & Ehrhart while in office, it’s doubtful any reduction in property tax would ever have been recognized. The other 3 supervisors have yet to come to the budget session with a red pen (but instead a rubber stamp).

Some specific illustrations are as follows.
1) At the April 13 budget session, Supervisor Greenwood ABSTAINED from voting on a $120K increase in the budget for capital/funds to the fire department. By failing to vote (on something he previously opposed), the proposal to strike this increase died by a 2-2 vote.

2) As long as the school budget comprises ~45% of the budget and exemptions continue to shift taxes, no appreciable reduction will ever be seen with the 3-2 imbalance. Opportunities to return “overtaxed revenue” or further reduce the burden to homeowners were rejected. Eliminating the vehicle tag fee alone would have reduced the school budget by ~$300K and returned about $60/year/household. This action has twice been rejected by 3 supervisors (one of who doesn’t pay the tag fee to KW County).

3) A final perfect example of how easily your money is spent - when the budget was reduced by $19K (P&R, DSS, & other areas)- 3 supervisors by the “nod of the head” on April 13 decided to keep that savings and contribute it to employee health care; this action was later affirmed by resolution #18-16 on April 23.

Bob Ehrhart; 5th District Supervisor
King William, Va
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4/29/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Political Convictions Or…….. Political Convenience .

After 6 years on the Board Supervisor Travis Moskalski has been to a scripted precision the proud progressive he claims to be. Moskalski can’t find an issue where more money isn’t the solution. He has been predictable in his positions, all but one and it isn’t difficult to understand why on this issue Moskalski veers off course and takes the “political convenience” track.

Whether it is the schools, the sheriff’s budget or social services, he can be counted on for ponying up some more of tax payer’s hard earned money. Moskalski embodies a government solution for every issue, it is simply who he is.

On the tax side of the equation he shows his true self, the crass politician who will set aside any convictions he claims to have if it advances his political ambitions. Moskalski has been a defender of the Land Use Tax Exemptions, yet hasn’t offered a plausible explanation for why. Progressives constantly whine that the rich don’t pay their fair share. The often cited explanation for Land Use Exemptions has been the need to keep King William open & rural…… Large open tracts of land have been for sale for decades, many of these tracts have been sold at auction, underscoring that typical market forces don’t exist here. King William does not have the proximity to Interstate highways that are a prerequisite to commercial development. In neighboring King & Queen county farmers and foresters profitably go about their business without a Land Use Tax Exemption, and try as they may no one can offer up a honest and rational explanation then for why this tax scheme continues here. The only plausible one is that elected official’s bow to the Oligarchs who enjoy the benefit of a much reduced tax burden.

To watch now as these same folks promote the stealing of some $2,000,000.00 of other people’s money for the stated purpose of “targeted economic development” when their claim that Land Use Tax Exemptions exist to keep King William “open & rural” is insulting to anyone’s intelligence. I have often asked these hypocrites, which is it, you want King William open and rural, or you want “economic development”? Make up your minds, please.

Land Use Tax Exemptions will one day be ended here in King William County, but not so long as politicians like Travis Moskalski have a say in the matter. It will take 3 principled votes on the Board of Supervisors to end this tax scheme, and guys like Moskalski have already shown their hand. You can be true to a political philosophy, or to convenience, and when Moskalski launches his next political campaign, you can bet he will be collecting donations from the same folks progressives constantly deride as not paying their fair share. Moskalski will struggle explaining his obvious duplicity when he runs for his next office. Even Progressives get it.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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4/26/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Why Are The Citizens From The 4th & 5th Districts Being Ignored? .

It has been brought to my attention that the Board of Supervisors representing the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Districts have decided to implement a new form of government here at the local level. Unbeknownst to Supervisor Ehrhart or Supervisor Hansen the other 3 decided unilaterally to take the savings ( that is an insult to use the word within the context of a county budget that just increase 3 million + from last year ) they whittled away at , around $19,000 and “buy down “ the employee share of the increased health insurance premium. Taxpayers were already on the hook for around $425,000, but the 3 Amigo’s must have thought tax payers could eat another $19,000.

What is disturbing about this is that Hansen & Ehrhart were not consulted with, it was an arbitrary decision by the others to go ahead with this additional spending without any consultation. What are the citizens to think in the 4th & 5th district who went to the polls in November 2015 and elected Dave Hansen & Bob Earhart? Has Hodges, Moskalski and Greenwood decided to annex two districts? Are the people living in the two districts now permitted to discard their property or real estate tax bills when they arrive in the mail? If you own a small business in the 4th or 5th district can you throw away your BPOL tax bill when it arrives? Who in the hell made these 3 fellas King?

The set aside of the $2,000,000.00 for targeted economic development and the additions of a new County paid Fire & Rescue department, have set into motion the clean expenditure of a chunk of the heralded “ unassigned reserve fund” of some 10.1 million dollars. Rest assured the 3 Amigos are salivating at the prospect of next year’s real estate tax assessment cycle and the new money that will bring in from what will in all likelihood be new higher real estate assessed values. The .02 reduction in the current outrageous rate of .90 is almost an insult given the theft of some $7,000,000.00 over the last 6 years. The continued assault against Hansen & Ehrhart for any affiliation with the King William T.E.A Party is laughable if not for the serious consequences of conservatives or anyone who doesn’t “tow the party line”, anyone wanting local government spending cut or taxes reduced.

Voters threw 3 incumbents, 3 who were clearly tax and spender types out of office in November 2015. Hodges, Moskalski and Greenwood have shown the election means nothing when you are beholden to the Oligarchs and the public sector crowd. This is one of the largest increases in the County budget in the 21 years I have lived here, and you can bet unless you stand and object these folks are just getting started in the coming raid of your wallets.

Voting every 4 years isn’t enough. You must lend visible support to Hansen & Ehrhart or the odds are higher taxes to pay for all this new spending is right around the corner.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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4/25/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Silence Is Golden, Golden, But My Eyes Still See……. .

The old song first released by the Tremeloes in 1967, later recorded by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons…….when music was music, recently crossed my mind when I contemplated why we haven’t heard anything from Congressman Wittman or the K.W Public School Board, relative to our open invitation to come and speak at a meeting of ours this summer.

Wittman wants to talk about regulations? Conservatives want to question him on spending cuts and how we are going to be able to begin digging out our kids and grandkids from the mountain of debt Wittman himself has presided over during his own tenure on Capitol Hill. Maybe the Congressman has forgotten the song, maybe we will begin soon to remind him of the latter part of the verse “but my eyes still see”. Wittman works for us, we have paid this guy over $2,000,000.00 since his elevation to Congress so he can run but he can’t hide. Calling himself a conservative is self- promotion at its worst, spending needs cut and we want some answers on just what cuts Wittman advocates for. We already know from his record he isn’t one to step out in front and lead the charge.

As for our local School Board who by now is well aware that we have offered them the opportunity to step up to the plate and answer some targeted questions about this rather mysterious OPEB program ( Other Post Employment Benefits) , the program that the RTD recently featured two prominent articles on, specifically how Chesterfield taxpayers are on the hook for tens of millions in promised benefits, benefits handled out by coddling elected officials without adequate funding put into place to pay down the road when the band wants to be paid (sticking with the musical theme here). One can only surmise the school board members just hope this issue goes away and they don’t have to answer questions from the very same citizens who will be asked to pick up the tab for these promised benefits when the bill comes due. Politicians and school board members are politicians love to give out candy and stick someone else in the future when these promised benefits have to be paid for. We are sick & tired of this slick manner in which they continue to hand out gifts with no consequence for the impact it will have on already over taxed citizens when scores of these school employees begin retiring and want what they were promised.

The eyes still see, that is the eyes of the Watch Dog group, the King William T.E.A Party, the only conservative voice in King William. You can bet our group is about to “turn up the volume” on the music.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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4/20/2018

Dear Editor

Subject: Wittman Insults Our Intelligence With His Surveys .

Those of us who have more than a modicum of an understanding of our national issues, primarily those of us still capable of doing basic math find it insulting that a member of Congress who now has more than a decade under his belt sends out using taxpayer resources such ridiculous surveys. This week is particularly grinding on my nerves.

Wittman asked us “if we want more regulations”……somebody insist this guy get a medical evaluation to determine if he is exhibiting signs of dementia. What kind of question is that? Why would he take up space asking such foolish questions? I can answer both. It is a stupid question meant to imply that Wittman gives a rat’s a___ what any of us think to begin with. Maybe he thinks he impresses us showing he is following the spotlight being shined on FaceBook and their rather nefarious practice of selling or sharing personal information to a bevy of organizations that then use this information without our knowledge of its use. Perhaps Wittman thinks the average American already doesn’t view the over regulated economy/society that President Trump is having a field day stomping out. Wittman takes up space, physically and intellectually with this nonsense attempting to make voters believe he is accomplishing something, anything, when he is not.

Wittman refuses to address the spending issues that are the major concern for those of us paying attention and engaged. He can find time to visit the Boy Scouts….but can’t make it up here to King William, despite repeated requests, and for only one simple reason.

We want to talk about serious issues, how in the hell we are going to cut spending and begin to get our kids and grandkids out from under the onslaught of debt men like Wittman have buried them under. Like Paul Ryan, Wittman will hang around a little longer until a K street firm finds him useful, and he will announce he is leaving Congress to “spend more time with his family etc. etc. etc.” If Congressman Wittman is truly wanting to know how we feel, then stop hiding from us and get yourself up here to answer our questions, serious questions that smart people can’t be placated with by your stupid and pointless surveys.

The citizens of the 1st Congressional District have paid you over $2,000,000.00 in salary, earn your keep and schedule time to speak to your bosses this summer. We have some serious real questions.

Bob Shannon - Founder King William T.E.A Party
King William, Va
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4/17/2018

Dear Editor

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
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4/14/2018

Dear Editor

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 his money 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
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4/8/2018

Dear Editor

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
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4/8/2018

Dear Editor

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
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4/7/2018

Dear Editor

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
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4/6/2018

Dear Editor

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
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4/6/2018

Dear Editor

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
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4/4/2018

Dear Editor

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
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4/4/2018

Dear Editor

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
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4/2/2018

Dear Editor

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

Assistant Superintendent -------- $94,136.00 --- $108,926.00 --- 15.7% --- 2.96%
Assistant Principal -------- $70,884.00 --- $81,560.00 --- 15.1% ---2.85%
Teacher Step 1 ------------- $38,000.00 --- $43,823.00 --- 15.3% --- 2.89%
Teacher Step 10 ------------ $40,484.00 --- $46,987.00 --- 16.1% --- 3.02%
Teacher Step 16 ------------ $43,239.00 --- $52,911.00 --- 22.4% --- 4.12%
Teacher Step 20 ------------ $47,940.00 --- $58,404.00 --- 21.8% --- 2.85%
Teacher Step 25 ------------ $55,744.00 --- $62,907.00 --- 12.8% --- 2.45%
Teacher Step 29 ------------ $57,366.00 --- $64,816.00 --- 13.0% --- 2.47%
Cafeteria -------------------- $12,167.00 --- $13,617.00 --- 11.9% --- 2.27%

Fred Krauss
King William, Va
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4/2/2018

Dear Editor

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
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3/21/2018

Dear Editor

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
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3/16/2018

Dear Editor

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
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3/15/2018

Dear Editor

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
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3/14/2018

Dear Editor

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
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3/13/2018

Dear Editor

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
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3/13/2018

Dear Editor

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
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3/4/2018

Dear Editor

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
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2/28/2018

Dear Editor

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
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2/19/2018

Dear Editor

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
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2/14/2018

Dear Editor

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
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2/14/2018

Dear Editor

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
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2/9/2018

Dear Editor

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
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2/2/2018

Dear Editor

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
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2/2/2018

Dear Editor

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
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2/1/2018

Dear Editor

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 terms like 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
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2/1/2018

Dear Editor

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 somethingsubsidize 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
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1/27/2018

Dear Editor

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 hellInsurance 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
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1/27/2018

Dear Editor

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!
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1/26/2018

Dear Editor

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
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1/23/2018

Dear Editor

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
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1/23/2018

Dear Editor

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.

Bob Shannon
King William, Va
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1/08/2018

Dear Editor

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
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12/23/2017

Dear Editor

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
Aylett, VA
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12/20/2017

Dear Editor

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
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12/18/2017

Dear Editor

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
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12/16/2017

Dear Editor

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
Aylett, VA
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12/14/2017

Dear Editor

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
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11/18/2017

Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

Subject: Current School Board Needs To Be Sent Packing .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

Subject: Voices From The Swamp .

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

Subject: The Language Game The Progressives Play .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

Subject: One Nagging Question These Big Spenders Skillfully Duck .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

Subject: I Liked Him Better In Obscurity .

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

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

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

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

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

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