FF Letters
King William County Virginia
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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

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

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

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


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

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

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.

Dave Hansen … KWBOS
District 4 (Manquin)"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 na´ve.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 ?

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

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 ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

Subject: I Liked Him Better In Obscurity .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

Subject: No Opposition to Fire & EMS Empire? .

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

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

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

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

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


Sincerely, Robert "Sarge" Bruce

Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

Subject: Mcconnell Symbolizes What Has Destroyed the Republican Party.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

Subject: Shannon Endorses Cliff Hyra for Governor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

Subject: Program Director Skirts The Real Issue .

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, VA

Dear Editor

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Dear Editor

Subject: Board Speakers Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dave Hansen … KWBOS
District 4 (Manquin)"

Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William

Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

Subject: Schools Need Lesson On Accountability.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

Subject: Nostalgia or Wishful Thinking?.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Dear Editor

Subject: Found Money & Lost Minds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, VA


Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, Va


Dear Editor

Subject: Sloppy Or By Design?.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, Va


Dear Editor

Subject: Competition Produces Better Outcome, Even In Politics.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Dear Editor

Subject: Notes from the KWBOS:.

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

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

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

Respectfully Submitted,
Dave Hansen, KWBOS, District 4
King William, Va

Dear Editor

Subject: Business As Usual.

Business As Usual

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, VA


Dear Editor

Subject: Absurdity of the Left has no bounds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, VA


Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, VA

Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, Va


Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, VA


Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Dear Editor

Subject: Tone Down The Language.

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

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

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

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

Which side comes closer to “subversive”?

Bob Shannon
King William, VA


Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, Va

Dear Editor

Subject: Even CNN Is Getting It?.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, Va


Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon - 3rd District
King William, VA

Dear Editor

Subject: Have We Lost Our Collective Sanity?.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, VA


Dear Editor

Subject: Board of Supervisors Actions Erodes Public Trust.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon 3rd District
King William, VA


Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William


Dear Editor

Subject: Supervisor Stephen Greenwood / Congressional Material?.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, Va


Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, Va


Dear Editor

Subject: Stop Lisnen To The Tee Pardee?.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, Va


Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William


Dear Editor

Subject: Dutch Uncle Explanation .

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, VA


Dear Editor

Subject: Trumps Tax Returns ? .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William , Va


Dear Editor

Subject: Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William, Va



Dear Editor

Subject: Selfish? .

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

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

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

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

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

Problem solved, right ?

Robert “Sarge” Bruce
Aylett, VA



Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William



Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope to see everyone Thursday April 27 !

Bob Shannon
Founder King William T.E.A Party



Dear Editor

Subject: Barking Dogs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
Central Garage



Dear Editor

Subject: Zealots Never Allow Facts to Distract Them ..

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William T.E.A Party



Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William



Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That fact has the Bees angry.

Bob Shannon
King William, Va



Dear Editor

Subject: Opponents Distorting Some Facts On Repeal Of ACA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William



Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Otherwise may I suggest we all learn to speak Greek.

Bob Shannon
King William, Va



Dear Editor

Subject: Susan Stimpson has earned our support.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William



Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Shannon
King William



Dear Editor

Subject: Better Internet Service in King William.

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

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

The missing questions I think should have been asked were:

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

Paul Jamerson
King William, VA



Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Dear Editor

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

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

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

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

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

Some of us however are not fooled so easily.

Bob Shannon
King William