They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but three bricks are apparently worth $800 of Prince William County taxpayers’ money.
There’s a new sheriff in town, well actually a blogger, and he calls himself the Sheriff of Notingham in Prince William County.
The site is only about two weeks old, but it contains several entries already detailing numerous questionable activities and ethical lapses of certain members of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors related to their use of office slush funds with the hint that there is more to come and some things may cross over the line from unethical to possibly illegal.
One of the things the Sheriff has written about is the purchase of commemorative bricks at the National Museum of the Marine Corps using county tax dollars. Rather than having an engraving such as “The Citizens of Prince William County” or “The Residents Of The Dumfries District” (now Potomac District), they instead bear not only the names of the individual supervisors as if these bricks were paid for with their own money, but their spouses as well!
According to the Sheriff, Potomac Dist. Supervisor Maureen Caddigan used $600 from her slush fund to purchase two bricks and Neabsco Dist. Supervisor John Jenkins got a deal and only had to pay $200 for his brick. On my way home from my daughter’s Girl Scout bridging ceremony at Locust Shade Park today, I decided to stop by the museum and see for myself exactly what that $800 bought in person. Here is what I found…
That doesn’t exactly look like something paid for by the taxpayers of Prince William County. It appears as if two Board members personally donated and put their titles on the bricks. While Jenkins was bold enough to include his wife’s name on the brick, further giving the impression of it being a personal contribution, Caddigan purchased a separate brick for her husband that gives no indication whatsoever as to the source of funding. Have these people lost touch so much that they don’t see anything wrong with what they are doing?
These are public funds. They are using it like this money belongs to them personally. This has to end NOW and a full accounting must be made of such contributions with repayment of funds (plus interest) to the county from the supervisors’ personal or campaign accounts. We’ve been railing against this practice for over six-months now. Back then I wrote:
I do have problems with supervisors handing out taxpayer dollars to their favorite charities and groups that in turn builds community goodwill towards them personally that is paid back at election time in the form of votes.
Hold on tight. If what I am hearing pans out, we’re in for a very bumpy ride ahead.
If you live in PWC, contact your supervisor before the June 5th meeting and tell him or her to shut down the use of district discretionary funds for anything other than purposes “related to a public matter” such as staff salary, rent, postage and the purchase of office supplies.
UPDATE: The Sheriff has his own set of photos of the bricks up now as well.