As Stafford County Board Chairman Susan Stimpson prepares to leave office this month at the end of her term, she sent out an email outlining the board’s accomplishments during her tenure. They include:
We cut our pay by 25% We abolished BPOL, a regressive small business tax We cut overall real estate taxes 3 years in a row We cut our general admin staff down to 2004 levels We raised our reserves to 12% We funded voter approved road projects and park and recreation projects We took the school budget in hand and categorically funded instruction, ensuring teacher raises For the first time since 1965, we actually had a budget less than the year before!
Our economy started growing and we jumped to #1 in job growth in the Commonwealth in 2011.
We opened the Stafford Tech and Research Center and, on December 10th, Google’s Chief Financial Officer will be a featured speaker at an event at the Center.
Every year I have been in office we have had a budget surplus, which has allowed us to cut more taxes.
We eliminated the Boat Tax We eliminated the Machinery and Tools Tax We eliminated the Common Carrier Tax
That’s a pretty good record overall. One that should make Prince William County residents envious given how our county board has flailed around during this same time, jumping from scandal to scandal, dumb idea to dumb idea, and waste of taxpayer money to waste of taxpayer money. Now we learn that Prince William County, the seventh wealthiest county in the nation, spends less per pupil than the poorest county in America.
Apparently, PWC isn’t just getting schooled by Stafford County anymore, but also by Owsley County, Kentucky, the poorest county in the U.S. As The Sheriff’s blog noted the other day, the PWC Board essentially has devolved into a parody of itself where its members (aside from its newest one Pete Candland) are now clamoring for action to solve the problems that they themselves created. That is like giving CGI Federal a blank check to fix the Healthcare.gov website that they screwed up building to begin with.
With so many positive examples and good ideas emanating from Stafford County and other nearby localities, it truly is a wonder that PWC has become as messed up as it is. We may only have one last chance to fix things before they become too far gone.