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Rainbow Riding, Hand in the Tax Payers Cookie Jar AGAIN!?

April 2nd, 2012

Here we are again, less than 6 months later, having a deja vu moment.  Allow me to recap recent financial events regarding Rainbow Riding and tax payer dollars.

Back in November Moonhowlings wrote about 100 grand of discretionary money from Supervisor Covington being directed to Rainbow Riding.  Mr. Covington ended up pulling that money, but apparently, plan B was even more expansive.

The proposed FY 13  budget includes $32,477 for this community partnership; Rainbow Riding Center  has requested an additional $178,398 in the form of a one-time capital  investment for FY 13.

Have I mentioned yet that Silver Lake has a Master Plan that has YET to be funded?  Yes, Silver Lake, the land upon which Rainbow Riding has a 35 year FREE lease, has yet to have any real county dollars directed towards capital improvements.

Here are a few of the items on the Master Plan, adopted by the county, that are still not done, in fact, those project have not even begun.

1)Picnic Pavilion

2)Playground

3)Outdoor Classroom

4)Community Garden Area

Why, you may be asking, are these minimal improvements being ignored while the county even entertains the suggestion of giving away $200 grand of our taxpayer money to an organization that only services less than 100 children?

Did you know there is not ONE quality public playground in western Prince William County.  I take my kids to a park in Fauquier County!   That is simply disgraceful in my opinion.

Lets not forget the Eastern end of the county and their critical needs.

The Chinn Public Library and Community Center are woefully over crowded and in need of serious renovations to accomodate the thousands of adults and children that use those facility’s.  There was suppose to be a Park Bond that was intended for those improvements but it was redirected, to where, I am not sure.

Park and Community Centers serve everyone in the community and I firmly believe, until we can ensure those facilities are fully funded, our tax payer dollars, in such large sums, should not be directed to small non profits.

When I spoke at citizens time a couple of weeks ago, a man from Fairfax County, yes, you read that correctly, Fairfax County, shared that his children use the Rainbow Riding facility, and that he hoped the Board would approve the additional funding for the facility.  Does anyone here have an issue with a resident from another county asking us to put our limited resources for a facility that draws people from other counties?

Rainbow Riding has a great funding resource and if the Board would like to put their personal money towards Rainbow Riding, or help, on their own time, plan a fundraiser, I support that fully. However, to give ONE non profit such a large sum of money, is unconscionable and an insult to the all the other worthy non profits in this county who would welcome even a smidgen of what Rainbow Riding has recieved from the County coffers..

My hope is that the BOCS will reject this improper use of county funds and we begin to move towards a more holitistic approach to the needs of all county residents regarding our Park services.

Addendum:  It appeaars that Rainbow Riding is sitting on a ton of money,  according to their federal 990 form.  To download, click here.

  1. April 2nd, 2012 at 09:52 | #1

    Supposedly the BOCS says they can’t afford trash cans. (the bear-proof ones)

    I bet they could afford a lot of trash cans if they had $178 K to spend.

    RR should consider some donations that would include plank ramps for the wheel chairs. That would fit in more with the rural motif of Silver Lake.

    Why start concreting the place over. That really doesn’t fit in with the look of the area.

  2. SlowpokeRodriguez
    April 2nd, 2012 at 10:23 | #2

    This seems like only PART of the problem. What are the discretionary expenditures of all the other supervisors? I bet this isn’t the only obviously screwed-up one. Oh, and the notion of giving our money to some other part of the county is…well…typical left-wing radicalism. If my supervisor has 100k laying around, and nothing better to spend it on than RR, then give it back to me, considering you shouldn’t have taken it from me in the first place.

  3. April 2nd, 2012 at 11:34 | #3

    This request, as I understand it, would be a budgeted item, from the general funds, not part of discretionary funds.

    Pokie, why do you act amazed that you have to pay taxes? Do you not use any services? How about those little pokies? You have 2 of them? That’s over 20k a year to educate them. 20 x 13 years even if the rate stays the same. You must live one one hell of a house for the county to collect that much in taxes over the same period of time. That only takes in the schools. No libraries, no roads, no signs, no sewer treatment and water purifying plants, etc etc. You don’t pay a Gainesville or Brentsville tax. You pay a county assessment.

    As for the discretionary funds, there is a strong argument against them. I just wish when they started giving it away, they would say, on behalf of the taxpayers of PWC….

  4. SlowpokeRodriguez
    April 2nd, 2012 at 13:12 | #4

    I’m not amazed that I have to pay taxes for legitimate government functions (such as education / law enforcement / Fire / Ambulance at the local level)….no problem at all. However, if local government has 20, 30, 80, or 100k to give to therapeutic horse riding, free services for illegal immigrants, or translation of government documents into Spanish, that’s money they should not have taken from me in the first place.

  5. Pat Herve
    April 2nd, 2012 at 13:36 | #5

    funny how we have no money for many things that are needed, but when it comes to pet projects, they are always able to find the money. This is true on all levels of Government.

  6. Elena
    April 2nd, 2012 at 14:23 | #6

    Slow,
    The BOCS is made up of 6 R’s and 2 D’s. Where does left vs right fit in? Maybe, and hold on to your hat, it doesn’t matter!

  7. April 2nd, 2012 at 14:55 | #7

    @SlowpokeRodriguez

    Thanks for clarifying. I did misunderstand what you were saying.

  8. April 2nd, 2012 at 14:56 | #8

    Easy Elena, you know full well that in theory it should be a left v. right issue. The problem is that here in Hazzard, err PWC, the issue is a matter of personal aggrandizment and not one of politics. Interestingly, only Corey and Stirrup (despite all their other faults perceived and real) were largely if not entirely above the abuse of those funds. I would add May but then I would have to go into a complicated explanation of his fund transfer to the library. Nevertheless, as few would describe John and Corey as typical left-wing radicals, it leads to the question of what are the others, particularly Wally and Maureen. My personal observation is not what they are but rather what they aren’t, namely Fiscal Conservatives (hint, those are code words for true Republicans).

  9. April 2nd, 2012 at 14:57 | #9

    @Pat Herve

    Very true, Pat. There were several things in the past couple of years that did get the axe because the county said there simply was no money.

  10. April 2nd, 2012 at 15:24 | #10

    @Mom

    Corey? Corey Stewart? I seem to recall that shortly before 10/7/07, a certain chairman sent out invitations to the 10/7/07 Board of Supervisors Meeting where they voted on one of the original immigration ‘Resolutions.’ Those cost for this mailing was in excess of $30,000 and Corey paid for it out of his discretionary funds. This was a regular BOCS citizens time.

    What a waste of money. All those people had already made up their minds how they were going to vote. I guess they wanted to give an illusion that they cared what everyone thought. They dip-sticked the wind, read the blogs, and voted accordingly.

    After it was over and the dust settled, then they started thinking about the consequences.

  11. SlowpokeRodriguez
    April 2nd, 2012 at 18:22 | #11

    Elena :
    Slow,
    The BOCS is made up of 6 R’s and 2 D’s. Where does left vs right fit in? Maybe, and hold on to your hat, it doesn’t matter!

    Yeah, and who said all R’s are conservative? Not me! All my points save for one minor descriptive phrase had zippo to do with left vs. right and everything to do with right vs. wrong.

  12. SlowpokeRodriguez
    April 2nd, 2012 at 18:26 | #12

    Mom :
    but rather what they aren’t, namely Fiscal Conservatives (hint, those are code words for true Republicans).

    Only the feeblest of minds could mistake modern Republicans for fiscal conservatives. Oh, they’d like you to fall for that definition, just like the Democrats would like you to believe they’re for the “little guy”.

    • April 2nd, 2012 at 20:42 | #13

      Slowpoke, one thing I notice that Republicans do that Democrats don’t do is get all elitist over who is a REAL Republican and who isn’t. You don’t hear Democrats saying You aren’t a real democrat…you are a dino. They don’t give a crap. They take your vote and let the good times roll.

      It would make sense since votes are power, to just let whoever votes be the Republicans and be done with it rather than insulting everyone who doesn’t think like you do. I could name you 25 people who defected because of this very thinking. Some folks do that with Christianity also. I would think that would be between the person and the Lord and no one else.

  13. April 2nd, 2012 at 21:21 | #14

    @SlowpokeRodriguez

    In your own mind only.

  14. SlowpokeRodriguez
    April 2nd, 2012 at 22:01 | #15

    Moon-howler :
    @SlowpokeRodriguez
    In your own mind only.

    What in my mind only? Your reference is wondering around like a Zombie looking for its mate.

  15. SlowpokeRodriguez
    April 2nd, 2012 at 22:04 | #16

    Moon-howler :
    Slowpoke, one thing I notice that Republicans do that Democrats don’t do is get all elitist over who is a REAL Republican and who isn’t. You don’t hear Democrats saying You aren’t a real democrat…you are a dino.

    No argument there.

  16. Ray Beverage
    April 2nd, 2012 at 23:25 | #17

    Community Partners are also, as part of their funding requests, supposed to submit in the documentation what specific Strategic Plan Goals they are meeting. Keep in mind the BOCS Policy is you have to meet that Plan and its associated Risk Matrix. Would be interesting to see what the Center put in as what goal they would be meeting.

  17. April 3rd, 2012 at 06:49 | #18

    My bad, forgot about that $30K. Still and all, you would be hard pressed to find another instance of discretionary fund abuse by Corey, egregious as that one was. @Moon-howler

  18. April 3rd, 2012 at 07:44 | #19

    @MoM, when you blow $30k sending out invitations to Citizens’ Time, then try to not let people speak, what do you do as an encore? That one move can last you for a decade.

    But you are right, I can’t think of any major give-aways since then. He also doesn’t have a district. This begs the question, where is all that money? How much is he sitting on? Is there any way taxpayers can check that out?

  19. SlowpokeRodriguez
    April 3rd, 2012 at 09:29 | #20

    Moon-howler :
    @MoM, when you blow $30k sending out invitations to Citizens’ Time, then try to not let people speak, what do you do as an encore? That one move can last you for a decade.

    I have no interest in defending Stewart, but that last sentence only applies to folks who loathe him anyway.

  20. April 3rd, 2012 at 09:53 | #21

    Are you referring to me? I don’t loathe Corey. I just think in that case he wasted money. $30k is a lot of money to blow on invitations to something that happens during every meeting anyway.

    For the record, I can politically oppose someone I don’t hate. I can politically support people I don’t think much of.

    Corey hasn’t even done much lately to incur my wrath. You also might want to stop and drop back to the last election. Did you notice US excoriating Corey? Didn’t think so.

  21. MLL98
    April 3rd, 2012 at 13:23 | #22

    @Mom, May didn’t transfer any money to the library. In fact in 2010 he returned $89,000 in discretionary funds to the revenue stabilization fund.

  22. April 3rd, 2012 at 13:52 | #24

    I feel a dust up coming on. Think I will just get out of the way.

  23. April 3rd, 2012 at 14:05 | #25

    I ssem to recall that he and Maureen directed that money to the Montclair Library.
    @MLL98

    • April 3rd, 2012 at 14:10 | #26

      Resisting the urge to chime in……don’t do it Moon. Dust up alert….

  24. April 3rd, 2012 at 14:08 | #27

    Just checked my records, the $89,000 went to the Montclair Library CIP Fund.

  25. April 3rd, 2012 at 14:32 | #28

    My apologies to Mike, just went and checked the 2010 minutes, I put his $89,000 on the same spreadsheet line as Maureen’s $89,000 at the same meeting. He did indeed return $89,000 in discretionary funds to the revenue stabilization fund so you can add his name to Stewart and Stirrup as non-abusers of the discretionary funds.

    • April 3rd, 2012 at 15:58 | #29

      H/T MoM

      So how does this $200k budget request thing work? Does it go to public hearing or what? What is the next step with the BOCS?

  26. April 3rd, 2012 at 16:20 | #30

    If its not already a line item in the budget it likely will be prior to a vote on the budget as a whole. If not, it is an appropriation that will have to occur either during the budget meeting as an amendment to the working version of the budget or in a more unlikely scenario, they could do it after July 1 through the allocation of any surplus funds. In theory, on some level it will have to be at least opaque if not transparent but when it comes to PWC’s budget, I don’t trust 7/8ths of them and (cue lighting bolts from MH as I denigrate an employee, albeit one who meets the standard of a public figure) have absolutely no faith in the competence or integrity of the County Exec.

  27. April 3rd, 2012 at 18:10 | #31

    So all you have to do is ask and the amount goes into the budget? Why would it even be considered?

    What is the soonest we can see that and other budget items?

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