No sooner than the ink dried than Corey Stewart emailed out a message regarding the hotly debated discretionary funds:
I wanted to be the first to let you know that today the Prince William County Board of Supervisors voted to eliminate discretionary funds from our budgets.
During my tenure as Chairman, I have always looked at ways to decrease the size of government and increase transparency. I am pleased that the Board was able to reach a consensus and agree that these funds were not in the best interest of the county or its taxpayers. It also should be noted that we have put into place tighter controls on how Board members staff their offices or enter into contracts with outside vendors for constituent outreach. These amendments were added to make sure the Board is beyond reproach.
While leading the Board, I have been proud of the financial management of this county. This is reflected in our three AAA bond ratings, a budget that has been reduced by $143 million, and tax bills that are 30% lower than the rest of the region.
Supervisor Candland is proposing a resolution to begin a much more extensive process to our “discretionary” spending problem in PWC. To read the full resolution, click here.
Discretionary money only scratches the surface to a much broader endemic problem in Prince William County– Who, what, when , where receives tax payer funding that is not a direct government entity. I am a strong proponent of private/public partnerships. However, in PWC, there is no real process for which non profit receives tax payer funds. Our “process”, or lack thereof, has been at the sole behest of the individual Supervisor. The only pseudo check and balance is a perfunctory Board approval that we all know is simply a rubber stamp.
Ending discretionary funding will not solve this problem. We give away 12 million dollars in each annual budget to our “community partners”. I would like to know, how are these partners selected? While some may seem obvious, many others may not be. What is the process that defines the success of such groups? How do other counties partner with non-profits?
What citizens like myself are wondering is, where is the transparency for funding these groups? This is not a left or right issue, this is not a republican or democrat issue, this is an issue of fairness and open government.
Prince William County can no longer operate like a ”good ole boy” network. It is time to govern like we are a modern exurb of our nations capitol! My hope is that the Board of Supervisors will take Peter Candland’s resolution and not just approve it, but build upon it and really start addressing how we do allocate our government funds in PWC.
This resolution is not about ending private public partnerships, it is about improving our process so that there is a fair playing field, one that is transparent to citizens and non profits alike.
Love is blind! Engraving from Harper’s Weekly magazine (April 28, 1883) shows a woman viewing the transit of Venus through a telescope. Doing so with no solar filter would result in instant eye damage and likely blindness. Do not let June 5, 2012, be your blind date–use proper observing equipment and common sense.
Watch on the internet at 5:45 PM
Video streaming by Ustream
My friends Roger and June are going to be sitting on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for the event. They are a long way from their home in England. Since we can’t be there with them, here is the next best thing.
The site is from NASA:
The next event won’t roll around until 2117. You might have other plans then.