In a rare turn of events, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors adopted the advertised tax rate. They also adopted the FY16 budget.

By a 6-2 vote, supervisors approved the residential real estate tax rate of 1.122 percent for every $100 of assessed value, or a 3.88 percent increase from the FY15’s residential tax rate.

Brentsville Supervisor Jeanine Lawson (R) and Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland (R) voted against the tax-rate as they would have preferred only a 2.5 percent tax increase.

The crowd at the  McCoart  building was in a jovial mood.  Supervisors joked, citizens lavished praise on the supervisors and in the end, people cheered.  It almost made you think you had crossed the county line.

Usually, the BOCS advertises at one rate and then drops the rate considerably.  Such was not the case last night.

At least one local blog made fun of the supervisors who voted for the budget.  They were also called names.  This childish behavior reeked of poor sportsmanship It was a pathetic, last minute retreat  mainsteam thinking since  most of us thought this years exercise turned out to be a good budget session.

Too bad Lawson and Candland didn’t  vote for most of the initiatives they instigated.  If you don’t vote for something, you can’t own it.  I never trust people who cannot compromise and find common ground.



15 Thoughts to “BOCS adopts 3.88% increase for FY16”

  1. Watching

    I don’t trust people who wander into line item muck and just assume they know better than staff. Last week Pete needed help from the head of his budget committee, when trying to explain his budget proposal. Pete wasn’t carrying the water and the head guy tried to explain. I have never in all my years seen a budget committee person get up and address the BOCS. Wow.

    I think Pete and Jeanine are just against everything. What a horrible way to live. I would rather live “for” something.

  2. Lyssa

    A a mini-minority….don’t waste your time. PWC is changing so fast people like them will be obsolete in a year or so. If they wanted to be effective they would have focused on something specific like land use or schools not the shotgun approach of trying to bring everything down and attacking people as they do.

    Since these smart people didn’t take the smart approach I don’t believe they have an ounce of sincerity or altruism.

  3. Ray Beverage

    Regarding the “line item muck” mentioned by Watching….I did wander into it, and had to laugh when, last Thursday, the two Supervisors’ Budget Committee honchos were asked to explain, and then said basically nothing. My view is they run through the numbers without looking at the root cause for WHY certain things had increases.

    Take the “Kitchen Equipment & Supplies” with their emphasis it had an 845% between FY2014 through FY2016. Yeah, numbers show an increase, but look down to what the reasons were:

    1. The two Food Services within the BOCS budget are related to the Jail and to Aging Services and Programs.

    2. For the Jail, it has been an increase in population meaning more supplies. Plus, that increase drives needing more equipment which includes pots and pans.

    3. For the Aging Services and Programs, there are two meal components: the Congregate Meal served at noon five days a week at the two Senior Centers, and the Meals-on-Wheels (MOW). MOW is growing, and a major cost in FY 2015 has been for shelf-stable meals provided to the clients for those times we have bad weather and volunteer drivers cannot deliver the hot meals. Those shelf-stable are commerical off-the-shelf.

    Plus, particularly at the Woodbridge Senior Center, there has been equipment needs. New refrig and freezers were needed; in part, just simple life-cycle replacement in FY2015 as machines were out and in the case of Woodbridge, one freezer just was beyond repair. Those are commerical grade, and not cheap.

    I have to hand it to Michele Casciato as she did a very nice rebuttal to the two Supervisors proposed cuts…especially saying how without specifics, the County Staff could not see where their numbers were coming from.

  4. Mom

    Ah another expert who doesn’t bother to do his homework. Perhaps if you had paid a little more attention you wouldn’t shoot your mouth off so quickly.

    If you had looked at those proposed cuts or perhaps asked, you would find that they were limited to a very select number of the “Kitchen Equipment and Supplies” line items, specifically those allocated to the BOCS, County Exec’s Office and Economic Development, thus the total allocation of a mere $42,936 as opposed to the hundreds of thousands allocated to that line item across the county budget. No cuts were proposed to those line items for the Jail, Aging Services, etc.

    Perhaps it is you that need to run through the numbers a little more carefully as it is pretty clear that Candland’s team did. Of course that wouldn’t support your specious argument.

    If you want to try again, those costs are object code 5411 in the budget detail and cover roughly 270 line items.

    You know Moon, this blog is headed down the road toward being the mirror image of that which you profess to despise. There used to be room for fact based discussion and somewhat cordial disagreement. With Elena’s departure, that atmosphere seems to have departed as well.

  5. Watching

    @Mom You are missing my point. The idea that BOCS should spend time digesting a line item(s) in a budget proposed by staff is absurd. If the BOCS wants to spend hours about what overall programs they want to support or what their priorities are, that’s great. But to say they know better than staff on how to fund specific operating costs, that is not their job. People are paid to do that and if you don’t trust them and assume they are all incompetent than that’s a bigger problem. I am sure you will say you don’t trust them so I don’t know what to say to that except get over it.

  6. Mom

    All I can say is Horseshit. It is without argument that the operational budget has been padded for years enabling them to spend millions in carryover funds. It actually is their responsibility to review that budget as they wear the ultimate mantle of fiduciary responsibility. That most refuse to do any heavy lifting at all when budget season rolls around is the root cause of all of the problems in the county.

    Getting a little bit down in the weeds and questioning line item expenditures (that may or may not have a valid underlying basis) is the principal way to combat waste, fraud and abuse. Perhaps if such analysis had been done in the past we wouldn’t have a grossly underfunded school system, networks that don’t function properly and former county employees serving time for fraud and or embezzlement.

    With regard to staff, yes, they know how to fund specific operating costs. They also know how to inflate them and pad budgets. PWC staff is not different than staff at any other level of government. To your way of thinking, Congressional Oversight Committees shouldn’t bother having their staffs examine department budgets or have GAO investigate expenditures.

    Must be nice to live in a Pollyana world.

  7. @Mom
    I don’t see anyone being rude or uncivil here. Perhaps you could ask Elena back. She knows the door is open. On the other hand, how do you think she influenced my posts. I am curious. You know, the ones from the past when she was here.

    (wink wink) I know that ploy all too well.

    You might be surprised to know that she knew the content of the post before you did.

    I think the problem here might be we don’t necessarily go along with new buddies, if you get my drift.

  8. Wombat

    So, a couple of thoughts. 1) when I produce my own budget for my employer, I am required to provide justification (via a “notes” column next to each line item row) for what that expenditure is exactly and, if it has changed significantly from the current budget, justification for the change. It is not uncommon for that justification to be something along the lines of “this item used to be budgeted under line item x and now it will be budgeted under line item y because of …”. That information would be helpful to anyone evaluating the budget — especially citizen committees who, know matter how well intentioned, do not have the same amount of knowledge that staff does. 2) it seems to me that supervisors who want to present recommended cuts/changes to the budget would get a better reception to those ideas if they were not incorporated into claims that the staff and their fellow supervisors are either corrupt, incompetent, criminal or all of the above. Lengthy powerpoints with obnoxious graphics that virtually scream at the audience and chastise them for everything they have ever done, coupled with blog posts by the same crowd that turn those arguments into truly demeaning personal attacks simply aren’t in my book, the best way to win friends and influence people. Particularly when the attackers can’t even begin to conceive of the possibility that while some of their suggestions may be do-able, others may not be. The answer can never be “oh well, that seemed like a good idea but we can see now why you might not agree”. No, the answer is always -” you are picking on me and your only motivation is to screw over the people who elected you” I wonder if Mr. Candland – who consistently whines about not being informed – ever once thought to pick up the phone and call, for instance, Mr. Nohe and say – hey, my budget committee has identified this possible cut. What do you think? You’ve been doing this a lot longer than me. Is there something I’m missing that would make me think we shouldn’t cut this?” And now, after they manage to get some pretty significant “wins” into the final budget — instead of voting for it while stating their objections to the rate — the vote no on their own items and still try to take credit for them. To me that is not professional and it is hypocritical. And mostly, it is sad.

  9. Lyssa

    “Padded”. Prove it. Just another easy word to fling. Yeah, I’m sure staff is over there pigging out on steaks. If you and your buddies are so smart it shouldn’t be too hard. Or are you saying Peacor is smarter. Please please name exactly who you’re accusing of padding budgets.

  10. Watching

    @Mom I would add that if you were around in 2008 when each department had to list every activity and prioritize it you wouldn’t say they were padded. They ended up slashing all the departments and skinnying staff down to the bone. The people I knew in county government were overworked and under loved. What world do you come from where people pad budgets? I don’t live in a Pollyanna world, I live in a world where people treat each other with respect, dignity and trust.

  11. Mom

    There are multitude of examples throughout the budget but I suspect you will defend each and every one to the death. Just for kicks I dug up a small one just to use as an example.

    If you back out the library, from FY10-FY14 the total county actuals for “film and filmstrips” (object 550) averaged $1,585 with a high of $2,034 in FY12 and a low of $926 in FY14. For the same period the CXO for Communications had a total expenditure of $389. In FY15 however that office was allocated $13,928, 85.3% of the county total of $16,328 which in itself was more than twice the total actuals for the previous five years, $7,926. The proposed allocation for FY16, $13,928 again, this time 90.9% of the county total of $15,328, a total that had decreased by 6.1%. Yeas its a small example but I wanted to make it simple, so spin that one. BTW, most of the padding occurs in the executive budgets.

  12. Lyssa

    So who is doing this? Which Dept Head? Area agency on Aging? DOIT? County Atty? ADC? Police or Fire (they have the most money and could hide it), Libraries, Health Dept, Ohhhhh Finance?Tell me who? Any one in particular? Is is a solo act? Is it a conspiracy? Collusion? Tell me who? Jason Grant all by himself? All I’ve heard is general accusations or something like what you mention.

    Do you think PWC’s external auditors would not have noticed that kind of spike? Or the internal auditors? Or are they part of whatever conspiracy you and your ilk think is going on? You can contact them directly and report fraud waste and abuse concerns. Why not just do that? Here I looked it up for you – this is what they do. Send your spreadsheet to them with your concern. Then we’ll know something is being done and you’ll feel better about your tax dollars. Or if you’re not comfortable handling this yourself send your documents to Moon, I’ll facilitate mailing them off with your comments. You can stay “anonymous”. I really think it’s time to act.

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    1. Sure, I will be glad to pass this along. External auditors. Sounds serious.

  13. Lyssa

    And one more thing – what is the “executive budget” where most of the “padding” occurs? Do you mean Executive Management? The annual budget in Executive Management is $3,420,739. Please confirm this is what you meant. It will help facilitate the complaint I’ll prepare.

  14. clueless


    I would not trust any homework that you turn in, even on the school system. I wonder when Pete will have buyers remorse and if it will be too late?

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