A huge thank you goes out to Corey Stewart, John Jenkins, Frank Principi and Marty Nohe for attempting to keep the advertised tax rate at the current rate of $1.181. These supervisors understand that we must leave ourselves some wiggle room when numbers come in for real situations rather than predictions. Predictions can change, based on many factors, at this stage of the budget game. Supervisors Stewart, Jenkins, Principi and Nohe all have a place in the Moonhowlings Hall of Fame for their efforts to do the right thing at budget time.
Unfortunately, we had to reserve a row of naughty chairs for Supervisors Caddigan, May, Covington and Candland. Were they all trying to out-tea party each other? Those 4 naughty chairs sit in the Hall of Shame for right now. It’s not too late to redeem yourselves.
Mr. Candland’s response was not unexpected. He and his minions had been preaching austerity and fiscal doom and gloom all along. However, Mrs. Caddigan has always been a champion of the teachers–until she isn’t one. Mrs. C–what kind of deal did you cook up over there at Ruby Tuesdays? Please tell me I heard wrong! You have lost your “supports teachers and children” street cred. Creating an unholy alliance won’t really protect you. Mike May, I am surprised at you also. No more ‘good guy street cred.’
Whenever a state prisoner calls home, Virginia gets a tack-on fee. At 35 percent of the prepaid or collect-call charges, these add up to more than $3 million a year.
Del. Patrick A. Hope, D-Arlington, tried to change that this year, but was voted down. His House Bill 414 would have cut the state’s fee to 10 percent and dedicated that money to prisoner re-entry programs. Right now it just goes into the general fund.
“This is a tax on these families who have done nothing wrong,” Hope said. “It’s a deterrent to communicating with your kids or your mother and father.”
Over the last three years (2011-2013) this fee brought in between $3.86 million and $3.13 million to state coffers, according to the Virginia Department of Corrections. The department didn’t have the amount that its telephone provider, Global Tel Link, charged for the calls.
I can remember all sorts of people whining and complaining that Virginia shouldn’t be making money off of liquor sales back when Governor McDonnell wanted to privatize Virginia’s liquor stores. I suppose, however, it’s ok to skim a few million off of families of Virginia’s inmate population, every time they call home?
Local man thinks his tax bill is tripling.
Let’s face it. None of us like to pay taxes. It’s against our grain to turn over our money to anyone else without seeing something visible and tangible in return. Local taxes are often invisible–Public money goes to schools, roads, community services like fire and rescue other people’s welfare, and to fix broken pipes and water mains. If you don’t commute, have kids in school or if your house doesn’t catch fire, then you might not have much of a notion as to where your ‘hard earned’ cash goes.
[Does anyone have money that isn't "hard earned?" Are there any of us who aren't tax payers?]
This Tuesday, the PWC Board of County Supervisors will set the proposed tax rate for FY 15 which begins July 1, 2014. To read local blogs, one would think that Tuesday is Doomsday. Prognosticators wearing long robes and carrying signs have been predicting the end of the world for months now with the evil chairman being the chief instigator to take that hard earned cash. One would think the evil chairman was a one horse show, rather than simply one of 8 elected officials. Enough about Wizard Stewart, the money grabber. Let’s examine a few things about the tax rate and what it represents.
SB 1062 has passed the Arizona legislature. It has not been signed into law yet. What will Jan Brewer do?
SB1062 basically says that business owners, as long as they state their religious beliefs, can deny services and products to gays and lesbians. Why don’t they just throw in Blacks, Jews, Muslims, Mexicans, Asians, and anyone else they want to discriminate against and call it a day?
Is Arizona seriously this redneck?
If this bill becomes law I won’t travel to Arizona and it will break my heart. I love the region. No more Sedona, no more Grand Canyon. No more Flagstaff or Painted Desert. No more Tucson Gem Show. Is the discrimination against gays and lesbians the last bastion of prejudice? Hopefully Gov. Jan Brewer will do the right thing and veto the bill.
Smoke rises above burning barricades at Independence Square
Kiev burns. Over 70 civilians killed yesterday. The video footage reminds us of Hungary and Czechoslovakia back in the 50′s. Kiev is a modern, fairly western city. What do these protestors want? For starters, they don’t want to be killed by their government.
They want their monetary system to be more westernized. What’s the problem? Putin’s puppet, Viktor Yanukovych, wants to hold the Ukrainians down and under the yoke of the thug Putin. Fuel is expensive. Food is expensive. Housing is expensive.
Many countries who were under former Soviet rule have been plagues by high inflation and an unstable economic system. The bottom line is, many are willing to die for economic freedom for their country.
A local blog suggested the following to ‘cut spending’:
Eliminate the double-dipping by retired school teachers for making tens of
thousands of dollars as substitute teachers, but you never step into a
classroom. It is a sweet gig, but it is time to end it. Estimated savings: $3 million over five years.
I am highly curious. How do you double dip as a retired teacher? If you are retired, then you aren’t receiving a teacher pay check. If you aren’t receiving the first pay check, then you aren’t double dipping.
Secondly, I believe that the blogger is speaking of the ROP program. Yes, retired teachers are paid for performing various professional tasks throughout the school system, one of which might be substitute teaching. There are lots of other duties that need performing. Using members of the ROP team has saved the county millions of dollars since its inception and smart jurisdictions statewide have retired teachers ROPPING, although they might not call their program by that terminology.
The ROP program is not double dipping. When you ROP, you get one check from the county. If you are hired to perform other duties, it isn’t until you have completed your contractual ROP agreement for the year.
Ovechkin is right. I am wrong.
Time for a slice of crow. Olympic rules state that an athlete must be a citizen of the country they play for.
The Russian men’s hockey team is now out of the competition. That means Alex Ovechkin, the leader of Team Russia heads back to the United States. Putin’s dream of a gold medal in men’s hockey has gone down in defeat. To a non-hockey fan, this news is a blip on my radar, sort of.
I say sort of because I have a granddaughter who is wild about everything Ovechkin. I follow him through default. Maybe I could go so far as to call it osmosis. Whatever the reason, I am just plain old pissed at the toothless wonder, the Great 8. I am pissed at him because he is a turn coat. He should have never played for Team Russia. He should have never worn the number 8 jersey while playing for Russia.
Mr. Howler defended #8. He said, “Well, he IS Russian!” Tough. He was drafted by the Washington Capitals in 2004 and began playing in 2005 at age 20. It’s now 2014. For ten years Alex Ovechkin has been playing for the Washington Capitals. He has been making good old American money and lots of it. He is their star.
As Prince William County begins its budget deliberations, I want to encourage the supervisors to remember the poor, beleaguered schools, their students and their teachers. As it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a county to do the right thing by its schools. The BOCS must set the current tax rate.
Regardless of political correctness or other artificial constraints some folks will attempt to put on the situation, the BOCS needs to do 2 things. They need to set the tax rate high enough to start bringing the schools up to snuff after the long , lean period following the housing crash that began in 2007. They they need to give the School Board a little larger slice of the pie.
The school system needs to do three things:
1. Start reducing class size.
2. Give teachers and other employees a raise.
3. Make basic supplies more readily available.
Frankly, no one wants to hear the old tea party rallying call to ‘Stop Spending.’ Those words are simplistic answers for simplistic people. The average person has no idea what programs are mandated and what programs are not. I have spent more years in the system than most folks and I don’t know all the ins and outs in that regard. No one does when dealing with a hugely complex system like Prince William, Loudoun, Fairfax or Stafford.
I used to live in the Gainesville District. In recent times, I am not so sure what district I live in. I have not moved.
Last night, my supervisor held an electronic town hall meeting. I like the concept of the electronic town hall meeting. I enjoyed the last one. Last night, not so much. All I heard were talking points from a local blog. I was disappointed. I pretty much heard affirmation of an uncooperative board of supervisors and an irresponsible school board. I don’t believe either of these bodies are irresponsible. Furthermore, the school board is not made up of members of society from a lesser god. They are duly elected officers of the county, the same as the board of supervisor members.
I wanted to ask a question but I figured I wouldn’t get through to my supervisor. It wouldn’t have been well-received, I don’t think.
The question I would have asked is the following:
If I contacted the supervisor’s office or the county over something that irritated the supervisor, would he post my inquiry on his website, thus opening me up for ridicule and vicious attacks from local bloggers and contributors?
Getting a little tired of those snowy woods. How about some snowy crocuses?
This time last year I had daffodils blooming. This year I have the leaves but no blooms so far.
Will it ever warm up? In 2014, spring begins with the vernal equinox on March 20 at 12:57 P.M. EDT. Note that day light saving time will have started (March 9). Spring is still a little more than a month away. Even then, we could still get a blizzard.
However, the end of the week supposedly will get up to 60 degrees. Call in sick early. Avoid the rush. Make a dentist appointment and cancel it. Do whatever you have to do to seize the day.
The blogs have been on fire lately with accusations about this person and that. Most of it, if not all of it, is Republican. They seem to be devouring each other. Everyone seems to be accusing the other of being in someone’s pocket.
Let’s just air our dirty linen in public at this time. First off, Elena and I neither one belong to a political party. We usually lean Democratic but we aren’t party members. I used to be about 15 years ago. I sat on the Democratic Committee for the Gainesville Magisterial District for a couple years. I have even voted Republican in local elections a time or two.
We do not take any money for anything related to moonhowlings.net. NO tip jar, no nothing. We have never been paid a dime for this blog nor do we want anyone’s money. We pay for our webhosting and our domain name. That’s it. The money comes out of our pockets. (but you all knew that anyway, didn’t you?)
I guess we will be left out of the mudslinging. I can’t even follow it since I am not involved with the internal workings of the Republian Party in Virginia. However, some of what has been written has been very familiar. In fact, so familiar it seemed like a flashback. It makes for fun reading, even if I don’t understand all the party-talk.
Actually, there is no evidence that TJ actually uttered these words. They first appeared in 2004. According to the Monticello.org website:
We currently have no evidence to confirm that Thomas Jefferson ever said or wrote, “Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%” or any of its listed variations. We do not know the source of this statement’s attribution to Thomas Jefferson.
So much for that. The internet has all sorts of expressions attributed to Thomas Jefferson that people want to fit in with this great leader. This is just one of them.
Let’s examine the words though. Is that really what its all about? 51% of the population dominating the other 49%? It does seem that the lines are that closely drawn. Recent elections also confirm that we are pretty much split down the middle. Are we all in one camp or the other or is there an overlap?
Our political leaders would have us believe that we were all Republican or all Democratic. I am not so sure we are that polarized. Furthermore, who is to decide what is Republican and what is really Democratic? The word RINO clearly demonstrates that there is some sort of litmus test to be a Republican. How about an explanation please.