OPINION – Perhaps its finally time for PWC Slush Funds to “go away”.
by Al Aborn
I understand that Jeanine Lawson introduced the following resolution at the PWC Republican Convention Last Saturday, 14 April. It was passed unanimously. Bill Card, the Chairman of the PWC GOP, advised me last night, 16 April, that he has forwarded it to Chairman Stewart (Bill and I both serve on the current PWC Strategic Planning Team). I haven’t seen it show up on the local press yet (other than my acknowledgement at the bottom of the post); however, I am confident it will show up eventually.
I hope that Chairman Stewart and the members of the Prince William County BOCS use this as an opportunity to address and resolve what we have come to call “Discretionary Funds”, or District Funds that are intentionally budgeted in amounts that exceed most Supervisor’s legitimate expenses associated with maintaining an office, staff, etc. Unused annual budgets are accumulated over time to fund private favored groups or projects.
If one browses past agendas for distributions over the past few years, egregious examples of the appearance of impropriety and abuse pop out (especially around Christmas). Most reasonable people might conclude (and it is my opinion) that Prince William County taxpayers appear to be funding four year re-election campaigns on the public’s nickel. I am also not impressed when a Supervisor pays for entertainment venues of his or her choice with “our money” thus determining on the public’s nickel what we ought to be doing, watching, or enjoying. I can make those choices for myself.
Spending the public’s money for private purposes, causes, or entertainment of an elected officials choosing outside of any formal budget process other than the laughable “quid pro quo” approval of one’s peers is NOT a Conservative value.
If this issue interests you, suggest you contact your Supervisor, register your support for Ms. Lawson’s resolution, and voice your support for reform. If reform isn’t addressed quickly, you may “keep up” with a bit of forensic accounting and agenda archeology on this web site.
This isn’t an issue that will go away or get better with age.
Ms. Lawson’s resolution.
WHEREAS, Republican citizens of Prince William County, Virginia believe in the governing principle of fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraint exercised at all levels of government as stated in the Republican Party Creed; and
WHEREAS, the local governing body known as the Prince William County Board of Supervisors sets annual real estate property tax rates and adopts spending budgets established by the collection of tax revenues; and
WHEREAS, one particular annual budget line item is the appropriation of magisterial district office funds ranging from $322,000 to $350,000 per office; and
WHEREAS, the purpose of these tax payer funds is for staff and office overhead, and
WHEREAS, in recent months a long standing tradition has come to the public’s attention, and
WHEREAS, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors through individual board member initiations from funds made available in their respective district office’s annual operating budget or carried over funds from previous fiscal years, contribute tax payer funded donations to area non profits, athletic and academic teams, and other charitable organizations or individuals; and
WHEREAS, Republican citizens are staunchly committed to the principle of fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraint especially during current times of national and global economic instability
WHEREAS, it is imperative that our local elected officials commit to operating Prince William County’s government with acute stewardship and accountability of tax payer funds; now
THEREFORE, be it resolved, we Prince William County Republican citizens hereby urge the Republican members of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors to immediately eliminate from the FY 2013 budget this practice of donating office funds, often referred to as “discretionary funds” and allocate tax payer funds to their district offices for the sole purpose of staff and normal office overhead thereby reducing their office budgets; now
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the newly elected Chairman of the Prince William County Republican Committee is directed to immediately deliver this resolution to Chairman Corey Stewart, Prince William County Board of Supervisors and the local press.
News about the above resolution and disposition at the PWC Republican Convention are courtesy of BVBL, where it was originally published. I appreciate BVBL’s coverage of this and other issues of interest to Prince William County residents and congratulate Greg Letiecq on passing the 1.5 million visitor milestone earlier this week.
In the free market of news and ideas, BVBL is clearly a winner.