You’d never know about it from the ever-so-perky and utterly content-free “news(sic) letters” our newly elected all-Republican Board of Supervisors here in Loudoun County have been busy e-mailing out to their constituents, but the board has ordered up plans for a 5 percent budget cut that targets many of those pesky programs that developers and the local GOP Politburo would like to see go away.
My favorite of the newsletters so far is the inanely titled “Algonkian Pathfinder” from Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian). Like her fellow board members, Volpe somehow seems to have forgotten to mention—even under the “Hot Happenings” and “First Month” sections of her newsletter—the fact that in their first month the new board voted to kill the illegal-sign removal program; boot off of county advisory committee all Democrats, non-big-GOP-campaign-contributors, and non-developers; and begin amending the zoning ordinance throughout the county. Well, she’s been busy, so I guess it slipped her mind.
Even Board Chairman Scott York’s manfully titled “Action Reports” somehow didn’t get around to mentioning those things.
All of them have briefly referred to the fact that the budget for FY 2013 is in the works—but none have revealed that the board has already directed county staff to prepare a 5 percent cut as one option.
Among the cuts you can find if you would like to spend some quality time with the 754-page budget document are elimination of the county’s water monitoring program (yes, it’s very bad for business to find out that groundwater is polluted by developers building on limestone areas: better not to know); elimination of the countywide energy program (so what if it saved the county 30 percent of its energy bills and $2 million: it’s obviously one of those plots by liberals and the UN to take over our lives); reduction of the environmental review program in the Building & Development department that helps safeguard archeologically significant sites from being bulldozed away; cutting Loudoun Extension Office programs (including one that gives advice to landowners on reducing fertilizer runoff from lawns: I guess that smacks too much of doing something to protect the Chesapeake Bay and the livelihood of its fishermen, another Bolshevik plot); along with many other interesting choices.
You’d think that this board would at least try to present budget cuts as a regrettable necessity, or even a badge of conservative rectitude, instead of just hoping no one will notice. But this is already the MO of this new board: say as little as possible about what you are actually doing, and hide the substance of it in complex procedures and documents you hope no one will bother studying or understanding.
You can download the 754-page 2013 budget proposal here.
Or you can save yourself from worrying your pretty little heads and just rely on the supervisors’ cheery newsletters.