Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York, Loudoun County’s very own Vicar of Bray, may be having second thoughts about having re-embraced the Republican fold, now that he has had two months of seeing close up the material he has to work with in his fellow members of his new all-Republican board.
York this week and last found himself outvoted on a series of budget cuts that were classics of the make-someone-else-pay-for-it-later school of fiscal “responsibility” dear to the hearts of the very people (i.e., previous Republican-controlled boards of supervisors) who tripled our property taxes in the last two decades by throwing the door open to overdevelopment and all of its attendant costs, schools, traffic, and crime most notably.
The board voted to ignore the pleas of our own experienced local judges and eliminated the Loudoun County Drug Court, which provides an intensive alternative rehabilitation program for drug offenders; York noted in vain that the program saves the county money by keeping repeat offenders out of court, jail, and trouble. The ever-reliable Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) bizarrely explained his vote against the program by observing, “I need that money for people who are doing well in life.”
Delgaudio then voted with a 5–4 majority to kill funding for the Loudoun Extension service master gardener program, apparently on the grounds that it is for people who are doing well in life; Delgaudio said that you “might as well flush [money] down the toilet.” He and others who voted to kill the program kept repeating the new mantra of the board: that it is not a “core function of government.”
Delgaudio also sought to end funding for a community mental health outreach program that enlists volunteer organizations, including local churches, to help the mentally ill; Delgaudio complained that this was “funny money” (a term apparently with meaning only to him) and went on at length noting that the volunteers donate merely thousands of hours of their time, not actual dollars. This prompted our very own stand-up comic Ken “Ken” Reid (R-Leesburg) to attempt another one of those Republican yucks that have made our state famous on YouTube: he said his own synagogue did not have money to donate but could offer Eugene a “free circumcision.” (York muttered, “Would that be from the neck up?”) Reid then promptly sided with Delgaudio to provide the only other vote for Delgaudio’s further crusade against mental health, a proposal to cut funding for a mental health and drug-abuse clinician at the county jail.
And speaking of bizarre logic, Suzanne “The Pathfinder” Volpe, our perpetually confused new GOP supervisor from the Algonkian district, detected a sinister conspiracy at work behind the contretemps over the master gardener program: “someone” in the county staff, she ominously suggested, had inserted the provision to kill this popular program as a clever ploy to get citizens worked up “where we would be forced to put this in because of the public outcry.” She then cleverly foiled this nefarious plot to generate public outcry over killing a popular program by joining the 5–4 majority . . . to kill this popular program.