3/100ths of a penny wise . . .

Yes, our highly efficient extremely businesslike all-Republican cost-cutting Board of Supervisors has certainly been showing everyone how to save money for the taxpayers in its first three months on the job!

Explaining that protecting water quality, promoting the rural economy, making sure that irreplaceable archeological sites are not bulldozed away, saving energy in government buildings, and keeping drug users out of jail and off drugs are not “core functions” of government, our very careful stewards of the taxpayers’ dimes have voted fearlessly to slash bloated government waste and inefficiency to the bone . . . to wit:

• they eliminated the Drug Court program, saving the county 0.01 percent of its budget—in so doing fearlessly ignoring the evidence presented by its chief supporter, Judge Thomas D. Horne, that this alternative sentencing and rehabilitation program saves the county money, by reducing court and jail costs

• they eliminated the county energy program, saving the county another 0.01 percent of its budget—in so doing fearlessly ignoring the $2 million the program has saved the county over the last four years

• they eliminated the Loudoun Extension Service’s Urban Horticulture Program, saving the county 0.005 percent of its budget—fearlessly ignoring the the 14,000 hours of free time volunteered to county residents by 167 master gardeners trained by the program and the tourist dollars brought in by the Loudoun Farm Tour organized by the program

* they eliminated the onerous, business-unfriendly, draconian Archeological Review staff position which helped developers obey the law requiring them to identify (though not preserve) archeological sites before bulldozing a building site, saving the county 0.002 percent of its budget

All told, that’s a whopping .027 percent of the budget fearlessly saved . . . which translates into a reduction in the property tax rate from last year’s $1.2850 per thousand assessed value all the way down to $1.2847!

If that’s not fiscally conservative, I don’t know what is.

Wonder where the rest of the 5 percent reduction, to $1.21, that the supervisors has set as its goal will come from? Stay tuned for when the school budget comes up for a final vote.

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