Displaying his legendary capacity for logical reasoning, Supervisor Ken “Ken” Reid (R-Leesburg) distinguished himself in last week’s budget votes by the Loudoun Board of Supervisors.
When you have a 9–0 majority, you get to play all kinds of games depending on how unscrupulous you are about a) grandstanding for your own political interests and b) throwing the responsibility onto your colleagues.
Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) has made a business of doing both; he consistently votes against budgets and taxes knowing perfectly well that his irresponsibility will have no effect thanks to the grownups on the board who recognize that if you have a school system (and one that, thanks to your own pro-growth policies, is adding new students at the rate of 5 percent a year) you have to pay for it with a budget . . . and even taxes! But in Eugene’s parallel universe, you get to go on record opposing taxes and spending while avoiding the logical consequences of your keep-government-small rhetoric.
Ignoring pleas from Chairman Scott York to make the vote unanimous, which you’d think would be the honorable approach for an all-Republican board to take on a budget they are all equally responsible for, this year Suzanne Volpe, the new pathfinding Republican supervisor from the Algonkian district, joined Eugene is his usual heroic dissent. The final votes on the budget, appropriations, and capital improvement plan all accordingly passed by only a 7–2 margin. Volpe and Delgaudio will no doubt be telling their constituents three years from now how they valiantly tried to hold the line against their insufficiently conservative, big-spending Republican colleagues.
Ken however outdid himself in the being-coy department. After voting for the budget, he proceeded to vote against the tax rate that is required to pay for the budget he just voted to pass. Since the tax rate is a simple arithmetical consequence of the budget, Ken’s reasoning here remains a mystery that only he may be able to explain.