Monthly Archives: February 2013

Spending tax dollars for fun and (someone’s) profit

Those paragons of fiscal rectitude, the all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors, may be Scrooges when it comes to schools, arts and culture, or protecting Loudoun’s heritage and scenic values, but they certainly know how to throw the taxpayer’s money around when it comes to anything they can plausibly or even implausibly claim is boosting economic activity in the county.

It’s a great fig-leaf for lavishing $50,000 grants on well-connected Loudoun Republican Party apparatchiks, securing $80 million loans for major campaign contributors’ commercial development projects, and even — how convenient — picking up the tab so that Chairman Scott York (R-At Large, frequently) could spend a total of a month and a half traveling abroad last year on no fewer than five official junkets to Germany, England, and Taiwan.

Last spring, the county blew $20,000 Continue reading

Shawn Williams, still making up stuff

Loudoun Supervisor Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) has been attacking the public schools since he took office, repeatedly trying to justify his push to slash the school budget on the grounds that “there is top-heavy management.” He repeats this false claim again in his most recent “news”[sic]letter to constituents.

The reality, as Williams knows full well, is that Loudoun not only has the lowest per-pupil expenditure of any Washington-area district (about $11,000 per year, versus $13,000 for Fairfax and $18,000 for Arlington), but spends a miniscule amount on administration.

Here are the facts for Loudoun’s school budget for FY 13: Continue reading

Stupid stadium tricks

The Loudoun County Planning Commission is holding a public hearing on February 19 on the extremely urgent expedited series of rezoning amendments and exceptions requested by the Loudoun Hounds pseudo-baseball team . . . and the staff report on the proposals is a doozy.

Scott York (rechts) und Bob Farren (links) auf dem Trainingsgelände der Redwings (courtesy Hofheimer-Zeitung)

Loudoun Board Chairman Scott York (right) and major campaign contributor/stadium developer Bob Farren (left) hard at work at “one business appointment after another” (to quote York’s staff, when pressed for an explanation of the trip) during the chairman’s taxpayer-funded junket to Germany last spring.

As we all recall, the very politically connected Hounds (its investors gave $67,000+ to the members of the current all-Republican Board of Supervisors to get them elected, and its owner Bob Farren was invited along on Board Chairman Scott York’s taxpayer-funded junket to Germany last spring) suddenly announced last fall that they wanted to build their stadium in a different location from the already approved location in the Kincora development.

Claiming that it had to have quick approval so they could begin playing ball in 2014, the Hounds investors got the ever so obliging Board of Supervisors to pass an instant unanimous deliberation-free motion for special expedited service for their new rezoning request (York said it was being placed “at the top of the hopper”).

Neighbors of the new stadium location, blindsided by all this, were furious, Continue reading