Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Out Of Touch

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Photo from the
Fairfax County web site


(All emphases by Always On Watch)

They sit in their cushy room at the Fairfax County Government Center, referred to by many residents as "The Taj Mahal," complete with massive marble columns and a special tabletop of outrageous expense, and make all kinds of decisions. Visitors to the Government Center are awed by the opulence there and find themselves speaking in whispers.

According to this April 22, 2006 article in the Washington Post,
"Fairfax County supervisors agreed [on Thursday, April 19] to cut 11 cents from the property tax rate to help offset soaring assessments. At the same time, they gave themselves a 27 percent raise...."
In spite of the cut in the rate, real-estate taxes will again go up this year. Never mind that the housing market has slowed to a snail's pace. Never mind that longtime residents are being gouged by assessments based on the sale value of homes which many lifelong residents had no intention of selling until the taxes soared out of sight. Never mind that a recent study showed that real-estate speculation—now headed for a bust—played a large part in the soaring assessments.

The aformentioned article provides all sorts of logical reasons for the Board's recent decision, among them the following:

"...The supervisors' first salary increase in eight years will bring their pay to $75,000 from the current $59,000, reflecting similar moves by other Washington area governments. It would not take effect until 2008, after the next election. The 10-member board in Fairfax technically works part time, but the job of serving a county of more than 1 million people is widely acknowledged to be full time. Griffin said he proposed the raise based on an analysis of elected officials in similarly sized governments nationwide and locally, where salaries are higher.

"The budget — 6.4 percent higher than last year — includes $87 million in new county spending to fund an average 4.25 percent salary increase for fire and police staff and 4.3 percent for employees not in public safety.

"But the increases did little to mask tensions among county workers, hundreds of whom picketed public budget hearings last month. Rank-and-file workers protested a pay-for-performance system that began six years ago to reward merit over seniority. Workers got the attention of some board members after complaining that the system rewards some new hires with salaries equal to or higher than those of veterans."
And the final corker:
"Supervisors agreed yesterday that the system needs to be overhauled but could not agree on how to make changes and whether they could be made this year...."
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors had no difficulty in agreeing upon a pay raise for themselves. The Fairfax County Government will extract from the taxpayers' pockets enough money to pay their own real-estate taxes.

30 Comments:

At 4/25/2006 9:28 AM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

raises for ourselves?..how cushy...neat concept..wonder if I could implement that..heh..sheesh AOW..it never ends.

 
At 4/25/2006 9:31 AM, Blogger Mussolini said...

Our governments no longer work for us - but create a system to which we are enslaved for the purposes of supporting career re-election.

This is the founding father's worst nightmare.

Dare I say, as well, that this fits the CFRs goals of creating the globalist environment.

This is tyranny, and the path of tyranny is forever deeper into the relams of the odious.

 
At 4/25/2006 9:33 AM, Blogger Mussolini said...

I type slower than my thoughts.

relams=realms.

Could be all the Mondavi I had last night, too.

 
At 4/25/2006 10:13 AM, Blogger nanc said...

nobody wants to talk about money if it's in their purse or wallet. it's everyone else's money that matters. my husband took great pay cuts to come to arkansas, but has slowly worked his way back up.

the love of money is the root of all evil - i can honestly say, at this time in my life i'm thankful to have few needs and even less wants and finally have a little extra money that i could care less about.

 
At 4/25/2006 10:41 AM, Blogger Brooke said...

I am so SICK of our govenment raping us while they give themselves raises! Did anyone see 'Senator' Sentorum standing out in front of the gas station, telling us that these prices are outrageous? Really? Then why does the oil company claim $0.07 on every gallon, while the federal government takes $0.70? And we're not even talking about state/local!

Outragreous? Really ?

 
At 4/25/2006 11:08 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

AOW, sounds like the increases are going to "public safety". That's what right wing whiners want so why are you upset.

One one hand the ragheads have you scared s**tless but on the other you won't pay for protection. Of course the "protection" is extraneous and ineffective but that's for another time.

Meanwhile, maybe if you told the cops and prison guards to pound sand you could balance the budget.

 
At 4/25/2006 11:23 AM, Blogger nanc said...

where your tax dollars may be going:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1143498910726&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/Printer

this ought to make plucky happy ;]

 
At 4/25/2006 5:00 PM, Blogger nanc said...

if you could only hear yourself babbling...

 
At 4/25/2006 5:01 PM, Blogger nanc said...

...brook...

 
At 4/25/2006 5:16 PM, Blogger nanc said...

do you kiss your mother with that nasty mouth of yours?

 
At 4/25/2006 6:14 PM, Anonymous the merry widow said...

I think it's called projection, Nanc. Why sully yourself, when cleaning out turkey bio-refuse would be cleaner! It's amazing how the leftists love to sling biogarbage.

tmw

 
At 4/25/2006 6:33 PM, Blogger Warren said...

No, I've told you, John brown stain is an Internet pervert. He used to make obscene phone calls but caller Id removed that possibility.

He plays with himself if he gets a reaction. Don't react and he will go away.

Nanc, he killed and ate his mother years ago.

 
At 4/25/2006 7:18 PM, Blogger nanc said...

brownie - you're the poster boy for feces - i don't need to post any pictures.

 
At 4/25/2006 9:20 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Duck,
sounds like the increases are going to "public safety".

Some of the increases are. But the article also contained the following information:

The budget also includes $4 million in new spending requested by individual board members, including $465,000 for a bicycle coordinator and comprehensive map of county bike trails, $104,000 to extend a middle school after-school program, $550,000 to leverage private funding for arts programs and $550,000 to help at-risk teenagers.

Sounds like some sort of special interets are playing in on the above items. The extra budget to the at-risk teens is over and aboe what is alread in the budget--special contract to an unnamed consultant group?

The fact is that the county's budget is overblown, and the waste is incredible. The state-of-the-art county web site already provides the maps for bike trails, I think; I know from personal experience that maps of the bike trails are already available at many rest stops along the trails. Furthermore, part of the fun of biking is exploring the trails, not mapping out the day. I'm choosing to discuss the bike trails because I'm fairly familiar with them.

The double- and triple-dippers have a great retirement plan with the county, after just a minimal number of years of service. I haven't seen any breakdown on that aspect, however. I suspect that the county doesn't want to reveal the information.

The mistake which the county is making--and has consistently been making for the last 25 years or so--is attempting to be all things to all people.

 
At 4/25/2006 10:18 PM, Blogger nanc said...

our family, for one, aow, does not believe in nor do we support the governmental special interests. we do our giving throughout the year to ONLY four star charities and our church of course and the like. now, state taxes are a sore subject - arkansas ONLY downfall...

 
At 4/25/2006 10:39 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Nanc,
States without income tax tend to have higher sales tax. Here in VA, we have both income tax and sales tax.

 
At 4/25/2006 10:40 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Oh, and the total is at least 10.75%.

 
At 4/25/2006 10:49 PM, Anonymous Mustang said...

Stealing a line from Mark Twain, "Suppose you were a member of the board of supervisors. Then suppose you were an idiot. But I repeat myself."

Democracy works best at the local level because most people at the local level are paying attention to what is going on, which in a way is premeditated stupidity.

 
At 4/25/2006 11:43 PM, Anonymous Mustang said...

Errata:

AREN'T paying attention.

Stupid keyboard.

 
At 4/26/2006 8:40 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mustang,
Always blame the keyboard. It just doesn't respond properly.

 
At 4/26/2006 9:36 AM, Blogger nanc said...

my keyboard is stupid sometimes - we're on our third one in six years. there comes a time when we must teach our keyboards a lesson...

 
At 4/26/2006 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recommended reading for the duck and all birds of a feather...Beedle's.

-FJ

 
At 4/26/2006 12:24 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

Sorry about the babbling, nanc. I was just in a foul temper yesterday over Sen.Sentorum.

 
At 4/26/2006 12:50 PM, Blogger nanc said...

brooke - i wasn't talking to YOU - forgive me - i was talking to the brownieboy! yikes!

it's a joke we have at our house whenever we hear somebody going on and on and on, we say "if you could only hear yourself babbling, brook!" get it?

 
At 4/26/2006 7:38 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

"Our governments no longer work for us..."

Very tricky to keep the government in line.
And it's not the politicians but those humbly public servants who actually rule.

 
At 4/26/2006 7:41 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

FJ,
Recommended reading for the duck and all birds of a feather...Beedle's.

The age of etiquette seems to be passe for some.

 
At 4/27/2006 9:12 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Offensive comments are being deleted. See the warning on the right sidebar.

 
At 4/27/2006 9:54 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Why do Southerners value fake decorum so much. Get it all out in the open.

You ain't gonna teach a South Boston street kid to lose the potty mouth. Won't happen.

Besides, I see no reason to be polite when a bunch of buttcracks in the Bush administration are trying to destroy my country.

 
At 4/27/2006 9:52 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Duck,
I see no reason to be polite when a bunch of buttcracks in the Bush administration are trying to destroy my country.

"You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar"?

 
At 4/29/2006 1:39 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Besides, I see no reason to be polite when a bunch of buttcracks in the Bush administration are trying to destroy my country.

I didn't know Mr. Ducky was Lilliputian.

 

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