Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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Feeling the crunch

Former Councilman Richard Garnett said at last night’s budget public hearing that he believes many Fredericksburg residents feel intimidated at the thought of approaching the council in front of television cameras in Council Chambers. That feeling, he said, might explain why council members have not heard much from residents about the proposed 11-percent real estate tax increase.

City resident Betty Barron agrees. Barron called this morning to ask why she read in Tuesday’s paper that the city is embarking on an $814,000 plan to update its directional signs, but then saw in today’s story that city officials have proposed a 10-cent increase in the real estate tax rate.

Barron and her husband are both retired, and save $300 a month from their limited retirement income to make their $3,800 yearly real estate tax payment. She said the idea of coming to a public hearing is a little intimidating to her, but she does have a question for her elected representatives.

“Where do these councilmen and councilwomen think all this money is coming from?” she asked. “Don’t these people have any idea of what the average blue-collar worker in Fredericksburg makes?” 

In the coming weeks, we’ll see what council members do with City Manager Phillip Rodenberg’s proposed 10-cent real estate tax rate increase. Council members talked last night about a few ways to try to ease that burden, and you’ll likely see more about those in Friday’s paper.