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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 pgould@freelancestar.com. Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or rsidersky@freelancestar.com.

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Morning Buzz — Sept. 17, 2009

(More of a mid-morning buzz this morning, due to technical difficulties.) A daily digest of what’s going on in Fredericksburg, and what news from elsewhere is relevant here. Send suggestions to ebattle@freelancestar.com.

Special events are still a hot issue. I am still sifting through a flurry of correspondence that was in my e-mail box when I came to work this morning. This takes a while because it includes sentence structure like this from the mayor: "To all of you who have heard from constituents about the perception that we my going down the wrong event road I would request that assure them with following. Remind them of First Night, Marine Corp Half Marathon, the Soap Box Derby the return of the Dog Mart the Chamber Festival." More to come.

Speaking of special events, you can read in Weekender about Mark Newton’s Homecoming Pickin’ Party, which will take place this Saturday at Maury Stadium from 10 to 7. Newton told me yesterday that they are hoping for around 2,000 people to attend, but because they’ve never put this on before, they’re not quite sure what the crowd size will be. The proceeds go to benefit James Monroe High School athletics. 

Speaking of proceeds (or lack thereof), the Manassas City Council took a stand yesterday against being forced to fill in for state and federal budget cuts. As the Washington Post reported, that council adopted a policy that says that if state, federal or private funding sources dry up for specific programs, it won’t be the city’s responsibility to fill in the funding gaps to keep those programs afloat. This can be a fun thing for elected officials to say angrily at meetings, and I’ve even seen it lead to showdown-type meetings with state legislators. But when the state starts cutting money for police and the chief is trying to keep patrols manned, things get a bit more complicated. In fact, some federal grants for police and other services come with mandates that after the grant period ends, the locality must cough up the money to keep the program going for at least a year or so. In any case, the next round of local government budgeting in Virginia is shaping up to be just about as much fun as the last round.

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