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Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Senator Edd Houck asks for input

Sen. Edd Houck made an unprecedented plea for input to the Board of Supervisors tonight as he provided an ominous picture of the upcoming budget.

He said the state is facing $200 million to $300 million in cuts before June 30, after already chopping $7 billion from the two-year budget. He said cuts to K-12 education are certain. He asked supervisors to provide some input so that the next cuts cause the least amount of damage to core services, such as public safety and education.

“The reason I am here is this is severe and this is significant,” Houck said.

Houck said there is no institutional knowledge from the General Assembly on recession like this because there hasn’t been one since the Depression.

Houck said for the first time in state history the Virginia Department of Transportation is using maintenance funds for the secondary road plan to draw down federal dollars. He said the state relies on two main sources of funding: sales tax and income tax. Both are dropping.

“You know and I know because of the Constitutional relationship between state government and local government, what we experience is obviously going to cause ramifications for you and your budget,” he said.

Post tags:


  • gramps


  • MAVRICKinc

    Just thought I’d ask Bill what TEST stands for and whether this represents input Senator Edd Houck was looking for, when addressing the Spotsylvania County BOS last Tuesday, on State budgets, cutting back on more services and projecting that the Commonwealth of Virginia is looking to US (Spotsylvania County) to somehow make a difference or dent into Virginia’s $9 Billion dollar shortfall.

    Otherwise, I’ll assume our elected officials and its constituents have nothing more to offer to its citizens or the State General Assembly except more aggressive spending agendas to make room for more spraw, high density housing populations that either buy or sell more hambergers than their next competitor, and in the we hours of every business day make their way North to earn more than just minimum wage.

    Of note, at this blog site, no one appears to have an opinion or imput on how best to manage our money and secure from our elected officials what they really mean by “innovative”, “paradigms for success”, what the “future” holds for Spotsylvania County citizens, how the “VRE Master Agreement” reads and what commitment WE are about to make at the hands of this agreement, less gas taxes and whether Spotsylvania County is too big to fail.

    If the projected $3 million dollars yearly return on investment from VRE comes true, how many traffic lights can we install for that kind of money? Try 6. After we spend that money under the guise of TRANSPORTATION ONLY, where does the rest of the money come from. Stimulus money only has another year remaining before we WE return to GROUND ZERO. Who’s going to pick up the ball from that point on?

    The Utilities Department is gearing up for its piece of the pie, or didn’t you notice. The Planning Department is setting out its version of success, that mostly resides in FAMPO’s working agendas on transportation, Landuse and how the changes in Zoning, Urban Development Areas, Ordinance changes as well as our Comprehensive Plan will be met out by our selected officials and their special interest initiatives.

    After everything is said and done in our immediate future, I can only suggest that you haven’t seen anything yet, but who among you are even listening, much less cares who is really holding the reins. Your best excuse for knowing what’s really at stake, is not knowing.

    Explain that to Senator Edd Houck, and his 26 years in office and put it along side what he just offered this past Tuesday to our elected officals and see what you get for YOUR MONEY. Explain that to our General Assembly and the only response you’ll get back is that the hole being dug by our State is of long standing. It’s deeper and darker than you could ever imagine.

    When the senator showed up at Supv. Logan’s VRE Summit Meeting, his message to Spotsylvania County was the same as it is today.

    The messenger and the message have made their way to our doorsteps, but apparently no one is at home to open the door, or capable of even hearing the door bell. It occurs to me, maybe we should knock on the door first, before pushing the button, or write YOUR local elected official in advance to see what’s the best time to stop by and ask a few hard questions about what’s coming next. So far, I’m batting zero, but what can any of US expect back when the door is closed, bolted shut and the alarm is on to protect THEM from US.

    No one needs a crystal ball. After all, we are nothing more than a foregone conclusion. Let your silence be your guide, but don’t be surprised when reality comes knocking, as with the message Senator Edd Houck just delivered to US.

  • MAVRICKinc

    Just a note to myself, but I recall Supv. Jerry Logan was going to get feedback from VDOT the stats associated with Spotsylvania County’s collection of transportation money the County sends to Richmond and how much money Spotsy gets back from VDOT and Commonwealth of Virginia. This past October, on two separate occassions Supv. Logan announced he, nor members of our BOS knew where to find this information, much less make it available for public consumption.

    VDOT promised to get this information for the BOS. No word back from VDOT or our BOS, and its been over a month since this inquiry was put on the table for reasonable inspection or even interpretation by those of interest in the cash flow dynamic of our local governments.

    Come back.

  • gramps

    Mav, if you even had a clue you would know that this blog had a “technical problem” last week and no one could make postings for a couple of days. When I was informed it was “fxed” I ran a TEST. Comprende?

  • MAVRICKinc

    Thanks Bill for the clarification. I’ll assume you have nothing further to say about the subject matter of this particular blog site. I too waited for the FLS glitch to be taken care of, but thought there might be more to say when the door was reopened. Are you having another one of those grampy days?

  • gramps

    I am still looking for data on the motor vehicle gasoline tax issue. I do not think I will find it because all roads (no pun intended) have led to a dead end. I have concluded that these taxes are not accounted for according to the locality in which they were collected; which leads to the corrolary question, how does the Commonwealth know how much to return to each locality? In fact, is what they do return a fair distribution?

    I was disappointed that no one on the BOS broached this question with Houck when they had the opportunity. In fact, I was disappointed that the BOS did not address more issues with Houck. I do not think the young fellow from VDOT, that was asked for the info by Logan, knows the answer either.

    Houck did not reveal anything we did not already know, IMHO. I am not enthralled by Houck or his performance in Richmond. However, I appear to be among a very small minority since he keeps being reelected.

  • MAVRICKinc

    Bill: Supervisor Logan asked the question and VDOT answered they had the information and would supply it to the BOS.

    We don’t expect you to find this data or even interpret it, Our BOS didn’t know but VDOT does and should necessarily have this information readily available for public inspection. We’ve already determined it’s important information and an integral part of making informed transportation decisions in Spotsylvania County. You really should reread some of your past blog comments on this subject.

    For the record, Senator Houck knows where this information is. Just because our BOS didn’t ask, doesn’t make this information any less important than knowing what we send to Richmond and what we back for OUR money.

    Supv Connors speaks to issue on a regular basis with GA members, including Houck, but not as Chairman of the BOS, but Chairman of FAMPO and the George Washington Regional Commission.

    Should he claim he doesn’t have this information, try engaging Supvs. Ben Pitts or Skinner for the answers. They have this information and should necessarily know where it can be found. How else could they sell VRE without details, to Spotsylvania County citizens and constituents?

    Bill, WE have enough distractions in getting appropriate data on how this PROCESS works.

    VDOT, the Spotsylvania County BOSs, their assigns, special interest groups and partners don’t need any more excuses, from you or anyone else.

    If our BOS asked the question, WE deserve to know the answer.

    If VDOT told us they have the information, why would you conclude VDOT doesn’t know what they’re talking about, other than to focus this readership away from what should be a qualified issue that needs answers, not more makeovers.

    The BOS should already have this information. If not, why not?

  • gramps

    Well, I guess I have been summarily dismissed and ordered by the great Spotsylvania scribe, Mr. MG Work, to cease and desist any and all data collection efforts. I shall take this order under advisement and consult with my two dogs as to whether I shall follow this order.

    As for Mr. Logan and the VDOT representative providing the answer, we shall see what we shall see. I truly hope the young man has the answer, but I seriously doubt he does. Other people in Richmond have told me that the data is not collected by locality.

    As for Mr. Houck knowing anything…well, I have already provided my opinions of that fine gentleman.

  • MAVRICKinc

    Bill: what makes you so endearing to your readers and fans, is your use of sarcasm, condescensions, and prickly discourse.

    What don’t you get is the fact we ALL know, after everything is said and done, you speak only as another “Company Man.”

    There is no one in this region, or shouting distance of this blog sight that YOU have ever been dismissed or ordered to do anything or not.

    Simply said, WE are nothing more than a foregone conclusion. You swim in the shallow end of the pool and I’m always diving into the deep end..

    What does it matter what you think of Senator Houck, Supviser Logan or VDOTS messenger. Your conclusion that “we shall see what we shall see” leaves us no better off than we were 30 years ago.

    Since you admit you’ve only found dead ends in your search for important date information surrounding this county’s need to know about their THEIR transportstion agendas, we will wait for you to catch up or show up with answers to the questions.

    In the mean time, WE will continue to insist that the BOS show up with the answers, you have promised, but have yet to find (for months). WE call this just another path that leads no where or deeper into the tall grass. I’m of the opinion this County deserves more accountability and responsibility from its elected officials.

    Please don’t take too much offense, but the closest you ever came to the truth is a level of curiosity without conclusions. If you doubt my conclusions, I can only suggest you reread your blog comments for the past 9 months. You’ll see what I mean when you pull up Dan Telvock’s achives.

    Should you make or take time to reread your past exchanges, time which you don’t have, only because YOU don’t have too do anything you don’t have too.

    When your sarcasm becomes all you have to offer, and casting me as the “the great Spotsylvania scribe” suggest only one thing; you just ran out of yet more distractions.

    The only thing WE are looking for are answers. You apparently don’t have the resources to accomplish this end but our elected officials do. If not, why not? Making excuses simply doesn’t cut it anymore and never has.

    I anticipate WE will always find you at your guard station as one of several guardians of the gate, that continue to put County citizens at arms length and from crossing over the moat and draw bridge constructed by our elected officials to protect their feudal estates and fiefdoms.

    While this kind of governing is best described as an oligarchy, those elected officials who would have us believe they have ALL and the only answers to our lot in life are not talking about our “quality of life”, but theirs.

    Please feel free to put us asleep over and over again with your rhetoric and Company script, but I can see the alarm clock going off, albeit late or after the fact, but at least we’ll have our eyes open just before reality chimes in.

    Since you’re not going anywhere, WE will always expect to see and hear your prickly dialogue, no matter where you pull it from.

  • gramps

    You know Marty, you are absolutely correct in all you say. I was a fool to think you weren’t. In fact, I sense you know what is in my heart and my mind. From now on, I think I shall keep my opinions to myself.

    I always thought these blogs were forums for each of us to express our opinions on the issues of the day. I have just about concluded that I am mistaken about that.

    Finally, I apologize if I have insulted or otherwise made you feel bad. Good luck in all your endeavors. I am exhausted trying to verbally “joust” with you and all the “talking point” posters elsewhere on the FLS site.

  • MAVRICKinc

    Bill; if you’re looking for sympathy, I won’t be around to serve up condolences.

    We’ve been down this road too many times in the past. When you say that you’ve “just about concluded’ is tantamount to a dangling participle. It doesn’t work.

    Even you will admit you’re in this for the long haul, and there has been a day in your life that you’ve ever kept your opinion to yourself.

    Since I can’t be insulted or made to feel bad about myself by anything you or your partners have to say, I would conclude any apologetic posturing on your part is nothing more than a systematic argument in DEFENSE of your claims, postured positions and the people you serve.

    Simply said, you’re not going anywhere. The only thing I see changing is the FLS and what it serves up as enough space for those who have an opinion and are willing to strut their stuff, whether it has feathers or not.

    Any questions? I suggest you check out your math skills in the blog before this one. All you have to do now is draw a conclusion from which you can satisfy your curiosity and ours.

    No question in my mind that you will ALWAYS be the warrior. If you want to duck and run for the moment, doesn’t mean you’re leaving the field of play, but just taking a moment to gear up for your next verbal assault.

    I really thought that by now you would understand I’m comfortable in my own skin and there is nothing you or anyone else can do about my condition. I’m looking for answers and you’re not.

    Sleep tight. I’ll see you tomorrow.