Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Thomas-McGuire White Paper on budget cuts DOA

Spotsylvania residents Steve Thomas and DJ McGuire’s attempt at offering some budget cuts failed to convince county staff and supervisors. None of their ideas will be used to trim the county budget any further. A few blogs  before this one contains the county’s response to their ideas.

One thing I noticed was that some of their ideas didn’t work because they didn’t have enough internal knowledge of the budget to know how one change could affect several other items. No matter how open the budget process is, I’ve yet to see a governing body develop a budget that is easy to understand and follow where the money goes. I doubt it would be an easy feat.

At last night’s Board meeting, both Thomas and McGuire were in attendance. They chatted with County Administrator Doug Barnes, who told them that he is willing to sit down with them any time to discuss ideas to save or make money.

McGuire sent this e-mail this morning:

“Steve and I want to thank Administrator Barnes, Treasurer Pritchett, and Commissioner Williams for their responses to our recommendations.  It is this kind of dialogue with the citizenry that make Spotsylvania an exceptional county in which to live.

At present, we have only been able to review the responses briefly, but we will be examining them more fully over the next few of days.  We look forward to continuing the dialogue at that time – and we hope it can be expanded by others joining in as, from whatever our vantage points, we work toward our common goal of an efficient and effective government.”

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  • LarryG

    I concur. Thomas and company put forth a credible proposal but were hamstrung by a lack of info and familiarity with the “real” budget and Mr. Barnes – who could have reacted like many of his counterparts in similar positions and just blew off the proposal even dissing it as ‘amateurish” but instead he did a polite and this part is important – a substantiative response.

    In other words, he gave the commenter a very reasonable opportunity to actually engage the issue and perhaps even end up offering a different perspective …

    I don’t know Mr. Barnes.. he could be a recovering ax-murderer for all I know.. (not seriously) but his response to Mr. Thomas comments is top notch government so Kudos to Mr. Barnes – and I’m sure also to those ladies who seem to really know their budget stuff who back him up.

  • wizard1073

    We dealt with Mr. Barnes before he earned his present position, and he has always been a great public servant. I was really happy when he got the County Administrator job, and I am still happy. He’s got a very complex, difficult situation to handle. I may not be happy when my commercial real estate taxes go up, but I’ll know at least that he tried to keep them steady.

  • dtelvock

    A refreshing comment about our local government. Nice. I find Doug easy to work with and willing to help–and I’m the evil journalist ;)