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Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Government Transparency in Virginia: How Localities Compare

The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy in January released a report that compared local government and their transparency. We discussed it a bit here before but the document is no longer on the TJI site.

Well, as I was cleaning off my desk stacked with paper, I found the report. It is double sided and I do not know how to transfer a double sided document to this blog, so I will just summarize what it says.

The study rates 134 localities, including Spotsylvania County on the degree to which their websites provide fiscal transparency.

“Most localities in our state can do much better,” the report states.

Spotsylvania County ranked 14th, and best in this region. I should note that since we have been dabbling a bit into Fauquier County, that locality ranked 7th.

Arlington ranked 1st, Fairfax County was 2nd and Prince William ranked 3rd.

Westmoreland County ranked last.

I will try to get the PDF up here later so you can see the methodology used for the study.

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/spotsygovt/2010/06/23/government-transparency-in-virginia-how-localities-compare/

  • bhaas

    Is there some reason why the report is no longer available on the TJI site?

  • http://MAVRICKinc7@msn.com Martin (Marty) Work

    I’m sure Larry has a copy. Why don’t you ask him for his PDF copy or tell us where to get our copy?

  • GIVEMEABREAK2M

    Marty Work I can’t believe that you have asked this question “tell us where we can get a copy.” Marty why don’t you spend just a little time and contact TJI. I am sure they will send you a copy upon request. It really isn’t that difficult.

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    I don’t have a copy and also had no luck finding an online copy so I hope that Dan can get some of it online… so we can see it.

    I remember seeing it when it came out and I remember than Spotsy didn’t do too badly compared to a lot of other counties in Va.

  • http://MAVRICKinc7@msn.com Martin (Marty) Work

    GIVEMEABREAK2M: your sarcasam continues to fill the room with your absurd arrogance, but what good would any of us be without your voice in the background, cheering us on to yet another vacant lot?

    Since you can’t bring yourself to join US without your anonymous moniker in place, how credible do you ever expect to be taking pot shots from cover and adding absolutely nothing to the conversation other than sarcastic condisention and a willingness to grumble loudly without say anything.

    You really should get out more often and suck in some fresh air, instead of this spit you keep regurgitating.

  • GIVEMEABREAK2M

    Marty you should look in the mirror. Everything you have to say about Spotsylvania is anything but positive (always negative). You have given time to express your thoughts to me. Now let me give you one. If you don’t like it in Spotsylvania, why don’t you move to another part of the state or country??????

  • http://MAVRICKinc7@msn.com Martin (Marty) Work

    I have, but that’s another story in the telling. But you already know that. What I appear to have left behind is the likes of you, whoever you are. And no, I’m not going any where. Just because you’re one of the bullies on the block, doesn’t make your spit any better or worse than the next County blog bully?

    Besides, what’s so negative about asking questions you certainly don’t have answers for. But, neither does Spotsylvania County government and their elected officials, for which all I know you are one in the same.

    Is it because the questions produce such negative results and consequences, or, you can’t stand the thought of being found out? What’s so negative about about securing transparency from local government. What kind of contributions have you made toward this end in the past 5 years?

    Maybe you should take another read of “Government Transparency In Virginia.” How Local governments Compare. Do you really think Spotsylvania County’s score of 55.5, with the top score being 80 is something to brag about
    or would you prefer Spotsy to continue along with its “business as usual’ business practices and ethics?

    Just what are you bargaining for in the name of positive government, without transparency or accountability.

    Page 12 of 15: Spotsylvania County BOS April 20, 2010 minutes.

    Paragraph 8: NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors does hereby request PRTC (VRE) to budget and appropriate the following amounts for transportation expenditures in FY 2011: $2,537,434 from Spotsylvania County’s collected gas taxes ESTIMATED by PRTC (VRE) to be $4,317,142 FROM WHICH Spotsylvania County will put ASIDE (somewhere) $431,714, to guard against fluctuations between ESTIMATED and ACTUAL revenues.

    From this remaining amount Spotsy will pay PRTS (VRE) $1,207,340 AND $51,200 in administrative fees/expenses
    of VRE/PRTC.

    SIMPLE MATH:

    The BALANCE of $2,537,434 will be distributed to Spoptsylvania County for transportation expenditures and allocated to”

    Transportation-RELATED POSITIONS?…….$470,574 or the equivalent cost of two (2) traffic lights.

    FRED bus service…………………………………..$421,332

    DEBT SERVICE on “Previous” transportation ISSUES?
    …………………………………………………………..$1,620,528

    AND

    Annual allocation to “Rural Additions” projects:
    $25,000, or the equivalent cost of 4 truck loads of asphalt.

    Is it any wonder that Spotsylvania County has a transportation fix in the works or is the County, under REGIONAL planning thru GWRC/FAMPO and in collaboration with the County’s “Focus Groups” in charge of changing the County landscape? I don’t know. You don’t know. The public doesn’t know. So, your telling US, including myself, our best bet of ever knowing anything about local government, and how it really works is to take a hike and leave town. Isn’t that pretty much what the South told the North when the first shot was fired?

    When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Another relic of the Civil war?

    If you are afraid of open government and prefer closed doors maybe you should take a hike to the 21st century and see what it has to offer, You can leave the bully behind. It really doesn’t work. See you on the other side.

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