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March 12, 2018

County fiscal ’19 budget public hearing Thursday

I’m looking at it all and waiting to see what people say at the public hearing. My sense of things is that, as a board, we’re going to be working diligently to scale back the requests where we can.
— Supervisor Holder Trumbo
Public Hearing
• Topic: Fauquier County’s proposed fiscal 2019 budget, effective July 1.

• When: 7 p.m. Thursday, March 15.

• Where: Fauquier High School, 705 Waterloo Road, Warrenton.

• Agency: Board of supervisors.

Budget Schedule

• March 13: Supervisors’ work session, 2 p.m., Warren Green Building.

• March 15: Supervisors’ and school board joint work session, 5 p.m., Fauquier High School library, 705 Waterloo Road, Warrenton.

• March 15: Public hearing on proposed budget, 7 p.m. FHS.

• March 19: Supervisors’ work session, 2 p.m., Warren Green Building.

• March 22: Supervisors adopt budget, tax rates and fiscal 2019-23 CIP.

• July 1: Fiscal 2019 budget begins.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Fauquier’s board of supervisors will conduct a public hearing Thursday on the county’s fiscal 2019 budget.

The March 15 hearing will start at 7 p.m. in Fauquier High School at 705 Waterloo Road in Warrenton.

The board on Thursday, March 22, plans to adopt a new budget, capital improvements plan and tax rates. 

Under County Administrator Paul McCulla’s proposed spending plan, Fauquier homeowners would face a significant jump in real estate tax bills.

Mr. McCulla’s proposed budget calls for the owner of an “average” home to pay $393 more taxes, or 11.7 percent more than this fiscal year.

The average tax bill would increase to $3,745, according to his plan.

“There doesn’t seem to be a boil over about too much” thus far regarding Mr. McCulla’s budget plan, Supervisor Holder Trumbo (Scott District) said Monday.

But, he has heard from residents generally concerned about “their taxes going up great deal and rightly so,” Mr. Trumbo said.

The board’s most experienced supervisor for now has no specific areas that he wishes to cut from the county administrator’s budget plan.

“I’m looking at it all and waiting to see what people say at the public hearing,” Mr. Trumbo said. “My sense of things is that, as a board, we’re going to be working diligently to scale back the requests where we can.”

Board Chairman Chris Butler (Lee) hopes the supervisors can give employees a salary increase but “probably” will oppose creating any new county jobs.

“I’ve not heard much support for a tax increase,” Mr. Butler wrote in a text message. “Folks are enjoying a few more dollars in their pockets from the (federal) tax code changes, and I don’t want to take that from them.”

Mr. McCulla’s plan totals $335.9 million, an increase of $25 million or about 8 percent over this fiscal year.

His proposal would give the school system $3 million more — half the increase that Superintendent David Jeck proposed. Dr. Jeck’s plan totals $144.5 million.

Mr. McCulla’s proposal also would provide Fauquier’s emergency services department $3.1 million more for:

• 13 new fire and rescue technicians, funded only with county money ($1.4 million).

The department has 101 career firefighter/medics.

• The county’s $1.5-million match to fund 15 fire/rescue positions, created in 2017 after Fauquier received a three-year SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant from the federal government.

• A senior administrative assistant, the reclassification of nine positions and the purchase of three new ambulances.

The budget proposal also includes: 

• $830,000 for nine new county government positions, including an assistant county administrator, marketing coordinator, budget coordinator, information security analyst and project manager.

• $1.1 million for 1.4-percent cost-of-living raises and 1-percent merit pay hikes for county government’s approximately 600 workers.

County workers received no pay increase in fiscal 2018.

Fauquier’s real estate rate stands at $1.039 per $100 assessed value. It did not increase this fiscal year.

For tax purposes, Fauquier reassesses the county’s real estate every four years. The Code of Virginia requires local government to reassess all property at 100 percent of fair market value.

Real estate owners received their new assessments in January.

Under the previous assessment, Fauquier valued the average home at $321,300. Based the new assessment, average residential value has increased 17.7 percent to $378,000.

A penny on the real estate tax rate generates $1.1 million in revenue — about $100,000 more than the previous assessment produced.

Fauquier’s proposed fiscal 2019-2023 construction plan totals $72.2 million, with an additional $212.3 million designated for “future” years. 

The board at 2 p.m. Tuesday will conduct a work on public safety and Mr. McCulla’s request for new administrative positions.

The supervisors and the school board will conduct a work session at 5 p.m., Thursday, March 15, in Fauquier High’s library to discuss the school system’s budget request.

The supervisors on Monday, March 19, will conduct their last scheduled budget work session.

They expect on March 22 to adopt the budget, capital improvements plan and tax rates.

The new fiscal year begins July 1.

Fauquier Proposed 2019 Budget Summary by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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COC 20119 · March 20, 2018 at 8:56 am
I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery (Quotation)

This is actually a translation of a Latin phrase that Thomas Jefferson used: Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem. It has also been translated as, "I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude."

Here is the sentence in context:

"Societies exist under three forms sufficiently distinguishable. 1. Without government, as among our Indians. 2. Under governments wherein the will of every one has a just influence, as is the case in England in a slight degree, and in our states in a great one. 3. Under governments of force: as is the case in all other monarchies and in most of the other republics. To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that the 1st. condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has it's evils too: the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem. Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical." - Jefferson to James Madison, January 30, 1787
Jeffersonian American · March 19, 2018 at 8:29 am
Our Virginia founders gave us the tools to peacefully abolish our local government due to any form of maladministration, as COC notes below.

Well stated. As others have correctly noted in recent postings to this public forum, we the people are the government. It is time for our local citizens to lawfully regain control over this out-of-control economic tyranny which passes for our local government. Local Committees of the Public Weal can accomplish this as outlined in Section 3 the Constitution of Virginia.
COC 20119 · March 17, 2018 at 7:26 am
It would be very easy to use the Article One powers to replace the Fauquier County Government because of maladministration. It would work something like this:

We would need approximately 2,500 residents of the county. They would form the modern day equivalent of our founders “Association of Freeholders and Freemen” groups. It would best be served to organize them into smaller groups by their zip code and for larger numbers inside of one zip code they should use the zip code + four arraignments.
They would probably want to make sure that everybody in their group was over the age of eighteen. They would want to make sure they were born here in the US and at this stage, regardless of who their parents were. Make sure they are legitimate county residents through proper identifications.

The goal would be similar to what the people of Phoenix, AZ did after World War II, in that they replace their corrupt city government through similar groups of concerned citizens, acting ex-parte of the government to be replaced and then resolved to create a new charter, that abandoned the old government and set up elections for a new government and changed the structure of the new government.

The old government was not arrested. They were simply told that through the power of the public weal, they were no longer in charge.

For us, it might look something like this:
Resolved, in the County of Fauquier, VA, bordered by the counties of Prince William, Loudon, Rappahannock, Culpeper, Stafford, etc., that our government and the previous elected public servants within it, is an ought to be, abandoned due to severe financial malpractice. (Here would be a good place to list the offenses on the tax payers of the county) A new election will be held to fill the seats of our new government on (fill in the blank of your agreed date) at which time our new Fauquier County Government will begin operations. Nobody will be arrested. Nobody will be attacked. It is a peaceful and legal abandonment of a corrupt government.

At this point you should declare that all county employees will remain at their current post for a period of no less than one year so that the new government has time to evaluate their necessity to the community. You should also add in the points of change to our new government such as the outlawing of political parties, term limits, tax limits, ex post facto law restrictions and the acknowledgement of all of our previous rights from the Declaration of Rights as it was agreed upon on June 12, 1776.
It truly is easy and completely legal to do this.

If we were successful in completing the task, other counties across Virginia will copy it within a year. At that point, a convention to create a new state government would grow and we could once and for all, allow the silent majority to be the vocal, hardworking and too chained by their own duties to attend late meetings on a work night to make their opinions heard.
Sic Semper Tyrannis
Jeffersonian American · March 15, 2018 at 10:43 pm
Memo to the Board of Supervisors: CUT THE COUNTY BUDGET; CUT ALL NON-PUBLIC SAFETY, NON-LAW ENFORCEMENT/FIRE/RESCUE/EMT SERVICES; CUT THE NUMBER OF SIX-FIGURE SALARIED, CAREER BUREAUCRATS WHERE PART-TIME EMPLOYEES WILL SUFFICE; DO NOT BACK-FILL RETIREMENTS AMONG NON-PRIORITY POSITIONS; RESTORE SENSIBLE, EFFICIENT, DOWNSIZED LOCAL GOVERNMENT. Many of us long-time citizens recall our county population has not grown significantly over the past 20 years, but our local government bureaucracy most definitely has- our County Government is now expanding every year to meet the needs of an ever-expanding Government with more frequent, not-so-cleverly disguised annual tax increases to pay for all kinds of bad Government- just look at what our hard-earned taxpayer dollars funded this week at the county High School Radical Marxist Left organized, thinly-veiled "memorial" protests which actually were attacks on all Americans' Second Amendment constitutional rights. And you want to RAISE OUR TAXES AGAIN this year to support these kinds of Public Schools with their "Goals 2015" and "Agenda 21" program indoctrinations? You want to RAISE OUR TAXES AGAIN for a public school system that continues to experience significant annual declines in student enrollments by wise parents who are opting to home school or send their children to private schools because of those programs mentioned? Need another example? Not long ago at the turn of the last century, you could obtain building permits from a small and attentive staff of long-serving professionals in a matter of days, walking up to their service counter. Recently, it took me several MONTHS of added delays and inspections from the huge office complex which now handles such permits just for a simple garage outbuilding from a large task force of Government bureaucrats and PhDs. Need another example of outrageous Local Government Run Amok? The BOS recently approved a massive, concrete eyesore, Costco-sized, Bridge Church on Highway 29 which backs to a dozen private residences in the Springs Valley on a former large parcel which was represented to us by the Zoning Office 20 years ago as never being able to be further commercially developed. Today, our former tranquil view sheds, quality of life, and property values have been destroyed forever. AND YOU WANT TO RAISE OUR TAXES AGAIN?

Take heed Fauquier Government Officials- the Constitution of Virginia, Section 3 provides a citizen remedy against local governments which fail to produce happiness and safety, or fails to most effectively secure the danger of maladministration, "...whenever any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal." Key Takeaway: CUT THE SIZE AND GROWTH OF OUR LOCAL COUNTY GOVERNMENT NON-ESSENTIAL SERVICES. LOWER TAXES. LOWER ANNUAL SPENDING. DISCIPLINE YOURSELVES OR RISK THE FAUQUIER CITIZEN COMMITTEES OF THE PUBLIC WEAL.
nonewtaxes · March 14, 2018 at 10:20 pm
Yes, $1/day is not too much. It should be easy for the BOS to provide taxpayers a $1/day tax break.

$107,000 per fire and rescue technician. $125,000/year for a broadband manager.

Today was pie day. Some of your hard working teachers spent their class time eating pie. How many of us get 45 minutes everyday to walk around outside at recess?

The school system has software called Blackboard. It has 1,000,000 uses but the minimum requirement for teachers is only 1 use. The other 999,999 uses are wasted money.
martinkus · March 12, 2018 at 8:10 pm
J Obrokta:

Many thanks!
J Obrokta · March 12, 2018 at 8:05 pm
martinkus - The county already has a tax relief program for retirees, though to qualify they have to have no more than 5 acres and household income of no more than $58,000. You can read the rest of the requirements here:
martinkus · March 12, 2018 at 1:40 pm
The BOS needs to be cognizant of the proposed increased tax burden on retirees who may be on a fixed income. With other living costs constantly rising, an additional "major hit" on real estate taxes could hurt a large number of folks in Fauquier. Not all retirees in the county are wealthy as some might argue. Just a thought for the BOS to consider as it deliberates the county's budget.
BJ · March 12, 2018 at 1:05 pm
An increase of $1 per day to support our schools and fire/police is reasonable to me, even though we don't have children in school any longer, and we haven't had need of fire/police/rescue for years. It's good to know they are being taken care of in case we do, and for future generations to get a good education. Blaine Johnson
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