‘How easy it is to spend our citizens’ money’

Hagerman

I have been reading and researching the 2016 and 2017 Pittsylvania County Budget and the School Budget for around three months and this same budget has been gone over by the major newspapers and the citizens also. The item that seems to get the attention is the Solid Waste disposal Fee; so I’ll start there. Under Sec. 17-12 Solid Waste Disposal Fee; Section 15.2-2159 of code of Virginia, 1950 as amended the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors does hereby establish a Solid Waste Disposal Fee. A Solid Waste Disposal Fee Schedule shall be adopted annually by the Board of Supervisors, via Resolution, following a duly advertised and conducted public hearing. Said fee shall not exceed the actual cost incurred by Pittsylvania County (the “County”) in procuring, developing, maintaining, and improving its landfill and for such reserves as may be necessary for capping and closing such landfill in the future. Such fee shall be deposited in a special account to be expended only for the purposes for which it was levied. The County’s Solid Waste Disposal Fee shall be effective on or after July 1, 2012. Effective July 1, 2013 the Solid Waste Disposal Fee shall also be able to be used to purchase or subsidize the purchase of equipment used for the collection of residential solid waste disposed of at the County’s landfill.

The above paragraph plainly states this solid waste fee cannot be used for anything but the landfill and equipment there. Now, knowing the above also means money from the solid waste fees cannot be used for anything the administrative department wants to purchase except equipment, capping the old land field, and maintaining, etc. By the way, our present landfill still has a life of at least 10 years so it should be in good shape without the solid waste fee.

Now many of the Board of Supervisors (myself included) knew our citizens and business owners wanted this fee removed as soon possible for their own financial survival and we acted quickly to do so. What happened when the four members of our “finance committee” discovered Delegate Les Adams was going to have Pittsylvania’s County’s name remove from HB 790, which was the list of counties authorized to levy the solid waste fees? The Pittsylvania County Finance Committee sprung into action and at least three of them traveled to Richmond, not to talk to senators they said but to do what? The next thing most of us heard was HB790 had been removed. I will say this I was surprised to hear that Chairman Jessie Barksdale who voted for the budget had said or pointed out that those who voted against the budget are no less accountable or responsible for what happens. He knew he and the other three supervisors would control the vote and we would instead control excess spending and therefore control taxes.

How easy is it to spend our citizens’ money. In the last year the administration department has spent well over $50,000 for two new Ford Explorers, remodeled two offices at a cost of $70,000, spent over $614,000 for animal shelter land, over $100,000 for two new employees, animal shelter and study survey $31,000, and believe me this is just the tip of the iceberg, It’s not listed but spending is getting close to $1,000,000, and our citizens and our county cannot stand this type of spending.

I called for a meeting of citizens in February and 75 citizens, Westover District Supervisor Ronald S. Scearce, and myself met with a representative of VDGIF and a Representative of APCO at Myers Creek Boat Ramp on BiBee Road at Pittsville to discuss the number of injuries that has occurred there. Our citizens made their complaints known and since that time I have had other conversations with APCO. I have also discussed this with TLAC and this fine organization is now in the process of contacting FERC for their help with this problem. I will keep all our citizens advised of information as it comes available.

Give me a call anytime at 434-713-3039.

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