Your county tax dollars at work…

Editing Wikipedia? I kid you not:

Someone with the IP address 166.61.231.210 has made three anonymous edits (#1 on September 14, 2006, #2 on September 14, 2006, and #3 on July 17, 2007) to the Caroline County, Virginia Wikipedia page. The person added the following to the page:

During the Colonial Period, Caroline County was the birthplace of Thoroughbred Racing in North America. Arabian horses were imported from England to provide the basis for American breeding stock.

Patriot Edmund Pendleton played a large role in the Virginia Resolution for Independence (1775) and Caroline native, John Penn, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence (www.foundersofamerica.org).

Explorers, William Clark and his slave, York, were members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1803); both were born near what is now Ladysmith, Virginia in Caroline.

[…]

Caroline County is serviced by US Interstate 95 and has the second most profitable interchange in Virginia at Carmel Church, exit 104.

[…]

Economic growth in Caroline in the last five years have been rapid, mostly due to affordable housing and close proximity to Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. In 2005, Caroline was recognized as the 10th Fastest Growing County in America. Also in 2005, Caroline County won the Virginia Community Ecomomic [sic] Development Award (CEDA) for Business Recruitment and the CEDA Award for the entire south from the Southern Economic Development Council.

Among recent Economic Development successes in Caroline have been the recruitment of the State Fair of Virginia, to open in 2008 (previously in Richmond for 151 years), Remuda Ranch, The Virginia Sports Complex, and the multi-national electronics firm, M.C. Dean.

The IP address, 166.61.231.210, returns to a subdomain of co.caroline.va.us, the official Caroline County Government website.

Now, I have three questions: a) What Caroline County government employee edited this Wikipedia page?; b) Is the county paying this employee to edit Wikipedia pages?; and c) Do I have to sit in his office and find something more important for him to do?

I have a feeling the employee in question is (or works for) the Director of Economic Development Gary Wilson. Considering most of the information placed on the Wikipedia page appears to be from Gary Wilson’s own county website (note that he has a link to www.foundersofamerica.org on his website, which is used as a source in the Wikipedia page).

UPDATE: Turns out that Gary Wilson is the Project Director of the www.foundersofamerica.org website (his administrative assistant, Cassie Ruby, is also an assistant on the website as well).

It also begs the question of why the county is paying $262,015 for Economic Development and the personnel there can’t find anything better to do than edit Wikipedia pages.

4 Comments

  1. Tom James says:

    Nice, Nice catch Tim!

    Non-profits, trips to Hawaii, spending proffers, giving away services, abusing the county credit card, kissing up to developers, ignoring public safety and elected officials,…………………………………………….

    Ohhhh my head hurts! will it ever end!!!!!!!!!

  2. Sara says:

    Have you ever taken a look at WIkiScanner? Based on this post I think you might get a kick out of it :)

    http://wikiscanner.virgil.gr/

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