Caroline County Board of Supervisors finally makes users of the county water/sewer system pay their fair share.

The Caroline County Board of Supervisors voted 3–2 Tuesday night to increase the rates for water and sewer service on the county’s utility system.

For years, this system has failed to be self-sufficient, requiring last year approximately a $300,000 subsidy from the general fund. The general fund is, of course, from taxes that all citizens pay. So, the folks in Bowling Green, Port Royal, Damn, etc. have been getting taxed at a higher rate than necessary — the equivalent of a whole cent on the tax rate last year — so the poor little folks in Ladysmith and Ruther Glen didn’t have to pay more on their water bill.

I’m curious, has the county ever subsidized any citizen’s cost for maintaining a septic tank? Hell, they want you guys to have your septic tank pumped every two years or whatever at your cost.

Has the county even paid for someone’s electric bill which is used to power your water pump to get water from your well? Let’s see…uh, hell no.

And last year, those lovable geniuses on the Board decided that it would be a good idea to increase the cost of one-time connection fees — which is supposed to go to pay off the system’s debt — so the money could be diverted into the operating fund for the system. “Wow, let’s use one-time money to pay for continuing expenditures on a system!” Sounds like something the federal government would do, no?

The two supervisors that voted against the increase, Wayne Acors and Floyd Thomas (note that the majority of the system’s users are in their districts), voted against the increase saying, according to The Free Lance–Star, “they would prefer to see the rates change at a slower pace instead of hitting residents all at once.” ((Portsia Smith. “Caroline changes water, sewer rates”. The Free Lance–Star 12 Mar 2009. The Free Lance-Star Publishing Co. 12 Mar 2009 <>.)) Wow, so the county should continue to subsidize citizens’ water bills when public safety positions are getting unpaid furloughs and the Planning Department just got six positions axed.

Absolutely brilliant…

Stephen A. Smith of ESPN is an idiot.

Stephen A. Smith was on ESPN a few minutes whining that sports organizations don’t seem to be feeling the effects of the recession. For one thing, he cited the cost of the New Yankee Stadium at $1.6 billion. Well, first, New Yankee Stadium began construction in 2006, a long time before the beginning of this recession. Second, how many jobs did that construction create or maintain?

Smith went on to complain about the salaries being paid to various professional sports players. Uh, out of curiosity, how much does Stephen A. Smith get paid per year and what does he contribute to society? Bombastic whining?

According to one website, ESPN Inc.’s revenue in 2004 was $3.2 billion. That’s double the cost of New Yankee Stadium in case you were curious.

Not to mention that those professional players that make however much money a year with salaries and bonuses; how much do they pay in taxes? How much of that money that they are paid is used to create other jobs? When a player gets a signing bonus and moves to a new city, he has to find a place to live, furnish the new place, and more than likely purchases a new vehicle to drive around the city.

And the funniest part of his segment was after he concluded his whining, he walked down into a subway station supposedly to get on a train. Even the announcers on ESPN had to laugh at this, stating something around the lines of: “the recession must be really bad if he’s taking the subway now.”

And yet there’s still only one choice for Lee Hill District Supervisor in Spotsylvania County…

Welcome to my first foray into local Spotsylvania County politics; why do I have a feeling that this is going to end bad?

As my readers (all three two of you) may know, fellow blogger D.J. McGuire has announced his run for the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors for the Lee Hill District. I hadn’t gotten a chance to write up a post about his announcement, but I did add him (with a link to his website) to the “2009 candidates I support” box on the right.

D.J., who’s a Republican, is running against incumbent supervisor Gary Skinner (Independent), who was elected in 2007. (For those that are curious, Spotsylvania has adopted staggered election terms for supervisors which is why Skinner’s term was only for two years. This election will be for a four-year term starting in the beginning of 2010 and finishing at the end of 2013.) Vince Onorato, who previously served on the board from 2004 through 2007, running as an Independent in 2003, and as a Republican in 2007 where he lost to Skinner, is trying to get back on the Board by running as an Independent this year according to The Free Lance–Star’s Dan Telvock. ((Telvock, Dan. “”Vince Onorato is back…sort of”.” [Weblog Spotsy govt.-the odds & ends] 3 Mar 2009. The Free Lance-Star Publishing Co.. 6 Mar 2009 <>.))

In a county that has suffered (yes, that’s the right word) through nine tax increases in the past thirteen years, D.J. is pledging when he’s elected to not vote for an increase in taxes.

What is Gary Skinner’s philosophy on tax increases?

After Spotsylvania County finished doing reassessments last year, the proposed equalization rate — the rate at which citizens, on average, would see no increase on their taxes — was $0.56 per $100 of assessed value. In the proposed budget by the County Administrator, the proposed tax rate was $0.62/$100. When it came time to advertise a tax rate, Gary Skinner proposed to advertise a $0.65/$100 tax rate, a rate two cents even higher than the County Administrator’s proposed rate. Five of the other supervisors barked at this idea, and instead the county advertised a $0.62 rate. ((Telvock, Dan. “Spotsy faces budget pain,” The Free Lance–Star 30 Mar 2008. The Free Lance-Star Publishing Co.. 6 Mar 2009 <>.))

When it came time to vote on the tax rate, one supervisor made a motion to set the tax rate at the equalization rate of $0.56, Gary Skinner voted against this motion repeatedly. Skinner then made a motion to set the tax rate at $0.62 — the maximum rate that the county had advertised — and this motion passed 4 to 3. ((“Board of Supervisors Meeting, April 10, 2008, Minutes.” Spotsylvania County Home Page. Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors. 6 Mar 2009 <>.))

After Gary Skinner voted for over a 10% tax increase for Spotsylvania County citizens in a single year, and the county was still running a deficit due to the economy and the county’s spending, Skinner was the lone supervisor to vote against proposed spending reductions in September. Skinner, based on the report in The Free Lance–Star, openly proposed raising taxes in the middle of the year to make up for the deficit that had developed. ((Telvock. Dan. “Spotsy cutting budget again,” The Free Lance–Star 24 Sep 2008. The Free Lance-Star Publishing Co. 6 Mar 2009 <>.))

With Gary Skinner’s tax-and-spend policies documented, let’s turn to Independent-turned-Republican-turned-Independent (I think that’s the right order) Vince Onorato:

Back when Vince Onorato was on the Board in 2004, Onorato seconded and voted for a motion to set the tax rate at $0.87/$100, an one cent increase in taxes compared to the proposed $0.86 equalization rate. Luckily, this motion was defeated by the Board 5 to 2. ((“Board of Supervisors Meeting, April 27, 2004, Minutes.” Spotsylvania County Home Page. Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors. 6 Mar 2009 <>.))

In 2005, Onorato voted to raises taxes again, this time from $0.86/$100 to $0.89/$100 . ((“Board of Supervisors Meeting, April 12, 2005 Minutes.” Spotsylvania County Home Page. Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors. 6 Mar 2009 <>.)) That was a 3.5% increase in taxes for county residents.

So, in two years, Onorato voted to raise county residents taxes by 4.7%. Unfortunately, only in one of those cases was a tax increase averted.

If Spotsylvania County residents don’t want to see their taxes go up once again, vote for D.J. McGuire in November.

I need video of this: Bobby Orrock got booed down by the House of Delegates.

Follow-up to my previous post. From The Washington Post:

This year, there were echoes — distant perhaps — of Webster vs. Clay as delegates debated clotheslines. The energy-saving bill, sponsored by Sen. Linda T. “Toddy” Puller (D-Fairfax), would have prevented rule-happy homeowner associations from banning clotheslines.

Taking aim at the bill as if wielding a rug-beater, Del. Robert D. “Bobby” Orrock Sr. (R-Caroline) said Northern Virginians might regret seeing clotheslines strung from “tree to tree to tree.”

“Go ahead and pass this, and then when your folks come screaming that this looks like a West Virginia subdivision,” Orrock began, but boos cut him off.

Christ, what an elitist.