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King William: Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics

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In politics you win some and lose some, it’s the nature of the endeavor. However, at the latest King William B.O.S Budget meeting it was beyond anything I have witnessed in the years I have been a watchdog on government.

Supervisors Moskalski ( Sweet Hall ), Hodges  ( West Point) and Greenwood ( Aylett)  displayed today that they apparently have not an ounce of shame. Rewarding their public sector employee  base is just in their nature, but to do it with local school officials knowingly presenting falsehoods  to every person in the room went beyond what should ever be considered acceptable.

In the April 19th issue of the  Country Courier  newspaper , the King William T.E.A Party will present another ½ page paid ad detailing the misleading claims public school officials here in King William have become notorious for. We cite in our paid ad the actual number of full time employees ( FTE’s) in the schools going all the way back to 2005. The numbers taken from Virginia Dept. of Education’s  website are as follows

2005-06   316                   2009—10   327                   2012—13       322                    2014—15          327

 DO YOU SEE ANY REDUCTION OF THE CLAIMED 42 FULL TIME POSITIONS ?

The  morning began with Mangohick Supervisor Bob Ehrhart calling out the Schools’ repeated claims that they had eliminated 42 positions over the last 6-8 years. The Finance Director, there to answer the Boards budget question’s,   at first pretended indignation when Supv. Ehrhart said she had misled the public and the Board with this claim.

Her next tactic was to admit to two errors she had made, then  she moved onto how the State counts FTE positions differently than the county does, then the years on the Virginia Department of Education’s website ( where we found the numbers for our paid ad ) were different than the years she had in her hand.

At that point she then launched into a litany of antidotal blather about the number of ELS ( English as a second language students) and other points clearly intended to hide the central question at hand: the falsehood that the schools had eliminated the 42 positions.

When it was all said and done she could not account for more than at best a fictitious  17-19 positions eliminated– and by her own admission –most of them had  already been  added back. She never was able to escape what was crystal clear to everyone in that room—-the claim to having eliminated 42 positions that local school officials have touted for the last 4 years is patently false. This untruth was ripped bare exposing to anyone in that room, including the 5 members of King William’s Board that they and the public had been  and continue to be  lied to.

The school system had requested an additional 1.2 million dollars in local funding of which some        $950,000  or  80 %  was going directly into the pockets of pay raises and reimbursement for increasing health insurance premiums.

This isn’t  just about the bloated public sector, or the factual matter of how the salaries and fringe benefit costs are drowning local tax coffers. No it is about a much more disturbing issue; the lack of  integrity of top school officials including the School Board itself.

Not only  do they tolerate the embellishment of the facts , they openly support taxpayers being fed misinformation and distorted costs if that’s what it takes to get the money. I have yet to hear one of them stand up and say….” We shouldn’t be doing this”

In spite of clear evidence that they had been lied to,  Supvervisors. Moskalski, Greenwood & Hodges,   went ahead and approved the entire requested increase. Ehrhart & Hansen were the only ones to challenge the falsehoods being perpetuated to squeeze the additional money out of King William’s taxpayers.

Perhaps the schools and the school board can take a victory lap, but each of them know the manner with which they secured the additional funds was a theft by deception, facilitated by 3 elected officials that knowingly participated in fraud.

What is wrong with politics ?  Anyone in that room today witnessed it firsthand.

 

Bob Shannon  King William

 

3 Responses to “King William: Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics”

  1. Kelley Pinkston says:

    Mr Shannon-

    Thank you for posting the truth about the “Lies” perpetrated by your local county government.
    With state and federal debt in the billions and trillions, taxpayers must take their fight to local government to stop the insane tax and spend policies choking local property owners.

    Here in Hanover County the dinosaurs who run the county are building yet another library- number 31. In a county of 105,000 residents. Brick and Mortar libraries are extinct. Hanover has five existing libraries while the future of reading is online- Nooks, Kindles, I-Pads, and e-readers.Why do you need a new library when YOUR I PHONE 7 has every piece of information ever published in the world on it? Every school in Hanover County- all 25 of them- has an age appropriate library for the children. Yet the Friends of Atlee Library who demanded a new library in the Atlee district – the 2nd public library in Mechanicsville- LIED that Atlee library was a full all the time and desperately needed new space. So citizen watchdogs went there with their cameras and filmed an almost empty building at various times with more staff than patrons. LIES and more DAMN LIES in order to spend millions of taxpayers’ dollars on another yet another Hanover County Folly.

    Hanover’s new budget is $440 million dollars up from the $375 million budget a few years ago when Tea Party darling Wayne Hazzard took the Board of Supervisors by storm demanding spending be cut. Know what Mr. Hazzard’s big achievement is? An Outlet Mall on Lewistown Road and I-95 just a stone’s throw from his commercial property on Route 1 and Lewistown Road. Which is now for sale. Hmmm.

    Outlet malls are DEAD. In case the Dinosaurs on the Hanover County Board of supervisors don’t know it- Amazon is killing RETAIL especially outlet malls. And yet the county is spending money they don’t have- the future tax revenues from the outlet mall which will never be successful- to build bike paths and a new library.

    Lies and More Damn lies from the Hanover County Board of Supervisors. That outlet mall will never produce the tax revenue the county and state ( VDOT) have invested in it today.

    Go to Stony Point Fashion Park and walk around- it appears as a ghost town with a significant percentage of empty retail space.

    Amazon killed Brick and Mortar Retail. But the Hanover County Supervisors renegotiated the defaulted bonds for the developers in closed door meetings with a Hanover County economic development director who is now GONE and gave away the future taxes to the developers in order to build an outlet mall in Hanover County.

    The lesson here for citizens is beware of the Public Private Partnerships your county government is dragging you into- they will privatize the profits and publicize the debts. Economic Development and Community Development Boards and Bonds are dangerous code words in these challenging economic times.

  2. Eddie says:

    Hey Rhu Harris: Another one bites the dust for your outlet mall. How many aren’t coming now?

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-bebe-stores-restructuring-idUSKBN17N1AG?il=0

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    Tom White Says:

    Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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