By Alex Bridges
Cindy Bailey is running as an independent candidate in the election for District 4 on the Board of Supervisors. Bailey is retired as jail captain for the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office.
Candidates were asked a series of questions. Bailey gave the following responses:
Q. What would you do as supervisor to cut spending of local revenue?
A. We need to run the county like a business. There are several essentials to a successful business that I will advocate for as your supervisor: fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints, by living within our means; providing core services of government in the most efficient way; keeping up to date maintenance and repair work on our current infrastructure so buildings are not replaced prematurely. I believe a line-by-line analysis of our budget will show possible areas of excess or duplication. Reserve funds could be used to pay on our debt instead of increasing your taxes. I would hold the line on the budget until the above process is completed. I will vote against using outside consultants for staffing studies.
Q. How would you as supervisor handle unfunded mandates handed down by state and federal government agencies?
A. Any mandate from the state or federal government shall be prioritized before choosing to spend on capital improvement projects such as new buildings that could have waited or can wait. We must research, communicate and gather as much information about potential "mandated" issues before spending tax dollars haphazardly. In other words, we must do our "due diligence" when deciding how tax dollars are spent. We must communicate with all department supervisors and trust their vast experience and knowledge on the issue to help guide us in our decisions. In addition, by telling the truth about the difference in what is mandated and what this board wants to do.
Q. How would you spend any extra tax revenue the county may see this fiscal year?
A. I would insist our current school maintenance and repair issues are addressed. According to the former school superintendent, there are more than $9 million dollars worth of maintenance and repair work needed on our current school buildings. Two roofs need replacing, Peter Muhlenberg Middle School and Signal Knob Middle School respectfully, and were urgent and paramount issues during a joint board meeting in October 2012. These roofs are not scheduled to be replaced, according to the former school superintendent until 2015-2016 for Signal Knob and 2017-2018 for Peter Muhlenberg. Where is the accountability? Then, use extra revenue to pay down the debt, not increase taxes to pay our bills.
Q. In what county government agencies or departments do you feel need spending reductions? What agencies need increased funding?
A. As I stated previously, I believe that a line-by-line analysis of our budget will show possible areas of excess or duplication. Until I have access to all this information, I think it would be inappropriate for me to judge or publicly comment on which government agencies or departments should have spending reductions or increased funding.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org