Having served a scant two years as county jailor, Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors candidate Cindy Bailey and her handful of supporters spent the past two years doing everything in their power to discredit the new regional jail and a host of other urgent projects. Their modus operandi was to stampede public hearings with strident demands for "transparency." They enjoyed local headlines billing themselves as civic-minded watchdogs policing a Board of Supervisors whose real intent was to heedlessly spend taxpayer money.
It made for better drama than the "Breaking Bad" series finale.
The lawsuits challenging jail funding brought by Bailey's supporter, Mark Prince, were repeatedly dismissed by the courts as baseless and frivilous. On the other hand, in a brilliant budgetary and educational move, the board approved a contract allowing the Charter House to provide desperately needed services for special needs students while footing the bill the old Edinburg School renovations, too. The courthouse renovation is another example of a project that didn't cost a taxpayer dime.
But somehow financial prudence never makes headlines. The board's professionalism was lost in howls of conspiracy from a group intent on heaping its frustration with the federal government on the heads of hard-working local officials and staff. That Bailey was passed over for nomination by her very own party ... that she and Prince may have irreparably damaged the county's reputation as a desirable place for businesses with their baseless obstructionist antics ... these too are consequences of their vaunted watchdog stance. Those lawsuits alone cost Shenandoah taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in bond repayment and attorney fees.
Little has been said about Bailey's own personal conflict of interest. A part-time bailiff, Scott Bailey is a Shenandoah County public safety employee. Potentially disqualified from voting on public safety issues, Cindy Bailey would be out of the decision-making loop a great deal of the time, making her a highly impractical choice for a board seat at the least.
Our citizens deserve so much more than lawsuits and histrionics. Vote Steve Shaffer this November.
Amy Voss-DeVito, Woodstock