Letter to the Editor: New budget harsh blow to seniors, kids

Editor:

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “compromise” as the “settlement of difference by consent reached by mutual concessions.”

“Supervisor says budget reflects compromise” published on May 24 is an obvious attempt to buffer the public perception of those who prioritize personal agenda and political campaign rhetoric ahead of the best interest and well-being of a community dependent on their decision-making ability to provide quality services, particularly for the most vulnerable in our county – children, the impoverished, the elderly. The fiscal year 2018 budget is an exceptionally harsh blow to those particular groups and certainly void of any compromise or consideration where they are concerned. Just one example: there has been tremendous push back to provide the taxpayers of Conicville comparable emergency services. Are we willing to “compromise” the safety of our citizens?

The proposed FY18 budget included a full time economic development position to bolster and encourage more business, good jobs, increased tax base and opportunity for our Shenandoah County families. That budget was railed against and the economic development position cut. It was later reported that the same supervisors who previously blamed lack of economic development on policy and ordinance issues are now, in an election year, leading the charge for an economic development position. Why weren’t mutual concessions made in order to fund this desperately needed position as proposed in the budget? If the answer is to let the Industrial Development Authority pay for the position for two years so that it can later be cut when it’s presented in our county budget because of the unwillingness to pay for needs, as just witnessed, then I don’t consider that very forward thinking or strategic when there are very few departments, if any, that have the ability to quickly self-generate the revenue needed to maintain operation.

Our supervisors should be forward thinking, strategic and willing to truly compromise to put Shenandoah County in the best possible position for continued stability and success. The inability of our supervisors to compromise hit every county department pretty hard this budget cycle. The question now becomes; how much longer can we sustain this?

Katie Freakley, Woodstock

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