March 31, 2014

Board of Supervisors

I have been reading some harsh criticism of the Fauquier Board of Supervisor’s legislative performance and decided to do a review of the years 2003 thru 2012.

My review was based on the belief that there are two aspects to the job the supervisors are elected to do:
1. Manage taxpayer-provided monies to assure maximum value for cost,
2. Manage the County’s infrastructure to benefit all of its residents equitably.

My financial review of the General Fund over the selected period revealed that the cost of governing Fauquier County increased 44% while our county’s population grew 15%. When factoring in population growth, the money spent for each Fauquier resident increased 26%, slightly less than the national inflation rate of 28%. It appears to me that the members have been doing a conscientious job managing our money.

Reviewing how they have managed our county’s infrastructure was a lot more daunting. Going through over 100 meeting agendas posted on the BOS website revealed to me the huge amount of work being done by these elected representatives of the people. What amazed me the most was the almost overwhelming variety of items this group has to deal with on a monthly basis.

Folks, these people are our neighbors! They are not career politicians focused on some nefarious political-career building scenario. We hired them to do this stuff part-time but they end up very often spending 30 to 40 hours per week on our business for what amounts to minimum wage. I guarantee you that no business enterprise the size of our county government is going to pay their managers as little as anything even close to minimum wage.

So how about we work with them in a civil and neighborly way to understand their point of view.

That is not to say that we should just agree with anything in particular that they say or do. What it means is that we should make the effort to provide them with reasoned information that can be used to educate them on costs and consequences we think they may have overlooked.

If you have any doubts about how difficult their job is, go to the BOS website and review some of the hundreds of Past Agendas posted there. Then imagine yourself in their position and ask yourself, would I want this job?

Rex A. Hoover