Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gloucester, Virginia Public Hearing On Proposed $64 Million FY18 Budget

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“Taxes” One of the dirtiest words in the English language. The word “taxes” is not dirty because We the People don’t want to contribute our fair share of money to pay for necessary services and operations. The word is dirty to us because of the extreme level of corruption, fraud, waste and abuse that is associated with our tax dollars.

Our local government is recommending a 1.5 cent increase to the current 69.5 cents rate; raising the rate to 71 cents per $100 of assessed value, but they are advertising a possible rate increase as high as 73 cents in their recent Public Hearing announcement. According to the announcement, the Board of Supervisors will hold a Public Hearing on next year’s budget at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 in the T.C. Walker Education Center auditorium.

Before taxes are raised again, our local government should make the following changes:

1) Consolidate our local government and public school system departments. This one action will result in over a $1 million reduction in yearly operating costs.

2) Eliminate the County’s department of community engagement and return all functions to social services, information technology, county administration, the school system and the various nongovernmental organizations the department facilitates. This action will save the taxpayers close to $400,000 per year.

3) Build our own libraries and health department space so the taxpayers can stop renting them. Owning our health department space will also result in an $80,000 yearly revenue stream from rent payments received from the state. All together this move will result in a yearly savings of around $210,000 and create $50,000 or so in additional revenue after expenses.

4) Limit the number of full time animal control employees to two, redirect animal control response calls through the Sheriff’s department dispatcher and cease all patrolling by animal control employees. This will result in a savings of well over $100,000 annually.

The changes we have outlined will result in a combined saving of around $1.7 million per year and create an $80,000 revenue stream. Now it is time for you, the taxpayers and citizens of Gloucester County, to decide what our local government will do. Continue to raise taxes or cut unnecessary costs and get our financial house in order? 

The March 29th Public Hearing will be the ideal time to let those who work for us know it is time to drain the swamp and set things straight. Remember, three supervisors and three school board members are up for reelection this November. Hold them accountable.

The following is a SlideShare presentation of this year’s proposed line item budget, proposed capital expenditures and a list of the nongovernmental organizations asking for tax dollars. It is best viewed in “full screen” mode. Just click on the diagonal double arrows. 

Public Hearing Agenda:

MARCH 29, 2017
07:00 P.M.


Complete E-Packet

I.Call To Order & Roll Call

II.Invocation & Pledge of Allegiance

III.Introductory Comments – Phillip N. Bazzani – Chair

IV.Proposed Tax Rates and Budget Synopsis – J. Brent Fedors – County Administrator

V.Public Hearing on Proposed FY 2018 Budget
Link to proposed budget

VI.Public Hearing on Proposed Tax Levies for Calendar Year 2017
Supporting Document

VII.Board Comments

VIII.Review of Budget Adoption Schedule – J. Brent Fedors – County Administrator
FY 2018 Budget Calendar

Public Hearing Notice:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Don Mitchell's Response To Our Zoning Is Theft Article

Zoning exists (or should) to protect the property owners of a paryticular neighborhood or community. People buy property zoned a particular way to insure that their property investment will retain value. Neighborhoods and the people who live in them are entitled to expect that the value and enjoyment they have in their property will not willfully be destroyed to advantage another. Zoning set consistent with the desire of a neighborhood should NOT be changed or scrapped to benefit a well-connected individual or some government goal (AFFH comes to mind). The bigger problem we property owners face today is the government changing established community zoning patterns on which the value of our properties depend to benefit either those well-connected individuals (developers) or the theoretical goals of bureaucrats (aka “planners”) to the disadvantage of the majority of area property owners and taxpayers.


Above is Don's response to the article where we said Zoning Is Theft.  I have known Don for a few years now and have the highest respect for him.  Don has some great points.  But I still disagree with him on this issue.  Market conditions can easily be set up where government does not need to be involved.  Excepting any area of socialism means you must except all areas of socialism.  Whenever government gets involved, nothing ever goes according to it's original plans.  That is socialism.  The premise of socialism always sounds good on the surface, but it never works out that way.

  Freedom to do what one wishes with one's property was the fundamental rights according the  framers of this nation, so long as it was lawful.  This is no longer the case.   That means government has stolen our rights.  We did not need new codes and zoning to protect rights we already had.  We lose rights every time new codes are written.  Now nearly everything is illegal according to some obscure code written by someone who was not representing the people when it was written.  

  The answer is very simple, tear up the codes for zoning or government needs to step up and start paying up.

Gloucester County, Virginia Blue Collar Government Employees’ Pay Neglected Like The Rest Of Our Infrastructure

The following SlideShare contains the salaries of all of our local government employees. Our local government appears to have neglected our blue collar employees for years by not investing the money to pay them competitive wages. 

  Heck they squirm when they have to spend money to make sure our blue collar employees have safe and adequate work environments. Our white collar employees have seen far more significant pay increases over the last five years than our blue collar employees and they are slated for pay increases again this year. Maybe it is time for our white collar employees to make do with what they are currently earning and raise our blue collar employees’ wages to a competitive level. This is just another area of Gloucester’s infrastructure that has been neglected for years and continues to be neglected today. Tell our Supervisors enough is enough. And don’t forget to remind them this is an election year for three of them.
SlideShare is best viewed in full screen mode. Just click on the double arrows.

Gloucester's Over Inflated Budgets?

If you listen to the present board of Supervisors and the present county administration, these folks are doing everything they can to keep taxes down.  Are they?

  Let's look at the facts.  On the one hand, I would say they are trying to keep present costs within control.  But they are not really doing anything to cut taxes by cutting out ridiculous government programs they like to tell us are services.  Zoning, not a service.  Planning, not a service, building and codes, not a service.  These departments should be cut and the money returned to the people.

  There is also too much fluff in many departments that one has to question if that many people are really needed to run them?  Present budget being presented to the board is maintaining present level so called government services that we simply do not need nor want.  The school board is the biggest factor in tremendous waste.  Way too many administration personnel that I would love to see fully justified and not with lip service that means little to nothing but sounds good.

  We have problems with department heads that earn in the neighborhood of one hundred thousand a year that could not and I will repeat, can NOT transfer those same skills to the private sector and earn even close to those wages.  Something is horribly wrong here.  I am not knocking the people in those jobs, most do a great job.  But when the same skills pay much lower in the private sector, then we have a major disparity going on in our government.

  We have people in government who are empire building and all at the expense of the taxpayer.  If you want to build an empire, great, I am all for it, in the private sector.  Not at the cost of the taxpayer.  The school board comes to mind here as these folks have been wasting taxpayer dollars to the tune of millions that we have shown over and over on this site.  Did I say education?  I meant indoctrination.  Schools no longer educate.  They indoctrinate the children who will never question.  They might ask questions when they do not understand the directive, but they are taught to not question the directive.  Indoctrination costs more than education.  We see this reflected in our taxes as they continue to skyrocket each year.

  I get tired of the lip service paid each month at the county meetings and it turns out to be nothing more than lip service with no real actions.  Charging people a fee to get a business license?  That means you do not have the right to start a business without government permission.  Not exactly what the framers of our Constitution had in mind.   That also means you are paying a tribute to the government for the privilege of allowing you to put your savings at risk.  That's pretty sad.

  Freedom is gone as long as you are forced to pay for starting a business, maintaining your business every year, what you can do with your land, how and what size signs the government is going to allow you to put up, and then you have to collect taxes for the government at your expense?  Really?  Really!  We are being fooled and robbed at every turn and there is no end in sight.

  Yet everyone thinks this is all normal.  No one studies history to see this is all only about 70 years old and grew very slowly.  Our government officials thinks these concepts are normal and have not looked into history to see that it is not.  Nor will they.  In fairness, our board is comprised of some great folks that are decent people and a good time to talk to.  As individuals, I have the utmost respect for them.  As a collective, they are thieves as long as they continue to perpetrate these frauds against the taxpayers and business owners.  They each need to go back through history and return to the principles of our founding fathers.

  Tear down the services that are not services but instead government theft with no value.  You do not attract business by demanding tributes be paid to the government before the government even thinks about what they will allow and what they will restrict you with.  I don't care every locality does it.  I don't care the state and federal government allows it.  That does not make it right.  In fact, the federal courts have said it is illegal when it comes to planning and zoning when planning and zoning goes outside the purview of government owned lands and properties.  The same has also been said about business licensing.  But who listens to the courts?

  Some will argue that some of the services like zoning are good and protect the rights of private property.  I disagree and there are plenty of market conditions that can easily be put in place that do not require government interference.  These so called services are nothing more than socialist programs.  Socialist programs are not du jur where one gets to pick and choose what programs they like and what programs they do not like.  Under socialism, you get it all like it or not.


  I post this yet again for those who question any of the freedoms argued above.  Before you make one single argument, know your facts first.  The above starts to give you some of those facts.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Gloucester County, Virginia Teachers’ Pay Neglected Like The Rest Of Our Infrastructure

The following SlideShare contains the salaries of all of our teachers and other school system employees. Our local government and school board have neglected our teachers by not investing the money to pay them competitive wages. This is just another area of Gloucester’s infrastructure that has been neglected for years and continues to be neglected today. Tell our Supervisors and School Board members enough is enough. And don’t forget to remind them this is an election year for six of them.

Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman Has Not Answered My Coleman Bridge Toll Letter

Gloucester, VA - The Coleman Bridge.  Picture taken for the new Gloucester Links & News website.

On February 19, 2017 I sent Virginia Congressman, Rod Wittman a letter via his government website. The topic of my letter was removal of the toll from the George P. Coleman Bridge. (See letter below) As of the publishing of this article; the only response I have received from Congressman Wittman is the automatic reply email that is also shown below.

While I understand Congressman Wittman is a busy man; I do not understand why I have not received some sort of official reply from him or his staff. Maybe it is because there are not enough people in Gloucester and the rest of the Middle Peninsula who want the toll removed from the bridge.

If you find the toll on the Coleman Bridge unacceptable and want to see it removed sooner than later; take a few minutes to call or write to Congressman Wittman and let him know how you feel. His contact information can be found below.

13 News Now Reporter, Niko Clemmons is interested in speaking with people about the toll on the bridge. Contact him at and on Facebook at Niko Clemmons

Let your voice be heard.

Kenny Hogge, Sr.
Gloucester Point, Virginia
Helping To Drain The Swamp

Letter to Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman:

Hello Congressman Wittman,

I am contacting you because of my concerns about the toll on the George P. Coleman Bridge and how it has and continues to stifle growth in Gloucester County and other areas of the Middle Peninsula.

After considerable research and conversations with numerous people, I understand; when it came time to replace the bridge during the 90’s, there was a concerted effort, by the local governing bodies to our south and parties here in Gloucester, to prevent the federal government from becoming involved in the replacement process, to the extent that reinstating a toll on the bridge was the only option to cover replacement costs.

I further understand; our southern neighbors’ objectives of reinstating a toll were to stifle the unprecedented growth that occurred in localities north of the bridge when the toll was removed from the old bridge. I further understand; our southern neighbors supported reinstating a toll to stop people from moving from those areas to the Middle Peninsula. I further understand; there were certain influential persons in Gloucester who wanted growth stifled because they want Gloucester turned into a retirement community. I further understand; some players wanted growth stifled until such a time as they too would be able to profit from growth in Gloucester. I further understand; if the federal government had been included, in the same manner as it was in the replacement of two bridges in West Point, there would not have been a need to implement the toll.

When the Coleman Bridge replacement plan was presented to the residents of Gloucester, they were left with the impression that the toll would be required for 20 to 25 years. A year or so ago we were informed the toll will remain for another 20 to 25 years. Within the last few months Gloucester Supervisor, Phillip Bazzani has made efforts to have the toll restructured to relieve some of the financial burden the toll primarily places on Gloucester residents. I appreciate Mr. Bazzani’s efforts, but feel traveling the path through the Commonwealth process will result in minimal to no relief.

Whether or not my understandings of how the toll came about are correct or not is basically dependent on whose version of the story one chooses to believe. There is one thing everyone seems to agree on; the swing span portion of the bridge is necessary only because of the Navy ships that navigate the York River.

I am wondering what the possibility would be of moving legislation through Congress, in which the Navy pays off any outstanding debt and assumes permanent financial responsibility of at least, the costs of operations, maintenance and replacement of the span portions of the bridge; or better yet, of the entire bridge.

If such a shift in financial responsibility occurs, there will no longer be any justification for the toll that has stifled growth in a large portion of the Middle Peninsula. It will also relieve the residents of Gloucester County and other affected localities of an unnecessary tax and restriction on travel.

Thank you for the good job you have been doing and for your time.

Kenny Hogge, Sr.
Gloucester PointVa.

Automatic reply from Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman:

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Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman’s contact information:

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