Prediction of mayhem premature:
The Prince George County Board of Supervisors voted to retain the current real estate tax rate of $.86 per hundred for this fiscal year. It was concluded that the need to raise the tax rate was premature. The BOS also passed a $116 million budget for the 2019 fiscal year.
The proposed property tax increase was being considered to fund one of the two new schools needed to replace obsolete schools. The two schools, built in the 60s, are configured in the campus style popular at the time. From a modern perspective the security issues are more than just a bit scary.
The need to expand the high school was also in the monkey brain of the county’s planners. The BOS however, was dealing with the expectation that we would be paying for one or two new elementary schools and would still need to float debt to pay for a new or vastly expanded high school. This prospect taxed the fiscal tolerance of the Board.
A general consensus had been reached to fund one new elementary school at this time, put the second elementary school on the back burner, and just plain not deal with the high school plant until absolutely, absolutely necessary.
As it happened the School Board was not prepared … no site, no architectural plan (except to build one just like North, the last elementary built in the county nine years ago), obviously no hard construction estimates, and a golly, let’s just build it and it will work out attitude.
The issue will re-emerge, but next year is an election year for three of the five Board of Supervisors as well as for three of the five School Board members. We will not likely be dealing with a property tax increase in an election year. But we will see if the possiblity of political mayhem will appear then.
The Prince George Board of Supervisors seemingly was of like minds when it came to one criteria required for the person appointed to finish the term in the vacant District 2 seat. That requirement was that the person would promise to not run for election to the seat in the November election. The general consensus of the Board is that by appointing a person with plans to run in the Fall it would be seen as an endorsement by the Board of Supervisors, giving that candidate an unfair advantage in the election.
Constituent satisfaction with sitting Supervisors is an ephemeral thing. Just ask Reid Foster the incumbent who lost his District 2 seat in the last election. So … being a sitting Supervisors may not be an advantage at all.
This is made murkier by the fact that Prince George County has two at-large voting districts with three Supervisors from District 2 and two Supervisors from District 1. It is hard to know who one’s constituents really are and it is impossible for constituents to know which Supervisor to hold accountable for actions taken or not taken.
The Prince George Democratic Committee is considering adopting a resolution supporting single member voting districts so there would be only one Supervisor (or School Board Member) elected from each precinct. The resolution is in the drafting process and may be considered for a vote at the Committee’s May meeting.
Any thoughts on the matter?
The Board of Supervisors voted on an interim appointee to the District 2 vacancy and the vote was unanimous for this retired law enforcement official and native Prince Georgian. His first appearance as a Supervisor will be at the Board meeting on April 14.
The Prince George Board of Supervisors continues to be short one Supervisor as it was unable to appoint an interim seat filler at the budget meeting last night as reported by @PrinceGeorgeVA.
As Xena wrote yesterday, Reid Foster, was not nominated last night. The three nominees were Bill Elliott, Marlene Waymack, and Sheila Minor. Again, none of the three received the required three votes. If Robertson and Gandel remain committed to Minor and this goes to the Circuit Court for the appointment, their steadfast support of Minor might be very persuasive to the judge.
Xena could not attend the meeting last night so we do not know who nominated Elliott and who voted for whom.