One of the most common complaints in politics is that people elected to office do not follow through with the polices and principles they campaign on.
Last week I signed on to the “contract with voters” on debt reduction, tax relief, fixing the budget process, and addressing the ten year backlog of road, storm drain, and flooding issues. I firmly commit to the following:
1) A proper budgeting procedure that does not automatically increase the budget because that is “the way it has always been done” or simply increases with the inflation rate, but instead looks at efficiencies and innovation to provide county taxpayers with the highest quality and most efficient services, that are truly the responsibility of government, at the lowest possible costs to taxpayers.
2) Provide real tax relief by making increased real estate assessments revenue neutral. If real estate assessments increase, the real estate tax rate should lower, allowing the taxpayer to be held harmless and not be penalized with a higher real estate tax bill. The Board of Supervisors continues to state that real estate taxes are not increasing when in fact, they are. The fact is that when real estate assessments increase even if the tax rate does not, the actual tax bill the homeowner receives increases – which by definition is a tax increase.
3) In the case that Roanoke County government or Roanoke County schools needs to borrow funds for a project, it will be required that the bond issue come before the citizens of Roanoke County in the form of a referendum. The referendum will detail the true cost of the bond issue to the taxpayers of Roanoke County. The tax payer should have the last say in whether they want the increased debt burden that they ultimately will have to pay for.
4) Finally, I am proposing that Roanoke County government should not spend hard earned taxpayer dollars to intervene into the private sector with projects such as installing broadband next to existing private sector broadband, or purchasing land on Woodhaven for development instead of allowing this to be accomplished by private sector developers. Instead, I am recommending that Roanoke County government concentrate on improving the lives of the average citizen by spending money on the 10 year waiting list of small neighborhood projects dealing with potholes, water drainage issues, and flooding infrastructure projects that are currently not the responsibility of VDOT or that take VDOT too long to respond to.
I believe these items are good policy, good for the future of Roanoke County, and I am officially making the same commitment to voters in the Windsor Hills district.
These policies are a direct response to the failure of our current Windsor Hills Supervisor to properly manage the financial affairs of Roanoke County and actually reduce the county debt as he claims to have done, but Roanoke County records prove otherwise.
If I am elected along with Supervisor Bedrosian, and Harry Griego, we guarantee there will be the three votes needed on the Roanoke County Board to pass these polices.