Quick Hits in Fairfax County
The County Executive released his proposed budget today. Quick facts: over 800 job cuts; flat spending for schools (as if); raising the tax rate by 12 cents to $1.04, which means homeowners pay about $14 more than last year, but “recommending” a $1.07 rate with a $33 increase for car registration.
I’m still going through the list of cuts and added fees, and I’ll have my thoughts and other reactions later.
In related news, Gatehouse II finally bit the dust. It never should have stayed around this long, and Chairman Bulova’s biggest reason against it was the current economic environment, and not the fact that it’s a bad deal and not a priority in any climate.
And following up on my story below, Bulova is browbeating Supervisors Smyth and Hudgins to switch their vote on widening I-66, reaffirming the project as a County priority. I’m appreciative that Bulova stepped in, even if the time to do that was before the vote. Still, a messy public battle between three Supervisors is a way to build consensus too, I suppose.
Lowell is holding out hopethat they don’t switch their vote, but I wouldn’t count on it. Judging by Lowell’s reaction, Smyth and Hudgins (who I’m told isn’t running for re-election) didn’t gain any ground with the anti-developer wing of the Democratic Party (where Smyth is currently weak), and switching back won’t put her back in the good graces of the majority of her constituents because she never should have voted against it in the first place.