On September 5 the Sun Gazette endorsed Katie Cristol, one of my two opponents for County Board. While the endorsement itself is unremarkable, the timing of the announcement–exactly two months before the November 5 general election–is.
True. The Sun Gazette has already endorsed several other local candidates, but they are running uncontested races. Endorsing candidates in contested races at the outset of campaign season looks to me like an ill concealed effort to cut off debate on such important issues confronting the County as:
- real estate assessment hikes
- overcrowded schools
- congested roads
- failing storm water infrastructure
- loss of tree canopy
- growth of heat trapping hardscape
Yet Sun Gazette editor Scott McCaffrey is himself disgusted with the performance of County Board on the single most important issue confronting the County, namely the budget.
In a recent editorial, he warned readers not to be “fooled by [the County’s] budget ballet.” The editorial observed that the slew of budget cuts proposed in this year’s School Board and County budgets . . .
are part of a plan to foment community outrage in order to both grease the wheels for a higher tax rate (to ‘protect’ the programs from the chopping block) and to shield from public scrutiny a host of other government operations that probably could stand a little slicing and dicing, but which top officials want to protect from the budget guillotine.Sun Gazette Editorial, 4/11/19
The only thing I can conclude from McCaffrey’s about face is that he either has a short memory or has somehow concluded that Katie doesn’t share responsibility for the County’s “budget ballet”. Rest assured that I harbor no such illusions.
If elected, I will:
- Say NO to more tax rate increases and a recently authorized County Board pay grab.
- Preserve green space and emphasize basic services like: streets, schools, libraries and public safety.
- Promote transparency by requiring publication of official documents at least 72 hours before board and commission meetings.
- Provide a voice on County Board for all taxpayers.
As a 15-year Westover resident, long-time civic activist and current member of the Transportation Commission, I have both the experience and independence to promote these reforms.