Roanoke Media and County Supervisors Getting It All Wrong

Roanoke media recently ran with the headline that Roanoke County Supervisors are “trimming financial contributions to non-profits”.  This headline would make you think that Roanoke County Supervisors are being fiscal stewards of the people’s money.  I wish this was the case.

First of all let’s put everything in perspective.  Roanoke County will be passing a budget of 187 million dollars which is 3 million dollars MORE than it was last year.   Yes you heard correctly – so what about all of this “Trimming”?

Well let me explain:  In the 187 million dollar budget, there is a little over 2 million dollars that is allocated for “outside agencies”.  These agencies that are not officially part of the Roanoke county government – organizations ranging from the Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce to the Roanoke Symphony.

Of the over 2 million dollars spent on these outside agencies, about 1.7 million is contractual or dues memberships that cannot be cut this fiscal year.  The remaining spending is totally discretionary spending, which was 386,700 last fiscal year.  This amount could be totally eliminated or reduced at the Boards discretion.  The only thing that the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors did last night was to reduce what we spent from last year ($387,600) to $338,600 for this year – which is how we get to a reduction of $40,000+ dollars or 11%.

In summary, the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors is reducing spending in one specific category of its budget by a little over $40,000 from last year, however, The overall Roanoke County budget is increasing by 3 million dollars, and the headline that is being carried in the local media is how we are “trimming our budget…..”

Only in government can you increase your budget by 3 million dollars but since you reduce one item from last year you can act as if you are being fiscally responsible. This is the reason I have voted NO on the 15 million dollar of increases in Roanoke County budgets since I have been elected.

“It is time for transparent and honest government that protects the values and wallets of its citizens”

Al Bedrosian

Roanoke County Board of Supervisors – Hollins District