On February 28, Fairfax County Executive Edward Long answered online questions regarding the proposed budget plan for the 2014 fiscal year. In total, 19 questions were asked. An excerpt of the Q&A is posted below. To read the full transcript, click here.
Tysons Engineer : Executive Long, What effect will the transportation bill have for 2014 transportation expenditures, and has this been incorporated in your analysis?
Edward Long : The transportation bill recently passed by the General Assembly and awaiting signature by the Governor would have a positive impact on funds available to address transportation projects in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia. Our budget was put together prior to this proposal by the state. Over the next few weeks, staff will review the details and make budget adjustments, if necessary.
Anonymous User : When you spoke with county residents, which services did they seem most and least concerned about cutting?
Edward Long : The common theme has been to protect those most vulnerable in our community and to preserve the high quality of life associated with Fairfax County, including our outstanding school system. In addition to having community engagement sessions and the opportunity to give online input, I also solicited direct feedback from community organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce. These groups affirmed the need to maintain the county’s strengths, and not take a budget axe to our core programs.
Anonymous User : With property values continuing to rise, why is it necessary to increase property tax rates? I am unequivocally opposed to such an increase.
Edward Long : As I mentioned in the budget, I feel that an investment is necessary to maintain the county’s strengths while we go through this difficult period in anticipation of the opportunities that will present themselves in FY 2016 and FY 2017. The bulk of this $.02 increase is necessary to fund the increase in our growing student population.
I’ve also included over $20 million worth of cuts in the budget, eliminated 91 positions, and will not be providing any pay raises to county employees.
I think this $.02 investment is necessary to prudently carry the county through FY 2014 and FY 2015.