Fri04182014

Last updateTue, 04 Nov 2014 9pm

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Supervisors warn of tough times ahead

King George Supervisors were back at last week’s meeting on Nov. 15, fresh from an annual Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) conference. They related anticipated tough times to come over the next couple of years after meeting with legislative analysts, state officials, and members of local governing bodies from across the state.

Supervisor Dale Sisson commented, “There was one definitive theme that came out, that we’ve had some tough budget times and we haven’t seen anything, yet. So fiscal year 2013 is looking to be extremely challenging. Some of the things that have contributed to the state’s budget being as good as it is this year are really one-time deals. And so we’re in for a real challenging time here in FY2013.”

Supervisor John LoBuglio agreed. He said, “Right now we’re looking at some very bleak years coming up because there’s over 30 mandates that the state wants to push down to the county level. And there really isn’t any funding that will come down with them. So, it’ll fix the state budget, but it will still be on the back of the state’s constituents within their county taxes. So that’s going to be a real rollercoaster over the next

couple years.”

Chairman Joe Grzeika concurred, adding, “The bottom line I came away with is we really need to pay attention to this upcoming legislative session. We need to watch the Governor’s budget. There are several major changes in the works, from consolidation that’s going to affect people out there like Dave Coman with Department of Social Services.”

Grzeika added, “The problem is we don’t know how, yet. We don’t know what to expect. So I think it’s going to be a very, very interesting session to watch. And we’ll get a new biennium budget, so it’s going to be complex.”

LOWER SCHOOL ENROLLMENT
Governor Bob McDonnell is set to release his biennial budget for the upcoming next two fiscal years, along with amendments to the current fiscal year’s budget, in the middle of December. 

It’s entirely unclear what the biennial budget will look like for state revenue for the locality. But it is already known that the Governor’s budget amendments for the remainder of the current fiscal year will mean lower state basic aid to schools to reflect lower enrollment than anticipated by the School Board budget.

As reported, King George division Superintendent Candace Brown last week on Nov. 14 told the School Board that the 2011-12 budget is based on state revenue for an average daily membership (ADM) of 4,165 students. That’s 90 more students than is indicated by the current ADM of 4,074 students.

That enrollment gap could add up to a shortfall of several hundred thousand dollars. But that is amount is speculative.

That’s because there has been no discussion at any School Board meeting of the amount of the expected revenue shortfall, nor where cuts have been or should be made.

In fact, the School Board has not received a financial report at any meeting in the current fiscal year that began on July 1.

With no financial information provided at School Board meetings, there is a question of whether there will be enough money to provide two percent raises to all school employees, planned to go into effect on Jan. 1.
There is only one regular meeting left prior to Renee Parker, Lynn Pardee and Dennis Paulsen leaving office at the end of December, along Brown, who is retiring. 

The current-year budget is only one of several issues they have so far left unresolved. The School Board  took action on Oct. 19 to hire an interim superintendent, but Stanley Jones’s pay and benefits have not been resolved by action to approve an actual contract.

John Davis, Ken Novell and Kristin Tolliver will join current members Mike Rose and Rick Randall to form a newly constituted School Board on Jan. 3 at 6 p.m. in the board room of the Revercomb building.

Phyllis Cook

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