Post written by Grafton deButts, Vice President of Membership & Government Affairs
Loudoun is experiencing a housing affordability crisis, a problem that will require significant public and private sector resources to address.
Yet, while Loudoun County has rightfully made this issue an increasingly higher priority in recent years, the proposed FY22 budget offers no dedicated funding for housing that Loudoun will need to leverage tens of millions of dollars of state, federal and private sector investments to address this need.
Significant, sustainable, and dedicated funding that is indexed to the growth of the County will be crucial to ensure that Loudoun is able to begin providing a true continuum of housing. Because of that, we ask that this Board of Supervisors identify dedicated funding for housing that will sustain and grow with the County.
We also fully support the proposed increase to our human services and safety net organizations. Their expenses and demand for services continue to increase due to the pandemic, while the money raised through fundraising is on the decline. While we recognize there is a budgeted increase in the grant process, we ask that the County continue to monitor the necessary funding required to maintain these organizations through the pandemic and as our county continues to expand.
Lastly, we would like to commend the Board of Supervisors and the leadership of County Administrator Tim Hemstreet. Annually our government receives state, national and international recognition such as the 2020 ICMA Certificate of Distinction for the use of data in a variety of decision making. This shows taxpayers that decisions are data-driven and thoughtfully arrived at to ensure the best possible outcomes. That is why Loudoun County remains one of the top counties to work for in all of Virginia.
Yet, the rush to move the County towards collective bargaining for government employees seems contrary to this award-winning approach to decision making. This Board and County Administration have already proven their commitment to support and reward our professional staff through the Comp and Class study because the data proves that this is in the taxpayers’ best interest.
Studies have also concluded time and time again localities with public sector unions see an increase in public debt and a decrease in their business climate index. The cost and distraction of pursuing collective bargaining are not in the taxpayers’ best interests and nor benefit the long-term interest of our community.
We ask that this Board of Supervisors provide adequate investment towards the needs in our community and be accountable to the tax dollars entrusted to their stewardship by avoiding unnecessary political distractions that increase costs while providing zero net gain to our citizens.
Grafton deButts, Vice President of Membership & Government Affairs, Loudoun Chamber