From: Charles & Linda McAndrew / 12808 Willow Glen Ct / Oak Hill, VA 20171
|To:||Mrs. Sharon Bulova
Chairman, Fairfax County
Board of Supervisors
|Mr. Michael Frey
Fairfax County Board Supervisor
Fairfax County Government
|Mr. Ilryrong Moon
Chairman, Fairfax County
Dear Mrs. Bulova, Mr. Frey and Mr. Moon:
COUNTY BUDGET PROPOSED INCREASES
We want to protest the increases in the budget that amounts to more than twice the rate of inflation. The County Executive has proposed for FY 2015 General Fund Disbursements totaling $3.704 billion which will increase $118.02 million or 3.29% over the FY 2014 Adopted Budget Plan. This is an increase over twice the current inflation rate which, for the first two months of 2014, is 1.3%. Of course, these increases over twice the inflation rate have been going on for at least 40 years that we have been involved in reviewing the budget of Fairfax County. The FY 2015 General Fund Direct Expenditures of $1.361 billion will increase by $51.89 million or 3.96% over the FY 2014 Adopted Budget Plan. Again, this is three times the current inflation rate. All of this data is quoted from the "County Executive Presentation of FY 2015 Advertised Budget Plan". Much of these increases are brought about in retirement and health benefits. Isn't it time for the county officials to change the retirement plan for new employees to a 401(k) type retirement plan and raise the retirement age to 62? The Federal Government changed their retirement plan for all new employees from the generous Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) in 1986. FERS is a hybrid retirement plan much less generous than the CSRS.
The County Executive has provided a list of $20 million in possible cuts. Supervisor Herrity has also provided a proposal to cut $34 million. Cuts can also be made in the School-Aged-Child-Care program (SACC) to make it more cost neutral for the county. Currently, the SACC program only recoups about 80% of its costs and the county pays $9 million according to the Fairfax County Times article titled, "County board weighs budget cuts as an alternative" dated March 28, 2014. The county should make the residents who use the SACC pay the full price! If the county officials cannot figure out what to cut in the entire $7 billion budget, then implement a 5% across-the-board cut.
Superintendent Garza has proposed a $98 million increase in the school budget, or 5.7%, which is more than three times the inflation rate. In an editorial in the Centre View newspaper dated February 6, 2014 titled, "Paying for the Schools", the writer mentioned that there are approximately 6,000 students of illegal parents in the Fairfax County School Public System (FCPS). We have been informed by the FCPS budget office that the average cost per pupil for 2015 is $13,535. For English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), the cost per pupil cost is $14,264. For Special Education, the cost per pupil is $21,721. If you take the average of the two cost factors ($14,264 + $21,721 = $35,985 divided by 2 = $17,992 x 6,000 students of illegal parents) and compute this you will get about $108 million that cost the FCPS per year. Then send the bill to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for reimbursement. This is a Federal problem and the Federal Government should be paying for this. This sure would cover the budget shortage in the FCPS. The FCPS officials should be reviewing why the higher officials in administration are receiving greater pay increases than the teachers? Why are their Cluster Directors? What purpose do they serve? Why do they need so many Assistant Principals? There could be some cost cutting in these areas! According to the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance (FCTA), between FY2000 and FY2015 public school spending and staff will have increased faster than enrollment. The school budget increased 32% while the school staff increased by 25%. In the meanwhile, enrollment increased by 22% during this period. Why is this happening?
We look forward to your comments.
Charles McAndrew and Linda McAndrew