Browsing the Opinion page of Leesburg Today provides an interesting perspective on the people of Loudoun County. On the very same page we can find letters bemoaning the increase in fees for childcare at County facilities and letters complaining about property tax increases. It may be the case that some of our neighbors do not quite understand the relationship between the taxes they pay and the services they receive.
If a government at one point in time chooses to reduce revenues and increase costs, then that self-same government is going to have to increase revenues and decrease costs later. That's just how it works. In the past eight years, Loudoun has swung from keeping revenues artificially low and financing a lot of capital improvements through bonds to today, where the ongoing costs of maintaining the improvements made during the previous government have caught up to us, and the current Board of Supervisors has been forced to find new revenue and reduce spending on many County services.
As taxpayers and voters, we all have the right to complain to our newspapers and elected officials about things that bother us. But when we want both our cake, and the ability to eat it too, the complaints sound less like valid concerns and more like griping because we cannot have it all.
For those complaining about reductions in County services and maintenance in some areas, please recall that it would have only taken a few votes on the Board of Supervisors to pass a $1.15 rate, and perhaps preserve services at prices that are now found to be so critical. For those griping about the increases in their tax bills since four or five years ago, please remember the benefits you enjoyed from four or five years of fiscal irresponsibility at the County level without complaint. If you were truly concerned about the ultimate results, there was ample opportunity to advocate for greater financial responsibility during those past four or five years.
We are all in this together, we are all paying the price of Loudoun's choices during the period from 2002 through 2007. We are all seeing our costs increase, even as our services are limited. But this is what happens when politicians promise bread and circuses while building and developing without putting into place mechanisms for recovering the ongoing costs that accrue from that development. We, the voters of Loudoun, made the choice for irresponsible fiscal management by voting for and sustaining a government dedicated to it, and we, the voters of Loudoun, must take responsibility for our actions and inaction.
We must stand up, pay our bills, and show that we are responsible adults. Otherwise, we are no better than those officials who promised the moon only to deliver dust.