Nelson County Board of Supervisors Update
By Ernie Reed, Supervisor Central District 5.28.19
Without a doubt, one of the most important and most time-consuming jobs of the Nelson County Board of Supervisors is analyzing and approving the yearly county budget. The amount of money that county departments and staff will receive and the amount of financial responsibility that we as citizens, residents and taxpayers will be required to bear literally affects everyone in the county.
The budget determines to a great extent both the quantity and quality of services that the County provides to us. It can also affect morale and set a tone for the entire county.
It is important to know that the bulk of the work is done by county staff. Every department has the responsibility of determining what it needs to do the best job possible for which it is responsible. Social Services; Law Enforcement, Public Safety and Emergency Services; Schools; Waste Management and Recycling; Planning, Zoning and Building; County Staff and Administration---these are just some of the services that must be determined relative to tax revenues given limited state and federal funding.
There are no tax increases proposed for the next fiscal year. This poses a particular problem as in some areas, including Wintergreen, many properties have decreased property assessments, which will decrease many individual tax bills. While we still project an increase in total revenues for the county, departments together have asked for more funding than the county staff believes is sustainable.
“What can we not afford to live without?” “What can we afford at all?” “What sacrifices can be justified?” These are just some of the questions that are asked over and over again, none of which have easy answers. And no answers can ever hope to please everyone.
During this budget cycle, citizens have made it clear how important school funding is to the total county equation. Rightfully so, given its breadth since school services touch almost every child and every family in the county. Nelson County Schools receive almost 45% of the total county spending yearly.
This underscores the importance of the public’s voice in this process. It is vital that what is important to you is communicated to the county’s elected officials. While letters and emails can pass the word, nothing is more effective than a concerned citizen or a group speaking directly to county supervisors and staff during the public comment period at the beginning of monthly Board of Supervisors meetings. Meetings are on the second Tuesday of each month. There is always an afternoon session at 2 pm. If there is much business at hand, an additional afternoon meeting may be scheduled for 7 pm.
Important County websites:
The monthly Board of Supervisors meeting agenda is posted as a link on the County Calendar: http://www.nelsoncounty-va.gov/events/category/county-calendar/
Board of Supervisor minutes of past meetings:
Draft 2019 -20 County Budget: