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Stafford County's D.A.R.E. Day at Pratt Park was a well-organized, ambitious and memorable event for our fifth-graders. Despite intense heat and humidity, hundreds of adults were there to make it a great day.
As I walked among the many police officers, fire and rescue workers, educators and community service workers who poured time, effort and definitely sweat into this event, I wanted to thank each and every one!
Then I thought about the fact that these dedicated folks are the very people who not only protect our homes and property, teach our children and even save our lives, they are also the ones to bear the brunt of every local tax break and budget cut.
Not enough revenue collected to fund our needs? They fill the gap through lost pay and benefits and staffing cutbacks.
A few of our supervisors were in attendance--those tasked with setting tax rates and the county budget. I want them to know that I take no pleasure in receiving a smaller tax bill when the few dollars I save are virtually taken from the pockets of these hardworking public servants.
They deserve a competitive salary with earned pay raises and affordable benefits. We could never pay them what they are worth to us, but we can afford to do a whole lot better in Stafford!
Remember this when the next election rolls around. Cast your vote for the candidate who pledges to set a tax rate that will appropriately fund public services. Cut through the "no tax increases" rhetoric and dare to make a better choice!