I want to congratulate the Rappahannock News for outstanding investigative reporting and Mrs. Debra Knick for her courage to provide transparency, on the serious matter of rule of law, as it pertains to taxpayer use of funds, property taxation shortfalls and future collections. Mrs. Knick believes that the taxpayers deserve transparency and when there is an issue where county supervisors are not being responsive, Mrs. Knick is correct in addressing her concerns publicly. We deserve no less.
The rule of law is the bedrock of our Constitution and when communities have the same persons running a community for long periods of time, authoritarianism, ineptness and corruption begin to seep into decisions that impact taxpayers and the health of the community. In the case of Rappahannock we had a handful of people running the county for over 30 years. I am one of those taxpayers and I have been seriously impacted over the last three years, in the matter of land use and regular property taxation. One of my legal complaints is violation of due process, another bedrock of the Constitution.
The key to good governance is vision, leadership, oversight and transparency. The board of supervisors [BOS] and various citizen boards, until recently, had been overly dependent on this handful of persons and there had been minimal work on their part to ensure the financial health of the county. This has worked only because a large percentage of the county’s property tax revenues come from people who are only here on weekends, or have just recently retired and do not know how the county is being run.
Rappahannock County deserves much better from our elected and appointed officials and I thank you Mrs. Knick for alerting us by doing your job. I hope that the BOS and other appointed and elected officials will follow her example.