Residents weigh in on Chesterfield budget

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Paying his property taxes is like a walk in the park for Matoaca resident Brandon Bishop. But remove at least $40 million from the county's budget, and he's second guessing the stroll.

"I would say it's scary just because you don't know what's going to happen," said Brandon.

He knows something's got to give and he's hoping it's not customer service or public safety.

"If someone's hurt, injured- people have got to be there to respond to it," he said.

But just because it's needed doesn't mean it can't change.

"We need to evaluate of that service, education and public safety," said Dale District Supervisor Jim Holland.

Holland says every county service is under the microscope.

"This is an excellent opportunity, positively, that we can look at what is the true cost of what we are doing and can we improve on that," said Holland.

That's why supervisors are bringing the 2011 budget straight to tax-payers.

"I feel that this is something that is long overdue in terms of being a better process for the county and that the citizens get a chance to engage in that process on the up front versus later in the process," said Marlene Durfee, Matoaca District Supervisor.

The Matoaca Supervisor is getting feedback. She and Holland have listened to residents talk taxes, the decline in real estate assessments and the possibility of jobs on the chopping block.

"We believe in open, honest government," said Holland.

And now that Brandon knows this is a pivotal time for the county he plans on speaking out.

"I live in Chesterfield County; I need to be part of Chesterfield County," Brandon said.

If you want to speak out on the Chesterfield Budget there are two meetings this Thursday, one at the Meadowdale Library, the other at Elizabeth Davis Middle School. Both are from seven to 8:30. You can find the list of days and times for all the budget meetings by clicking here.

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