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Showing posts from June, 2016

FOIA Absurdness Hits a New Level

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Last week, the Board of County Supervisors passed a resolution whereby elected officals could no longer use taxpayer funds to pay for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, which passed 7-1, Supervisor Pete Candland being the lone dissenting vote. This stemmed from Supervisor Candland's use of taxpayer-funded FOIA requests as a weapon of retribution towards his colleagues on the BOCS because of a FOIA request he had received. It makes sense that elected officials should not get this special privilege, since the everyone in the general public has to pay for the cost of their own FOIA requests.
Much about this issue has been covered excellently by The Prince William Muckraker and Moonhowlings, so I encourage anyone who wants more background to visit these blogs.
A few days after the vote, Supervisor Candland sent an e-mail blast where he spins the vote about FOIA requests to be some sort of apocalypse for county residents and attempts to play the victim: The Board also passed a…

NYTimes: When You Dial 911 and Wall Street Answers

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With all of the comments in response to our last post about Supervisor Candland's failed library privatization scheme, I thought I would share the New York Times article , "When You Dial 911 and Wall Street Answers," that I read this morning.

While this article may not be about privatization of libraries or about Prince William County, it is about the outsourcing of critical governmental functions to the private sector. In this article, the outsourcing of emergency services to private equity firms is discussed and the consequences -- slow response times, stealing of supplies from hospitals, patients going bankrupt from ambulance services. Yes, Prince William County has had its own debate about emergency services, particularly about merging operations of volunteer forces with the Prince William Department of Fire and Rescue, but, luckily, there has not, YET, been the suggestion of privatization.

Any sort of outsourcing of a major government operation to a private corpora…

The Book is Thrown at Supervisor Candland on Library Privatization Scheme

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In our absence from posting here at The Counts, we have have been impressed by the coverage of issues by The Prince William Muckraker, particularly going on the offensive against hypocrisy by Supervisor Pete Candland and his associates.

There has been a lot remarked about this week in the Prince William blogosphere regarding his FOIA requests of fellow supervisors paid for with taxpayer dollars and by his associate Mac Haddow. I entreat you to read about it on The Prince William Muckraker and Moonhowlings. Particularly entertaining is Supervisor Candland's stream-of-consciousness and close-to-tears rant about being the subject of FOIA requests himself and his defense of Mac Haddow here (go to 3:31:58).

But, back, to the subject at hand -- Supervisor Candland's rouse to outsource library operations to a private corporation to save $3 million dollars a year, which amounts to 0.5% of the county budget. There should always be a concern when it is considered to outsource a core go…