ICYMI: The state shirks its responsibility

My latest op-ed, title above, appeared in The Virginian-Pilot last Thursday. I, along with hundreds of others, attended the State of the Region presentation last Tuesday. The presentation itself highlights some of the economic trends in Hampton Roads. The entire 200+ page report is available on the website of the ODU Economic Forecasting Project.

While the report will provide data for future columns, Dr. James Koch’s mention of the Dillon Rule, near the end of his presentation, easily caught my attention. The fifth chapter of the report provides solid evidence that Virginia has balanced its budgets on the backs of the localities, who, because of the Dillon Rule, have few tools available to them to handle the shortfall. This statement was dead on:

The oftentimes neglected flip side of the Virginia General Assembly assuming all power and parceling out limited authority to local governments is that it means the state has to be willing to assume responsibility for cities, counties and towns having the resources needed in order to effectively govern their communities.

That sentence should be required reading for every member of the General Assembly who supports the Dillon Rule.

My column appears in The Virginian-Pilot on Wednesdays (unless something comes up, in which case it’s Thursdays). You can see the columns as they are published here, or navigate to them from the PilotOnline.com homepage by clicking on Opinion and then choosing my name at the bottom of the dropdown list. You can also see the columns by liking my Facebook page. Although my column appears weekly, I am not and have never been an employee of The Virginian-Pilot.


4 thoughts on “ICYMI: The state shirks its responsibility

  1. Vivian – The pie percentages does not ecomapss the entire picture. To really ascertain whether or not the Commonwealth is “shirking” also should be compared with gross revenue outflows to the Commonwealth versus the Commonwealth total revenues returned to the city, in this case Norfolk. Additionally, the Commonwealth financial returns that are regionally beneficial should be apportioned to the applicable stakeholders.

      1. Sorry Vivian, I didn’t explain myself well. The numerical chart that was represented are subsequently graphically displayed in a “pie chart” format. Granted, the report didn’t include germane financial comparison data of municipal outflows to inflows. I personally appreciate the journalistic approach to your editorial. I was only commenting that I felt I needed to research additional information for more insight to the level of the Commonwealth’s redistribution methodologies. If my comment was construed to be faulting your contribution, it was my failing to communicate clearly; on the contrary, your editorial was accurate and expertly composed.

        1. I wasn’t fishing for compliments – honest 😉 but I’ll take ’em 😀

          I see what you’re saying about the the inflows. Perhaps the Auditor of Public Accounts, who provided the info in the chart there, could provide that data?

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