There were fireworks at the Augusta Board of Supervisors meeting Wednesday night.
Bob Stuart of the Waynesboro News Virginian was there and has the following stories:
- Appraisal company has drawn criticism
- Supervisors tighten belt for next year's budget
- Editorial: Put brakes on reassessment
I haven't even been able to write up this post about the meeting because my phone has not stopped ringing all day. There is a taxpayer revolt in the works and it began playing out at the Government Center as dozens of citizens supported the 16 speakers who addressed the Board.
Wednesday night's meeting was not an organized effort but, rather, citizens showing up at the first BOS meeting after receiving their new real estate assessments. It was impressive ... a packed house ... and it presented something I have never seen before in my 8-9 years of attending those meetings -- citizens shouting at supervisors.
After listening to citizens, the board members began addressing the audience ... and for the first time in my memory citizens shouted back at the board from their seats or from the rear of the room. Folks around here are generally kind of laid back and easy going. Not last night. These assessments are messing with people's livelihoods ... and they aren't remaining silent.
On one side was Supervisor Tracy Pyles (D - Pastures) who wanted to roll back accessments to 2005 values to relieve the tax burden in economic hard times.
On the other side were the remaining six supervisors (2 Independents, 4 Republicans), some who were openly combative toward Mr. Pyles for his stand with the citizens, and who maintained they needed revenue to continue services in the county.
Next: 16 members of the Augusta County community speak up.