Our own Brian Trompeter has an article this week about how the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will be asked to award big annual raises — up 6 to 7 percent in some cases — to the workforce in the coming year.
(Government officials, in their unique way, sometimes try to argue that only part of that is actually a “raise”; the other part is a cost-of-living adjustment. Out here in the real world, any money that’s more than you were getting before qualifies as a raise.)
I get it, to a degree; like everybody, local governments are finding prospective employees scarce, for a variety of reasons. But simply throwing money at the problem is not likely to fix the underlying causes, although county officials can come right back and say that’s a job well above their pay grade. Fair enough.
But you’d better believe that homeowners in Fairfax, and in jurisdictions across the region, are going to get hit with the bulk of the cost of making gub’mint employees happy. Expect yet another year where property taxes are up significantly, owing both to increasing property assessments and to the unwillingness of local governing bodies to make substantive cuts to their tax rates.
And thus the cycle of inflation, dormant for so long, is revived and allowed to prosper. Throw in a pandemic that seems to be going nowhere in a hurry, coupled with the economic travails that have followed in its wake, and it looks like 2022 is going to be another rough year for those who serve as the human ATMs for local government.
ANOTHER SPORTS SEASON STARTS: Lordy, lordy: Our own Dave Facinoli will be out and about tonight as high-school basketball action gets started across the region.
That fall season sure went by quickly, although for at least one team in the Sun Gazette coverage area (that James Madison High School varsity football squad) it isn’t over quite yet.
- Scott McCaffrey