“Dear Next Contestant” …$18 million?! No, no.

Dear Next Contestant –

Teachers in our county start at $45,000 per year. Needless to say, we need to attract and keep the very best teachers we can hire to make sure our kids get a good education.

Tea Party Republican Steve Schuh… That’s right, I read on Delegate Mike Smigiel’s website that Mr. Schuh is one of the founding members of the House of Delegate’s Tea Party Caucus. Check it out for yourself.

So Mr. Schuh, who is running for County Executive, wants to reduce property tax rates by 3%, reducing county revenues by $18 million.

If I can trust the calculator on my phone, $18 million divided by $45,000 is 400. That’s 400 new teachers we won’t be able to hire. Or about the same number of police officers and firemen.

What is he thinking? The answer is, he’s thinking that the county economy is growing so fast, by leaps and bounds, that we can lower the property tax rate, but still end up collecting more property taxes. That’s not what the county budget offices says, but okay, let’s allow Mr. Schuh his dream, however unrealistic.

Isn’t there something we could do with that $18 million to improve the quality of education and our other public services? The county says that there are 40 slots for police officers and 100 slots for firemen/women that are unfilled because we don’t have the money to pay hire the people we need. In case you’re wondering, those firemen and women are the ones who come to save your life when you have a medical emergency and dial 911. When every second counts.

Yes, Mr. Schuh is apparently so anxious to get elected that he’s will to promise us something that won’t and shouldn’t be allowed to happen.

I’m a Republican, but not the Tea Party kind. Fellow Republicans out there, I don’t know about you, but I’m voting for the Democrat this time. His name is George Johnson, by the way, and, from what I’ve read, he’s a good man, not too glitzy, but an experienced public servant who knows how to run a government. Mr. Johnson says he believes in smarter, not just smaller government. I can vote for that.

Steve Schuh may be rich and a business genius, so he tells us, again and again. Good for him, but he seems pretty much clueless about how to manage our county government.

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