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Taxpayers will continue to fund ballfield frills

Taxpayers will continue to fund ballfield frills

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A great article on the Madison County Parks and Recreation Authority appeared in the Feb. 27 issue. It’s a great snapshot of how so many folks, in leadership positions in Madison County, view their responsibilities.

One member brought up initiating a policy for renting the ballfields. Someone else suggested that a policy needs to be established outlining accountability for travel teams that use our facilities, such as for broken equipment.  The board allows these teams to use our equipment, but who is, ultimately, responsible, and I would add, not just to replace/repair the equipment, but in the case of personal injury to a participant?

In typical Madison County public speak (remember folks, in Madison County, we don’t plan, we just react), another member said that he didn’t find the matter pressing and suggested it be addressed when it does become a problem.

And, oh yes, public expenditures will surely increase for this ever-growing complex. How about $30,000 to $40,000 to hook to sewer and water? And won’t we need to build restroom facilities? And, how much should the authority charge these travel teams? Depending on the amount of use, how much more maintenance, fertilizer, seed, water, etc. would these fields require?

Are the “Fields of Hoover” starting to sound like the courthouse renovation, redux?

And, to close on this subject, why don’t we hire a college intern which would enable us (read taxpayers) to have summer camps that deal with nature and art, and, oh yes, sports?

It’s high time to get real, Madison County. According to the 2010 census, 19.1 percent of the county is older than 65, and 21.7 percent of the county is 18 or younger. “Jeez,” who is paying the taxes?

Consider that 12.8 percent of the county is below the poverty level, 400 families qualify for the food program, run by volunteers, and the per capita income is $25,940, versus the commonwealth which is $33,326. Three percent of the budget is based on delinquent taxes, but we can afford to use Culpeper County statistics ($27,255 per capita income and a poverty rate of just 8.4 percent) to justify Madison County employee salaries.

Start going to some of these meetings taxpayers. The meetings are set up so that you won’t get any answers, but, at least, you can voice your opinion.

Joe May


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