Virginia County Weighs $1B Budget for FY 2025 as Top Administrator Steps Down


May 5, 2024


Education, Government, News


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(STAFFORD, Va.) —  Stafford County’s Chief Administrator Randal E. Vosburg resigned on Feb. 22 just two days after he proposed a $1 billion budget to the Board of Supervisors. The resignation came without a detailed explanation. “After 20 months of dedication to Stafford County, I step down with a heavy heart,” he wrote in a resignation letter. 

Meg Bohmke, chair of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, extended a heartfelt farewell: “I wish Randy and his family all the best, and the board thanks him for his service to the county.” It was later revealed that Vosburg had accepted the position of town mayor in Apex, North Carolina, starting March 13—just weeks after his initial announcement.

 Vosburg’s proposed budget, reflecting a property tax increase of up to 7.8% over the next two years, aimed to address escalating inflation concerns. Despite proposing to lower the real property tax rate from $0.93 to $0.9175 per $100 of assessed value, rising property valuations are expected to increase average tax bills by $395 annually, leading to an additional expense of $3,985 per year for residents. This increase is significant in Stafford County, known for affordable land and relatively low property taxes which have supported substantial job growth over the past five years. According to Andrea Light, the county budget director, each penny increase in the Real Estate Tax rate generates an additional $2.2 million in revenue.

Stafford County’s education support staff advocated for equitable wages during this period. The school district has outlined a pay structure for licensed and unlicensed employees, with teachers advancing to the third of the proposed five stages by fiscal year 2025. However, support staff workers have not yet reached the initial phase.

 A campaign for financial fairness gained momentum with a collective demonstration on Feb. 15, culminating in a significant display of unity at a recent school board meeting. Forty employees wore green to symbolize their struggle for pay parity with their counterparts in Northern Virginia.

 At the meeting, Kristen Payne, an administrative assistant at Drew Middle School, highlighted the situation’s urgency: “Last month, I literally had to borrow money from my 17-year-old daughter for gas just to be able to report to work. We have been patiently waiting for a raise, and I am beyond disappointed that we are…having to beg to be recognized for all our hard work.”

 Responding to these concerns, Elizabeth Warner, a School Board Member from the Widewater District, voiced her frustration with the budget limitations: “Why on earth can we not allocate $3.8 million to increase your salaries? You’ve certainly waited long enough.” Superintendent Thomas W. Taylor acknowledged the concerns and proposed addressing wage issues within the $15 million designated for school funding.

 Maureen Siegmund, the School Board Chair from the Garrisonville District, later detailed the fund allocation across the county’s schools, noting an average salary increase of 8.7% for service staff, 5.2% for licensed staff, and 9% for paraprofessionals.

 As Stafford County continues its nationwide search for a new county administrator, Craig Meadows was appointed interim county administrator on April 3. This transition comes as Stafford County prepares to enter a new fiscal era starting July 1, 2024, with an all-funds budget totaling $1.006 billion.

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