The Isle of Wight budget cycle is about to begin

Published 10:17 am Friday, January 10, 2014

To the Editor:

As Isle of Wight embarks on a new calendar year, we do so amidst a sea of changes, yet confident that the challenges that lay before us offer opportunity for renewed vision and direction.

We have a new board makeup. Mrs. JoAnn Hall, who admirably served Hardy District the last four years, decided not to run again. I personally thank her for her years of service and the excellent job she did as Chair last year. Filling that vacancy will be Mr. Rudolph Jefferson, a long-time involved citizen of the Rushmere community. Welcome, Mr. Jefferson.

The chairmanship revolves this year to Mr. Buzz Bailey. It has been a long standing tradition on the Board to rotate the Chair’s position throughout the five districts, based on the principle that whichever district has been the longest not being represented in the Chairmanship will be offered that position, if that representative so desires. This year the rotation fell to the Newport District, and Mr. Bailey accepted. I wish him well in his position.

Additionally, we as a county welcome Mrs. Anne Seward, our new County Administrator, who comes with an outstanding background to serve our county well.

The budget cycle is about to begin, and with that process comes presentations, deliberations, negotiating, reality checks, number crunching, adding this, subtracting that, discussing ramifications, entertaining possibilities and meetings, meetings, meetings. I am confident we as a Board will give it our due diligence, realizing we have contractual obligations that must be met, departments that must be funded properly in order to function well, and schools that require resources to carry out that noble task of educating our children. These demands must be balanced by the right of our citizenry to retain ownership of those assets for which they have labored.

We will endeavor to keep you informed on this six-month journey as we strive to make Isle of Wight County a wonderful place to experience life.

Rex Alphin