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Your taxes "lavishly" at work!

Yesterday's Richmond Times-Dispatch had a long, front-page report about the goings on at last November's annual get together of county poobahs at Virginia's "storied Homestead" resort that was sponsored by the Virginia Association of Counties, the lobbying arm of local county officials. The article, which printed out to seven printer-friendly pages, contained both the gory details and the justifications by county officials across the Commonwealth that the lavish weekend of spending of more than $300,000 was merely a "reasonable investment in good government." Six counties chose not to send anyone, but those who did were led by Prince William County, which sent 11 people, who spent a total of $8,208. That included "$262 for wine shared by the group on two evenings." At least two, and possibly more of Arlington's political elite attended the conference. According to information supplied by an Arlington County official last December, Board members Paul Ferguson and Barbara Favola attended the conference, and they were reimbursed $535.16 and $554.56, respectively. ElGrowlerGrande is awaiting cost information to learn whether two officials from the Manager's office also attended. Incidentally, Arlington County's annual dues for VACo membership are $34,434. Although Arlington is a county and not a city, Arlington pays $36,379 to belong to the Virginia Municipal League. The newspaper deserves credit for devoting the resources to develope the story.

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