Please note for updates on board meetings, policy and decisions beginning in 2016, we chose to share those on the facebook page which can be found at jeffsili2019. In addition, last year we developed a newsletter format which can be found here.
During his reelection campaign, in 2011 Sili made the creation of utility districts the front and center of his platform. In 2012, the Caroline Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to create the first self supporting utility district for Caroline Pines.
Starting in 2009, Sili began to write op eds in the local newspaper calling for a stop to the endless rounds of borrowing, spending and re borrowing that plagued Caroline’s budgetary process. Citing dozens of examples, he showed where some county vehicles had been refinanced in loan packages until the year 2029, long after they would be scrap metal. Sili wrote in detail about the “unbalanced effect” of having so many public tax dollars sunk in a utility system that even in a stellar economy, could never sustain itself. He urged the creation of self supporting utility districts as one method of reversing the budget crisis.
When the Caroline Pines HOA in the Reedy Church District approached the county with a request to provide water to the failing system in that subdivision, Sili first explained to the group that the water quality would be little different than what they were experiencing now. The installation of a 12 inch pipe for three miles and then reduced to a 6 inch within their main in the system would make the subdivision at the very end of the water delivery. In the newspaper, he also contrasted the project to a similar request should it be made by any county-wide homeowner with a failing well. “The county cannot step in and pay for a new well for every homeowner. Caroline Pines could do better,” he told them, “building their own water system from the ground up in accordance with their HOA bylaws and have both control and better water quality.”
The request passed 4-1 in 2010. At the time Sili said, “the only way I can support the initiative is if my fellow board members will agree to the creation of a special utility district with funds locked and dedicated to the repayment of expenses incurred by taking the water line to Caroline Pines and the upgrades required for residents to hook up to the system.” In 2012 the supervisors voted unanimously to create the 1st County Utility District in Caroline Pines.
The 1st Amendment
- In 2009, Sili voted against an amendment to the board’s bylaws which limited an individual’s right to publicly speak on actions taken by the Board of Supervisors and further prohibited speakers from mentioning the names of board members or county staff. In an interview after the board meeting he said, “ I cannot in good conscience agree with any action that limits the right of free speech.”
- During public comment a citizen should be able to cover any subject they so desire especially initiatives put forth by individual board members whether the comments be critical or not. I know of no other jurisdiction that would pass such restrictive measures.”
- In 2012, Sili voted Yes on the renovation and expansion in the amount of 10.5 million dollars to upgrade, renovate, expand and combine Bowling Green Elementary and Primary into a K-5th grade facility. This was the first project of its kind for educational facilities in eastern Caroline in 50 years. In addition, when the state provided additional funding to the schools in the amount of $350,000 the Board of Supervisors decided to reduce funding to the school from its local share in the same amount. Jeff voted against reducing the funding to the Caroline school system.
- In July of 2014, voted to support Germanna Community College in their quest to locate a satellite campus in Caroline County.
- Also in 2012, Jeff saw clearly that increasing the schools request for more classrooms would prevent a problem in the future at Bowling Green Elementary. As an engineer and planner he understood it would save money in the long run to add the classrooms before they were needed in just another few years. He advocated and supported the extra amount for those six classrooms in the amount of $500,000. Regarding the Board of Supervisors role in the schools, Sili understands well the official role of the board– to consider and approve the school board’s budget each year in seven broad categories. However having served previously on the school board for 8 years, he believes members of the Board of Supervisors should have an active, familiar presence in the schools. One of Jeff’s favorite annual events is in the past has been judging the Elementary School Science Fair.
- Jeff lobbied against a RAISE for the Caroline Board of Supervisors in the budget cycle of the Spring of 2012 and made the motion to reduce the salary of the Caroline Board of Supervisors. He voted against both the 2012 budget and raising taxes. Said Sili “There is still plenty of fluff in the Caroline Budget and the bills for the school renovation don’t come due for another two years. I will not raise taxes with absolutely no return to the citizens on services. The jump on real estate barely covers the debt service from years ago and most of it goes to support a completely nonviable utility system serving 1,000 residents.”
- Voted Yes on the expansion of the Luck Stone sand and gravel mine in December of 2012
- Voted Yes in 2012 on the expansion of Bud’s Towing to create a new facility. Bud’s Towing is an existing business in Caroline County.
- Voted Yes on the Expansion of Aggregate Industries in 2014, a sand and gravel mine located on the Caroline/King William border employing 40 people and generating over $50,000 in revenue for Caroline County.
- In August 2015, voted to approve an amendment to allow a special exception for the State Fair to include Campgrounds and Travel trailer Parking, enabling them to expand opportunities for visitors to stay overnight in Caroline
- Voted No in 2012 against the building of a boat ramp on Department of Game and Inland Fisheries land in Caroline County which further infringed on the property rights of local landowners along the Mattaponi River. The owners had incurred both damage and expense due to illegal trespassing from boaters traversing the river who stop to “enjoy” property which does not belong to them. Sili explained, “DGIF owns only a minimal piece of land on either end of the course and in between are miles of private river front some of which is improved and some of which is not. This invites boaters to get out for a break which is how the property is being used illegally now. The Board of Supervisors was not consulted when DGIF bought this land at a premium price taking it off the tax rolls. The sale drove up the price of neighboring parcels of land during the reappraisal process, thus the tax bills are higher due to the rule of comparable sales. Having attempted to try and even walk the land, it is almost unusable to anyone who wants to boat or fish anyway and rules posted prohibit many uses even certain types of walking.” Sili continued, “There is no benefit to the Caroline taxpayer in any way. The real reason for the sale was the exchange of wetland credits which allowed Ft. A.P. Hill to disturb wetlands there on base. This was done at the expense of the Caroline County taxpayer.”
- Jan 2015-Voted to eliminate the penalty on Personal Property aquired mid year in Caroline County.(see In The News Jan 2015 )
- Jan 2015 voted to deny text amendments for permitting industrial landfills in Caroline County. (see In The News Jan 2015)