Golden retriever blood runs through our veins at the Fausz house. When I met Linda, she had Annie. Later we had Martha and last year one of our sons ended up with two. We adopted one of them and named her Gypsy.
At about 50 pounds Gypsy is a beast, not in the usual way, but a beast in that she is the strongest and most athletic dog I have ever encountered.
Gypsy is a house dog and is house trained but that’s about it, so when we take her out for a walk and let her run the yard, it is easy to see her athleticism. She will take seven or so stairs in a single bound and tears through the yard turning and kicking up dust everywhere. Typically she stays in the yard, but if you don’t keep her close, she will bolt. It’s obvious she displays it openly, but there’s no stopping her.
Last week she bolted as I was playing games with her in the yard. I believe she thinks I’m another dog because I play hard with her. So I started calling her, louder and louder, until I saw her coming out of the woods at about 100 mph. When she got within about 10 or 12 feet of me she took flight and hit me about shoulder high. I went reeling back and landed on my butt. She knew she had me and started her play fighting with me play-biting me on the arms and licking my face. She wouldn’t let me up. I finally had to cover myself and roll to get out from under her and calm her down.
We rescued her, in a sense. My son had the two goldens and our grandkids to worry with, and in full disclosure, he didn’t need three kids and two raucous dogs razing havoc in his 1,500 square foot house. But he’s like Linda; a nurturer. He could work at raising everyone’s child and all their pets, including gerbils and fish until one day animal control would come around and round up the whole mess with him avoiding the news cameras on the way out of his house.
But he would never admit that he would take on more and more warm-blooded and wouldn’t necessarily be open about it until pressed. He’s at that age where he thinks it’s time to keep his business his business.
At our house, not only is Linda the nurturer but she also handles our budget because I’m not much in tune with a budget or balancing a checkbook, and tend to forget to pay bills. Linda has been in charge of all our bills for 30 some years. But our check book is always open. That way I can tell if she’s stashing millions of dollars in an offshore bank somewhere just waiting to fly off to a land of palms and sand.
Openness should be the hallmark of any relationship. So last week at the Board of Supervisors meeting I was knocked over by some speakers whom contrary to my beliefs - I say again knocked me over.
At the last Chesterfield Board of Supervisors meeting there were four people who spoke concerning opening the County check book, putting it online for everyone who wants to can view it, after all it’s our money too. An open budget is great but just how does that budget compare to just what is spent. Just like Linda and I are open about our finances, so should the people’s relationship with government be open. The speakers during the public comment asked/demanded that the County’s checkbook be open for everyone to see. The Chester Patriot’s message was simple - open checkbook, put it online.
Now, the Patriots and I are not often on the same page, Hitler mustaches on Obama shout “man overboard.” But there are issues we can get together on. I like the open checkbook idea.
Becky Dixon, who is now County Administrator for Goochland County and manages about 1,500 employees, was once a director for Chesterfield County before being appointed as deputy county administrator. When she got the top county job in Goochland, one of the first things she did was open the checkbook for the public to watch how the taxpayer’s money was being spent.
School systems put their checkbooks online as well. Miami-Dade County Public School system, the fourth largest school system in the country is one and, according to officials in Goochland County, implementing Checkbook Online cost the county next to nothing to put up online.
Cook County, Ill; State of Delaware; State of Alabama; Governor Darr put Arkansas’ checkbook online and the 2016 Presidential darling Chris Christy has initiated a program that is as close to an online checkbook as possible, promising to get all revenue and expenditures in a citizen friendly format online as soon as possible. And, these are states. They have a few more dollars to account for than Chesterfield.
I know Chesterfield has nothing to hide – I think it must be political. Obviously the technology is inexpensive and easy to implement. Let’s do it for Chesterfield.