Author: Jake Conley
Daniel Cindea was standing on the deck of his friend’s townhouse in mid-March, sipping out of a Smirnoff Ice “Smash” can and talking to friends about whatever people talk about at parties. Others, all JMU students like Cindea, were smoking cigarettes, drinking similar drinks and laughing.
Virginia’s 26th House of Delegates race is underway, and Del. Tony Wilt, R-Broadway, and Democratic challenger Bill Helsley are trying to appeal to moderates.
Larry Propst, by his own admission, is not an economist. His job, as city director of finance, is to help set the city budget — he calls it “entirely different” from the work of an economist. And on March 14, 2020 — a Saturday — Propst watched as the city of Harrisonburg declared a state of emergency as COVID-19 spread nationwide. Over the next several months, Harrisonburg administrators — Propst’s office included — would watch the city’s finances plummet as tax revenue from restaurants, hotels and other businesses shriveled. Within weeks, millions of city tax dollars vanished.