Letters to the Editor: Week of July 18, 2013

Where have BOS, school board been for the last decade?

Elton Wade, Supervisor from Cold Harbor District, has retired from his $41.25 per hour job as a school crossing guard.
Apparently the unfavorable press coverage on this issue has also led the Board of Supervisors and School Board to conduct a joint review of personnel policies and salaries. Pardon my skepticism, but do we really expect anything to change for the better when the bureaucrats are investigating themselves?
Where have the School Board and Board of Supervisors been for the last 10 years?  County officials were informed of this problem in October 2003 by a citizen using the Freedom of Information Act, so spare me all the sudden shock and lame excuses from everybody concerned.  Wade himself could have addressed this issue but chose not to. Wade’s colleagues on the Board of Supervisors (past and present) apparently didn’t see a problem with his mega-salary or ask how he was going to juggle his duties as a school traffic guard and also attend the 2 p.m. Board meetings at the same time.
Over the course of 10 years or more, there have been multiple opportunities for someone in authority to question and stop this kind of waste, fraud and abuse. Where were all the finance experts and budget gurus at the School Board and Hanover County offices? Was a proper internal audit done on the School Board’s employment and salary practices? It appears that basic accounting and budget controls were disregarded at every level so there is more than enough blame to go around.
Sometimes it takes a public embarrassment like Wade’s “sweetheart deal” to expose the greater problem – that our School Board and Board of Supervisors failed in their sworn duty to properly manage 50 percent of the county’s budget. While an investigation at this particular time makes for good political theater, nobody will ultimately be held responsible, asked to make restitution of money, or fired.   It is apparent that the so-called experts and our county leaders have failed us in the past and some of the same “foxes are still guarding the henhouse.”
Who exactly has oversight and is responsible for certifying the outcome of this special review of the School Board? Will there be a report available to the public? Will any citizens be involved? Without such full transparency, I remain skeptical that we will ever know how our hard-earned tax dollars have been wasted.

Dale Taylor,
Beaverdam

Radler will protect natural resources

There is an old saying that all politics are local. True as that may be, voters in the 55th District, including parts of Hanover, Caroline and Spotsylvania counties, will vote this year for a new candidate for the seat vacated by Del. John Cox.
Whoever the voters elect, this candidate is likely to cast votes on many issues in the General Assembly that will affect all citizens of Virginia, not just those living in the 55th.
In addition to hugely important social and economic issues, votes will be cast impacting Virginia’s environment and its natural resources that we all rely upon. Foremost is a likely vote on uranium mining, quite possibly the most dangerous environmental activity that Virginia has ever considered. Natural resource protection such as the Chesapeake Bay and our parks and land resources, as well as air quality and energy, are all potential issues over the next two years.
The Democratic candidate, Toni Radler, stands firm on the protection and wise use of these resources so that something is left for our children and their children. She deserves our support and the General Assembly needs her presence.

David S. Bailey, Esquire
Beaverdam

Cuccinelli adheres to ‘pulpit politics’

I’m a product of the 1960s.  I’ve been a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and now a great grandmother.  Yet, I find myself again, having to push back against the ideologues that believe women should have less freedoms, rights, and equality than others.
I had to smile, briefly, when I read Mr. Waters’ letter to the editor recently requesting specificity when endorsing a candidate. I’m assuming that the same ‘specificity’ that Mr. Waters has requested also holds true for candidates that one opposes. I intend to honor his request.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is an ideologue.  And because of his ideology, thousands of women in Virginia will no longer receive the care and services that they so desperately need. They will not have this care – it will not be there.  There will be women that will die because of his blinding ideology and determination.
It should be obvious to even the most casual observer that Cuccinelli does not concern himself with women that fall into this social and economical vortex that we now label as “the lower middle class.” His mission, of course, is to complete the promise made to the far right decades ago when “politics from the pulpit” was and continues to be the weapon of choice on social and, in particular, women’s issues.  After years and multiple attempts, Cuccinelli has finally succeeded in tipping the scales of justice to suit his agenda.
Freedom of Choice is the standard, the linchpin, if you will, of women’s rights. And Freedom of Choice is Cuccinelli’s ultimate target. This assault on Women’s Rights, not to mention Voter’s Rights, is taking place in more than 30 other state legislatures that are dominated by the Republican Party. These laws, created and championed  by mostly men (99.99999%), are designed to block certain and specific freedoms from women.
But what Cuccinelli has failed to calculate into this scheme is that women, all women, have an instinctual moral compass that recognizes the imbalance of freedom and equality with regard to gender.
The women of Virginia need to send this gubernatorial candidate a clear and precise message that we will not stand by while he turns back the hands of time on women’s rights and the freedoms that we have fought for over the past 50-plus years. We, as freedom-loving women, can raise men to the highest pinnacles of governance and, we can bring them down, just as easily.
Ladies, I think we would all agree, Cuccinelli needs a long and extended “time out.”

Barbara Costin
Beaverdam

Strawberry Faire should seek sponsors

The 35-year-old Hanover Tomato Festival has more than 20 of them.
The new Concert in the Parks series has nine of them. The over two decades-old Strawberry Faire has none.
What is missing from the Ashland Faire?  Sponsors!
Sponsors appreciate the publicity. Sponsors make hiring entertainment easier. Sponsors help with the expenses.
Organizers of The Tomato Festival and Concerts in the Parks have already discovered what the Strawberry Faire has not.
Will 2014 be the year the Strawberry Faire organizers discover that sponsors are necessary and available?

Marshall Johnson
Mechanicsvlle

Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm