Letters to the Editor: Week of Oct. 24, 2013

Posted on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Foxes guarding the theater hen house

“So the people who want the movie theater are in charge of the traffic study?”
That was the exasperated comment of a Hanover resident.  In previous articles and letters we’ve laid out our concerns about the theater regarding crime and traffic.  There’s also a problem with the application review process.
Back in July one of our concerned residents sat in on the Planning Commission meeting in which Planning Director David Maloney made an inspiring pitch for approval of the movie theater.  He elevated the economic development benefits while minimizing concerns about traffic and crime.  His evaluation was entirely academic.
The theater’s Conditional Use Permit did not address many concerns that are obvious to the layperson. Did the Planning Commission not want to ask the questions and discover possible roadblocks to their plan?
At the end of August, the Sheriff’s “Public Safety Impact Statement” was released and specifically addressed the crime and traffic issues specifically associated with this theater. Multiple attempts have been made to ignore or minimize his cautions.
In the Sept. 11 Board of Supervisors meeting, Board Chair Canova Peterson (Mechanicsville) was ready to have the Board vote to approve the project. Intervention by Supervisor Wayne Hazzard (South Anna) caused the vote to be delayed pending the results of a traffic study.
The theater applicant hired their own traffic engineer.  Once completed the study results will be reviewed by the county.  The county has the option to ask VDOT to review the study (at no cost) and provide feedback. But, VDOT’s commentary is not binding and can be ignored by the county.
So, just to summarize, we have the Director of Planning David Maloney advocating for approval of the theater. The theater plan is given the stamp of approval by the Planning Commission without consideration of many critical issues.  The Board Chair is eager to vote to approve the plan, minimizes the cautions detailed in the Sheriff’s “Public safety Impact Statement” and moves forward to vote on the plan.  The vote is (just barely) delayed for a traffic study where the traffic engineer is hired by the applicant (the theater) and then reviewed by seemingly pro-theater county staff.
What outcome do you think we might expect?
I expressed our concerns about this process to Supervisor Sean Davis (Henry) about this process and the perception that “the fox is guarding the hen house.” Who knows? Perhaps this is the typical process.  But, rather than taking the time to explain that, Mr. Davis instead said that I was a “conspiracy theorist.” Fascinating, isn’t it?
My opinion? Theatrics. It’s all being done to “given the impression” that our concerns are being taken seriously. The County wants this project, and come hell or high water, regardless of the issues raised by the Sheriff or the impact on the neighboring residential area, The board plans to get the theater  approved.

Deborah Wetlaufer
Mechanicsville

Need more like Toni

I was in the audience for the Forum held at Patrick Henry High School.
Toni Radler was comfortable and open to the audience, had done her research on local issues, answered questions with reasonable solutions, exemplified the true American patriotic spirit by her sincere concern over her locality, its wellbeing and future growth.
As a life-long citizen of Hanover County, her spirit and enthusiasm was contagious. My wish for our country is more political candidates just like Toni!

Janice Chick
Ashland

Fowler vote will move us forward

When I was in Ashland, I saw a Toni Radler campaign sign with the slogan “Back to business.” I could barely avoid breaking out in uproarious laughter.  I thought, “Back to what kind of business?” Is it the kind of business where the connected of all stripes get behind closed doors and make a deal that involves tax increases at a time when we could afford them the least? Is it the kind of business where the A.F.L.-C.I.O. cut Radler a check for what in return…a weakening in right-to-work laws, which have been key to a good environment for business in Virginia for more than 65 years?
What does Radler want to do differently from Frank Hargrove and John Cox? Virginia is the “Number 1” state in the nation for business, according to Forbes Magazine, due to balanced budgets, strong leadership, and tackling the tough issues. Is Radler allergic to success? Electing Radler would be like going from a Lincoln to a 1987 Yugo with its gears stuck in reverse.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Buddy Fowler knows the job.  He will be ready on day one to hold the line on taxes, stand tall for the Second Amendment, and continue the robust constituency service the 55th district has come to expect.  Vote for Fowler for the House of Delegates Nov. 5.

Nat Atkins
Mechanicsville

We need Fowler in office

What should voters consider when deciding on a candidate for political office? I look at three main qualifications: political philosophy, knowledge of issues that affect us and positive life experience. There is only one candidate for the 55th District House of Delegates seat that meets all three of these important criteria and that is H. F. “Buddy” Fowler.
Fowler has the right political philosophy, believing in constitutional principles as the foundation for limited governance.
He has a wealth of experience on political issues, having worked closely for many years with Delegates Frank D. Hargrove Sr. and John Cox.
And finally, Fowler has extensive family, church and community ties in Hanover and understands what is important to the average citizen like me.
No one else in this race comes close to Fowler’s qualifications. We need to elect H. F. “Buddy” Fowler as our next Delegate.

Fran Sadler
Ashland

Radler showed clear goals for representing Hanover County

First, congratulations to the Herald-Progress and the Friends of Hanover Schools for sponsoring a Candidate Forum for the 55th House of Delegates candidates.
Not many voters or candidates are having such an opportunity this campaign season. The forum gave voters a chance to see and hear the candidates, learn about their positions and to gain an idea about how they would govern.
The choice became clear in your forum of which candidate is informed and understands the needs of Hanover County as well as parts of Caroline and Spotsylvania that she would represent at the General Assembly.
Toni Radler was honest, open and pulled no punches about caring for Hanover schools and teachers while, at the same time, noting that the General Assembly cannot correct problems of neglect and under-funding by the Hanover Board of Supervisors. She came down hard on legislators who pass mandates on local governments without providing the funds necessary to implement these state requirements.
Radler showed that she is running with an agenda that, as she said, includes getting government out of our bedrooms and women’s health decisions. Her opponent did not seem much interested or concerned about that issue.
Having experience working as an aide to a member of the House of Delegates at the General Assembly is no criteria for assuming the office. Having clear goals to represent Hanover citizens conscientiously with recognition that the county needs industrious help at the state level is reason to vote for Toni Radler.

Nancy Fitch
Richmond

Don’t let apathy take your vote

Will you care enough to vote? Why does it matter?
Apathy seems to be running high these days in general terms and especially with this election. If you are among the apathetic group I would invite you to ask yourself a few questions. 1) What are my priorities and what motivates me? 2) Will I and those I care about be directly affected if a Democrat or a Republican wins this election? 3) Do I believe I can help and am I compelled to make a difference?
Maybe I can help by offering my answers. 1) My priorities are the “unalienable Rights” of course – “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” In “life” I see my health and the health of my family. In liberty I see the smallest government possible but with a military to ensure our security. In the pursuit of happiness I see  hard work combined with self-reliance and initiative equals success and happiness. What motivates me is the clear and present danger of fiscal irresponsibility and failed socialism models replacing what we and our predecessors have built with blood, sweat and tears – the greatest nation on earth.  2) Yes! The Democrat slate is and will continue to trespass upon my life, my liberty and my pursuit of happiness.  The Republican slate of:  Ken Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson, Mark Obenshain and Buddy Fowler are by far, the most qualified to continue to conduct the peoples’ business in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 3) Yes! I am helping, for a number of reasons, but one of the most compelling is I will be able to tell my grandchildren that I did everything in my power to help save this great nation.  I never failed to vote and I did my best to carve out time to inform people about the “big” picture of what is happening around them.
If you care about the future, you need to elect the proper stewards.  For the 55th district delegate, that person is Fowler.  He will replace retiring Del. John Cox.  Fowler will step right in battle tested, sleeves rolled, conservative principles proven, and ready to get the job done. Time is critical. We have no use for a rookie Democrat.  As for the other three stewards on our slate, I ask you, for your part, to get informed by moving past the lies and smears and then make the right decision on Nov. 5.

Danette Fulk
Mechanicsville

Apology needed from candidate

I write this letter with deep concern over a position that one candidate took during the recent 55th District debate.  Toni Radler gave a response to a question that included a reference to Medicaid waivers and the recent Department of Justice settlement in Virginia.
Her response was staggering.
I understood Ms. Radler’s response to highlight her clear concerns over the recent increase in Medicaid waivers mandated by the DOJ.  She stated concerns with the cessation of residential operations in some state-run training facilities, where many Virginians with intellectual and developmental disabilities currently reside.  Ms. Radler stated she would have concerns over an increased homeless population because four of these facilities will cease residency operations.
I am appalled.
Plans for closure were submitted to the General Assembly after an investigation revealed legitimate reasons to warrant closure.  The problem is not increased waivers…the problem is we desperately need more waivers.  The debate over this topic has long been settled. We must have more waivers and fewer individuals in these facilities. These waivers allow individuals and families to have more input over the care a loved one receives. To think the government can provide better care, through a state-run facility for citizens who need help the most, is an absurd thought. Our Community Services Board in Hanover County is comprised of the most dedicated, knowledgeable, and caring individuals you will find. Ask them how they feel about Medicaid waivers.
Community-based services and collaborative care initiatives that include families and caregivers is a far superior option than anything the state-run training centers could ever deliver. Is there no line that won’t be crossed when attempting to give government more control over Virginian’s lives?  I call on Radler to issue an immediate apology for her comments and then take some time to understand the real needs of Virginians.

Sean M. Davis
Mechanicsville

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