Letters to the Editor, Week of Jan. 14, 2012

Kudos for transparency

The Hanover Business Council of the Greater Richmond Chamber congratulates the Hanover Board of Supervisors and Administration on the County’s recognition by the Virginia Coalition for Open Government for its online access to County budgets and respective data.
Hanover County continues to demonstrate transparency and prudent fiscal responsibility that is a great benefit to our community.  This fiscal responsibility and openness is seen throughout the County’s various departments, as well as in the greater community.
For example, on Dec. 12, 2012, Hanover County was reaffirmed to have a triple AAA bond rating, making it the smallest of the 35 counties in the United States to receive such ratings.
Hanover County is to be commended for their management, planning, and execution of our County’s resources.  Their efforts help ensure that our County can continue to be a great place to live, raise a family, work, and play, both now and in the future.
We commend our Board of Supervisors, School Board, County and school administration and their respective staffs for such accomplishments.
Mark A. Creery Sr.,
chair, Hanover Business Council of the Greater Richmond Chamber


Chimps could be tourist attraction

I am writing concerning the plight of the four chimpanzees owned by Mr. Curtis Shepperson who lives in the Mechanicsville area.
Our County will not allow him to keep these four chimps although he can keep two others. The sad fact of the matter is the four in question who the County says may be put down if a home cannot be found are on the Threatened Species List which means they should be killed, but evidently there must be some exceptions Mr. Shepperson found while looking into the situation.
Many people are concerned about their plight and the fact the County may put them down. I feel like those others who do not want to see these amazing chimps put down and I believe we need to flood the Board of Supervisors and particularly Mr. James Taylor, assistant county administrator, with letters of protest (contact information can either be found in your phone book or by contacting their website).
If, according to Federal and State regulations, he can keep the four, why won’t the County allow it? Mr. Shepperson only has six months remaining to find a home for them or they might be put down. The fact of the matter is that it is getting not only state attention but national as well, which could ill bode the County.
I believe it might be in the interest of the County to allow Mr. Shepperson to keep the chimps since they are a tourist attraction and educational experience for those who visit his farm. With the economic situation the way it is, Hanover County cannot afford to turn down any tourist attraction that brings revenue into its coffers that a boycott by many animal lovers throughout the state and nation could cause.

Richard Firth

Tax decrease must be in error

Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent to the Hanover Board of Supervisors.

In reviewing my records, I see that my 2012 real estate tax bill was $133 lower than previous bills. I spotted this only now, as my monthly mortgage payment had increased. It seems that my homeowner’s insurance premium had gone up more than my taxes had gone down, hiding this tax break in my mortgage payment.
Realizing that, I began to think. My insurance company asks for more money every year than does my county government. And how do the services I get from each of you compare?
In the 10 years that I have owned property in Hanover, Virginia Farm Bureau has given me nothing in return for my excessive premiums. I anticipate that they never will.
However, in the past 10 years, Hanover County public employees have responded to two fires in my neighborhood. My local firefighters risked their very lives to extinguish the flames which threatened my home and family. Hanover County Animal Control Officers have responded to calls about dangerous dogs in the neighborhood, and even came to my house over the weekend to remove a wild hawk from my dining room. Hanover County Sherrif’s deputies have been to my home to respond to noise complaints, the theft of my daughter’s bicycle (which was recovered), to investigate a drunk and disorderly man wandering the streets, to help look for and organize volunteers to search for the poor autistic child lost in the battlefield park, to respond to a complaint about Internet fraud as well as regular patrol duties. Hanover County EMS responded quickly to three automobile accidents involving my family members, and treated my injured daughter with genuine compassion as she was transported to MCV. Hanover County Public School teachers provided my daughters with truly superior high school experiences, resulting in IB diplomas and more than a full of year of transferable college credits. Club sponsors and coaches taught them civic responsibility, the meaning of team work, and instilled them with the drive and desire to pursue their passions.
As Hanover County employees continually add to the quality of my life on a daily basis and respond professionally and efficiently to my every request, I cannot help but think the decrease in my tax liability is a mistake. How can I get all of that service for less than the money I give to my homeowner’s insurance company?
I have mailed a check for $133 to deposit to the general fund to correct this error.
For the 2013 tax year, please restore my tax assessment to the 2010 level, at the 86 cent rate. My county services are essential to my quality of life, and provide the best return on my money of any of my fixed expenses.
Stephanie L. Brady

Outpouring of support much appreciated

On behalf of the individuals and families that are served through Hanover Community Services Board’s Case Management/Supports Coordination Department,  I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all those who donated gifts,  money, food  and gift cards during the holidays.   As in years past, we have again been blessed with the generosity of others in our community during the holiday season.
Hanover Community Services Intellectual Disabilities Support Coordination Services assists individuals with intellectual disabilities with navigating the system of care and getting connected to a wide array of services.  Each Christmas the case management/supports coordination department connects interested individuals, organizations and churches with the individuals we serve who have no family and/or  who are in need.  This year, under the coordination of Lisa Ellinger, support coordinator, 16 sponsors assisted a total of 42 individuals who were “adopted” for Christmas.
We would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous donations:  Saint Ann’s Catholic Church, Ashland Presbyterian Church, Lee-Davis High School’s Interact Club, Tracy Surratt and her co-workers at the Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts office, CorVel Corporation, Sklar Technology, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Mobile Mini,  employees of Hanover Communications Department, Kathy Nussbaum and employees of the Hanover CSB Children’s Team,  Rev. Larry Owens of Owen’s Funeral Home, Glynis Holcomb, Kayellen Reisinger, Anna Antell, Jenna Dukes, and Dr. Shelly Klinger.
I would also like to thank Kiddie Kingdom, Kane Distribution Company and employees of the Hanover Communications Department, Lee-Davis High School, Ashland Church of God and Mobile Mini, Inc. for their support during the Thanksgiving Holidays.  Natalie Barnes, support coordinator, assisted in linking individuals in need to these organizations who donated Thanksgiving food baskets.  The agency offers a small year-round food pantry to individuals we serve who are struggling. This past fall, Mechanicsville United Soccer Club held a food drive and helped stock the food pantry for the winter.
The outpouring of support which these individuals and organizations showed to our clients was overwhelming and extremely appreciated. All of the families or individuals that received support from the community over the holidays were grateful and appreciative.  On behalf of Hanover Community Service’s Intellectual Disabilities Supports Coordination Services, I would like to give you all a great big thank you! You truly made the season brighter for many!

Michele Elliott,
program coordinator Supports Coordination
Hanover Community Services

Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm