Letters to the Editor: Week of Feb. 7, 2013

Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 11:06 am

Magical solution to our budget

County employees and I are looking for answers to the money shortage problem but, are we looking for money in all the wrong places? I have consulted an expert.

Dear Wizard,

We have a security service in our industrial park in charge of security, traffic and law enforcement. We have a short-time traffic problem twice a day when leaving the industrial park. Instead of leaving this to the security firm to handle, my company superintendant has hired our own traffic controllers. We pay about four times what the security firm would charge to direct traffic plus give them all the same benefits that our employees get. Some people say we are nuts.

Question 1:
Our company is running short of money due to the government’s failed economy. Would it be smart to let the security firm handle the traffic controlling or would it be smarter to just use their off duty people and pay them the off duty rate of about $26 an hour?

Question  2:
I am not sure who thought this one up, but is it a good idea to charge airplane owners $0.50 per $100 values on their planes while charging the local taxpayer $3.57 per $100 values on their motor-homes, boats and motorcycles? Would it be smart for the county to raise the tax rate on planes to match the tax rate on a motor-home, or should they just find other ways like these to take advantage of the taxpayers to get additional income for the schools and other needs?

Sincerely,
Ted @ Old Church

Dear Ted @ Old Church,
In answer to both questions, since no one has changed this policy in over 20-plus years, it is not only smart but it makes you look like a genius for suggesting it. I would also suggest finding the people responsible for allowing the above rip-offs to take place and put their salaries and benefits package back into the income revenue stream.
Sincerely,
The Wizard

So there you have an expert opinion from Dear Wizard.

Ted Mentz
Old Church

Car, gun laws should align

There are similarities between owning a vehicle and owning a firearm.
In certain situations both can be a lethal weapon.
Vehicle owners are required to commit time to a training program and show proof of having liability insurance before they can drive a vehicle legally.
Why can’t the same training and insurance standards be required for owners of firearms?

Marshall Johnson
Mechanicsville

 

Despite the talk, Hanover schools are at the top

There have been many letters and articles written recently about the negative impact that continuing budget restraints are having on local school systems. One that has been featured is the supposed decrepit teaching and learning environment in Hanover Schools.
Considering the high quality of education my children are receiving I found that hard to believe, so I personally took the time to go to the Va. Department of Education website and the facts on student achievement couldn’t be further from the negative allegations. Data for all school divisions can be found and Hanover, in particular, has continued to achieve in student outcomes at a high level both statewide and regionally. I urge all Hanoverians to not be fooled by a very small squeaky group that is spreading misinformation about the state of our wonderful Hanover Schools.
I am very proud to say that Hanover schools are an outstanding example of education excellence even in these ongoing dismal fiscal times. I strongly encourage your readers to search the Department of Education site to review the latest reports, report cards on school systems and other testing data and draw their own conclusions. I feel certain they will come away realizing the “sky is not falling.”
It has been alleged that the advanced programs in Hanover Schools will suffer if any changes are made to teaching assignments such as the six of eight period proposals. I learned that the IB program in Hanover according to 2011-2012 data had 525 enrolled for an 8.72 percent of the eligible school population. The state defines advanced programs and the percentage of enrollment as a key indicator of school quality at the secondary level.
Hanover in comparison to neighboring school divisions is among the top. Don’t just take my word for it, go read it for yourself, it’s all right there before your very eyes.

LaToya Brown
Mechanicsville

Can we get back to talking about the evil rich?

Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion on everything from staffing, housing, and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks.
Author Robert Keith Gray writes in “Presidential Perks Gone Royal,” Obama isn’t the only President to have taken advantage of the expensive trappings of his office. But, the amount of money spent on this First Family, he argues, has risen tremendously under the Obama Administration and needs to be reined in.
Gray reports that the $1.4 billion spent on the Obama family last year is the “total cost of his presidency” factoring the cost of the “biggest staff in history at the highest wages ever,” a 50 percent increase in the numbers of appointed czars and an Air Force One running with the frequency of a scheduled airline. Could someone please tell me why this has nothing to do with our national debt?
If Romney had to pay for Barack and Michelle’s lifestyle this year, he would have been bankrupted by the third week in February. Now, can we please get back to talking about the evil, freeloading rich, “who didn’t build that?”

Daniel Gregory
Mechanicsville

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