Letters to the Editor: Week of Feb. 21, 2013
Kudos for facing reality in how to pay for development boom
So here’s a change of tune…kudos to the Board of Supervisors! They are finally starting to face reality when it comes to proffers and how Hanover will pay for the development boom headed its way.
At a meeting this week of Hanover’s Community Development Committee and several supervisors, Mike Flagg, Hanover’s director of public works gave an excellent presentation on Hanover roads and what elimination of proffers would mean. As Sgt. Friday would say, “It was just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.”
With maps, graphs and charts, Flagg pointed out that even using the lowest growth projections, we are likely to add 7,000 homes in the next 15 years. At two cars per new home and 9.5 vehicular trips per day, Hanover’s roads will be broken unless we find a way to pay to upgrade them. As examples, Flagg pointed out that Route 54 will have to be widened to a four-lane road to accommodate the large developments already zoned for that area east of Ashland; and he pointed out several Hanover roads are already “teetering on failure.” Pole Green and Atlee Station are my favorites.
With the numbers staring them in the face, reality seemed to dawn on the supervisors. And as reality dawned, the backtracking began. One supervisor said, we didn’t really get rid of proffers, we got rid of the proffer policy. Some lamented we couldn’t call any type of developer’s fee a proffer because, you know, it would sound bad. Others lamented that it looks like we’re going back. After that handwringing was over, supervisors got down to business and did the right thing. They agreed to send a proposal to the full board recommending that a fee (a proffer) be established for homes in developments of 50 or more homes. They also set the fee low, $2,306, but it can be negotiated upward for larger subdivisions with greater impact. That’s about half of what the proffer committee’s dissenting opinion recommended. But it’s a starting point.
Kudos to Canova Peterson! Kudos to Sean Davis! Kudos to Ed Via! And of course, Bucky Stanley and Angela Kelly-Wiecek get the biggest kudos of all for seeing from the beginning the folly of the proffer sleight of hand. Wayne Hazzard, who apparently is still waiting for magic to happen, voted no.
Now, supervisors, give the same consideration you gave to roads and cars to our children and schools. You need to have the same kind of sit down with school officials so you can count those numbers just as you did for cars! Just as every house will generate on average two cars and 9.5 additional road trips a day, every house will generate on average 2.3 children. And like our roads, our schools won’t be able to handle this and continue to provide quality education. Let’s meet again, supervisors, this time with the cold hard facts on schools.
Tax-happy group should lead by example and cut a check
OK, I’ve got a solution for this group of folks here in Hanover that are, oddly enough, begging to have their taxes raised on a multitude of things from proffers to real estate to personal property to a meals tax of all things.
My solution would be to start by having this very assertive, tax-happy bunch to lead by example and go ahead and send in any and all tax increases they so desire. Nothing and nobody is holding them back.
Then I’d make the tax increases voluntary for all other Hanover residents that are not begging to have their taxes increased.
If this solution is not satisfactory for this taxhappy bunch, then maybe a good “plan B” for these folks would be to move to another county where tax rates are much higher. There are plenty for them to pick from.
Teachers hijacked town hall
I am writing in response to the town hall meeting hosted by Hanover Board of Supervisors member Sean Davis a couple weeks ago at Rural Point Elementary School.
First off I though it was a constituent meeting to update his constituents on the state of Hanover.
The room was pretty much packed with teachers and county employees. I am certain less than half the attendees were actual district constituents. The meeting quickly turned into a “school board meeting”.
I personally was offended by the “hijacking” of the meeting by the teachers. If they don’t like their job, see the school board. Hanover can find plenty of young teachers eager to come work in Hanover.
Sean also did a very good job articulating the removal of cash proffers and the benefits of which I agree with. School funding deficiencies and cash proffer removal are basically unrelated issues.
I didn’t even know we had a teacher problem. Don’t government employees know we are in a recession still? Aren’t they grateful they have good steady jobs?
There are plenty of unemployed people who would love a chance to prove their usefulness in government jobs. We should bid these jobs out and not automatically give them away at high prices.
Unfortunately, we all have to make sacrifices to get through this tough period of our history; cooperation and unity of purpose will win the day, not hysteria and a warped sense of importance.
I am more confident in Sean Davis as my supervisor than ever before and am very comfortable and grateful he is on the Hanover board.
Gun ownership prevents tyranny
Gun control has long been a focus of many in this country. Though I’m not knowledgeable of all the nuances of the Second Amendment, based on the Founding Fathers’ circumstances, it had far more to do with enabling the citizenry to protect themselves against tyrannical government than against local psychopaths.
It is about providing a balanced firepower so when King George’s successor came knocking on your door, you could fight back. Government today is no less inclined to abuse its authority than it was then. Based on the absurd and ongoing power grab that is present-day Washington, it’s as threatening as ever.
It is outrageous that we protect our money with far more firepower than we protect our children. I have never owned a gun, nor wanted to as intensely as right now. This tyrannical government will stop trying to restrict guns when only they have them.