Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another Vote Cast

Well I must say that time certainly has flown by from the time most of us cast ballots in the November election last Fall that saw quite the upheaval of local politics. This morning it was time again to cast a vote in the Virginia Presidential Primaries. I live in a heavier Republican oriented distrcit so it was now surprise that turnout was light given the issues with the Party on the National level. Not surprising must of the folks on the Virginia ballot were no longer in the hunt.

It was surprising that there was very little signage or folks outside the polls with information this morning.

I must admit that during some coffee this morning at our favorite coffeehouse Cafe Caturra I was able to speak with quite a few of same folks that were active with me during the Supervisor races last Fall and catch up with the tradition of gathering for some early morning coffee before breaking away and heading to our respective voting spots. I must say that much of the enthusiasm that had once been so boiling has somewhat subdued and though it was a Presidential Primary morning much of our conversations centered around local politics and the disappointment thus far being demonstrated by the inaction of BOS.

I kindly pointed out that we have seen this before on a grander scale. Our Congress elected in 2006 on the "change" ticket has done very little given the fact that the Democrats assumed control in an election that saw Democrats winning in areas that had historically been Republican, our Senate race where Jim Webb defeated George Allen is one example. And still little has changed in Washington. That election focus was to move us out of Iraq and of course the Democrats have failed to do so.

At the local level we saw a barrage of anti-growth, anti-developer , good old boy speak leveled against the local Republicans who had overseen the largest growth Chesterfield has experienced in recent times and though it has only been a month in fairness it seems that the same arguements will continue unresolved at the outset of 2008. It comes down to the differences between "campaigning" policy and then the reality of "managing" policy.

So far quite a few measures have been deffered for further review. Things like the impact fees, now being taken up by the General Assembly as proposed by State Sen John Watkins (R) of Powhatan and the implentation of these fees over that of the local use of cash proffers which some see as merely localized "extortion" against developers. Many of us in Chesterfield see the political football being passed somewhat but now it may just come about that the State creates an interception.

I have always been a firm believer that localities should have the ability and right to manage the quality of life within its boundaries as it sees fit, dillon rule not withstanding, and have long stated that the County cash proffers were not high enough at the current levels and yet virtually every politcian refuses to raise them at the same time telling us that growth is getting way out of control, at the same time they approve virtually every major new residential planning proposal, at the same time remain behind on school planning to accomodate the current proposals, and as they ran their repsective campaigns last Fall with a slant on developers they seem content to keep or lower the fees on the very folks they pointed to as being the biggest part of the problem.
As Watkins proposal which would end the use of cash proffers makes its way through the Finance committee in the Virginia Senate. fact has always remained that as the fourth largest area and quickly approaching the third spot in terms of growth and population we have been behind the curve on cash proffer fees as well as business/liscence fees when compared to other areas, both inside the Commonwealth and outside.

The agenda remains clouded at best but I still have not lost hope in the "change" mantra that rang out last Fall. I want to give these new Board members the benefit of the doubt but there are only so many studies and deferments or extensions one can tolerate before people hit rock bottom and begin to re-energize once again and mobilize to be heard. There is alot before the BOS to be sure and potentially some of the issues will hinge on the State but one thing is for sure, if they want to curb the growth and get a handle on things they certainly have the power to do so.

The question remains whether they have the political will.

Its one thing to campaign on smart growth policies and yet another to implement and manage such a policy whereby garnering support from both the public and the developer community. One has to make a stand and hold firm to that position and if Chesterfield should lose some of that developer business than so be it. Afterall, we can hardly manage the growth we have already approved and cannot sustain this same level of growth without some real quantified impacts upon our communities.

Unforunately when you cast a vote for "change" for "change" sake often what you end up with is anything but real change. When "change" is real it can certainly be very meaningful but when "change" simply becomes a "brand" like we have seen in the election in 2006 and 2007 in the local races it begs the questions whether change is truly a reality.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Turnout rather light in Midlothian. Quite a few in the Democrat ranks though when in line heard quite a few elect to vote in the Democrat primary. My poll always tends to go Republican in mass.

No signage either or people working the outside at all.

Anonymous said...

Huckabee poised to win here in Virginia. 40% of the voters today will be evangelical and HUckabee will take 35 to 38% of those voters over McCain. Look for Huckabee to take the Valley and parts of Beach area that is home to Pat Robertson. North of Fredricksburg will go for Mccain and the military areas will as well like Norfolk to James City County. 1 and 10 Virginians is a veteran of the military.

Alter of Freedom said...

McCain crushing Huckabee in Henrico. Closer in Hanover but McCain still ahead.
Huckebee crushing Mccain in Augusta, Bedford, Franklin. Very tight in Faquier County.

Chesterfield not in just yet ...stay tuned

Alter of Freedom said...

Obama two to one in Henrico, closer in Hanover County but still Obama leads at 730PM

Chesterfield not in yet nor the City of Richmond

William said...

Where can I see what you are getting in terms of the numbers coming in ?

Not hearing any of this on the news of course

Alter of Freedom said...

William:
Use the link on the blog frontpage listed as Virginia 7th Congressional results, then click on the bottom tab "State" and then select the Primary you want to look at and for what County/City in Virginia.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

CNN is declaring McCain the winner.

He can thank Northern Virginia. Is it just me or is Northern Virginia on a different planet than the rest of the State.

It appears as if it is a haven for liberal Dems and moderate Rep in the employ of the Federal Government.

Anonymous said...

90% for McCain in Chesterfield. 90%

Guess my vote for Huckabee who only got 220 countywide did not go through given my polling place at the election results site says no one at the polling site voted for Huckabee.

Alter of Freedom said...

30,000 or so votes cast out of the 185K registered voters in Chesterfield County voted in the Democrat Primary

10,000 or so voted in the Republican Primary

In what has been a highly Republican leaning County in National elections this is striking apathy on the part of the GOPers in our County.

James said...

Bellwood was the area in all of Chesterfield casting real votes for Mike HUckabee and the only area he won in the County.

Republicans can than Eric Cantor for handing McCain Henrico and Chesterfield in a walk.

Are there no evangelicals in either of these localities?