Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Promises Broken; Faith Lost: Chesterfield Government Breaks Down

If you think Washington is a mess; citizens of Chesterfield do not have to look past its own to witness complete arrogance and frankly ignorance. Those may appear to be strong words, but in the last few months we have seen elected officials on the Board of Supervisors spar with those on the School Board far too many times over such matters as the budget. Now, apparently the Chesterfield Planning Commission; a body of UNELECTED officials that are appointed by each member of the Board of Supervisors to represent each respective district has taken up the bat for its boss in the Board of Supervisors and swung it directly at the School Board as well.

Frankly, I have never witnessed such an arrogant display by certain leaders that are in effect not even elected by the people attack those officials that are elected by the general public. When an official unilaterally calls for the ouster of ALL 5 members of the School Board it is a bit over the top and in fact highly inappropriate.

What can the public do? Little. The Planning Commission which over the years and guided my such misguided Comprehensive Planning by the likes of former Chairman of the Planning Commission Daniel Gecker who now represents the Midlothian District as a County Supervisor basically serves at the pleasure of the Board and for the most part has historically been a rubber stamp of the Board of Supervisors agenda. Remember, the members of the Planning Commission do not answer to the people directly.

The School Board certainly has made many mistakes over these last few years, but in the end the School Board must always be reactive to what the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission orchestrate. In no place is this seen more than in school crowding for example. I do not recall anyone of these "Planners" calling for the brakes to be put on, including Supervisor Gecker when for over eight years he oversaw what has to be the largest expansion of growth and zoning approvals in Chesterfield history. Such policy resulted in many of the shortcomings we are experiencing in our school system today. At a recent meeting at Greenfield Elementary School, Supervisor Gecker went on record stating that Crestwood Elementary was not delivering the same level of education that it had in past years. Mr. Gecker should have the integrity to admit that it has been policies that he himself has endorsed and/or supported that has created those levels to be challenged. You cannot keep expecting growth to pay for itself, nor can you expect teachers across the County to continually be asked to educate larger and larger classes which are a direct result of poor planning.

I personally have lost faith in this government to work together and formulate a vision for the future for Chesterfield together with a united front. Instead, while Chesterfield has sought to be a First Choice Community, these leaders are well on their way of transforming Chesterfield into a second rate locality. While Henrico County continues to right its ship; Chesterfield remains bogged down in divisive squabbles that have more to do with personalities than issues.

As citizens we have witness promises broken time and time again and after todays display of government in action; why should anyone have faith in this government anymore to provide solutions when they are more concerned with declaring whose to blame for our condition?


JoeinBonAir said...

The glass is still half full Alter.

Thankfully, we have the election cycle this Fall for Congress and than next year for our local leadership to address our grievances.

I do fear some good people will get thrown out with the bath water; but than thats politics. I would be very surprised if many of the Board of County Supervisors survive. It will not end there however, people like Ware, Martin will also we held accountable.

The safest leader in CC will be Randy Forbes. I thinkall others will have a battle on their hands from within with the Tea Party element and alot of crossover with them by CC Republicans.

A. Perry DeMay said...

Politics in general are failing across our country. The party system is not working and we need new players. I agree with you. The planning commission has no business calling for any elected official to be thrown out. They do not represent the people because they are not elected. We can do better. That is why people need to vote. If you don't vote, don't complain. I will also add this. If you complain, try to provide a better way to do it.

Anonymous said...

Fort Lee will continue to grow and bring thousands of military families to the region and as of yet no real plan to absorb this migration in Chesterfield.

The same people keep making the same descisions and making the wrong ones. There idea is simply "build more schools". The future growth will not be where they are putting resources today and no one is even talking about anything other than creating an annex down in Chester for Thomas Dale. Can we afford to build another High School down there or not now? Whats the plan? You can forget getting support for more bonds.

Anonymous said...

they will all be running scared. the chesterfield gop is being splintered by the tea party participants on the one hand and those that remain socially arrogant on the other. The reasonable conservative has been made to feel as an outcast for not putting social issues as the focal point in the agenda. This is fueling the ranks of the Tea Party as well as a third option.

Anonymous said...

Makes no difference whether it is from Matoaca or Midlothian we need you AOF to step up in 2011. Do not make us draft you :)

Anonymous said...

Time to get rid of Ware, Martin, Trammel, Newsome, and Radja. Losers all and self centered.

Our County and Schools will be better.

Anonymous said...

The County needs new leadership at the CCPS and GA.

The best thing that could happen would be more Delegates and Senators that represent a whole district in Chesterfield. You will see State education dollars increase.

Mr. Trammel's time has passed. He has been on he School Board too long and has become arrogant. The CCPS should work with the County on Chester Middle accord.

Dr. Newsome is a good man and a hard worker. He is just not he hands on leader we need now at the CCPS.

You can take this to the bank, there will be a larger turnover on the School Board than the BOS.

joeinbonair said...

I will put my full support behind Patty Carqenter in Midlo as well as money and my bet is Alter will as well. She will win...Gecker is out!!!

J. Scott said...

I would say there is plenty of time for the SB officials to recover given its the Board of Supervisors that seem to be fueling the rhetoric in order to shift any such focus from them onto the SB regarding its budget and not its own. That said, The BOS has failed to answer questions regarding pensions and retirement funding for government officials nor has it addressed the fact that its very apparatus (local government outside of the school system) appears to be one of the largest employers in the region. Given we have a projected census population of just over 300K, it appears that the BOS ought to be focusing on its own domain rather than the SB per say.

Lets be honest. The SB must be a reactionary body to what the BOS and Planning Commission orchestrate with regard to growth and zonings. The SB is at the mercy of the zoning and growth patterns established by the BOS not the SB itself.

Roseland is a prime example. BOS see it as a huge "growth pays for growth" vehicle but if you are sitting on the SB how do you account for the potential increase in students for a zoning case that could realistically add 10,000 homes in 12 years if the market rebounds as expected in the housing market. If the avergae homebuyer these days has 1.62 children....do the math Mr. Gecker...it does not add up. We have not the capacity to support such zonings and while it may be nice to say that the developers plan on building the schools that says nothing for the impact on roads and infrastructure that even today are greatly underfunded.

Anonymous said...

The SB has gone totally off the reservation. They used to be so much better than the BOS.

Now they have no accountablilty for anything and are totally arrogant with ALL stakeholders. Marcus Newsome is seen less than Bin Laden.

It may take a bunch of completed FBI 302's to get at what is going on in the CCPS.

We need to replace all five of those corrupt SB members.

Will S. said...

"Corrupt"....my god man get a clue. Where have you been? Are you actually balming the SB members for the shortfall? I will give you that the CCPS much learn to manage with less but lets take a hard look at the fact that 50%+ of our tax dollars are going to schools directly allocated by the BOS, which leaves 50% or so left for non-school related matters. Have you looked at those. Have you even looked at the irresponsible CIP (Capital Improvment Plan) the fact that the BOS would rather build libraries and support matters like the cultural center over fire stations? I have no doubt that the SB has opportunities, but the BOS has been clipping them off at the knees for 10 years. Gecker and people like him have no sense of any Comprehensive Planning and they talk about light rail stations in Roseland...are you kidding me?
Newsome stepped forward at reduced his own pay. Has any Board of Supervisor done so? What is the BOS projected shortfall for its budget? Have they even remotely addressed their shortcomings or is it much easier and politcially expedient to blame the CCPS? Remember the BOS must be held accountbale for its share of the blame.
Alter has documented over the last three years the misguided zoning approvals that have contributed to overcrowding in the schools to begin with. It may be true that Durfee may be ahead of the curve on demanding new lines for school alignment but where have the others of BOS stated a view on the matter. My guess is like every other issue they will run and hide when the time comes or have their cronnies on the Planning Commission provide cover.

So who in your opinion ANONY is responsible for the trailers over the last twenty years outside our schools? The BOS or SB? Does the SB have any input regarding new zoning developments which impact their schools enrollment?

Anonymous said...

So today folks our infamous Board of County Supervisors approved 3-1 on a vote to provide Sportsquest with 4.3 million of our tax dollars to in essence provide fields, gym space and a senior center there for County use. So does that mean that because our tax dollars are being used to fund Sportsquest that citizens will have free access?
Why have we provided 4.3 million at a time where we reduced our own Parks and Rec budget to provide upgrades to fields throughout the parks system?
What am I missing? Oh, the special interest in Chesterfield gets served again thats what.
Recently, a member of the Board at a meeting regarding the CCPS budget told a citizen that the proposal to increase the property tax rate by .04 cents and dedicate that amount generated to schools would only provide some three or four million and would not "solve" the problem. Well, this Supervisor will certainly be held to task next election when his ver words will be used against him as he supported just as much today of our dollars to go to Sportsquest.
Accountability needs to be the focus now !!

Lucks Lane said...

Lots of blame to go around. Hope it does not tear the County apart.

We need a come to Jesus meeting with both boards.

The SB really misses Jim Schroeder.

Once eveything is resolved represenatives of both should meet with the GA members to try to get increased funding.

We should all hope the economy booms so all those deferred pension contributions can be covered. If not, governments can always file Chapter 9.

Anonymous said...

Great Point. How about we ask the Board of County Supervisors the very question regarding the retirement pensions. Funded or unfunded?

Lucks Lane said...

Well we have just seen the second coming of the Cloverleaf mall deal.

Another rush job for a big expenditure, Regardless of the merits, this soccer field deal was done way too quick.

Anonymous said...

It makes very little sense to fund the Sportsquest deal with 4 million of our tax dollars and than simply keep what reductions made in the budget for Parks & Recreations at current levels. They should be more. If Sportsquest has agreed to "maintain" the fields and the amount of volume of use predicted by the County than certainly the ranks of the payroll of P&R can be drastically reduced. If the County is not going to fund the upgrades or new grass installations at existing parks like Huguenot than why should we be paying for workers to sit around?

Anonymous said...

The Chesterfield GOP must provide new blood in the upcoming election cycle. They cannot be the same old candidates like Tubbs, Sowder or former office holders if the GOP wants to be successful.

Would it be something to see more Tea Party or independent candidates that truly are independent. Everyone around here in Midlothian knows Supervisor Gecker is a Democrat and not a independent having been appointed by a Democrat to the Planning Commission and then running in the special election for Supervisor as a Democrat before turning around when the climate was ripe and running against Sowder as an "independent".

commoncents said...


I love your blog! Keep up the great work!!

Common Cents

SummerRain said...

Don't feel lonely.....local government, across America, is having the same problems. And, it's going to get worse thank to Obama. (I guess if can continue to blame Bush after 20 months, it's about time I blame him).

Jody L. Wilcox said...

New blood for GOP in Chesterfield all around this election cycle and the next ...retreads will be summarily dismissed and will loose I'm afraid.....I, for one, am available for Planning Commission (because this current commission is failing and we need to correct it) in Matoaca if not others things......

Anonymous said...

If you had someone who took the time to dig deep enough into the "moral family values" of Martin in Chesterfield, you could put him out to the pasture he should have been in years ago.

He was a groomed product of the Moral Majority years of Jerry Falwell..churning out the same stereotypical candidate. Same haircut with enough laquer to keep it from moving in a catagory 5 hurricane, same resumes, etc.

Now Chesterfield has an egocentric and narcisstic Senator representing them or should I say dictating them.

Don't confront him, just look for the closets. Every single one of those made to order moral majority types have overflowing messy closet doors waiting for the right person to turn the knob.