Category: Local Issues

White Elephant In Greene County Part 3

To all the citizens in Greene County Virginia it is time to get off your couches and come out and let your so-called county representatives know that you are tired of having your tax dollars being wasted.  This coming Tuesday, June 4th at 7 PM the EDA will be having a public presentation on their purposed investment of almost ONE MILLION DOLLARS for a new Greene County Visitor Center. This meeting will be held in Stanardsville at the county administration building.  However, if you are okay with the SIX MILLION DOLLAR short fall in the current county budget and have no problem adding another million dollars to that deficit then by all means stay home. But if you don’t want your taxes going up again next year then come out and let the EDA know that this purchase will not fly.

One must ask themselves how is spending this amount of money beneficial to the citizens of Greene. The county is struggling to put on a July 4th event and can’t afford to have a county fair, two things that are definite tourist attractions, yet they are considering a purchase of this size that will not only cost big dollars up front but will be a drain on our resources for years to come. Another question we must ask ourselves is who does benefit from this purchase if not the local citizens? For more background on this see my previous posts here and here.

Does the county need to do something to encourage tourists and businesses to come to Greene, of course it does? There are so many ways that our tax dollars can be spent more wisely then by taking a prime piece of real estate off the market to put a county building on it. This prime lot on Rt. 29 in front of Lowe’s would be a perfect spot for a restaurant, with its great visibility and road frontage it would even be a great spot for a Chic-Fil-A, a much better prospect than a visitor center. So if you don’t want your taxes to increase more then they already have and like the idea of a new place to eat in the county like a Chick-Fil-A, then show up Tuesday night and let your voice be heard. After all who wouldn’t want a Chic-Fil-A in Greene?

White Elephant In Greene County Part 2

Does Greene County really need a million-dollar tourism center?

In late March I blogged about a real estate transaction that would be taking place in my home county of Greene. At that time, it had become known that a building and property on Route 29 in Ruckersville was being looked at as a possible home for the Greene Economic Development Authority. This land and building owned by a member of the Board of Tourism has been empty for quite some time. The initial projected use for this purchase was to be a new location for the Chamber of Commerce, an enterprise center for developing businesses and a new office for the EDA director Alan Yost. However according to a recent article in the Greene County Record it will now be the new home of the Greene Visitor Center.

This transaction stinks of cronyism. I have a few questions about this whole deal. The first question I have is how long has this property been on the market? I live not to far from this parcel and have passed it dozens of times over the last year in my many visits to Lowe’s. I have never seen a for sale sign in front the building which makes me wonder was it ever listed with a realtor? If not, was the owner just waiting for the right time to sell it to the county? There are at least four commercial land parcels on Rt. 29 in Ruckersville that are up for sale and have been for quite a while without any movement. I guess the owners of these properties just don’t have the right connections.

The next big question is why would the county want to waste tax dollars generated by the transient occupancy tax on one building? This million-dollar debacle will not do anything to increase tourism in Greene. Yes, we need to do something to generate more tourist driven revenue in our county, a million dollars would go far in attracting events and then advertising those events which in turn would attract visitors. No one is going to come to Greene just to visit a visitor center. I don’t believe that many people have visitor centers on their list as destinations, they come for other reasons and may drop in as an after thought. Interesting happenings like wine festivals, craft fairs, car shows and almost anything else besides a boring building would bring people to our county. Tying up a million dollars in taxes over the years will not benefit anyone besides the people directly involved in this scam. The Board of Supervisors need to put a stop to this and need to pull their support for this transaction. If they don’t, they should all be voted out of office for this obvious malfeasance of tax payer dollars.

Virginia Legislators: Bigger Government is Good Government

After this fall’s election the state of Virginia could very well continue its slide into the Blue if the Republicans lose any more seats in the House of Delegates or State Senate. Things have already gotten worse with all the bills that were past in 2018 that increased government regulation and oversight, with more Democrat control this will continue to head in that direction.

If you visit the American Conservative Union website, you will find a host of bills that were passed in the state by our legislature that further increases spending and regulation. These bills range from increased licensing fees, to tax credits for select businesses and Medicaid expansion. Virginia has to many legislators that seem to think that more government is good government.

I am always amazed at the number of bills that are passed by our legislature every year. It would seem after a while that we would have everything covered, but no, every year dozens of bills make their way to the Governor’s desk. The one thing I can say is that it is a good thing that our representatives are only in Richmond for a short time, otherwise think of the damage they could do if they were there for longer periods.

The citizens of Virginia need to stop this downward spiral of bigger government and higher taxes that our representatives continue to promote. I fail to understand how some people think that government is always the answer.  Ask just about anyone how they feel about their visits to the DMV, a government run institution, and they will complain about the excessive paper work, poor service and inconvenience. Yet these same people seem to think the state should be controlling our medical care as well as having control over every aspect of business and our personal rights.

If you look at the ACU rankings of our state legislators you will see that only six delegates and zero Senators on the Republican side received a 90% or higher grade, the highest democrat rating was 35%. On the Republican side Senator Emmett Hanger received the lowest ranking of all Republicans with a 61% well below the average of 76%, which I think should be closer to 90 . It is Republicans like Hanger that must go, and we have that chance this coming June when he is primaried by Tina Freitas who will bring conservatism back to the 24th Senate District.

It is the early primaries through out the state that will be key to how our fall elections turn out. Primary turn out is always low but that needs to change if we are to see real transformation in our legislature. Encourage your friends and neighbors to get out to vote and impress on them the necessity of limited government, and if they question you ask them about their last visit to the DMV.

Virginia’s 24th, June 11th, A Defining Moment

This coming June 11th will be the day when true conservatives will have a chance to change the direction our state is headed. On that day a Republican Primary will be held to determine who will run for the 24th District Senate seat.  We can stay with the same state senator who has sold out his party on numerous occasions or we can select someone to represent the district’s constituents and Republican Party.

Senator Hanger is the epitome of a Republican In Name Only, here is a quote taken from the Culpepper Democrats Facebook page posted on October 20, 1915.

“In the 24th State Senate Race, Republican, Emmett Hanger is running unopposed because Democrats came out in the republican primary to make sure he won the nomination. He votes 90% of the time as a Democrat would in that seat“.

Fortunately, we have a clear choice to make in June, stay with the RINO or place a vote for Tina Freitas a true Constitutional Conservative. Freitas will represent her constituents and not big corporate donors. She is pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment and a proponent of smaller government. Visit her website at Tina4Va.com and see what she stands for, and if you can, please donate to her campaign. Unlike her opponent she is not receiving contributions form big business and can use all the help we can give her.

A White Elephant In Greene County

It has come to my attention that a peculiar, or should I say a not so peculiar transaction is about to take place in my home county of Greene in the state of Virginia. Something that you would expect from federal agencies and not at the local level. Although I guess I am kind of naive and expect our local politicians who happen to be our friends and neighbors to behave honorably. This is not the case however when it comes to some individuals in our Economic Development Agency, the Board of Tourism and our Board of Supervisors.

It seems that there is a valuable piece of property on the Rt. 29 corridor in Ruckersville. This property which has road frontage on a highway that has upwards of 50,000 vehicles passing it daily is in the process of being purchased for use by the Economic Development Agency. The projected purchase price for this prime real-estate is $800,000 for land and a dilapidated building which by the looks of it should be bulldozed. However, the plan is to renovate the building using a budgeted $100,000. The proposed uses for this building are an office for the director Alan Yost, rental of a portion to the Chamber of Commerce and use any leftover space for temporary offices that start up businesses would have access to.

Let’s ignore the fact that there is no way this building can be renovated for the budgeted amount and look at how they plan on paying off a $900,000 loan. Rumor has it that they expect the Chamber to pay $1,200 a month in rent which they have not agreed to, and the rest of the money would come from short term rental of office space for businesses locating to Greene County.  Last I heard there are not a lot of businesses knocking on the EDA’s door. Why should they expect that to change? What is going to happen is that Mr. Yost will get himself a nice office and the EDA will be struggling to pay off this loan.

As I mentioned above there were three agencies that had a hand in these shenanigans the other two are the Board of Tourism that happens to have a board member who owns this piece of property that has been empty for quite a while.  Then there is the Board of Supervisors who seem to be turning a blind eye to this looming disaster. Of course, most of this is being done behind closed doors and as a result the county is going to end up being stuck with a million-dollar white elephant that the citizens of Greene County will end up footing the bill for.