Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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What is a political dynamic?

It’s when 35 people show up at a county board meeting–which are often empty of an audience–and demand that their road gets paved because they’ve asked for it since 1991.

That’s a force, and they are seeking to motivate some form of action from a supervisor, any supervisor, all supervisors.

Hence, a political dynamic.

It may not be the top issue in the county, but for the Livingston District, it quickly became a hot one. Twenty of the 35 unpaved roads are in this district.

Tuesday night, Supervisor T.C. Waddy read a short hand-written statement that requested county staff work with VDOT officials to see if there are ways to get some of the roads paved quicker. He took this action before today’s story was published.

Both of his opponents, Bryce Reeves and Tom Beals, have visited the residents on Grand Brooks Road. I am not sure they’ve visited residents who live on some of the other dirt roads in the district. Waddy has been there, too. And he’s helped get some roads paved in the district, it just takes a long time.

There’s a competition for those votes, and political signs started popping up.

I’ve driven on a few of these roads recently. They are not your typical dirt road in a rural area. These roads do get more traffic than you think. I saw a lot of traffic just on Grand Brooks Road alone. How much is a lot? Well, let’s just say I was a bit surprised at the number of cars that use it from 3 to 5 p.m. when I was out visiting the folks there. It wasn’t gridlock, but it was steady.

Waddy has always said that his rural residents pay taxes, too. In fact, they require less services. They don’t use water and sewer.

Mr. Fredtastic, a regular comment correspondent on the FLS Web page, had this to say today:

“That’s pretty scary if this is true. There are so many other major concerns and issues that the BOS candidates should be addressing than paved roads. I’m sure its important to some residents but come on. Taxes, growth, transportation, illegal immigration – the representative from the Livingston District will have a say in how the next Board votes on these key issues that affect the entire county, not just 80+ people.”

Fred, I’ve never seen 35 people come out to a board meeting demanding illegal immigration controls. I’ve never seen 35 people come out for Rt. 3 improvements. I’ve never seen that many people come out since November 2006, when the supervisors approved a rezoning that protected a large swath of battlefield.

So, come over here Fred, and let’s debate. Because it may not be the top issue in the county, but it sure is a political dynamic in the Livingston District.  






  • Fredtastic


    You make a good point about what makes for a politically dynamic issue. I agree that as taxpayers those in the Livingston District have a right to request that their tax dollars are used to benefit their quality of life – which apparently is a paved road. I won’t dispute that, however, if that is the defining issue then I feel it is very short sighted by those in the Livingston District. Haven’t seen 35 people show up to a Board meeting on illegal immigration? (see next post)

  • Fredtastic

    Then see what has happened in Prince William – standing room only as their board is making decisions re: illegal immigration. We as a County are next and this future board will have to make those decisions. VRE and transportation? The people have already voted to overwhelmingly support road improvements and VRE participation. And the future Board will deal with these issues. (one more post to come)

  • Fredtastic

    All I’m saying is that there are broader issues, that deal with the entire county (120,000 people), that to me far outweigh those of 80+ people. I’m not saying the issue is inconsequential – but THE issue? To me it just shows how much of a divide there is between the two rural districts and the five “urban” districts. We’ll see what the voters think today . . .

    Feel free to write back Dan – I enjoy a good, friendly debate!