Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
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.