Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Should VRE go to referendum by itself?
In 2005, a majority of Spotsylvania voters passed a $144 million bond referendum that included $12 million for a VRE station. That referendum contained a list of roads to repair and the VRE station.
Since then, some road projects have been priced and although work has been delayed, the projects are ongoing. But no progress has been made on VRE.
I wrote this story and got numerous calls about it. One caller was pretty angry that only Chamber members could vote. He said the results would be tainted by members outside Spotsylvania voting in favor of the county joining VRE, and he doesn’t want someone who doesn’t live here telling the county in which he lives to spend money on a service that about 1,000 residents use.
Fair enough. But then he said Spotsylvania residents never had a chance to vote on the VRE issue. I explained to him that the 2005 bond referendum included the $12 million for a VRE station. He argued that the referendum included numerous projects that will never be finished with the bond money. He also said some people who voted for the bond may have just wanted the roads fixed, and not VRE. He said they could have voted in favor of the referendum anyway just to start some of the road projects. We’ll never know if that is the case but he assured me that he voted against the referendum. b
His solution to the VRE debate? Have a bond question that simply asks: Should Sposylvania County join Virginia Railway Express? Nothing more. Nothing less.
I’ve seen localities split bond questions so various projects are not on the same referendum.