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Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Spotsylvania Will Most Likely Join VRE Tonight

Supervisor Jerry Logan says he plans to vote in favor of the joining agreement with PTRC, which could make Spotsylvania County a member of Virginia Railway Express.

The deal is not done, though. Logan, who is the swing vote on the VRE issue that is the subject of a public hearing tonight, said the VRE Operations Board still needs to unanimously approve the changes to the agreement–and that’s not guaranteed.

Logan said the joining agreement is what he was most concerned about, and the changes he is asking for involve an exit clause in the contract, how localities can control the subsidy payment to VRE if the 2 percent gasoline tax (2.1 percent in January) does not cover the subsidy amount and having the first few years of the subsidy deferred.

    "That is what we have been working on now for months and months," Logan said. "I think we’ve got a document that if VRE does agree to it, it is something that we can live with if they are willing to accept it. If there is one item in that agreement they can not live with and they send it back to us then the deal is off. That is what I am supporting. They haven’t said no, so we will see. I have been trying to use the leverage I’ve got as the swing vote."

 Logan is feeling pressure from the hard-right-wing of the Republican Party, which is against the county joining VRE. He had considered asking the issue be tabled tonight until after the election, but Logan said that is not going to happen. Logan’s "yes" vote will likely join Supervisors Hap Connors, Benjamin Pitts and Gary Skinner, giving the four necessary votes to pass the VRE agreement.

Skinner was out at VRE stations yesterday handing out fliers in an attempt to get VRE supporters to tonight’s hearing. Both Skinner and Pitts campaigned on supporting VRE and helped get the issue to a vote finally in Spotsylvania County.

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Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/spotsygovt/2009/08/18/spotsylvania-will-most-likely-join-vre-tonight/

  • JMassey699

    I’m at a loss for words. Disgusted by my county yet again.

  • dantelvock

    Why JMassey?

    Elaborate for me if you would. I am curious as to why you think this is a bad decision.

  • dobreshunka

    Are you against city water, electric, paved roads, airports?

  • lgross

    If Mr. Logan succeeded in framing this proposal
    for consideration by the BOS, get gets high
    marks for political skill.

    Why?

    Because if the BOS accepts it and VRE accepts it,
    he’s managed to get implemented a significant
    protection for the county and and significant
    additional accountability for VRE to control their
    costs.

    If the BOS rejects it – Logan is off the hook.

    If the BOS approves it and VRE rejects it, then Mr.
    Logan has achieved a master stroke where he’s
    voted for VRE and VRE has chosen to not accept.

    If this is what is going on – it ain’t going to be
    very satisfying to the supporters…. eh?

  • dantelvock

    Larry,

    Jerry said the revised contract is online but I could not find it. Not real sure what is going on at the moment, but he said there are actually three agreements they vote on tonight—if they vote. But he said he plans to vote yes, if VRE agrees to the contract changes. We’ll see.

  • therestofthestory

    will be s sham. The meeting will be conducted by David Copperfield, mirrors, smoke and a lack of reality.

  • dantelvock

    You going, Vince?

  • 1958

    sounds like a scam to me

  • MAVRICKinc

    DAN: what is it about JMassey699′s disgust about tonite’s vote don’t you get. Does the word “NO” to VRE, bring up any thoughts that have not otherwise been conveyed in this blog over the past 5 months.

    Supv. Logan claims he is the swing vote, and voting for the VRE proposition, but in reality he nor any membere of the BOS or the citizens of Spotsylvania County have an agreement from VRE agreeing with the BOS and Country Attorney to changes proposed by the County.

    Simply said, how can Supv. Logan stand before tonite’s citizens and say yes to VRE but NO if VRE doesn’t agree to the County’s terms and modifications to the VRE Master Agreement.

    Or, is this document going to suddenly appear out of no where at tonite’s meeting without discussing or reviewing the document. It’s sort of like the cart before the horse, kind of reasoning ands rationale. Good staging, but the lighting sucks.

    If anyone knows this document exist in real time, Supervisors Hap Connors, Benjamin Pitts and Gary Skinner would already know this document exist or not. Paul Milde III of the Stafford Board or Matt Kelley of the Fredericksburg City Council would also have cause to know about this document and whether it’s in the hands of our BOS.

    The only reason I make mention of this is Stafford County’s and the Fredericksburg City Council JOINED VRE without a word to their constituents and citizens that attached to this gas-tax illusion, that will never sustain anyone’s transportation wish list, is the VRE MASTER AGREEMENT; one of the most lopsided and unforgiving contracts ever devised, to funnel money into a government transportation pyramid system that has no bottom or foundation. It’s just another deep dark hole that people and governments throw their money into, with little, if any real return on investment.

    Spotsylvania is just another pay check VRE gets back each and every year, so they can spend more on their Capital Investments, which can be found just about anywhere on the CSX rail tracks.

    Supv. Gary Skinner, Lee’s Hill District, not the citizens or constituents of the Lee’s Hill District has the most at stake, for now. Without VRE, TRICORD’s “Summit Crossing” and “New Post” projects will never get off the ground, unless Hugh Cosner, Tommy Welsh, Tmothy Welsh, Silver and Company, and Meadows have anything to do with it.

    With all this VRE and train station, not one person has thought to ask about road construction that will lead to a train station, much less support an additional “projected” population of 12,000 or more citizsens in the next 5-10 years.

    Should any one care to call this baloney, I suggest you do you homework first before bringing platitudes to the table. This is real, it’s business at its lowest rung and were anyone to check the facts out for themselves I would suggest you take a gasmask along…just in case. I’ll loan mine out to anyone, free of charge.

    So, tonite we have a BOS Meeting without an agreement to the Board’s reccommended changes to the VRE Master Agreement, and a room full of citizens who can only smell the gas, but not the fire that will eventually ignite. Since the BOS only posted tonite’s agenda at noon last Friday, I dare say anyone in attendance will have much to say about something they know nothing about, a VRE Master Agreement still in progress and still just as unforegiving in its contractual terms, and nothing to show for it other than the “prospect” of getting some chump change back to invest in our transportation initiatives. What ever became of that 2005 $144 million transportation referendum money, or are we saving that for a rainy day. At present we appear to be financing the development, construction communities, and special interest groups at 3.3%, for the next 25 years.

    I continue to hear the cry for more money, but at what real cost to the citizens of Spotsylvania County, now and later on down the line? What part of that gas tax money/revenue will any citizen of this County ever see? Fredericksburg continues to use their share to pay down the cost of a parking garage. Stafford County continues to get closer to their general funds to support their VRE agreement, and no one can account for where the County spent their return on investment from VRE, which continues to dwindle on a daily basis. VRE’s existence depends entirely on getting more money to finance their Capital needs and keep an administration in place to spend some part of Spotsylvania County’s yearly budget, from her to who knows where. That’s all explained in the VRE Master Agreement which is separate, and has nothing to do revenues from a gastax that’s going out of busineess and working it way to diminished returns. It’s a two for one kind of thing. They dangle the gas tax for the cheap votes, and work the VRE Master Agreement to their their failing coffers, under the guise of our County’s and other “participating” and “contributing” members annual budget.

    Try snatch & grab economics.

  • oedipusrx

    It appears the revised contract is in the BOS agenda for tonight. See http://tinyurl.com/qa6tk8

  • lgross

    I’ve looked here and can’t find the proposed opt-out
    passage.

    have you found it?

  • dantelvock

    Larry, I was told what we want to read is agenda item 2D, but I skimmed it and unfortunately every change is not underlined to show this is what is revised and that VRE must approve. I did not find much about the exit clause….

  • 1958

    this will make it easy when we vote for them

  • southwest

    It is a shame that you have not been smart enough to read the law concerning the VRE agreement. The law is very clear as to the order in which certain documents must be voted on and agreed upon by the present agency. Why do you think that Spotsylvania County should receive “special” treatment when the other member juridictions did not receive that treatment???

  • lgross

    me too. there were changes in red – that highlighted
    the two tiered parking.. but I never found the opt-
    out clause.

  • lgross

    no law is written in stone – unchangeable – and isn’t
    there also a law in Virginia that says that no action
    on the part of a BOS can tie the hands of future
    BOS?

  • dr428

    Looks like the BOS is ready to sell out the good citizens of Spotsy so the special few can ride their gov’t subsidized, discounted choo-choo to their big time city jobs. Way to go BOS. Nothing like turning your back on the majority. Fools!

  • dobreshunka

    I’m sue costs millions of dollars to pave and to keep up, and I am fairly sure that I will never ever drive on this road. Should I complain about the “privlidged few” who ride on this road?

    There is a pool at Loriella Park that I have never swam in. hould they close the pool because only 500 or so people use it each summer?

    Do you understand the “only a few people will use it” arguement sounds?

  • JMassey699

    I’m disgusted because outsiders have ruined our county over the last two and a half decades. I’m upset that we no longer have a sense of community in Spotsylvania. I’m bewildered at the sense of entitlement that these “come-heres” have when they pack their little kid-carriers and move south. I’m appalled at the ineptitude of the BoS over several years and multiple decades falling for the sales pushes of developers. I’m angry that people think that the county should be penalized because one, maybe two percent of the population may use this service.

    Now, if you transplants really want your little paved over, work-shop-play communities, then how about this. How about we create a special tax district for the northern part of the county to help pay for this? Even tax the district that is around the mall even though it’s closer for those commuters to drive to the Fredericksburg VRE station than down to Massaponax. You out-of-towners go up to northern Virginia and DC to make the big bucks, surely you can afford an extra two percent tax if a special tax district was invented for the purpose of building the VRE station in Spotsylvania.

    Again, over the months I have typed that the net gain of travel for commuters using VRE in Spotsylvania as compared to Fredericksburg was minuscule. Maybe, 10 or 15 minutes tops? But I guess the soccer Mom who gets up at 4:00am and takes the Caravan up to DC and doesn’t get home until 6:00pm would come up with some intellectual reason with something like she really cherishes those 10 or 15 minutes of extra family time.

    With the growth explosion in our county over the last two and a half decades of something like 250%, it has led to more crime, more services needed, more revenue needed for those services, more schools, and most importantly to me, a destruction of community spirit. This will ruffle your feathers but many of you move into the area from paved over subdivisions and your cookie cutter homes. And a reason you give as to why you want to move to Spotsylvania is that you want to get away from it all. But the funny thing is, you want exactly what you are trying to get away from. It’s just mind-boggling stuff to me.

    This used to be a county; even an area, where you could go somewhere and run into someone you know…or someone who knows someone you know. Now, it’s like Potomac Mills in many instances; which I like to call the “United Nations”. Again, I don’t fault the transplants for this but I fault past regimes of the BoS for coddling to developers.

    And a sad thing is that it’s happening all over the region. Orange is getting hit hard and the same for Culpeper. Both of those Boards have been inept but for not as long as ours though. Give them a decade and they will have the same problems as us. Also out east in King George. They have started to grow and even further down the Northern Neck in Westmoreland County (which is a pretty drive east on Route 3 by the way but I’m sure you come-heres don’t really care to head into a nice rural area for a drive). Caroline is starting to get some of the growth as they serve as they have a terrific location along the I-95 corridor. We also all know that Stafford has experienced big growth and it all hasn’t been that good either. And the City of Fredericksburg will always never explode with population due to it’s size. However, the clientele is completely different from even 15 years ago.

    Yes, you get my point and I know that change is inevitable and many of us native county citizens must accept it. It’s just unfortunate that it’s been ruined by so many in which very few are likable.

    So my point is this…and believe me, this is a rant that I’ve been wanting to get off my chest for a long, long time. Many, and even most of us in the county do not want a train station. We don’t want the crime that you people bring into the county. We don’t want you looking down at Spotsylvania natives because some have accents. We don’t want you whining to our school teachers because your little brat could never do anything wrong when a teacher is trying to discipline them.

    And we sure as hell don’t want you saying that you live in Fredericksburg when you live in Spotsylvania County.

    So it’s another sad day in a laundry list of days in which this county has seen; probably of which the last was the approval of Lee’s Parke (like we really needed that).

    Oh, and before you go on and say something like, “I’m sure you don’t mind our tax revenue though.”, let me remind you of this.

    If many of you had not made our once great county a bedroom community, then we would not have as much crime, wouldn’t need as much money for services, wouldn’t need more schools, and wouldn’t need to put as much money in our roads. Therefore, we wouldn’t need your tax dollars which you throw on the table while looking down your noses at us.

    Let’s hope we go another couple of years before the Spotsylvania BoS doesn’t do anything stupid again

  • southwest

    Based on what is posted on this newspaper article and what really happened it looks like Supervisor Jerry Logan has gone back on his word. Just another politican that says he will do one thing and then turns around and does the complete opposite. Time for a new supervisor. Anyone in the Courtland District want to run against Jerry Logan in two years? I will help with your compaign cost.

  • dobreshunka

    For all this to happen a lot of native Spotsylvaniaians had to sell their land and line their own pockets. It took two to tango. You want a seperate tax district? Fine. How about a seperate school district for Spotsy, Post Oak, Livingston and Berkeley? How do you think those schools ewould look in 10 years?

  • gramps

    After four paragraphs of rant against outsiders, come-here’s, transplants, and out-of-towners you say, “Again, I don’t fault the transplants for this but I fault past regimes of the BoS for coddling to developers.” You could have fooled me regarding who you blame.

    According to you, the ruin of Spotsylvania started about two and a half decades ago. In 1980, there were about 35,000 people living in Spotsylvania. Might I suggest, respectfully, that the real blame belongs on the shoulders of the voting citizens of Spotsylvania at that time and in subsequent years? Elections have and will always have consequences.

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