Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Economist runs for Salem Seat

Here’s the announcement from Paul Trampe, candidate for Salem supervisor:

Several dozens of supporters braved the rain one winter, Saturday afternoon to join Paul Trampe as he kicked off his campaign for the Board of Supervisors from Salem district, Spotsylvania County. The event was held at the Trampe home off Gordon Road.

Dr. Trampe, an economist with the federal government and Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at American University addressed the crowd about the need for Spotsylvania to move beyond being a bedroom community. “When you look around Spotsy and you see all these empty, foreclosed-on houses, who is going to buy those houses and fill our empty residential space? If we rely on those who work in Washington or the Northern Virginia suburbs or Richmond to move here, maybe they will and maybe they won’t. But if we bring in the higher paying jobs here to our own community, those that pay enough so that workers can afford the housing in Spotsylvania, I guarantee most of them will settle down here and make a life in our community.”

Trampe went on to discuss issues from taxes to transportation and congestion to land use to crime. He predicted that even a small cut in the property tax would help bring businesses here as it would send the signal that “taxes do not inevitably go only in one direction.” Trampe noted that Spotsylvania County has not lowered its tax rate below the equalization rate since 1975 and that a business looking to relocate will notice not only the current rate but the direction in which it is headed.

On transportation, Trampe expressed tentative support for the proposed Route 3 bypass but emphasized that more study is needed to ensure that the toll road will in fact pay for itself without the need for an increase in the property tax.

Concerning  land use issues, Trampe emphasized that the use of eminent domain, the county’s power to take private land for a “public use” while reimbursing the landowner, should be limited to major infrastructure projects, never to turn the land over to a different private landowner such as a developer, and even then only if there is no other way.

Trampe noted that as the head of his neighborhood watch he has seen the way gangs and drug dealers prey on neighborhoods with a high number of empty houses. He emphasized that such homes must be disposed of in a timely fashion, sold at auction either by the banks that have foreclosed or by the county, citing the public nuisance statute.