5 years ago

07-26-12 FR low - Fluvanna Review

07-26-12 FR low - Fluvanna Review

Coming Soon! Banners &

Coming Soon! Banners & Posters Signs Si Calenders Enlargements Canvas Portraits & Art Prints Photo Packages & so much more! Email: mailbox102 Fax: 434-589-9603 Owner: Terry Brown 4 | FLUVANNA REVIEW | July J l 26, 2 2012 2 See It BIG! Say it BIG! Authoriized Shipping Center QUALITY PRINTING For ALL Your Packing & Shipping NEEDS!! We have- • Bubble Wrap • Packing Peanuts • Packing Tape • Specialty Boxes • Professional • Packing Service Create from Your Digital Photos Copying C Blueprints, Landscape Design, Prints, etc. Mailbox Rentals Fax Send & Receive Laminating Document Shredding GBC Binding Notary Public Full / Self Serve Copying (B&W/color) Large Format 434-589-9602 Mon.-Fri. 9-6 • Sat.10-2 265 Turkeysag Trail, #102 Lake Monticello •Across from Food Lion Another Booker critic I am a bit confused regarding Supervisor Booker’s recent comparison of the ongoing county discussion with the latest controversy at UVa. To compare the situation in Fluvanna with that of UVa. is truly one of apples and oranges. The UVa. Board of Visitors (BOV) did indeed conduct closeddoor meetings with infl uential members of the public and university community as is its right to do. However, all Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors meetings are public as are the minutes thereof (excluding executive sessions). If Ms. Booker has knowledge and evidence of any supervisors conducting illegal or unethical meetings regarding the budget, she should present such evidence to the Commonwealth attorney for appropriate legal action. The one area where we may appropriately compare the UVa. BOV and the Fluvanna supervisors would be in the common appearance of a confl ict of interest by UVa. Rector Helen Dragas and Supervisor Booker. I, for one, would be glad to hear directly from Ms. Booker as to why her employment by the school district should not demand that she recuse herself from any board debate and voting where school fi nancing is under consideration. Although Ms. Booker accuses her fellow board members of micromanaging the school district budget, she omits the fact that it is not possible for the board to target any specifi c jobs, programs or district employee benefi ts. The board merely provides the district with a dollar amount and spending recommendations. The school superintendent, in consultation with the school board, is free to allocate funds in any way deemed appropriate for meeting the educational needs of the county’s student population. Finally, Ms. Booker’s assertion that the cuts made to county donations to private, non-profi t organizations fails to put “our people” fi rst is a red herring. As has been the case since before the founding of our nation and our community, private charitable organizations meeting community needs through the generous philanthropy of private donors will continue without government assistance, guidance or intervention. Sam Richardson Lake Monticello Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal Our soft wash technique will restore the look and health of your roof We can make your roof look new again CALL YOUR NEIGHBORS! MULTIPLE HOME DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE W E TWO CAN DO MORE FOR YOU! BUYING • SELLING • RENTING • CALL US Lorraine Wheeler 434-989-0708 BEFORE AFTER BEFORE The Wheelers MONTICELLO COUNTRY REALTORS $50 OFF Roof Cleaning $75 OFF Combined Service House washing, deck reconditioning and gutter fi lters AFTER 434-466-1324 Don Wheeler 434-962-7868 See See advertisement advertisement on on Page Page 99

Fleecing America Just read the article in the Review highlighting the “improvements” to Turkeysag Trail by the Department of Virginia Transportation. What another waste of tax payers’ money! How many people do they expect will use these bike lanes and just how do those bikers get to the bike lanes safety to begin with? Now all we need is a designated parking area for the bikers. That way they can load their bikes on their car, park in the designated parking area, unload their bikes and ride up and down the new bike lanes. Just another example of the fl eecing of America! There certainly are other more critical road improvements that could have been considered. Chris Hoogmoed Lake Monticello Fixing health care Want to pay less and get better care? Do you want better health care for less money? You won’t get it if conservatives overturn the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We pay more for health care than people in any other country in the world, but our health care ranks 37th of 191 countries (based on the most recent survey by the World Health Organization, done in 2000). Newsweek did a less comprehensive survey in 2010 and ranked the U.S. 11th in quality of care, while still #1 in expense. Whoa, now! We always hear that our health system is the best in the world. Our politicians say so! What gives? Most countries guarantee medical care for their citizens, but America ranks dead last in “fairness”: many Americans aren’t covered by medical insurance. In other words, Americans who can afford it get decent health care, but poor Americans don’t. Even Americans with health insurance have diffi culty getting medical care on nights or weekends, unless they go to emergency rooms. The quality of our health care varies: we get outstanding care for some illnesses such as breast cancer, but not so good for other conditions such as colorectal cancer. We have the second highest death rates for bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema. Our infant mortality is high, and we have a high rate of dying from diseases that are treatable. Many other countries provide better care for people with chronic illnesses. We score poorly in protecting safety of patients, and we don’t do well in meeting patients’ needs and preferences. We boast about the quality of our hospitals but (according to a report by Consumer Reports) infections, surgical mistakes, and other errors contribute to the deaths of 180,000 patients a year – “Medical harm is probably one of the three leading causes of death.” Finally, we’re behind many other countries in use of information technology – our medical records and communications systems are embarrassingly primitive and ineffi cient. Politicians claim that Americans are happy with our health care. Again, not true: we rank 14th of 17 nations polled for overall satisfaction with health care. One big reason is high cost (“we’re number one!”). One cause of this high cost is poor effi ciency (for instance, poor people having to go to emergency rooms for care that should be taken care of through prevention and less expensive services). Another reason for high cost is that American medical insurance companies, drug companies, and – yes –some health care professionals continue to get rich even though our overall care doesn’t compare so well with other health care systems. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act tries to address these problems. (Conservatives avoid facing these problems by calling this Act “Obamacare”). You have a choice this fall. You can vote for conservatives who promise to repeal the Act, thus halting the effort to systematically fi x our mediocre health care system. Or you can vote for moderates and progressives who support using the Act to improve access to health care, control costs, and address the problems summarized above. Dave Miller Palmyra Respect both sides BY CHRIS FAIRCHILD Since this year’s budget vote there has been substantial conversation, both privately and in the media about that fact that several board members this year created a back room coalition and surprised their fellow board members with a vote that others had not had the chance to prepare for. However, last year everyone who attended the budget vote heard my protest as a board member to the same tactics being used, as some were aware was coming before going in, and after my protest those who participated and those who benefi ted said nothing to me about it being wrong. To the contrary, in a post-vote conversation, I was told that if I would have voted the way some wanted, those board members would not have had to do so. And like this year, citizens protested these tactics before the vote. They told us they had not had the chance to ponder the results and impacts of the surprise changes to the budget. Yet this year, some of those who celebrated now speak against the same tactics, now that they have been used against them. I believe we cannot stand for one thing on one day and then stand against it the other, unless the change comes from learning new facts. It can’t be ok because my side of the argument is right. The other side cares, and is intelligent too. The greater problem in Fluvanna is not that the school was built too big, or that some tax payers want cuts too deep, there are truths on both sides. It’s that each side believes they need to “get it while they can”, words I heard in a board meeting last year, and that the other side just isn’t educated enough. The problem in getting it while you can is that there are two sides to the argument, and they both include intelligent people who pay taxes maybe have children and have a say. If you get it all today, enjoy it, because you will lose it tomorrow, and that goes for both sides. Democratic history, both in Fluvanna and nationwide, has Guest editorial proven this time and time again. Under great protest the new high school was approved with very few cuts to the ultimate vision of some, then the schools ended up paying for much of it after the next election, a huge blow to our educational system. Shock and awe tactics were used in voting for last year’s budget, and then the other side used the same tactics this year. I suspect the “school side” will rally the votes in next year’s election and push a lot of money to the schools and if they do, I will suggest as I did after last year’s vote that they spend it while the can, as the taxpayer side has already shown they own rally caps too. If this ends up true and someone’s children will be out of our system within one or two election cycles, those kids will likely be okay. But if the children are pretty young, that family will see this cycle again. Finally, look at U.S. politics. The 2008 election was the one that would change America, “a referendum on the tactics and beliefs of the Republican party.” It was truly an historic election that had unprecedented power behind it. Yet only two years later, the votes swung back to the Republicans and they said it was something like, “a referendum on the tactics and beliefs of the Democratic party.” In my opinion the goal of Fluvanna’s leaders at this point, in whatever role or position they are in, needs to be to lead “the sides” to come together, to fi nd a place where most feel they are getting a reasonable portion of what they believe is right and to lead each side to respect not only the beliefs, but cares and concerns of the other side. We will often disagree, while we can still give each other respect. How can Fluvanna’s leaders bring us back together? Are we willing to do what it takes to get the masses, while never everyone, to respect other beliefs and perspectives and work together again? Can we set aside some of our agendas and reach across the aisle in order to create truly sustainable government? Too much is being lost. (Chris Fairchild is the CEO of National Filter Service Inc. and a former member of the Board of Supervisors.) July 26, 2012 | FLUVANNA REVIEW | 5

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