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The Bedford County Supervisors’ latest zoning proposal is Bad News for Bedford. If you care about lower taxes, better jobs, good schools, preservation of scenic vistas or just protecting the value of your real estate, their proposed changes will be bad for you.
Clustering housing and retail development lowers the cost of providing public safety, school busing and water utilities. Allowing them to spread throughout the county, willy-nilly, has been proven to cause these costs to expand dramatically over time and will significantly raise all of our tax bills with nothing to show for it but a cluttered landscape.
Without good schools and attractive neighborhoods, the good paying manufacturing jobs we’ve lost will not come back. Degrading the attractiveness of shopping districts will result in no one choosing to come to Bedford to shop, while many in Bedford will choose to go elsewhere, shifting sales tax income to other counties.
The Board’s insistence on pursuing zoning policies that have been proven over and over to result in higher taxes, lower property values and poor economic performance is hard to understand. Do they really want to drive Bedford’s economic bus in the ditch? Or, are they so reluctant to learn from the mistakes and successes of neighboring counties they are just doing it blindly?
They claim they want to make the county more business friendly, but their proposal will drive investment and jobs away. Bedford will be a poorer and less attractive county as a result.
Risking national security
It is important for members of Congress to know that they are risking our national security by failing to address, in a timely manner, the fiscal needs of our defense forces.
General Ray Odierno, the Army's Chief of Staff, recently outlined the steps the Army is taking to remain effective while dealing with the lack of funding – canceling combat training center rotations, delaying depot work, canceling maintenance for vehicles that are not bound immediately for the current fight, freezing civilian hiring, potential furloughing of existing employees and laying off temporary workers. The bottom line is that training and therefore readiness will suffer.
General Odierno stressed that what the Army needs most isff budget predictability through several years so that end strength, modernization and readiness can be carefully balanced and a hollow force avoided.
The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) has been urging Congress to solve the sequestration issue quickly and we continue to highlight the significant danger of using continuing resolutions to fund the Department of Defense. The fiscal process must be put back in order so that our defense forces can maintain their readiness and their ability to defend this nation.
COL(R) John Miller
President, Stonewall Jackson Chapter
Association of the United States Army