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Letters 11/23/11

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Steamroller

politics

    Congratulations to all of our elect Bedford County Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Mike Brown. Although I do not live in District One I did help campaign for Bill Thomasson, as well as for Sheriff Mike Brown.
    Being my first time to be a campaign volunteer I thoroughly enjoyed it very much. It was a hard job but we got it done and were successful in our efforts. It’s been a long time since I have knocked on doors and solicited for anything. Surprisingly, we met all kinds of people but we met lots of folks who had given up on our elected officials. They are convinced the people just don’t have a voice. Getting involved, I now see it quite the opposite. Voting is one of our rights and privileges in this great country and we need to take every advantage of it. Without voting it is clear that you don’t have a voice.
    Dale Wheeler is a fine gentleman and served our county for 21 years. In this letter there is no intention of disrespect for this man. I believe that he entirely underestimated the determination  and the will and the desire of Bill Thomasson to unseat him. If I could draw a political cartoon it would be like this. A huge old time steamroller called Republican with Bill standing on top directing its moves and Lewis Huff at the controls. Alongside and back were his dedicated volunteers wearing signs and shouting “vote for Bill Thomasson.” In front was, guess who, running for his life, none other than Dale Wheeler ready to get splattered. Lewis Huff can’t get enough credit for his tireless work in this campaign. He is a motivator and an inspirational individual with God-sent talent that people love. Could be that was why the vote was so lopsided.
    So much for the campaign, let’s talk about the future of Bedford County. I have said for a long time that the people in this county, especially in AP Zoning, have very little they can do with their land. If you don’t raise cows or beans there is very little other income that you can generate. Oh yeah, you can get special use permits with a tremendous amount of expense. Still this is just for parks, camp sites, etc., none generating revenue. It doesn’t make sense does it? Talk about revenue, just one example, in Texas they are raising deer instead of cows. A 150 class buck brings in tens of thousands of dollars, just think of the taxes. In Bedford County this is illegal although we have the best deer hunting in the state of Virginia, it’s a shame we can’t take advantage of it someway. We all can still keep our rural heritage without giving up revenue.

Bill Smith
Thaxton

Vote of
confidence

    I would like to thank the citizens of Bedford County for their vote of confidence in re-electing me as their Commissioner of the Revenue on Nov. 8.
    I pledge my best efforts to continue to give efficient and courteous service, which is what the taxpayers of Bedford County should expect from their Commissioner’s office.

Faye W. Eubank
Commissioner of the Revenue
Bedford County
Sour grapes

    I know the elections are over and the candidates are seated and still some feel it necessary to “jab” and “stomp the sour grapes.”
    I refer to Mr. Reid and his comment about Sheriff Brown and his effort to organize a Street Gang Unit. “It’s all political and he did it for votes,” he said. Well, if it was, it sure worked...almost 73 percent, yep it worked well.
    Now, for any that think I voted for Mr. Brown, I didn’t, but my wife and son did so I lost by one vote. I didn’t vote for Sheriff Brown simply because he had the R beside his name and I’m a transplant from Detroit and a union worker for the past 25 years.
    Permit me to add another two cents worth; I came from a gang area, especially in  the city and county schools, and that’s a problem you don’t want. And, what does Mr. Reid know about the gang problem in schools? Does he have children in high school? Does he have grandchildren in high school? I assume not because he looks as old as me and children in school are only a hazy memory for me.
    He may have come in contact with some in the jail he supervised but I bet they never discussed gang recruitment and operations over coffee and donuts...soooo, what does he know! I may vote for the sheriff the next time and forego the nagging of my lovely and intelligent wife and her incessant “I told you he was going to win big!”
 
Bill Issac
Bedford County

Taxpayers not the focus
    Like hundreds of other concerned Bedford County residents, I showed up for the meeting on November 10 to discuss proposed updates to the zoning ordinance. 
    Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your interest, it was scheduled for a room which would only hold 75, including the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission. As there were over 50 people signed up to speak, it was going to be a long meeting.  We stuffed as many people as we could into the meeting room, as those in the hallway couldn’t hear what was being said.  Apparently that wasn’t acceptable, because the Sheriff was summoned to rule on the situation. 
    The ruling: only 75 people are allowed in the meeting room, all others would have to leave.  A question was raised about those outside of the meeting room being able to hear.  The answer: this meeting is to gather public input, and there is no requirement to ensure everyone in attendance can hear.  A transcript would be made available through normal channels.  Many requested to reschedule the meeting for a larger venue.  The answer: we will have another meeting next week, but this one will continue.  A question was also raised about the safety of having so many people in the hallway, as that was the egress for the meeting room.  The answer: the Sheriff could not make a statement in that regard.
    It was obvious to many that the tax paying citizens weren’t really the focus of this meeting, and grumbling about the way they were being treated, they left in disgust.  Will they come back on the 17th for the second meeting?  Likely many will not.  My interpretation of the evening was bureaucracy going through the motions, with no real interest in what the people of Bedford County want, but in preserving the status quo, what they want.  A sad statement to say the least.

Kevin Martin
Bedford

Tis the season of thanksgiving

    Thumbs up to Wal-Mart in Bedford for employing three persons with disabilities under Social Security’s Employment Network Program. Also known as “Ticket to Work” this program enables persons with disabilities between age 18-.64 who receive Social Security disability benefits to become 
“substantially gainfully
employed.”
     This situation is a win for all.
    •  Employers benefit through the hiring of qualified employees (including some with college decrees based on an employers need);
    •  The individual gains from employment (while protecting their Social Security benefits) and;
    • The local economy benefits as studies show such employees pay is typically spent locally and additional taxes are collected.
    LACIL is the only locally based Employment Network serving all of Region 2000.
    LACIL is one of 15 unique charitable non-profits across Virginia – where people with disabilities help people with disabilities live independently in local communities.

Phil Theisen
Executive Director
Lynchburg Area Center for Independent Living