Conservative Viewpoints

"Government is not the solution…it is the problem" -Ronald Reagan



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It’s time for honesty on the Wayne

Posted by Stephen on April 30, 2007

Lorie Smith is right when she states that the issue of the Wayne Theater has been run through the mud. Frank Lucente is correct when he stated that this issue is tearing at the fabric of the city.

Unfortunately, it is because you Mrs. Smith, Ms Dowdy and Mr. Reynolds keep bringing the issue before us, then taking it away, and then bringing it back. For three years you have been plotting ways to take tax payer dollars to fund this endeavor, and along the way you have misled the public.

During last year’s elections Mr. Reynolds, even though not running for office himself, conducted an interview with the News Virginian where he charged Reo Hatfield, Frank Lucente and Tim Williams with politicizing the issue of the Wayne; stating that it was a Dead Issue and that he didn’t know why anyone would be talking about it. Smith repeated those same sentiments stating that as far as she knew it was a dead issue and that the campaign should be about other issues that were before us like storm water management, archaic city equipment and an infrastructure system in disrepair.

Dowdy supported the same notion, but to her credit, slammed those that pushed the Wayne off the table. She spent her campaign telling all of us how ashamed we should be that there were no activities for our youth. She described a teen pregnancy rate that was out of control and called for the repair of tennis courts, playground equipment and a host of other projects that would address the quality of life for children.

With all that rhetoric shared with the public a change was made, and how were we paid back? We have been forced to watch this council spend the better part of a year addressing the one issue that we were not supposed to hear again. For a year you have shoved the Wayne down the throats of the tax payers while trying to sell them cool aid by stating that the money wasn’t going to a private enterprise, that the money wasn’t really tax payer money at all-it was just unused funds, it will be a boondoggle for downtown-with nothing more than a business proffer filled with speculative numbers to go by mind you, and that it would expand cultural opportunities-for a mere price of 40 dollars a ticket.

If the expansion of cultural opportunities is what you desire than target our eductational system that has gutted art and especially performing arts for our middle schools and high schools. How many tennis courts could have been repaired with 300K dollars Ms Dowdy? What city equipment could we have invested in to improve the city employees’ ability to respond to the needs of the city Ms Smith? Who was really politicizing the issue Mr. Reynolds?

It seems that everything we were told by critics that might happen if this threesome came together has happened. Instead of progress we have been inundated with private projects, personal agendas, and complete and utter disregard for fiscal responsibility.

It has been stated by Tom Reynolds that by law we have to fix the roof of this building. Yet, there was no mention of that when giving the building to the EDA so that it could be placed in the hands of a private developer so that the WTA could take advantage of grants and other tax payer dollars from the state. Not once has the WTA ever, through this entire process, stated that they required the roof to be fixed before they took the building from the city for FREE. The roof has become a topic simply because it is you Tom Reynolds, Nancy Dowdy and Lorie Smith that have politicized this issue, drug it through the mud, and are hell bent on shoving it down the throats of tax payers whether they like it or not.

It has been stated that you aren’t really trying to fund private enterprise at all. Yet the truth of the matter is, the WTA made it perfectly clear that they had to place the Wayne in the hands of a private developer in order to take advantage of tax payer dollars from the state. To mislead the public into thinking anything else is shameful and manipulative. Just as it is to suggest that you aren’t paving the way for a long term tax payer commitment to the Wayne with your actions today. The tax payers of this city will be forced to operate the Wayne for many years to come if your actions tonight go unchecked.

The sad fact of the matter is the only two solutions the majority is offering to address capital improvements in this city are to raise taxes and borrow money. If we can borrow less because money has been “found” then you are the ones who have no choice but to do so. To abdicate your fiscal responsibility by disregarding necessities so that you can fund private enterprise and pet projects is to ignore the people who hired you, and you should resign your seats. To suggest that this isn’t really tax payer dollars you are toying with, is to show a level of incompetence that requires that you resign your seat.

In light of taking that step, and if you continue to proceed on your current path, then the public will have no choice but to do the only thing they can do. When the next election comes about we will not forget the slap in the face we suffered at the hands of this council and we will simply start firing people. For those we can’t fire then, your time will come…

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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