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This week's topic: Responsible Growth

This article offers a very interesting opinion on growth in the Manchester neighborhood in the City of Richmond:

Not hard at all to insert “Chesterfield” for every mention of “Manchester” and realize we are suffering all the same consequences of unplanned and irresponsible growth: traffic, lack of services, no public green space, and no safe way for pedestrians to move about. Worse yet, in Chesterfield the schools are grossly-overcrowded, and there are not adequate plans in place to catch up. Two very different governments--one urban and ruled by Democrats and one suburban and ruled by Republicans--yet their problems are the same. The common denominator is years of single-party rule and undue influence by developers. Greed and indifference to citizens is not limited to any single party. I am very proud to run as an independent candidate beholden to no special interests and only responsible to the will of the people.

Growth is inevitable in any thriving community and can be healthy. The answer is to grow responsibly. Start with a plan and stick to it. Choosing a home is one of the biggest decisions and investments people make in their lives. They do research on schools and review County plans for zoning and future development. When the County varies from the plan, impacting property values and standards of living, it is a serious breach of trust. What responsible government should do is just as suggested by the writer in Manchester: plan for the growth and be prepared to prioritize the investment required by the growth, build new and improved roads and pedestrian access, build new and renovated schools, acquire and protect green-spaces, and expand public safety services. Finally, through proffers and fees, require developers to pay for their impacts on the community.

The Board of Supervisors must prioritize planning for the consequences of growth (schools, public safety and transportation) above all else. As Supervisor, you can bet I will.

God bless America, the Commonwealth of Virginia, Chesterfield County and the good people of Matoaca!


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