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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 12, 2019: Battle lines are drawn, but problem goes deeper
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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 12, 2019: Battle lines are drawn, but problem goes deeper

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Big government just continues to grow

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

With the elections coming up, one hears that it’s one’s civic duty to vote and that this or that election is the most important one ever. Nonsense. Voting has become less and less relevant over the years because of the size and scope of government.

Big government resembles invasive vines that would put kudzu to shame. It’s tendrils have worked their way into every aspect of human life. It makes itself attractive and excites people by presenting the idea that it and only it can accomplish things. Thus it gets bigger and more powerful by fighting “wars” that it claims only it can fight — be that a war on poverty, drugs, education or terror. People thought that President Donald Trump would whack big government back some, but even he started his own war on trade. The vine grows bigger

In years past, the big government vine got its food from legislation, regulation and taxation. As it grew bigger it began to suffocate all the underlying vegetation that help feed it. Things are not flourishing as before.

The scary part is that now the vine has realized it can just keep going and getting bigger by printing its own money for fertilizer. But the mounting debt is going to speed up depletion of the soil government needs until nothing will grow.

So come election time, gather with your friends to cheer on your candidates and hurl invectives at the opponents. But after it’s all over, you’ll still have to go back worrying about the green tendrils coming through every opening of your house and ensnaring your ankles. It can’t be stopped.

Mike Walton.

Richmond.

Fed up with today’s self-centered pols

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

I am sick and tired of the political scene (or should I say circus) as it is today and of dirty, backstabbing politicians who don’t do or say anything of substance to earn the pay and benefits their constituents pay them.

Our elected officials in Washington act more like Bowery Boys on their worst days. Now that they have resorted to name-calling and acting like juvenile delinquents, their credibility and respect is zero.

Candidates who endorse negative ads about their opponents show their true character. It’s obvious they have nothing positive to say. They have no respect for themselves or others, and certainly none for their constituents.

I would sooner vote for someone, regardless of party affiliation, who does not bash or demean their opponent. If negativity be their trademark, we don’t need them. They don’t deserve my vote.

Few politicians are lily white. The ratio of good to bad politicians has reversed itself from 70 or 80 years ago. Election Day is coming up soon. It is your civic duty to vote, but please do so with an open mind. Consider both sides of the issues. The United States is the greatest nation in the world.

Malcolm Kallman.

Henrico.

Chesterfield needs more revenue for sidewalks

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Currently Chesterfield County lacks sidewalks and it is one of the worst places to be a pedestrian in Virginia. The county needs a long-term source of new sidewalk construction funding to build and repair the county’s sidewalk system.

The county has approved turning the 1,600-acre megasite into the Chester Solar Technology Park. The solar farm will produce 150 megawatts of clean sun-powered electricity to fuel a large computer data center and the homes around it.

The best thing about the new solar farm and data center is that it won’t increase either the county’s car or student populations by several thousand a day. Instead, according to the county, the center will produce $8 million to $18 million in new revenue every year.

Chesterfield could use the center’s solar taxes to pay for damaged sidewalk repairs and new sidewalk construction. The county could set aside anywhere from $5 million to $15 million a year from the proposed $8 million to $18 million in new revenue for its billion dollar backlog of sidewalk construction.

Another source of sidewalk funding could come from diverting 10% of existing property taxes from apartment complexes. This would not raise rents or fees on apartment renters but simply make sure that some of the existing property taxes collected are set aside for sidewalks. Many new and old apartment complexes are built along roads that lack sidewalks.

Chesterfield’s current sidewalk funding mainly depends on the mood of the government officials rather than a mathematical formula that automatically sets aside funds for sidewalk construction. Under the 10% formula, the more apartment buildings there are, the more funding there would be for sidewalk construction.

Carl Schwendeman.

Powhatan.

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