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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
October 29, 1998     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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October 29, 1998

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14 SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE - Thursday, October 29, 1998 :~ 4-------- The Spirit of Jefferson,Farmer's Advocate invited candidates and their opponents to provid~ comments regarding their candidacy for election at next Tuesday's General Election. These tw~4"~ ~1 pages are primarily devoted to the candidacy of four hopefuls for the Jefferson County Commi~i. J sion, along with the 55th District Delegate's race and the 16th District State Senate post. Democrat (Charles Town District) Dear Jefferson County Voters, I am R. Gregory Lance, Demo- cratic Candidate for County Com- missioner from the Charles Town District. As we look forward to the next century, we must prepare for change and the future needs of our county. We must find a balance between good economic growth and the preservation of our qual- ity of life. As county commis- sioner, I have worked diligently to prepare our county for future growth. The Jefferson County Ju- dicial Complex is currently under construction. This facility will meet the needs of the magistrate, prosecuting attorney, Court Judges and the circuit clerk into the next century. This building is being built without having to ask for a bond issue for its construc- tion. This points to good fisical re- sponsibility. We need a Commis- sioner who has the experience, qualifications and a balanced view point towards our future, the fol- lowing statements will show my vision for JEFFERSON COUNTYS FUTURE. LAW ENFORCEMENT. As County Commissioner, we have doubled the size of the Sheriffs Department over the past six years. I have supported ALL re- quest for increased staffing of this department. I support an in- creased staffing and presence in high growth areas such as the Blue Ridge area. FIRE/AMBULANCE. I have strongly supported the efforts of our volunteer fire/ambulance com- panies. This is one of our counties greatest resources and we must continue to support their efforts. This fisical year 25% of VLT rev- enues were allocated to these ef- forts. We must continue this to al- low the precious time of the volun- teers spent effectively in serving our citizens. HIGHWAYS/TRANSPORTA- TION. We must continue to sup- port for upgrading of Route 9 to allow ease and safety of travel, as well as enhanced ability to provide transportation for economic devel- opment. We must look to future road improvements, with our in- clusion in the MPO, our county I I I Illl will have significant impact on the planning and location of future highways. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. The debt of the current Industrial Park has been restructured. This has resulted in saving the taxpay- ers of Jefferson County 3.5 million dollars. This has allowed us to ag- gressively pursue new business to our area. We are pursuing the availability of gas lines to service the park and enhance our ability to compete for large good quality products. We must keep our chil- dren working and living in our county. VLT REVENUES. I strongly believe these revenues should be allocated to community projects and capital improvements that benefit ALL Jefferson County citi- zens. These should be allocated (but not limited) to fire/ambu- lance, parks, historic preserva- tion, computer imaging of court house records, etc. Good examples of capital projects are, Summit Point Library, Boys & Girls Club building program, and long term project of the construction of a Community Center/Arts facility for all Jefferson Countians. Rev- enue sharing with municipalities will ensure allocations of capital projects throughout Jefferson County. EDUCATION. We must move towards a second high school facil- ity. As we continue to grow, we must look at future impacts on schools and funding of these im- provements. We must pursue, on a state level, alternatives to keep- . ing more of our tax dollars in Jef- ferson County to meet OUR build- ing needs. QUALITY OF LIFE. One of Jefferson Countys greatest assets is its beauty and rural atmo- sphere. We are fortunate that we had the vision to pursue quality development and put in place tools which encourage preserva- tion of agriculture in our county. As Jefferson County continues to change and grow, we must be will- ing to continue reviewing the com- prehensive plan. By constantly making changes to our ordi- nances, we can continue to pre- I II I I Republican (Shepherdstown District) An experience in. my first month as a commissioner shaped my approach to the job and will continue to do so. A news reporter asked what I planned to do about an issue. That reminded me of the difference between discussion or speculation about what I might do and the clear responsibility of public trust to do my best. I had been to commission meetings and had experienced feeling separa- tion because of the room's layout. I made a two-fold pledge to use that separation to remind me of responsibility and to remember the feeling from the other side as a reminder to accord every citizen a courteous, respectful, and sincere opportunity to be heard. Many positive things have hap- pened in the nearly six years it has been my privilege to serve. I have worked to encourage and to facilitate progress. The credit goes to county citizens for their support and participation. Some of the improvements during this time are: donating land for State Police barracks at Bardane; revis- ing the comprehensive plan to im- prove its expression of land use policy; forming an ambulance au- thority to address service con- cerns; hiring a director for county parks and recreation program; up- grading emergency radio system hardware; upgrading computer and telephone systems; paying off bond obligations for Burr Indus- trial Park; starting construction on a judicial services buildings; in- stalling enhanced 911 hardware; upgrading to newer, less worn ve- hicles; and installing digital imag- ing for document recording and storage. Digital storage is one example i of a step that opens the way for i greater future progress. Later en- ',hancements can greatly improve document recording and retrieval convenience. The building now under construction will meet only part of our need and obligation to have public services properly housed and easily accessible. There are other offices in need of improves facilities. Our compre- hensive plan and land use ordi- nances are evolving and require close attention as we move for- ward. A growing population will demand that resources and care be devoted to services ranging from recreation to emergency re- action. County Commissioners make two kinds of decisions. The first responsibility is fiscal matters. Second are policy decisions or judgements that are not directly fiscal. My background is good preparation for making both classes of decisions. Fiscal matters are summarized in the annual budget. Financial duties include providing for re- quired functions of government. Also, funding or support is pro- vided for optional functions to serve Jefferson County citizens. The challenge is to bring about the best service consistent with good value for the tax dollar and within our funding limits. To the budgeting process and funding deliberations, I bring edu- cation in administration, econom- ics, and public policy, and a vari- ety of experience. I worked for a large corporation, for government, and for a trade association. I have been on the other side of payroll as a business owner. My philosophy for county business is: (1) fulfill citizen expectations for effective local services; (2) achieve best value for every dollar budgeted; and (3) keep a financial cushion against unforeseen needs or op- portunities. That cushion should include a reasonable reserve of funds and some unused tax au- thority. Dealing with policy matters, the second major group of deci- sions, the task is to interpret and to apply citizens' desires. My var- ied background is very helpful in understanding and appreciating a range of views. As a county na- tive, I appreciate our heritage, but I have lived in communities .where I did not have such roots. I have Republican County Commission (Charles Town District) serve the qualities of our county which we so love. Substantial ef- forts have been made to keep our community clean and beautiful. With the formation of the Keep Jefferson Beautiful Committee, there have been substantial ef- forts for Adopt a Highway pro- grams within Jefferson County. PARKS & RECREATION. We are fortunate to have many parks within our county, both public and private to serve our residents. There must be continued efforts to promote their development and utilization. These are my views on many is- sues facing our county both now and into the future. We must elect leaders who are committed to our future and have the drive to get these projects accomplished. I be- lieve if you review my record and experience, I have the background to accomplish these goals. We must have leaders who represent you, not only locally but across the state. Many decisions and fund- ing of projects come from, Charles- ton our state capital. My service as President of the WVA County Commissioners Association, as well as its board of directors has given me the ability to get things accomplished and represent our concerns for Jefferson County across West Virginia. I truly love the job that I am doing for you as Jefferson County Commissioner, I care about its people, the future of our county and the preservation of its beauty and quality of life. I ask that you give me the honor of con- tinuing to work towards making JEFFERSON COUNTY a better place to live. Your support on No- vember 3 will be greatly appreci- ated. worked with agricultural enter- prises, and I have also been anur- banite and a commuter. Other life experiences I have shared give me appreciation for others' concerns; because of them I can genuinely appreciate those concerns I have discussed past progress, general responsibilities, and some coming opportunities that are al- ready quite evident. Other future issues are not yet so clear to us. It is important that as we strive to deal with them we keep in reserve the resources and willingness to address new challenges. For ex- ample, we should explore the po- tential gain from better coopera- tion with municipalities. Some of their problems and concerns are similar to or linked to those county government faces. Longer term, local government may be called upon to act or to react in ways that are not now part of our accepted methods or legal struc- ture. It is a commissioner's re- sponsibility to explore new solu- tions and if necessary to seek new tools for their implementation. My experience in the job and enjoyment of doing it have con- firmed for me that I should seek to continue to serve. I ask for your vote on November 3 to enable me to do that. Who Is A1 Hooper? * He is a person who would lis- ten and be responsive to his con- stituency. Ask the people of ~s- cawilla Hills about his concern of their needs. * He is a person who under- stands the ecology of Jefferson County's ecosystem, its strengths, its weaknesses. His design of Tus- cawilla Hills and Locust Hill Golf Course has had a positive effect on the environment of the area. * He is a person who under- stands the needs of the youth of our county and is actually working to address those needs. A1 is cur- rently involved with the construc- tion of a facility for the Boys and Girls Club of Jefferson County. The county also needs a commu- nity activities building. A1, if elected, is one person who could lead the planning and construc- tion of such a facility. * He is a person who realizes that Jefferson County is a bed- room community and that this is not a healthy tax situation. We must bring in more business to broaden our tax base. We can help do this by making the Burr Park more accessible, and by providing better infra-structure to the park - such as water, sewer and natural gas. * He is a person who believes we need a building code for Jeffer- son County. This will benefit le- gitimate builders and will help to insure a better product for the consumer. A building code will en- able the county to adopt Home Rule and the benefits Home Rule will bring. * He is a person who under- stands that for the county to enjoy economic development it must have a workable county water and sewer system. * He is a family man. He and Barb have been married for al- most 47 years; even though she calls him "Mean AI" in print, the marriage has survived. The Hoopers raised three children in their house on South Seminary Street in Charles Town - Steve, Pam and Jack. They have one grandchild, Emily. Al is doing some of the best work of his career by spoiling her. This is the most important item in a grandfather's job description. "There is an issue that greatly concerns me. The Jefferson County Public Service District is consider- ing a $26 million sewer project. The study has many shortcomings and needs to be reconsidered. Washing- ton County, Md just recently was almost bankrupted by a similar oversold project. To quote a Washington County incumbent commission who is run- ning for re-election, 'Looking back I wouldn't have built it. But at that point we were sold a bill of goods; we listened to our advisors.' Don't let this happen to Jefferson County." * In conclusion: A1 Hooper has it takes to be an Commissioner. sioners are directors, in the aging a county; Al and CEO of three verse businesses. A c should know the tial and its rience in land use, utilities and makes him missioner. * It is evident needs a person with ence and knowled the commission. Graduate of ton University in ing. Member: Planning Town Utility County Board of Directors Town Library, Jefferson County Club, South cil, Shepherdstown and Jefferson a 43-year graduate degree in what Commerce. t! t! Democrat (Shepherdstown District) Independent Writer, Editor and Consultant (since 1978). BA and MA degrees from The George Washington Uni- versity and The University of New Mexico (both in Anthro- pology). Vietnam Veteran - 25th Mili- tary Intelligence Company, 25th Infantry Division, US Army, Republic of Vietnam (1970-71). Former career federal civil servant (US Civil Service Com- mission, US National Park Service). Founder of the Station at Shepherdstown, Inc. (Project begun 1990 to restore the former Norfolk and Western Railway station in Shepherd- stown). President, James Rumsey Torch Club of Shepherdstown (1997.present). General Statement: Jefferson County faces enor- mous challenges due to the rapid pace of growth and development in our region. The next County Commission must address the completion of a capital improve- ment plan, adopt the state (BOCA 1996) building code, and address the imposition of development im- pact fees to equalize the cost bur- dens of needed improvements across the board, from schools to roads, sewer and water upgrades, parks and libraries, and other capital needs of the county. We must adopt a future-oriented, long-term approach to these mat- ters in order to provide the facili- ties and quality of life we and our children expect and wish to per- petuate. We must also work coopera- tively with other jurisdictions in our region - particularly the two panhandle counties of Berkeley and Morgan - to plan and direct present and future development and improved infrastructure and facilities needed to meet the chal- lenges posed by present and fu- ture growth. We will be living in the future, not the past, and we have an obligation to our children and to their children to leave them a better environment in which to live, one that is livable and sus- tainable in every respect. There is nothing we cannot do if we put our minds to it. What- ever we can envision, we can plan, and whatever we can plan, we can do. We have a bright and promis- ing future ahead of us if we will work together as a community to achieve it and sustain it. To many people, planning sounds threatening or intimidat- ing. But planning is something we all do all the time. When we sit down in the morning over coffee to draw up our priority list of things to get done that day, make a shop- ping list or a Christmas gift list, take out a car loan or a mortgage, we are planning. Planning is es- sential to our daily lives. A community planning effort is much the same, dealing with mat- ters of larger scale and scope. It is a process of analyzing and sorting out a variety of needs, hopes and priorities, all of which are impor- tant to the community in the short term and the long term. It is like drawing up a business plan, em- phasizing specific goals, establish- ing a sequence of priorities, and assigning resources both human and monetary to accomplishing the stated goals. This has not been done adequately, and has never been done on a panhandle- wide basis. This is what we must now do, working together coopera- tively, if we are to achieve the sus- tainable quality of life, and attract the first-class businesses and new residents we all wish to have in our county and in our region. For Jefferson County, the key will be completion of a Capital Im- provement Plan for the county, a necessary prequisite (along with adopting the state building code) for implementing the Local Pow- ers Act, enacted in lows a county stated criteria to ment impact fees. a form of tax developments to specific impacts opment on schools and water, parks, tal requirements. impact fees levied category of impact for expenditures in of impact, but Powers Act of 1990 time limit in some counties pact fees). A Capital essentially a business i county, enabling it tal needs fashion. The three funding for such a eral obligation bonds, | enues, and develo fees. A financial affordability study done to complete the workable Capital Plan. These steps have most counties in States, and to fulfill the essential government to and to keep all community in balance term and long-term. simple the same to keep our own household budgets in move along in our If we will work community, openly, we can needed, and we will the result has been fort. There is do if we work munity for the House of Delegates and Races are Featured on