Storm put Hopewell’s public safety at risk
More than 48 hours after the snow stopped falling after this week’s winter storm that dropped large amounts of snow on our city and the city still did not clear our main thoroughfares of the snow and ice. The city’s failure to do so has put every citizen at severe risk. Our neighboring communities of Colonial Heights, Prince George County and Fort Lee did not seem to have any trouble clearing the main roads of their communities. I ask the question why?
I called and spoke with the Hopewell City Manager Mark Haley. I asked him why our main roads are still snow and ice covered here in Hopewell when other area are free and clear. Haley told me that the liquid chemicals need to pre-treat the roads was too expensive. I responded to him with the facts that the city is spending $600,000 on the landscaping for the Letter H the city is building downtown and hundreds of thousands of dollars on a river walk and other unneeded projects. These unneeded projects take away funds that can be used by the city to protect our citizens. Why is our City Council and city manager allowing our tax dollars to be spent on these kind of things before the safety of the people of Hopewell is taken care of?
I look at it like this, if you were at home and had a medical emergency, a fire, or a criminal breaking into your house, how long would it take the first responders to arrive to your home to help? The roads in their condition days after the storm would dramatically slow the response time that the ambulance crew, firefighters and police could arrive safely. This extra time needed for them to arrive could be the difference between life and death because the city choose not to put the public safety first. Or how many car accidents could have been avoided if our streets were cleared because we had pretreated streets? Ask these questions to your City Councilors.
We had an election this past November to elect three City Councilors in Wards 4, 5, and 6. Wards 4 and 6 saw the re-election of the incumbent’s Jasmine Gore (Ward 4) and Brenda Pelham (Ward 6) and Ward 5 was an open seat not up for re-election. In Wards 4 and 6 the incumbents were re-elected and in Ward 5 elected a new councilor (Janice Denton) to fill the seat vacated by retiring Councilor Wayne Walton. The people had the chance to elect 2 additional new councilors in 4 and 6 who would have stood up to protect the tax dollars of our citizens and put that money where it is needed, into the safety of our citizens. We know what we are going to get with Gore and Pelham, more mismanagement of the city and wasting of our money and not taking care of the city. In Ward 5, only time will tell how Councilor Denton will vote on the wasteful spending of the Council and other issues.
In two years Hopewell will have Wards 1,2, 3, and 7 up for re-election. Hopefully we can drain the swamp on council in 2018 and elect people to our council who will put the citizens of Hopewell first before their own wants and desires to further the wasteful use of our hard earned tax dollars on things the city does not need, or should not be spending money on in the first place!
Brandon W. Howard Chairman Hopewell Republican Committee Hopewell