Storm put Hopewell’s pub­lic safety at risk

The Progress-Index - - OPINION -

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

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