We will remember their “arguments”—“display space to highlight our local community;” “space for special events, open houses, book signings;” “space for selling local goods and marketing items;” “space for leg stretching, tailgating, dog walking and picnicking;” “moving our visitor center from its strip location to the free-standing Taylor House elevates our brand;” “this home will be the beacon of what the county has to offer;” “everybody can learn about the opportunities in the county for recreational activities.” And so on. Those were the words used to convince three members of the Board of Supervisors to tie up tourism dollars in a brick home for the next 40 years. Financial management 101 is obviously not the forte of our officials, agreeing also to forego tax revenues from this prime real estate parcel.
Board Chair Bill Martin complained in a board meeting about “the misinformation, the disinformation and information that is not fact-checked that gets circulated.” Ruckersville Supervisor Michelle Flynn and At-Large Supervisor Dale Herring want “the county to issue press releases when something good is happening.” Those three members of the board of supervisors voted for that ignominy, as a “must” and a “need” for Greene County.
Where is then the press release about the visitor center? I have not seen it. Show us that you are proud of your vote; show us the “disinformation” there is by using quotes from presentations made to the board. I will remember and request factual information in 2020 on (1) the numbers of tailgatings and dog walkings done on that property, (2) local goods that were sold, (3) open houses and book signings that were held and (4) the number of visitors each month.
And then, we will be told a different story because “that’s just the way it is” (Bruce Hornsby1986).
But we will all remember that, in a county mired in long-term debt, with taxes going up, with a lack of governance at all levels and no new businesses being brought in, these three board members were thinking backward while deriding those of us who have common sense.