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'Quality of life' is hard to define, but Spotsy's got it

November 4, 2012 12:10 am


Spotsylvania residents enjoy the services of the bookmobile in their neighborhood.

Your Oct. 16 editorial ["Spotsy's QOL-ectomy"] about keeping "quality of life" in the county's Comprehensive Plan was well stated. Until the Oct. 28 letter to the editor from the chairman of the Planning Commission ["'QOL' is attainable via lower taxes, less regulation"], it seemed to close the issue.

I like and respect Robert Stuber, but a few of his comments were simply incorrect or misstated, especially related to the Committee of 500. As a former C500 chair and board member, I'd like to clarify a few issues.

First, Planning Commissioner Cristine Lynch is neither a spokesperson nor in any way currently involved in C500 decision-making. Her stated opinions reflect her own personal philosophies. But having said that, there are some clear overlaps between those and C500's principles.

C500, a local nonpartisan political action committee, has always vocally and strongly supported business development efforts to retain and attract desirable jobs in Spotsylvania. We have repeatedly voiced support for keeping local tax rates affordable. We strongly encourage governmental respect for personal property rights.

But what C500 has also strongly supported is balance and serious attention to the other critically important facilities and services essential to the wonderful quality of life that we are proud of and enjoy in Spotsy. These include high-quality schools, police, fire and emergency medical services, transportation, libraries, and recreation. And while there are many Virginia counties where taxes are lower than ours, I've seen absolutely no evidence they're kept low by better management; rather, they generally just seem to offer fewer and more limited public services than we do.

"QOL" is a subjective term. But choosing to simply ignore reference to our other vitally important public services in the public decision-making process hardly seems the best way to keep Spotsylvania the outstanding community that it is.

Fred M. Messing


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