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Judy Sanford's letter to the editor ["Is this the best the General Assembly can do?" March 3] and a front-page story ["Howell tackles backlash on bill"] in the same paper spurred me to write.
I agree with Ms. Sanford that this is not the "best" that can be done, and with another of her points--that the fee on alternative-fuel vehicles is wrong. With that said, I was disappointed in her comment directed at House Speaker Bill Howell individually.
Also, the news story makes me wonder whether ideology is so prevalent that some have lost their sense of the common good. To castigate Speaker Howell is to play the blame game we see going on in D.C.
There are many fine legislators with integrity, but two stand out for both moral courage and integrity. They are Sen. John Chichester and Speaker Howell. Both took the oath of office and lived by it. They placed the good of all Virginia and Virginians ahead of district or party. They understood that government functions in a two-party system only if each party is willing to compromise.
Coincidentally, both are from our area. Here their examples have, to some degree, been reflected in the actions of local governments. John retired, much to my feeling of loss, since his wisdom is still needed. But Speaker Howell is there to bring some reasoning and balance to Virginia governance, and I remain thankful for his endurance and sense of responsibility to our state.
Speaker Howell should be receiving praise for his management of tough legislative issues and for working across the aisle to reach reasonable accommodation with those opposed on issues affecting the whole state.
I am thankful for his leadership. I hope that, with his bride's continued support, he will continue to provide that much-needed leadership far into the future.