Showing posts with label Congressman Rob Wittman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Congressman Rob Wittman. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Letter to Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman

Hello Congressman Wittman,

I am contacting you because of my concerns about the toll on the George P. Coleman Bridge and how it has and continues to stifle growth in Gloucester County and others areas of the Middle Peninsula.

After considerable research and conversations with numerous people, I understand; when it came time to replace the bridge during the 90’s, there was a concerted effort, by the local governing bodies to our south and parties here in Gloucester, to prevent the federal government from becoming involved in the replacement process, to the extent that reinstating a toll on the bridge was the only option to cover replacement costs.

I further understand; our southern neighbors’ objectives of reinstating a toll were to stifle the unprecedented growth that occurred in localities north of the bridge when the toll was removed from the old bridge. I further understand; our southern neighbors supported reinstating a toll to stop people from moving from those areas to the Middle Peninsula. I further understand; there were certain influential persons in Gloucester who wanted growth stifled because they want Gloucester turned into a retirement community. I further understand; some players wanted growth stifled until such a time as they too would be able to profit from growth in Gloucester. I further understand; if the federal government had been included, in the same manner as it was in the replacement of two bridges in West Point, there would not have been a need to implement the toll.

When the Coleman Bridge replacement plan was presented to the residents of Gloucester, they were left with the impression that the toll would be required for 20 to 25 years. A year or so ago we were informed the toll will remain for another 20 to 25 years. Within the last few months Gloucester Supervisor, Phillip Bazzani has made efforts to have the toll restructured to relieve some of the financial burden the toll primarily places on Gloucester residents. I appreciate Mr. Bazzani’s efforts, but feel traveling the path through the Commonwealth process will result in minimal to no relief.

Whether or not my understandings of how the toll came about are correct or not is basically dependent on whose version of the story one chooses to believe. There is one thing everyone seems to agree on; the swing span portion of the bridge is necessary only because of the Navy ships that navigate the York River.

I am wondering what the possibility would be of moving legislation through Congress, in which the Navy pays off any outstanding debt and assumes permanent financial responsibility of at least, the costs of operations, maintenance and replacement of the span portions of the bridge; or better yet, of the entire bridge.

If such a shift in financial responsibility occurs, there will no longer be any justification for the toll that has stifled growth in a large portion of the Middle Peninsula. It will also relieve the residents of Gloucester County and other affected localities of an unnecessary tax and restriction on travel.

Thank you for the good job you have been doing and for your time.

Kenny Hogge, Sr.
Gloucester Point, Va.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Wittman Chesapeake Bay Restoration Legislation Passes House

English: Congressional portrait of Congressman...
English: Congressional portrait of Congressman Rob Wittman, 112th Congress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

July 11, 2013

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation that included language authored by Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-1) to aid in the clean-up and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. Wittman’s bill, the Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act, was included as part of H.R. 2642, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013. One of Wittman’s signature pieces of legislation, the Bay measure would enhance coordination, flexibility and efficiency of restoration efforts. The 2013 Farm Bill passed the House by a vote of 216-208.

“What a great achievement for Virginia and America’s First District today, with passage of this provision to help restore our Bay,” Wittman said. “I’m pleased the House included my bill in passage of legislation today, to bring resources together and increase the efficiency of efforts to bring the Bay back into balance. I am eager for the Senate to pass Senator Warner’s companion legislation and see this bill become law.”

Wittman supported final passage of the FARRM Act, which also included important reforms to agricultural programs. The Virginia farming and forestry industries support over 500,000 jobs across the Commonwealth.

Wittman, in previous remarks supporting his bill, said, “Farmers have a vested interest in a clean Chesapeake Bay; their commitment to the land and waters is reflected by multi-generation stewardship of farms across the watershed…Better accounting and more flexible management are essential to restoring the Chesapeake Bay. Crosscut budgeting and adaptive management provide performance-based measures to assure federal dollars currently spent on Bay restoration activities produce results. Both techniques will ensure that we’re coordinating how restoration dollars are spent and making sure that everyone understands how individual projects fit into the bigger picture. That way, we’re not duplicating efforts, spending money we don’t need to or, worse, working at cross purposes.”

As a leader on Bay issues in Congress and Co-Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus, Wittman continues to advocate for improvements in the management of resources for restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. To achieve the goals of enhanced coordination, flexibility and efficiency, Wittman's legislation would fully implement two cutting edge management techniques, crosscut budgeting and adaptive management. These techniques have been used successfully in the Everglades and the Great Lakes; however, they have not been fully implemented in Bay restoration efforts, where results have lagged far behind the billions of dollars spent. Additionally, the legislation would create a Chesapeake Bay Program Independent Evaluator to review and report to Congress on restoration activates in the watershed. The Chesapeake Bay partnership includes 10 federal agencies, six states and the District of Columbia, over one thousand localities and multiple non-governmental organizations. To date, the complexity of the participants has resulted in a muddled effort. In drafting this legislation, Congressman Wittman drew heavily on his 23 years of experience as a shellfish specialist monitoring water quality and environmental health issues in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Virginia Senator Mark Warner recently introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

Congressman Rob Wittman, the Co-Chairman of the Congressional Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus, represents the First District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee, where he is a member of the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs, and the Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals Resources.

Our Notes:  Frankly we do not like this bill.  It forces people who had nothing to do with polluting the bay, to pay for it's cleanup.  It also forces people who own property around the bay, to go through a bunch of new and unneeded expenses.  It does nothing to force those responsible for the pollution, to pay for any area of cleanup.  Now is that political leadership or cowering to the special interests?  We like Congressman Wittman, but this is awful legislation and we feel works against the people, not for the people.

The overall idea is right, it targets the wrong people and tells the wrong story though.

The pollution in the bay comes from Industry that dumps it's waste into the watersheds that feed the bay.  A national engineers website shows this as a fact.  Yet we the people get stuck with industry cleanup?  This is fair how?  It's bad legislation and bad politics for the people.  It only serves the special interests of business.  Let's hope it gets shot down on the next level.

Common Sense Thomas Paine" target="_blank">Common Sense Thomas Paine from Chuck Thompson

Something for Congressman Wittman to consider.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Congressman Rob Wittman And Staff Help Out On Case

Click On Image To Enlarge

Congressman Robert Wittman's staff sent us a letter offering us assistance, on the case we have been reporting on, a few weeks ago.  Today we met with one of his staff members who proved to provide us with invaluable assistance.  As always we are very grateful to both Congressman Robert Wittman and his staff.  Their professionalism and hospitality are of the highest standards we have ever experienced with politicians but must also include the outstanding professionalism and hospitality equaled by Senator Mark Warner in the past.

You can visit our other site to catch up on the entire story here.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Congressman Rob Wittman in Yorktown, Memorial Day, May 25th, 2009

Congressman Rob Wittman was at the Memorial event held in Yorktown on May 25th, 2009. Pictured here with a few fans from the Yorktown fife and Drum Corp.