Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kaine has no $$ for rest areas ... but can buy land & laptops

Well this is nice. Democrat Gov. Tim Kaine shut down 18 interstate rest areas and a welcome center, something the general public and tourists use on a daily basis, because VDOT said it did not have the $9 million necessary to maintain them.

But last week it was learned the state was buying 61,000 laptop computers at the cost of $9,000 each for a total contract of $3.1 billion. BILLION! We could have bought cheaper laptops and saved the rest areas with the leftover money.

Today it was learned Gov. Kaine announced that the Commonwealth was buying 1,000 acres of land for a natural preserve at the cost of $14.2 million ... more than enough money to save the rest areas which would have been much more useful to the general population than yet another natural area. Maybe Kaine is planning to allow travelers with no rest areas to "rest" in the natural area.

Does Gov. Kaine need a lesson in priorities? Isn't money better spent on projects that will get the most use from the very taxpayers who fund them ... projects like rest areas?

Virginia advertises tourism ... yet Gov. Kaine closed rest areas used by tourists. Virginia (including Tim Kaine) advertises our state parks ... yet Kaine closed the rest areas that those who travel to state parks would use.

* Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell said the rest areas should be reopened.

* Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling said the rest areas should be reopened.

* Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) said the rest areas should be reopened.

* Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Woodstock) said the rest areas should be reopened.

* Del. Chris Saxman (R-Staunton) said the rest areas should be reopened.

* Del. Steve Landes (R-Weyers Cave) said the rest areas should be reopened.

So why are the Democrats keeping the rest areas closed?


She'saPistol said...

Did you ever consider that closing the FREE rest stops might stimulate the economy? Obviously folks still have to, er, rest somewhere, so they may have to go to a restaurant or gas station and might spend some money while they're there, not to mention the money the state will SAVE. Do you really think that people will avoid traveling in the state because there are no state rest stops? Maybe some enterprising company will offer to take them over.

Lynn R. Mitchell said...

Your argument rings false. You tried this argument on another post, saying that travelers will "stimulate" the economy at private enterprises.

However, rest areas (which, by the way, are paid for by my tax money) have been part of the Virginia interstate system for years, available to travelers along stretches of roadway that offer no alternatives.

Middle-of-the-night travelers often find closed restaurants. Tractor-trailers do not fit in just any parking lot. Horse trailers and U-Hauls are easier to maneuver through rest areas instead of exiting the interstate to nevigate unfamiliar areas just to find a bathroom.

Bottom line: Tim Kaine has found plenty of money for overpriced laptops and now plenty of money to buy land. All he needed was $9 million for rest areas, not a big amount considering what he spent on the other items ... and that is just the beginning.

This is a political move and has nothing to do with the amount of money involved.

Read the post again because you, obviously, have missed the point. Not to worry, though ... when Bob McDonnell is elected governor, he will reopen the rest areas.

Bob K. said...

Remember when I opined that VDOT learned this move from the education sector of government?

Watch how they cut your favorite art and music teacher first. Then they cut the custodians!

Somehaw they find money for the big projects they want, but tell me, when is the last time you heard in the news that central office was being cut back?