Barlow good as delegate

Published 8:16 am Friday, October 23, 2009

To the Editor:

I know Bill Barlow well and think he’s doing a good job as our delegate. Like me, he also graduated from Virginia Tech. Bill was a leader even back then serving as his class president and commander of the Cadet Corps. He then went on to serve in the Air Force and go to UVa Law School — but I’ll forgive him for the latter.

Carrollton has become a rapidly-growing area. Crowded schools and congested roads are a real concern and threat to our quality of life. The last few years the economic downturn has forced Virginia to cut billions (that’s billions — not millions) from its budget. These cuts affect schools, public safety, transportation and other services.

These cuts were necessary to maintain Virginia’s constitutional requirement of a balanced budget. Bill supported this balanced budget approach, but he was also a key vote for Gov. Mark Warner’s tax reform package that made Virginia the best managed state in the country while investing hundreds of millions in public schools and public safety. Why was Warner’s approach necessary? Because former Gov. Jim Gilmore made a mess of the state’s finances.

Where would we be without Warner’s handling of the budget and Bill’s support for this approach? With this economic decline, we’d be facing either tax increases or spending cuts far more severe than we are experiencing now. Bill Barlow was right to side with Mark Warner.

Stan Clark, who is running against Bill, sees it differently. He is sending out mailers attacking Bill for supporting Governor Warner’s budget plan. Clark’s plan is to scrap the Warner approach and pile on more and more tax cuts. In short, Clark believes in the Gilmore approach to starve schools, roads, and public safety programs. How is that good for Isle of Wight County, a locality dealing with more and more students, cars, and residents that need services?

Bill Barlow needs to remain as our voice in Richmond.

J. A. Mann III