What other rights will be lost by Alphin?

Published 9:09 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

To the Editor:
As the date for the Republican Primary for the office of delegate of the 64th District grows closer, I have read much of the support around here for candidate Rex Alphin. I would like to offer a personal viewpoint.

My family was the subject of a very public county debate in the last five years over the right to use one’s own land as one sees fit, without injuring any other party. Isle of Wight County staff came down on us over the issue of camping here on our farm.

Through this incident, we learned that it is illegal for us in lOW county to ever camp, even one night, on our own land without a “commercial campground permit,” which just to apply for costs $1,350. Let that sink in.

Public opinion generally was heavily against such an infringement of our private property rights, and justifiably so! Several county officials made snickering comments at public meetings about existing incidents they knew of personally. My husband made six appearances at county meetings over eight months to plead this case. County staff dominated those meetings and spoke at length to defend this policy, while limiting speakers of support to three minutes. The ordinance has not been reversed.

Supervisor Rex Alphin was on the Board of Supervisors during this time, serving as chairman for some years. He was asked publicly to support the restoration of this right to IOW citizens. He was also asked to support us privately.

He refused and has never even made a motion of support. Apparently, he is OK with denying this simple freedom. In his version of America, camping out at home should be denied, unless more bureaucracy and fees prevail.

His literature and supporters speak of conservative values,”rural culture” and “unleashing freedom.” In my opinion, these values have not been demonstrated here in IOW County on this very simple issue. He could easily have been a leader here and fixed this travesty, but instead, he sat there and let the hired county staff intimidate the elected officials we voted for, oppress the citizens and get away with it. He had a chance to do the simplest thing for a tax-paying Virginia family and other county citizens, and he blew it.

State politics is no place for another go-along-to-get-along representative. If he is elected, what other rights will be lost with his consent?

Carol Ferguson