Friday, May 29, 2009

Roanoke County Windsor District Republican Primary Debate – Video

Joe McNamara - Ed Elswick Debate

Joe McNamara - Ed Elswick Debate

Explorer Park, the multi-generation center, and the library were part of the debate held Thursday evening at the Bent Mountain Fire and Rescue station. Ed Elswick is challenging Joe McNamara in the June 9 primary.

McNamara was the only supervisor to vote against the multi-generation center emphasizing that he was only one vote. Elswick claimed the library across from Penn Forest Elementary was extravagant, in a flood plane, should be designed in a more cost-effective manner and located on 419.

Take home cars for police and department heads was one point of contention. Elswick contends it is a waste of taxpayer money while McNamara disputed Elswick’s number of vehicles that were part of the program.

The question of closing Bent Mountain Elementary school evoked a comparison between Roanoke City and Roanoke County. McNamara said that the county does not tell its school board what to do as the “political side of Roanoke City tries to tell the School Board how their going to run their schools – it doesn’t work real well” [ouch]. McNamara said that “if Bent Mountain closes it will be because professional educators” have made the determination. Elswick claimed that since the school board gets its money from the county there is interaction between them.

Elswick accused McNamara of not returning constituent emails or phone calls while holding up an email returned to him saying “rejected by recipient.” [EDITORS NOTE: These return messages are a result of server rejection and not a recipient rejection]

If the county required referenda on issuing bonds for every county project it would result in “bond packages with all sorts of crap … then you’ve brought government to a crawl” said McNamara pointing to Cleveland, Ohio as an example. Elswick disagreed and wanted the voters to approve general obligation bonds as well as capital improvement bonds.

Elswick praised the county’s new administrator, Clay Goodman, on controlling costs. The supervisors should scrutinize the “grandiose proposals” that come out of county administration. Look at every dollar and why it is being spent and not someone trying to create a “monument to his ego.”

An aging population and need for more fire and rescue personnel was McNamara’s answer to future challenges that the county faces. Volunteer personnel are decreasing and the number of fire and rescue calls is going up dramatically explained McNamara.

Elswick said “we don’t need more fire, rescue and police officers and he thinks most of us behave fairly well.” In comparing Roanoke with Montgomery County the safety costs per capita are much less. McNamara’s rebuttal to that was “what level of service do you all want” – Montgomery County may have more volunteers with a lower service level requirement.

McNamara agreed that private business incentives should be curtailed and gave an example of where he voted against $75,000 to Fink’s jewelers for infrastructure improvements. Incentives for job creation are a “different story” said McNamara. Elswick was in agreement and confirmed that the $75,000 was “stupid.”

Real estate assessments going up in the county was a hot topic with Elswick saying the reason they are going up is because of the extravagant projects that need funding. McNamara was not so sure of the realtor’s figure that the market price for county housing had fallen 18%.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2009, Politics, Roanoke County Politics, Video

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Comments (2)


May 29th, 2009 at 10:16 AM    

As to this artical about Mr.Elswick & Mr. McNamara.Your comment about non returned e-mail being a “server” issue. That was never addressed nor stated in any fashion to give a basis for your statment stating it was a server issue.Mr. Elswick’s paperwork showed nothing of the sort.
Mr. Elswick is pushing the fact that “business as usual” needs to be addressed & the taxpayers should be allowed to vote on large bond issues . Mr. McNamara basically said that if we(the voters)were allowed to vote on the large bonds that the county would grind to a hault. That it would be hard to get 51% on an issue so it could go foward. Well if a majority votes it down then so be it. That is democricy in action! To say that we (the taxpayers)shouldn’t have a say in major spending scares me.Mr.McNamara eluded to Mr.Elswick that he had only 1 vote out of 5. His tone was condesinding at best and insulting to us all. His tone lended to the fact that he could get things done (because of his tenure on the board)& that Mr.Elswick wouldn’t be able to. Hogwash! I think new blood on the board in Roanoke Co. is just what is needed. The spending needs to be slowed down. Mr.Elswick also stated that new structurs need to be functional & not an arcitectual show peice at the tax payers expense. Now that sounds great to me.
I think Mr.Elswick is wanting to bring back good old common good thinking back to the table.
Isn’t it about time?


May 29th, 2009 at 11:31 AM    

I made it clearer that the “rejected email was a server message” is the EDITOR’s confirmed technical note. The “server” rejects messages at times based on possible virus or spam. This has been confirmed.

Comments are not moderated. Notify any abuse at put ABUSE in the subject and the offensive post.

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