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Regional Cooperation Exists

In your recent story entitled, "Crime Stoppers Merger Rebuffed" (Street Talk, May 4), your opening paragraph read, "Cries of anti-regionalism just keep coming. Chesterfield County and the city of Richmond have butted heads over the Greater Richmond Partnership and their separate chambers of commerce in recent weeks. Now the Crime Stoppers?"

I would simply point out that the city of Richmond and Chesterfield County agree on questioning the Greater Richmond Partnership. To imply that we "butted heads" only pours fuel on the fire that somehow Richmond and Chesterfield do not join in regional issues. In this case, it is a gross misrepresentation.

In addition, the Crime Stoppers/Crime Solvers issue is a private matter, not a regional government matter. We in Chesterfield are proud of what our police department accomplishes each year. Crime Solvers is an important part of that effort, but done with the private initiative of our business community to supplement our police effort.

Richmond city and Chesterfield County are always looking to cooperate in order to be more efficient and effective. Let's not insinuate an issue between the governments where there is none.

Ed Barber, Chairman
Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors




Cantor's Wins Speak for Themselves

In his letter to Style regarding Congressman Eric Cantor ("Cantor's Star Too Bright for Some," Letters, May 11), Gary Hearn suggests that Cantor ignores the needs of his district and claims that a more "open-minded individual" might be "better able to represent the local viewpoint."

Unfortunately for Mr. Hearn, the citizens of the 7th Congressional District think differently. And they have been rather emphatic about it. Cantor was sent to Congress in 2000 and 2002, beating his opponent by 2-1 and 3-1 margins, respectively. In 2004, he was not even opposed.

Congressman Cantor is proving to represent the local viewpoint quite adequately. And until the opposing party can find a viable candidate to challenge him, he will continue doing so. I expect Eric Cantor can represent the 7th District as long as he wants to.

Perhaps Mr. Hearn should be "open-minded" enough himself to accept the decisions of the overwhelming majority of the voters of the 7th District.

Jay Fulton



School Board Using Fruity Excuses

Last year Richmond School Board members and officials, at taxpayer expense, traveled to a number of cities and were fed breakfast in their search for a food-service company to take over the school system's deficit-plagued food operations. The board awarded the $3 million contract to Chartwells School Dining Services.

Now that the deficit still continues, to the tune of $1 million; with the same food-service employees and cafeteria managers previously employed by the school system, the board blames the overrun on the cost of Fruit Loops ("Food Group Defends Its Fruit Loops," Street Talk, May 4).

The school system is rife with waste and mismanagement, and the board refuses to take any responsibility for the rape of the taxpayers. Each year, City Council caves in to a chamber packed with school employees and PTAs in fear of not being perceived as "supporting education" to dole out tax dollars that have nothing to do with the quality of education in our public schools.

All the poor taxpayers can do is sit and watch and pray for divine intervention from an elected mayor who recognizes a scam when he sees one and has the guts to act in order to protect the 85 percent of voters who put him in office for that very purpose. Mayor Wilder is also aware that he will be made the scapegoat by the School Board and City Council for refusing to "properly fund the school system," and, of course, be applauded by those of us who bear the burden of the School Board's totally irresponsible fiscal management.

I also wonder if the company awarded another $3 million by the School Board to operate the alternative school is experiencing cost overruns, and what benefit the city is deriving from that outsourcing. The board and media have been awfully silent on that lark. Check it out, mayor.

Jim Edmonson



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