Invest in future

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 31, 2002

Washington, DC is a wonderful place to visit and is an economic engine for the Commonwealth of Virginia. There are many aspects of the Northern Virginia economy that we may see as a model for Hampton Roads but transportation is certainly not one of them. Yet, the growth in roadway congestion in Hampton Roads tells us that in 5 to 10 years we will be experiencing the same type of maddening congestion that our northern neighbors experience daily.

On Nov. 5 the voters of Hampton Roads will have an opportunity to choose a different direction. By voting yes in support of the transportation referendum question, we can opt for a better future. We can build and improve the main arteries of our Hampton Roads transportation network to ensure that our economy can continue to support high-paying jobs, that emergency services and our military will be able to serve and protect our citizens and that the precious leisure time we can now spend with our families will not be lost in daily traffic jams.

None of us relish the idea of paying higher taxes but most recognize that we must invest in our future. The projects that will be financed with the revenues of the 1-cent increase in our region’s sales tax are an investment in the economic future of the region and in the quality of life our children and grandchildren will inherit. Without an efficient transportation system, they will spend increasing amounts of time stalled in traffic; jobs will leave the area to find localities where goods and customers can reach businesses conveniently; and those in need of emergency services will experience delays in assistance reaching them. This is not a legacy I will choose to leave my family or my community. At a cost to the average household of $100 per year, we can do better. We must do better.

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I will vote yes to support passage the transportation referendum on the Nov. 5th ballot and I encourage others to join in the effort to shape the future of Hampton Roads so we leave our children a better future.

Curtis R. Milteer Sr.

Suffolk City Council

1680 Airport Road

Suffolk, Va. 23434