Residents can thank Del. Jones

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Suffolk is fortunate to be represented in the General Assembly by Del. Chris Jones.

A story in Sunday’s Washington Post, a condensed version of which appeared in Tuesday’s News-Herald, detailed Jones’ role in bringing the sides together in coming up with the historic budget/tax deal reached last week that ended the marathon 115 day session of the legislature.

It didn’t have to happen, and had it not been for Jones and a handful of like-minded legislators serious about fulfilling their responsibility to the citizens of Virginia, it wouldn’t have.

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Unfortunately, there will be no parades for Del. Jones. In fact, in return for his service to his state, all Jones is likely to receive is a challenge from within his own party for the Republican nomination next time around.

That would be a shame and would speak ill of the Republican Party in Virginia.

Had it not been for Jones and his committed colleagues working to come up with a compromise solution to fund core services, it’s likely state government would have shut down. The Republican Party would have been seen as incapable of effectively governing the state and could have rightly suffered at the polls for it.

The easy thing for Jones would have been to sit back – like the rest of his party’s leadership was prepared to do – and do nothing while Virginia fell further behind in quality of life issues like K-12 and higher education, and health and human services. Instead, he did what he was elected to do – put the state’s best interests above his own personal, political interests. Suffolk voters should bear that in mind when election time rolls around again.