Politicians and local businessmen have devised a diabolical scheme to fleece taxpayers in the name of gridlock. The real purpose of the referendum is twofold. First and foremost, it is to fund the expansion of The Port Authority See Virginia Business, Dec. 2000, paid advertisement by The Port of Virginia. Here is what they said they needed:

  • Third Crossing: $4.4 billion

  • Future 4th Terminal: $860 million

  • Rail Corridor:  $115 Million

  • Pinner's Point Interchange: $160 Million

  • Total cost:  $5.35B

How much of the referendum money will go toward the port expansion, and to what extent gridlock will be reduced, could be debated infinitely, along with the other "smoke and mirror" wordology used to mask the real purpose of the referendum.

The second deceptive reason for the referendum is quite simple, politicians have spent our road tax money to buy votes, and have dreamed up an immaculate deception, to get us taxpayers to double tax ourselves. This is a new precedent they can replay every time they dream up a new need. This is being closely watched as it has national implications.

As to The Port Authority expansion, we have the best port in the world and it should have been expanded many years ago. A lack of planning on the politicians part, does not constitute an emergency funding on taxpayers part. It is not the local taxpayers who should fund the expansion.

Now, let's get serious about gridlock

Considering the time necessary to plan, get approval by all the governmental agencies, obtain right of way, funding, and complete the construction process, roadways are inadequate before completion. A FIFTY year plan is needed.

As to the highly advertised need for an emergency evacuation route, THERE IS NONE THAT IS ADEQUATE AT PRESENT OR IN THE YE$ CAMPAIGN.

Making US 17 a 4-ane expressway to NC line is vital to a Southern Evacuation Route and is NOT in the YE$ proponents plan. In addition, an expressway class connector that provides rapid access to US 460, US 58 and I-95, is far more critical to moving traffic in and out of Tidewater, than 20 more years of 1-64 congestion due to construction. An alternative CONTAINER TRUCK ROUTE would permit smoother flow of 1-64 traffic during construction all the way to RICHMOND.

Since The Virginia Port Authority will be the greatest benefactor of the new road construction, they should pay their fair share. One way for them to pay would be to tax all containers entering or exiting Hampton Roads terminals. And since the X-Adm. Gehman & Reason have been out front saying it is essential to the military, then The Government should pay its fair share. Since the road issue has never arisen before, during the Oceana siting of all squadrons, or the home porting of ships and activities, to the Tiewater area, apparently there is no urgent military need and federal government assistance would be unlikely.

Frankly, most of this can be paid for by the taxes being collected already. Politicians must be held accountable for our tax dollars or be voted out of office.

Many excellent suggestions have been made through the media which I will not repeat - but keep it up. VDOT should publish construction plans and anticipated resulting back-ups and slowdowns, periodically.

We must get our "fair share" of Federal Tax money now being collected, including additional federal dollars to make up for military use and huge increase in truckers to the area because of PORT EXPANSION and MAERSK expansion in Portsmouth.

When politicians come up with a sensible long term solution to gridlock, then I will vote YES AND NOT BEFORE!


G. Mashburn - Virginia Beach