Editor: As I sit back and reflect upon last Tuesday nights’ vote to send the Kline annexation to the county for opinion I think about the future of Purcellville.
I think about the Davenport presentations we review each year showing the continual increases to our water and sewer rates and the pages that show certain growth rates. I think about how the Mayfair development will give us $12 million in availability fees to help pay for some of our debt and that allowed us to not have to raise water rates this year, only sewer rates by 5 percent. I think about our bond rating and maintaining our current level which benefits future financing.
When I ran for office in 2012, I promised to look at ways to bring down the water/sewer rates. I am looking at my idea of smart growth as just one way to help pay. I don’t believe in selling off assets every year as a BandAid, that would be like selling your car to pay the mortgage. The plan provided by Kline is one of many ideas, but without bringing the property in town, we get none of the potential benefits. Yes, there are some expenditures as well, but we can negotiate that once the property is in Town and needs to rezone with proffers. The town has become divided between growth/non-growth. If we don’t grow, the full debt service falls on our citizens. I know families in town who get anxiety when getting their water bills every other month.
I also know that the vote I made may have been a nail in the coffin for my political career. I tend to look at the impacts of my votes for future years, not today, because I care about this town and its legacy to the area.
I am looking out for the citizens within the town limits because that is what I was elected to do. While I know the proposed annexation affects more than just us, I have to put the citizens that I represent first. My votes go towards the betterment of the community, not my daily job. I can find a new job a lot easier than I could a new home. I don’t blame Wright Farm residents for being concerned, I probably would be as well. But we control the shape and design of the property if we bring it in, we control the destiny. Others say that if we don’t annex it in then nothing will happen because it needs town utilities to be sustainable. While the density proposed probably wouldn’t be sustainable, other ideas for the site might be which could be better or worse and the county controls it. I look at the various proffers we could ask for and what the benefits could be to the town. Maybe I am optimistic, but that is my nature. I look at the positives while being aware of the negatives.
I know there is a lot of chatter out there about me working for Bowman and conflict of interest. I have received an opinion from the town’s attorney and had it confirmed by the Commonwealth’s Attorney. I am taking every step possible to be proactive in this matter.
I ask that the citizens stay positive during this holiday season and avoid the negativity of a few. I know not all citizens have the same opinion, but both sides talking help bring together the best product.
I wish everyone Happy Holidays and I look forward to seeing you around town.
Patrick McConville II, Purcellville
Town Council Member