Empty Pavilion=Drain on the region

5 05 2008

The nTelos Pavilion is yet one more casualty from the individualism present in the Hampton Roads region. If we worked under one jurisdiction, then we would all be proud of what the rest of us had, and we would have no need to compete. Portsmouth built the nTelos to compete with the Verizon Wireless VBA. I’m sure everyone has heard the ad on TV that states, “When banks compete, you win.” We can apply a similar slogan to this situation. “We cities compete, you lose.” Our area does not need but so many large music venues. Same goes form convention spaces. Every city in our area has subsidized a convention center. Imagine the conventions that our area could be host to if we had combined our resources for a regional convention center. People need to see that these overlapping services are wasteful. Each city is promoting the “Hampton Roads: America’s First Region” campaign while at the same time working against everything that the campaign stands for. Meanwhile, people are struggling to pay their taxes because their cities refuse to cut costs. Millions of dollars are wasted each year in our area on overlapping services. I know that SPSA isn’t exactly a shining model, but it is the type of thing we need: A central service, contracted by the city. The more this is spread, the lower the costs. Anyone in business knows that as you purchase larger quantities, the price goes down. This works in this case as well. Regional Recycling and waste disposal to start. Why not move to regional garbage collection? Or regional water service? Or any number of services. Schools. Libraries. Parks. The more we spread out the cost amongst the citizen of Hampton Roads, the less it will cost per person. Each city has strengths and weaknesses. Usually a weakness in one city is a strength of another. We need to nurture the strengths of each city and apply them to the region. Sure there is a lot to work out in the plan, but it has to start somewhere. We can not keep applying temporary solutions to thing around here or we will only achieve temporary success. It is time to think. It is time to act. For the sake of our future, act now.

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