To the Editor: Must Albemarle Be Like Every Other County?

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Letters reflect the opinions of their authors and not necessarily those of the Crozet Gazette.

Must Albemarle Be Like Every Other County?

Must Albemarle be like every other county within Virginia? Haven’t we already been given an abundance of beautiful Piedmont land, of history, of tourists who come to enjoy it, that hardly any other area, or state, can rival? After years of political debate, didn’t the legislature determine to build Virginia’s named university right here in this county?

Isn’t our heritage different from other places? Might our mission be to love and preserve the precious individuality of this Albemarle County? Haven’t we, who have been born in Albemarle, inherited this beauty and we, who have moved here, chosen to stay because of this beauty?

Isn’t there a place for a variety of different counties within the Commonwealth of Virginia? Should we think bigger than our county’s acreage and finances and ponder how we fit into the family of our state? Our Albemarle is larger than any individual landowners and our heritage belongs to all of us who live here.

Should bringing tenuous money into our county coffers be our primary focus? Must we squander and patchwork our precious land just to create tax dollars from industrial-commercial-business-office centers, wring income out of every vacant parcel, and sell our souls to every developer who comes along with proffers trying to make a fortune from our collective heritage? Must we micro-plan our county into tiny pieces that might inevitably grow into tax-dollar-churning behemoths?

Must we only value our county in terms of financial revenue?  Do we need to choose between our perceived need for more and more money and the natural grace and charm of our county or is there a better choice that we need to envision?

Might we not trim our county budget and departments down to the point where they are truly efficient and service-oriented rather than bureaucratic havens? Would we then almost do away with our financial shortfall?

Might we attempt to keep Albemarle’s integrity and individuality as a unique part of Virginia, a county which doesn’t have the same growth patterns as every other county, but which has a beauty and vibrancy all its own?

Lois Whitehead
Crozet