By. Neil Williamson, President
Adapted from comments to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, July 1, 2015
Good Afternoon. My name is Neil Williamson and I serve as the President of the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization focused on local government.
I understand you received an e-mail from my associate, Tim Hulbert of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce. Tim can’t be here for public comment due to a previously scheduled medical appointment but does hope to join you later this afternoon when you are discussing the US29 Business survival program.
In a blog post yesterday, I highlighted the many expressions of support this board has provided to potentially impacted businesses throughout the Route 29 Solutions approval process.
According to the approved minutes of the May 27th 2014 meeting:
Ms. [Diantha] McKeel commented that it’s the intent of this Board to make the businesses as strong as possible during this period of construction
I am a big Sean Connery fan. Considering his many memorable roles, it is hard to believe he only won a single Academy Award. He won as Best Supporting Actor for his role as veteran patrolman Jimmy Malone in The Untouchables.
In one of the best scenes in the movie, Malone confronts Elliot Ness, played by Kevin Costner and asks, “ You said you wanted to get Capone. Do you really wanna get him? You see what I’m saying is, what are you prepared to do?
Ness replies: “Anything within the law.”
Considering the broad support this board has indicated it would provide to the businesses impacted by the construction of the Rio Road Grade Separated Interchange and the modest plan your professional staff has created to mitigate some of the business interruption, I have just one question.
What are you willing to do?
Your answer will speak volumes.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak.
Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson County. For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org