This letter is self-explanatory and exemplary of what citizens must do to influence how we are governed. There are many, many examples of national issues that we must try to deal with but find it more difficult with the current government than anytime in my lifetime. The only people or groups who are given attention today are far-left activists. It will be difficult to reverse this. if we do not, traditional America is gone.
TO: HONORABLE SEAN CONNAUGHTON, SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
FROM: J. A. MANN AND PHILIP RICHARDSON
SUBJECT: REQUEST TO RECONSIDER LEASING PORTS OF VIRGINIA -- FIND OTHER FINANCING
Dear Secretary Connaughton:
We urge you without reservation or equivocation to suspend immediately the negotiations to lease the Virginia Ports and find other methods of financing transportation needs. We have the same concerns about leasing the ports that we had with earlier proposals to sell ports to investment groups, concerns which we were permitted to express at the time. We also must relate these proposals to the earlier initiative to sell ABC assets to finance a very small part of the need for transportation funding while giving up substantial general fund revenue . We are grateful that this ill-advised initiative was stopped. Please do the same with the port leasing initiative. The ports are invaluable and irreplaceable assets and must not be removed from ownership and control by the Commonwealth of Virginia. They are critically important not only to the GDP of Virginia and America but to national security as well.
We urge you to consider bond financing and reform of the outdated "Transportation Funding Formula" to finance transportation needs. Losing our ports for such funding is unacceptable.
Regarding the business model for the ports, already we have heard from two shipping companies (and more are likely to come forward) of their concerns about fairness in operation of the ports under the control of a competitor. Such concerns must be considered legitimate and compelling from a business sense.
We urge you to stop the leasing initiative and engage advisers to develop business plans to operate the ports with profitability projected in the leasing proposals, as reported in the press. If other operators can achieve the financial returns that are projected, so can a business team of competent professionals. We urge such a business plan be developed.
Our concerns are detailed herein below in a piece published in The Virginia Gazette June 6, 2012. We respectfully ask that you read it and consider the validity of our concerns.
Also, attached herewith is a letter published in The Virginia Gazette in response to two very good reports by The Gazette on transportation funding.
Ownership and operation of the ports is a critical issue for many reasons, including national security.
J. A. Mann, The Mann Group, 148 The Green Williamsburg, VA 23185, 757-229-4633