Matt Kelly for Fredericksburg, Virginia City Council

Matt Kelly In The Media

In The Media

March 8, 2017 – Free-Lance Star

“Councilman Matt Kelly said that each developer he’s talked to has a slightly different vision for the city, and there needs to be more coordination. He said that it would help if developers would talk to city officials while they’re in the early stages of planning a project so city officials could “jump in” with suggestions about what they want to see and how they can play a role in making that happen.”

Financing the regional landfill – Nov. 28, 2015

“Flow control.” That’s the new buzz phrase in local government circles, one to which residents will no doubt soon be paying more attention.

The reason? Stafford County and Fredericksburg, which jointly run the regional landfill at Eskimo Hill, appear set to institute flow control to put the dump back on a sound financial footing.

Once approved, the measure will require that the two localities’ garbage go to Eskimo Hill. Several Northern Virginia jurisdictions have similar ordinances.

The idea might seem elementary, but commercial waste haulers have shunned the Rappahannock Regional Landfill in recent years to cut their costs. The change slashed tipping-fee revenue, causing a crisis for the six-member Rappahannock Regional Solid Waste Management Board, which runs the landfill.

Hence, the R–Board asked the city and Stafford to pass this ordinance to help it meet expenses. Critically, that includes building, operating and maintaining a new landfill cell that will provide space needed for the next seven years.

The board has been using its restricted fund to help pay its bills, eating up about $10 million since 2002.

If the two biggest commercial haulers—County Waste and Waste Management—dump all the trash they collect in Stafford and Fredericksburg at Eskimo Hill, the R–Board will collect another $750,000 to $780,000 per year.

Naturally, haulers object. Several haulers told Stafford recently that the ordinance will reduce competition, may induce the R–Board to hike haulers’ fees in the future, and could force the companies to raise customer fees.

Perhaps.

But right now, anticipating the ordinance’s additional trash and cash, the landfill board has cut the rate for loads over 1,500 tons per month from $32 per ton to $26 per ton. The change will take effect in January.

Meanwhile, residents are unhappy because—starting early last year—they were required to pay to dump waste at the landfill. That policy is painful but needed, as is flow control.

Flow control must be begun to save the landfill from financial ruin and buy the R–Board some time to chart a better way to afford handling the localities’ trash.

Stafford board Chairman Gary Snellings and City Councilman Matt Kelly say they hope the R–Board, given some years of breathing room, can devise a smarter, workable alternative. For the sake of a vital public service, so do we.

Gas Tax Floor – March 6, 2016 – Free-Lance Star

Another problem with this situation is that not all local elected officials who oversee transportation issues in the region can even agree on the need to address the VRE shortfall now.

Two Spotsylvania representatives on FAMPO, Supervisors David Ross and Tim McLaughlin, opposed seeking legislation to set the gas-tax floor and raising the percentage collected on gas sales because it’s a tax increase. Two Stafford supervisors, Meg Bohmke and Laura Sellers, also opposed the last-minute effort by FAMPO to seek floor and tax increase.

Still, the measure passed 5–4 with support from Stafford Supervisor Paul Milde, Fredericksburg Councilmen Matt Kelly and Billy Withers, Assistant City Manager Mark Whitley and representatives from VDOT and the Potomac & Rappahannock Transportation Commission.

Editorial – April 29, 2012  – Free-Lance Star

ANYONE in Fredericksburg worried about lethargy or drift on the next City Council can ease their minds by voting for Matt Kelly. In the horse latitudes he would be the fellow piloting a speedboat.

As a historian–he’s got a degree from UMW–he values the city’s tangible past, but, unlike the dainty souls who can’t tell the difference between a living city and Lenin’s corpse, understands that those of us now walking around are part of time’s long parade, with our own contributions to make. Two of the premier physical amenities of downtown, the Marriott Courtyard hotel and the parking garage, exist today in great part because of his efforts.

Mr. Kelly also can be trusted on environmental and fiscal matters–as, regarding the latter, the current City Council majority knows too well. For months now, Citizen Kelly has told anyone who will listen (and some who would rather not) that the majority’s support of an omnibus courts project amounts to financial hari-kari. While good people can disagree–Mrs. Greenlaw, for one, does–no one disputes that Mr. Kelly is well-informed and driven only by his concern for the city’s wellbeing. His return to Council would ensure vigorous public discussion of important municipal issues.

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