City Council Exercise

Lynchburg City Council strikes down cemetery move, but raises taxes

On Monday, the Lynchburg City Council rejected a petition by a local developer to move a cemetery to put in a new supermarket, but they also voted to institute a new sales tax.

Carl Erskine wanted to move the cemetery and build a super market on the 2800 block of Forbes Street. He cited the fact that there was not another super market within a mile of the block and even offered to pay to move the graves. However, most local residents were less than enthusiastic about the proposition

When Mayor Ray Sadecki opened up the floor for questions from the audience, 20 people offered their opinions. Only two of the residents that spoke were for the super market, while most wanted the cemetery to stay in place. Walt Dropo, president of the Forbes Street Residents Association, promised to “mount a campaign to recall any council member who votes for this thing,” drawing applause from the audience.

In the end, the council voted 5–2 against Erskine. Satisfied, most of the audience left after the measure failed, and missed the discussion and vote on a new tax.

Councilwoman Wilma Rudolph proposed a new one-cent sales tax. She addressed the fact the Lynchburg is in great need for revenue, saying that there was a chance that the city might need to lay off workers in 2017. The city treasurer agreed, but Mayor Sadecki did not, thinking that the citizens were already too heavily taxed.

Most of the rest of the council agreed with Rudolph, and the measure passed 5–2. Mayor Sadecki and Bill Mazeroski were the two dissenting votes. The new tax will cost the average Lynchburg family an extra $75 a year.

The city council rejected a petition to move a cemetery to build a super market in its place after residents spoke out against it. Then the council passed a resolution to introduce a new sales tax that will cost families an extra $75 a year.