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Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13%), more affordable.

Canova Peterson is the current Mechanicsville District Supervisor in Hanover County, Va. Four years ago I helped get him elected and he barely squeaked by, winning by just 75 votes.Canova

I was proud to help with signs and I talked to hundreds of voters on election day at the polls in Mechanicsville. I don’t know the exact number, but I know a good portion of the 75 votes that put Peterson over the top were from people I personally convinced to vote for Canova.

And in reviewing the last 4 years and Peterson’s record, I can say I will not be taking a vacation day on November 3, 2015 to help Peterson at the polls. He has been a disappointment and, in my opinion, detrimental to the dream of keeping Hanover a safe, rural place to live.

Voters made a tremendous error in 2011 by electing too many supervisors to the board that had ties to developers and builders. We have seen $52 million in proffers fly out of window as Peterson and the other developer cronies voted to eliminate proffers that help to defray the costs to the existing property owners in the form of cash, land and roads and other items that will prevent a lot of the costs of the development from being passed on to existing property owners.

Canova Peterson’s largest source of campaign money, not surprisingly, is the Real Estate / Construction business according to VPAP. Peterson is an architect with close ties to the construction business.

So it shouldn’t have been a surprise that Canova Peterson was one of the developer lackeys leading the charge to eliminate proffers and line the pockets of his top donor class. And the spin and excuses Peterson has delivered in the years since he voted to get rid of proffers is staggering.

And at the September meeting of the Hanover County Republican Committee Canova Peterson rose to address the committee at the end of the meeting and complained about the misinformation being spread around. We agree with him that there is a lot of misinformation, but all he need do to locate the source is look in a mirror.

Canova’s Spin: Proffers make housing un-affordable.

In a debate held last month between Peterson and his challenger Glenn Millican, Peterson made the following argument as a reason to eliminate proffers:

We have a need for all types of housing in this community. Not just single family housing for the well to do. Our teachers, and first responders on the Fire Department, they deserve to be able to have homes too. Many of them when they are first starting out cannot afford that first house. One of the things that’s very important that we have done over the last 2 ½ years is we did help that by getting rid of the proffers. We reduced the price on those houses so that the lower people can afford a house quicker. Our children are no longer banned to living in other communities because they cannot afford to live in the county they grew up in. (Video can be found here and this statement is at the 10:00 minute mark in video #1.)

So according to Peterson, eliminating proffers made housing more affordable so the “lower people” can afford to buy. But proffers were only added to brand new homes. The county has plenty of starter homes and rentals for those starting out who are at the dawn of their careers. But the truth is, eliminating proffers has done nothing to lower the price of new homes in Hanover.

false-fact-checkFact Check: Peterson gets an F on this  claim.

One of the arguments for eliminating proffers was that the cost of housing would go down. In a presentation on the state of the county in November, County Administrator Rhu Harris reported that new housing costs were up by 13 percent in 2014. (See article in the Hanover Herald Progress.)

So even the county administrator would have to give Peterson 5 Pinocchio’s on this claim. Peterson’s developer buddies are not passing the savings on to the new home buyers. They are simply taking the opportunity to milk more money from new citizens while leaving the current citizens holding the bag for additional police, fire, school, water, sewer and other costs. Peterson is not being honest with the Hanover voters on this.

Canova’s Spin: The County Lost Nothing by Eliminating Proffers

In the same debate, Peterson made the following statement:

The County lost nothing. We never had $52 million to begin with. What we had was a wish and a hope that this money would come forward to begin with. Proffers came into being in Hanover in 1990 at $1,800 per house. When we got rid of the policy in 2012-2013 session it was $20,000 per house.

At $20,000 the most we ever collected was $2 million and that was in 1 year. The average over the 20 years was $1.3 million. People were talking about trying to collect $10 million over the next several years. That’s all based on hope and promises.

We replaced that with the Reserve Capitafalse-fact-checkl Improvements Project that used guaranteed money adding up to $180 million over that same amount of time.

Fact Check: Peterson gets an F on this claim.

Here are a few actual examples of proffers that Peterson calls a “wish and a hope”. And remember, the Real Estate / Construction industry is his largest single source of campaign funding.

Total ReceivableApplicant/Developer
1,640,160Rogers-Chenault, Inc
6,539,141Wilton Development Corp.
186,692Colonial Homecrafters, LLC
412,794The Hanover Group
120,876The Hanover Group
410,685D.O Allen Homes
118,430S L A, LLC
413,375Diamond Group
377,165Dee Associates, LLC
2,951,517Four West Company
2,231,307Four West Company
661,353BWW Holdings
8,620,326Hanover Development LLC
854,426Glebe Hill Associates
558,858Godsey Properties, Inc
3,518,669Hickory Hill, LLC
2,340,184Commonwealth Lands
1,511,664Rogers-Chenault
2,159,520Mountain Air, LLC
1,190,520D&R Property Development, Inc
396,126Atlantic Coast Townhomes, LLC
938,706Atlantic Coast Townhomes, LLC
3,120,480HHHunt, LLC
277,051Godsey Properties Inc.
364,925Historic Polegreen Church
417,656Colonial Homecrafters, LLC
76,168Rogers-Chenault, Inc
494,460Carter Oaks, LLC
373,531Balducci Developers, LLC
372,572Mount Hermon, LLC
223,882Mountain Run, LLC
383,530Rogers-Chenault, Inc
843,771HHHunt, LLC
446,445Santee Farm, Inc
492,470Anthony Sherman
705,778Godsey Properties, Inc
412,940West Point Resolution Co.

So, what could we do with this list of “wishes and hope”? Could our schools use any of that money? How about police and firefighters? Yes, there are limits on what proffers may be used for, but money is fungible.

Can you spot the glaring error in Canova Peterson’s logic?Stupidity-quote-inspiration

Political junkies like myself have been following and watching in horror as Canova Peterson and his developer buddies (along with the rest of the Board of Supervisors) have watched with horror as Hanover is paved with blacktop, houses and low income housing with no source of revenue to take the additional burden off of taxpayers. Something about Canova’s absurd arguments didn’t add up. And it hit me the other night.

Peterson claims that proffers made housing too expensive and in almost the same breath he claims we never actually collected the money.

So eliminating the proffers that were never actually paid and made housing too expensive (for the children he cries) has now made new houses, which have gone up in price by 13%, more affordable.

Let me repeat Canova’s stance on proffers:

Eliminating the proffers that were never actually paid and made housing too expensive (for the children he cries) has now made new houses, which have gone up in price by 13%, more affordable.

And Peterson whines about the misinformation going around.

Are you beginning to see why I will not be taking my vacation day this time to help Canova at the polls? No, I will sit back like the majority of the Hanover Republicans and do as little as possible. I will not be the grassroots this time to elect this supervisor to another 4 year term. Because he doesn’t deserve it. It is a shame that there was no primary challenger. One who will be truthful and honest with the voters.

Peterson Avoiding Debates

The Herald Progress planned to hold a debate at Lee Davis High School last month, but Peterson, citing a scheduling conflict, backed out. When I suggested that he use his Town Hall scheduled for tonight (10/13/2015) as a makeup debate, he refused.

You know why he refused? Because he can’t find a response to the question:

Eliminating the proffers that were never actually paid and made housing too expensive (for the children, he cries!) has now made new houses, which have gone up in price by 13%, more affordable.

Peterson Won’t Debate, but Sends in a Plant

Glenn Millican, the challenger, was more than willing to answer questions from Mechanicsville voters and held a Town Hall meeting in place of the debate Peterson backed out of. And while Peterson was unable to come, he did send in a plant, a Mr. Warren Rice. Rice read from talking points and repeated the same absurd claims Peterson has used to defend his “Eliminating the proffers that were never actually paid and made housing too expensive (for the children he cries) has now made new houses, which have gone up in price by 13%, more affordable” platform. (And by the way, Rice is a Peterson supporter and donor.)

What Rice claimed was that his son, a Hanover Firefighter, was forced to move to New Kent because the cost of proffers made a home in Hanover unaffordable – fitting in nicely as a prop to attempt to bolster Peterson’s argument from the debate that he muffed so badly.

And we will ignore the absurd contention by Rice that the proffers add $20,000 to the assessment of the house and the taxes ever year forever. Amen. Assessments don’t work like that, and besides, if they did, that same $20,000 would be refunded when you sell or pass on the house.

So let’s do the math on a firefighter living in New Kent and working in Hanover. And note that a firefighter living in New Kent and working in New Kent is paid less.

  • Rhu Harris said new home prices in Hanover were up 13% in 2014 after eliminating proffers.
  • The average Hanover firefighter makes $31,000.
  • The average Firefighter salary in New Kent is $27,000. 12% less.

At $.81 per $100 Real Estate Tax Rate in Hanover, if it was true that the $20,000 in additional costs added by proffers (that are not actually real according to Canova) are paid year after year, the additional tax comes to $162 per year. Which would have to come out of the additional $4,000 Hanover Firefighters are paid in Hanover vs New Kent.

But the Real Estate Tax Rate in New Kent is higher than Hanover at $.84 per $100.

Real Estate Tax on a $250,000 home in:

Hanover: $2,025.00

New Kent: $2,100.00

So, out of that $162 extra tax Rice was complaining about due to proffers in Hanover, you can subtract $75 because Real Estate Taxes are higher in New Kent. Leaving the cost of the additional $20,000 in non existent proffers in Hanover costing $87 more a year. Which is about $1.67 per week.

Now let’s say the commute from New Kent adds 40 miles per day round trip to the commute. I know firefighters schedules vary, but others, like Teachers who make an average $56,00 in Hanover and $50,00 in New Kent drive 5 days per week during school. Other jobs that are 5 days per week year ’round would drive an extra 200 miles per week. With gas pretty low right now  at $2 or less per gallon, if your car gets 25 MPG you are looking at 8 extra gallons per week, $16 dollars more per week and that comes to $832 per year in additional gas costs to live in

New Kent.false-fact-check

 So if Mr. Rice’s son lived in Hanover instead of New Kent he would save $745 per year.
So we will have to give Peterson’s plant Warren Rice a rating of False.
Peterson also made the claim that proffers were “replaced that with the Reserve Capital Improvements Project that used guaranteed money adding up to $180 million over that same amount of time.
Wow! Peterson replaced proffers that were only $52 million, but a figment of our imagination, with guaranteed money more than triple that of proffers. $180 million.
Let’s see. The proffers that made housing unaffordable but were imaginary and increased the price of housing by 13% when they were eliminated and which were paid by builders were replaced by $180 million in guaranteed money.
Notice that Peterson didn’t say who would be paying this $180 million. This time we must look in the mirror to see Peterson’s ATM. And if you are really quick, you might see a vapor trail of Canova’s hand picking your pockets.

Canova Peterson Wants More Secret Meetings Hidden From the Public

secret-meeting-safe-picHow can you deceive the voters and come up with platforms like “Eliminating the proffers that were never actually paid and made housing too expensive (for the children he cries) has now made new houses, which have gone up in price by 13%, more affordable.”?
Easy. You try to eliminate the freedom of information act laws that make closed door secret meetings illegal. Canova wants to meet in secret, away from prying eyes and ears to help out his developer buddies and their plans to take advantage of the taxpayers of Hanover County.
In an unbelievably attack on government transparency,  Peterson tried to have the law changed.
Times-Dispatch: When elected officials in Hanover and other jurisdictions want to meet, they have a simple choice. They can issue a public notice and get together to discuss the issue in the open, as they should. Or they can skirt the law’s intent by holding a series of “two-by-twos,” in which two supervisors at a time meet with county staff. (Virginia’s open-meetings law applies to gatherings of three or more elected officials.) Hanover’s supervisors find this inconvenient. So their chairman, W. Canova Peterson IV, wants state law changed so open-meeting laws apply only to quorums. In Hanover, that would permit three supervisors at a time to meet behind closed doors. This is a rotten idea, whose sole purpose is to put the convenience of public servants ahead of the interests of the public they are supposed to serve.
 Is this any way to serve the voters?

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog.Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

24 Responses to “Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13%), more affordable.”

  1. I attended many of the MTP meetings in 2010-11 when the candidates running for the Hanover B.O.S came and spoke. I have often cited they played those people at these meetings for fools. Promises to “cut spending” or ” shrink Hanover bloated government”—and I never heard a word about proffers, not a single word.

    Electing people to local government who come off the school board, or from the development/real estate/building industry has proven to be a mistake, one that we now know must not be repeated.

    Equally disappointing is the clear and conscious cowardice on display by the Mechanicsville TEA Party in showing no willingness to go after these folks, giving them a clear path to reelection when opposition of some magnitude could stop them. I lived in Mechanicsville for 16 years, all of my children are Lee-Davis grads, and spent considerable time & energy building, later returning to Chair the MTP. I personally have my DNA on about 60 or so of those signs all over Hanover and have an open contempt for the lack of leadership that allowed pols like Peterson a free pass. Let’s hope new leadership takes that group over soon. Maybe then Hanover can run a few of these scoundrels out of office.
    Bob Shannon

    • Kim Singhas says:

      You are correct Mr. Shannon:

      Not once while campaigning did Mr. Hazzard tell a voter in South Anna he planned to align with Mr. Peterson when elected and lead the charge to eliminate the $20,000 per home proffer. Obviously he quietly told the developers who donated generously to his campaign ( $44,000) and worked tirelessly to elect him and defeat incumbent Supervisor John Gordon.

      The proffers served as passive resistance to high density low income affordable workforce housing in Hanover County. When the Rack em and Stack em Apartments and Townhouses go up in your neighborhood in Hanover County, there were four supervisors representing the developers of Hanover County who voted for their donors:

      Canova Peterson from Mechanicsville, Wayne Hazzard from South Anna, Sean Davis from Henry and Ed Via from Ashland.

      And when Hanover County turns Blue like Henrico and Chesterfield did due to the overdevelopment and influx of Democratic voters from Richmond who will flood into Hanover for the cheap housing, lower taxes and good public school system and Vote Democrat when they get here- blame the Republicans who elected these four supervisors. AGAIN.

  2. Paul Thiel says:

    Readers and followers of Virginia Right, please let me tell you Tom White was amazing last night at Canova Peterson’s propaganda agenda meeting to “set the record straight” as he put it.
    Peterson attempted to set the record straight from all the “misinformation being bandied about” to use his words and the topic quickly turned to “proffers” and his roll in having them eliminated. He was overly defensive and danced around the questions posed as to his claim that the County was the winner and would put substantially more dollars in county coffers.
    Tom pressed him on prior statements he had made-and quoted back to him his exact words where he claimed housing was going to be far more affordable for police, firemen & first time buyers etc. when in fact Tom pointed out, according to Rhu Harris prices have increased 13 percent since elimination. He was unable to shed any light on where the money went and he could not admit that his developer friends put the money in their pockets. When asked do you think they reduced the prices of their properties commensurate to the 20K proffer reduction he had no viable answer, only that prices were whatever they are.
    The simple answer is since developers are not passing the reduction to buyers and the county could assess the property at the higher value then Hanover County could have the proffer monies and still increase the assessments. He could and would not answer to Tom where the money went ? ” Answer-it went to his developer friends and not to infrastructure needs or the County !
    He was pressed on the secrecy of how the decision was made and who was on the committee as developers and the possible conflict of interest, again he defensively stated that everyone should have known as the decision took months and many many people were aware of the elimination issue. To me and many of my friends a False Claim.
    To me Tom pointed out with facts the many contradictions and false statements made by Canova.

    Thanks again Tom

  3. The agencies responsible for investigating political corruption are themselves tainted. If one suspects corruption in any local political office, one has 3 distinct choices to pursue a remedy. First stop if the County Sheriff, then onto the County Commonwealth Attorney, and of course as a last resort one can visit the Virginia State Police if for whatever reason the first too don’t seem viable. In my view the first two are just too close to local pols, on too friendly of terms to believe they are inclined to begin with to go after their pals, people they see and interact with almost daily.

    The problem however is that all 3 of these entities in various proportions rely on elected officials for their budgets, often times on these same elected officials. That is and has stymied attempts in my opinion to hold local elected officials responsible when these types of clearly abusive practices take place. Adding insult to injury as they say is that local pols know this, it acts as almost insulation against effective investigation and prosecution.

    Another element of this is the very weak consequences of a violation of the Virginia Conflict of Interest Act. A $50 fine and it is a misdemeanor offense at best, It shows how toothless the act is in deterring this type of behavior. Referendum Reform would help in getting some teeth added to the sanctions, because you know members of the G.A , based on the whining and hand wringing last year when Ethics reform was being debated are not going to volunteer to strengthen these laws. Until then you have to rely on some sort of local political opposition, opposition that currently in Hanover does not exist.
    Bob Shannon

  4. Daryl Carr says:

    Kim,

    Just to clear things up about who the developers support and who supported their projects. Add Angela Kelly Wiecek.

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  3. […] VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]

  4. […] VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]

  5. […] VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]

  6. […] VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]

  7. […] VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]

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  9. […] VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]

  10. […] VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]

  11. […] Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]

  12. […] Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]

  13. […] Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]

  14. […] Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]

  15. […] Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]

  16. […] Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]

  17. […] Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]

  18. […] VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]

  19. […] Seventh place t with 1/3 vote – VA Right! – Canova Peterson Platform: Eliminating proffers that were never actually paid made new houses, (up 13… […]


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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