At a May 2013 commissioners meeting, Blust and Yates were the two votes against extending the Brookshire Park greenway under the New River bridge at Hwy 421. Those of us attending that meeting heard Mr. Blust diss greenway and trail projects as a potential money suck down the road. No surprise. Blust has always expressed disdain for maintaining the Brookshire greenway and the Rocky Knob bike park. So Blust and Yates voted "nay" on a procedural motion to go forward with an environmental assessment of the proposed greenway extension under Hwy 421. The Blust-Yates "no" votes would have killed the project in its infancy.
The minutes of that May commish meeting are here. Coverage of the vote didn't make the local press until June 10, in this paragraph at the end of an article titled "Vulnerable greenway projects may see reprieve":
Not everyone is as enthusiastic as others about the planned trail projects. County commissioners Perry Yates and David Blust last month voted against an environmental assessment contract for the 421 underpass. Blust expressed concerns about the future costs of maintaining the trail. The contract was approved by a 3-2 vote, however.Another local citizen who witnessed the Blust/Yates "no" vote, and who has a vital interest in bike trails in our county, wrote me the following in an email:
Mr. Blust (and apparently Mr. Yates) seem to be concerned about the "future costs of maintaining the trail." I'd like to ask exactly what costs they are concerned about, and whether or not they consider trail maintenance money well spent, given the number of the public who make daily use of this infrastructure for recreation, wellness, and commuting? What maintenance costs scare them so? Mowing the borders? Occasional gravel backfill? This 'penny wise/pound foolish' approach to trails is difficult to understand given the over $47,000 spent on intervening in the ETJ lawsuit, which both men supported....
I ride a bike everywhere, so this stuff matters to me. When Blust in that meeting in 2013 said, 'I'm worried about saddling the taxpayers with maintenance of the trail' and voted 'Nay'-- it was one of the most monumentally stupid things I've ever witnessed.To now witness Blust and Yates get away with appearing supportive of greenways and recreation in general, and not be called out on their past votes, is a little galling.