Congressman Scott Taylor visited the Eastern Shore Tuesday. The congressman appeared at the Coach House Restaurant at Bay Creek in the morning and the Sage Diner in Onley to visit with constituents and hear their concerns.   Among the topics discussed at the Sage were issues concerning the Veterans Administration, sea level rise including problems on Tangier and more.

The congressman said that dealing with veterans issues is most pressing and occupies much of his staff’s time.   He said that one of the main problems with the Veterans Administration that is uses MS-DOS computer programs and that system is badly in need of upgrading . Taylor said that his office is there for veterans and that any veteran with a problem with the VA should contact his office.

Taylor also said that one of the big problems in getting funding for projects such as the Tangier seawall is that the Republicans eliminated earmarks.   Taylor said that he understands that earmarks were not popular with the public but that the result is that getting funding for urgently needed items like the seawall is very difficult and can take years.   Taylor said he favors returning to earmarks with adequate protections to insure that abuses cannot take place.

Issues about the health of the Social Security system were also discussed.   Taylor said that with the baby boomer generation now going on Social Security there will come a time when changes to the entitlement program must be considered. Taylor said that at some point, the younger generation will have to see changes in the system which could include advancing the retirement age from 62 to a later retirement date.   Taylor was carefull to stress that changes will not affect the current Social Security recipients and would have to be implemented on the next generation.   Again he said that he would not support any changes that would affect  current Social Security recipients.

Taylor also discussed issues on the Eastern Shore including the availability of affordable housing. He said that the loss of the unmanned aircraft program at Wallops was directly attributable to lack of adequate housing and services for the military families that would be stationed here. He said he hopes that water and sewage systems in Cape Charles and Onancock can be extended to cover surrounding communities which would make it easier to provide housing.

Taylor said that cooperation between the Shore’s 18 incorporated towns and the county is the key to helping him get funding for local projects.