Residents as resources

Published 7:43 pm Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Editor, Smithfield Times

ISLE2040 has ended. Or has it? The supervisors need to understand that the opposition was not an example of “not in my backyard,” but due to a breach in public trust. Our founding fathers were called visionaries because they broke away from an unresponsive government and created a government founded of, by and for the people.

Staff members stated that they have been working on the revised comp plan for over a year. As with ISLE2040, this seems to also have been done without public input or involvement. There is currently nothing to prevent staff from repackaging and resubmitting the previous plan as “new.”

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As a member of the Planning Commission, my email is posted on the county website, I receive a lot of email from other citizens. What I have learned is that there are a lot of intelligent people out there who know how to investigate and unearth the facts that seem to have been overlooked by the county staff. I made a statement that the county staff seems to view “residents” as “revenue.”

I propose we view “residents” as “resources.” Let’s embrace these valuable resources and conduct partnership studies, which include staff/resident committees and open resident discussion forums going forward with comprehensive plan revisions. It is my understanding that the current plan was completed with citizen involvement. 

In summation I would like to repeat a quote attributed a member of the Board. 

“We are rural, not stupid.”

Richard Gillerlain