Letters to the editor – May 18th, 2016

Published 7:30 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2016

What election?

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    Even before the elections on May 3, I questioned what the turnout would be. There were no indications anywhere in town that there was an upcoming election. Nowhere! And even on Election Day there was one misplaced sign at the Smithfield Center indicating “Vote Here.”

    For who? I asked neighbors and friends if they were going to vote and their responses were all the same… “I didn’t know there was an election coming up, and for what?” I think the election results were buried on page 7 of the Times a week after Election Day because they were so abysmal.

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    It appears that the Town Council incumbents made no effort to get out the vote in Smithfield just because they had no opposition. We hear of voter apathy all the time. What about apathy of our politicians? Or is it a feeling of entitlement?


    Debra Huffman Church


Successful budget effort

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    I would like to take the opportunity to commend all those involved in our budget process this year. In my opinion, it went exceptionally well and produced an excellent outcome.

    Our dialogue with the schools, and in particular Dr. Thornton, started back last year and continued in a consistent vein throughout. These discussions were both honest and productive, as we both understood the challenges the schools were facing as well as the need to minimize tax implications. Though we did not grant the entire request, we did fund to a satisfactory level. Thank you schools.

    In addition, due to growth, our public safety is undergoing increasing demands. Sheriff Marshall initially requested an additional five deputies, but worked with the board towards a phase-in approach of two deputies this year and perhaps the same next year. Thank you Sheriff Marshall and your team.

    Mr. Wanner, our interim county administrator, initially presented a budget involving a 3-cent tax increase. The Board tasked him to present a revised budget with less increase to no increase. Mr. Wanner delivered in proposing a budget of integrity with no tax increase. Thank you Mr. Wanner.

    Our Board, though mostly new, asked excellent questions in many areas as we all grappled with, first, understanding the budget, and second, how to adjust the budget to best suit the needs of our citizenry. Our discussions were fruitful, honest, probing and insightful. Thank you fellow Board members.

    We met our objectives of funding the schools, addressing law enforcement challenges and supporting all other departments and agencies, all without a tax increase.

    In addition, three years ago, we were operating at a $7 million deficit, the difference being made up in the unassigned fund balance. Next fiscal year, for the first time in my five-year tenure, we will draw no funds from the unassigned fund balance. None. Much of this is due to the previous Board and staff’s effort to this end. Thank you.

    Our financial future looks bright. I am convinced it is this Board’s desire to keep it that way. We value your comments as we work towards a safe, enriching, bountiful future for Isle of Wight County.

    Rex Alphin
    Board of Supervisors


Swap for a day?

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    In these times of political correctness run amuck, perhaps we should revert to the days of Jonathan Swift and advance another “modest proposal.”

    At the outset, let me say that I do understand that there are people who are uncomfortable with their biological gender, and I do believe that we should accommodate them where possible. What I do not understand is why their rights and sensibilities are the only ones that matter. I believe that not compelling them to use a restroom that aligns with their biological gender and permitting them to use unisex facilities is accommodation enough. Once they are allowed to use the facilities reserved for the other sex, they are infringing on others’ rights and sensibilities.

    So here is my proposal. I have read that no one is completely masculine or feminine. Therefore, for one day per month, sizeable portions of the male and female population should avail themselves of the facilities reserved for the other sex in order to get in touch with their “other side.” Wait! You don’t like that idea? Gee, I wonder why.

    Roger Healey Jr.


Thanks to students & staff

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    On behalf of Sheriff Mark Marshall, all of us at the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office want to take a moment and thank the students and staff at Hardy Elementary School for the warm and joyous welcome they gave to all the riders and support crew of Law Enforcement United’s 2016 Tour of Hope.

    While the stop at Hardy was early into the 250-mile trek to Washington D.C.. the reception the riders received from these enthusiastic students is sure to propel them all the way to our Nation’s Capital. To the riders: “Thank you” for honoring those that have sacrificed their lives in the Line of Duty to keep our communities safe. To their families’ their sacrifice will never be forgotten!

    Lt. Tommy Potter
    IW Sheriff’s Office