Letters to the editor – August 31st, 2016

Published 7:50 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Build a sidewalk

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    It would be nice to have a bike trail to Nike Park, but nice is no criteria. Just about everything on a wish list comes under the “nice” category. Governing bodies must set priorities.

    Have you driven South Church Street and noticed the pedestrians and joggers between Cypress Creek Bridge and Battery Park Road? Sometimes they are in the street, sometimes on a narrow, gravel or dirt shoulder and other times in someone’s yard. This stretch of road is in sore need of a sidewalk. In terms of expense and budget, the bike trail, in my way of thinking, has low priority. The aforementioned sidewalk would be well used and a lot cheaper than the bike trail.

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    Ron Persky


Reassign the staff

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    So, the county admits to squandering over $135,000 of our tax dollars on an ill-fated venture into the entertainment business with their Isle Concert series. We all know that the actual loss was significantly higher, if factoring in the cost of staff time.

    First of all, the purpose of government is to protect the people and provide basic services — public safety, roads and schools. Government should not be venturing into the entertainment industry. Instead of cutting our significant losses, it sounds as though the county bureaucrats are considering hiring a concert promoter or change music genres. If there was considerable money to be made on a concert series at Heritage Park, don’t you suppose there would be an entertainment company looking to move on that for the profit?

    Let’s touch on the trash situation in our county. Here is an area that actually falls within the realm of a service that our government should be providing. When the former supervisors gutted the hours for the trash centers, they drastically reduced the income of the lowest paid people in the county (who likely provided the most service to the average taxpayer.) This was all supposed to save us $80,000.

    Let’s chalk the entertainment series up to yet another poor decision on the part of the county and repurpose the staff that dumped their time into the concert series over to the convenience centers. The citizens can actually get some benefit for our tax dollars and it will cost less than the original $80,000 since we already have these people on payroll. As a bonus, we can avoid the additional $55,000 loss that we suffered this year. It is far cheaper for us to have these people occupying their time for a worthwhile cause.

    Peter Frank Crocker

Build the bike trail

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    Weighing in on the Bike-to-Bike Trail project, let me say that Smithfield is such a best kept secret. We live in a four-season community surrounded by woods, fields, marshes and waterways.

    If there is a drawback, it would be the narrow roads, most of them too narrow to bike safely outside the Smithfield limits. My husband and I have taken our bikes from the Morgart’s Beach area to town and the journey is precarious at best.

    Therefore, I would like to commend the town for following through on its plan of connectivity through a Park-to-Park Trail project. The proposed trail will join Nike District Park with South Church Street, Windsor Castle Park and neighborhoods beyond. My walking partner and I trek the paths of WCP every day and will greatly anticipate a future connected path with which to mix things up a bit.

    More and more, we’ve been afforded the opportunity to stretch our legs in a community where we once had to drive most anywhere. Walking, biking or any kind of exercise for that matter “cures what ails you” as my mother used to say — or was that edict meant for drinking hard liquor?

    Regardless, let’s take advantage of the Federal and State grant monies available to further connect our many neighborhoods and get ourselves moving. As for the citizen who reported earlier of biking to the store for groceries: You Rock! Who knows what slowing down a bit might do for our overall enjoyment and ultimate change in habits? We may come to further appreciate the overall delights of a small town while supporting the local economy. It’s a mindset folks. Let’s work on it. Negativity is so unattractive.

    Constance Rhodes

Taxes wasted

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    Last week’s article on Isle Jam’s loss of $135,000 and Isle of Wight’s failed attempt at hosting national recording acts leaves me wondering how many more ways our county can reach into our pockets. Someone has to pay for this loss and guess who that will be.

    Isle of Wight County Assistant Administrator Don Robertson gave the taxpayers poor excuses for the loss of revenue from the events where Isle of Wight County tried to get more use out of Heritage Park.

    First, Isle of Wight should have never tried to be a promoter of such huge events. It takes much more to host events of this magnitude than contracting an entertainer and selling tickets. Promoting the events, securing food and beverage vendors, parking, manning the ticket gates, providing port-a-johns, trash disposal, providing light and sound technicians, renting the stage for the performances and I’m sure law enforcement salaries were included also.

    Mr. Robertson’s statement that the public did not know where Heritage Park was located and a possible change in music genre shows he is reaching for excuses for the failure of Isle Jam. Several years ago the Fair had an estimated 5,000 people attend a concert (same genre as Isle Jam performers) on a rainy Saturday night where the patrons had to be bused in due to the parking lot conditions. Yes, a promoter was involved and the concert was part of the Fair, but the patrons were able to find Heritage Park for that event.

    Windsor Castle hosts several events a year and if you want to attend you better secure your tickets within the first few hours they go on sale or you will not get one. These events do not have big band names, nor does Windsor Castle have any special electrical or water services that Heritage Park cannot offer. Maybe Windsor Castle is holding events that appeal to more citizens and Isle of Wight may consider this for future events.

    I agree Heritage Park should be utilized more than a few weeks out of the year, but I hope the next attempt at utilizing Heritage Park is better planned than Isle Jam. The county taxpayers can’t afford to keep funding poorly planned events along with the ever increasing taxes we face each year.

    Denson Bell

Photo was appreciated

    Editor, Smithfield Times

    Thank you so much for running the picture of the kids leaving Carrollton School. My mother, Margaret Gilliam, and her brothers and sisters, went to Carrollton School in the 1920s and she talked about it many times. She talked about bringing lunch buckets to school. It brought back many things she described. Is there a picture of the school?

    Pat Atchison Parker

    EDITOR’S NOTE: We do not have a photo of the old Carrollton School, which I believe may have been used as a Ruritan Hall in later years. If anyone among our readers has one, we would be happy to publish it. We can scan the photo here at the office.