Letters to the editor – October 26th, 2016

Published 7:09 pm Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Lots of supporters

Editor, Smithfield Times

My husband and I moved to the Smithfield area in 2002. Over the years we started and sold a business, joined a church family filled with warm, caring and Godly people and became involved in various activities in the community.

One thing that has stood out to me time and time again is the overwhelming generosity of both individuals and businesses in this town. I began volunteering at Christian Outreach about 2 years ago and this year had the privilege of coordinating Souper Saturday. Although attendance was down, possibly due to the unfortunate change of date, this worthy event was just one more example of a community dedicated to taking care of their own.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

I want to publicly thank individuals such as Becky Farmer, Gene Lowery, Larry and Rhonda Evans, Ellie Dashiell, Pat Pesci, Brenda Cox, all the folks at Trinity for the use of their facilities, other area churches, Smithfield Foods, Smithfield Bakery, Cockeyed Rooster, Captain Chuck-a-Mucks, Smithfield Station, Oaks Veterinary Clinic, IOW Ruritans, Providential Credit Care, Riverview, Deb Frank and so so many others who gave selflessly and tirelessly of their time and resources and made this Saturday one that blessed me and my husband in ways I can’t put into words.

And especially thank you to everyone who came out to partake of the 130-plus pots of delicious soups made so lovingly by God’s people. May He be a blessing to the town of Smithfield for years to come.

In Christ,
Cris Lawrence
Christian Outreach

Suggests new CH changes

Editor, Smithfield Times

The Board of Supervisors is making progress towards restoring citizens’ trust to County Government by the recent appointment of a County Administrator with experience in local and regional government. To continue the restoration of trust, the Board should initiate a review of the County’s Organization Chart.

Major issues of the County have been water, septic tanks, stormwater, the Nike Park Trail and the defunct 2040 Zoning Plan. All are tied to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act. Responsibilities for the Act appear to be spread among the General Services, Inspections, Parks/Services and Planning/Zoning Departments.

They recognized having overlapping responsibilities and made a quick fix by implementing the “one stop shop” permitting program. In my opinion, it lacks transparency, particularly when applying the Preservation Act to county projects. It is proposed that all regulatory activities regarding the act be centralized within a single entity and directly accountable to the Board of Supervisors. Departments should be limited to their core responsibilities. 

As an example, General Services seems to run the water and stormwater enterprise programs, implying that these are business ventures; if so, these programs should be under Budget/Finances or Economic Development. 

General Services should keep to its core mandate of keeping the county public works running. The organization chart review should not be limited to the above-mentioned departments, since there are economies to be found among the others too.

There is a great opportunity to address some of issues mentioned above now that the director for planning and zoning is vacant. The Board of Supervisors should follow the guidelines used when hiring the new county administrator and bring aboard an accredited and experienced professional to this critical position. Hiring should be conditional on the applicant residing in the County; that way he or she can live with its accomplishments or oversights.

Jose E Hernandez

Trump’s his man

Editor, Smithfield Times

A vote for Trump is vote for a “change choice” at a better USA. Otherwise we get more of the same Bravo Sierra out of the White House, or worse. Worse by far with Hillary Clinton.

Donald may have a “potty mouth” and have acted like a jerk at times, but he’s been a successful businessman by surrounding himself with competent people.

The allegations against him about “unwelcome advances” are just that, unproven allegations, and are a sub-sub-sub issue to what really matters about our USA’s decline and needs for rejuvenation in multiple areas of concern and outright need.

A lying traitor, Hillary, failed to provide requested security, abandoning Americans in Benghazi and lying about what was behind attack, endangered national security while secretary of state through deliberate use of unsecure electronic devices, violated her promise to Congress and Obama to divorce herself from the Clinton Foundation and mishandling of God only knows how many “classified” messages. She is absolutely the most dangerously subversive person who could ever be considered for the White House by even the “useful idiots” Dr. Carson has referred to so accurately.

And “ding-bat” Hillary told the world, including the bad guys, that there is a bit over four minutes lag time between the president authorizing a nuke response and us actually responding. This has to have been Top Secret classification at least! Any “bad guy” sub skipper now knows he can launch a submerged nuke strike against our USA from short range and then “boogie off” to parts unknown, thanks to the traitorous Hillary. Another national security violation. Someone does need to lock her up and throw the key away.

Thinking people will make the right choice on 8 Nov. Our USA will benefit greatly, as will the future for our children and grandchildren. Semper Fidelis.
Herb De Groft

Supports Williams

Editor, Smithfield Times

I was very disappointed in The Smithfield Time’s endorsement last week of Rep. Bobby Scott for 3rd District Representative in the upcoming general election.

During the recent NAACP sponsored candidate’s forum at Main Street Baptist Church, both candidates were asked what they would specifically do to help economic development in Isle of Wight County.

Congressman Scott answered first with a glib, short and meaningless response about “electing Hillary.” He received the expected, albeit tepid, applause from those in the audience to whom he was pandering.

Candidate Marty Williams reflected for a moment and responded thoughtfully with three concrete and practical ideas that showed his understanding and empathy for the citizens of our county.

Your endorsement was also disrespectful to our African-American citizens because, in Rep. Scott’s more than two decades long tenure in Congress, the economic plight of minorities, their prospects for employment, family cohesiveness, opportunities for advancement and their respect for law enforcement have all steadily worsened.

I think, in your zeal to support all Democrats, despite their obvious obliviousness to the needs of this community, you not only failed to respect our minority citizens but also did not reflect the opinion of the majority in our community.

Albert Burckard

Progress at Fort Monroe

Editor, Smithfield Times

Five years ago today, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation designating portions of Fort Monroe in Hampton as a National Monument under the management of the National Park Service (NPS). This marked the first time that President Obama exercised his authority to protect a site deemed to have natural, historical and scientific significance.

Today, one of the biggest obstacles the site faces is its transformation from an active military base to a flourishing and active National Monument. While swift change may not be visible on the surface, there has been progress.

Prior to the official land transfer to NPS in 2015, the Fort Monroe Authority (FMA) began bringing people back to Fort Monroe, inviting people to live here, and filling the former Army office buildings with new commercial tenants. Leases were signed with the City of Hampton for the operation of the beaches and the fishing pier. Walking tours, holiday programs, symphonies, an annual Fourth of July celebration and the continuation of military concerts became hallmarks of a successful public entertainment and interpretative efforts.

Residential homes were offered for lease and remain at an occupancy rate in excess of 90 percent. Several commercial buildings were made available, resulting in almost 400 jobs returning to the Fort Monroe. Three restaurants exist on the property, a fourth is under consideration, and the new local craft brewery is exceeding expectations. The Casemate Museum remained opened throughout the transition from Army to FMA and new exhibits were installed to focus on African American history at Fort Monroe.

In the near future, a series of signs specifically designed for Fort Monroe will be installed to enhance the visitor experience by providing both directional and interpretation information. Two new piers are being planned to increase both recreational access as well as new fishing opportunities. And, in 2019, we expect to jointly cut the ribbon on the new Fort Monroe Visitor Center.

Fort Monroe National Monument spans American history through the 21st Century with stories of the American Indian presence, Captain John Smith’s journeys, the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in English North America, a safe haven for freedom seekers during the Civil War and a bastion of defense for the Chesapeake Bay.

We are committed to connecting Fort Monroe’s history to the people who visit and live here today.

Terry E. Brown
Fort Monroe National Monument
Glenn Oder
Executive Director
Fort Monroe Authority