Letters to the editor – July 26th, 2017

Published 6:51 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Enjoy life’s ride

Editor, Smithfield Times
Hey, all you angry people out there. Listen up. Why are you so mad?

Because someone set your house on fire, a drunk driver killed your child, someone stole your credit card? These are things that could happen before the day is over and I would be mad also. However, if you get through the day and nothing horrible happens to you, then you should be grateful. If you get out of bed in the morning and your life is going pretty good, why is it that when you get in your vehicle, you turn into a road hog and everyone needs to get the hell out of your way? You blow your horn when the vehicle in front of you is not going fast enough and, to make your point, you pass the vehicle, cut them off and flip them off. Then they pull up beside you at the red light. You think Road Rage is OK, but your blood pressure would probably appreciate it if you would turn on your favorite music and enjoy the beautiful day.

You have no patience or respect for anyone. I am a senior citizen, and guess what, someday you will be a senior too, if you are blessed and don’t kill yourself or someone else on the road because you can’t get there fast enough. Find some stillness in your life. Calm down. Why not just chill and enjoy the ride?

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The ride through life is very short!

Carolyn Lyons

Restful addition

Editor, Smithfield Times
Recently, the Smithfield and Isle of Wight Visitor Center has been gifted with a lovely new bench for residents and visitors to enjoy in front of the facility. This gift was made possible by the amazing recycling program promoted and engaged in by the Woman’s Club of Smithfield. The program, run by Woman’s Club member, Sam White, is a monumental success! The Visitor Center hosts a collection bin for recyclable materials (many not taken by regular residential recycling means) and after the Center collected the total goal weight of materials, received the bench. The program is ongoing, so please consider saving your grocery bags, etc. and bringing them to us! 

The bench, made of indestructible TREX material, will be enjoyed for years to come. Thank you Woman’s Club of Smithfield for including the Visitor Center in your program and for your kind generosity! We are enormously grateful and invite all of our visitors to come “sit a spell.”

Judy Hare Winslow
IW Tourism

What’s the cost to taxpayers?

Editor, Smithfield Times
According to the Times’ 19 July issue, Town Council member Milton Cook stated that the SVAE LLC intends to borrow $350,000 from the Town, paying back $2,250 per month for 15 years. The math shows that to be a 1.99 percent interest rate loan, while the current prime rate, which is what top credit rated corporations typically pay for unsecured borrowed funds, is 4.25 percent.

So now I’m curious. Recently Town Council member Randy Pack requested a reactivation of the Farmers Bank line of credit for up to $1 million (July Town Council Agenda, Tab 3). If the assumption is true that the Town will be SVAE’s banker/lender and use borrowed funds that it has itself obtained through its line of credit from Farmers Bank, the question arises, what is the interest rate Farmers Bank will charge the Town for the Town’s line of credit loan from the bank that is used to fund the Town’s loan to SVAE?

Any spread between the SVAE’s 1.99 percent and the interest rate the bank charges the Town would be a gift to the SVAE from the taxpayers. For example, if the bank charged the Town the prime rate of 4.25 percent (very optimistic) but without the Town’s charging the SVAE that same rate and only charging the 1.99 percent, the taxpayers’ gift to SVAE, a private corporation, amounts to $68,934 over the life of the loan.

It could be more, much more, if the Town’s credit rating is not top-notch, or if the bank increases the interest to track the increases in the prime rate resulting from projected Federal Reserve policy, as is typical with line of credit loans.

It is noteworthy that SVAE is populated by Town Council members, making the borrowers and lenders effectively the same people. This is the sort of thing that Smithfield’s taxpaying citizens need to keep a very close watch over, which is challenging, as the details of matters such as this are not published or recorded by the Town government in any timely or conveniently discoverable way. 

Dave Goodridge

Supervisor overstepped

Editor, Smithfield Times
Friends and neighbors, we have been here before, but the issue is so important it is worth repeating. If you see a blue rezoning sign on a lawn in your neighborhood, please check to see what it means. If you agree or disagree with its intent, please attend a Planning Commission and/or Board of Supervisors meeting to voice your opinions. Otherwise, Mr. Dick Grice will speak for you, and we all know that he believes business should be placed anywhere and everywhere. And he feels that if you don’t voice your opinion, you should forever after “shut up.”

The Comprehensive Plan review has begun, but this is not going to stop M. Grice from placing businesses anywhere. Brewers Neck Road is an area that has been identified as needing serious review. It is a hodgepodge of business and residential. The planning staff has identified this as an area in need of review.

The Planning Commission voted unanimously not to allow expansion until further review was completed. This led to Mr. Grice “leading the change” to allow another business to be established on Brewer’s Neck Road. He put forth a full court press, including misleading pictures, in order to convince two others to vote his way. The question that comes to mind is, should a supervisor be allowed to represent a citizen/business? Should h e be allowed to make a formal presentation on behalf of an applicant? Should the supervisor publicly ridicule the planning staff or planning commissioners because they failed to agree with him?

I cannot believe this is what any of us voted for. Please review the supervisors meeting videotape of the July 17 meeting. We do not expect to set the rules for the county, but we do expect our supervisors to work with citizens, planning staff and planning commissioners. The idea that Dick Grice knows what is best for us should not be accepted unless you want a Mercury Boulevard running through Smithfield.

William & Lynn Faulkner