Letters to The Editor – May 18th, 2018

Published 5:22 pm Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Higher taxes are coming

Editor, Smithfield Times
Your column this week regarding the meals tax was on point, but it did not go nearly far enough. Tax in Smithfield is about to go up, radically, and soon.
Contrary to the Town Council’s Kool-Aid, the sports complex has cost the taxpayers at least $1.5 million more than the combination of received and promised private and county donations for it. That’s true. Numbers just don’t lie. The debt service on $1.5 million is a bit more than $10,00 per month. Month in and month out, starting several months ago, you have been shelling out your hard-earned tax money for the debt payments on a ball field not yet finished. How do you think that bill is going to be paid when you can use the fields?
Let’s pile on, here, and make matters worse, shall we? Landscape and general maintenance costs at the complex will add $60,000 to the bill. That’s another $5,000 of taxes, per month, forever.

There are general and liability insurance coverage costs to consider as well. Smithfield Recreation promises to fund their already-included, and spent, contribution of $300,000 when they sell their Beal property, and they have signed a lease with the town which gives them majority control of the use of the ball fields, plus the right to operate the concession stand. For that, they will pay the town $20,000 per year, which will come nowhere close to offsetting the taxpayers’ $180,000 yearly cost.
And it is true that Smithfield Recreation may produce some other revenue by charging tournament and use fees to the kids’ teams to play on the fields. Taxpayers, tournaments of little league baseball, while thoroughly enjoyable and lots of fun, are not going to pay the bill.
Meanwhile, the heretofore ignored infrastructure, particularly under Grace Street, needs money for repair, maybe as much as $2 million, right away. Smithfield has an $8.5 million current debt. This year, we will pay almost $1 million for debt service. That’s going to increase, folks.
So, cinch up your tax belt, ladies and gents. Here come bigger taxes.
Chris Torre

Arm the teachers

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Editor, Smithfield Times
Concerning the Florida school shooting, students across the country are clamoring for an assault rifle ban, but a gun ban won’t work.
Ireland and France have some of the strictest gun laws in the world, but that didn’t stop the Christians in Ireland from slaughtering each other, or Museums in France from murdering 130 people in one day.
They also want a ban on bump stocks. Bump stocks have been around for about four years and to my knowledge, Los Vegas was the first time one was used in a crime. So, bump stocks are responsible for 50 deaths in four years. If we ban them, will we also ban anything else that kills 50 or more people in four years, and if not, why not?
There are also calls for improved background checks. But the shooter had so many red flags that they could have been seen from the moon, and they were all ignored. So, law enforcement let him do what he did, and did nothing to stop him.
I think it’s criminal negligence that teachers weren’t already armed. Dissenters say that teachers shouldn’t have to do law enforcement work. You can smell the B.S. as soon as people who say things like that open their mouths. So, should teachers be able to defend their own lives as well as those of their students? And that’s self-defense, not law enforcement.
I can’t help thinking that there are people in high places who want these school shootings to happen because you can get as much political mileage from one dead kid as you can get from a hundred dead adults. I don’t think that fact has gone unnoticed in some circles.
Jim P. McAdaragh

Two dogs at large

Editor, Smithfield Times
It has come to my attention, and I have seen two dogs roaming late at night in my neighborhood between the last blocks of Red Point Drive and Jordan Drive. They do not bark, but have killed two domestic cats; my next door neighbor’s was a victim and it was basically a gentle house cat. This is dangerous and irresponsible on someone’s part! The dogs are about three feet tall and appear to be crossbreeds between bulldogs and another breed, which I can’t identify.
I do not know who owns these dogs but I have alerted both The town police and The Isle of Wight Animal Control Bureau. I do not wish to cause a problem but community safety is my major concern. You can bet I don’t go to the mailbox at night anymore L. F. Chapman III

‘Thank you’ to supporters

Editor, Smithfield Times
The Carrollton Ruritan Club (CRC) would like to thank everyone who again supported our twice-yearly Fish Fry Fundraiser on Saturday May 5. Your ticket purchases make a difference. And, we appreciate hearing that we prepare good food. We also deeply appreciate our “gold” sponsor businesses whose contributions and ticket purchases exceed $100, including Travis’s Auto Service, The Oaks Veterinarian Clinic, Ferguson’s Automotive and Electric Repair, Jones & Jones Attorneys, Murray L. Nixon Fishery, First Call Paint Ball and Isle of Wight & Suffolk Materials and Farmer’s Service. Contributions and tickets of at least $70 also came from “silver” sponsors Hannover Technical Sales, Colonial Funeral Home, Mike Duman Auto Sales, Bon Vivant Wine & Beer, Crittenden Services/Commercial Power Sweeping, Dashing Dogs, Saunders Supply, 7-Eleven in Eagle Harbour and other contributions and work of CRC members.
Our mission is local community improvement through our service, goodwill and fellowship. We will award seven scholarships later this month, a total of $5,000. Our outreach also includes six decades of sponsorship of Scout Troop and Pack 36, support of the Carrollton Library summer reading program and other support of the Western Tidewater Free Clinic, Mission of Hope, Meals on Wheels and more.
Our next Fish Fry is Nov. 3, the first Saturday. Thanks again.
Jim Henderson
Carrollton Ruritan Club