Letters to The Editor – June 20th, 2018

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2018

‘Pie in the sky’

Editor, Smithfield Times
Our Illustrious School Board and the Superintendent seem to be starting early this year. They want a 6 to 12 cent property tax increase just for themselves to spend on “pie in the sky projects.”  Yes, some of the projects that they want such as maintenance to buildings are probably needed. The justification used in last week’s paper as to the number of student increases is highly suspect.
Money to open the schools during the summer to feed the children, which probably includes free transportation to the school, is not an item that I can support as a needed school function. As I stated in the past, let the social/welfare system take care of their stomach and limit the schools to feeding the children’s brain. 
Citizens, take heed to Mr. Degroft’s comments in last weeks local paper, he only scratched the surface in describing previous justification for more money for the schools. It is easy and has been used many times to refer to the needs of the children to justify school budget increases. Yes, we need to support the learning programs for the children. No, we do not need to buy them shoes through the school budget.
County citizens should contact their county supervisor along with the School Board member representing them and demand a thorough, unbiased examination of any increase, new or old that is requested in the budget.
Ray Baxter

Clarke the ‘real deal’

Editor, Smithfield Times
Sheriff James Clarke’s passion for law and order began as a kid! Many of you may not know this, but Sheriff Clarke was a School Safety Patrol at Smithfield Elementary back in the early 1970s (I know because he and I “walked the beat” together). His sense of discipline and teamwork was evident on the Smithfield High School basketball court, where he was instrumental in our winning the 1980 Peanut District Tournament Championship as a shooting guard (man, could he play — smoothest jump shot in the region).

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He’s been my fellow School Safety Patrol, basketball teammate, classmate (SHS 1981), and friend for nearly 45 years. Men like James R. Clarke are rare. Isle of Wight County, please rest assured that you are in safe hands with this man on watch. He is the real deal — always has been. Vote for him! Rodney Pinner
Carrollton native

A fellow Marine

Editor, Smithfield Times
I am writing this letter as a very strong recommendation for James Clarke for Isle of Wight Sheriff. I have known James for nearly 17 years. We met when we were in the Marine Corps Reserves together and he was my Gunnery Sergeant. At the time, I was also a young police officer with the City of Norfolk. I went to him many times for advice both as a young Marine and police officer. The leadership and advice that James displayed unselfishly helped shape my path in life.
James is quick to congratulate coworkers and builds an atmosphere of trust with deputies. His attitude is an asset to his management skills. He continually builds people up, deals with difficult situations with incredible posture, and focuses on the positives. He has a cheerful attitude, which makes others feel good when he’s around. His steady, positive attitude helps employees know everything is OK — even when it seemingly isn’t OK!
James communicates difficult concepts in easy to understand language and is good at communicating difficult messages with employees, management and citizens. He promotes a team-centered environment and is a proven team player. He coordinates individual workers together to meet deadlines, work effectively as a team and encourages people to work together towards a common goal to make sure the job is well done which promotes internal leadership in his deputies. He shows sensitivity and consideration to other people’s feelings and creates a positive and inclusive work environment.
James constantly searches for new ideas and ways to improve efficiency, which helps create an exciting atmosphere for his department — one in which new ideas are rewarded and encouraged.
James is one of our hardest working citizens and demonstrates that he cares about his job, his coworkers and the community. He consistently impresses with his willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done. He is a loyal and trustworthy leader for both his deputies and the citizens that he serves at the pleasure of.
Thomas Glaser
Norfolk Sheriff’s Office

Lyons for Pope

Editor, Smithfield Times
The Sheriffs Office has had a serious problem with retention and staffing for several years. It makes investigations harder when there is a constant rate of turnover in personnel, as former employees have to be located for court cases and information can fail to be passed on to new employees.
This is not a new problem, and staffing issues have been admitted by the previous sheriff many times since 2012. It took five years to restore a dedicated patrol for Carrollton.
It’s time to restore staffing and morale to the department and see it become an agency that deputies will want to stay with for a long time.
I’ve known James Pope and his family for many years, even before he entered law enforcement. I know his unfailing dedication and passion for this county, the heartfelt commitment to protecting you and your family, as well as your business and employees.
James will be accessible, available, and reachable to every citizen. Most importantly, he will be accountable to each of us. With his election as sheriff, James Pope will be much more than a name seen on letters or ballot slips. He will be by your side providing innovative solutions to problems and getting results.
Vote Pope for Sheriff.
Dave Lyons

Nine to Boy’s State

Editor, Smithfield Times
The 76th Virginia Boys State is being held this week at Radford University. Isle of Wight is fortunate to have nine local students selected to attend.
Sponsored by Smithfield American Legion Post 49 with widespread financial support from numerous county community organizations, four students from Isle of Wight Academy, three from Smithfield High School and two from Windsor High School are attending this leadership development program. Students from IWA attending include: Ethan Sylvia, Austin Heard, Joshua Savage, and Darren Upton. Smithfield High School delegates include: Colonel Higgins, Glenn Petty, and Spencer Buehlman. Charles Nash and Gunther Perkins are the Windsor High School students who will participate.
The 2018 contingent is one of the largest to represent Isle of Wight. This was made possible by contributions from numerous civic organizations to include the Isle of Wight NAACP, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Smithfield Kiwanis, Isle of Wight Citizens Association, Carrolton Civic League, Healing Waters Church, and Ruritan Clubs in Windsor, Zuni, Isle of Wight and Smithfield. Delegates attend at no personal expense due to the contributions of these organizations which all supported Post 49 in their efforts to increase local participation by our young men.
Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for rising high school seniors. It is a participatory program in which students become part of the operation of virtual local, county and state governments. Two delegates from each of the 49 state-level Boys State programs will be chosen to attend Boys Nation as Senators at American University in Washington DC in July.
Thomas W. Mastaglio
Legion Post 49

It’s all about sex

Editor, Smithfield Times
If you still think that this anti-abortion crusade is about anything other than hanging a sword over the heads of anybody thinking of having recreational sex, consider this.
A Republican who was running for office several years ago said that an aspirin tablet could be used as a contraceptive. He said that all a girl has to do is sit down and place an aspirin tablet between her knees and, as long as she holds the tablet there, she won’t get pregnant.
You can’t put it any plainer than that. And in case you think being married gets you off the hook and allows you to have recreational sex with your spouse with no intention of reproducing, there’s this from Randal Terry: “You consummate your marriage as often as you like and if you have babies, you have babies.”
Jim P. McAdaragh