Letters to The Editor – October 10th, 2018

Published 5:21 pm Tuesday, October 9, 2018

A dusty Main Street

Editor, Smithfield Times
I hope all those who insisted on a gravel surface are happy with all the dirt and dust on Main Street.
Robert K. Redlin

Big spenders in Surry

Editor, Smithfield Times
At the September Surry Board of Supervisors meeting Mike Eggleston asked if the supervisors were crazy to build a grocery store complex and a multi-million dollar community center. When I got up to speak, the chairman asked if I thought they were crazy. I answered no.
No, I don’t think they are crazy. I think they are lazy. Because rather than overseeing the progress and performance of the project managers, keeping an eye on the work and asking questions, they gave all that responsibility to the county. And even worse, they yield to the demands of those who want immediate gratification rather than waiting until a proposed project can be afforded!
I think think are incompetent. We have an Industrial Park with only one tenant after more than 14 years and haven’t paid off the debt incurred yet. County broadband after 14 years has minimal coverage and only eight paying customers at last count. There’s a $285K loss on the original Surry Seafood Restaurant because the county was gullible enough to accept unpaid for restaurant equipment in lieu of debt.
I think they are fiscally irresponsible. Under their leadership, Surry is supporting an annual total financial budget of about $45.6 million dollars, to include about $25.6 million debt service and a $21 million dollar operating budget. That shows that Surry’s revenue versus our long-term debt, coupled with a declining population, is not sustainable. About 3,300 home and landowners are supporting this unsustainable debt. And now, they want to add a $6-plus million grocery store complex and a $17-plus million community center! If so, that debt would be more than twice the amount of the operating budget. The county’s own figures show that the existing debt won’t be paid off until 2035! That is 17 years, if they don’t add any more.
That being said, upgrading the radio system for the Sheriff, Fire Departments and Rescue Squad is an absolute necessity.
The taxpaying citizens are tired of the supervisors squandering taxpayer monies on unnecessary, feel good projects while putting aside those that benefit every citizen!
Helen Eggleston

Irresponsible spending

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Editor, Smithfield Times
The more I read about what the Isle of Wight County School Board does and plans to do, the more I wonder what they are under the influence of at that organization. Money is continually wasted and more asked for, including $68,000.00 on locks for doors without checking with the authorities to see if they can be used is just incompetence. Getting such approval should be the first thing on a list. That’s just common sense for any public building. For them to be allowed to spend one more penny without oversight from outside of the School Board will be incompetence on the part of the Board of Supervisors members, who are the stewards of our taxpayer dollars.
To top off everything else, they request $77 Million over 10 years be borrowed by the County for their projects. This borders on insanity. If you think the $40 million water deal that made us one of the most indebted Counties in the state was a disaster, try this School Board scheme on for size. It will bury us financially and cause taxes to be raised to heights much higher than the already exorbitant taxes we pay.
I know that anyone who opposes the School Board projects is said to hate the children who are our future. I do not hate children and believe they are our future, and they need to be taught responsibility with money, which is a lesson they certainly will not learn from our current School Board. They also will become taxpaying adults and should not be saddled with high taxes in their future to pay off money borrowed irresponsibly now.
Thank goodness for our current Board of Supervisors who see that the current School Board is irresponsible with taxpayer dollars and do not just keep raising taxes and shoveling money in their direction to be wasted.
Volpe Boykin