Letters to The Editor – February 6th, 2019

Published 5:50 pm Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Reached our credit limit?

Editor, Smithfield Times
On Jan. 22 I contacted the County Administrators office to ascertain where the County debt stood in comparison to the other counties of Virginia. I was told by Assistant County Administrator Robertson that, and I quote, “I am not an encyclopedia and do not know the answers to that question off the top of my head.”
I thought it odd that one of the head paid administrators of the County has no idea where the county stood as far as debt. He advised me he would find out and call me with the information. I am still waiting for that call as of this date.
Thank you to The Smithfield Times for knowing and printing the information that the persons we pay to know this information either are purposefully hiding or are so incompetent they do not know the answer to. Hopefully they read your story and know that besides the high population counties in northern Virginia, we are the Number 1 most indebted county in Virginia.
And the School Board wants us to pass a plan to borrow $77 million. Seems to me we have already reached our credit limit.
Volpe Boykin

Not normal circumstances

Editor, Smithfield Times
In response to the Jan. 30 Smithfield Times editorial:
I agree that it is the responsibility of the Board of Supervisors to decide what businesses locate in Isle of Wight County, under normal circumstances. The prison is far from normal circumstances. Our supervisors rushed to the State to request the jail be located around Windsor and committed to it prior to our citizens even having a hint of it coming. The county was not in competition for this project. In fact the State was desperate to find a locality that would take it. The supervisors could have taken their time and held informational hearings prior to committing and had a much more orderly and considerate process. The paper made reference to the Windsor Town Council writing a letter in support. Our Town Council was not given complete information on the prison and was rushed into a decision. They have since rescinded that support.

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Again, under normal circumstances, decisions for attracting business to the county lie with the supervisors. However, when the EDA determines that our supervisors are acting irresponsibly, inconsiderately and recklessly, then it is the responsibility of the EDA not to turn a blind eye but to stop it. In my opinion, our supervisors acted in such a manner. Irresponsible in giving away land (useable land costing the county $30,000 to $40,000 per acre), taking it off the tax rolls permanently and committing $500,000 for a water and sewer line that will probably only serve that facility since there is very little other potential land it can serve except wetlands. In fact, Mr. Block with the State admitted to me the State would have come if none of that was offered.
Inconsiderate in not bringing the prison to my constituents for their input prior to committing. The decision makers were our County Administration and BOS and with the exception of Don Rosie, none of them live within twenty (20) miles of the proposed facility.
Reckless by not getting all the information, and that is an easy one.
Prior to the second vote, called by the chairman of the EDA, at the request of the supervisors to reconsider our original vote, Len Alphin and I pleaded with our members to consider the people in and around Windsor. My voting convictions are if there is a matter that does not touch me or the people I represent but does affect other members on the EDA and their constituents and they oppose it, I vote in support of them every time. That conviction is not shared by my colleagues on the EDA. Thus my resignation from the EDA. I have let my constituents down by not being able to stop this prison from coming and I will play on no team that does not have my back when I need it.
Richard J. Holland Jr.

Thanks to donors

Editor, Smithfield Times I am writing to thank Smithfield residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.
Because of the generosity of donors in Smithfield and across the United States, Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, collected more than 8.8 million shoeboxes in 2018. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2018, the ministry is now sending more than 10.6 million shoebox gifts to children suffering from poverty, natural disasters, war, disease and famine.
These simple gifts bring smiles to the faces of children around the world. Packed with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items, these gifts bring joy and are a tangible expression of God’s love. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 157 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 160 countries and territories.
It’s not too late for people to make a difference. Though drop-off locations serving Smithfield shoebox packers are closed until November 2019, anyone can still pack a personalized shoebox gift online at samaritanspurse.org/buildonline. Information about year-round volunteer opportunities can also be found at samaritanspurse.org/volunteerwithOCC.
Thank you again to everyone who participated in this global project—many who do so year after year. These simple gifts send a message to children worldwide that they are loved and not forgotten. Dana Williams
Operation Christmas Child