Letters to The Editor – June 26th, 2019

Published 3:14 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Destroying History?

Editor, Smithfield Times
After attending the last town council meeting and reading last week’s Smithfield Times, I can’t help wondering why our town attorney is fighting hard to destroy our local history. Why won’t he fight to save our past? The Pierceville house is from the 1730s. I do not know of another area house that old. How wonderful it would be to say that we, the people of Smithfield, saved this significant historic site. There are slave graves on the Pierceville property, and the house is older than Monticello.
Mr. Riddick continues to remind us that the town does not own the Pierceville property. Ownership is not the problem. A lien could be placed on the property, and the repairs to mothball the house could be preformed. The money from the lien would be repaid to the town when the property is sold. It appears that Mr. Riddick is very anxious to have Smithfield ordinances changed. Why?
These ordinances have been in place for many years and have made Smithfield a location that people like to visit. With an estimate of $2.4 to $3.3 million to be spent on the bike trail, surely there are some funds that can be used to mothball Pierceville. Why won’t our town fight to preserve our history rather than fight against it? What does Smithfield have to gain by loosing its heritage?
Betty Clark

What Demos don’t support

Editor, Smithfield Times
As a life long Democratic, normally when talking about the party it is about what we support, however below is what we do not:
• attempting to eliminate health care coverage for millions of Americans with no alternative to replace it.
• passing legislation purported to be a tax cut when in fact it isn’t for average citizens.
• unilaterally imposing tariffs, thereby creating international conflict which inflicts serious economic harm particularly for US farmers and pork producers and potentially the entire US economy.
• unilaterally abandoning international treaties while threatening certain countries potentially leading to catastrophic wars.
• vilifying and criminalizing women and doctors while disregarding the role men play related to reproductive rights.
Joe Puglisi

Training a workforce

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Editor, Smithfield Times
On Wednesday, June 12, Paul D. Camp Community College celebrated the grand opening of its Regional Warehouse and Distribution Training Facility, located in back of The Tidewater News building. This event not only officially noted the opening of a facility with programs that provide students the skills they need to succeed in family-sustaining jobs, but it also marked the creation of a great collaboration of localities, business and industry partners, and philanthropists — all dedicated to improving our local economy.
The following donors, along with numerous partner organizations and businesses, allowed this project to come to fruition:
Hampton Roads Workforce Council, Bank of America, Hampton Roads Community Foundation, Birdsong Foundation, Franklin Southampton Charities, Camp Family Foundations, PDCCC Foundation, The Port of Virginia, The Tidewater News, Caspari, Safco and Eaheart Industrial.
This wonderful, relevant facility with its programs and our student successes, are all proof that we can work together to create solutions that benefit the entire commonwealth. It is our intent to make addressing a shortage of skilled workers for local jobs a thing of the past. We are forever grateful for our partners and donors.
Angela Lawhorne
Workforce Development

Kudos to Riverside

Editor, Smithfield Times
The Daily Press and Virginian-Pilot recently reported on the quality of care found in the 6 4 area nursing homes.
State inspectors found deficiencies in all but two facilities. One of those facilities was Riverside Healthy Living Community – Smithfield.
The staff of this nursing home deserve recognition for a job well done. It is comforting to know that our senior citizens are receiving quality care.
Robert K. Redlin

Meeting Thursday

Editor, Smithfield Times
We believe it is an important time for our county and community. There are many changes occurring in our community and the communities that surround us. We cannot be complacent and hope these changes are for our betterment. We must discuss our community’s challenges and agree on the best path forward.
The Surry County Concerned Citizens’ Association was formed with a goal of “Making Surry County Better” for all citizens. The Association believes this can be accomplished by providing all citizens an open forum to discuss matters of our community, promoting a unified community by creating a monthly opportunity to know one another better and bringing forth issues to our government when there is a consensus of community citizens that such should be done.
Please remember that this November we will elect members of the Board of Supervisors and how important this is for the future of Surry County. Vote for the future!
Please assist with “Making Surry County Better” for all by attending our monthly meetings. The Association meets every fourth Thursday of each month. The Association’s next meeting is on Thursday, June 27 at 6 p.m. and located at the Surry Community Center in Dendron. Come join us for an open conversation and an opportunity to know one another better. This week we will have special speakers. One will be from Prince George Electric to bring us up to date on their effort to bring high speed fiber optic internet, and the second will be a representative from the County’s Registrar office to update us on the recent changes in redistricting effects Surry County.
Robert Chandler
Concerned Citizens’ Assoc.

Likes Hulick’s opponent

Editor, Smithfield Times
The “meal debt collection” saga in the school administration continues, though no one knows much about it, or appears to even care. Outstandingly, the School Board members are the ones that appear the least interested. Of course, in their situation, I’m sure they wish it would just go away.
One of their responsibilities is controlling school finances.
So, sorry, folks, it’s not, because it’s your job as a Board to see to it that your employee does the job he was hired for. The School Board’s manual states under Superintendent’s duties: 7) to handle all the business transactions of the Board; and 8) to protect the schools and personnel from exploitation.” We have a double failure to meet responsibilities, the School Board’s and their employee’s.
Competent management we are lacking, in that over $70,000 in built-up school meal debt by parents does not just happen overnight.
At the July 13 School Board meeting, I stayed to hear what the uncollected meal debt owed by parents had been reduced to. Surprisingly, it was not a part of the Financial Report by the Finance Director. Don’t you think if “transparency” was really an objective of the Chairperson (as she professes) that it would have been publically reported? Guess transparency is just a meaningless slogan to Chairwoman Hulick. Thus, I had to write a FOIA email to Board to find out the current uncollected meal debt from parents. She advised, about $39,000, and the board has turned collecting on any account exceeding $50 unpaid over to Isle of Wight County. The School Board is abrogating its responsibility to taxpayers who elected them. They need to do their job, and their employees do their job, too.
Any meal debt uncollected and still owed the county and us taxpayers as of 1 July 2019, should be deducted (by unanimous Board action) from their employee’s salary for failure to execute the duties they were bound to effectively manage. Anything less than that is unacceptable from our elected School Board. I’d bet my bottom dollar, Lawrence Rotruck, who is opposing Chairwoman Hulick, would not stand for this mismanagement of school finances.
Herb De Groft