Letters to The Editor 01-15-20
Published 9:24 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Consider environmental impact
Editor, The Smithfield Times;
Concerning the proposed South Harbor (SH) project by East-West. I think the Carisbrooke people have a legitimate traffic concern. It looks like Whippingham Parkway could become an unintended thoroughfare with South Harbor adding more than 125 additional vehicles through Carisbrooke during peak PM traffic. Carisbrooke is concerned about children at play, on bicycles, adults walking dogs, pets run over, Whippingham quiet being replaced by a parade of hustle and bustle between 3:30-5 p.m. per five weekdays.
Also, we keep learning more about VIMS Tidal Marsh No. 122, the nesting ground of hundreds of bird species, and that penetrates this proposed development. The Nansemond River Bird Club used this area for years (1957 – 2012) as a counting station for birds. There appear to be eagle nests there. All South Harbor phases are adjacent to Marsh No. 122. The US Fish & Wildlife service has put half-mile buffers around these eagle nests not 660 feet. Eagles, unlike other birds, return to the same nest year after year. Construction is only allowed three months of the year, August, September and October. The Board of Supervisors would be doing East-West a favor to disapprove South Harbor, lest East-West be stuck with high land cost with severe building restrictions.
Also, the 73 acres of the old Channell Farm that is part of the South Harbor rezoning and the 130 acres of the Channell Farm that is not part of this rezoning should be removed from the DSD and zoned RAC in the upcoming Comprehensive Plan update coming up this Thursday night. We thereby protect birds that are in crisis and avoid future Carisbrooke traffic problems.
What will audit address?
Editor, Smithfield Times;
During the Oct. 10, 2019 Isle of Wight School Board meeting, Mrs. Trollinger, the executive director of finance, stated to Isle of Wight Chairwoman, Mrs. Hulick and Board Members, that PBMares is doing the joint audit on the school division and the Board of Supervisors. Mrs. Hulick stated, “We give over the paperwork and answer any questions.” Mrs. Trollinger stated, “We provide the data and they (PBMares) look at our financial reports to make sure we are procuring funds correctly. They will pull transactions, large transactions specifically anything over $30,000 and anything over $100,000.” Mrs. Trollinger also stated, “They look at payroll to make sure that we are incorporating the contracts on a timely basis, if the contract is dated July 1st. They want to make sure that the salary meets what the contract says.”
Will the Isle of Wight School Board ensure that PBMares places in their audit documented findings for fiscal 2019 that Dr. James Thornton awarded/approved two contracts: Honeywell International for $174,864 and Comfort Systems for $235,865 in violation of procurement procedures and his purchasing authority in Isle of Wight policy DJA with a revised date of Dec. 10, 2015 that was in effect without knowledge and approval by the School Board, who must award/approve contracts over $100,000, not the superintendent?
Will audit findings show Dr. Thornton was paid effective July 1, 2018 a salary of $165,135, that is documented in the approved FY2019 School Board budget on the Isle of Wight website, which did not meet his salary in his approved contract since he was only to get a 2 percent raise from $155,524 to $154,634.48 that was approved by the School Board and reported in the Daily Press on June 8, 2017? The Daily Press quotes Mrs. Vicky Hulick, “The four-year contract begins July 1st and ends June 30, 2021. It includes a 2 percent increase in salary each year for the life of the contract, as well as a $6,500 annuity.”
Editor, Smithfield Times;
I saw the notice in the Times that the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing Jan. 16 on the new “Envisioning the Isle” comprehensive plan update, which has been years in the making.
I was very excited to be able to download it for my own review, all 158 pages. After perusing it for an hour or so, I decided to skip down to the nitty-gritty, the most important map, Map 1, to see exactly where all of the development will be happening in the newly revised DSD’s. Much to my surprise, there is no Map 1, the body of the document starts with Map 2 on page 105, ending with Map 17.
Could it be that Map 1 is Top Secret, in order to avert the inevitable political blowback from the vocal “no growth anywhere, anytime” scenario proponents? Or could the map be in the Appendix that was not in the online document? Sooner or later, the DSD boundary revisions will have to be revealed.
Anyway, all that aside, the question that all Isle of Wight citizens are most concerned about is when and where is that Chick-Fil-A going to be built that was mentioned on page 100? Please expedite their land-use, zoning, building, drainage, land disturbance, septic, etc., etc., etc., permit process. Perhaps we could have a sandwich from them by 2025, if they start tomorrow.
Rhea L. Adams Jr.
Thank you to volunteers
Editor, Smithfield Times;
I would like to take a moment to thank the organizations that partnered with Tourism for the 2019 Christmas Parade. Thank you to Reverend Harrison and Main Street Baptist Church, Bobby and Judson Little of True Value/former Little’s Supermarket, Barbara Stafford and Christian Outreach and Tommy and Suzy Askew of Cofer Auto. These community members helped ensure a smoother flow to our annual parade by permitting use of their lots for staging.
The parade would not happen without a dedicated group of folks to organize and execute it. I would like to thank the employees of Tourism, the Smithfield Police, the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, and the Town of Smithfield Public Works and Parks and Recreation Departments for their assistance with this massive event.
We also give a large thanks and shout out to the individual volunteers that dedicated their personal time to help, they were all amazing and we truly appreciate their help! They are; Alan Flick and daughter Kelly, Will Drewery, Laura Girard, Nancy Griffin, Jim Groves, Jill Gwaltney, Beth Haywood, Gina Ippolito and Paul Bass. If you love the parade and would like to volunteer for next year, contact Tourism at 357-5182.
Tourism, Special Events
Get to the meeting
Editor, Smithfield Times;
Isle of Wight County citizens — Thursday, Jan. 16 is a very important day for us. There is a Board of Supervisors meeting and this is our opportunity to hold the Board members accountable to us, the people that put them there. For those that know of Branch Lawson’s request for development behind Bojangles and 7-Eleven on Rt. 17, the Board at the last meeting tabled the approval for 30 days following a rigorous showing of Carrollton residents. This gives Lawson another chance to sell. According to the board by-laws, the public is not allowed to speak at this meeting. This is entirely unacceptable and everyone who is able needs to show up to let the board know this, and that we will no longer stand idly by while they make their decisions that will shape the county for years to come, without our approval or input. If you don’t want to drive, find a ride. If you can’t come because of family obligations, live stream the meeting and follow up with an email or phone call to your representative. This is important. This affects everyone’s future. Be there, please.
Reid S. Lundie