Letters to The Editor 06-17-20

Published 11:13 pm Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Tax hike covered trash collection


Editor, The Smithfield Times:

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Well, here we go again. Some months ago the Town Council proposed a $10 monthly household trash collection fee. When I pointed out that the fee would be regressive compared to a property tax increase to raise the equivalent funds, the council relented and went instead for a 3-cent tax increase so that the cost would be borne equitably across Smithfield’s income/wealth spectrum.

It was on record at the time that certain members of the council didn’t like the optics of a tax increase. A fee “looks” better.

But now they want even more and are imposing an added $9.70 monthly trash collection fee on top of the 3-cent property tax revenues previously raised for trash collection. Why a fee? It’s those pesky optics again, we can be sure. And, as a monthly fee, it’s regressive.

That said, if the council wants to pretend that the fee is strictly to cover trash collection and is not a back-door way of plussing up general revenues, I know it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance, but I propose that to be logical and fair the council should adjust downward the property tax millage, perhaps not the entire recently added 3 cents for trash collection (inflation, as modest as it has been since then, has occurred, and $9.70 is less than the original $10). That is the just and equitable thing to do, and as such I don’t have any hope that it will be done.


Dave Goodridge




Some options for Johnny Reb


Editor, The Smithfield Times:

​Regarding the Confederate monument in front of the old Isle of Wight courthouse, my understanding is that deed restrictions requiring that the land be used for a monument honoring Civil War dead are an impediment to removal. In order to address frustration over the slow process of removing monuments to those who fought for the continued enslavement of millions of Americans, I would like to suggest some possible temporary measures.​

      Perhaps the Johnny Reb statue could be covered in a new uniform made of durable canvas material to change his identity to Union soldier Billy Yank.​

      Perhaps the Johnny Reb statue could be replaced with another Civil War figure such as President Lincoln or General Grant.​

      Perhaps the Johnny Reb statue could be painted in rainbow colors and be given a BLM banner to hold.​

Greg Vassilakos​





Follow Northam and take off masks


Editor, The Smithfield Times:

We must all now follow Gov. Ralph Northam’s shining example and stop wearing these silly face coverings!

He appears maskless at public events and even closely hugs adoring constituents without his mask. We must all do likewise ― not by hugging random Democrat voters, I mean, but, well, just not by cuddling young constituents like his hero, the former vice president, does. But I digress.

These face coverings encourage cowardly rioters to loot by avoiding recognition, and most localities even have ordinances against this type of disguise for this very reason: public safety. So our local businesses must now take down those goofy door signs that “require” masks. For one thing it’s illegal and, what’s more, it encourages robbers to enter the premises.

So, rise up, citizens! Throw off your breath-inhibiting and uncomfortable face coverings. Let’s breathe free together again! And remember, only people who have something to hide conceal themselves behind these Halloween costume-like things. So proudly show off your beautifully innocent face!

Our beloved commonwealth’s chief executive has admittedly set a high unmasking standard for us. But, fellow Virginians, we can do it! Let’s free ourselves from the “fake news” that says we need that suffocating mask and proudly once again show our full faces in public places.


Albert Burckard