Statue motion was deceptive

Published 4:49 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

To quote from the July 15 issue of The Smithfield Times, “IW Supervisors not planning to discuss monument” during its next session on July 16. I attended that meeting anyway to observe.

How surprised I was to learn that Supervisor Rudolph Jefferson entered a motion at the 12th hour to include the monument on the agenda. No one questions the right of any supervisor to make motions. But it should be pointed out that Mr. Jefferson not only serves on the board but is also an officeholder in the IW chapter of the NAACP, which has repeatedly stated that it wants the monument removed. He has therefore used his political power on the board to further the agenda of the NAACP.

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Any discussion of the Confederate Monument to the Dead is much too important a matter to be sprung upon the public at the last minute. It should have been published in The Smithfield Times at least by the July 15 issue if not sooner to allow everyone advance notice. Mr. Jefferson’s last-hour motion raises questions about his ethics and morality.

In the best interests of transparency, honesty and fair play, Mr. Jefferson should never have made the motion, and should likewise recuse himself from all future discussions regarding the monument. To do otherwise is a clear indication of a conflict of interest and breach of public trust that should now be investigated by The Smithfield Times, the public, as well as the Board of Supervisors.

Enough of this deception and abuse of power!

Keith Morris