Developer is a charmer

Published 6:47 pm Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

The hero rode in on a white horse destined to help the little town grow, lest it die! The foolish townsfolk greeted him with torches and pitchforks full of self-serving passion, unwilling to see him for the savior he really was.

Fortunately, the hero was able to identify and charm five perceptive town influencers who saw the need for a knight in shining armor. Eventually the fatuous townsfolk would blindly fall behind the more distinguished town leaders and embrace the victor as he built his empire nuisance-free.

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This is the tale John Napalitano would like to unfold in Smithfield, and we almost fell right into it.  There was no shortage of “angry-mob like” townsfolk presenting opinions and emotions at the recent town council meeting concerning Mallory Scott Farm. These folks were unreasonable, proven by their unfounded personal attacks on council members. Had they been the only ones in attendance, they would have played perfectly into the aforementioned fable.

Unfortunately for the “hero,” the tale of our town had an unexpected plot twist. Several characters confronted the Town Council and Mr. Napalitano with facts, reasonable requests and astute questions. They weren’t trying to completely bulldoze his project; they simply wanted an independent entity to confirm what the profiteer presented.

While five officials may have rolled out the red carpet for this local mogul, others recognized that this was far from a volunteer venture for Mr. Napalitano. He isn’t our town’s savior or hero; he’s a tycoon.

An angry, irrational mob is easy to discount and ignore. Articulate, rational citizens are far more credible (and far more annoying to Mr. Napalitano). Mr. Napalitano is seeking to use his power and influence to bully these people into silence.

Evidently, rational arguments are Mr. Napalitano’s kryptonite. We should continue to seek confirmation of the “facts” and the answers to meaningful questions that were left unanswered. It may not stop or even slow his empire’s progress, but what good is finding kryptonite and not trying to use it?

Angela Cusick