Smithfield losing small-town feel
Published 4:41 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Editor, The Smithfield Times:
I grew up in the peaceful and beautiful Morgarts Beach neighborhood in outer Smithfield. When I was in the military and it came time to pick new orders, I came back home — in no small measure because the small-town feel that Smithfield still had then.
Unfortunately, that small-town feel is one step closer to death, especially with the Napolitano development and the proposed Luter development. Make no mistake, Mr. Luter has done many good things for this town, but why this development, which, in my opinion, really won’t fit the area? It will kill the small-town charm Smithfield has been known for.
This development that is wanted by the Town Council will result in increased taxes and increased rents, will affect home values and will drive out people on fixed incomes. As of right now, I have seen no justification for approving besides the fact that it has Mr. Luter’s name attached to it, and no plan to upgrade services in order to compensate for a more populous Smithfield.
Town Council, if you respect the people who put you in a position of service, explain to us why you think this development will be a good thing — besides the money, because that’s all you seem to want. The people of Smithfield deserve better.
I respect Randy Pack for recusing himself from voting on this matter, because it was the right thing to do. However, it won’t prevent influence from his perspective on the project beyond meetings and votes, and it seems like the council wants to sacrifice Smithfield’s small-town feel for the sake of the almighty dollar.
I heard somewhere within recent memory, “If you’re not growing you’re dying.” That may be true in a way, but the Smithfield that I grew up in is dying in a way. Once ground is broken on this project, other than growing financially, I feel the town will be irreparably harmed. Because after that there is no more line in the sand for being good stewards of what we already have. And each new project will separate us from what we have been and what has drawn people to us — a small town.
Reid S. Lundie