Published 5:54 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Editor, The Smithfield Times:
Bad things are happening in Smithfield.
By approving John Napolitano’s huge development, the Town Council has already proven it doesn’t represent the people, only a couple of individuals with money. The council voted to urbanize the town without proper planning.
Now they want to create a new “Luterville” downtown. When will they officially change the town’s name? I’m waiting for them to use the same argument for Joseph Luter that one council member used for Mr. Napolitano: that he owns property here, so we owe it to him.
For years the Town Council insisted that Mrs. Delk restore the historic Pierceville house, refusing to let her raze it. But within weeks of its purchase by Mr. Luter, it was demolished.
Town Council and Mr. Luter want to add a new, more expensive farmers market (and another housing development!) that no one will come to because our streets, congested with traffic from Mr. Napolitano’s 800-plus new homes, will not allow access.
The only thing left to do will be to send a bulldozer down Main Street to physically destroy the old downtown. Smithfield will have few historic sites or small-town charm for anyone to visit, and too much congestion for anyone to get here. The only financial improvements made will be to some council members’ bank accounts.
Improvements needed for fire, police, water and sewer systems, and schools will cost the county and town millions in tax dollars and drive many of us away.
Even though they’re in favor of all this destruction, Councilman Randy Pack and Town Attorney Bill Riddick are trying to distance themselves from said destruction. Mr. Pack promises not to vote on certain issues. Mr. Riddick, after constantly bragging about his representation of Mr. Luter and establishing the companies for his projects, now pretends he doesn’t represent Mr. Luter.
Out with the old and in with the new is the wrong kind of “progress” for Smithfield.