Letter – Cronyism in trail naming

Published 7:49 pm Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

I worked the election last week and could not attend the Town Council meeting. I emailed my public comments to a town official.

I asked the official to supply my comments to the council as well as have my comments read during the public comment period. I was assured that it would be done. However, only a brief reference to my document was made.

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Not one word was read to the public. The reasoning given to me was that the “meeting was quick paced” and that the official “made the call that an overview was the best course of action.”

A simple announcement of a document’s existence is NOT an overview. How does any town official have the right to make such a decision about a citizen’s public comment time?

What follows is a condensed version. 

Certainly Carter Williams overall has a long list of great public and volunteer service. Sure, he deserves recognition, but not for what rightfully belongs to another. He volunteers much time at Windsor Castle, as do others. 

Lawrence Pitt and I are casual acquaintances, so I am not advocating for a personal friend, as is the case for Mr. Williams. 

I suggest that the naming of the trails for Mr. Williams is, to some degree, a makeup call and  consolation “plum” for Mr. Willams having lost his seat to the current mayor. All of the current council is complicit in this slighting of Mr. Pitt. 

I might see this differently if Mr. Pitt wasn’t also a longtime local resident. Mr. Williams should defer in honor of Mr. Pitt. It is as simple as this: Lawrence Pitt designed and developed the park and trail system. Carter Williams did not. While Mr. Williams worked at the Manor House, he did not build the park and trail system.

Mr. Pitt’s work and genius of his design and layout is largely lost on and/or disregarded by current council members. A sense of fairness dictates that this honor rightly belongs to Mr. Pitt.


P.S.  Mr. Pitt must not be a member of the “Good Ole Boys Club.”

And apparently my comments were not ” inner circle” approved and had to be set aside. A citizen’s right to be heard should never be infringed upon.


Bob Hines