Letters to the Editor – 10/31/13

   Written by on October 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm
To The Editor of The Southside Messenger:
I read the Messenger’s article on “Banishment” and was wondering if both NAACP President Alleen B. Moorman and ACLU Clair G. Gastanaga are from these parts. If not then why do they feel that a “wrong” is being done if no one else from Lunenburg is upset? I believe that most defendants are good people who have done stupid things and if keeping them out of jail where they can continue to work is a better option than sitting in jail, at taxpayer expense, then why would anyone find that a problem. The REAL criminals will break the law again and that is when the full punishment of the law should apply to them.
I support both the Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Clements and Lunenburg County Sheriff Arthur Townsend and his Deputies. I think that all do a good Job for us and I’m sure that they do not get the thanks from citizens that they sure deserved. I know they do not deserve to have “FALSE” statements made against them such as Mr. Moorman has made, without facts to back them up. Shame on him for making up “facts” and would call all members of the NAACP to rethink his position as it gives all associated with his organization a bad name.
 Michael Antonellini
Lunenburg, Va.
Dear Editor:
As November5th Approaches and we find ourselves not only as a Commonwealth, but as a County voting for new or the same old business as usual representatives and governing body. On a state level, I feel the McAuliffe ticket is the one to choose. The Commonwealth needs jobs; we need to be more inviting to companies and corporations, both big and small. I feel that McAuliffe, will invigorate our economy and job market and govern in a bipartisan way, Northam will work with other states and cities, counties, and localities to better the Commonwealth, Herring, will protect Virginians’ second Amendment rights, women’s rights not only of choice, but of equality.
My local ticket would be though not in my district; Calvin Grey (Prospect) Mr. Grey is a man of integrity and fairness. He decided to run for BOS  when I and others living in the Prospect District as that he run, to bring change for the people of Prospect and Prince Edward and to break this routine that is costing this county. Jerry Townsend (Leigh) who I am finding is not getting the real representation or access to their supervisor. Townsend who ran for the same reasons, is too a man of discernment, thought and action. Finally Russell Dove (Buffalo) Mr. Dove has served on our school board and chaired it for a number of years, and also has a proven track record and qualifications. All of these candidates are men of integrity, they can help strengthen our public safety, educational systems and bring some financial accountability to the BOS.
Contrary to rumors these men are nobody’s puppets, they will serve the people of their districts, and not vote just because “Johnny did”; though reserved in demeanor and soft spoken, these men do have backbone, determination, and fight to get what’s best for their Districts and this County.
 Kenneth Jackson
Rice Virginia
The number one issue in this year’s statewide election is jobs. Many Virginians are either unemployed or underemployed. It takes better paying jobs and better opportunities for people to not only survive, but thrive.
The only candidate running for statewide office that has a plan for creating jobs is E. W. Jackson. Like Ronald Reagan, he knows that government cannot be our provider.
Daily the government is violating its role as set forth in the Constitution. Daily businesses are being over-regulated and over-taxed to the point that jobs are not only not being created, but many are being lost as more and more businesses are either cutting back or closing.
E.W. Jackson understands that people create jobs and that businesses need the incentive to do so. He knows that the private sector is the place where jobs are created and he will fight to strengthen the private sector.
We need man of principle like E.W. Jackson so that businesses can thrive and thus Virginians can once again thrive as well. Standing for jobs and restraining the over-reaching arm of big government are responsibilities that Jackson is not afraid to take on. Let’s place someone in office who has a plan and who will fight for the business owners and the citizens of this great state. Let’s elect E.W. Jackson as our next Lt. Governor on November 5th!
Marilyn Foster
What is the solution to our failing public school systems?  Is it more money?  Probably not.  One county in Virginia spends $11,210 per year to educate one student, whereas the tuition at a private school in that same county maxes out at $7750 for one year of high school. It seems obvious that if money were the answer, our public schools would be producing very well-educated students.  But they aren’t!  So the question remains.  What is the solution?
How about the free market principle of competition?  It works in business, why not in our schools?  For economic reasons, parents are often locked into the government school system.  After all, that is where their tax money goes.  If parents choose to send their child to private school or home educate, their tax dollars still go to fund the public school system.
E.W. Jackson believes in giving parents a choice in how to educate their children.  That means that the taxes you pay for education would follow your child, whether to public, private, or home school.   When the monopoly on education is ended, we will see our children begin to receive a quality education because the schools will be competing for who gets to educate our children.
Competition is a good thing.  It raises the standard.  It benefits everyone.  But Jackson’s opponent says that such competition through parental choice in education will hurt our school systems.  I say they are already hurting – hurting our children, that is.
Vote for E.W. Jackson for Lt. Governor on November 5.  He is not afraid of competition – for himself or for our schools.   He cares about our children more than maintaining the government’s hold on education.
Janet Dusan
Wingina, VA
I have been fortunate to know Bob Timmons and his capabilities better than most people in Prince Edward County.  We worked together to defeat the unneeded and costly Sandy River water plant, and I have sought his input on other expensive boondoggles such as the “Road to Nowhere.”  He is the most organized man I have ever met and one of the most knowledgeable businessmen as well.  His calm demeanor in disagreeing with someone who is wrong is a talent I wish I had.
The Prince Edward County budget is around $57 million a year.  Bob has had total responsibility for an annual budget of $570 million a year.  He is well aware that you cannot regularly spend more money than you bring in.  The last four Prince Edward County budgets required a five per cent tax increase the first year, a borrowing of $250,000 the second year, a borrowing of $500,000 the third year; and it is projected that it will be over one million this year.  Do we have several nice assets that we can point to and say look at what great things we have done?  No.  We have blown $5 million on water adventures on which we will never even recoup our money, and we will spend well over $5 million in our taxes and state grants on a road that was built for a developer who was never going to get the money he needed to build his project.  We have already spent over $4.5 million on the driveway (road) and will have to go back and add additional lanes to make it acceptable to businesses that might want to locate there.  Engineers will tell you a normal county road should cost $100 to $200 a foot to build.  This road is 4,200 feet long and has already cost us over $1,000 a foot with extra lanes still yet to come.  After talking to engineers, I’m guessing this may cost us $1,500 or more a foot before we close our checkbook.  Bob, we need you.
While I was born here and went through high school here, I find it has benefitted me greatly on the Board of Supervisors to have practical business experience and to have lived in other places and seen different ways of doing things.  Some good, some not so good, but at least enough knowledge to know that some things need to be changed and not done because “we have been doing that for fifty years and I see no reason to change it now”.  If you have been conducting business the same way for fifty years in our fast moving world, it probably needs to be changed.  Diverse views on a board are healthy; a “good old boys club” where a group always votes in lock step is not.  Bob’s experience is more like mine.  He has worked in different parts of our country and he has excellent business and interpersonal skills have been sorely needed here. I’m sure when you see what he can accomplish you will welcome him with open arms.
It is not even a stretch to say I think Bob will be regarded as one of the best supervisors Prince Edward County has ever had.  I like Bob’s opponent, but his business skills are not even in the same ball park as Bob’s; and with Mr. Dove’s job being in Lynchburg it will be extremely difficult for him to meet the requirements of a supervisor’s schedule.
Jim Wilck
This letter is to the residents of Prince Edward County to tell you why we think you should vote for our dad, Bob Timmons.
A man of faith, family loyalty, loving, integrity, honesty, fairness, good work ethic and strong, are just a few of the words to describe our father.   We know him to be all these things and more.
It is not surprising that he has stepped forward to run for a position on the Board of Supervisors.   Our father has always been a person to offer his help in solving problems.
He has never been a person to say “let someone else do it”.   The integrity and work ethic that we have always seen in our father is an example for anyone that knows him.    These are attributes that he always encouraged us to have.  His word is his bond.
When our father told us that he had decided to run for a public office, our first thoughts were one of surprise as he had never spoke of doing this type of work before.  We then realized that he would do an excellent job in this role and would be an asset to his community.  His work ethic and background in business more than qualify him for this position.  Again, he is a problem solver.  His management skills and attention to detail has made him successful.
His children and grandchildren are very proud to have him as a father and grandfather and a man we look up to.
For those of you living in the Buffalo District in Prince Edward County, we hope that you will consider voting for Bob Timmons to represent you on the Board of Supervisor.  We know he will do a great job for you.
Kim Nugent
Rob Timmons
Dear Concerned Citizens,
November 5 will be here shortly.  The fate of the Commonwealth of Virginia lies in how you cast your vote.  Virginia needs Ken Cuccinelli to be our next Governor.  He is the only candidate who understands the needs of the citizens of Virginia.
Ken Cuccinelli believes that healthcare decisions should be made by doctors and families, not by the government.  Our healthcare system is bloated with rules and regulations that make health insurance more expensive and care less accessible.  To alleviate these problems, he supports harnessing market competition, consumer choice, and the power of better information for patients.  America has been severely constrained by federal law.  Ken Cuccinelli believes state governments can reform their markets in ways that allow more competition and better choices for professionals,  improve patient safety by modernizing the health care information systems, and get timely, accurate information to families and businesses to empower them to make the best possible healthcare decisions.
Ken Cuccinelli supports our Constitution and Bill of Rights, which safeguard our rights and liberties.  He supports its entirety—-even when taking on the federal government!  He believes in protecting the 2nd Amendment rights of our law-abiding citizens.  He will continue to support Virginia being among the most aggressive states to prosecute gun crimes, which include aggressively prosecuting illegal gun purchases.  Remembering the recent tragedies that are still fresh in our minds, he will continue to work to help improve Virginia’s mental health system, so those suffering from mental illness can exist with a reduced chance of committing violence.
We are paying taxes daily on purchases to governments, which in turn are increasing in size while being more inefficient and becoming less accountable for spending our precious dollars.  The government is spending more daily and we are saving less.  The government raises our taxes and causes our cost of living to rise, making it more difficult to buy groceries, pay the electric bill or purchase gas to travel to school or work.  Ken Cuccinelli believes it is time to reform and make it easier for Virginia’s citizens to save their own money as well as encourage entrepreneurs to invest in their own businesses.
Ken Cuccinelli, unlike his opponent, Jerry McAulliffe, who found it impossible to give a straight answer about any of the above issues at any of the debates, has a plan to rectify these issues as Governor.
His plan will save each taxpayer $700 while Mr. McAullife’s vague (plans) would raise our taxes $1700 per person.
When November 5 arrives, please remember to cast your vote for the candidates who will best serve the great Commonwealth of Virginia:  Ken Cuccinelli, who as a native born Virginian with experience to be an excellent Governor, and the first State Attorney General to oppose the Federal Government regarding the legality of the Healthcare Bill; E. W. Jackson, a man of value and principle for Lt. Governor, and Mark Obenshain, a Virginian with a long legacy of serving our State admirably with distinction and honor, looking out for our rights and freedom.
See you at the polls!
Peggy H. Armentrout
Dear Editor,
Sometimes we are presented with an easy choice as to whom to vote for. The election of November 5, 2013 may be one of these times.
For the House of Delegates, the 60th House District, taking in Charlotte, Halifax and Prince Edward Counties, Delegate, James Edmunds from Halifax represents the area well. Perhaps his greater interest is keeping the ban on Uranium Mining in Virginia.
For Attorney General, Mark Obenshain, who has served in the Virginia State Senate from the Valley of Virginia since 2003, would be an Attorney General who will make Virginia a better place to do business, crack down on criminals and sexual predators, and work to keep our communities and children safe. He would uphold the Constitution and fight the overreach and intrusion of the federal government.
For Governor, beyond the shadow of a doubt, it should be Ken Cuccinelli. As Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli has challenged the power of the federal government when it went beyond its legitimate enumerated powers, and won for Virginia. When I first heard him speak a year and half ago, I thought him to be very intelligent. Even the Washington Post gave him credit in a debate in Northern Virginia of being very well organized and having precise and detailed answers to the questions asked of him. Ken Cuccinelli said, “I’ve spent my life fighting for Virginia. As Governor, I’ll continue to put Virginia’s families first by growing our economy, creating new jobs, supporting stronger schools, and lowering taxes for our hard working families.”
Remember on November 5, James Edmonds, House of Delegates, Mark Obenshain, Attorney General and Ken Cuccinelli, Governor, and E. W. Jackson, Lt. Governor.
Edward W. Early,
Charlotte Court House
Dear Editor;
The liberal Democrats in Washington are at it again. New York Senator Charles Schumer and California’s Barbara Boxer are introducing legislation to allow the automatic increase of the U.S. debt (without automatic spending cuts) unless Congress can muster a veto-proof majority.  They’ll likely find willing allies in Virginia’s Democart Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine who, in my opinion, choose the liberal interests of their national party over Virginians.[1]
Fortunately we have Congressman Robert Hurt and a Republican House of Representatives that recognizes the folly of spending the country into ruin.  Hurt is an independent thinker akin to the late Congressman W.C. ‘Dan’ Daniel.  He recognizes and has publicly stated that both parties are at fault for the irresponsible deficit spending that has occurred over the past decade. And, he has probably recommended the boldest yet simplest and most commonsense solution to the nation’s fiscal problem:  stop spending!
In a meaningful effort to implement a solution to our national fiscal crisis, Congressman Hurt has co-sponsored House Joint Resolution 1 proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.[2]  The law would prohibit spending more than the government takes in in taxes unless three-fifths of each House of Congress overrides the prohibition by roll call vote.  This not only checks spending but it makes each member of Congress accountable for a record vote.  (Too often elected officials hide behind and avoid personal accountability by mass ‘voice votes’.)  The amendment further checks spending by limiting it to a maximum of one-fifth of U.S. economic output.  It prohibits an increase in debt without three-fifths of each House of Congress voting by roll call vote. It requires the President’s proposed budget to be within these guidelines and taxes cannot be increased without three-fifths of each House voting by roll call vote.  The requirements may be waived in time of war.
Congressman Hurt has been proactive.  He has demonstrated he’s the adult in the room by showing a willingness to work with Democrats and Republicans to solve the problems we face. It is irresponsible for us to mortgage away the future of the next generation.  We should congratulate him for his moral courage and foresight in trying to seriously address the nation’s fiscal problems.  Congressman Hurt should have the support of every citizen of the Fifth District who wants a brighter future for their children and grandchildren.
Greg Eanes
Crewe, Va
Headlines in the October 23 edition of The Farmville Herald read “PE Discusses Master Plan For County-Owned Site.”
This article concerns the Prince Edward Board of Supervisors recent action to undertake a new “master plan” covering 13 acres of County owned land fronting on the new Route 786.  To get this “master plan” project started, the Board voted on October 8th to approve spending $6,340 for the initial work.   According to the explanation provided by County Administrator Wade Bartlet, additional work… and costs… might need to follow.
The Herald article was interesting and informative.   However, there are a few additional details concerning this action that might be of interest to the citizens of Prince Edward County.
Specifically,  the 13 acres of land in question fronting on the new Route 786… the land to be covered by the “master plan”…  was part of a “Commercial Purchase Agreement” dated January 30, 2012 that the County entered into with Glad Hill Properties, LLC at a cost to the taxpayers of $906,759,  to acquire 19.878 acres of land.  A minor portion of this nearly 20 acres of land acquired was needed as part of the rights-of-way and drainage easements for the new road project.  But most of the land acquisition… the 13 acres now being master planned… was NOT actually needed for the road but was a seller’s condition in return for not forcing a time consuming and potentially costly eminent domain proceeding to acquire the needed road rights-of-way.    As part of this total land sale price, this 13 acres of land added an extra and unexpected $384,150.  It should also be noted that the County paid an additional $101,411 for .919 acres of land owned by another party and also needed for the road project.    All totaled, the County paid, $1,008,170 for lands acquired in connection with the new road project… OVER ONE MILLION DOLLARS.
As a point of comparison, the Board of Supervisors was offering to sell to the hotel developer 94 acres at a modest $4,000 per acre, but had to purchase 20.797 acres of land at an average cost of $48,477 per acre to build the road to serve the imaginary hotel project… most of which wasn’t even needed for rights-of-way or easements.
A pretty sweet deal for the sellers of the land.  But who can blame them?
As a further point of comparison and insight into the Board’s priorities, while the Board of Supervisors spent OVER ONE MILLION DOLLARS just to acquire land relating to the new road project, the same Board approved ONLY $150,000 for the Prince Edward County Schools for the “Facilities” line-item in the current County budget.
Unfortunately, we now have a $4 million dollar, taxpayer financed and specially designed upscale “boulevard” to serve a hotel project that is not going to happen in any foreseeable future.  Now that the hotel project has been abandoned, nothing can be done with the road without considerable de-construction of what has just been built and re-construction of something different… all at considerably MORE cost. The County Administrator is even talking about moving one or more of the newly constructed drainage structures.  Making matters worse, the Board is now stuck with an expensive 13 acre tract of speculative development land fronting on the new “boulevard” that has no cross-overs except for the one serving the imaginary hotel site.
Any time of the day… even during the peak afternoon school bus hours…the new “Road to Nowhere” (as it is now more commonly known) has very low traffic activity.  If anyone doubts this, I suggest paying the road a visit at between 3 pm and 4 pm any school day afternoon and spend one of the most traffic-free hours you will likely ever experience.
Planning is a good thing.  Economic development is a good thing.  But… this most recent action by the County administration and the Board of Supervisors to undertake a “master plan” after already building the $4 million dollar “Road to Nowhere” brings to mind the old carpenter’s admonition: “Measure twice, cut once.”  Only in this case… they did the opposite.
Of course a few current members of the Board of Supervisors are still trying to explain the Board’s actions as some kind of some kind of  economic development “jobs and investment” strategy (See “Gantt Running, PE’s Leigh District” in the September 20th edition of the Herald).  However, and unfortunately, no amount of planning now will undo this mistake or recover the vast amount of public funds that have already been expended.
Jack E. Houghton
Farmville, Virginia

About Evan Jones

Evan is the Assistant Editor at the Southside Messenger newspaper in Keysville, Virginia.


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