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You are here: Home Opinion Letters to the editor LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Sept. 18


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‘Nip it in the bud’

To the editor:

Lately almost every issue of your paper contains a story about someone asking Halifax County or a local town government for money. As Barney Fife was fond of saying on the old Andy Griffith Show, this practice needs to be “nipped in the bud.”

Here are just a few recent examples I have noted. First, Barbara Speece, acting on behalf of The Prizery, recently asked Halifax County to “forgive” a $60,000 loan that the county made to The Prizery. Reportedly, full repayment of the $60,000 loan is due this year. However, The Prizery says it cannot pay on time and wants the full amount “forgiven,” or, in the alternative, a modification of terms so they can repay in smaller payments over a period of years without interest. 

Instead of responding to this request with a firm, unequivocal “no!” the board of supervisors took the matter under advisement, with a decision to come later. Is anyone taking bets on how this will turn out? For me, the only pertinent questions needed to be resolved are: (1) Why was Halifax County using taxpayers’ funds to make a $60,000 “loan” to The Prizery in the first place, and (2) How will county taxpayers get their money back if and when The Prizery defaults?” 

As far as I am concerned, banking is not a proper undertaking for county government, and this problem never should have arisen. There are plenty of local banks that make loans. If The Prizery needs a loan, they should consider making application to a bank.

A short while later another news story caught my eye. This one said John Cannon, acting on behalf of the Virginia Coalition, a group fighting to preserve the ban on uranium mining in Virginia, reportedly asked the Town of South Boston to donate $5,000 to further the group’s lobbying efforts. The town has made two previous $5,000 donations to the group. 

Instead of responding to this request with a firm, unequivocal “no!,” the mayor of South Boston observed that the current budget contains no funds for such a donation, and that they would need to see if funds could be found elsewhere in the budget before responding. 

For me, the only pertinent question that needed to be resolved is: Why should the Town of South Boston ever consider making a “donation” of taxpayers’ funds to a clearly partisan lobbying organization? 

In light of the town’s past history with regard to such requests, is anyone taking bets on how the request from Mr. Cannon’s organization will be decided?

A few days later another news story reported that Mr. Cannon also asked the Town of Halifax for a $5,000 donation for the Virginia Coalition. He reportedly said his organization’s efforts have helped increase the number of lobbyists working to maintain the ban on uranium mining to 16. 

Again, in my view the proper response to Mr. Cannon by the Town of Halifax would be a firm, unequivocal “no!” Taxpayer funds never should be “donated” by local government to help further partisan lobbying efforts. Regardless of how one feels about maintaining the ban on uranium mining, donating taxpayers’ funds to lobbyists to further one side of this debate is wrong.

It seems to me that local officials have become too quick to respond favorably to any and all appeals seeking to use taxpayer funds for purposes for which such funds should not be used. 

Local residents with a strong sense of fiscal responsibility need to take steps to “nip this in the bud.” The best way to do that is to get involved, run for local office and push out big spending incumbents.


Robert R. Meeks

South Boston


Wake up America

To the editor:

The old warehouse downtown is being made into an apartment building. 

The old motel downtown is going to be fixed up, and the courthouse in Halifax is going to be fixed up. 

Please tell me where all this money is coming from. Are the people who vote on these things like the three monkeys (blind, deaf and dumb). There are no jobs in this county. People have to drive two to four hours a day to work. The school system doesn’t even have enough money to buy books for each child to have one to bring home. The teachers work all day, then go home and spend three or four more hours making up lessons because they don’t have books to send home with the kids.

We have kids beating old men to death, kids shooting people to death because they are bored, and kids beating other kids on the school buses. 

Police risk their lives catching criminals and the courts suspend their terms in jail. We have no right or wrong anymore, no morals, you do what is right for you.

Our country is broke. If China was to call in their debt, we will all be speaking Chinese and using chop sticks. 

This country is gone to pot and sinking lower every day. The only way we can get out is to call on Jesus, our Lord and Savior. We must all get on our knees and repent and ask forgiveness. God can save everyone, but He gives us free will to choose. God can do everything, but one thing He cannot do is to allow sin into Heaven. 

Wake up America. God should be put on top, in the middle and all around us. 

God bless America.

Thank you,

Brenda Hancock



U. S. can’t police the world

To the editor:

I commend President Obama on his position to go the role of a diplomatic solution instead of missile attack on Syria. 

Most of the American citizens want the missile attacks, and most of us are weary of war. In my opinion we cannot win in the Middle East or any country where there are so many different factions with various philosophies that differ from Americans. 

The U.S. military spent 10 years in Iran. We left, and there is still bombing and killing continually, and when the U.S. military leaves Afghanistan, the same attack and suicide killer will continue. These countries must settle their own problems. 

The United States of America cannot police the entire world. 

John Woody 

South Boston