No time to go soft on OLF

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 20, 2007

To the Editor:

As I read the article in The Tidewater News concerning the 60-day extension of the Navy’s decision on the OLF, and its apparent willingness to consider or reconsider other sites in North Carolina, I breathed a small sigh of relief, until a couple of thoughts occurred to me.

I recalled the desire of Virginia Beach in 1990 to satisfy its need for water to [serve] a growing population by utilizing the resources of the state of North Carolina.

In the beginning, the issue was hotly debated and there were many opinions put forth, until the project went into the drawn-out litigation process. Basically, the public outcry ebbed, as did the vigilance of those who were so strongly opposed.

The end result, of course, was that Virginia Beach got what it wanted. The object of this history lesson, is that the city of Virginia Beach is willing to be [an accomplice] in any political wrangling that is necessary to keep the base at Oceana for its revenue, but to get rid of some of the jet noise. We, as citizens of the affected counties, cannot afford to become less vigilant during this 60-day process.

Secondly, Steve Mondul, deputy assistant to the governor in the state office of preparedness, (he of “Governor Kaine is not going to ram this down some potential location’s throat that doesn’t want it” fame) now says the possibility exists for the decision to be out of the governor’s hands. In other words, pass the buck and put the blame on the Navy.

Again, the citizens of Southampton and Sussex need to stay on top of this issue to ensure that the governor doesn’t pull a Pontius Pilate routine, and lead us all to Golgotha.

Paul Simmons