Kaine seems to have it out for Southampton County

Published 12:12 pm Saturday, October 11, 2008

To the Editor:

Is it something we said, or something we did? Was it something that we didn’t say or do which we should have said or done?

Did we forget to send a card to the governor on his birthday? What misdeed have we committed to warrant such contempt?

I’m wondering, because for the past year or so, it seems that Gov. Tim Kaine has gone out of his way to use the residents of Southampton County as some sort of personal punching bag.

First, he turned down our application to become a designated enterprise zone. In doing so, the governor denied us access to grant money and other economic incentives which would have greatly benefited our county’s financial future.

Then, the governor nominated several sites in Southampton County as possible locations to host a new naval practice facility. The new landing facility would remove thousands of acres of productive farmland and timber from the local economy, while providing absolutely no economic benefit whatsoever in return. Despite his office’s assertion that a community unwilling to host the new facility would not have it forced upon them, today we are in the midst of a battle to keep the outlying landing field, or OLF, out.

Now the governor has decided to shut down the fourth largest employer in the county, Southampton Correctional Center. By Jan. 25, 116 area residents will be without jobs.

I was unfortunate enough to live in the city of Richmond when Tim Kaine was mayor, so I had a pretty good idea of how poorly he’d perform when he became the governor of Virginia. His inability to balance the budget or get a transportation bill through the legislature comes as absolutely no surprise to me.

However, his recent actions as they pertain to Southampton County seem to transcend mere incompetence and would give one the impression that he were out to exact some sort of vendetta.

So again I would ask the question to Gov. Kaine: Is it something we said, or something we did?

Tony Clark