Past mistakes, antagonisms no longer important

Published 8:42 am Friday, January 6, 2012

To the Editor:

The Tidewater News Publisher Steve Stewart gives us some daunting food for thought in his Jan. 1 column (“Waning influence in Richmond”).

Citing our tiny percentages of registered voters in the several legislative districts of which we are a part, we seem to not even be the tail on the Hampton Roads dog. As long as the district lines are drawn not on a “mutuality of interests,” but to satisfy the needs of office holders, or worse, simply to increase the representation in the General Assembly of one party or another, there will be no change for our benefit.

The possibility of electing someone from Southampton/Franklin is all but impossible. For the present, we must hope for consideration from those who represent us.

Assuming there is no dramatic and significant increase in population, the only power we can have is a strong and unified coalition of local governments who can work together. Whatever mistakes were made by a previous generation, whatever antagonisms were generated more than a half century ago, are no longer important.

What is important is the future, and I hope we can leave our children more than smoldering resentment, a very poor monument to our abilities to communicate and reason.

Southampton and Franklin have an abundance of extraordinary citizens who will accomplish much, and can do even more working together.

Joe Stutts