Keep the Courthouse in Courtland

Published 11:29 am Saturday, May 27, 2017

To the Editor:

The public needs to be informed about the proposed move of the Courthouse from Courtland. Our elected officials and the Courthouse Committee need to inform the residents of Southampton County about the details surrounding any potential decision and communicate when there are meetings open to the public so all can attend. I understand there was a recent meeting that was not broadly publicized and therefore attendance was low. This cannot happen again as this is a way too important decision to be discussed by a very few of our residents. I understand there will be a public hearing at some point, but any interim meetings need to be inclusive of all residents.

In addition, it should be highlighted that a decision to move the Courthouse has to be made by a voter referendum and not by the decision of three judges and County officials. This is Virginia law. While having something new may be a nice to have, the voters may have different perspectives on “nice to haves.” Why is a new building preferred to renovating the existing historical Courthouse? Before too long, moves likes this will do away with our Virginia history over time, and is that what we really want? Courtland will go the way of Sebrell if we are not careful!

I call out to all voters in Southampton County: why has the Courthouse been effective for almost 200 years, and now is no longer needed?

Please call your officials, talk to your neighbors, you have a voice, please use it!

Wynn McDaniel