Vote ‘No’ on referendum; reject proposed $30K to club

Published 10:21 am Friday, October 20, 2017

To the Editor:

We Southampton County citizens have a high financial debt facing us if we proceed to build a courthouse on land that about two-thirds of which is wetlands. Everyone in the county and Franklin needs to stand up and say NO on the Courthouse referendum. If we vote no, there cannot be another referendum on the courthouse for 10 years. If we vote no, no one can then decide to build a new courthouse somewhere else, only to renovate the current one. I’m glad the referendum will let the people express their opinions.

Besides the $26.5 million for a new courthouse, which is nowhere near the total cost, we would still have to remodel and maintain the old courthouse and repurpose it, which will be a considerable annual cost. Should we have a new courthouse, hauling the inmates to and from it and the jail would require more deputies, two per inmate, and more vehicles too. No one has factored in the tax loss from Courtland and its businesses and rental properties. Let us all get out and get our friends and family out and vote NO on Nov. 7.

Our Board of Supervisors is extremely generous with taxpayer dollars. Last month, the majority of the BOS members indicated they were in favor of giving the country club an annual $30,000 to maintain the golf greens. They will take the final action on the fourth Monday in October. I have personally talked to almost 100 people in the county about this $30,000 donation since the last Board of Supervisors meeting and found only one person in favor of it. When I encouraged them to talk to their supervisors, the reply was usually that it was a waste of time, that they did not listen, and had already made up their minds before issues came before the public

One thing that puzzles me is that Chairman [Dallas] Jones emphatically stated that in no uncertain terms did the country club request a dime from the county. If they didn’t request help, why are they intending to give them $30,000?

If they didn’t make the request, where did it come from? The 452 committee hasn’t given a report to the BOS in open session for many months. The county does not have enough money to set a precedent by giving to a private business over a period of years.

Glenn H. Updike