Decision-making on facility was trying for everyone

Published 5:45 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Dear Editor,

First and foremost I would like to thank the entire Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors for their service. The compensation they receive compared to the time and effort they must put into this position make it basically volunteer. Agree with their decisions or not, I do believe they all are doing what they think best for the county.

Making a decision on the recently proposed Juvenile Justice Facility near Windsor was a very trying time for the Board and a great number of citizens. Friendships were strained, regrettable things were said in the heat of the moment, and many fantastic untrue rumors were circulated about members of the Board and some of the citizens that opposed the facility.

I believe the outcome in this instance was a fair and just one because on a local government level such as this, when a great majority of citizens directly affected express their opposition or support for a project — except in extreme circumstances — their concerns should be paramount. Supervisor [William] McCarty must be singled out, not just because I agree with his decision, but because after initially voting in favor the project, he listened to the concerns of all citizens ,including those who are not his constituents (a very rare quality in any politician on any level), and took the time to review new information. As a result he changed his vote from one of support for the project to one of opposition.

In my life experience changing your public position is a very difficult and brave thing to do, especially for someone in government, but every intelligent person I have ever known had that quality. He let all of the citizens of the county know that where he is concerned, their voices will be heard and that he represents the entire county, not just his district. This should be the view of every member of the Board. This is not to to criticize the supervisors who voted for the project, they just had a different view on what was best for the county, and voted their conscience. Although the way some of the Board and County staff handled this project did not appear totally above board, I am sure that just like many of the citizens involved, in the future they will improve in the way they handle similar projects.

I was deeply concerned to learn that some Board members were the subject of threats and personal verbal attacks. There is never any excuse for this type of conduct. I personally know of no one that conducted themselves in this manner and am glad I do not. This is why we have a political system in the first place. All sides have their say, someone has to lose and life must go on. I sincerely hope that all of the hard feelings that arose out of this project can be healed, friendships restored and everyone will continue to work for the betterment of Isle of Wight County.

Their seems to be one person from the City of Chesapeake that continues in the press to criticize the Town of Windsor for objecting to the project and our Board of Supervisors for voting against it. I would like to point out that the only reason that Isle of Wight County was involved in this project in the first place is because when the project was previously proposed to be located in the City of Chesapeake, the citizens of that city directly affected by it, also vehemently opposed it. The City of Chesapeake voted the project down prior to Isle of Wight County ever being involved.

Volpe Boykin