Supervisor candidate – Newsoms District
Published 1:18 pm Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Only one person is seeking the office of supervisor for the Newsoms District in Southampton County. The Tidewater News asked her the following questions: 1. Full name and district you are running in. 2. What qualities and experience do you possess that make you a good candidate for a seat on the Board of Supervisors? 3. What are the most pressing issues facing the Board of Supervisors, and what would you propose to specifically address those issues? 4. What do you see as the greatest opportunities for economic growth in Southampton County, and what specifically would you propose to take advantage of those opportunities?
1. Lynda Thorpe Updike, Newsoms District
2. I push for what I think is right. I am conservative or “tight” and I am a good listener. Citizens can have very good ideas and suggestions. They may be very aware of problems and their solutions. I believe in openness and trust in government.
I have attended most of the BOS and Planning Commission meetings over the last nearly 20 years so I know what has taken place in the county.
I’ve been a teacher and also a farmer, active in agriculture — the first woman to serve on and chair the Farm Service Agency county committee.
I’ve worked with the Southampton County Historical Society to preserve our local history and to promote heritage tourism. I’be been very involved in the Agriculture & Forestry Museum all of its 30 years.
3. The renovation of the courthouse as economically as possible is one of the most pressing issues, and how to finance it while keeping our taxes as reasonable as possible. We must keep our taxes in check in order to encourage new residents and businesses to come here and to convince our young people to stay here and raise their families. We have a good “crop” of young farmers and we most certainly want to keep them in farming here. Being fiscally responsible, accountable, reducing wasteful spending, and keeping taxes reasonable are the keys to success. A change in direction is long overdue.
Providing a quality education is a good recruitment tool for people and businesses to come here. Security in our schools, courthouse and Administration Building are also important. Safety on our highways , including 25 MPH through Courtland and a crosswalk at the jail/ courthouse, is needed. It is urgent that we have better patrolling where speed is a safety issue for our school buses and our local citizens.
Another pressing issue is voter apathy. Concerned citizens come to BOS meetings and express their thoughts only to be dismissed or ignored with no action. Yet we wonder why they NO LONGER come back?
When monies are available I would like to see BOS meetings videotaped and put online for accurate viewing of exactly takes place at our meetings.
4. We need to diligently put forth the effort to improve agriculture, increase yields, experiment with various crop varieties, etc. to attract and keep more agriculture-related businesses. It might be better for Southampton County to attract 10 small businesses than one large business, and those small businesses may be more easily attainable.
We must maintain our rural atmosphere if we want to keep our population stable and draw in more folks who are trying to escape the crowding and traffic in our cities.
Lastly, we need to look at the feasibility of getting out of the Hampton Roads Planning District and into a district with areas having similar problems and economics as we do.