Letter – Council doesn’t want our opinion
To The Editor:
Choo, choo, choo! You have just been railroaded by your town council. Oops, it’s obviously not your town council. It belongs to someone across High Street from the statue that does not pay taxes or live in the county. He resides in Richmond.
The governor says one solution to a statue’s future location is a referendum by citizens of the town. That makes a lot of sense, because the statue was originally given to the town of Farmville and not the town council. It may be too late to get it on this November’s ballot, but the town council can easily vote to delay the decision until after a future vote by the citizens next year.
And to make sure that just a few people show up at the August 19 meeting to speak against its removal, the council has eliminated the crowds by scheduling it in the small council chambers where there will be limited seats available because of COVID-19. They could easily move the meeting to the Fireman’s Arena or even Jarmon Hall. The county moved the discussion on sanctuary cities to the high school auditorium where over 650 people attended.
Obviously, this council doesn’t want our opinion. Someone called me to say that they had sent the town a Freedom of Information Request over two months ago and heard nothing. That is illegal and I gave them FOIA’s number in Richmond to file a protest. FOIA will look into it, and the town will be fined. If the town falsifies information or fails to deliver what was requested, they will be in deeper trouble. There is also a question of legality about the meeting where the vote was taken the night the soldier was removed. This council believes they are above the law. And, gosh, I guess it was just a coincidence that a crane was parked next to the statue while the vote to remove it was taking place.
It’s laughable about councilmembers saying they have gotten calls to move the statue to Cumberland. One posting on social media can generate all those calls easily. I might add, I tried to send emails to the council members addresses listed on the town website so as not to bother them on the phone, and I had Chuckie Reid’s and Dan Dwyer’s returned to me marked “undeliverable.”
Whatever the decision provided by a referendum; it should be the citizens of the town who have the right to make that decision. Heck perhaps a better referendum to have would be a recall election. I understand it only takes a petition of 25% of the people who voted in the last town election. That means only 139 signatures on a petition could get us a truly representative government.
(Editor’s note: Jim Wilck is a member of the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors.)