Archived Story

Baffled by Blevins’ decision not to support

Published 9:52am Wednesday, March 6, 2013

To the Editor:

At the recent National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., Dr. Ben Carson, world-renowned pediatric-neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was a featured speaker.

His comments included, “This is a country that is for, of and by the people, not for, of and by the government.”

As I reflect on the recent actions of the State Senate, I realize their total disregard for the attempt by Del. Rick Morris, R-Carrollton, to reform our archaic system of the selection of the Southampton County School Board.

This system, which Morris clearly stated in his campaign, does not conform with his or with Carson’s reminder.

It in no way provides that this county is for, of and by the people, but is for, of and by the school board. Residents have no way to influence the selection of members or discharge them for poor performance, of which, I feel there is plenty.

In addition, it is clear they plan to keep it that way.

I can certainly understand their motives since the board is provided with a great salary and benefits that surpass the county board of supervisors.

This was demonstrated by the actions of Superintendent Dr. Alvera Parrish and School Board Chairman Chris Smith. In their effort to assure the process stays the same, they made two trips to Richmond to address the Senate Education and Health Committee and, I’m sure, Sen. Harry Blevins, R-Chesapeake.

I am confident this included reminders that the school system is the county’s largest employer with many voters who make a huge impact at the polls.

I cannot understand what would have been the reason that Blevins would have voted against this bill, which would return the democratic process to the selection of the school board.

This in consideration that the House voted 98-0 to pass this reform, which would have, at least, given responsibility to the board of supervisors.

How could the Senate have voted against it in the Senate Committee….it didn’t even get the opportunity to be voted on.

To say that it would not have made much difference to give the responsibility to the board of supervisors is not valid since we the people have the voting responsibility to retain or dismiss supervisors based on their performance.

I wish to commend Morris for his extraordinary effort to return this county to one that is represented for, of and by the people. I sincerely encourage you will make the same effort next session with better results. May God bless you and the United States.

Daniel R. Hohman

Berlin/Ivor District

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