Archived Story

Resident disappointed in Southampton supervisors

Published 10:09am Friday, December 13, 2013

To the Editor:

As I read your article about Southampton County Reorganization, I went from disbelief, to sad, to angry.

First I believe that there is a strong case that Mike Johnson needs help. But the way it was done was deceptive and deceitful.

I was in attendance at the 11/25/13 Board of Supervisors meeting. As I read the agenda for the 11/25/13 meeting, I do not see any reference to a discussion or vote on any Southampton County Reorganization. The citizens in attendance had no idea what was coming after the agenda was covered. In fact, until I read it in The Tidewater News, I had not heard or read anything about this reorganization. The citizens in attendance were denied our right to hear our representatives’ opinion on this reorganization.

As far as timing of the reorganization vote, it is obvious if you are trying to hide your actions you do it during the holiday season when everyone is busy. Then you hope they do not notice or care what you are doing.

When should this action on reorganization been taken? With the cost and magnitude of this reorganization, it should have been done during the county budget process. Although it would have been a hard sell to voters when there is no money for raises for county employees, no money for raises for county school teachers, no money for needed teachers and no money for needed teachers aides.

But alas, there is money to hire help for Mike Johnson. A lot of money!

To hide behind the idea that this is a personnel matter and can be handled behind closed doors is ridiculous.

New positions cost the taxpayers money and we deserve an open process.

Government mistrust is rampant in our country:

• The President and his Affordable Care Act.

• The governor and attorney general taking money from special interest groups.

• Now our board of supervisors hide their actions behind closed doors. The actions of this group of men hurts the most. These men are our neighbors, our friends. We see them in church, at civic functions and in the store.

It is a sad day!

John Burchett
Sebrell

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