Archived Story

What are you going to do about it?

Published 8:23pm Friday, April 5, 2013

To the editor:

The city just spent $75,000 on a pavilion/stage at Bennett’s Creek Park, and many people are outraged at the wasted money.

Folks, things like this get pushed through as part of the Capital Improvements Program. This is why I went to speak out against the spending in the CIP when they had that public hearing a few weeks back. I was the only speaker. Where were you all?

The budget and the spending start with the CIP. Then the School Board has to finalize its budget and send a lump-sum request to the city. The city doesn’t get to tell the School Board where to spend that money. If the teachers aren’t getting their raises or if the schools are out of paper, take that up with the School Board. Find out what they are spending and where they can cut back.

After the CIP and the School Board, the city puts together its budget. Mayor Linda Johnson says it’s not due until June 30, but they push it through by the first week of May — four weeks early — “so the schools can work on teacher contracts.”

I see so many people in the city frustrated with council and city spending. Where are you all on the first and third Wednesday nights? Why aren’t you all packing that City Council hall every meeting, using the “non-agenda speakers” time to tell council off? Councilman Curtis Milteer ran unopposed last year. Why aren’t you running for council opposite these guys?

I get it. I’m frustrated too. It feels like council never listens. But how can they listen if you aren’t talking to them? The more people show up at every meeting, the more likely it is they will get the message.

So, you’re fed up with spending like this. What are you going to do about it?

Lorraine Yuriar


  • Roger Leonard

    How well spoken, but such true words have once again fallen of deaf ears… The sport of complaining in Suffolk is a high art, but if you really want change; raise funds, get better candidates to run and support them even when they make mistakes… That is how change in representative govenment works and it is broken in Suffolk!

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  • Mary1

    I did what I thought was the best way last November when the elections were held! I voted and did not vote for anyone that is currently on our City Council. Unfortunately, there must not be enough frustrated people in Suffolk, because they are all stil there!

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    • suffolklady

      Amen! I did my part as well. I think a lot of people were very uninformed.

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  • thekytikat

    FWIW, this letter was written BEFORE the City released it’s budget. We still have a chance to fight the tax increase & the increase in our water bills by 18.7%!! April 17 will be Council’s Public Hearing on the budget.

    IDK about you all, but I can’t afford this. First, the payroll tax holiday was allowed to sunset by the Obama administration – effectively raising taxes by 2%. Then, my husband’s hours were cut due to regulations in Obamacare. Then the GA passed that “Transportation” bill that will increase our sales tax by close to 2% when the gov signs it, just because we live in Hampton Roads. Now this.

    I’d contemplate moving, but we’re so underwater in our home, we couldn’t sell if we wanted to.

    The mayor & City Manager keep saying that Suffolk is growing. It was growing because of the low taxes. Once the tolls go into effect on the downtown & midtown tunnels, the growth will likely stagnate as military folks try to stay on the Norfolk side of the tolls.

    Despite what Mayor Johnson says, it is NOT a good time to be living in Suffolk. I’ll be there Apr 17th, with as many people as I can muster. Will you be there?

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    • chief601

      My wife and I plan to be at the next Tea Party meeting and will try to be at the budget hearing. I really don’t think it will do much good. They convinced me of that with the underhanded way they gave the city manager a raise.

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