Hall Place progress should not be derailed by bad apples

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Editor, the News-Herald:

In November of 2002, facing the certainty of having to relocate to the Tidewater area, my husband and I decided to settle in the city of Suffolk. We knew we loved older historic homes, for their character and charm. The birth of our first child and a deployment to Afghanistan initially put a halt on securing a permanent residence in the area. However, I still began work here in the city in mid-February 2003. In August 2003, we settled on a great home in the Hall Place neighborhood, and shortly after moving into the residence in Early October 2003, we became members of the Hall Place Community Association (HPCA).

After attending my first meeting and hearing the goals of the association and its wonderful members at the time, I was hooked. In January of this year I was nominated and elected to the position of vice president. I was thrilled, because I knew that the association now had two very strong willed and &uot;no holds barred&uot; type of women at the helm, whose visions for the community as a whole were identical.

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Recently two individuals have made it their mission to halt any and all progress within the Hall Place Community, which is why I decided to write this letter. I want the city to be aware that, HPCA still firmly supports proceeding with historic designation and the initiatives as proposed by the city for the improvement of the area designated as Hall Place.

These two persons do not represent the HPCA and do not speak on our behalf. Their ideas and opinions are strictly theirs and the few that they have convinced to ride their bus, with misinformation about paying no more taxes and the city becoming &uot;disinterested&uot; in Hall Place. It has become apparent to the members of HPCA that their intentions are to halt any and all general community improvement/welfare programs that they do not agree with. Evident by their behaviors in prior meetings, they have a blatant disregard for the written rules. They have in the past and will likely continue to make up their own rules as they set out to accomplish their own agenda.

I hate to have to put down any individuals, but I feel that the city should be aware. Of the numerous wonderful residents that live in the Hall Place community, most are deeply saddened that two bad apples seem to be infecting the neighborhood with their bitterness. It is my hope that this fine city can see through their plotting and scheming and will not let the ramblings of some fanatics derail the progress that has been made in improving our neighborhood, nor prevent further positive growth.

We will be continuing our efforts to improve the neighborhood with projects like Neighborhood Watch and Adopt-A-Spot. We hope that the city will continue to support us in our endeavors. We still strive to make Hall Place a thriving, safe, and attractive center of art, history, enterprise, commerce, tourism, culture, residence, entertainment, education, and other activity all for the benefit of the community; to inform and educate the residence and the public about community issues; and to build a strong community.

Tara Stainback