Only three council members looking out for citizens

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 16, 2005

Editor, the News-Herald:

I have been following the &uot;works&uot; and processes of the Suffolk City Council for some time and I am amazed at the lack of concern and involvement of all council members toward a single goal. In my opinion, there are only three council members who have the interests of all Suffolk citizens on their minds. Those three, Councilwoman Linda Johnson, Councilmen Bennett and Milteer, are to be commended and I pray they are around for a long time.

I, along with those three members, am very concerned that the city manger seems to call the shots. That he should ignore a direct request from any of his bosses is outright insubordination and calls for termination of this city employee. The knowledge that he conferred with the mayor, in lieu of the full council, is also grounds for dismissal and that the mayor went along with that kind of process is cause, in my mind, for a change in the mayoral seat. We need someone who will recognize the fact that he/they work for the citizens of Suffolk, not just a &uot;party of two or three.&uot;

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The two cents decrease in taxes is an insult to the citizens of Suffolk. Assessments have increased (ours doubled) and with the taxes as they stand, that is called double dipping. The huge assessment increases more than make up for anything the city should need. If we allow these increases to stand, the city administration will spend and keep on spending. A good example is the Center for Cultural Arts. The city is &uot;contributing&uot; $6.8 million toward building this center. Now we are told the operating tab will be $1 million annually.

Our illustrious city administration agreed to rent one-tenth of the building for the next 20 years for $87,500 per year. Our parks and recreation department doesn’t do a thing for us other than stand before the podium and council and talk about all the good things they can do and the huge budget figure; all they seem to do is hire more people.

AND, the sports complex at $46 million -explain that!

We are told we need more policemen. Where are the ones we have? If the police would patrol and hand out tickets for the violations we see in just one trip to and from Suffolk, those fines could very well pay the salary of a few office personnel that the city administration feels they have to employ.

Since 1979, when we purchased this property, we have watched the many changes that have come to past, but now it is frightening that we, as citizens, vote council members in office to help and assist us as homeowners. We have seen nothing this city council that has benefited us. The city promised water and sewer for this area in the nineties; when we questioned our councilman Dana Dickens at the time, his response was that &uot;it was placed on a back burner.&uot; We would still like to know who has that authority to remove an item from the agenda that had already been voted on.

I agree with Mr. Leonard and others, this is the time for a change in our city government and it is NOT a good time to be in Suffolk; however, this is our home since 1979 and till death do us part.

Council members, do your jobs and follow the will of the three good people who fight for us as citizens of Suffolk, knowing all the while, they are fighting City Hall.

Thank you, to those three and don’t stop now.

Morgan Belcher