Concerned about several issues

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2005

Editor, the News-Herald:

Thank you Suffolk News-Herald for printing letters that not only allow our voices to be heard on important matters, but also for the appreciation of our city leaders who truly show that they are concerned about the direction of this city.

I have been tuning in on the city council and school board meetings to attempt to learn more about the future plans for our city.  I must say that some of the councilmen/councilwomen do have a big job on their hands to attempt to solve the many questions and concerns for some of our citizens.  I do appreciate your efforts.

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This city has grown so much, and the cost factors have become staggering.  In today's Virginian-Pilot, I believe  there is a quote which states that taxes will be  increased by 23 percent in 2006.  I just simply do not understand how we can justify these increases.  Yes, I do feel that the police, fire and emergency departments are fully equipped and can take care of problems, unless we have a serious weather or terrorism concern.  The problems experienced by New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama seem almost unbelievable.

It makes me wonder about the wisdom of building a city below sea level.  I too have had concerns about this city building a beautiful structure such as the Hilton Garden Inn on the banks of an area that floods each time we have a nor'easter. The wisdom of the city being involved in developing real estate seems rather questionable.  When we have so many private companies who would love to develop their properties from which we would receive tax monies here in Suffolk, it makes me wonder about the advisability of our city being real estate holders. Who in this city is on the deeds of this so called city-owned properties?

How much tax revenue is being generated in undeveloped land owned by this city?

Why are we constantly tearing down school buildings and constructing new ones?  Is it more feasible to bus students long distances than to have them in their communities.?  Do we not have enough quality teachers to teach in the smaller schools?

As a concerned citizen, I want to know where our taxes are being spent, and would like to see this information made available for all to see on the city Website or published in the newspapers. 

 Thanks for the information and answers to my questions.


Mary Grace Garner-Atkins