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Let#8217;s drive a stake through its heart

Those of you who read the print edition of the News-Herald will likely notice the half page ad on page 7 of Sunday’s paper touting this site. It is pictured above.

It’s been just over a year since we launched this site and up until now, we’ve relied on word of mouth to find an audience. After all the activity we’ve had of late, first with the Confederate History Month proclamation, then the election, and now the budget, we’re presented with a good opportunity to make an impact, and by “we” I mean the people who are engaged with this blog and share their thoughts on local issues. Plus, I see where the big paper has started a blog site for some of its columnists and is aggressively promoting it, so I figured we might as well, too, since we were doing it first.

Incidentally, my apologies to “Post Script,” “Fed up in Chuckatuck,” “Objectivist,” “Wellbelowradar,” and “Phil I” for exploiting their recent perceptive and constructive posts, but I want to show folks the type of serious, interesting dialogue we’ve been having and invite them to join it. Hope you’re OK with it.

Voters last week stated emphatically that they don’t like what’s going on and want a change. We’ve got the personnel we want, for the most part, but now what is it we want them to do?

We want them to reduce the tax burden, for sure, but cutting taxes, which would be a welcome change with gas at three bucks a gallon, is not a cure all. It’s just one thing.

One need look no further than the Virginia House of Delegates to see what happens when keeping taxes low is your sole mission in life: basically nothing. The House is a joke and an embarrassment to the state that gave America and the world Jefferson, Madison, et. al.

What’s more, just sharing your ideas on a blog is not going to change Suffolk. While I think it’s good to have a community forum such as this where folks can speak their minds anonymously without fear of retribution (and if you think that’s not a legitimate concern, you’re kidding yourself), it takes more than that n it takes action. And by action, I mean staying informed, showing up at government meetings, calling your council representative regularly, voting and volunteering to serve on city boards and commissions. Those who seek to subvert government to serve their own selfish interests are always willing to do those things.

After the election, I made a comment here that I don’t necessarily like kicking people when they are down, and I don’t. Gloating is an unattractive quality. But sometimes, when the thing you are fighting against is particularly vile or sinister, or both, it’s not only appropriate to kick it when it’s down, but to drive a stake through its damned heart so it never rises again.

The citizens of Suffolk struck a blow for fair, open, accountable government last Tuesday, but unless we’re vigilant, engaged, committed, hold people accountable and actively participate in the running of our city, make no mistake, it can and will stagger to its feet, sneak up on us in the night and drive its fangs into our throats again.

The next few weeks and months are going to be an important time in our city as our new council plots its course. They will be seeking ideas and you are welcome to share them here.