Not exactly on time

Published 9:34 pm Monday, September 28, 2009

Larry DeBrew and Nate Riddick have a hangout of sorts in downtown Suffolk.

Sitting on the benches at the intersection of Main and Washington Streets, the two men talk about the weather, their day and wave to passing traffic.

And every time they take their rest on the benches, they have noticed something peculiar.

The clock hanging from the professional building in downtown has the wrong time.

“I notice it all the time,” DeBrew said. “They should have it set up with the right time on there.”

“It’s been wrong, I know, since the beginning of summer,” Riddick said.

And it’s not just DeBrew and Riddick who have noticed.

“Today I was coming into downtown from Route 13, and as I approached the light at Main Street, I looked up and noticed the wonderful clock on the side of the Professional Building,” Mary Anderson said in an e-mail to the News-Herald. “My thoughts were, that looks really neat, and then I noticed it did not have the correct time (not off by just a few minutes — but by several hours).”

Adding insult to injury, another clock, located at the intersection of Main and Bank Streets, is now also broken.

Anderson wrote that as she continued down Main Street she noticed the second clock next to the courthouse.

“I had to laugh, as this one did not have the correct time either, and, no, it did not have the same time as the first one,” she wrote.

Anderson, DeBrew and Riddick, along with some commentators on the News-Herald Web site, wanted to know who is in charge of these clocks and when the time would again be right.

While many think the city operates these clocks, Diana Klink, media and community relations manager for the city of Suffolk, confirmed they do not.

Each clock is privately owned.

Global Real Estate Investments, Inc., owns the clock on the professional building and the Pretlow & Pretlow law firm owns the clock by the courthouse.

Joshua Pretlow said he is aware of the problem, but the complexity of the clock makes a repair difficult.

“I don’t have anyone in town that can work on them,” Pretlow said. “It’s generally been a very good clock, but it’s got a synchronization problem right now. I need to bring in someone to handle it.”

As for the clock on the Professional Building, calls to Global Real Estate Investments, Inc. were not returned by press time.

Diana Klink added that city staff members also have logged complaints from the public.

“It’s a pretty clock,” Riddick interjected.

“Well, it would look better if it had the right time on it,” DeBrew joked.As for the clock on the Professional Building, calls to Global Real Estate Investments, Inc. were not returned by press time.

Diana Klink added that city staff members have also called before to log complaints.

“It’s a pretty clock,” Riddick interjected.

“Well, it would look better if it had the right time on it,” DeBrew joked.