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Letters 10/31/12

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Supports Hicks

    I write to support Dr. John Hicks for the District 3 seat on the Bedford County School Board.
    John Hicks graduated from the University of Georgia.  He later earned a master’s degree in education from Lynchburg College and doctorate in education from the University of Virginia.
    Dr. Hicks has spent his professional life working in public education.  He taught seventh grade for several years and served as a high school assistant principal and then elementary principal at Stewarstville Elementary School and Bedford Elementary School for over a decade.  Dr. Hicks has also worked as Director of Transportation in Amherst County.
    John Hicks is uniquely qualified to help guide Bedford County Schools through these difficult economic times.  His broad based work experience gives him an understanding of school finance that is extremely important .  Dr. Hicks is calm and insightful and our students will benefit from his service to our county.
    I encourage District 3 voters to support Dr. John Hicks for the Bedford County School Board.

Robert Ashwell
Huddleston

Vote for change

    Bedford County students, parents and every citizen face a terribly important School Board election this year.
    There is no question that our schools are failing our students. Graduates face a real disadvantage relative to those from other systems. Huge amounts of money are being spent on expensive lawyers and settlements for suits caused by poor management of our school system.
     As only one example, a special needs student is terribly abused on the school bus by County employees. This is known to the Administration for months and apparently nothing is done about it. Yet, with these failures clearly in front of them, our Board, the only advocate the citizens have in keeping the School Administration honest, renews the Superintendent’s contract early with no public knowledge or input to the process.
    I am a mother in District 3. One of the 2 candidates to the Board is the incumbent Dr. Hicks who has decades of experience as a school administrator, at least 20 years in Bedford County. This sounds good until you ask the question: Is he part of the kind of change needed to find a solution to a failed system, or is he more likely a part of the problem?
    I have asked Dr. Hicks to be a parent’s advocate regarding two formal complaints I have submitted regarding New London Academy. He started off just great, but when he had to face up to the Administration he forgot his responsibility to his constituent.
    Let’s vote for change so badly needed in the Bedford County school system. The incumbent Board is clearly part of the problem. Bring in a fresh approach that can start removing the disadvantages to our students caused by a failing school system. We need a Board that keeps the Administration’s feet to a very hot fire.

Tonya Moore
Forest

Change needed

    A letter last week suggested that we vote for a current School Board member, Mrs. Merritt, instead of bring in someone who is not a member of the “old boys (and girls) club.”
     Before you vote in this School Board race, I hope you will ask this question: Am I happy with the job the current school system is doing for our students?
    Her opponent, Mr. Johnson, brings us the advantage of looking at Bedford County graduates coming into Va. Tech. He sees where our schools are failing, where our graduates’ education does not measure up to other schools, where we do not give the students what they need to start college on a level playing field.
    I hope we will see a School Board that demands more from our school system. The poorest qualification in this election is being on the current Board.

Gary Sims
Goode

Supports Merritt

    My name is Carolyn Kidd and I writing to tell you why I am voting for Jennifer Merritt to represent District 2 on the School Board.
    First, she has had years of volunteer and parental experience here in Bedford County schools.  Second, she is dedicated to attending meetings, work sessions and school visits.  Third, her level headedness will benefit all in Bedford County.
    One of her opponents is proposing that our already underpaid Bedford County School employees pay for their own yearly background checks.  There is a reason that BCPS does not conduct yearly background checks-they do not work.  They do not protect students the way this misguided candidate thinks it would.  The mere mention that he would pass this along to our teachers is absurd.
    Jennifer Merritt is clearly the best choice in this race.  I urge you to vote for her on November 6.
 
Carolyn Kidd
Bedford County

Schools need change

    In the Oct. 24 issue of this paper, a letter to the editor recommended Merritt for School Board only on the basis that she has children/grandchildren in the schools and was critical of candidate Jason Johnson because he resides both here and in Blacksburg.
    In your decision on voting, I hope you will consider much more than these two issues which tell us nothing about what to expect from a School Board member.
    Bedford County’s schools need change in the worst kind of way. A respected national source of public school rankings shows Bedford County ranks 111 out of 117 school systems in Virginia. This is a disgrace!
    We are graduating students who are not prepared for the demands of their futures, whether that be going off to college or entering the job market. Mr. Johnson has shown a very valuable sensitivity to these short-comings. Ms. Merritt appears to offer us only more of the same poor school system performance, and the worn out excuse of “need more money.”
    Maybe a tax increase is needed, but let’s first take Johnson’s approach of looking at every other alternative. He also brings a fresh perspective to the Board that just might start the change process that is so badly needed. The recent School Boards appear to do nothing more than rubber stamp their approval of School Administration performance and that performance has placed our schools at the very bottom of the heap!

Brice Gardner   
Bedford

For great schools

    We are supporting Jason Johnson for the Bedford County School Board. 
    We have known Jason and his family since we moved to the lake in 1997.  Jason is a product of the Bedford County school system having attended county public schools for twelve years.  As he went on to college, he recognized that there were some areas of his education that did not adequately prepare him for college-level work. 
    He has continued his education for a Master’s Degree and is employed at Virginia Tech.  In his employment he is working with first year students that have graduated high school with some lack of preparation for college-level work.  It is Jason’s commitment to strengthen the County education system to better prepare students to go on to college.  Bedford has a good school system but there is always room for improvement.
    Our knowledge of Jason tells us that when he takes on a job he commits himself fully to complete it.  We have no concerns that Jason will more than adequately meet all of his obligations as a member of the school board. 
    Jason has seen the system from the inside out, not just from the outside.  Comments have been made that he has no children in school.  This has not been a factor in the performance of many other excellent school board members.  The most positive factor in Jason’s favor is that he has the most recent experience going through the education process and works directly in the education process to create even Greater Schools.

Doris Neudorfer
Moneta

Vote for Johnson

    At a recent candidates’ forum in Bedford, all the candidates for the special election to fill vacancies on District 2 and District 3 School Board were given an opportunity to speak, answering questions and voicing opinions concerning our schools.
    I was most impressed by Jason Johnson, candidate for my district.  Johnson is the only candidate who believes there may be ways to improve the quality of our education other than spending more money, i.e., raising taxes.  He was the only one who offered new ideas or possible solutions.
    In these times when money is so scarce and families are tightening their belts to just make expenses, I believe it’s imperative that we elect someone who brings an understanding of what is needed and has fresh ideas on how to make them happen.
    I hope you will join me voting for Jason Johnson for School Board on Nov. 6th.

Sandy Cranston
Huddleston

Vote for Merritt

    This is a letter to the editor in support of Jennifer Merritt during the upcoming election.
    I had the pleasure of working with her when she served as the President of the Moneta Elementary PTA and I was the Vice President. Jennifer has a passion for children and desire to ensure that all children are offered the opportunity and necessary resources to succeed.
    In her current appointed role on the board for District 2, Jennifer has continued to work diligently and improve the quality of technology offered to the students and the resources to ensure students know how to use the technology.
    I know she will do an amazing job when elected .

Melanie A Pride
Moneta

Supports Johnson

    We have a candidate for School Board in District 2 of Bedford County who is uniquely qualified to help get our schools turned around and on the right track.
    Jason Johnson is a native of the County and an alumnus of our schools.  He knows the challenges he faced and the knowledge he lacked upon entering Lynchburg College and, as an Academic Advisor and Instructor to incoming freshmen at Virginia Tech, he sees how our kids stack up (or don’t) to those from other areas.
    As was amplified by our recent dismal SOL scores, we need to do something different.  We need someone with fresh ideas and a fresh pair of eyes to see what is needed, not someone who is engrained in the current ways – ways that have failed – and to whom the only answer is “more money.”  We need a fresh mind to look at potential reallocation of resources, to try new methods and technology to get improvements and efficiencies.  One candidate called it “naïve” to suggest there may be cost efficiencies yet to be found. 
    Today, upon graduation our kids – sadly - are not “future ready” as one campaign slogan suggests.  We have a lot of work to do to get there and we can make a start by electing Jason Johnson on November 6.

Marilyn M. Osborne-Bach
Huddleston

Hurt has served us well

    As a child of Virginia’s mountains who took advantage of a Virginia education, served in the Marine Corps, and got to live in Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean and see most of the rest of the world I have to say I am offended by the arrogance of John Douglass and his code names (“Billy Bob and Bobby Jo”) for us ignorant hillbillies in the 5th District for whom he obviously has such low regard.
     His statement is dripping with derision for the very people he expects will vote for him. My name is also John but the General (he informed us at the debate in Danville that his name is General Douglass) may call me Captain John.
     I find him lacking any humility, a quality sadly lacking in Washington. We don’t need any more like him. Robert Hurt served us well and faithfully and he has answered every request or question I have sent him. I’ll cast my vote for the candidate who is truly a man of the people!

John Snidow
Hardy

Supports Hurt for Congress

    There are many reasons for supporting Robert Hurt for Congress but I would like to identify the ones of most interest to me. 
    Robert is very well informed of the issues surrounding Smith Mountain and Leesville lakes.  He is familiar with all of the activities over the years involved with the relicensing of the Smith Mountain Project and the work on the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP).  He was instrumental in obtaining an agreement between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the power company and the counties to conduct negotiations over the provisions of the SMP. 
    He introduced legislation to protect citizen and county interests in the management of the lake shoreline.  He stands ready to support the citizens of the area if further legislation is necessary. 
    It is this degree of knowledge and support that I hope we continue to have as SMP related discussions continue.

Chuck Neudorfer
Moneta
What was Kaine thinking?

    I am writing this letter to remind voters of one of Tim Kaine’s final acts as Virginia’s governor.
    As he was leaving office in 2010, Kaine signed a transfer agreement with Germany to allow convicted double-murderer, Jens Soering, to be transferred back to Germany where he could have been released in as little as two years. Kaine did not consult with the Haysom family, nor did he consult with members of law enforcement who were involved with the investigation of the 1985 Bedford County murders.
    This left family members, citizens and elected officials angered and in disbelief.
    Not only did Governor Kaine leave office with no explanation of his decision, he virtually disappeared. If not for a leak within Kaine’s office, the family or the public would not have known of his actions.
    After receiving multiple calls questioning his actions, Kaine’s office was forced into sending out a press release on January 15, 2010, announcing his decision. However, in the release he did not give a reason why. Fortunately, newly elected Governor Bob McDonnell’s first official act was to intercede and void the agreement. In return, Soering sued Governor McDonnell, alleging he did not have the authority to override Kaine’s decision.
    Only after deciding to run for Congress was Kaine questioned by the media as to why he signed the Soering transfer agreement. Two years later, Kaine claimed that it was to save the Commonwealth of Virginia the cost of Soering’s incarceration.
    Now I ask, if that was the real reason for signing the agreement, why wouldn’t Kaine first contact the Haysom family or put in his January 15, 2010 press release the reason for his decision?    What about the other Virginia prisoners who are not American citizens or even Virginia citizens serving time in Virginia? If you follow Kaine’s supposed logic, they should be sent home, as well.
    Ironically, former Governor George Allen succeeded in abolishing parole for criminals and instituted the Truth in Sentencing Act in Virginia. Prior to George Allen becoming governor, if an individual was sentenced to life in prison, they were eligible for parole in a number of years.
    Since the passing of Allen’s Truth in Sentencing Act, life means life with no parole eligibility. So, you decide George Allen, a true champion for public safety, or Tim Kaine ?

Ricky Gardner
Bedford

Political reality

    Distinguishing between real issues and mere distractions is a necessary skill.  Distractions are the usual tactic of the party of desperation and have lately proliferated in the letters to the editor.     One writer [“Women Voters”-Oct.24] pushes the phony “war on women” scenario, women’s health issues [code word for abortion] and the religious right bogeyman hoax.  His entire letter is an attempt to manipulate women voters ending in a shameful thinly veiled playing of the race card. The latest polls show women voters are too intelligent to fall for this juvenile ruse.
    Then there is the incredible letter claiming fair wages, family time, safety nets, and labor unions as evolving from socialism, the foreign European poison infecting our current political thought!  These are all promises of socialistic/communistic parties prior to assuming power but what happens after power and control is achieved?  Witness the Soviet Union, North Korea, and Cuba. Don’t be what Lenin called an “useful idiot.”
    Here is a real issue--Benghazi 2012.  State Department E-Mails reveal White House and State Department people were aware real time of the attack on the U.S. Benghazi Consulate within the first two hours of the seven hour firefight as being a terrorist attack. 
    U. S. military assistance was only one hour away yet not a finger was lifted for our people on the ground, Commander-in-Chief Obama failed.  In the last hours of the assault two more Americans would die unnecessarily.  The White House sent Carney [“blarney”], UN ambassador Rice [five times on the Sunday TV shows on Sept.16], Hillary Clinton, and Obama himself out to spread the lie that all the turmoil was over a DVD mocking the prophet and they maintained this ruse for two weeks! 
    This is the cover-up and is worse than Watergate-no one died at Watergate!  If you support such fragrant dishonesty vote for Obama/Kaine/Douglas.  If you support honesty forget the party and vote Romney/Allen/Hurt. As Hurt said, “I represent the 5th District, not the Republican Party.”

Boyd W. Hubbard
Bedford

At a crossroads

    We are at a crossroads, a time of great decision.
    I hope all Americans will consider carefully as they exercise their right to vote. President Obama will stand up for the interests of the middle class citizens of Bedford, of Virginia, of the United States. For that reason he has my vote.
    I believe the Republican vision for our future represented by Romney and Ryan is a backward looking one, where public good is privatized to the benefit of a small minority of well-connected Americans, but to the detriment of the rest of us. In contrast, all Americans can benefit from President Obama’s vision of shared responsibility and public investment or as we remember from the old civil-rights motto “Lifting as we climb.”
    In the words of a recent New Yorker editorial, a second Obama term “will bolster the ideal of good governance and a social vision that tempers individualism with a concern for community. . . Obama’s America—one that progresses toward social justice, tolerance, and equality—represents the future that this country deserves.”

Patsy Arnold Martin
Bedford

Consider
matters of faith

    I want to urge my fellow Christians to seriously consider the record of our current President on matters of faith when voting next week.
    Consider that while in the Illinois State Senate he voted four times against legal protection for infants born alive after botched abortions. President Obama and his Party have openly called for the redefinition of marriage to include same sex couples. His Democrat Party this summer planned to remove all reference to God from their platform, reinserting it only after a public outcry.
    Now the President’s healthcare law requires employers to provide coverage for contraceptives, including abortifacients, to their employees through their insurance coverage with no regard to the religious conviction of the employer.
    Infanticide, redefining all meaning out of marriage, failing to even acknowledge God and refusing legal recognition of religious conviction are not compatible with Christian principle. I respectfully suggest that all my fellow Christians purpose that you will not vote for this President and his party. This behavior should not be endorsed with our votes.

Nate Boyer
Forest

Restore America: Elect a Statesman

    I know that I am biased, being a life-long Conservative Republican, but I am still amazed that so many of my good friends and neighbors have yet to discard their rose-colored glasses when viewing our current President … as regards to the policies and direction that he is taking our Republic. 
    Even though he did not receive my vote in 2008, I still managed to feel some amount of  pride in that he was able to become our very first black President.  I sincerely wished him to be successful, though I was clearly suspect of the types of ‘change’ that he would be encouraging in order to ‘fundamentally change America’.
     The presidential debates and public campaign appearances should have woken up those good Democrats and Independent voters as to the clear differences between these two candidates. The debates showed Mitt Romney to be a Statesman with good sound economic plans to rebuild our economy and to turn the direction of our country from social statism to one of self-reliance and individual responsibility, which is clearly our heritage ... most especially here in the Commonwealth.
    On the other hand, the debates also showed our President to be nowhere near Statesman caliber. He has no problem at all in telling bold-faced lies about his challenger and about his own previous statements (eg: his ‘Bankrupt GM’ and ‘sequester won’t happen’ comments) … and he continues to repeat these lies out on the stump on the very next day and on the following days (even after they have been fact-checked to have been completely false).
    These and countless other examples have shown this President to not only be ‘not a very nice man’, but clearly lacking in the moral caliber which we should expect from the President of the United States.
    Democrat and Independent friends and neighbors, and all Republicans who treasure our freedom and way of life, please get out and vote for Mitt Romney on November 6 and get our country back on the road to economic recovery … while also regaining our leadership and respect throughout the world.

Paul F Greier
Huddleston

His own rules

    Obama hasn’t been able to get Congress to pass most of the things he wants.  No Republican will not vote for them, and many Democrats do not support them either.
      Therefore, he has taken it upon himself to sign many executive orders that are illegal and unconstitutional because they do not have Congress’s approval.  The following are three of many things that show what an evil person he is:
    He signed an executive order giving himself the right to impose martial law over the nation.
    He appointed 32 “czars” unconstitutionally and employed 18,000 new IRS agents to enforce all his executive orders.
    He passed a bill to provide $20.3 million to bring members of Hamas to the US.  Hamas is a radical Islamic terrorist organization that uses suicide bombers to kill large numbers of innocent people to spread their reign of terror. 
    What do these things tell me about Obama?  It tells me that he is a dictator who makes his own rules and then has his appointees enforce his dictates.  Why is he bringing these terrorists to the US?  Just like Hitler who used his SS troops to terrorize and kill anyone who disagreed with him, I think he plans to use Hamas to enforce his rules if he can’t get his appointees to do his dirty work. 
    For many other reasons why no one should vote for Obama see the movie “2016 Obama’s America”, read the book “The Amateur” by Edward Klein, and the booklet “Unfit to rule,” by Dan Zimmerle.  See WWW.OneNationUnderGodRadio.com for more information.

Carol Litten
Bedford

Little help to economy
    
    Obama has done little to help our economy.
    America owns the most plentiful natural resources in the World, but restrictions preclude optimal production of oil and natural gas. Why financially support other counties, many that dislike us, with energy production? Obama has criticized the Chinese for manipulating currency. What’s been done? Nothing! What about coal? America has a 250 year supply, but, restrictions have precluded production.
    Obama promised that, if you produce coal, you’d go bankrupt. He delivered! This adversely affects Virginia. Robert Hurt and George Allen will help resolve this.
    Given the dismal four year performance on economics,if nothing else, we can’t survive four more years of this!

Oakley Drumheller
Forest

Slow and steady growth

    On November 6, Bedford residents will join other citizens to set the course for America as we select our President, U.S. Senator, and Congressmen.
    We all know that President Obama made many controversial decisions as he rescued an economy that was losing 800,000 jobs a month, was forcing people from their homes, and was decimating retirement savings for all. But the economy has turned around with a slow and steady growth that has made us more secure.
    Now we have a choice on whether we want to continue this growth or elect a candidate who says we are going in the wrong direction and that he will bring ‘change’, his new catchword, to the economy. Why is a slow and steady growth the wrong direction? What ‘change’ is he talking about?
    When I study Gov. Romney’s plan for the economy it sounds very much like former President George W. Bush’s plans when he took office – tax cuts, reductions in spending, and less regulations. And remember, he was offering his plans during a robust economy and a government budget surplus. And we all know how that turned out. So why would voters want to ‘change’ from slow and steady growth to a plan that may return us to an economy in chaos?
    I urge voters to opt for slow and steady growth by reelecting President Obama and supporting that growth by electing former Gov. Tim Kaine for U. S. Senate and General John Douglass for the Fifth Congressional District. The Bedford Democratic Committee is offering rides to the polls for all voters and you can reach them by calling 540-816-0828 on Election Day.

Ann Duncan
Bedford
 
Supports Romney

    Obama says change will come. Has unemployment got any better? Has healthcare got any better? What has he done for senior citizens? Is house sales on the rise?
    I say it’s time for a change. Vote Romney.

Charlotte C. Wood
Bedford

Romney: Not the one

    A look at Mitt Romney’s financial machinations leave no doubt he is an astute financier. But don’t look too closely at how he amassed a fortune.

    An article in the August 29 issue of the Rolling Stone  magazine, “The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital”  and another in the August issue of Vanity Fair, “Where the Money Lives” give discomforting insights as to the character of this man who would be president.   
    In a few days, we must make a choice. do we continue forward with a President who has a record of helping the shrinking middle class—without hurting the rich—or do we slip back to days of scam and sham (remember the WMD hoax). Do we, in fact, want two Americas? One in which rule by the rich for the rich is a divine mandate? Or we hold with the belief that everyone owns a share of the American Dream. Period. The choice is ours.
    I will vote for Barack Obama because I believe he has the interests of the middle class at heart; maybe because understands it is our shoulders upon which the rich stand. . 

Rodney A. Franklin
Thaxton

What really happened?

    This is my response to Howell’s liberal agenda on 10/12/12 against Clifford Russell.  I said right away that this was an all-out assault on Mr. Russell whom he hates. 
    I know of a couple that was there when Cook came in.  They said Cook looked straggly.  Cook said he was from San Francisco, was on welfare, was getting $200 for food stamps each month, and that the government owed him a living.  The couple told Mr. Russell that he might be dangerous and that they would stay with him until Cook left. 
    Cook who writes for The liberal Progressive magazine “just happened” to be in the area, and then “just happened” to find his way to Bedford, and then “just happened” to find Bridge Street, and then “just happened” to find the local Republican headquarters (that is already four just happened), and finally then “just happened” to meet of all people Mr. Russell. 
    Wow!  What are the odds of this just happening?  Probably more than the odds to win the multiple state lottery. 
    I believe this is what really happened.  Howell called his progressive buddies and asked them to send someone to Bedford to get something they could use against Mr. Russell.  Howell told them where the Republican headquarters were and when Mr. Russell would be there. 
    I have never talked to or met Mr. Russell.  I only know of him from the articles he writes for the local newspapers.  None of the articles that Mr. Russell previously wrote said anything about “wanting to kill the poor.”  I think I know him enough from his writings to know that he doesn’t believe that this should actually be done.  Howell belongs to the Democratic Party who believes that it’s okay to actually execute hundreds of thousands of unborn children each year.  How many executions of the poor” have ever been done?  None! 
    Why does Howell think that Mr. Russell’s statement is what Governor Romney and most of the people in Bedford think?  I don’t think that way and I have never heard of anyone making this statement.  What do the people of Bedford think about Howell’s statement “Bedford looks like a creepy place full of hate-filled, small –minded, religious fanatics who want to kill the poor”?  Thank you Howell and the Bedford Bulletin for showing how Howell reacts when someone disagrees with him, and how he feels about all the people in Bedford. 

Benjamin M. Litten
Bedford

Investment or runaway train?

    In an article from the Wall Street Journal it was noted that according to a study released from the Pope center for Higher Education, the federal Pell Grant program is starting to look like a runaway train.
    At $36 billion a year in 2009-2010, it took half the Department of Education budget and is the federal government’s single biggest expense on higher education.  This is what President Obama calls an “investment.”  The returns, the report says, have not been strong.
    The Obama Administration has increased the maximum grant awarded to students to $5,550 since 2010 from $4,731 per year in 2008.
    Last month, Mr. Obama touted the success of Pell Grants and boasted that his Administration has expanded the program to three million more students.  But the real metric should be how many students the program helps.
    The one bright spot in graduation rates was for low-income grant recipients (the ones the original program was supposed to help.)  The best thing Mr. Obama could do for students and taxpayers is to get Pell Grants away from being a broad entitlement and back to their core mission of helping the poorest students.

Jo Holden
Huddleston

Halloween and hypocrites

    It’s Halloween again, a time when boys and girls dress up and pretend to be something that they are not.
    The sad thing is that grown-ups do the very same thing but not just on Halloween. We may pretend to like someone in front of that person when we really don’t. Or we work a little harder in front of the boss than when he isn’t around. We are all guilty in some way of being a hypocrite. But when we think of the word hypocrite most of the time people associate it with folks in the church.
    Lots of people claim to believe one thing but act in a completely different way. I am a Christian and I don’t deny that Christians (including myself) do this. This does not excuse the fact, but sometimes this is done simply because we don’t think before we act.
    But there are other times we act or speak knowing that it goes against what our Lord teaches. We sometimes do this for self-preservation or protection, and sometimes for selfish gain. The fact is that both are wrong.
    I hear a lot of folks who refuse to go to church because of all the hypocrites. I couldn’t agree more. The church is full of hypocrites, I being one of them. But the beauty of it all is that Jesus Christ died for sin, including the sin of hypocrisy.
    Now that doesn’t give us a license to continue acting in the same old ways but challenges us to strive toward the example of our Lord. Being a Christian or going to church doesn’t make anyone perfect, but we gather corporately to celebrate the fact that we are forgiven and to encourage and stir up one another to love and good works.
    To this I say, in this life we will sometimes fail, but He never fails. So before you turn your back on church or Christianity because of the actions of a hypocrite, I challenge you to measure my faith by the object of my faith, Jesus Christ, not by me.

Bev Chaffin
Bedford

Violators of the public’s
interest

    To serve the public’s interest, public officials must create a culture of transparency. Any effort to prevent the public from knowing what its representatives are doing is, at the very best, unethical. ...
    Bedford Above Board was formed by a diverse group of citizens who were alarmed by the Board of Supervisor’s attempts to disregard the public’s interest. Those attempts include violating the legal requirements for including the public in the process. Bill Piatt has been part of the effort to hold the Board of Supervisors accountable.
    … Chuck Neudorfer nominated Bill Piatt to Bedford County’s Planning Commission. A Planning Commission that has been plagued with resignations by members dismayed by the Board of Supervisors failure to serve the public’s interest. In an unprecedented move, the other Board members present voted unanimously to reject Neudorfer’s nominee. Why was the Board afraid of a proven advocate for transparent government? Almost certainly for the same reason they were so afraid of Kathleen Guzi that they fired her.
    Following the rejection of his nominee, Mr. Neudorfer resigned from the Board. Mr. Neudorfer, a retired FBI agent, came to the Board of Supervisors following his work to help expose illegal activity by a then sitting supervisor. Mr. Neudorfer, the one Supervisor who stood up for Ms. Guzi, the one Supervisor who still held public meetings to make our government transparent, resigned because he felt marginalized by the other Board members. Why did they marginalize a man who has spent his entire adult life serving the public interest?
    Any government official who hides from public scrutiny deserves our disgust. The only reason any Supervisor has to fear the public eye is that they are serving themselves instead of us. We cannot trust those who avoid transparency, and the remaining Board members aren’t just avoiding transparency, they are actively fighting it.
    Mr. Neudorfer and Mr. Piatt are proven advocates of the public interest. By marginalizing Mr. Neudorfer and voting to keep Mr. Piatt off the Planning Commission, Steve Arrington, Bill Thomasson, Annie Pollard, Roger Cheek and Tammy Parker (John Sharp was absent) have made clear they are hiding their true intentions from the public. … It’s time to think about recalling them.

Eric Mosley
Goodview