As I sat listening to crying women and saw children of 2nd and 3rd generations of families plead their cases at the Board of Supervisors public meeting on Feb. 19, I couldn’t help consider my family and how my own emotions might flare up by such a decision as a garbage transfer site placed closely to MY home.

Passionate arguments shouldn’t be ignored or played down; they’re something to identify with. The fact that these concerned “emotional” people were pleading for the protection of their way of life to the very people elected to do just that is no light matter. 

I was greatly offended by what appeared to be the condescending attitude of chairman, Mr. Sam Carter. An honorable leader should strive to understand the hurt and pain of the people, but he did no such thing as far as I could see.

Aside from the “emotional” concerns like pollution, noise, extra traffic near children and school buses, there were still many solid, factual arguments brought forth. Statistics about property values, leakage of wastes, potential fires and vehicle crashes in residential communities, and of course rats and other rodents drawn to the area, were also presented by upset citizens. However, the board was stoic. 

The residents weren’t completely against the transfer station; only WHERE it would be located. Suggestions to place it at the infamous Industrial Park made sense, but again ignored by the board. 

In my opinion, there were about 85-90 percent of constituents who were opposed to the plan. I tried to understand why anyone would support a project with so much opposition. What could possibly be worth upsetting so many lives? The bottom line was MONEY. Basically, all reasons to support this egregious encroachment upon people’s lives came down to money. It was really disgusting. 

Reasonable alternatives for revenue were made: ideas that would entice tourism to our area such as shops, restaurants, play parks, etc.  These ideas seemed obvious and far better than the smells and traffic of a waste site. But still, the board remained stoic. It was apparent that their votes were already set in stone.

This public hearing was nothing more than a condescending, humiliating overreach of power by our local government. In contrast, it certainly was NOT an ethical, honorable example of a reasonable government elected for the people and by the people. 

One positive thing DID come of the meeting. We’re now fully aware of the actual disconnection and disregard the county board has with its people who once trusted them. Mr. Carter’s constant reprimanding and condescending tone spoke volumes to the hearts and souls of many. He was an embarrassment to watch and hear.

I pray we elect a county board who cares about its citizens; who don’t run up debts; who foresee problems and plan for the well-being of its people; and who make decisions not only on monetary information, but also upon ethics, consideration of neighbors, and the Wisdom of the Word.

- Jane Raymond, Appomattox