Take this into consideration

Published 12:32 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2016

*Editor’s note: No. 7 has been verified through a tape recording.

At the September Charlotte County Board of Supervisors meeting, citizens presented some facts concerning Virginia’s Heartland Regional Industrial Facility Authority that should have raised concerns. Dr. Nancy Carwile then spoke in glowing terms about the board members. Gary Walker gave excuses for the issues with the authority.

None of the board members asked the citizens about the facts we presented. So, to the board and community, I say, please consider:

1. Walker made excuses about no paid staff in regards to the lack of minutes. Walker accepted your appointment as Charlotte County’s representative to Heartland and has been chair for many years.

If he is not able to see that it is run according to the laws of Virginia, he should not accept the positions. 

2. I requested the Heartland minutes under the Freedom of Information Act in June. Please note County Administrator R.B. Clark’s famous “(I) can’t give you what we don’t have.”

Somehow, now more minutes have appeared, although still not in accordance with code.

3. Walker explained the lack of success in Heartland as being due to the downturn in the economy. 

I suggest that it was a doomed project from the start, 16 years ago.

4. Walker and Clark have bragged about the millions obtained in grants. Those grants should have created jobs. 

At the Heartland board meeting it was said that Heartland, with improvements, is worth $3.8 million  So a $12-14 million investment is only worth $3.8 million? 

5. The recent $789,197 VDOT grant is to build an entrance to the west side of 360.

Forest Pro bought land to build a facility on the east side of 360, where there is already an entrance. So, $798,132 will go to build an entrance to undeveloped, unsold land.

More taxpayers’ money wasted.

Plus, $299,000 of the grant money is to be used for land acquisition. Anybody wonder what that is about?

6. Are you not concerned that the Heartland board meeting was held in violation of Open Meeting laws, with Walker as chair and Clark as treasurer and Russell Slayton as attorney?

Excuses were made. To me, a violation of code is a violation. I would be concerned.

7. In June, I went to the Administrator’s Office to look at Heartland records. Clark told me he had turned everything over to his attorney.

He then talked on for about 10 minutes about Heartland, proudly telling me about grant money and other aspects of Heartland.

At the end he asked me what I thought. I told him that after two grand jury investigations people should have been more careful.

You refuse to include citizens’ comments in the minutes so that other citizens can be informed.

Eight hundred thirteen people signed a petition asking you to do so.

You have ignored them. 

So, I ask you this: What are you going to say to those 813 and all the other citizens of Charlotte County if the wheels of justice bring issues to light? 

Kay Pierantoni is a Wylliesburg resident. She can be reached at kmpierantoni@gmail.com.