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As for my views / May 16, 2013

Dear Viewpoint:

RE: Thursday, May 9, 2013 “The View From Here” - While leafing through the May 9, 2013 Edition of the New and Record I happened upon the Editorial page and uncharacteristically decided to peruse the Editorial “Banking on a fantasy.” To my surprise my name appeared not only in the first sentence of the Editorial but seven (count them) more times. As I continued reading, I could not believe that Tom McLaughlin actually mentioned my name in six of the 11 paragraphs, sometimes more than once. I appreciate his interest in bringing me to the attention on more of the citizens of Halifax. It has been said that any publicity is good.

Although Tom presumes that he knows what my world view is (he doesn’t), I appreciate his giving me the underserved praise regarding my influence with the Board. I truly have done nothing that I did not promise to do in my campaign for the Board of Supervisors and certainly do not consider myself to be as influential with my fellow board members as Tom does. However, his kind and thoughtful comments are always welcome.

Tom does mention my interest in attracting retirees to Halifax County but it is intended as a part of a Master Economic Development Plan and not a complete means to restore Halifax’s economy as Tom intimates. I appreciate Tom’s humor, abet at my expense, in his stretching his imagination as to how I would not fund schools and instead fund golf instructors (I assume he does not know that I do not play golf. I might like to have skeet fields, trap field or sporting clays courses instead, or possibly a public gun range would be nice). However, the old folks flocking to comment Somalia is a stretch even for him.

As for my views on the School Board and/or Merle Herndon, it may surprise Tom that I feel both are doing an excellent job particularly after having to clean up the mess left by the predecessor supervisor. The fact that there are so many howls of protest concerning both School Board actions and that of the Superintendent indicate that many an ox is finally being gored. However, reality is that 1. As mentioned by Supervisor Wayne Connors, the number of students in Halifax County has fallen by some 400 over the last few years, 2. School funding has risen and continues to rise to over $10,000 per student, 3. Areas of waste still exist which if removed would provide the $150,000 funding for the schools, 4. Halifax schools rank in the lower 15% versus the rest of the State, 5. The cost of the new unneeded schools is over $5,000.000 a year, 6. The number of students in the school system is declining and is projected to continue to decline along with the population of Halifax.

Most disturbing about the column by Tom is the derogatory comments regarding other individuals on the Board of Supervisors. Being on the BOS is a time consuming job and is many times a thankless task. Members become targets for such taunts and derogatory remarks. Constructive criticism is always welcome but name calling does not accomplish anything meaningful.

Again may I thank Tom McLaughlin for his observation and kind words and look forward to having him critique my actions on the Board of Supervisors.

Barry Bank
Fifth District Supervisor

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