Opinion & Blogs » Letters

The Chesterfield Pledge: "Appalling" and "Excellent!"

While we understand the satire behind the "Pledge This" challenge to Chesterfield County political candidates (News & Features, Oct. 3) and appreciate Style's efforts to cast a humorous tone on current events, the issues that the candidates face are serious to the county and the region as a whole.

On behalf of the Chesterfield Business Council, we are proud of the progress the Board of Supervisors and county administration have made in terms of public safety, education, economic development and quality of life. Chesterfield County has been recognized for its outstanding fiscal management, strong school system and "first choice" communities, all which speak to the important leadership in the Richmond region. Demeaning good people and the citizens of the region's largest locality, even if unintended, is hardly good form or productive for regional cooperation.

Again, while we recognize the humor in your article, we commend the Chesterfield County leadership for taking the county's future seriously.

Tracy Kemp Stallings
Chair, Chesterfield Business Council
Greater Richmond Chamber

You missed a pledge Chesterfield County should make which deserved placement near the top of the list: Take Big Brother Out of the Library System.

At all Chesterfield County libraries, there is now only one computer per branch at which you can look for a book anonymously. At every other machine, you must log in with your library card simply to search the card catalog.

I've been told this new system was put in place to falsely inflate the number of library users for funding, and many people are now signing up for cards -- having no choice, if that one anonymous computer is in use and they would like to look for a book, but to link their search with their identity.

I find it very Orwellian and a bit hypocritical considering the position public libraries have espoused as bastions of freedom.

Gabrielle Vaneese

Your attempt at humor at Chesterfield County's expense was appalling. While some of our most talented leaders are working hard for regional cooperation, you have chosen to set it back by further polarizing us. Certainly shared funding issues are divisive, but they pale when compared to the negative emotions your insults evoked. The hard-working employees in Chesterfield, who work for the good of that county's citizens (i.e., social services, police, fire and others), deserve praise rather than insults and sarcasm.

Your commentary was hurtful and misguided even to those you seem to support. Pete Stith is in good company with many other talented minority leaders who work in Chesterfield County government. The women who work for the county serve in many capacities, including roles in leadership, police and fire. They do not fit any stereotype, especially the one you described.

As a management consultant, I am privileged to serve many types of organizations across the United States. Chesterfield County is fortunate to have a leadership team that is dedicated, competent and diverse. Next time, get your facts straight and consider the choice that the power of your pen offers: to hurt people and further divide our region or to report the facts and celebrate our great region.

Mary Ruth Burton, president
Burton-Fuller Management
Glen Allen

Chesterfield and Mr. [Greg] Pearson, publisher/editor of The Chesterfield Observer, need to chill out a little. There are greater issues facing Chesterfield that need to be addressed. In 1991 there were three main issues facing Chesterfield: overcrowded schools, overcrowded roads and the developers who were running the county.

Sound like 2007?

Maybe your comments about the grand dames of Chesterfield were a little over the top, but I like a humorist who is not afraid to touch the sacred cows, no offense to whatever way this will be construed by the Chesterfield moral squad. Besides, my wife has always said my sense of humor was a little warped.

Never be afraid to laugh at yourself — after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century (Dame Edna Everage, in a television interview with Joan Rivers).

Bob Olsen

I was most disappointed in Style's negative editorial focused on elected officials in Chesterfield County. Chesterfield faces urban, suburban and rural challenges that are unprecedented, and I have personally seen the Board of Supervisors exhibit true leadership on all fronts. I am confident that Chesterfield's citizens will elect supervisors who will address county issues and, more importantly, who will exhibit and embrace leadership on regional issues.

I am not a citizen of Chesterfield, nor am I the publisher of a newspaper; but if I were, I would not be throwing stones at or seeking pledges from the county's elected officials … rather I would be seeking ways to positively reinforce and encourage their continued hard work.

William H. Baxter
Retail Merchants Association

Style Weekly — you are on top of it! Excellent! And yes, they should sign this pledge. Let's hope the new chief of police will be an improvement. Bribes, money under the table, unnecessary trips — out of state, out of the country and what's the justification for going? Does anyone ever know? Do they know why they even go? The Board of Supervisors needs to view this position as a "real job," not as a part-time hobby. Wake up, Chesterfield! Hope you stay on it, Style Weekly.

Mary Ellen Anderson

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