Resident takes Board to task on handling of statue, internet issues

Nottoway Supervisors were chastised Thursday night by citizen Thomas Crews, who apologized at the end of his remarks, admitting they were “harsh” but adding, “I assure the Board they were the nicest and most edited of my thoughts and feelings,”

Crews, as he has done in recent months, accused the Board of “political cowardice” in opting for a referendum to help them decide the fate of the 1893 Confederate memorial in front of the courthouse. He called that decision the result of a “tainted process” and said the referendum will lack legitimacy because all stakeholders haven’t been included in discussions.

“This Board botched it!” Crews declared, saying he was “deeply frustrated and enraged.”

Crews was especially critical of the courthouse complex’s committee decision to invite a member of the Nottoway Historical Association to give a presentation on the history of the monument on Aug. 19th without inviting those who had asked for the statue to be relocated.

And, Crews, continued, Supervisors the next night (Aug. 20th) voted 3-2 to hold a referendum at the start of their monthly meeting -- before citizen comments.

“Why should we have any trust in this process at all? What makes this process legitimate? Why shouldn’t we just ask our people to boycott this tainted and illegitimate referendum? Where is the so-called legitimacy in this process?”

Crews said he’s “equally enraged” about Supervisors not acting on his previous request to form a committee to improve internet access throughout the county.

“As far as I can tell, no productive movement has been made...This is a problem that cannot simply be solved by applying for a grant and hoping that some money from Heaven trickles down to us. The problem facing us is enormous and, at the very heart of it, is the fact that the telecom companies have bought the state legislature in an effort to maintain their monopolies... In order to be successful, we require preemptive planning... Planning needs to start now. Stagnation and status quo can no longer be viable options. The Board must act.”

Blackstone Courier Record

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