To the Editor:

As life goes on in Pittsylvania Co., we had a very interesting November. Numerous actions and decisions have taken place.

I wish to address, truthfully, the most recent one. It concerns Mr. David Smitherman, the county administrator. Since the day of the last board of supervisors meeting, I have had some county residents make comments and ask questions regarding the same. I am very happy to share the reasons for my affirming vote. First of all, informed citizens should always be armed with supportable facts and not simply repeat gossip and innuendo. Mr. Smitherman and his subordinate colleague, Matt Rowe, Director of Economic Development, have done an amazing amount of work on the behalf of Pittsylvania Co. during the last 12 months. The facts will support the following. Multiple companies have decided to locate in our county. The legal documents have been signed and delivered.

Consider the list:

Eastern Panel, investing 1.5 million, 15 jobs, $30,000 plus

Panacea, investing 5.65 million, 70 jobs, $50,000 plus

Amthor, investing 2.5 million, 40 jobs,$35,000 plus

OLF, investing 3.5 million, 20 jobs, $30,000

BGF. investing 7 million, 65 jobs,$70,000 plus

PATHS, investing 1.5 million, 21 jobs, $50,000 plus

Park Harlow, investing 8 million, 50 jobs, $50.000 plus

Unison Tube, investing 5.8 million, 55 jobs, $50,000 plus

There is much more in the pipeline.

This information represents over 40 million dollars in new spending in Pittsylvania County and the surrounding area. In my humble opinion and observation at no time in the recent past has our county been able to attract this level of interest.

All strata of the county will be able to apply for employment with these companies. Virtually all kinds of employees will be needed in construction, welding, electricity, plumbing, landscaping, roofing, maintenance, mortgage lending, real estate, insurance, food, high tech, furniture, automotive sales, secretarial science, computer sales and operation, clothing sales, office supplies, telephone service, medical arts and services, pharmacy sciences, trucking, education and educational services, beauty and barbering, entertainment, child care, ministry, banking, etc. The list goes on. Do you get the idea yet? If you, the reader, cannot see what is happening here something is offline, bigtime.

There are a large number of localities in Virginia who would love nothing better than to lure away our talented personnel. (fact)

Another fact. The hiring managers in virtually all of our local and regional companies say that the primary reason for a lack of success in gaining employment by our residents is because of the being unable to pass the drug screens, pure and simple.

I would like to encourage those who are trading in uninformed gossip to redirect their energies to guiding the young and old of our fellow citizens to clean up and discipline themselves. Take full advantage of the opportunities, LESS HIP HOP, MORE HOP TO IT!

During my 67 years I have never been one to follow the crowd. Life has taught me that there it is infinitely better to think for one’s self. Being a lemming is definitely not my operating style. That is why I am a confirmed Independent as far as politics goes. That makes some people who like to use my name so very angry. Too bad!

The facts are I am not a politician at all. I am a committed Christian who just happens to serve in public office. There is a marked difference in my estimation. To my friends and supporters, for a change, try thinking for yourself and cease following the herd. By so doing I think you will sleep better. For my detractors, hear the following: insulting, disrespectful and non-inclusive behaviors will get you nowhere with me. I am successfully beyond the years of vanity.

As I close consider the following as well: several people no longer have the job they had prior to my coming to the board of supervisors. The facts are these. They left the county on their own volition. In the particular case a former employee sat on my porch and discussed with me, at length, the situation. After doing my research, I did verbally advise the employee to stay the course, and report to me directly, any unfair or unprofessional actions. My words went unheeded. There was another instance upon which I was called by a highly paid employee. The administrator was spoken of in very uncomplimentary terms. The employee did not know that I knew the back-story which related to time on and unauthorized time off work. When fellow employees know of unprofessional behaviors they should be able to report without fear of retribution. That is the law.

Finally, at all times I am willing to serve all county citizens as best I can. If there is a change which is needed or desired, present it to me along with a logical and defensible rationale supporting the same.

We must for the short term as well as the long term, look at the bigger picture.

I am at your service for the greater good. If you at anytime desire me to speak for a group or gathering you may reach me through the county switchboard at 434-432-7700, option one. Clerks Holly or Kailyn will help you schedule with me,

Dr. Charles H. Miller, Jr.

Board of Supervisors, Banister District.

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