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Letter to the Editor: Smithville residents have been heard

Response to “Opinion: Former Commissioner Thurman Ross calls for Smithville residents to have better representation in Smithville revitalization plan.”

March 14. By Scott Higgins. [Opinion] The revitalization plan for Smithville has come a long way. I have witnessed meaningful dialogue and progress in revitalizing Smithville over the last two years.

To be overly critical seems very disruptive to me.

Disruption and negativity does not help accomplish the important goal of revitalizing an historic community. However, I never like to hear about resident issues that may exist. They must and can be addressed.

Board attendance, agenda setting, and special meetings scheduled to share planned action can result in alleviating the communication impasse cited by members of SRC. Other similar communities with communication and conflicting issues have sought outside help to move forward.


The plan has garnered the financial support from the Town and County. Work still needs to be done to meet the needs of all.

At public meetings, Smithville citizens have been heard regarding a number of housing improvement needs, road, water, and sewer improvements, and recently expanding the park to create a place for the children to play.

SCC has added residents to the Board. SCC does their level best to hunt down owners to get traction for the plan.

I am surprised that former Commissioner Ross is pointing out shortfalls now after multiple terms on the Town Board. I thought he would have assisted and advocated for the plan or presented a plan of his own.

Both Higgins and Ross say they will file in July to run for Cornelius Town Board


4 Responses to “Letter to the Editor: Smithville residents have been heard”

  1. With respect, I doubt any one understands the Smithville challenges more than Thurman Ross – his thoughts are worth considering.

    I counted 10 to 12 areas of concern Thurman raised, I did not know.

    sounded like leadership at its finest. Hope the residence of Smithville are listening.

    Posted by Joe a vagnone | March 14, 2023, 12:03 pm
  2. Higgins, please name the current residents that sit on the Board. I am an owner is Smithville and haven’t heard from the Board in nearly 2 years. Please don’t make this a political issue. The “disruption” you mention is aimed at bringing a clear, unbiased message to the people of this community.

    Quite honestly, even in your opinion here you mention SRC and SCC seemingly interchangeably. How could folks possibly begin to follow this trail is misguided mess veiled in their best interests?

    Again, not you and Ross are running for office. Please don’t make this political rhetoric.

    Posted by Shawan Gabriel | March 14, 2023, 3:03 pm
  3. Whether or not the residents of Smithville have been heard is debatable. What is certain is that their interests and concerns have not been honored. Furthermore, SCC comes across as a front for the gentrification that’s clearly taking place. Money has been distributed, salaries have been paid. Promises have been altered by forcing residents to sign a 5 year first right of refusal deal to get repairs done. There is clearly an agenda to by up the property and tax out the remaining poor residents. Its the oldest trick in the book. Is there no shame in putting forth this hidden agenda to oust the “traditional” residents in favor of a demographic more fitting to the surrounding area?

    Posted by Doug Rasheed | March 17, 2023, 11:23 am
  4. Mr. Higgins, I’m an 86 year old resident of Smithville. To suggest that more than 30 residents of my neighborhood have been heard, speaks more about you. You prefer politics over people and you don’t really know any Smithville residents, unless it’s one of the 3 SCC board members. Meet the residents who have been promised repairs, some of them critical, yet no repairs have been made. I’ve been here all my life so making sure that residents are heard shouldn’t appear disruptive to any one who claims to care about their community.

    Posted by Edith R. Summers | March 17, 2023, 11:26 am

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