Resident saddened to learn about Harris’ retirement

I saw in the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Cecil “Rhu” Harris will be retiring. Needless to say, I was sorry to read that announcement. There are a number of reasons for my being sorry.

For more than three decades, Rhu was instrumental in seeing that Hanover County developed a financial system that has put Hanover County in an enviable position of having a Triple AAA Bond rating.

Based upon its population, there is only one other county in the United States that can make that claim.

When there were those who declared that the “Sky is falling” when one of our schools did not receive an accredited rating, Rhu was on top of things immediately. A quick call to then-superintendent Dr. Jamella Wilson asking, “What is it that you need?”

Always doing what was best for the county, Hanover County has become a “Dream Heaven” for thousands. A Dream Haven for parents to enroll their children in one of if not the best school systems in Virginia -- a school system that is envied across our nation.

A Dream Haven where the crime rate is so low that other law enforcement systems across the nation are calling to find out what the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is doing that they obviously are not.

I have gone to a number of Joint Committee meetings and was constantly amazed as how “on top” Rhu was regardless of the topic.

I would be remiss if I did not mention how many assistant county administrators were under Rhu’s care and guidance went on to become a county administrator in counties much larger in population than Hanover County.

It is just a testament to the expert leadership and guidance by Rhu Harris. Yes, we will truly miss you. We will miss your bright smile, your care and love for Hanover County and every citizen that lives here.

I know you are already training our next county administrator and it will continue to be a Dream Haven.

Dan Johnson


Parent speaks out on school name changes

(Editor’s note: The following was addressed to Robert Hundley, Chickahominy District representative on the Hanover County School Board.)

Mr. Hundley:

Thank you for your continued work as a school board member.

I wanted to share with you my thoughts on changing the names and mascots of the two schools. I understand that you all are critically looking at your options to respond to the lawsuit brought about by the NAACP and have asked for input before Nov 22.

Not only am I a 13-year resident of Hanover County, but I have a student that attends Lee-Davis High School this year. I urge you to please work with the school board to change the names and mascots of the two schools as swiftly as possible.

We need to resolve this issue as soon as possible and not drag it out with an expensive lawsuit.

I understand that the school board had already decided not to change the names of the schools.

Hopefully this understanding of the fiscal impact of the lawsuit will help you all to move forward with the removal of these problematic names.

I encourage you to do the right thing for our county. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions.

Becky Odor


Arrival to U.S. no issue when serving nation

I recently read a troubling letter in The Local. I am surprised that there is a need to write in support of our men and women in the U.S. military. I am hopeful that it might help your readers to consider the story of my cousin David as they think about their feelings towards our American service people.

David and I share a set of grandparents. Our shared grandpa, himself of Irish descent, was born a Canadian citizen. Thus, with respect to that line of our family, David and I each had a parent who was of the first generation to be born an American citizen.

Like many in my family, David decided to enter the military. Unfortunately, David was in the barracks that were blown up in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983. For anyone unfamiliar with that incident, please read up on it. It was terrible. Hundreds killed, many injured.

Can you imagine the horror as the dead and wounded were picked out of the debris? In all that chaos, no one cared that David’s family had not come over on the Mayflower. It didn’t matter.

Now, it is possible that the families of some victims did arrive on the Mayflower. It also is possible that some victims were brought to this country as children, maybe even as 3-year-olds.

There were probably plenty, like David, who had grandparents who had not been American citizens. But none of that mattered.

When people enter the military, they understand that they might be hurt.

They know they may even be killed. and, yet, they sign up.

They do so to protect the country and to protect you and your loved ones.

David, by the way, survived the Beirut bombing. Like his father before him, he became a career man and has been helping to keep you safe for decades.

His commitment and loyalty to his country are proven by his service.

And, by the way, in order to keep us safe, American service people proudly perform a wide variety of very important specific functions.

There is a lovely lady in my church that suggested that our group members begin each day thinking of three things for which we are grateful. For me, this has been a delightful practice.

I suggest that we all take some time to think about the people in our military and reflect on the appropriateness of feelings of gratitude for their service and sacrifices.

Janice Hopper


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