ADAM O’NEAL: MY TURN…Belhaven Mayor speaks on Vidant and Belhaven healthcare

Published 6:35 pm Saturday, October 25, 2014

On Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 7 pm, Vidant continued their assault on the small town of Belhaven, N.C. If people across this state and nation knew the whole story about Vidant’s dealing here, there would be outrage. Vidant’s latest appearance in Belhaven was a Board of Adjustments meeting to demand an exemption to our zoning laws to allow building of their new primary care clinic next to residential homes. Vidant sent three attorneys, a videographer, and court reporter to intimidate and present their case. They even had the audacity to try to rearrange the meeting area to their convenience before the meeting without talking to the Chairman of the Board of Adjustments. They argued that they didn’t have to comply with our zoning laws. The fact is they bought a piece of land without first determining if the zoning of the parcel would allow their intended use; this is after being offered more suitable sites in town for free. This parcel is adjacent to residential property owners who have told leaders in the community that they don’t want a 24-hour clinic in their immediate backyard with many parking lights and helicopter landings during the night. Are these citizens unlike anyone reading this letter? Would the individual Vidant Board Members in Greenville want their facility in their backyard?

The intimidation and thoughtless actions of Vidant are continuing since the resignation of former CEO David Herman. It can only lead to one conclusion: the Vidant Board Members themselves are personally responsible for the actions of intimidation, bullying, and disregard for the welfare and lives of others. Their actions have led to Vidant being investigated by federal authorities for racism and soon they will experience our little people rising up against their tyranny with Non Violence Direct Action led by civil rights legend Bob Zellner. I would suggest Vidant Board Members research what non-violence direct action entails. They have no idea how strong our will and resolve is to reestablish our hospital and defend ourselves against their continuing sabotage. It would be easier for them to help us fix what they destroyed versus continuing to fight with a people determined beyond anything they understand. We will not let their actions continue to let our people needlessly die due to no emergency room care. They ain’t seen nothing yet!

Fighting for our lives,

Adam O’Neal

Mayor of Belhaven