Council Approves Budget 4-1

Charlottesville City Council has approved a new budget, although not without much debate. The four democrats on Council voted in favor, and Council’s lone Republican Rob Schiiling voted against it. Councilor Kevin Lynch accused Schilling of “grandstanding” in his opposition, with Schilling saying to Lynch and Councilor Maurice Cox: “you and others have been very rude, and I’m not engaging with you right now.” The new budget raises trash sticker fees to from $1 to $2/bag, car stickers to from $20 to $30 each, and a meals tax increase from $0.03 to $0.04, while lowering the real estate tax rate from $1.11 to $1.09. Elizabeth Nelson has the story in today’s Progress. 11:30am Update: Be sure to read the comments to see Schilling’s dissenting opinion.

77 Responses to “Council Approves Budget 4-1”


  • Voting against the budget was not a good move on Schilling’s part. A budget represents the work of the budget committee and City Council, and is the single most important act that the governing body of any organization or municipality will take in the course of a year; voting against the budget indicates either that the budget was constructed in a manner that excluded the input of the dissenting member, or that the dissenter simply failed to take the appropriate role in working on the budget. Agreement from all voting parties involved is important when voting on a budget, because it ought to represent the will of everybody that’s voting on it, to some degree. No matter who is to shoulder the blame, City Council doesn’t have a reputation for being uncooperative or experiencing infighting, which puts the burden of proof on Schilling. As a result, the common perception will likely be that this is failure of Councilor Schilling in working with his associates across the aisle (as it were), and it inevitably makes him look uncooperative.

    WVIR broadcasted a brief exchange between Schilling, Cox and Lynch, showing only Schilling (smirking, of course) passive-aggressively saying that he was not going to "engage" with Cox and Lynch, because they’d been "very rude." Again, rather than make Schilling look morally superior, it serves only to make him look bad.

    I’d love to hear what others think, because obviously I’m a man of existing preference. :)

  • “There are some years when the schools might need 40 [percent] or even 50 percent of the money,” Schilling said. “There might be other years when they only need 20 percent.”

    20%? What years might those be? I’d love to know.

  • What I’d like to know is what exact objections does he have to the budget. Or, in other words, what would his budget look like. The rest, oh, things like how he looked or appeared to be smirking, have no interest to me, and I suppose, most of c’ville constituents.

  • Well, I’ve got my foot in my mouth again. All’s I had to do is actually read the Regress acrticle. Duh!

  • What I’d like, is to get Cox, Lynch and company, to sit in the trash-filled roads of Cville and Albemarle (which depends on c’ville for trash dumping), and an official photo-shoot be taken to display in all local brochures and buildings. The $2 a bag dumping fee is just going to make things worse, as fewer people will feel the urge to be good citizens. Thanks for nothing, city council!!!

  • Not sure I agree with your stand here. Is Schilling wrong for having voted against the budget? I would imagine that, assuming he was present during the various work sessions, he was most likely out-voted in many cases, possibly on most. Is he then expected to turn around and support the budget on its final vote? I don’t think he is, any more than every Democrat in Congress is obligated to agree to final passage of the federal budget when there are important elements they disagree with quite strongly.

    Having interfaced with Council members in the past, informally, I often got the impression that they didn’t really care what I had to say if it was in opposition to what they wanted to do. It doesn’t surprise me one iota that Schilling at least felt that they had been rude to him during htre budget process. Whether they were rude by other peoples’ standards or not, who knows, but the Democrats on Council (as well as select high-ranking city employees) do often present themselves with an air of arrogance to those who disagree. That’s just the way I’ve seen them behave – just as is mentioned in the Progress article: “Schilling said his opinions frequently are ‘summarily dismissed’ during council meetings and work sessions.”

    To illustrate further the type of attitude it seems that Schilling is faced with, there’s this passage: “Lynch pointed out that Schilling did not attend the last budget work session. Schilling retorted that his mother-in-law had died unexpectedly the night before, and he had to fly to California.” I mean, come on, how freaking inappropriate and downright juvenile is that? That was nothing other than a very, very cheap shot. It’s not hard to imagine that somebody who behaves with such wanton indignity in public would present something similar behind closed doors, or behind one’s back. Seems to support the rudeness claim, doesn’t it?

  • 20%? What years might those be? I’d love to know.

    Ahh, then you agree that the question should be raised? :)

    I didn’t see the TV shot, so I can’t comment on that. But from the comments of some of the other councilors as much as from what Schilling said, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he was being slapped down every time he had a dissenting opinion.

    He’s the new kid on the block, he’s a *gasp* Republican, and he’s grossly outnumbered. A lot of people voted for Schilling precisely because they’re sick of the status quo. And for now, I’d imagine that Schilling is powerless to change the status quo.

    Of course, the city council is perfectly welcome to prove my assumptions about their meetings wrong. Simply allow a couple of reporters to sit in quietly on a couple of meetings and report what goes on. That shouldn’t be too hard for our public officials, right?

    Right?

  • Site user "taxpayer" submitted the following letter from Councilor Rob Schilling as a new story. I’m posting it here, because it doesn’t need to be a story unto itself. "taxpayer" indicates that Schilling has OKd posting this to cvillenews.com.

    —————————-

    I have voted against this budget today because I believe, as a council, we could have done better; we could have worked harder for the people in this community.

    This new budget enacts increases in fees for trash collection, vehicledecals, and the meals tax, in exchange for 5 new police officers and school capital improvement needs. As one who has spent a great deal of time with our police, I know we most certainly need new police officers to keep us safe. And as one who has personally toured our school facilities and sits on the facilities committee, I am aware of the dire needs faced by our schools.

    Yet, these programs must not be funded to the detriment of the working class of Charlottesville, a group on the verge of extinction. There are other options, yet they were not given serious consideration.

    As a council, when we propose to increase spending, we have an easy way to raise the money: we simply increase taxes. The residents of this community have no such luxury. How are they to cope with the spiraling “cost of living” in Charlottesville? They must cut back in order to live within their means, and we as a city, must be prepared to do the same.

    To cover the roughly $6 million increase in our budget, each resident: man, woman, child and student, will have to pay an average of $150 more. I wonder, how many family meals “out” will be sacrificed? How much time will be spent working a 2nd or 3rd job, just to pay bills? How many children will see less of their parents because council could not reasonably live within our own means? How many people will finally be forced to move out of Charlottesville because the financial burden has grown too heavy?

    When we spend $70,000 on architectural drawings for private property on Cherry and Preston Streets. When we annually subsidize a downtown arts building at over $400,000 per year. When there are over $4 million in taxpayer funds sitting in city accounts specified only as “strategic investment,” on what rational basis are we raising taxes?

    To all of you who have contacted me in fear of your futures here in Charlottesville, from Belmont to Greenbrier, from 10th and Page to Alumni Hall, I hear you loud and clear: enough is enough. Please continue to make your thoughts known to your elected representatives. Do not give up. Your

    message is too important.

    In future years, I hope that we can, and will, choose to return the focus of this city government back to the needs of the citizens of Charlottesville, where it rightfully belongs.

    Rob Schilling

  • I went to a bunch of budget work sessions back in the day, and I can say pretty confidently that everyone’s rude to everyone, to a point. They’re an egotistical bunch, and can be fairly dismissive of each other’s ideas.

    This really isn’t as much of a Republican/Democrat thing, like Schilling makes it out to be. I doubt that he’s experienced any more rudeness or summary dismissal than, say, Meredith Richards. Or even Lynch at times. That’s just the way it is when you’re new and/or underestimated.

    The thing about Schilling is, a lot of people see him as a lightweight and a grandstander, and it’s hard to say they’re wrong. He never seemed (to me) to have a very good grasp on how city government actually works. You can’t really argue with his approach, since it got him elected, but on the other hand he shouldn’t expect people to be too patient with him when he pulls stunts like this. (Stunts like the press conference, I mean. I’ve got no problem with the "no" vote — there’s a reason you’re allowed to vote either way.)

    Cox and Lynch (and jeez, even Toscano) were fairly radical and confrontational when they started on the Council, and they all learned that you have to tone it down to get things accomplished. Charlottesville is, after all, in the South (arguably), and people appreciate it when you observe decorum. Public criticism of others isn’t the way to get what you want down there.

  • I’ve got no problem with the “no” vote — there’s a reason you’re allowed to vote either way.

    Absolutely, and I hope that nobody infers that I meant otherwise. I was thinking of this solely from a public relations standpoint. For a civic and government standpoint, I’m all for voting against things that one does not support.

  • It’s funny — Maurice loves (or, loved, I guess) to talk about "the symbolic ‘no’ vote." The idea being that, even though you know you’re not going to win, you’re at least making the point to everyone watching that things aren’t unanimous and everything didn’t go smoothly. Kevin, I believe, is a fan of this idea also. I’ve seen both of them use it frequently. (The MCP comes to mind.)

    I’d imagine this is what Schilling is going for, but you’re right: He’d do well to use this kind of thing in moderation if he doesn’t want to get ostracized even more. But again, I suppose the people who elected him get a kick out of it when he tweaks the rest of council. It’s not a good way to get many policies changed, but it’ll get him re-elected. Cynical, I guess, but I mean, this is City Councilor Rob Schilling we’re talking about.

  • Ahh, then you agree that the question should be raised? :)

    Hell yeah. Question everything. I mean, it’s a bold stance to say “slash school funding in half,” but maybe he has some incredible idea that nobody else has thought of. Seriously. It could happen.

  • Of course, the city council is perfectly welcome to prove my assumptions about their meetings wrong. Simply allow a couple of reporters to sit in quietly on a couple of meetings and report what goes on.

    If you’re talking about the budget work sessions, then they, um, do allow reporters to sit in quietly. The meetings are public. Stories generally don’t get written about those, because they’re usually very boring and focused on excruciating minutiae (?) that most readers simply don’t have time for. (Not to mention how goddamned hard it is to write a coherent story. I … know a guy … who tried to do it once, and he vowed never to try again. If people want to know about work sessions, they should go to them.) But anyway, if the reporters covering City Hall are smart (cough), they’ve been going to the work sessions all along and just listening, to get a feel for where everybody stands. Maybe even writing the occasional trend story on how things are shaping up.

    Anyway, I myself happen to have gone to a bunch of work sessions over the last two years. It was pre-Schilling, but I can report this: Even then, people were assholes to each other. Knowing them, is that such a surprise?

    So yeah, I’m sure they’re assholes to Schilling, too, and I’m sure he’s powerless to change the status quo. But, I mean, if the voters wanted the status quo changed, they would have elected FIVE Republicans by now, or at least three. They didn’t. They elected a majority of Democrats who, of course, are going to vote for Democratic policies.

    Schilling whining about that seems either a little naive or, like I said on the other thread, a little cynical.

  • I remain curious why only one of these three items continues to increase faster than the others.

    At my house, when the income decreases, then we have to cut back on the money we spend. Seems easy.

    Curious if any of the city council members would actually have the guts to come online and actually answer a question without wrapping themselves up in political speak?

  • I’m sorry, but first you say council is "rude to everyone, to a point" and they are egotistical and "fairly dismissive of each other’s ideas." You seem to be justifying council’s, or at least the Democratic members, supposedly closed mind to ideas.

    Then you say that for Republican Schilling to get things accomplished, he must "observe decorum" and not "public[ly] criticize" others.

    You also say new councilors should "tone it down" to get things done. Why shouldn’t that apply to the Democrats on Council as well? I know you say this isn’t a Demo/Repub. thing, but it seems that is where the line is being drawn.

    Being egotisical and dismissive is something that deserves to be "toned down" as well.

    If you (and when I say you, I mean, anyone in general, but most importantly the Demos on Council) think you have all the right ideas, then that qualifies you as egotistical. I always thought the Democrats were the party of "open minds" but, based merely on media accounts, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  • It’s all a public relations thang. If the city doesn’t look pretty and make all the "best" and "top" lists, then that will reflect poorly on the governing body—>council. The word "egotistical" was used before and it applies here.

    More money does not = a better functioning society. They should be offering city residents incentives to volunteer their time doing something that would improve the city. Maybe a tax break for volunteering a certain number of hours doing something, I don’t know, planting flowers in the city or delivering meals to the homeless………

  • Damn! Schilling sounds like a Democrat, rallying behind the middle and lower classes…. That makes sense.

    I don’t like the idea of cutting arts funding however.

    While, on the surface of it, I like some of what Schilling is saying here, I can’t help (here’s the cynic in me) but wonder if he is pandering. Just like Michael Moore claims to fight for the middle class, yet he lives in a million dollar+ house in NY and sends his daughter to private school…

  • Anyway, I myself happen to have gone to a bunch of work sessions over the last two years. It was pre-Schilling, but I can report this: Even then, people were assholes to each other. Knowing them, is that such a surprise?

    And this is ok? It sounds like his complaint was pretty justified. I don’t think he’d be doing anyone any good if he just shut up and went along with the group, do you?

    But, I mean, if the voters wanted the status quo changed, they would have elected FIVE Republicans by now, or at least three.

    Yeah! Because I saw the other Republican options on my ballot… uhh… where again?

    For a non-politically-involved person like myself, the options simply weren’t there. Is that my fault? (probably!) The republican party’s fault? (yep!) C’ville’s faul? (yep!) So be it. But obviously some change was desired, or else a *gasp* republican wouldn’t have been elected at all.

    Schilling whining about that seems either a little naive or, like I said on the other thread, a little cynical.

    The whining was the part where he declined to bicker in front of the press? Or talking to the press in the first place? Or complained of a lack of civility in the proceedings? I guess you could call that whining. It could also be called “criticism.”

    I dunno, a lot of what’s being said about Schilling appears to me to be a kneejerk reaction of Dems. “Look, we told you he’d mess things up! Look! Boat rocking! Republicans are bad!” I may be way off, but that’s what it sounds like.

  • I’m sorry, but first you say council is “rude to everyone, to a point” and they are egotistical and “fairly dismissive of each other’s ideas.” You seem to be justifying council’s, or at least the Democratic members, supposedly closed mind to ideas.

    No, *I’m* sorry. (See? Southern politeness.) I didn’t mean to give the impression that I was justifying their attitude. I’m just saying that, in politics, people can be brusque and people can get their feelings bruised. I think it’s a shame, but the fact remains that that’s the way it is, and Schilling should get used to it and stop whining. (Except that the whining is actually a pretty canny move, given how much sympathy it seems to be winning him in certain circles.)

    I’m not saying making any moral judgment about what Schilling should or shouldn’t do if he wants to remain a good person. I’m simply saying that, if he wants his ideas to get any kind of a hearing in a group in which he is significantly outnumbered, he’d be wise to change his approach. Yeah, that sucks for him, and maybe for civility and fairness as well, but that’s just the way things are.

    I always thought the Democrats were the party of “open minds” but, based merely on media accounts, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    Well, the media is always right, particularly in this case. I have to assume you’re being a little sarcastic here, anyway. Nobody really thinks that about the Charlottesville Democrats, right? Did you just move to town?

    Look at this another way for a second, though: Imagine you’re serving on a five-member public body for a few years and somebody gets himself elected to that body by avoiding discussion of concrete issues, taking cheap shots at you, playing off of his opponent’s PROFOUND shortcomings and generally making a spectacle of himself. You’ve got a pretty strong feeling he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and he shows little inclination to learn — he’d rather rail, vaguely yet effectively, against the status quo.

    How open-minded would you be about this guy’s ideas (such as they are), especially considering how little he seems to respect yours? Could you be forgiven for being, well, a little dismissive? I think you could.

  • “It was pre-Schilling, but I can report this: Even then, people were assholes to each other. Knowing them, is that such a surprise?”

    And this is ok? It sounds like his complaint was pretty justified. I don’t think he’d be doing anyone any good if he just shut up and went along with the group, do you?

    No, no, no. I didn’t say it was OK. But that is how politics works, and right or wrong, I think he should probably just get used to it. I don’t think he should necessarily go along with the group, but I do think he should shut up, or at least stop trying to show up the other councilors in public. I’m saying this purely out of practicality. He’s outnumbered, and if he wants them to listen to him, he’s going to have to start being more willing to make deals with them. Honey instead of vinegar, you know?

    C’ville’s faul? (yep!)

    If by “Cville’s fault” you mean that Charlottesville is so heavily Democratic that a Republican could never get elected before, then I agree with you. There were never any Republican options on your ballot because there are very few Republicans in the city of Charlottesville. THAT’S why they’re so disorganized — It’s hard to get anything done when you’re getting a dozen people, at most, at your party meetings. That, my friend, is Democracy. There are many, many more Democrats, and thus they are more organized and thus they win more elections. (If you want to change that, maybe you should think about getting politically involved.)

    Just keep in mind: The top vote-getter in that election was Blake Caravati, and the only reason Schilling even beat Searls (by a handful of votes) was because she was/is such a horrible, inarticulate bore. (Oh, and because of the Daily Progress. Riiiiight.) I’m not saying this to kiss his ass, believe me, but Waldo and many other people would have won by plenty.

    OK, I’ve got to get off this computer, so I’ll wrap it up. In conclusion: The “whining” I’m talking about is taking shots at fellow councilors’ demeanor in such a public setting, particularly when the kind of behavior he’s criticizing is stuff that everyone else just puts up with. Believe it or not, but they like to see themselves a little bit like the Senate: There are unwritten rules about collegiality and public behavior. They talk trash about one another all the time, of course, but doing things this publicly takes it to a whole new level.

  • I have a very hard time imagining Maurice Cox being rude to anyone. Ditto for Kevin Lynch, who may put his foot down from time to time out of conviction, but is really not the sort of guy who doesn’t get along with people. These are both genuinely good people who would have to be prodded pretty heavily to get any sort of ‘very rude’ reaction out of.

    A smirk is really a terrible habit for any politician. Schilling often wears one, as does George Allen. It’s hard to take someone seriously with that look on their face.

  • Of course Schilling’s a Democrat at heart. Just not a very good one. However, he was able to be a big fish in the local Republican party just by being willing to run. I think that Blair Hawkins must have a similar idea in his head.

    In fact, Schilling even showed up at the Democratic Nominating Convention for the 2002 City Council race. I saw him out front before I went in. It was after he saw the results that he went for the Republican nomination.

  • In fact, Schilling even showed up at the Democratic Nominating Convention for the 2002 City Council race. I saw him out front before I went in. It was after he saw the results that he went for the Republican nomination.

    Sorry, but this isn’t exactly true. I mean, it’s all techincally true, but it gives the wrong impression.

    He was there as a Republican, though not yet a Republican candidate. He was at a table lobbying for an elected school board, and although that isn’t intrinsically a Republican issue, it was one that the party adopted in that campaign. Also at the same table were Bob Hodous, the city Republican party chairman, and Kevin Cox, formerly an independent but by then a firmly declared GOPer. Schilling sat with Kevin in the back of the convention, in the area reserved for media and other “observers” — pointedly, not the area for party members.

    My memory is hazy, but I believe the newspaper story the next day quoted him and alluded to the fact that he might run for council as a Republican or independent.

  • Councilman Schilling’s letter is soooo very right on. And here’s the further rub: City’s that could be our kissin’ cousins, like Annapolis, have their beautiful flower pots and plots around their city "adopted" by the local garden clubs and other civic organizations. Tax savings: Tens of thousands. Williamsburg has a very nominal fee for a parking sticker for employees in their downtown area, and then provide employee-only parking spots. A beat patrol officer from the Charlottesville City Police Dept. told me when the City Council voted for near a million dollars for the "tunnel" under the bridge (for Michie employees’ use, primarily) "For a mill, they could have invested it and had a cross-walk traffic cop 7 days per (say, 2 full-timers) and still had over a half a mill to invest in something else! And fed 2 families and pumped that largesse back into the community.

    There are political war stories in this burg of ours that defy all sensibility, primarily because we’ve been controlled by politicos of one political party who, by the way, have been rude to the people who would dare disagree with them and their "master plan", whatever that is. You want to talk about rudeness? The Republicans have *one* (ok maybe 2) City Council board appointees (Sherri Lewis and…who else?) out of hundreds (or is it thousands?) of board appointments. And when she was appointed, it was such news that it made the cover of C-ville Weekly, and the local section cover of the daily Progress! Many civic-minded Republicans have applied for appointments, only to be ignored and/or dismissed.

    A blessing on your head, Mr. Schilling, for having the courage to stand up to unfettered voting and spending by the one-party rulers of our fair city.

  • The letter from Rob Schilling that is posted here is the same statement that he gave at his press conference.

  • True. Schilling didn’t actually vote at that primary. Nevertheless, it’s fair to describe him as a more or less Democrat in Democrat’s clothes, with a ‘Republican’ sign hung on him.

    Would you agree with that, or do you think that on large or fundamental issues central to each party’s character, he is more of a Republican?

  • Sounds like a great idea. I think that you should get right on that thing with the flower pots. It would make a good pilot program for the kind of alternatives that you are talking about.

  • When my daughter was much younger, she would, from time to time, accuse my wife and me of "yelling" at her. We hadn’t been raising our voices at all and finally figured out that "yelling" meant that we were saying something that she didn’t want to hear.

    I wonder whether Maurice Cox’s and Kevin Lynch’s treatment of Rob Schilling was really "rude", or whether, perhaps, they were just telling him what he didn’t want to hear?

    Maybe Mr. Schilling was just lashing out, under stress and disappointment at not being very persuasive in making his case with his colleagues?

  • it’s fair to describe him as a more or less Democrat in Democrat’s clothes, with a ‘Republican’ sign hung on him. … Would you agree with that?

    Oh, yeah. Sure. It’s kind of like how Giuliani was a Republican, but a “New York City Republican” — i.e., way more liberal than, say, a Democrat in Texas.

    In other words, I think Schilling’s about as Republican as you can be in Charlottesville and still get elected.

  • >> I always thought the Democrats were the party of "open minds" but, based merely on media accounts, that doesn’t seem to be the case<<

    I liked your post. In Charlottesville Democrats need not observe decorum, cooperation, open mindedness, or much else when dealing with Republican opposition.

    My recent dealings with Council, Caravati in particular, leave me with the definite impression there is only one opinion that counts and it isn`t mine.

    This opinion is not based upon the single contact cited above but over a long period of time.

  • “Insiders” are the root cause for many of our endemic problems today. An outsider may perfectly well challenge pre-conceived, ill-conceived and ultimately pre-validated and pre-accepted notions as long as Common Sense is the guiding philosophy. If a councilor’s ideas are good, perspicacious and timely, there’s no reason to discard them, no matter if they come from a newcomer. Is Rob Schiiling that person? I don’t know. But I do know I don’t like the cozy attitudes displayed by senior councilors and by some posters here. It ultimately leads to bad goverment, which we are witnessing, regardless of Party affiliations.

  • Lynch pointed out that Schilling did not attend the last budget work session. Schilling retorted that his mother-in-law had died unexpectedly the night before, and he had to fly to California.

    As far as I can tell, Lynch didn’t know this because Schilling didn’t tell them why he wasn’t there. Which is still irresponsible of Schilling, though obviously not as much so as if he hadn’t shown up for no good reason.

  • Oh, please. People said that last time sticker prices were raised and it never happened. I’d be seriously surprised if it happened this time.

  • I have to say, I have sat in on a great many city council meetings to view the proceedings on issues of my interest, and it is extremely rare that I hear Schilling make a particularly well-thought-out remark, if any remarks at all. I mean, whether I agree with what he says or not, it’s usually just not very solid.

    I really, really get the impression that he’s just out of his league. I’ll be amongst the first to fault the present council members for their many flaws, but he just doesn’t seem to have as good a grasp on what goes on and what needs to be done in the course of the council’s job as the rest of them. I would very much like there to be a strong, conservative force on the city council, but Schilling definitely isn’t it.

  • I would have to agree. It seems that Schilling is pretty much a puppet for his party. While I think there needs to be some conservative blood on council just to be there to present a contrasting point of view, one does get the impression that when he does have a thought, it is not entirely his own–that it was hatched in a brainstorming session among Repub. party leaders.

  • A beat patrol officer from the Charlottesville City Police Dept. told me when the City Council voted for near a million dollars for the “tunnel” under the bridge (for Michie employees’ use, primarily) “For a mill, they could have invested it and had a cross-walk traffic cop 7 days per (say, 2 full-timers) and still had over a half a mill to invest in something else!

    A condition of the Michie Company remaining in town, and not being relocated to Indiana after its purchase by Lexis-Nexis, was that it be relocated with immediate, unfettered access to the Downtown Mall, with no crossings of big streets or anything. Hence the tunnel.

  • I can’t believe that I’m responding to this flamebait, but …

    What exactly do you consider "inside" about those posts? Not the ones on the other thread, but the ones you’ve responded to here.

    Do you, as some kind of outsider, not know who Rudolph Giuliani is? Not know New York? Texas? (Hint: They’re both in the hated U.S. of A. — sorry.) Is talking about Republicans and Democrats and their respective views now considered "inside"?

    Gosh, I apologize. By all means, please resume arguing about grammar.

    (I don’t even live in the same freakin’ state as you. I can’t imagine how "inside" I could possibly be.)

  • The thing is, I agree with you. Again, I think it would be great if everyone’s ideas were considered purely on their respective merits. Unfortunately, that isn’t how human beings work — we make subtle judgments about ideas all the time, based on who’s voicing them and in what tone.

    No matter whether Rob Schilling’s ideas are pure gold or pure trash, he should learn to present them in a way that the other councilors are going to listen to. Otherwise, right or wrong, he’s just wasting his breath.

  • There is a time and place for compromise. If your position is well within boundaries of the norm in power, then it is certainly productive to ‘nudge’ in order to get things done. However, if your position is diametrically opposite (for instance, as mine is concerning trash management in the area, or the entire Southern US for that matter), then compromise or acceptance at the legislative level legitimizes things that shouldn’t be.

    As an [extreme] example, Hitler’s ascension to imperial-like powers was progressive. Folks who couldn’t have stopped the trend didn’t because of willingness to just go along, or in southern parlance, not to be “rude”. I feel there’s a very very real danger with Bush and his entourage right now. Our president is wielding absolute royal powers without much counter-weight at all. The legislative branch (Congress and Senate) are indentured to him and even America’s most potent democratic tool and defense mechanism, the press and media, are as tame and docile to him as is inconceivable just 3 years ago.

    You know, if the train conductors had just refused to haul Jews into Death Camps during WWII, maybe the Nazis wouldn’t have been able exterminate as many people. I recommend a recent movie (2001) entitled “Conspiracy” on the subject matter, namely the elaboration of the master plan to annihilate all non-Aryans. It is unbelievable what insanities can be legalized because everyone just “goes along” and no one is willing to take a stand.

  • There is a time and place for compromise. If your position is well within boundaries of the norm in power, then it is certainly productive to ‘nudge’ in order to get things done. However, if your position is diametrically opposite (for instance, as mine is concerning trash management in the area, or the entire Southern US for that matter), then compromise or acceptance at the legislative level legitimizes things that shouldn’t be.

    As an [extreme] example, Hitler’s ascension to imperial-like powers was progressive. Folks who couldn’t have stopped the trend didn’t because of willingness to just go along, or in southern parlance, not to be “rude”. I feel there’s a very very real danger with Bush and his entourage right now. Our president is wielding absolute royal powers without much counter-weight at all. The legislative branch (Congress and Senate) are indentured to him and even America’s most potent democratic tool and defense mechanism, the press and media, are as tame and docile to him as is inconceivable just 3 years ago.

    You know, if the train conductors had just refused to haul Jews into Death Camps during WWII, maybe the Nazis wouldn’t have been able exterminate as many people. I recommend a recent movie (2001) entitled “Conspiracy” on the subject matter, namely the elaboration of the master plan to annihilate all non-Aryans. It is unbelievable what insanities can be legalized because everyone just “goes along” and no one is willing to take a stand.

  • Do you, as some kind of outsider, not know who Rudolph Giuliani is? Not know New York? Texas? (Hint: They’re both in the hated U.S. of A. — sorry.)

    By all means, please resume arguing about grammar.

    You are clueless, except when it comes to your adoration of those in power. This is what an “insider” is.

    When it comes to actual issues, you have taken a mocking tone from what I have seen in the past, yet when talking about the intricacies of relationships between council members, then you are all serious with all sorts of insights. This is what an “insider” is.

    An insider lives for the process, not the outcome.

  • Oh, please. People said that last time sticker prices were raised and it never happened. I’d be seriously surprised if it happened this time

    How much worse can the trash get? It’s freekin everywhere, except maybe a few upper-class gated communities. Sheesh!

  • I’ve noticed that you frequently resort to comparing issues and/or people to Hitler, Nazis, or the holocaust.

    I don’t believe that this helps.

  • You just won’t give anyone else a chance, will you? Everyone else must be morally corrupt, conniving and a liar. I pity you.

  • I keep wanting to think you’re being sarcastic since I’ve never noticed any notable amount of trash on Charlottesville roads, leave alone in the quantities you speak of, but I think you’re serious. Which sort of confuses me, because I go all over Charlottesville every day, and have never once noticed any sort of trash problem. Has anyone else noticed such a thing?

  • I’ve noticed a problem with illegal trash dumping off of Holmes avenue (where the trail crosses there… convenient woods I guess). Also near the intersection of Agnese and Park street (or is it Rio there? I can never remember). Again, it’s a convenient stretch of woods with a nice drop-off right next to the road. So people dump trash bags there.

    There’s even signs posted there warning of fines for trash dumping.

    I think those problems would still be there regardless of the price of trash stickers though.

    The price of trash stickers really isn’t a very big burden for single people, or childless couples. For my household, which is a household of 6, the trash prices have been pretty steep. And now they’re going to double it.

    It might just make it worth my while to start hauling my trash somewhere myself.

  • i live sort of near the high school (cville): I don’t see unusual amounts of trash in my area or anywhere else in the city where I drive. maybe there’s dumping going on some other places–around the west side of 250, I could imagine dumping going on.

  • Man, if you don’t have anything to contribute on a given topic, just don’t post. Nobody will mind.

  • I agree–the dumpers are going to dump no matter what. But the dumpers are not, I think, most households. I can’t see most households making a regular practice of loading up kitchen garbage into the trunk of the car, going for a drive at 2 a.m., and throwing the bag on the side of a city road. I think most people are going to grumble and pay it.

    Or, maybe more likely, are going to try leaving out trash without a sticker. How rigorously do the trash guys check? I know I’ve done it once when I was out of stickers and had desperately stinky trash in my house–i just crossed my fingers and hoped that this time they’d not notice. they didn’t, or they did and just didn’t care.

    Note: i do not make a practice of putting my garbage out without a sticker. I buy stickers! i buy stickers!

    for my household of 3, the sticker burden doesn’t seem excessive, but maybe that’s just because when we lived in the county, we wrote the monthly check to the private garbage service. now that i’m in the city, and i buy stickers along with my groceries and therefore the cost gets hidden, i often feel like i’m not paying as much for trash services. but i probably am.

  • I know the facts on this, and it was a "deal" not a "deal-breaker". Lexis was concerned about their employee’s safety…the tunnel was but one alternative to explore. They could have hired crossing guards and installed a blinking cross-walk traffic signal and provided Lexis with the same service at less than half the price, created 2 jobs to feed 2 families, and invested the rest in some other project. The point is, 1) They caved in while deal-making, 2) they had a safe and cheaper alternative…which by the way would have only taken Lexis employees about 20 yards further south before crossing under the bridge anyways. And, while the city fathers and mothers can boast that the expenditure "saved" all those Lexis jobs, that’s just so much political spin. We will never actually know if that tunnel saved Lexis or not. To add to the city’s misery on this issue, Lexis laid off a huge percentage of their staff here anyways. So, a million bucks to save, say, 400 jobs is now a million to save, what, 200 jobs? The cost per job has maybe doubled. It was just a bit of a boon-doggle, though a beautiful tunnel. In 5 more years no one will care…nor remember.

    I’m just waiting for a candidate not so typically myopic and without the herd mentality of recent administrations to come forth and give us an alternative voice. I don’t even care if it is another Democrat. The Republicans have given us 1 option in Mr. Schilling. I understand they will give us a reasonable choice again next election year. I trust that the Dems will be smart enough to nominate a different voice, a candidate that thinks outside the box, that is oriented towards the future (look, I’m talking tech here, I’m talking alternative ed, I’m talking private-public sector partnerships, I’m talking taking the path less traveled by, I’m talking about….who?).

  • We are living though substantially weighty historical times. Reminding folks the dangers of absolute power in the hands of the wrong people is, I believe, helpful.

  • 3 comments: a) you guys don’t get out in the country much, and I mean not just driving to White Hall via Barracks Road. There’s enough big money in that area to keep the place relatively clean. b) you must be so habituated to seeing garbage, soda cans, beer bottles, cigarette butts, McDonald’s wrappers, whole friggin’ trash bags that it doesn’t even shock you. c) the large Redneck population will definitely weigh in the cost of 2 bags of weekly household trash against a 6 pack of cheap beer.

    I know of some parts of the world that PAY folks to bring trash to authorized trash management centers. They get paid by the weight. There are some very logical reasons for doing this, although I agree that this would be very difficult to implement in southern USA, as there’s little value attributed to pollution free lifestyles.

  • Ah, the clique reactivates…

  • In case you haven’t noticed, we’re all talking about the city here. Because it’s the city that’s raising sticker prices. The stickers used by city residents. Not county residents. If there’s trash way out in the county like you’re saying, that’s certainly not the fault of city trash costs. So while what you’re talking about could very well be true, you’re talking about something different than what we’re talking about. This may clear things up a bit.

  • I don’t think that the appearance of soda cans, beer bottles, cig buts, or mcdonald’s wrappers has anything to do with whether sticker prices double in the city or not. that’s the stuff that gets flung out of cars are dropped by people walking. i see the raising of trash sticker prices having no impact on that kind of trash.

  • Where do you think city residents dispose of their trash when they don’t purchase stickers? On country roads to a large extent, on minor side roads. The town limits span in fact a fairly small area. And trash dumped within the limits can be found too, if you cared to open your eyes and mind. All this will just get worse.

  • I guess I must be wrong then and that area residents are simply patent filthy pigs, because regardless of governmental trash management, people will be inconsiderate pigs. My bad.

  • That’s the same kind of reasoning as: ‘Why raise teacher’s pay? They do their job anyway!’ or ‘People will buy 6,000 lb SUVs even if the gallon of gas cost $4′.

    In an economy going down the drain since 2001, people are definitely pondering ways to get by. I mean, didn’t you read even good’ole Lafe between the lines?

    For my household, which is a household of 6, the trash prices have been pretty steep. And now they’re going to double it.

    It might just make it worth my while to start hauling my trash somewhere myself.

    On one side, he wants to agree with you. On the other, he’s admitting being tempted. Where is that “somewhere” he’s wanting to “haul” his trash? I bet it’s not across the street from where he lives or even in your street. It’s on a darkened Albemarle country road.

  • P.S. And if Lafe denies it, that’s fine. But the trash that’s evidently there is dumped by someone. Not Lafe necessarily, but someone who doesn’t like (or can’t afford) paying 2 bucks a baggie.

  • Where is that “somewhere” he’s wanting to “haul” his trash? I bet it’s not across the street from where he lives or even in your street. It’s on a darkened Albemarle country road.

    Ahh, the temptation.

    What was your address again?

  • I don’t know if anyone else is interested in this or not, but since I had to hunt down the information, I figured I might as well share the fruits of my search.

    Reading the fee schedule at this page

    Seems to indicate that you can pay a quarter of the cost per bag if you drop off the trash at the RSWA’s collection facility, vs letting them pick it up from your curb side.

    As of yet, I have no idea if these prices are still current, or not, as I haven’t yet had the time to call ‘em and ask. But it might be worth looking into for other folks like myself who have larger households.

  • I know this topic came up here several months ago (or was it years?), but, keep in mind that in Albemarle County everybody pays free market prices to have their trash hauled. And not everybody (in fact very few folks) in the county dump their household trash in inappropriate places.

    I spent a few hours last weekend picking up trash along a section of Route 250. I didn’t find bags of people’s household rubbish, but did find lots of beer cans and debris from fast food outlets.

    What the city is trying to do is, to some extent, create a financial incentive for citizens to reduce the amount of trash that they create. If you’re paying to dispose of your trash, you may be more likely to use recycling to deal with as much of it as possible. Maybe people will be more likely to compost garbage and use it in their gardens if they’ve got to pay to have it hauled.

  • I understand the rhetoric, which supposes people’s innermost sentiment is that trashing side-roads is not acceptable, no matter what the cost. But guess what? There’s a bunch of people that don’t feel that way. That’s reality.

    Another thing I say time and time again: there’s a lack of follow-through logic in so many systems in America. It’s like the minimum wage debate: self-serving economists will decry higher wages will suppress jobs, but fail to accept the most obvious: that $5 an hour isn’t enough to live on.

    Anyways, once again, I guess if people don’t ‘get it’, they just don’t get it. The prevailing trash will simply be ignored (or most will just pretend it’s not there).

  • I have no doubt you would indeed trash the public road to my entrance.

  • That’s right: instead of paying the garbage collectors, pay the gas station, pollute the air and support the war for oil. I got ya.

  • Yeah, the clique. Exactly. I don’t recall having met any of those people, but still.

    Seriously, if I had a quarter for every time some dopey Charlottesville person has accused me of being in a Council-related conspiracy …

    Whatever. I guess that makes me even more of an "insider," though, huh?

  • Can you follow a thread?

    Re: Schilling’s Letter by Jack on Apr 16, 2003 – 04:57 PM

    Re: Schilling’s Letter by JizzMasterZero on Apr 16, 2003 – 05:05 PM

    Re: Schilling’s Letter by Jack on Apr 16, 2003 – 05:43 PM

    Re: Schilling’s Letter by JizzMasterZero on Apr 16, 2003 – 06:12 PM

    More Insiders by Sympatico on Apr 16, 2003 – 10:02 PM

    Re: More Insiders by JizzMasterZero on Apr 17, 2003 – 03:01 AM

    Re: More Insiders by Sympatico on Apr 17, 2003 – 09:50 AM

    Re: More Insiders by trisha on Apr 17, 2003 – 12:55 PM

    Re: More Insiders by Sympatico on Apr 17, 2003 – 11:21 PM

    Re: More Insiders by JizzMasterZero on Apr 19, 2003 – 02:33 AM

    Explanation: Jack was posting with you. I entered the thread to talk about what I considered ‘insider’ verbiage. Out of nowhere comes trisha, "pitying" me because I dared question her hubby, Jack. As I understand it, Jack is Waldo’s brother. Thankfully, Waldo has stayed neutral except for once.

    You may not be part of that clique, and my allusion to cliquishness was as a reply to trisha, following the thread from exposure to Jack. My comment targeted her directly as her youthful marital allegiance is so obvious. Whether you end up joining is yet to be seen, a evolution I have no comment on at this time.

  • Honestly, you are a first-class asshole. "Youthful marital allegiance," eh? F**k you. Oops! Please mom, dad, grandad, cousins, massage therapist, etc. forgive me for my potty mouth. I’ve agreed with you before, and disagreed with my own husband for that matter, but you’re so ***** petty and desperate for attention that you just pick fights with everyone. Ohhh! I get it! You don’t have any friends in real life so you resent others having personal connections with others. Grow up.

    Jizzmasterzero- I don’t know who you are, but I do like your taste in movies. :)

  • for my above outburst. I abandoned class for a few moments of red fury. I apologise, even to the inappropriately named Sympatico.

  • You have a profound soul and a sharp intellect, dearest trisha.

  • Look, there’s no need to get nasty. My eyes and mind are already wide open. I’ve lived in the city 16 years and have quite liked it, so if I saw there to be notable amounts of trash about I’d be one of the first to complain. But I don’t. Furthermore, I find your claims that it’s worth $1 for city residents to accumulate all their trash for weeks on end, hording it for the one night where they’ll covertly pack it into the back of their minivan, drive all the way out to some obscure country back road and dump it there to sound quite paranoid. I’m leaving my mind quite "open" to any evidence otherwise, but until I see any (and if you do find any, by all means present it to the city council and expose this practice) I’m simply not going to be able to believe it. I don’t see how all that effort (or even just the gas) could be worth a single buck to anyone.

  • You know, I don’t remember you being this unpleasant to everyone here. What happened?

  • Lafe wants to trash my road and you think I’m the one being unpleasant?

    Trash is a big problem around here. You may not think it is. Lafe doesn’t think it is (because all he needs to do is "haul his trash somewhere"). Cecil is convinced that doubling the price will have no effect on decency levels. Hey, I do realize my standards are way higher than y’alls, but then, what else is new?

  • All is forgiven. Symp can try the patience of a stone. But without him, we wouldn’t appreciate reasonable discourse. :)

  • Yes, I do, because Lafe was clearly joking. And get off your elitist high-horse, just because we disagree about something doesn’t mean your standards are higher and that you’re thus better.

  • Fine. You’re a first-class ass-hole and an idiot. If you don’t care about the trash, then tell me wehere you live so I can dump mine on your driveway.

    …pfff… I’m just joking… pfff-fff, arf arf; how funny AM I? Yah maan!

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