Whom Do You Endorse?

Here’s what you’ll be facing when you go to vote on Tuesday.

Let’s start with Charlottesville. You’ll be voting for Senate of Virginia, House of Delegates, Clerk of Court, City Council, School Board, and Soil and Water Conservation Director. All but one of those races are contested, so pay attention. For Senate, incumbent Democrat Creigh Deeds is being challenged by Republican T.J. Aldous Jr. For House, incumbent Democrat David Toscano is being challenged by independent Robert Brandon Smith III for the second consecutive election. The Clerk of Court seat is open, with Democrat Llezelle Dugger being challenged by Pam Melampy, an independent who Dugger defeated in the Democratic primary earlier this year. For City Council, there are three Democrats (Kathleen Galvin, DeDe Smith, and incumbent Satyendra Huja) and five independents (Scott Bandy, Brandon Collins, Bob Fenwick, Paul Long, and Andrew Williams)—pick any three. For School Board, there are seven non-party-affiliated candidates running for four seats: Colette Blount, Ivana Kadija, Steven Latimer, Amy Laufer, Guian McKee, Jennifer McKeever, and Willa Neale. And while there are two incumbent candidates for the two Soil and Water Conservative Director positions (Rich Collins and John Conover), nobody is challenging them.

Onto Albemarle. We’ll be voting for Senate of Virginia, House of Delegates, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Sheriff, Soil and Water Conservation Director, School Board (at-large, Scottsville, Rivanna, and White Hall), and Board of Supervisors (Scottsville, Rivanna, and White Hall). Only some of these are contested. There are two Senate races in the county: incumbent Democrat Creigh Deeds is being challenged by Republican T.J. Aldous Jr., and incumbent Democrat Edd Houck is being challenged by Republican Bryce Reeves. (If you don’t recognize Houck’s name, don’t feel bad—redistricting earlier this year put a big chunk of Albemarle in his district.) There are three House races: incumbent Democrat David Toscano is being challenged by independent Robert Brandon Smith III for the second consecutive election; incumbent Republican Rob Bell has no challenger; and Democrat Connie Brennan, Republican Matt Farriss, and independent Linda Wall are all vying for the open seat formerly occupied by independent Watkins Abbitt. For Commonwealth’s Attorney, first-term incumbent Democrat Denise Lunsford is unchallenged. For Sheriff, first-term incumbent Republican Chip Harding is unchallenged. For the at-large school board seat, Cynthia Burket, Joe Oddo, and Ned Gallaway are all running against each other. In the Scottsville, White Hall, and Rivanna districts, there is just one candidate apiece (Steve Koleszar, Barbara Massie Mouly, and Jason Buyaki, respectively). Finally, for the trio of Board of Supervisors races, there’s an open seat in Scottsville (Republican James Norwood vs. Democrat Chris Dumler), Democratic incumbent Ann Mallek is unchallenged in White Hall, and a challenge in Rivanna (Republican incumbent Ken Boyd vs. Democrat Cynthia Neff). Albemarle County provides sample ballots for each precinct, which is worth looking at in advance.

Note that redistricting has resulted in some very confusing precincts in Albemarle county—four of them are split. That means that you and your neighbor may vote in the same precinct, but be voting in wholly different House or Senate races. If you’re in the Free Bridge, Jack Jouett, Stony Point, or Woodbrook precincts, you should double-check in which state-level district you’re in. To find out more about these elections and candidates, see Cvillepedia’s “2011 Election” entry.

There are a lot of down-ticket races that folks don’t know much about and, thanks to redistricting, even some top-of-the-ballot candidates that are mysteries to a lot of people. So I hope you’ll take this chance to explain who you’re supporting and—more important—why. Convince us to support your guy.

40 Responses to “Whom Do You Endorse?”


  • I endorse Edd Houck. I never heard of him until this election, but his positions seem moderate and reasonable to me, and Bryce Reeves seems pretty extreme.

    But the best endorsement for Mr. Houck that I’ve found comes from the Tea Party, who registered eddhouck.com. This site displays a set of attacks appearing to have been authored by twelve-year-olds, including this:

    “28‐year incumbent Senator Edd Houck holds one of Virginia’s LOWEST voting record scores since 1993 for protecting life, marriage, parental authority, constitutional government and religious liberty according to data from the Richmond, VA based Family Foundation Action General Assembly Report Card produced by The Family Foundation Action which is distributed to pastors and churches all over Virginia.”

    Well, that’s good enough for me. I will vote for Senator Houck.

  • For the record, Edd Houck’s record is actually very conservative, ranking a 57 on a 0–100 liberal-to-conservative scale. Here’s the math on Richmond Sunlight:

    63% of bills he copatroned were introduced by Republicans. Of all of the copatrons of his bills, 58% of them are Republicans. Of all of the copatrons of all of the bills that he also copatroned, 51% of them are Republicans.

    Houck has the farthest-right voting record of any Democratic senator, to the right of some Republican senators, including Harry Blevins, William Wampler, and Fred Quayle.

  • As a city resident, the key election for me will be for Council. With the addition of some top-notch Independent candidates, this has the potential to be a really exciting race. In order to achieve a more diverse and effective Council, I’m voting by candidate rather than party this time around. That’s why I’ll be voting for Dede Smith, Brandon Collins, and Bob Fenwick.

    While my three candidates are very different people, don’t agree 100% on every issue, and span the political spectrum from liberal to more conservative, they have some very important similarities. One that I find to be particularly compelling is that all three have already spent a lot of time in the trenches as hard-working community activists. They have the necessary tenacity to keep working at community problems until we arrive at optimal solutions. Their common interests range from social and environmental justice, to affordable housing, water conservation, and transportation. All three are creative and independent thinkers who work well with others. None of them accepted PAC money, and I greatly appreciate that.

    As a neighborhood president, I’ve been struck by their open and honest respect for the City’s neighborhoods and the people who live in them. They are guided by a sense of what makes our city truly liveable, rather than by marching orders from pals in the development and growth lobby. None of them parrots the stale old growth and density mantra over and over, preferring instead to look at these issues with a discerning eye, paying the necessary attention to cause and effect.

    If I still lived in the county, I’d be incredibly excited about voting for Cynthia Neff for BOS and Lonnie Murray for Soil & Water.

  • My vote in the City Council election is for the Democrats: Kathy Galvin and Satyendra Huja–but NOT Dede Smith, who failed miserably during her divisive tenure chair of the Charlottesville City School Board.

    For Charlottesville City School Board: Hooray that we have 4 great candidates for this very difficult job–and four open positions: Vote for the folks who bring skills, experience, and the savvy needed to run a $60 million dollar organization: newcomers Willa Neale and Amy Laufer, and current board members Guian McKee and Colette Blount.

  • I like Bryce Reeves. He has an amazing background and I think Houck has been there long enough. Creigh has done fine, so he deserves re-election over Aldous (who, at least to me, has seemed a bit absent in the race… maybe he’s spent time on the other side of the district, so who knows).

    I don’t trust Cynthia Neff, so I would tepidly endorse Boyd (with the note that he needs to get his “stuff” together).

    If I was voting in the city, I’d vote for Fenwick and Huja (and possibly Brandon Collins). And I’d vote for whoever is running against Ivana Kadija; she seems like she’d be a nightmare on the board. I’ve heard good things about Amy Laufer, so I’d probably vote for her.

  • I’m voting a straight Dem ticket for Senate, Delegate and City Council. For Senate and Delegate, the need to keep our state government balanced is too strong. McDonnell has clearly articulated his intentions to do lasting harm to our schools, women’s rights, and public sector employees. We need to keep the Senate in the hands of Democrats to defend against McDonnell’s agenda.

    Unlike Karl Ackerman, I do support Dede Smith. I think many people made many mistakes during the time period he is referencing, and that Dede had previously shown herself to be a dedicated public servant.

    For school board, I am likely to vote for the candidates recommended by the Charlottesville Education Association: Guian McKee, Jennifer McKeever, Amy Laufer and Willa Neale.

    McKee has shown himself to be one of the smartest, most passionate members of the board in my memory. He is a consensus seeker, who always weighs the competing needs before making a decision. He can see all sides of an issue, and recognizes the unintended consequences that may occur from a decision. He is also a strong advocate for children and teachers. He sees our teachers as an incredible asset for the community.

    McKeever and Laufer impress me with their commitment and enthusiasm for the role. Like McKee, they will be strong advocates for children, and recognize our teachers as the professionals they are.

    I am still torn between Blount and Neale. Blount is a passionate advocate for equity and access within the schools, but has not shown herself to be the leader I had hoped she would be. Neale, on the other hand, has proven through this campaign that she will be highly effective. I am just not sure that I agree with some of the directions she would take us. I am sure I will end up staring at the screen for a long time tomorrow as I deliberate.

  • There is a third House of Delegates race in Albemarle County. The southern parts of the county are in the 59th District (the Porter’s, Red Hill, and Country Green precincts). Democrat Connie Brennan is running against Republican Matt Fariss and Independent Linda Wall.

  • Recent events in Charlottesville have left me very concerned about the integrity of our local government process. I believe that an open, honest, and accountable process is essential for decisions that benefit the citizens of Charlottesville. Statements and actions made by some of the Democratic endorsees indicate that they have not investigated information presented by all sides in important matters. Furthermore, the mismatch between stated goals and probable out comes, indicates that some candidates are pursing private agendas. Please consider the following points as you go to the polls tomorrow.
    1. We have enough water for the next 40 years at least for the growth areas through dredging first. Yet, we are told over and over that we need more. For what? This debate is NOT about providing enough water to the current growth areas or not. All sides have agreed to meet the demand forecast in the most recent demand analysis: 16.2 millions gallons per day by 2055. Evidence indicates that development interests want to expand the growth areas (see http://cvilletomorrow.typepad.com/charlottesville_tomorrow_/2011/10/acsa-growth-expansion.html and read the comment). The Board of Supervisors appears eager to meet the requests currently on the table, and they need infrastructure in place to do that. See http://cvillewater.info/CSWP_They-Said_WeNowKnow_092411.pdf for a clear, readable, documented explanation showing that we can meet our water needs for a nearly doubled population without the new dam and pipeline. If you have not read this document, and you are for the new dam and pipeline, you are doing yourself and the rest of us a disservice.
    2. City Councilors agreed to a 30 foot dam in public. Yet, we find out that they are negotiating in secret for an agreement for a 42 foot dam. Giving City rate payers cheaper rates for a specified period of time should not be a comfort to anyone – it is comparable to giving away a house you own in return for a guarantee on rent for a few years. Providing a chance for public input after months spent negotiating the deal is completely insufficient, as the time and energy spent on the deal already provides tremendous momentum to keep it. See http://www2.dailyprogress.com/news/2011/oct/28/county-officials-pushing-full-dam-height-ar-1418935/ and the many informative comments.
    3. “Water for Rivers” has been the rallying cry of some of the local environmental groups, as well as the rebuttal against the charge that the goal of the new dam is to induce further development through excess capacity. Yet, there is no plan and no funding for the pipeline, which is integral to the environmental goals of the water plan. It is also essential to distribute the water to 4/5 of the current service area.
    a. “Restoring Natural Flows” to the Moorman’s River has also been frequently repeated as a reason for the new dam and pipeline plan. However, no one knows what the natural flows, are, as amazingly, they have never been measured above the dam at Sugar Hollow. Instead, the new dam and pipeline plan uses stream flow data from the Meechum’s River, a valley river, not a mountain stream, to determine natural flows. For people interested in restoring “natural” flows, this, alone, should be a deal stopper.
    b. 20 years is the number thrown out about the pipeline, but not in any kind of detailed way.
    c. Mr. Frederick, the RWSA director, indicated in a recent board meeting that he was uncomfortable giving 15 year cost projections for the water plan because there were so many unanswered questions about the pipeline, including a timeline and other details needing decisions. I found his answer extremely alarming, because if there are so many unanswered questions about an essential piece of the plan, what exactly is Charlottesville getting in exchange for its assets and control of its water supply? See http://billemory.com/blog/2011/10/27/cuanto-es/ for a transcription and a link to the podcast.
    A candidate’s position on the water plan illustrates their views on how to use public resources, who should benefit, and how to make decisions. I want candidates who will make decisions based on well-documented facts, not hearsay, who will ask hard questions and fight for answers, and who will use public resources to benefit the public, not special interests. That’s why I support Bob Fenwick, Dede Smith, and Brandon Collins for Charlottesville City Council.

  • There is a third House of Delegates race in Albemarle County. The southern parts of the county are in the 59th District (the Porter’s, Red Hill, and Country Green precincts).

    Ed, thank you so much for correcting my foolish oversight. Not only did I write about the race here last week, but it’s the race that I’m following more closely than any other. I’ve updated this blog entry to include information about the the race in the 59th.

  • I’ve been dismayed about the level of negative campaigning Neff has done. I thought she might have learn after her loss to Bell that negative doesn’t work in Albemarle . I don’t like the “end justifies the means” sense I get from her . I voted for Marcia Joseph last time but I think we need the bypass and Boyd’s run a cleaner race. So it’s Boyd and Houck for me this time.

  • I’m a life-time Democrat. I’ve voted for Obama, Deeds, Toscano, Perriello, Webb. In the past, busy with work and family, I’ve voted an unresearched straight Democratic ticket in City Council races. I assumed I could trust the integrity and views of candidates running as Democrats.

    Not this November. I’m deeply disturbed by the positions and lack of democratic ethical process that the Democratic Party has lately asked me to get behind.

    By fielding Huja and Galvin as candidates, the Democrat Party has asked me to align with county development interests to support the building of a massive extravagantly-expensive dam on city land. A dam proposed by the Nature Conservancy after receiving a million dollar donation from Nestle Waters. A dam that Citizens for a Sustainable Water Plan has shown convincingly to be unnecessary. To the chagrin of party leadership, primary voters chose dam opponent Dede Smith despite the fact that days before the primary, both the Monticello Business Alliance and the Nature Conservancy sent out mass glossy mailings riddled with false claims about the competing water supply plans, and endorsing the three pro-dam Democratic candidates. See votebob.net for an analysis of the claims made in those mailings. Neither endorsee Huja or Galvin bothered to set the record straight. Possibly, because they also enjoyed PAC donations from the Monticello Business Association.
    In a recent City Council session, I watched Mr. Huja do nothing as the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority director, Tom Frederick, stonewalled when asked by Mayor Norris to make public the cost to ratepayers of the dam project. City Council then approved the regional water plan anyway. The Democrat in me can’t sit back and say that’s okay. Our City Council should be a check on bureaucracies like the RWSA, not a rubber stamp.
    When someone lets us down, we have to re-assess, we have to wake up a little. I plan to vote for only ONE Democrat, Dede Smith, and Independent Bob Fenwick. They have a genuine passion for conducting city decision-making in and open and honest manner. That’s important to this Democrat. I’ll be voting for Brandon Collins as well. His emphasis on social justice issues is welcome.

  • I will be at the Recreation Precinct (Herman Key Center) from about 6:00 AM until 10:00 AM on election day. I will be voting to create a Norris-Fenwick-Smith majority on city council. I believe getting Dede Smith (D) and Bob Fenwick (I) elected is the only path to ensuring that decisions (water supply, waste management, transportation improvements) in Charlottesville will be based on credible data and research and will include input from the neighborhoods and residents in Charlottesville. Now is not the time to let outside special interests carry more influence in Charlottesville than the residents of Charlottesville. Stop by and say hello outside the Herman Key Center on election morning.

  • Well said Joanna! I agree with all of that and what Jen wrote too. I’ve followed the water issue very closely and I just don’t see the need for a new very expensive reservoir that will be useless without tremendous additional expenditures for its associated pipeline. Dredging first is the only sensible approach.

    I’ve always voted a straight Democratic ticket, but I can’t in the city council race this time. I will be voting for Democratic candidates in all of the other races (reluctantly in Toscano’s case) , but the water issue is so important to our future that I’ll break my usual pattern locally. The C’ville Democratic party is far too willing to put the interests of developers in the county ahead of those of city residents by building a huge dam and I won’t support that.

    I feel my only possible choice is voting for Dede Smith and Bob Fenwick. Brandon Collins will also be getting my vote although until recently I would have laughed at the idea of voting for a Socialist since I tend towards the other end of the liberal spectrum. I’m convinced he’s the best of the remaining candidates though. Anyone but Huja would be my fourth choice if it were possible. He’s had his chance and I’ve seen nothing to show for it.

    There’s an additional issue regarding the Ragged Mountain Dam that I’ve heard whispers about from several unrelated sources but I’ve seen no public confirmation of. The rumors are becoming more specific, so I’m starting to suspect they are true. It seems that RWSA has been bullying Camp Holiday Trails for a long time now and is now threatening to take some of it’s property through eminent domain. If true, that’s outrageous. I can see other candidates not knowing, but it’s certain that Huja would. He’s in a position to speak up about that and propose an alternative if necessary, yet he hasn’t. That’s another reason for my desire to vote anyone but Huja if it were possible.

  • I support Ken Boyd. He’s been a steady hand in the moderate wing of the board, helping to temper to more radical elements of Rooker and Mallek. Ms. Neff is a carpetbagger who’s already lost once since moving here 5 years ago. She appears to have a grasping lust for power I find unseemly. Beyond that, she’s been prominently involved with some organizations whose goals are worrisome at best. She’s a board member of the extermist no growth organization called ASAP. She’s also on the board of a bizarre organization called TrueChild which promotes homsexuality in schoolchildren. You can go to their website at truechild.org and read about their creepy mission. (Warning:NSFW) Right on the front page is a link to an article by something called BITCH Media reveling in the concept of “boy princesses”. Like I said, disturbing. I don’t want anyone with a penchant for forcing schoolchildren and their parents to confront such adult issues anywhere near county school policy.

    In the other contested race on the board, I support Jim Norwood. His experience is far greater than the 26 year old Dumler who I fear is too wet behind the ears and would probably end up serving as little more than John Grisham’s prison wife were he elected.

  • Psst. Melvin. Hey over here.

    Just wanted check in to make sure you knew it was 2011. I know right? Scientists, while unfortunately behind on the flying cars and jet-packs I was promised, have however managed to conclusively prove that ‘the gay’ is not contagious, nor can it be taught. Cool? Cool.

  • I could teach you, belmont yo, but I’d have to charge.

    And besides, if they haven’t given me my flying car, how can they be trusted on ANYTHING!?!

  • would probably end up serving as little more than John Grisham’s prison wife were he elected

    I don’t understand what you’re saying here, Mevin. Is it your assertion that Mr. Grisham is engaging in forcible sodomy with elected officials? Could you explain to help me—to help us all—understand this?

    Also, I should warn you that there are some people with the gay who frequent this very website, who may have posted comments to this very discussion. As you know, it’s highly contagious. You should make sure that your anti-virus software is up-to-date. Just in case, you might burn whatever clothes that you’re wearing right now.

  • “carpetbagger” “grasping lust” “extermist (sic)” “promotes homsexuality in schoolchildren” “creepy mission” “contested” “26 year old” “wet behind the ears” “prison wife”

    Seems Melvin has some issues he’s struggling with.

  • Wow. I feel a need to post a transition post just so I can get back to the topic at hand. Not that I’m not laughing a great deal, it’s just that that wasn’t my goal when I sat down at my computer.

  • Remember, kids: A guy who wants a third term in office is A-OK, but somebody else who would run against that guy has an unseemly grasping lust for power.

    “Melvin”‘s unintentional hilarity is Exhibit A for why I ask people to persuade us to vote for their guy, rather than to vote against the other guy.

  • Charlottesville School Board will receive its first vote from me since it became an elected board. The first election I felt completely unable to learn enough about the candidates to make an informed choice; the second election was only incumbents seekings re-election. Now we have seven candidates for four positions.

    Four of the candidates are educators themselves. This concerns me in a fox-guarding-the-henhouse way. Our Superintendent is a strong, clear voice for the educationally educated. I want the board to exhibit other points of view to keep the discussions vibrant and outside the box.

    Ivana Kadija has brought forth a simple solution for multiple problems: better food means better grades and better behavior. There is mounting evidence for this nation-wide. I understand our Charlottesville Chief of Police is strongly pushing this at least at our middle school in order to reduce some of his unnecessary workload. Ivana’s idea is exactly the sort of thing that will rarely come from inside the educational community. And I really don’t think we should be teaching our children that our cafeterias’choices are how they should, in future, feed themselves. This is the inevitable message.

    I’ve basically been interviewing Ivana for three years while serving with her on the PTO at Clark Elementary. I’ve watched her wrestle with concepts and bureaucracy and distill it down to a simple solution. Her voice has moved the discussion so that ‘nutrition’ is seemingly part of everyone else’s platform. Electing Ivana is the only way it will become reality.

    And, knowing Ivana, I can’t wait to find out what her next simple and vastly effective idea will be.

  • Barbara, by “educationally educated” are you referring to teachers getting degrees only in education rather than academic subjects like English or chemistry?

  • In the school board race there’s only one candidate with a concrete solution that has been PROVEN to increase test scores. No, not technology (just look at the County). Not after school programs (although I’m not discouraging them).

    It’s nutrition. Yes. More healthy food. Less junk food.

    Plain and simple, better nutrition has been proven nationwide to increase test scores and improve discipline. Everywhere from California to Wisconsin to Texas. Every time. Never been shown to make things worse. Often been shown to even save the schools money in the long run. Yes, healthy budgets, too.

    Ivana started at Clark with fresh veggies in 2009. Applied to be on the School Health Advisory Board in 2010. Was elected chair. And subsequently oversaw the overhaul of the eleven-page comprehensive Health Plan (which has since languished on the Board’s desk since June). Next step, get on the Board and implement what she has begun.

    In one year, Charlottesville can have what places like Brown’s Elementary in Georgia have. Change the diet … get a 23% decrease in disciplinary problems … increase test scores by 15% … become a national Blue Ribbon school (look it up). Just like that. Right now, Chief Longo wants to do a pilot program at Buford along exactly those lines – thanks to an introduction from Ivana Kadija. Ready for a change?

    Let’s give Ivana our support to really nurture our children and give them the best advantages we can provide. OK, there’s no silver bullet. But who can deny that “Health is Academic?”

  • On the school board I have to disagree with B. Meyer above, just the opposite. We need more teachers on the school board. The school board is the accountable body not the Superintendent and we need a strong school board to assert itself in terms of leading in making policy and running the school division. I have been hearing some disturbing things regarding the attitude of the Central office toward teachers in Charlottesville City Schools. For instance, the annual independent survey of teachers by the CEA was not accomplished this year, allegedly because of pressure from the Central Office. The stronger the teacher voice on the School Board the better. I also have to agree with Ms. Kaddija who stated in the Hook that the worst decision to be made by the Board was accepting the resignation of Dr. McCay at Jackson Via this year. That seemed political in nature. This also suggests the stronger the educator voice on the Board, the better counter balance for over centralized administrative control. So for this and other reasons i would vote for Ms. Laufer and Ms. Blount. Mr. Mckee has shown himself to be an extremely effective school board member as when he calls for greater evaluation of school programs and interventions and oversight. As far as the last candidate, still deciding between the three, and whoever is the most proactive in promoting teacher professionalism and school board efficacy will get my vote. Any insight there would be appreciated.

    On the City Council, I think if you voted in the democratic primary and you signed the pledge, you should adhere to your pledge, to do otherwise would seem disingenuous and what good is your word. But i do understand the feelings of some above because i signed the pledge but do not want to vote for Dede Smith who proved herself a disaster on school board and I don’t see any change in her MO since then and feel she will not be an effective City Councilor. So I am tempted to go down the low road with some who have commented above and are planning to spite the democratic ticket even though they may have signed the Democratic pledge. If that is the case I would vote for Galvin, Huja, and probably Andrew Williams. Though i would be tempted to vote for Fenwick only in hopes that he might over take Smith as she barely won the democratic nomination and he might bump her from Council. But I am inclined to take the high road and follow up on my pledge and vote for the ticket despite my feelings about Smith. In fact Smith in adds appears to be urging her supporters to vote the dem. ticket.

    All the noise above from the pro-dredging folks maligning Huja and Galvin is a load of …

    I think the democratic primary was a referendum on the MCP and Water supply issue, let’s move on to other issues and vote for that tomorrow.

    Go Galvin, Huja, Deeds and Toscano and Dugger, McKee, Blount, Laufer, and TBD!!!!

  • @Melvin– yep, them womenfolk sure are getting uppity these days, ain’t they? How dare that power-crazed Neff female come down here and try and take Mister Boyd’s God-given seat from him! Gosh, I hope you’re actually a troll rather than a troglodyte, but I suspect the latter.

    @truth to power, I’m stunned that you consider an American citizen exercising their right to vote their conscience in an election as “taking the low road.” Wow, just wow.

  • I will be voting for Smith/Fenwick/Williams for Council even though I voted in the Democratic Primary.

    There is a higher principle at work than doing what the party bosses would have their followers do.

    Time to shake up city hall and with a democratic sweep that wouldn’t happen.

    Will be interesting to see if city voters will vote for their own interests or vote for the corporate county candidates Huja and Galvin .

  • I just came from voting at the Stony Point precinct. It was the first time in my or my wife’s memory that Republicans had poll watchers present, ticking off the names of every voter as they arrived. This is almost certainly Ken Boyd’s campaign, so that any solid Republicans who fail to show up by 6:00 can be telephoned and reminded to come vote. Democrats have done this at Stony Point in years past (in fact, I’ve taken a couple of shifts!) pretty regularly, but never Republicans, that I recall. I assume that Boyd is feeling vulnerable, and understandably so.

    (For the record, it’s possible that these poll watchers were assigned by the county party—though I think that’s unlikely—or by another campaign, such as Bryce Reeves’. But the simplest explanation is that they’re from Boyd’s campaign.)

  • Voter turnout in the City was very low as of 11am.

    An independent has not been elected since 1936 and it is my hope that the democrats Huja and Galvin, who represent county interests, will fall to the independents.

    I have always voted democratic but this time I will vote for 2 independents Fenwick and Williams and one non county aligned dem – Smith

    Smith is running with the dems but has not agreed with giving up city assets, and is not aligned with the Huja/Galvin mantra of – no matter what information or facts may say stick to decisions that the county agrees with.

    The democratic machine is strong so I do not hold out much hope, but perhaps voters are fed up enough to vote with intelligence and not blind allegiance.

  • @ victoria dunham: Stunned are you? Sounds like the police officer in Casa Blanca doing the arrests in Rick’s American Cafe….yep I suppose violating your pledge by voting for a non-democrat if you signed the pledge is a lower road than voting according to your pledge. It is a lower road than not voting in the Primary and then voting whatever way you wanted in the General. Is it a higher road than not voting at all…a good philosophical question. In any event, the high road is clearly sticking with your signed pledge or not participating in the Primary if you planned on supporting an independent. My problem with the Smith crowd is it seems they will do anything or say anything to get their ideological agenda accomplished, didn’t sit well with me.

    @ Citizen, my interests, which are neither corporate nor county aligned, would be served quite well by Huja and Galvin but not by Smith who I see as a representative of a small but vocal ideologically-driven group. I usually support independents and consider myself one, but the politics of this election were odd with the ticket and the use of the water issue as a lightning rod, sleight of hand trick. I just like the thought of sane economic development and a consistent water supply for 50-70 years. I kinda liked having Schilling on Council as well.

    Those who signed the dem pledge but failed to honor it just have to live with themselves and their definition of integrity I suppose. I am sure there are those who sighed the pledge but are not voting for Smith, so I guess it cuts both ways. I would have no issue with those who declined to vote in the Primary and then voted independent. That’s what I meant by low road politics.

  • This election isn’t about the water issue or any other one issue – it’s about chosing people to serve who support city assets and city taxpayers when it comes to decisions about any issue.
    And Huja has shown that he is aligned with the county development agenda as is Galvin and sacrificing the city’s assets to placate the county if need be –enough . If those 2 get elected it’s time to form a third party in Charlottesville.

  • Get your third party operation in gear. I would prefer a third party to people trying to undermine the democratic party. Fenwick would have had a better chance of beating Smith had there been one third party candidate.

    Galvin hasn’t shown anything as she is not on Council until next January. Just happy the ticket, the water issue and the MCP are officially behind us and now we can start to attend to economic development, jobs and equity, among other issues.

    Let’s see what Smith does now. Will it be a repeat of the school board performance?

  • @Truth to Power:

    No one’s trying to undermine the Democratic Party. We live in one party town. Many of us aren’t in to party politics, don’t relish or see as feasible the building of a third party (has that EVER been successful in these parts?!), and are just trying to vote on the issues.

    The water issue isn’t officially behind us. It’s still with us, as it should be, since facts say either plan will give us virtually the same amount of capacity (4% differential), yet the plan currently adopted (Dam and Pipeline) will cost about four times as much to get on line, as the Dredge/Dam-Repair/Modest Rise Plan, inflict unnecessary losses of city assets in the form of existing reservoirs, and 200 acres of a Natural Area, and raise water rates on city residents. Never mind the flawed and closed-door nature of the process of deciding that the Dam and Pipeline Plan was the way to go. It takes quite a while to get people up to speed on all this.

    You’re framing when you say that “now we can start to attend to economic development, jobs, and equity”. Attention can be given to those objectives at any time. Doing right by our city’s citizens and assets by advocating for a sensible water plan is not an obstacle.

  • @ Jen Downey,

    I would disagree. I think there are people trying to undermine the democratic party, like local radio talk show hosts. Some want to use it for personal agendas. Perhaps some are just trying to change change it, which is different. At some point your either in or your out. If the Party won’t change and you are dissatisfied with it, do what Toscano did when he created the Citizens Party. After he did his thing and won, they brought him back into the fold and it changed the party. I am with you I am not much into party politics, but if you are in one…. Yes it takes energy, like getting the signatures for a referendum, but it can be done. I am all for voting on the issues. Fenwick’s numbers indicates a steady growth in interest in independent or new party approach.

    I think you are framing things with your water supply “facts.” Values always precede facts in politics. We have had plenty of time to get people up to speed on this and the dredgers have been screaming loudly about it for quite a while. The Primary seemed to me a referendum on the water supply issue. I think many people in cville are just done with it as an issue.

    I may be framing but all the attention and energy to the water supply issue is framing as well and takes away energy and attention to those other issues I mentioned. Why is there not as much energy and support for the Dialogue on Race, for example, as there was for dredging? The dredgers came off as an “anti-growth, preserve Cville as is for the privileged few” kind of a Anglo, middle class campaign.

    I think we have a sensible water supply plan now that has the support of the BOS, Cville City Council, UVA…..The vote’s been taken on process and content. The vote will be the same in January, so….how about we focus on some issues where we can get some traction?

  • Educationally educated = every discipline has its jargon. Jargon begins as a way to speak more clearly and precisely about specific, focused-on things; it evolves into a way to exclude those who don’t speak the jargon. It’s a natural evolution for all disciplines; but what begins as a clearer way to communicate devolves pretty quickly into a more obscure way to communicate: one that excludes those not steeped in the culture.

    I remain impressed by and responsive to a tale told to me by my high school physics teacher. He had spent a month of his summer at some lab or research facility that focused on nuclear physics: not a thing he’d been educated in. He had a general science background, but had never studied their particular strata of science. The first week, every researcher was competing for time with him: asking for insights and observations and intuitions. As his time at the lab went on, he was consulted less and less. Why? Because as he became increasingly familiar with the specific ideas and jargon and pre-conceived notions of nuclear physics, he was less likely to help them see things from a new and useful perspective.

    That is, for me, the lesson of a lifetime.

    Thus, I do not want educationally educated folks determining in large strokes what we, as a community, want from our public education and advising how to accomplish it. I long for and support the naive questions and the outside-the-jargon ideas. That’s where we have an opportunity to leap ahead.

  • ” Why is there not as much energy and support for the Dialogue on Race, for example, as there was for dredging? ”

    Because that dialog is a completely pointless symbolic endeavor that has little chance of either improving things or making them worse for much of anyone. The plan to give control over city assets away to people who do not have city resident’s best interests in mind does have the potential to both improve things and to make them worse. Unfortunately it will improve things financially for already rich people by harming the pocketbooks of people who do not stand to benefit.

  • @truth to power and @boss of me:

    It’s not a contest. I’m happy to see citizens carve time out of their lives to give focus and attention to ANY civic matter. Both issues are important. People do what they can to bring attention to imbalances and abuses of power. Let’s support one another’s efforts, not tear them down. That only benefits those who benefit from those imbalances and abuses of power. Here are the mission statements from both efforts:

    “Our mission is to engage every segment of our community in an open, honest, on-going discussion of race, racism and diversity and to identify problems and propose concrete solutions and paths to action that promote racial reconciliation, economic justice and equity.”

    “Citizens for a Sustainable Water Supply is a group of local citizens concerned about the environmental, financial, and social implications of the 50-year Community Water Plan for the Charlottesville Urban Service Area. We believe that there has been incomplete and misleading information about the plan. New studies commissioned since the adoption of the plan has revealed significant new information that contradicts the information on which the plan was presented and permitted. We feel that our elected officials have the fudiciary obligation to consider all this new information and modify plans for expansion based on the most recent and best information available.”

    May both groups of citizens support each other’s efforts and find success.

  • Barbara–

    How many “educationally-educated” people is too many? I count 1 on the current board, and 2 who were among the candidates. Colette Blount is a teacher in Albemarle County, and Amy Laufer is a former teacher, now stay at home mother.

    Steven Latimer claimed he had teaching experience, but he was not a certified teacher, and only spent a semester teaching at a high school in Tidewater. I also wouldn’t consider a university professor as “educationally-educated” unless he was in the Curry school, which Guian McKee is not.

    The make up of the current board includes: an architect (with urban planning experience), a transportation planner, a university professor, a university staff member, two lawyers and a K-12 teacher.

    The make-up of the next board will be: a transportation planner, two university staff members, two lawyers and a current and former teacher.

    I don’t think we have too many teachers on the Board. If anything, I would like to see more people who are not current or recent parents on the Board. One of the strengths of the appointed Board was that they balanced parents/non-parents, which allowed for an outside perspective on issues that needed fresh or impartial eyes. If my memory serves, everyone but Leah Puryear was a parent of a current student in the schools when they took their seats on the Board.

    I would also like to see geographic representation on the Board. When the new Board is seated, we will have 2 members who live in the Burnley-Moran school zone, 1 from Venable, and 4 from Greenbrier. Since the Board became an elected body, we have seen no one get elected from the three southside school zones. This is a major hole in the knowledge and perspective of the Board as they move forward with their deliberations and decisions.

  • Folks, there is a third party in town- the Socialist Party of Central Virginia (chapter of the Socialist Party USA), we are not ballot qualified, but will be someday. Feel free to join us!

    http://www.spcva.org

    I would point out that there also used to be a green party chapter that seems to have disappeared.

    I rather enjoy having independents rather than parties, the Democratic Party in Charlottesville is a cynical, and corrupt organization, lets get away from them!

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