City Council Election Predictions

writes: How about this board stepping up to the plate and predicting the outcome of the City Council elections?

Good idea. I’ll go first: Caravati and Searls will win, but it will be close between Searls and Schilling.

32 Responses to “City Council Election Predictions”

  • Before I begin to ponder my prediction of the outcome, I’ll point out to others here that the consensus is that turnout out will be LOW.

  • I think it’s safe to say that this is the weakest slate of candidates in memory. The fact that someone like Rob Schilling, who has only lived in Cville for 3 years and before the race was a total unknown, and has no experience to draw from (and has dodged many of the most serious issues in the campaign), can pose a threat (real or perceived) to the Democratic ticket shows how far the Dems’ candidate development and base-building efforts have lagged. We shouldn’t even have to guess the outcome of an election in a City that’s 75% Democratic. This should be a Democratic cake walk and the fact that it may not be one says a lot.

  • I believe the Republicans have unwittingly come up with the perfect strategy to break through the stronghold the Democrats have on the city. They have done this by offering only one candidate (and I realize that that’s all they could get). This has allowed the Repub. campaign to not only focus on issues, but also ONE particular name: “Rob Schilling.” As I recall, the amount of votes that Fortune and Bright received in the last election wasn’t exactly marginal, therefore I believe that because there aren’t TWO Repubs. running, Schilling will get all of the votes that would have been split (between one Demo and one Repub. for example). And there is a large contingent of people who want the Meadowcreek Parkway, which is still a defining issue of the race. I believe Charlottesville voters will pick Caravati and Schilling, being content that Democrats still would have a 4 to 1 majority.

  • I wish the best of luck to Schilling. (he’ll need it)Charlottesville needs more republicans on council.

  • that every piece of junk mail and every poster I have seen for Schilling, does not have the word “Republican” anywhere on it?

  • Probably because Charlottesville is overwhelmingly Democrat and the R-word alone is enough to scare those people off. Maybe they think if they don’t use it it’ll give him a better chance with those people?

  • and Blake. I think that Schilling will be elected because as a long haired republican he doesn’t seem like a fire breathing Christian right republican that scares C-ville to death. As to years living here Toscano had not live in the community but 5-6 years before running for office. Seals seems very far left and is a shining example of the reason that the Democrats will have no one to blame but themselves. The nomination process used came up with not the second best candidate.

    The fourth candidate Salidis(sp) will pull needed votes from the dems. and a 1% to 3% could mean problems, like Nader in Florida.

    Lastly don’t discount the rath of the Alderman road neighbors who are VERY upset with Blake about the new parking garage and have a very good way to show it. This is an election where 200 votes can make an enormous difference.

    There seems to be a strong uncurrent from moderate Dems who want to bring the party back from the edge(ie Dems for Change). So I could see some blake/Schilling votes for a sense of balance.

    With Toscano leaving, the need for a financial watchdog has appeal to many who are unhappy with the current council. Schilling seems like a acceptable version of one.


  • Anonymous/PO writes: There seems to be a strong uncurrent from moderate Dems who want to bring the party back from the edge(ie Dems for Change). So I could see some blake/Schilling votes for a sense of balance.

    Then again, several of the Dem4Change’s priorities would (I think) coincide with Schilling’s – like the direct election of mayor (item I/3) and a change to the at-large appointment of the School Board.

    If Schilling were to be elected, would there be the votes necessary to make these changes?

  • Why are we still voting for individuals to be proxies for us? This is the 21st century. We should have a virtual city council of 16,000+, meeting on the net, say one-half hour every week to vote on referenda, no?

    The Constitution says power should be devolved to the people whenerver possible, and the technology is in place to do it. Instead what is the tech used for? High-resolution graphics on the same old personality-dominated ballot. That’s rich.

    In a fit of impatience,

    Kris Odell

  • Unless you’re willing to sit in on all City staff meetings, all working group meetings, meet regularly with concerned citizens (ever seen a Councillor make it more than a block on foot without his or her attention being captured by somebody?), read all e-mail sent to city leaders, and solve city problems on the fly, then direct decision-making isn’t very practical.

    It’s easy for all of us to sit here in the grandstand and piss and moan and declare we could do better without them, and in some ways we almost definitely could, but for a great many issues that come before them they have to do a great deal of research, meet with interested parties, etc.

    With no elected leadership, which is what you seem to be proposing, who establishes the virtual meeting agendas? Who sets debate limits? Who buys the beer?

    So many questions.

  • Not sure that it has any bearing, but unless I’m mistaken the ballots will not be specifying party affiliation, either. That factor will most certainly have a huge impact, perhaps even enough to put Schilling in office.

  • Then again, several of the Dem4Change’s priorities would (I think) coincide with Schilling’s – like the direct election of mayor (item I/3) and a change to the at-large appointment of the School Board.

    Direct election of the mayor is something that DFC was interested in, but I don’t know if we ever made a stance on School Board election.

  • Here, from the 2002 DFC platform, is the section which I read as seeking change to the current at-large appointment of School Board members:

    Promote the idea of School Board members being selected by school districts rather than by wards.

    I’m unsure if/how this is a change for earlier DFC platforms.

  • I’m sorry, yes, you’re absolutely right — I mistook your comments for something different.

  • So many questions.

    You can’t stop that!

    So much money!

    You can’t top that!


  • I think we all know that Curtis Delmont Woolfolk was in pretty good shape coming into the stretch here until Caravati had him put down.

    I suppose if Caravati is going to ‘convince’ all of the opposition to ‘take vacations’, we should just let him go ahead and pick the winner.

  • Considering the expected low turn-out for the election, what makes you think that anyone would participate more actively in your virtual city council? I would, and sounds like you would, but the majority of citizens wouldn’t bother….Hmmmm, maybe your idea isn’t so crazy. Just think of the power the few of us who care could wield.

  • Rob Schilling is just fine. He’s gone on a skiing trip to New Hampshire.

  • Interesting that you complain about Schilling dodging “serious” issues. I’m willing to bet you never once called him to talk about “serious” issues and never once went to any forums or news conferences to ask any one of the candidates about “serious” issues.

    Stratton has lived in C-ville for only four years and Alexandria moved to the city only eight years ago. Big deal. I suppose you are one of the VERY few natives?

  • I don’t think it was exactly a strategy given that many Republicans really wanted two candidates to run.

    Schilling entered the race because he was disturbed to see that only about 300 people (left at the Democratic nominating convention) would have elected the next City Council for the ENTIRE city if nobody else “stepped up.” He thought (thinks) that the people of C-ville deserved (deserve) a chance to hear issues, engage in debate, etc.

    Both the Daily Progress and the Observer have endorsed the “split ticket” of Caravati and Schilling. I think you are right about the two being the first choice of many, many voters because a LOT of Democrats see the need for diversity as a good and progressive thing (Schilling) while they will still maintain a majority on Council (with Caravati and others.)

    Vote Schilling May 7th.

  • What’s REALLY amazing is the fact that the municipal politics in Charlottesville IS so party-specific. This is not exactly a “normal” occurence.

    Many, many locales in this country DO NOT have party politics in municipal elections, including our own Virginia Beach.

    Party politics has hurt Charlottesville. Diverse viewpoints/parties have trouble, and even the Democrats can’t always put up the best candidates because maybe the best people for the job haven’t made enough “deals” or shaken enough hands with the party top brass. It’s ridiculous. City government is not about legislating nationally divisive issues, it’s about management.

    Ideas SHOULD trump party politics on a municipal level.

  • WELL, with Schilling elected, these issues WILL be discussed. Without Schilling they will be buried.

    Vote for some change and (FINALLY) some open debate in this town. Vote Schilling May 7th.

  • There has not been an independant candidate on city council since 1936. Nowhere else in Virginia can make this claim. Party is the only thing in the city.

  • a good thread from the virtual chalkboard tonight (sorry, it’s kinda long, but involves some good discussion):


    reply: I agree. The Daily Progress, the business community, the realtors, the Observer, all the usual suspects are behind the candidacies of Caravati and Schilling. If the people of Charlottesville (as opposed to the monied special interests) want to have a voice on City Council, they (we)(you) need to vote for change. Voting for Salidis and Searls is the only way to make that happen.

    Reply: I think it’s a disgrace the way that Blake Caravati has tried to distance himself from his running mate and cozy up to the establishment instead. Stratton and Alex are the only candidates proposing to challenge the status quo in this town. They may be of different parties but they are very similar in many regards. It would be great to get them both on Council.

    it’s funny because rob shilling plays himself up as the candidate of change but you’re right, he’s really only a mouthpiece for the business establishment and does not strike me as someone who’s at all responsive to the issues facing working people, low-income people, etc. in this city. he won’t even meet with concerned citizens to talk about the important issues like housing. i hope he goes down BIG TIME tomorrow.

    Reply: I’d rather vote for Searls and write-in Waldo. Salidis does not seem to have made much of an impression on this race and seems totally pre-occupied with one issue (transportation). Searls and Jaquith are a much more compelling team in my book. p.s. Totally agree about Schilling, not the least bit compelling.

    i guess we’re in consensus on schilling (-) and caravati (-) and searls (+). i’m with the above poster — i’d much rather register a symbolic protest vote for waldo than throw away a vote on salidis. anyone else?

    COunt me in–searls & jaquith.

    OK, Every debate needs a devil’s advocate, and I guess I’m it this time. Isn’t a vote for Schilling also a vote for change? I mean, don’t we need different parties represented on City Council in order to bring new perspectives to City affairs?

    I’ll agree that Schilling is a vote for change. But those interested in voting for change would do better to vote for candidates that are genuinely interested in change. Schilling appears to be the status quo dressed in Republicans’ clothing. Folks like Salidis are genuinely interested in radical change, whereas Schilling merely presents a facade of change on fairly trivial topics. But those that truly support Schilling should (obviously) vote for him and know that they are voting for change. But people that merely are interested in voting for change would do well to vote for Salidas, Jaquith or Searls.

    people who say this show a lack of knowledge about the democratic party in this here town of ours. the reality is, the democratic party in cville is hardly monolithic. it has its left wing, its right wing and its moderates. the republicans in this town are a joke. a bunch of squabbling ninnies who can’t even get a dozen people to a convention. dominated by a bizarre little cabal of libertarian ideologues who no doubt worship ayn rand and go to bed dreaming of a chance encounter with their idol, rush limbaugh. this is not a party that curries a lot of respect with me.

    Totally agree with that. The GOP in Charlottesville is a joke. Which is why Mr Schilling does not embrace their party label. He’s hoping enough voters are unable to see through the fact that he represents a party that has consistently disgraced itself in every way (Gingrich, George W., Gilmore, Allen, Ollie North, Matricardi, need I continue?).

    reply: first of all, it’s unfair to blame a man like schilling for the fact that his party includes miscreants like gingrich, limbaugh, north, etc. guilt by association i think they call it. i could say the same about democrats. bill clinton anyone? i think schilling’s got enough baggage (no experience, no qualifications, no ideas, etc.) to merit defeat tomorrow without trying to taint him with things he has no control over.

    Reply: Agreed — Schilling has absolutely nothing going for him personally. You said it well: no experience, no qualificiations, no ideas. He’s certainly done nothing to make himself a part of the fabric of the community. Nobody had heard his name before until he announced his campaign. If he wants to improve the community, why didn’t he attempt to do so prior to the election?

    Wouldn’t it be cool if enough people wrote in Waldo’s name that he actually won????

    reply: Very cool, but very unlikely. It will be Caravati and Searls, it’s a solidly Democratic city. Too bad though, Caravati is such a pathological liar. He’s awful. I’m with those who support Searls and Salidis. Or hell, go ahead and write in Waldo. It won’t make a difference but it would be cool to see him get a lot of votes nonetheless.

    reply: i found it very interesting that both the progress (which speaks for the business community and albemarle county interests) and the observer (which speaks for the christian coalition types) endorsed the same ticket: caravati-schilling. makes me very worried about those 2. also did anyone think it strange that blake did not register a single word of protest about the fact that his running-mate did not get endorsed by either paper? i think he’d just as soon govern with rob schilling as he would with alex searls. he needs to go. i’d like to see searls and salidis win tomorrow.

  • dude put down the pipe

  • LOL!!!!! Absolutely!!

  • case you haven’t noticed…

    Searls is a nice person but she is TOTALLY the TOOL of the Democrat Party. GET REAL!!!

    Salidis, on the other hand, IS totally independent, I’ll give you that!

  • LOL!!!!! Absolutely!!

  • What an utterly nauseating mutual masturbation fest. I feel like I should take a shower after reading that.

  • I agree that this is a relatively weak slate. And I agree that it should alert the Democratic leadership that they must take action to improve the process by which City Council is elected.

    As another poster has mentioned, Schilling said that he entered the race because he saw how few citizens, at the Democratic Mass Meeting, would choose the council members. I am voting for the Democrats, but I was also dismayed by this. The nomination process should be much more inclusive.

    I should also mention that anyone who entered the Democratic Mass Meeting had to be credentialed as a delegate. The credentialing process had only one requirement: that delegates to the meeting were pledged not to support any candidate in the Council election other than a democratic candidate. It appears, if Schilling was present at the meeting, that he broke this pledge.

  • I don’t believe that Mr. Schilling voted at the Democratic nominating convention, although I do think that he had a table set up outside to collect signatures on a petition to make the school board elected, rather than appointed.

    Also, not to be too picky, but you didn’t need to make the pledge to enter the meeting; only to be qualified to vote at the meeting. I say this because I was permitted to enter the meeting as an observer, since I’m an Albemarle County resident and not qualified to vote in Charlottesville. Nobody asked me to pledge.

    Harry Landers

  • Interesting perspective, but I can’t see for the life of me how anything has indicated Alexandria Searls is an underdog in the election. If you wanted to really send a message about change and not simply put forth an extreme leftist agenda, Schilling and Salidis would be the ticket.

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