Council Decides on At-Large School Board Elections

There were fireworks at last night’s City Council meeting on the matter of whether the elected school board should be based on wards or at large. Republican Rob Schilling claimed that only a ward-based system would provide racial diversity, which led to a strong rebuttal from Democrat Kendra Hamilton, the only member of council that is neither white nor male. John Yellig described the exchange in the Progress:

“I have allowed members of the public and a certain member of council to distort and misrepresent all sorts of things – the history of desegregation, my politics, my actions, my words,” she said. “But enough is enough. It’s time to set the record straight.”

Referencing an e-mail Schilling sent to some voters Monday, Hamilton ridiculed his assertion that he’s “the only councilor who cares about the African-American community.”

“I never thought that I, as a black woman, would be reduced to explaining to a bunch of white people…that I know what I’m talking about,” she said.

Schilling angrily responded to Hamilton’s comments, saying, “I’m not going to let that stand,” and, over calls for order from Mayor David Brown, added, “I’m going to stand by every word I wrote in the e-mail today.”

So…who’s gonna provide a copy of that e-mail?

Anyhow, Council voted not to petition the General Assembly to permit the city to have ward-based elections, so at least the first elections, this May, will be at large.

7:15pm Update: God bless Sean Tubbs. He’s posted the relevant portion of the audio from last night’s Council meeting. You can hear Schilling for the first 13:50, and then Hamilton for the rest of the clip.

8:55pm Update: Somebody has posted what is said to be Schilling’s e-mail.

42 Responses to “Council Decides on At-Large School Board Elections”


  • I cannot see how some one that lives in the Greenbriar neighborhood should represent someone who lives in the Prospect neighborhood.

    I support the idea of a Ward based elected school board. I think it’s the only way to insure adequate representation from all of the city’s neighborhoods.

    From the Progress article:

    Earlier in the hearing, Schilling argued that the council should act quickly to have the General Assembly grant the charter amendment, but the other councilors said such changes should be considered carefully.

    Passage of the amendment would not obligate the council to adopt ward-based elections, Schilling argued; it would only give it the option to do so.

    Nevertheless, Schilling’s motion to adopt the resolution calling for the charter amendment failed because no other councilor seconded his motion.

    I’ll admit that I may not have a full understanding of the technicalities or fine points of what he was asking, but this sure makes it look like the city would prefer a “business as usual” approach to school board selection insuring that, while their prefered choices for the school board seats will now have to be voted upon by city voters, at least they can try and stack the circumstances/situation in their favor.

    I cannot understand why the city council should be so opposed to ward based elections for the school board.

  • After watching the shameful political rhetoric last night I suprised that some councilors can honestly explain their logic. Kendra Hamilton all but called Schilling a racist. Her cowarldly reference to an email she wouldn’t read made it sound evil. If your going to take someone to task for a email/letter you must 1) explain what you found objectionable 2)how is what different from the statement Schilling had just read. Hamilton went on about a climate of fear, I almost laughed out loud. How can one lone member of council in one letter cause such a thing. Schillings proposal is so radical that Rick Turner and one of the chapters of the NAACP supports it. There were several african americans that found the at large system wanting; but when a white republican points the same thing out he accused of trying to introduce a climate of fear.

    This is about retaining power for Democrats not serving the city’s best interest. It is difficult to explain how the prior system used for decades was not sufficent. Councilors don’t want a ward system because it threatens the absolute control over the election process. Regardless of the legal posturing, the previous system had been an appointed ward system. The democratic councilors were all opposed to a measure that 72% of the electorate voted for.

    I have every confidence that the democrats will continue to over play their hand. The public will reward them for their effort.

  • Our councilors are elected at large. I see no reason why our school board should shatter into wards for elections. Schilling pushed and shoved to get council elections changed to a ward system and that’s gone nowhere. Ditto should the school board elections.

  • Elizabeth “I see no reason why our school board should shatter into wards for elections.”
    I curious if you thought the same thing when the school board was appointed by wards for decades. The reason then was having people from the area to help assure that every school would have a voice.
    Ward system alllows for less expensive elections since you have to mail to 1/5 the city instead of the whole. According to almost all research diversity is better served by ward election as opposed to just an at large system. Schilling also pushed for elected school boards, against the wishes of all other councilors and 72% of the electorate agreed with Schilling. Why not put the ward system to a vote by the public.

    Because the Democrats could lose a vote. I just looking for someone to explain why this is anything but a naked grab to retain total power by democrats. It not about what system is best or what would be in the best interest of the schools.

    As a voting rights state it is almost unheard of for the justice department to approve an at lagre system, For over 20 years the Justice department has preferred some sort of system with wards. Would someone prove to me that diversity is better served by the at-large-system.

  • Rob’s email is below. Don’t see how Kendra got “he thinks he is the only one who cares for Af. AM.” out of that. I would say more on this subject, but Perlogik says it better than I ever could. Now, will somebody copy the email from the Dem. Party that went out telling everybody this was a Republican ploy? Talk about scare tactics. As a Dem. myself, I am ashamed of this city council and feel certain a new day is coming as they continue to show their inaptitude. The School Board and CHS are currently broken. Anybody who thinks otherwise is blind. Come on Charlottesville, wake up and lets get some real leadership in this town.

    Friends,

    I’m very concerned that the City Council is submitting information to the United States Justice Department, regarding our school board elections, today, before tonight’s public hearing on the topic.

    Please see the following letter (copied below and also attached) expressing my disapproval of this process.

    You may forward this to any interested party.

    Sincerely,

    Rob Schilling

    CITY COUNCIL IS WRONG TO SUBMIT DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PRECLEARANCE SUBMISSION FOR
    AT LARGE SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS PRIOR TO TONIGHT’S PUBLIC HEARING

    Based on the comments made over the past five weeks by Mayor David Brown (as documented below), the public has a reasonable expectation that tonight’s public hearing on the manner of electing school board members will indeed be an opportunity for the City Council to hear public input on what type of elections the public desires, and that public input will be respectfully considered when Council makes its preclearance request for the first school board elections.

    Yet in spite of inviting the public’s input, the expressed concerns of many members of the public, a direct request from Councilor Rob Schilling, and City Attorney Craig Brown’s opinion that a 24 hour delay in our submission would not be problematic, Mayor Brown is firm in his intent to submit today, the preclearance letter requesting exclusively an at large voting system , before tonight’s public hearing is held.

    If the at large system of elections as submitted by this City Council is approved by the Department of Justice, neither this City Council, nor future City Councils will be bound to make the necessary changes to ensure anything other than at large school board elections, in perpetuity, no matter what the public response is at tonight’s public hearing.

    If you agree that the Charlottesville City Council should hold and not submit the Department of Justice preclearance letter until after the November 21, 2005 public hearing, please contact your Councilors immediately and request that:

    1) The preclearance submission be held and not submitted prior to the public hearing
    2) If public and council sentiment favors moving to a mixed or ward system of elections, that the submission be amended to reflect that although the council has submitted for at large preclearance, the council’s intention is to immediately begin work to implement a mixed- or ward-based system of elections.

    Sincerely,

    Rob Shilling

  • […]
    But not so fast. According to city attorney Craig Brown, technically all seven school board members are appointed atlarge. The four wards were just arbitrary geographic divisions set up by city council tradition, not election districts. Therefore, the three members elected in May 2006 will be atlarge. Unless council requests legislation for a ward or mixed ward-atlarge structure, the four members elected in Nov. 2007 will also be atlarge.
    […]

    Full story:
    “Council asks for broader urban renewal powers, elected school board hearing”
    http://cvilleindymedia.org/newswire.php?story_id=2084

  • I don’t have a copy of the Democratic letter that went out, but I do know that there is at least one Democrat who has sent out an email of his own stating that he is troubled by the Democratic letter. Those of you who followed the superintendent saga will be quite familiar with the sender. As I received a copy at least third hand, I don’t feel comfortable posting it. I will tell you that the teachers to whom I’ve spoken are in favor of a ward system and believe it is the only way to assure adequate representation on the School Board for all parts of the city.

    I am deeply disappointed that the City Council submitted paperwork to request an at-large system of voting on the very day of a Council meeting. What harm could 24 hours have caused? It is very likely that the Democrats felt this would meet with little resistance since much of the city leans their way. It is a pity they did not see that this is an issue which crosses party lines and is about what is best for our children and for our schools.

  • Thanks for posting that, dirtmagnet.

  • “But not so fast. According to city attorney Craig Brown, technically all seven school board members are appointed atlarge. The four wards were just arbitrary geographic divisions set up by city council tradition, not election districts.”
    Not True there were ward elections many years ago, this is more than a tradition. This “technically” is perverse logic. Because the council wasn’t election done by ward system the current ward system aren’t official. It isn’t even consider at-large “technically”

    The “technically” is a legal reason, yet it is false in terms of how they were appointed and why it was done that way. OJ is found not guilt of murder so technically he didn’t do it. You know the rest

  • To hell with Kendra Hamilton, her sheltered views and her undignified approach to government. Not once have I ever seen her submit as much as a shred of intelligent substance at council meetings. She’s your swing vote on all occasions.

    As far as wards are concerned, there’s no doubt all democrats are against it because the playing field will be somewhat tipped into a balanced position— SOMEWHAT.

    Kepp up the good work Councilor Schilling.

  • As far as wards are concerned, there’s no doubt all democrats are against it because the playing field will be somewhat tipped into a balanced position— SOMEWHAT.

    That’s not true. I’m a Democrat. I don’t think wards are a good idea because it’s just one more damned thing for people to keep track of when voting.

    Most people have no idea of what district that they’re in. I bet there isn’t one person in ten who could say what state house, state senate, congressional, BoS, and school district that they’re in here in Albemarle.

    I really couldn’t tell you who my rep on the BoS or school board is. No idea — none. I know who it’s not — maybe I could figure out by process of elimination, but maybe not. And I’m way more knowledgeable about this kind of thing than your average citizen.

    I see no reason why wards would be bad for Democrats in Charlottesville. Ditto for ward-based Council elections. I figure, if anything, it’d help us.

    More’n anything else, I’d like to change one thing at a time. Let’s start with elected school boards. In a few years, if we still want to, then let’s move to wards. But I see no reason to do it all at once.

  • perlogik, you’re right. and it took several years after the referendum to implement the atlarge council system. as far as i know, the school board has always been appointed. when we went to at large, the wards stopped being election districts, just as today’s precincts are not election districts. that’s why the justic department allows the precincts to be so unequal in population.

    “On Tuesday December 7, 1920, the voters of Charlottesville decided in a special referendum by a 4 to 1 margin to change the city charter, to switch from a two-house 12-member legislature to the present one-council 5-atlarge-member system modeled after corporate governing boards. 546 citizens voted to change the city charter; 139 against the measure. The election results were recorded for 4 wards. By the end of February 1922, the change had not yet been approved, let alone implemented. ”

    “Charlottesville voters approve “Commission” form of government in 1920″
    http://cvilleindymedia.org/newswire.php?story_id=330

  • Waldo “I see no reason why wards would be bad for Democrats in Charlottesville. Ditto for ward-based Council elections. I figure, if anything, it’d help us.”
    A simple break down of some closer election would explain why you are wrong. There are areas where a moderate republican would have a chance, Recreation for one. There have been as many as four out of five councilors in one ward district. Would it suprise to know that was near Park Street.

    Inconvenience vs diversity; I vote for more diversity.

    Since you have trouble keeping track of who your representatives are you are just have to trust me on this. I’m one of the 10% you wrote about.

  • perlogik, whether I’m right or wrong doesn’t matter. The point is that it’s disingenuous for you say that “there’s no doubt all democrats are against it because the playing field will be somewhat tipped into a balanced position.”

    I’m a Democrat. That’s not why I’m against it. Ergo, your statement is inaccurate. You paint with too broad a brush.

    Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence.

  • Waldo if I had said this “there’s no doubt all democrats are against it because the playing field will be somewhat tipped into a balanced position.”
    you would have a point. Of course I did not, so how am I being disingenuous?

    I have been clear to say democratic councilors(leadership) vs all democrats. I think you corrected a post for a similar reason. But you knew that.
    I don’t think the ward system would balance the city. I think that some areas would be more liberal then others. Just like Charlottesville is more liberal than Albemarle.

    Waldo you only want to change one thing at a time. Fine, let’s elect the school board just like they were appointed them. You didn’t promise to change the way school boards were appointed when you ran for office. Give me some reasons of logic or history on why the at-large system is better.

    Being accurate about history and motives does matter. Ergo your statement is nonsense

  • Pergolik didn’t paint with too broad a brush, I allegedly did. So Waldo, why are you against it? Your retort low-balls anothers post, but does nothing to clarify, except to say folks are unable to keep track. What faith you have in your fellow Charlottesvillians.

    Ward systems would identify with local elementary schools: a pretty simple idea considering most schools attach themselves to neighborhoods. And there’s absolutely no evidence to suggest locales with ward systems produce lower voter numbers

  • Waldo wrote:

    I’m a Democrat. I don’t think wards are a good idea because it’s just one more damned thing for people to keep track of when voting.

    That’s a fair point. However I don’t think that’s been a major issue for voters when it actually comes down to election day. When it comes to election day those who would vote go to their polling place, the less informed grabbed the handouts from whichever (or both) groups that represent their political affiliations (which in CA is called electioneering and is against the law) and then they cast their votes.

    So there is one more thing that people need to think about. I think it’s a minor issue. Unless one cares to use the “uninformed voter” argument.

    When I listened to the audio file posted above, it sounded to me like Councilor Schilling had done his homework. The quotes he cited from other council members, didn’t in my opinion help those other council members. What I heard from Ms. Hamiltion was that she felt as an african american woman she was “under attack.” And my perception of her argument was simply, “we’re democrat’s we mean well so you should trust us.” And the Email posted above certainly doesn’t support her postion that Schilling played a race card.

    I’m going to stand by what I said in the first post, I do not see how someone in the Greenbriar or Park Street neighborhoods can adequately represent someone who lives in the Prospect or Cherry Avenue/Johnson Village neighborhoods. It’s a different reality.

    And frankly I don’t care which party a ward system benefits, because that shouldn’t be the issue. The issue should be about what is best for the students in the school system. To me a Ward system just seems to be common sense.

  • Of course I did not, so how am I being disingenuous?

    perlogik, you had me really puzzled until I realized that you had responded to my response to cvilletransplant, but were not the original poster. My apologies.

    I think that some areas would be more liberal then others. Just like Charlottesville is more liberal than Albemarle.

    Charlottesville is so overwhelmingly liberal that it really wouldn’t matter.

    Consider our most recent election. Leslie Byrne is the most liberal candidate to run for statewide office in Virginia in eons. She lost to Republican Bill Bolling. Let’s look at each precinct in Charlottesville and see how how Bolling did:

    Recreation: 21.5%
    Clark: 18.5%
    Carver: 15.5%
    Walker: 28.6%
    Tonsler: 10.2%
    Jefferson Park: 24.4%
    Venable: 24.1%
    Alumni Hall: 18.0%

    Ouch. Bolling didn’t even break a third. He only got more than a quarter in Walker. But, hey, maybe this is an aberration.

    Let’s look at how Bush did against Kerry last year:

    Recreation: 29.1%
    Clark: 26.4%
    Carver: 19.2%
    Walker: 35.5%
    Tonsler: 14.1%
    Jefferson 28.9%
    Venable: 27.7%
    Alumni Hall: 24.1%

    Oh, damn. That had to hurt. At least Bush broke a third in Walker.

    Looks like Walker is the most conservative precinct in Charlottesville, if you can call two-thirds Democratic “conservative.”

    Listen, I don’t care what kind of change is made to the electoral system — Democrats are going to win in Charlottesville. The numbers are hugely, overwhelmingly on our side.

    I don’t doubt that some Democrats are against it because they believe it would be bad for Democratic power, the same reason that some Democrats were against an elected school board. These Democrats are wrong.

    You didn’t promise to change the way school boards were appointed when you ran for office.

    Nope. Nobody cared, and I didn’t see any need to change it.

    Give me some reasons of logic or history on why the at-large system is better.

    I’m not convinced that the at-large system is better. I suspect, though, that expecting people to keep track of one more district and representative is going to be problematic. More trouble still is that we cannot, legally, elect by ward. It would require an act of the GA to make that modification.

    I’d rather we make this change and give it an election cycle to see how it goes. If we see that a ward-based system would be better, cool, go for it.

  • Waldo wrote:

    I’m not convinced that the at-large system is better. I suspect, though, that expecting people to keep track of one more district and representative is going to be problematic.

    That sounds to me like a “voters are children and really aren’t equipt to make responsible decisions about how they’re governed” sort of argument. Which is a traditionally republican position. I don’t think it will be as problematic as suggested. Bottom line when election day comes they walk into their precinct and place a vote for the alternatives that are listed.

    Waldo wrote:

    I’d rather we make this change and give it an election cycle to see how it goes. If we see that a ward-based system would be better, cool, go for it.

    Yeah that would give things time too cool off and for people to settle back into comfortable complacency. Other than that a GA act is needed, why can’t the “at large” elections be the fall back position? We do have a brand new representative (Toscano) who according to Schilling would be willing to put forward such a bill. My personal opinion.. strike while the iron is hot.

    And again this isn’t and shouldn’t be about political party.. it’s about giving the neighborhoods a greater voice in what they think is best for their children.

  • “Listen, I don’t care what kind of change is made to the electoral system — Democrats are going to win in Charlottesville. The numbers are hugely, overwhelmingly on our side.” You are not speaking for ALL Democrats are you?

    Rob Schilling seats on the city council- please explain how this overwhelming liberal democratic stranglehold elected this Republican? Are you saying this can never happen again?

    Thanks for posting the voting break down, you happen to have the breakdown from Schilling’s election?

    I’m not convinced that the at-large system is better.

    Why not keep the method of election the same as they were appointed until we figure it out?

  • Rob Schilling seats on the city council- please explain how this overwhelming liberal democratic stranglehold elected this Republican?

    Democrats nominated a pair of candidates that hated each other, one of whom was not prepared to campaign. While Schilling campaigned hard, she lost. Democrats got lazy, and the tortoise overtook us.

    Are you saying this can never happen again?

    So long as Democrats nominate candidates who are prepared to campaign, as opposed to assume that their election is inevitable, I see no reason why a Republican should be elected until a major demographic shift or scandal takes place.

    Thanks for posting the voting break down, you happen to have the breakdown from Schilling’s election?

    Sure, you can find it here. As you can see, Schilling just barely defeated Searls, by a difference of 84 votes. He ran strongest in Walker, unsurprisingly, getting just over one third of the votes.

  • So long as Democrats nominate candidates who are prepared to campaign, as opposed to assume that their election is inevitable, I see no reason why a Republican should be elected until a major demographic shift or scandal takes place.

    Waldo by your logic are you ready to say today that Rob Schilling will lose re-election?
    If Recreation, Walker, and Carver (or parts there of) were made into a ward a moderate might have a chance according to the results you were so kind to link.

  • Waldo by your logic are you ready to say today that Rob Schilling will lose re-election?

    Again, provided Democrats nominate candidates who are prepared to campaign and provided no scandal takes place, yes, I fully expect that he’ll lose re-election.

    If Recreation, Walker, and Carver (or parts there of) were made into a ward a moderate might have a chance according to the results you were so kind to link.

    With all of those conditionals, sure. :) If some parts of those precincts were artfully arranged into a ward designed to strongly favor conservative households and the candidate was a moderate then he might have a chance.

    But to properly appreciate how distant that chance really is, just take a glance at the results of last year’s Council election. Jackson and Reinicke, despite being endorsed by the Progress and running as moderates, got stomped. Why? Democrats learned their lesson.

    Again, I don’t care what kind of wards are drawn, it ain’t gonna do Democrats no harm.

  • “If Recreation, Walker, and Carver (or parts there of) were made into a ward a moderate might have a chance according to the results you were so kind to link. ”

    Wasn’t this the same type of logic used that lead some to believe that McCrystal a chance? After runing as a moderate McCrystal got stomped in Charlottesville where Toscano got 80% of the vote and even in the moderate Albemarle McCrystal was only able to garner 32% of the vote.

    In short I agree that unless some major scandal breaks out or there is a HUGE demographic shift, like all of Greene County moving into the City of Charlottesville, then Democrats will strongly hold Charlottesville and even the urban ring in Albemarle.

    “Waldo by your logic are you ready to say today that Rob Schilling will lose re-election?”

    All politics may not be local and I say given the horrible state of politics at the federal level, no Republican is safe from defeat, especially in areas as liberal as Charlottesville.

  • You know all the famous wards of legend and song were way corrupt, think Tammany Hall and Richard J. Daley’s Chicago. Wards are inherently divisive. I think people that live in Greenbrier are perfectly well qualified to represent people on Cherry Avenue and vice-versa. If you think it’s so transparrent that Dems want to hang on to power (which they really don’t need to, in Cville they’ve pretty much got it) it’s just as true that Rob Schilling would sell his mother to the white slave traders if he thought it would keep him on council. Since the elected school board thing went over well, he’s gonna keep that issue front and center if at all possible and hope it will keep him on council. What I don’t believe for 20 nanoseconds that what is motivating Rob is his deep concern about education. It’s his deep concern about himself and his seat on council.

  • You know something else? I read where Jeffrey Rossman held forth about “paternalistic southern democrats” or something like that.
    Although “paternalism” sounds awfully bad, when you consider that a majority of americans still think Saddam Hussein bombed the WTC, paternalism starts looking bette, if you mean a group of people, an elite if you must, who pay attention, can occasionally make a reasoned argument, and who by service on boards and the like, attendance at party meetings and the like, demonstrate their qualifications to make some decisions about how things should be done. Most people can’t hardly turn off their television long enough to pee, let alone understand issues. Ya wanna know why participation in local elections is even worse than in general elections? because there aren’t any talking heads telling the sheep what to think, Neal Boortz or NPR won’t have an opinion on Rob Schilling or Kendra.

  • Berthe wrote:

    You know all the famous wards of legend and song were way corrupt, think Tammany Hall and Richard J. Daley’s Chicago. Wards are inherently divisive.

    You incorrectly blame the structure for the corruption. In both of those cases the corruption stemmed from “Political Patronage.” Jobs in exchange for votes. Not the election structure.

    From Wikipedia on Patronage:

    In politics, patronage more narrowly defined is the practice by holders of political office of appointing their followers or fellow party members to positions.

    […]

    Such overt political patronage is seen as a tool for rewarding and enforcing loyalty; loyalty is the criterion for selecting a person rather than more meritocratic considerations.

    […]

    Patronage can consequently be seen as one of the possible major deficiencies of a system of excess bureaucracy, defined as a system with a weak bureaucratic structure, the availability of large public resources to the Patron, and that these public resources be easily divisible in order to target specific groups and individuals.

    The sort of corruption could just as easily exist with an “at large system.”

    Berthe wrote:

    I think people that live in Greenbrier are perfectly well qualified to represent people on Cherry Avenue and vice-versa.

    We’re going to have to agree to disagree. Greenbriar is an upper middleclass neigborhood. Prospect is not. I think differences between the challenges and concerns facing members of either neigborhood is significant enough that each should have their own representation.

    Berthe wrote:

    Most people can’t hardly turn off their television long enough to pee, let alone understand issues. Ya wanna know why participation in local elections is even worse than in general elections? because there aren’t any talking heads telling the sheep what to think…

    That’s pretty insulting. It’s also a traditional conservative republican response- the voter is incapable of thinking for themselves. I believe low turn out is because the average voter is disaffected, with little faith in the political process.

    And I’ll end this post as I have my previous ones. I don’t care which party if a ward system for the elected school board might benefit, and I think it’s disingenuous to make the issue about the benefit of one party over another. It is, and should be, about what best serves the student needs and the city’s diverse communities. I believe it’s a ward structure.

    Click here to read more about Richard J. Daley or Tammany Hall.

  • For Berthe. To say Rob Schilling = George Bush goes to show these people have nothing to say on the issues under discussion in the community. They don’t even know the issues. They’re not listening. It’s just name calling and projection of negativity. You can’t change their minds. There should be a recall election when an official attempts to thwart the mandate of a voter referendum. How do they stay in power and not act on the 73% support for real change?

    Here’s my results from May 2002 election. Waldo’s link gets the percent by dividing by total votes cast, not the number of voters. So it doesn’t tell you how many people voted for a candidate. Also the headings above and below the data is inconsistent and confusing, indicating that Salidis won. That site was last updated 8:44 pm May 7 2002. The data I have I received directly from the registrar after that time.

    Ward / Precinct

    1 Recreation(A) Clark(B)
    2 Carver(C) Walker(D)
    3 Tonsler(E) Jefferson Park(F)
    4 Venable(G) Alumni Hall(H)
    Absentees(X) not broken down by precinct

    —————————————–
    Recreation(A) Clark(B) Carver(C) Walker(D) Tonsler(E) Jefferson Park(F) Venable(G) Alumni Hall(H)
    Absentees(X)
    —————————————–

    — May 7 2002 —
    Total registered voters(precinct)
    3493(A) 2108(B) 1717(C) 2668(D) 1449(E) 3413(F) 3155(G) 1818(H)=19821#
    Total who voted(precinct)
    978(A) 335(B) 335(C) 1010(D) 208(E) 730(F) 457(G) 233(H) 89(X)=4375#
    Voter turnout(precinct)
    (A)28% (B)16% (C)20% (D)38% (E)14% (F)21% (G)14% (H)13% =4375/19821=22%

    (candidate) (total votes) (percent of total who voted) (percent of total registered)
    CARAVATI 2528 58% 13%
    539(A) 171(B) 227(C) 558(D) 147(E) 403(F) 291(G) 138(H) 54(X)
    SCHILLING 2169 50% 11%
    495(A) 170(B) 125(C) 560(D) 70(E) 373(F) 231(G) 107(H) 38(X)
    SEARLS 2085 48% 11%
    450(A) 156(B) 206(C) 428(D) 126(E) 345(F) 209(G) 120(H) 45(X)
    SALIDIS 614 14% 3%
    169(A) 90(B) 29(C) 105(D) 22(E) 117(F) 33(G) 40(H) 9(X)

    —————————————–
    Recreation(A) Clark(B) Carver(C) Walker(D) Tonsler(E) Jefferson Park(F) Venable(G) Alumni Hall(H)
    Absentees(X)
    —————————————–

    (For comparison)
    — May 4 2004 —
    Total registered voters (precinct)=total#
    3478(A) 2160(B) 1785(C) 2690(D) 1530(E) 3352(F) 3210(G) 1661(H)=19866#
    Total who voted (precinct)=total#
    1126(A) 470(B) 493(C) 1087(D) 328(E) 889(F) 515(G) 271(H) 160(X)=5339#
    (precinct)percent of who voted of total registered in the precinct, voter turnout
    (A)32% (B)22% (C)28% (D)40% (E)21% (F)27% (G)16% (H)16% =5339/19866=27%

    HAMILTON 3465
    705(A)63% 302(B)64% 379(C)77% 633(D)58% 267(E)81% 639(F)61% 352(G)68% 185(H)68%
    103(X)=3465/5339=65% 3465/19866=17%
    BROWN 3366
    701(A)62% 283(B)60% 365(C)74% 649(D)60% 221(E)67% 510(F)57% 346(G)67% 186(H)69%
    105(X)=3366/5339=63% 3366/19866=17%
    LYNCH 3183
    619(A)55% 282(B)60% 343(C)70% 598(D)55% 228(E)70% 496(F)56% 340(G)66% 181(H)67%
    96(X)=3183/5339=60% 3183/19866=16%
    REINICKE 1782
    403(A)36% 167(B)36% 113(C)23% 419(D)39% 67(E)20% 331(F)37% 143(G)28% 86(H)32%
    53(X)=1782/5339=33% 1782/19866=9%
    JACKSON 1557
    319(A)28% 156(B)33% 110(C)22% 386(D)34% 83(E)25% 274(F)31% 143(G)28% 64(H)24%
    40(X)=1557/5339=29% 1557/19866=8%
    WRITEINS 778 (Meredith Richards mainly)
    217(A)19% 59(B)13% 50(C)10% 169(D)16% 17(E)5% 141(F)16% 50(G)10 40(H)15%
    35(X)(22% of 160 writeins)=778/5339=15% 778/19866=4%
    HIGH 717
    170(A)15% 68(B)14% 36(C)7% 159(D)15% 19(E)6% 166(F)19% 53(G)10% 30(H)11%
    16(X)=717/5339=13% 717/19866=4%

    —————————————–
    Recreation(A) Clark(B) Carver(C) Walker(D) Tonsler(E) Jefferson Park(F) Venable(G) Alumni Hall(H)
    Absentees(X)
    —————————————–

    Total registered voters(precinct)
    — May 7 2002 —
    3493(A) 2108(B) 1717(C) 2668(D) 1449(E) 3413(F) 3155(G) 1818(H)=19821#
    3478(A) 2160(B) 1785(C) 2690(D) 1530(E) 3352(F) 3210(G) 1661(H)=19866#
    — May 4 2004 —

    Total who voted (precinct)=total#
    — May 7 2002 —
    1126(A) 470(B) 493(C) 1087(D) 328(E) 889(F) 515(G) 271(H) 160(X)=5339#
    978(A) 335(B) 335(C) 1010(D) 208(E) 730(F) 457(G) 233(H) 89(X)=4375#
    — May 4 2004 —

    (precinct)percent of who voted of total registered in the precinct
    — May 7 2002 —
    (A)28% (B)16% (C)20% (D)38% (E)14% (F)21% (G)14% (H)13% =4375/19821=22%
    (A)32% (B)22% (C)28% (D)40% (E)21% (F)27% (G)16% (H)16% =5339/19866=27%
    — May 4 2004 —

  • You can do the math however you like — Reinicke and Jackson lost badly.

  • I am disgusted by the actions of all the participants in this fracas. Will someone please send these squabbling brats on Council to their rooms?

    I don’t care for the Democratic machine that is running the city into the ground; but their opposition is not very impressive either.
    Tired of hearing the “diversity”mantra being chanted all the time about the School Board,and other public agencies. How about “competence” and “integrity” when it comes to chosing public officials? Like school superintendants.

  • Here are the two emails that went out from Dem Co-Chairs Sherry Kraft and Russ Linden:

    Last Sunday, 11/20
    “RALLYING THE TROOPS
    City Council is holding a public hearing Monday night (tomorrow), on whether we should go to a ward or mixed ward/at large system for school board elections, rather than using the at large system that we use for Council elections. There is concern that Republicans may be organizing a large turnout to advocate for a ward system, with the ultimate goal of changing to a ward system for City Council elections. A large turnout of interested Democrats at this meeting will be important. Please try to attend if at all possible.

    The Council meeting begins at 7 pm, City Hall-second floor
    The public hearing will start closer to 7:30.”

    And the “clarification” Monday, 11/21:

    “The email message concerning tonight’s public hearing was worded in a way that, unfortunately, conveyed a different message than we were intending to convey. There is no Democratic Party position regarding which system is best for electing members of the school board. We certainly do not intend to disparage people of either political party who, in good faith, hold varying opinions on this issue. On the contrary, we believe in the importance of a full, open and thoughtful debate on the question of ward, mixed (at large/ward) or at large representation of school board members. We want to make sure that a public hearing on such an important topic can include a full range of opinions, and that all voices can be heard.

    Russ Linden and Sherry Kraft
    Co-chairs”

  • Thanks for posting those e-mails, ducktroller — I hadn’t seen them.

  • How could the first message from the Democratic party have conveyed a “…different message than we were intending to convey.” It’s pretty clear that Russ Linden and Sherry Kraft’s intended plot was to jam council chambers with their range of opinions AND not a full range of community viewpoints. I’ve been to too many council sessions– meetings, budget hearings and the like. There’s normally enough public comment to support all views. No rallying of the troops needed.

  • Noise, I think your mind is made up so whatever I say will make little difference, but just for the hell of it: the point of wards, according to their
    boosters, is that the person elected from a ward will be more accountable and more responsive. Why? because instead of being elected to represent all 35 to 40 thousand citizens of the ‘ville, they will be representing only a fraction thereof. This s what makes patronage work really well. If your patronage has to be distributed over the whole city, the chances of it yielding big results are diluted, whereas in a ward which is say, 1/5 or 1/7 of the total, its impact is much greater.

    You didn’t address the divisive issue, which also relates to why people on Cherry Avenue are qualified to represent people in Greenbrier. Perhaps instead of having geographic wards we should just have representatives for people that own their homes and renters, or people whose homes are worth between 150 and 200, and 200K and 400K and those above 500K or people whose incomes are between $0 and 50K and then the next range. Should people on Prospect be a whole ward? too small, I guess, so where do you draw the line? Do you think people in Johnson village could represent people on Nalle Street? Taken to an extreme the logic of your argument yields something like war lords.

    I mean to be insulting to the majority of materialistic, ignorant slobs who don’t vote. I hope you all who are mouthing off on this blog are voters. Otherwise you should shut up. But to inject a wee note of reason, I have read that if 90% of voters voted, the results would not be much different than they are, ie that the majority who do not vote would more or less reproduce the patterns manifested by those who do. In many ways, one can view low participation as a great vote of confidence. There is nothing in our general state of affairs that is sufficiently troubling to most people, preoccupied as they are with getting to Walmart at 5 am to buy the latest handheld gizmo timewaster, to motivate them to understand and to vote. Perhaps we should relax a little.

    Now on to that frothing poster Native: the mental acrobatics that you accomplish in the blink of an eye Rob Schilling = George Bush left me in
    the dust. I have no idea how you got there. They are both Republicans, but I didn’t mention anything about that or about Bush. What do you mean? Are you saying that you think Rob Schilling is deeply concerned about the achievement gap and the education of the little ones?

    “They” voted for an elected school board. “They” didn’t vote for a ward system. It will be really interesting to see how it goes. I totally agree with Waldo on this one. One change at a time please. I expect that we will see candidates deeply committed to the status quo, ie we care terribly about the achievement gap, but if you change one single thing in an attempt to fix it, we’ll tar and feather and run you out of town before you can say Scotty Griffin.

  • Oh and ps I’m a yellow-dog democrat. Sorry to ruffle your stereotype.

  • Berthe wrote:

    Noise, I think your mind is made up so whatever I say will make little difference, but just for the hell of it…

    Based on the tone of your post I’m not convinced you really care about making a persuasive argument in favor of an “at large” school board election, as much as you’d prefer to try to be inflamitory.

    Berthe wrote:

    Oh and ps I’m a yellow-dog democrat. Sorry to ruffle your stereotype.

    Yes I guessed that. And the comment was an attempt to point out the irony of a democrat espousing a traditional republican position.

    Berthe wrote:

    I hope you all who are mouthing off on this blog are voters. Otherwise you should shut up.

    I am and I do. And even if I didn’t there’s no way anyone could shut me up (except of course Waldo, since it’s his blog).

    Berthe wrote:

    the point of wards, according to their boosters, is that the person elected from a ward will be more accountable and more responsive. Why? because instead of being elected to represent all 35 to 40 thousand citizens of the ‘ville, they will be representing only a fraction thereof. This s what makes patronage work really well. If your patronage has to be distributed over the whole city, the chances of it yielding big results are diluted, whereas in a ward which is say, 1/5 or 1/7 of the total, its impact is much greater.

    It’s a school board seat what kind of “patronage” do you really expect to see? That they will more actively advocate for families residing in their ward? Isn’t that the point?

    Berthe wrote:

    You didn’t address the divisive issue, which also relates to why people on Cherry Avenue are qualified to represent people in Greenbrier.

    I’m not sure which divisive issue you were referring to. The point I was attempting to make was one of economic class using two entirely different types of neighborhoods as examples, and which was intended to represent a variety of understood differences.

    The advanced/academic/college track classes within the school system are the only ones worth taking. The general level classes, where the majority of the school population and less affluent students are, they are simply holding pens. Where the minimum is done until the students are able to be graduated, and those students in my opinion aren’t being sufficiently prepared. There is an achievement gap that needs to be addressed.

    Berthe wrote:

    I expect that we will see candidates deeply committed to the status quo, ie we care terribly about the achievement gap, but if you change one single thing in an attempt to fix it, we’ll tar and feather and run you out of town before you can say Scotty Griffin.

    I actually agree with you there. That accurately reflects the sad climate of the city school system. One which I would hope a ward system would be able to put a dent in. (And on a side note, one of the positive things that happened as a result of her tenure was the increase in parental participation. )

  • From Berthe:

    Now on to that frothing poster Native [1]: the mental acrobatics that you accomplish in the blink of an eye Rob Schilling = George Bush left me in the dust. I have no idea how you got there [2]. They are both Republicans, but I didn’t mention anything about that or about Bush. What do you mean? Are you saying that you think Rob Schilling is deeply concerned about the achievement gap and the education of the little ones[3]?

    [1] name calling
    [2] sorry. that was from UVA08 above your post. “All politics may not be local and I say given the horrible state of politics at the federal level, no Republican is safe from defeat, especially in areas as liberal as Charlottesville.”
    [3] projection of negativity and cynicism. And this notable quote from Berthe:
    “it’s just as true that Rob Schilling would sell his mother to the white slave traders if he thought it would keep him on council.” That’s one for the history books.

    Berthe is so out of touch he/she doesn’t know I am the Neal Boortz of Cville. I don’t have a radio show but I do have a history of speaking the painful truth on local issues. Keep it coming Berthe.

  • For your information BERTHE, Schilling was at nearly every school board meeting last year— so BERTHE— it would appear that he DOES care about education.

    Blake Caravati was at about half of the meetings. Kendra Hamilton was never seen at one. Kevin Lynch was at a few… Mayor Brown was busy hiding under a rock after having brought out his firing squad on Dede Smith.

  • Aren’t the school board meetings televised on cable? And don’t councilors have to check when attending public meetings because if three of them show up at the same one it automatically elevates it to a council meeting? Just because we don’t see them in the room doesn’t mean that they don’t see the school board meetings — neither does it mean they don’t care.

  • Rob Schilling was NOT at “nearly every” school board meeting last year. He attended a few. And more to the point, he sat on his hands all year, waiting to see how the Griffin saga would unfold. He never asked Griffin a tough question, never pressed Dede Smith for answers about the ongoing dissatisfaction with her leadership. None of the councillors except Blake Caravati made an effort to understand the scope of the Smith/Griffin problem and address it. (And by the way, Blake didn’t go to half the meetings. And Kendra WAS seen at least two: Cvilletransplant, she spoke at one that I recall.

    Leadership on one issue–the elected school board referendum–should not have anyone jumping on the Schilling bandwagon for reelection. That goes for Brown, Lynch, and Hamilton, too. The problem with the School Board began with Maurice Cox, and has been made worse by four of the five sitting council members.

  • Ducktroller, I was at every one of the school board meetings during this year’s fiasco. Hamilton was not “seen” at “at least two.” Rob Schilling sitting on his hands in this case is known as delegation. Council appoints school board members to do the work of overseeing the system. More than a hundred people spoke out about how SOME councillors interference and babysitting was driving some of the chaos. In documented and published reports, many threatened to never again vote for Caravati because he continually interfered and spoke out to the local media.

    In May, Caravati told a reporter the only way out of the situation was to hold school board members responsbile from here on out… He did not sidestep the question of electing a school board member– he backed it.

Comments are currently closed.

Sideblog