Wendell Wood’s WINA Tirade Over NGIC Deal

I just got done listening to a mighty strange discussion that took place on Coy Barefoot’s show this week. Coy had Charlottesville Tomorrow‘s Brian Wheeler on for his weekly segment, to discuss growth issues, and they’d planned to have developer Wendell Wood call in for a discussion. Charlottesville Tomorrow has been looking into the unusual arrangement that Board of Supervisors member Ken Boyd brokered between Wood and the county. It was Jayson Whitehead at C-Ville Weekly who first blew this story wide open, revealing that Wood had convinced the county to rezone 30 acres of his rural-zoned land as a part of the growth area, saying that they just had to do it in order to convince NGIC to remain here, who Wood says was going to pull up stakes and leave.

Well, Wood decided not to call in for the discussion on WINA but, instead, he showed up in person and proceeded to take over the half hour discussion. Wheeler and Barefoot barely got a word in edgewise. Towards the 27 minute mark, when Wheeler finally manages to say something, Wood started getting irate at slights that only he could perceive. Wood soon accuses Wheeler of simply inventing lies about the facts of the land transfer, though admits that he’s never read a word that Wheeler has written on the topic. (He says that he “I don’t read that stuff, because every blog in the world…. I’m not into that.”) Around the 30 minute mark he starts to get confused, unable to string together a sentence, so infused is he with rage. Coy Barefoot eventually cuts off Wood and declares the show finished.

Over at Charlottesville Tomorrow’s site, Brian Wheeler provides meticulous documentation of the transaction, including a map of the land in question, links to a dozen newspaper articles on the topic, including Whitehead’s ongoing coverage of the topic.

21 Responses to “Wendell Wood’s WINA Tirade Over NGIC Deal”


  • Actually, I think it was former DP reporter Jessica Kitchin who first reported most of the details of the unusual arrangement roughly a year ago. Alas, the story does not appear to be on the Progress Web site.

  • Well note the pattern of the officials who have been caught in dealings which only cost the taxpayer. The whine [Slutzky] or froth at the mouth [Wood] are instances where if they would just do the job they were elected to do, there would be no perceived provocations by you elected folk.

    These folks could look a lot more emotionally stable if they would just exercise stewardship rather than furthering your delusions and our perceptions of deceit.

    The failures of the elected officials with the NGIC deal and other development deals now leads to your shameful outbursts…and still you do not serve your constituents.

    To those elected, remember we vote and don’t give a whit about your emotive outbursts that achieve nothing in terms of satisfying taxpayer expectations.

    Best regards,
    Tony Deivert

  • I think the description of Wood “taking over” the conversation is both unfair and disingenuous. The host of the program, Coy Barefoot, stresses several times how grateful he is for Wood coming by and how it is his goal to allow Wood the opportunity to respond to some of the things that have been written about the NGIC deal. “I don’t want you to leave here thinking you didn’t get a chance to say everything you wanted to,” Barefoot tells Wood before a break.

    Furthermore, it’s a fairly complicated transaction involving a landowner, Congress, the US Army, and the BoS among others I imagine. It only makes sense that the guy at the center of the deal would would speak for the lion’s share of the program.

    Although I’ve never met Wood, I can certainly imagine his frustration over trying to structure a deal that keeps good jobs in Albemarle County while at the same time fighting off ankle-biters like Brian Wheeler from Charlottesville Tomorrow. Here’s an anti-growth organization whose claims to be non-partisan and disinterested are so transparently false that no one I know takes them seriously. At least you know where Wood’s coming from.

    Few people have spread more money around the county than Wendell Wood over the last 40 years. Sure, he got rich too, but it’s a bad bargain if nobody gains. To attack him as engaging in a “tirade” when all he’s doing is defending his interests and those of Albemarle County (benighted though some of the recipients of his beneficence may be) is a disservice to him and the community.

  • Tony- it is a little hard to take you seriously when you think Mr. Wood is an elected official. It shows you know little about this and that you did not listen to the clip. Mr. Wood is a private land developer who sold his land for less than it was worth so NGIC would stay here and expand. He ask that the Albemarle BOS seriously CONSIDER (not promise) moving 30 acres of his other property into the growth area as way of re-coup the loss he took on the first deal. This deal will go though no less than 4 separate public hearing (according to Dennis Rooker on WINA) before the change can become law.

  • I think the description of Wood “taking over” the conversation is both unfair and disingenuous. The host of the program, Coy Barefoot, stresses several times how grateful he is for Wood coming by and how it is his goal to allow Wood the opportunity to respond to some of the things that have been written about the NGIC deal.

    I got quite the opposite reading. Seemed to me that Coy was humoring him, more than anything else, indulging the guy so that he couldn’t turn around and claim that he’d suffered unfairly at the hands of WINA. Note that, early on, Coy and Brian attempt to ask questions, and Wood gets testy and complains that he’s got something to say, and he just wants to say it. When they return from the final break, he says he needs just two more minutes to make his case, and wants to play some audio tape, and that’s when Coy starts taking things in hand again. So Wood changes his story and says he’d need at least another half hour in order to set the record straight, by his estimation.

    FWIW, I worked in talk radio for a few years, in the very studio that Coy now uses, in fact. So, rightly or wrongly, I hear what sounds very much like a host trying to deal with a bad situation, that of a guest who can’t seem to be contained.

    But, Falstaff, I don’t want you to leave here thinking you didn’t get a chance to say everything you wanted to… ;)

  • I’ll give you Coy wanted to cut him off at the end, surely, but this:

    “Around the 30 minute mark he starts to get confused, unable to string together a sentence, so infused is he with rage.”

    is a tad hyberbolic, and I see where Falstaff is coming from.

  • You think he was “humoring him?” Really? Did we listen to the same show? In the absence of any evidence to the contrary beyond what you “sensed” from the exchange, I have to take the host’s actual words at face value. Specifically, Barefoot says (several times) that he’s delighted to have Wood in studio and determined to provide him with all the time he needed to address points that have been raised in the media regarding the NGIC land deal.

  • to: cvillejosh: THANKS, I NEEDED THAT.HAH HAH
    I WOULDN’T TAKE ME SERIOUSLY EITHER AFTER THAT FAUX PAS TOO…YES I WAS TOO FAST ON THE TRIGGER AND TOO SLOW ON THE DRAW…THUS SHOT MYSELF IN THE FOOT. OBVIOUSLOY I’M JUST A LITTLE REV’D UP OVER THE LOCAL GATEKEEPERS HAVING THEIR WAY AND THEN PULLING A SLUTZKY. NEXT TIME I’LL COUNT TO TEN.
    CHEERS!
    TONY

  • I’ll give you Coy wanted to cut him off at the end, surely, but this:
    “Around the 30 minute mark he starts to get confused, unable to string together a sentence, so infused is he with rage.”
    is a tad hyberbolic, and I see where Falstaff is coming from.

    I’m thinking of this bit, in particular, at 30:15:

    BAREFOOT: So those 30 acres are all separate, they’re not touching, like this?
    WOOD: They are common boundaries with NGIC, there again, you have to make a right hand turn, and so it touches in two places, but it’s thirty acres with common boundaries…on…[exhales sharply]… I mean, listen, this is a ridiculous argument, to say that it’s–uh, uh–well, tell you how smart he is, last time he was on the radio he said it was down at the Hollymead Town Center, which is two miles away?

    That was immediately followed by Wood beginning to use an angry, exasperated town of voice just one notch below shouting, which was a sharp contrast to Wheeler’s calm, even tone in response. As Wheeler made a couple of points, Wood sputtered out a few half-sentences, unable to wait for Wheeler to finish talking. Wood then accuses Wheeler of calling him a liar, says that he “obviously doesn’t [know where the land is],” he “publishes anything anybody says,” and “you didn’t not do a good job, because if you don’t understand the difference between 30 acres and 500 acres, you don’t understand…you’re dealing in [unintelligible.] It’s at that point where Coy jumps in for the first time in a couple of minutes and cuts off the conversation.

    Wendell Wood was clearly angry, to the point that he leapt between three unrelated thoughts in a single sentence, before moving on to simply insulting Wheeler.

  • Agree with Waldo….Brian has done an outstanding job on this issue. Nothing but the facts on his site, which don’t pass the sniff test. Thank you Brian and thank you Waldo for shining some light on this questionable transaction.

  • I don’t know, from the writeup I was expecting profanity, screaming, insults, etc .. and it didn’t quite get to that point.

  • After listening to the exchange I did some research and Brian Wheeler’s map is not accurate today. It reflects something that began the process over a year ago but hasn’t been accurate of many months. Simply checking what Mr. Wood says was easy to do on the Places 29 website. I wonder why this wasn’t done to when Mr. Wood first bought up this problem.

    http://www.albemarle.org/upload/images/forms_center/departments/community_development/forms/Places29/Places29_Framework_North_14as2007.pdf

    This PDF from places 29 and it seems to be difficult to enlarge but if you look directly above the Preferred in the phrase “Preferred Network” you can see a dotted red line that shows the proposed boundary change. The yellow area is the proposed change. This clearly makes Charlottesville Tomorrow map obsolete (which it has been before the issue was raised by on Coy Barefoot’s show). I hope that mistake will be corrected on Charlottesville Tomorrow soon.

  • The map on Charlottesville Tomorrow’s website was intended to reflect the original request made by Mr. Wood which led to the resolution of intent voted upon by the Board of Supervisors. This is what I believe the Supervisors and the public should have had in front of them when they voted.

    No land has been moved into the growth area yet, and the specific 30 acres is certainly subject to change at the request of Mr. Wood, the future actions of the Planning Commission in their work on the Places29 Master Plan, and the final approval of the Master Plan by the Board.

    Senior staff in the Community Development department provided me the with the documentation they felt represented Mr. Wood’s request. They did not communicate to me that the request had been modified since Mr. Wood’s original letter, and they had every opportunity to do so knowing the treatment I was going to give this issue.

    On the radio, I explained to Mr. Wood that I had based the map on his letter, an at one point hearing he thought there was a misunderstanding, I believe I even said something to the effect of “maybe you have changed your request since then,” but by that point the show was coming to an end and there was not a constructive dialogue taking place.

    If I can confirm in writing or directly from Mr. Wood that his request has changed, we will add a supplemental map. Mr. Wood did not return my call for information about the parcels that were part of the deal, so I relied on the written record in the hands of County staff.

    Good question, hope this explanation helps.

    Brian Wheeler, Charlottesville Tomorrow

  • I think Charlottesville Tomorrow is missing something since (and this isn’t exact) the map shown has what appears to be 2 separate 30 acre parcels. Is it possible that this was an either/or situation? Because for CT’s map to be correct the initial request would have to have been for 60 acres and I haven’t heard that from anyone. This would explain the confusion and why the Charlottesville Tomorrow’s map, while accurate to the initial letter from over a year ago but wrong on the reality of the actual boundary adjustment.

    I think you should obtain this information directly from County staff and not Mr. Wood. What staff will forward to the supervisors for consideration is the only thing that really matters. This is what should be the focus of any serious discussion.

    The link provided in my previous post seems much more relevant to today’s discussion. It is what Places 29 has been showing to the public for many months. Charlottesville Tomorrow’s map seems to simply cloud the waters with obsolete and misleading information. I can’t help but wonder why Charlottesville Tomorrow continues to defend a map that the owner of the land has publicly told you twice (on WINA) is incorrect.

  • I think you should obtain this information directly from County staff and not Mr. Wood.

    […]

    I can’t help but wonder why Charlottesville Tomorrow continues to defend a map that the owner of the land has publicly told you twice (on WINA) is incorrect.

    Probably for the same reason that you said that Wood’s information shouldn’t be trusted. :)

  • Probably for the same reason that you said that Wood’s information shouldn’t be trusted. :)

    I never said his information shouldn’t be trusted and it’s wrong for you to suggest otherwise. I believe the County is neutral in this and truly the final say. It has been clearly shown on the podcast that Charlottesville Tomorrow would not take Mr. Wood’s word on anything, how is a piece of paper going to make any difference. After hearing the tape I doubt that Mr. Wood would want to provide Brian Wheeler with written confirmation that the sun will rise, let alone this deal.

    Who is Charlottesville Tomorrow to demand information from any private individual?
    It smacks of an unwarranted intrusion into a governmental process by a group of individual with limited (if any) direct involvement.

    That Charlottesville Tomorrow has the right to demand answers of local government about this deal is unquestionable. But if a landowner wants to ignore CT no inference should be taken from that denial. I would think that the burden is clearly on Charlottesville Tomorrow to prove they have it right since they have set themselves up as a self appointed watchdog group. And let me be clear, my objection is about their map and not CT or their mission.

  • Isn’t Wood asking something from the county? That would be a matter of public policy in my book.

  • Well some things are legitimate to handle secretly in local gov’t: salary negotiations, lawsuit settlements and such. But that can easily go too far. Eventually it becomes public record, eh.

  • After listening to Mr. Wood I’m not sure I would say he was angry as much as frustrated.

    He seems very upset with the lone female on the Board and it comes across, to me anyway, that he longs for the days when this would have been worked out over a few bourbons.

    I’m glad this is getting as much public airing as it is. I don’t beleive for a minute that the NGIC would pull out.

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