Republican Rodney Thomas is running against incumbent Democrat David Slutzky for Board of Supervisors, Brian Wheeler writes for Charlottesville Tomorrow. Thomas is a former chair of the Albemarle Planning Commission, owner Charlottesville Press, and was a 1999 graduate of the Sorensen Institute‘s Political Leaders Program.
He’s a good guy for Republicans to be running. He’s a nice guy, thoughtful and capable, rather the opposite of the sort of candidates who Virginia Republicans tend to put forward against incumbent Democrats. David Slutzky may have a fight on his hands.
9 thoughts on “Rodney Thomas Running for BoS”
Hope Mr. Thomas really does have common sense as he claims.
I think the current supervisors have hurt themselves, accept Rooker, for not calling for a second opinion on the $200million cost of the water supply proposal or holding the RWSA board accountable for not providing better oversight of tax payer money, spending $5 million on consultants that have produced no usable cost estimates, or feasible plans, and NO additional water. Hope Mr. Thomas will be in line with Mr. Crutchfield’s thinking on this and insist that the reservoir be dredged immediately which would be the quickest, cheapest way to give the community decades of water.
You don’t have to burden present rate-payers with all new infrastructure for 50 years of water. We need more water now and can then plan for the future.
In general, the public is always well served by having more candidates to choose from, so it’s good to see someone running for that seat.
My understanding is that he has a record of supporting development in the rural areas, and “property rights” (i.e. against zoning and ordinances that would limit development). I think the debates between him and Slutzky should be pretty interesting from that perspective.
Like the Mallek/Wyant race, it may turn out to be a referendum on where the public currently stands on growth issues (but in this case, with the challenger being pro-growth).
Of course growth will always be an issue, but, I think this year with the economy on everybody’s minds, county spending will also be at the top of the list of issues. It may not rest upon each candidate’s answers as much as his questions.
If you didn’t listen to the Rob Schilling/Rodney Thomas lovefest on WINA Radio on Thursday afternoon, here’s what you missed:
Rodney’s first caller was Republican and Albemarle Truth in Taxation researcher Peter Wurzer who handed Rodney a soft ball question and a hearty compliment on deciding to be a candidate. This was obviously a set up question and not a spontaneous caller. Peter should have had the integrity to identify himself to the listeners or Rob Schilling should have done so for him.
The second caller was a Rodney friend named Joe from the Sorensen Institute.
The third caller sounded like a young male and politely asked a very good question about the local water supply. Rodney’s answer was that he had no opinion on what he would choose for a 50-year water supply source. Rodney then stated that he was still open to taking water from the James River “years down the road.” Rodney declares his candidacy without having an opinion on the local water supply?!! And then says the dirty and expensive James River option is still on the table for him!??
The fourth caller was an older-sounding male preaching personal property rights protections. I’m all for that. Also an easy topic for Rodney to handle.
The fifth caller was a woman who knew Rodney and was “very pleased” to know he was running. Ho-hum.
The sixth caller was Republican Hank Martin, founder of the citizens group Forever Albemarle. Hank (or again Mr. Schilling) also should have had the integrity to identify who Hank is before he was allowed to fawn all over Rodney.
The seventh caller suggested an early joint appearance for Slutzky and Rodney on the Schilling Show. He then asked Rodney to describe the boundaries of the Rio District which Rodney fumbled through without much specificity. Thanks to Albemarle GOP Chair Chris Schoenwald, also in the studio, at least the Rio voting precincts were identified for listeners.
I didn’t hear all of the eighth caller, but by the voice it was obviously Betty Seignor Mooney of Charlottesville, one of the reservoir dredging advocates who doesn’t like the Ragged Mountain dam raising option. All I caught was that she was glad the Rio District, where she can’t vote, was going to have a “competitive” race. Competitive? Oh, really?
The ninth caller brought up the Western Bypass as having been studied to death and never built, but we never heard Rodney’s position on this roadway. He did talk about the county’s Architectural Review Board, saying “I can’t say whether I’m for or against it.” What? Rodney did say that the ARB “kind of” interfered at times with what the Planning Commission was doing when he was on the Commission several years ago. Maybe someone, like the interviewer Rob Schilling, should pin Rodney down with some follow-up questions. Oh, I forgot. Rob was using his show to celebrate rather than question a fellow Republican’s announcement.
The tenth caller, a voter from the Rio District, said Rodney was the “answer to my prayers” and got Rodney to declare that his plan is to “knock on every door in the Rio District” during his campaign.
The eleventh caller identified himself as Rodney’s next door neighbor and a supporter.
The twelfth caller was a self-described anti-Slutzky retiree supporting Rodney. To this friendly, Rodney declared: “I am a native. I care. I love Albemarle County.” If Rodney’s a Monacan, then “nativity” counts for something with me. Otherwise, I don’t care where a candidate is from as long as he represents us well.
Prior to the final caller, who identified himself as a UVA student (Young Republican?) with an apparent pre-arranged question about getting out the youth vote, Rob Schilling did ask Rodney one pithy question: “What is government’s role in affordable housing?” Rodney’s four-part paraphrased replies included: (1) “I can’t see the County putting any money into affordable housing.” (2) “I would never want to be giving my money to someone who should be working and buying their own home.” (3) “I would try to get development costs down so that land isn’t so expensive in the county.” and (4) “Albemarle County can probably never have affordable housing.” So, apparently, this is one local problem that Rodney has already given up on.
Rodney Thomas, in my opinion, is going to have to make a much better first impression the next time he goes before the public in search of support from anyone other than his small circle of Republican well-wishers tuned into Republican Rob Schilling’s GOP radio show. This was an hour-long Rodney Thomas infomercial rather than a legitimate candidate interview.
Mr. Slutzky needs to be defeated, if he runs for re-election, but I’m not certain Mr. Thomas is the guy to do it based on what I’ve heard so far.
By the way, I voted Republican in the 2005 Rio District race.
Willie from Rio
Great recap Willie. Thanks.
What concerns me about Thomas is his “I-never-met-a-developer/property right-I-didn’t-like” attitude. His fellow republicans are the ones who led the charge to let developers off the proffer hook, followed closely by the spineless democrats who were afraid developers would head to the rural areas if given a hard time (made to pay for the costs of growth) in the growth areas.
Since Thomas is pro-development, pro property rights and a purported fiscal conservative, then exactly how does he plan on paying for the costs associated with growth? Something’s got to give . . .
There are lots of BIG issues where we need to know where he stands. He’d better come up with a platform that clearly articulates his views. He’s a little fuzzy right now. At least we know where Slutzky stands. Right next to you with his hand in YOUR pocket.
What we really need in Albemarle County is a clean sweep. These same ole faces keep doing the same ole things with the same bad results. We need people with brains, vision and no connection to or fear of the good ole boys. Hard to do in a place this small and small-minded.
Ha, I’m glad someone else takes this view. I used to call myself a “native”, but now I think differently of the term.
As for the rest… I’d like just one person to define exactly what they mean by “property rights”. It even would be more meaningful if Rodney Thomas just said “I’m against all zoning” (because, in my experience that’s generally what they really mean).
I don’t understand his property rights emphasis. Isn’t the Rio District mainly urban and wouldn’t these people want to slow growth to prevent their taxes from rising ?
It’s my understanding that the Rio district stretches from Woodbrook to eastern Earlysville, which is more rural.
Citizen, the tax issue depends on what kind of developement one is talking about. Rural development costs taxpayers money, but commercial development brings more tax dollars in. I haven’t heard an analysis of mixed use neighborhood model development (but there isn’t much of that in that district).
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