Norris Running for Reelection

Mayor Dave Norris is running for reelection to City Council, he announced in an e-mail this evening. His first term expires at the end of this year. He’s seeking renomination as a Democrat, and then the general election will be held in November. Vice Mayor Julian Taliaferro has not yet said whether he intends to seek a second term. His e-mail announcement follows.

Dear Friends,

I’m writing today to share some news. As you may know, my term on City Council ends this year, and I have been thinking long and hard about whether to seek re-election to Council. The job of Councilor/Mayor requires long hours for little pay and has taught me all too well the importance of having a thick skin.

We have made some good progress in my time on Council, though, and I have too many ‘irons in the fire’ and initiatives under development to give up now. Accordingly, I have decided to take the plunge and today am announcing my candidacy for another term on City Council. The Charlottesville Democrats will hold a nominating primary on Saturday, May 9, and I hope you will urge all of your friends, co-workers, neighbors and colleagues to come out and vote for me on that day. The general election will take place on Nov. 3.

For more information about my candidacy, or to find out ways that you can get involved in my campaign, please visit Better yet, come to our Campaign Kickoff Party next Thursday, March 12, from 7-9pm at South Street Brewery (106 South St.). I am pleased to report that Becky Reid has agreed to serve as my Campaign Manager while Tad Abbey is coordinating my Media and Promotions; Holly Hatcher is returning as my campaign Treasurer. It’s a dynamic team and I’m proud to have their support.

One last thing. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate asking for money. But we do need some funds to help cover the modest expenses we expect to incur in the months ahead. Virginia law allows for unlimited donations to local candidates, but I detest the corrupting role that money plays in politics so I have imposed a voluntary limit of $500 per donor. Even if you can only give a fraction of that, though, please consider doing so. Checks can be made out to “Dave Norris for City Council” and mailed to 1409 Early St., Charlottesville, VA 22902, or you can donate online by clicking here.

Thanks much for your friendship and support!

45 thoughts on “Norris Running for Reelection”

  1. Dave has proven at Tuesday’s dredging meeting with the county that he will stand up to the county to support the city’s interest. He did this, as did the other councilors at that meeting, under great pressure and with 3 county boards against them. I think we need to re-elect Dave to make sure that city interests are not compromised and I believe he will continue to do that.

  2. I hope he also recognizes the being an obstacle to the existing adopted water supply plan may put many future generations in peril not having enough water.

    On a separate note, I applaud Dave’s interest in maintaining the health of the SFRR.

  3. Dave is not an obstacle in fact he is one of the only elected officials trying to get more water the fastest, cheapest, most sustainable way possible. Do you really want city residents to see their water/sewer bills quadruple ? Vote for sustainable development vote for Dave if you care about responsible decision making on this one.

  4. City resident, these scare tactics will no longer work. There is simply not enough information to go forward with the RWSA proposals and the costs are a complete unknown. All Mayor Norris is asking for is the information we should have had all along to make sure the plan we chose, and the expense borne the city residents is the best one. Wouldn’t you call that responsible and the kind of official we want in charge?

  5. This is great news. Even though we might not see eye-to-eye on every issue, Mayor Norris has proven himself again and again to be willing to stick his neck out for the people of Charlottesville.

    What I’ve seen in him is a good mix of compassion, ethics, and guts. He’s approachable, above board, and not afraid to admit when he’s been wrong about something. That’s pretty rare in a politician.

  6. Norris, not afraid to admit when he is wrong about something. Yea, right. What about his vote to give away the western part of McIntire Park for a YMCA facility? Didn’t even have the “guts” to make it an all or nothing vote by council to have it approved or disapproved.
    This may be the type of person you want on council, but not me and I hope enough other people will feel the same way when they vote. Norris is a perfect example of what is wrong with this city politically.

  7. I would actually say that Mr. Norris’ scare or “threat” tactics will no longer work. Or maybe they will….

    Will the city literally consider stopping the approved water supply plan. As a city resident, I’d be pretty disgusted.

    So the city is considering not building their portion of the parkway, and now they don’t want to build necessary water infrastructure? If these tactics continue, I doubt my kids will want to live here. Hell, there may be no water.

  8. I doubt if the cost of living explodes anybody’s child will want to live here. They will probably want to live between Short Pump and Zion Crossroads or in Greene County beside all of the businesses that will be relocating there. You see, I’ve figured out the the no-growth people want Chalbemarle to have such a high cost of living that developers will see that their future customers who want to live in central VA but elsewhere. As it is now, the city has about 500 households receiving subsidies on their real estate tax. How many others are receiving subsidies with gas bills, homeowner rehab, down payment and closing costs, recreational activities, school enrichment, food, clothing, medical care, etc., I have no idea.
    “So the city is considering not building their portion of the parkway, and now they don’t want to build necessary water infrastructure?” This water capacity isn’t necessary. We’re currently using half of the water daily that this proposal is supposed to provide. BTW, has anybody recalculated the projected water needs for Chalbemarle in light of the additional water that will be coming to Zion Crossroads? I doubt it.

  9. Cville Eye, Fluvanna and Louisa have already decided to join forces and build a pipe line from the James River to Zion Cross Road. Water supply not an issue. Also, I believe a part of the plan is for a water purification plant to be built in Fork Union to supply them as well with this pipe line. While Charlottesville waffles along other localities are moving right along with out having to put up with all of the obstructionist and whiners which we have in Charlottesville.

  10. “What about his vote to give away the western part of McIntire Park for a YMCA facility?”

    Amen. He lost my vote by not considering public input on that issue as well.

  11. TJ, no one agrees with everyone on every issue. I am not for an increase in taxes as I get every year with the increase in my real estate taxes, I am for controlling spending in our cancerous public education system, I am for the preservation of the western part of McIntire Park. In other words no building i.e. YMCA. I am opposed to the idea of building a botanical garden on the east portion of McIntire Park. The way things are going there will be no open park space left in the city if we follow blindly the lead of Norris. He needs to be dumped, i.e. voted out of office.
    Meade Park for all intents and purposes is now destroyed by the new pool which should have been built where the old pool was located. Affordable/low income housing will soon take the remainder of meade park once the pool is completed.
    Other than these things I am a pretty happy camper.

  12. Jogger, I think I was very clear in stating that Mayor Norris and I don’t always agree on every issue. Nor do I expect we should. I don’t agree 100% with every view held by my friends and family, much less anyone on Council. Not sure why you think you should have a candidtae hand-picked for you.

    For instance, I would never support building the Y in the park. However, he’s an ethical person and isn’t in the pocket of big business. That goes a long way with me.

    Mayor Norris had nothing to do with Meade Pool being moved to the new location. I categorically oppose the facility being moved, and supported it staying in the back portion, albeit moved away from the creek. Why are you saying that low-income housing will go in the back? Are you exaggerating for effect, or do you have any real information to back up your claim?

  13. Jogger,

    I’m curious as to why you oppose the Botanical Garden idea?

    How would you prefer to see that space used?


  14. “While Charlottesville waffles along other localities are moving right along with out having to put up with all of the obstructionist and whiners which we have in Charlottesville.” That’s part of my point. Other localities are moving along and attracting growth. The RWSA didn’t take any of this moving along into account when it was projecting future population growth and its water needs fifty years in the future. Nobody can see that far into the future, so we need to start taking a broader view. jogger refers to “then.” What if, down the road the federal government, realizaing the growing problem of water supply start demanding regional authorities for water and sewer in the next fifty years? Would that mean that the growth areas of central VA would have to pool (no pun) their resources to the extent that northern Albemarle and Greene would share water sources and eastern Albemarle and Zion Crossroads would have to share. Most people never dreamed that building a sewer line in Crozet would mean that the population in that area of Albemarle County could climb to 24,000?
    BTW, after we spend about $400M on water and sewer, what do you expect your water and sewer bill to be?

  15. Lonnie there are any number of reasons to be opposed to the botanical gardens or having anything done to the eastern portion of the park.
    Lonnie, why are you and so many others of your ilk so set on developing every open piece of ground within the city limits? McIntire Park is the last large piece of public land which was set aside for an open space park and should remain so forever. Granted you as an old geezer will not be here much longer, so it makes no difference to you whether there is open space or not, BUT for the future generations to come we need to preserve open space without any type of development, especially our parkland. Farmland within the city has already disappeared and now there is an assualt on our last remaining open space parkland which must be stopped.

  16. Jogger, it already is developed as a golf course, and that use will no longer be realistic after the parkway goes through. So, it will have to be used for something (unless you are arguing that it should be be used…)

    I could see an argument that it should be restored completely to it’s pre-golf natural state. Frankly, that’d cost just as much as building a botanical garden. Besides, part of the plan for a botanical garden probably will involve returning some of the developed area back to their natural state.

    Or, one could argue for sports fields or some other use, but I’m not sure it’d work well for most of those either without some major work that would destroy the site.

  17. I found this link to Dave Norris’ platform on the Hook’s web site: When I clicked on the one above, it gave me a list of policies and speeches from 2006.
    jogger, I’m the old geezer, Lonnie is about 35.
    Lonnie, in this article it says you and the Mayor supports a new botanical garden in the park. You and I have had this conversation before and I was under the impression that you had indicated that you were not affliiated with this group, but rather someone who as willing to privately finance the garden. I stated that I thought the woman was trying to created a job for herself at taxpayers’ expense. As it usually happens, when it comes to the local government, support is gathered for the idea, then the plan changes to involve tax money. In this day and age of cutbacks, I do not support any financial involvement by the city in this botanical garden project that is a Richmond wannabe until we take care of necessities first. Doing anything with that park of the park is not a necessity. I am glad someone from Albemarle County was at this meeting (who hosted this meeting anyway?) to remind people that this project will have large annual costs at a time when the city is asking neighborhoods to get volunteers to pick up litter.

  18. C-ville Eye, I’m not affiliated with Flamini’s group. I am a board member of a second group advocating for the same thing (i.e. a Botanical Garden in McIntire.)

    As for the rest, I think you have some mistaken assumtions (but not on my age, you got that one right!). We have no intention of creating a “a Richmond wannabe”. If people must compare this project to something then I’d prefer that they compare it to the Ashville Botanical Garden. In other words, with due respect to the Daily Progress author Lewis Ginter is a totally inappropriate comparison. One big difference being that it would have a conservation mission.

    I think you’re probably in the minority in wanting the park not to be used for anything at all. Most people want it used for something (keeping in mind that even open space is a use requiring management and some degree of money). A botanical garden could start as simply as the original WPA wildflower garden did requiring very little in terms of funding from local taxpayers.

    For that matter grant money already exists for the project, and more private money can be raised quickly once the use is approved through the master planning process.

    for an in depth snalysis of the use of McIntire as a Botanical Garden, read the environmental impact assessment that was already done by some UVa students. You’ll see that it’s probably one of the lowest impact uses for the site possible.

  19. Lonnie, thanks for the info. Glad things have not changed. Why did they include you in the article with the woman with the Richmond look-a-like?
    This is where you err: “I think you’re probably in the minority in wanting the park not to be used for anything at all.” Re-read my post. I said “In this day and age of cutbacks, I do not support any financial involvement by the city in this botanical garden project…Doing anything with that park of the park is not a necessity.”

  20. I had an in depth conversation with the reporter about the two groups, and the difference between them. Having written an article or two, I can only guess that nuance ended up on the cutting room floor once the editors got ahold of it.

    That said, the take away message in the article should be that both our groups support the use of McIntire, and that Dave Norris is supportive of the idea too. In fact, Dave has been very active in making sure that the two groups work together in providing one unified proposal. We are actively working with Flamini’s group, and hopefully can work out some of these important details (like the difference between Ginter and Ashville). I’ve worked mainly with Peter McIntosh so far, who is very reasonable and I think there shouldn’t be any problem coming up with a plan that is both light on the land and which the public can support.

    Nonetheless, I strongly encourage the public to be active in the master planning process to make sure that the final plan really does reflect the wishes and needs of this community.

  21. And, has the Mayor involved the public in the master planning process that is being put together by what group?

  22. Master Planning hasn’t started yet. It’s waiting on the Meadowcreek Parkway issue to be resolved one way or another. Really you can’t plan much until you know the shape of the thing you’re actually working with (and the small detail of whether there will be a road through it or not).

  23. Lonnie the meadowcreek parkway will only take two of the nine holes at the McIntire Park east. That means a 7 hole golf course is left and playable.
    I’d much rather have the open space, 7 hold golf course than a building, either now or in the future. You’d be suprised to know how many people play the course at McIntire, BUT then again I doubt if you ever go there except when you are driving by.
    Why is it that non-profits think all of a sudden that they know what is best for Charlottesville?
    An impact assessment done by UVA students. Now that is a piece of work that needs to publicized. I can only imagine the slanted view that is presented by this assessment. Just make sure the outcome of the assessment agrees with the “profs” views and we all get A’s for the semester. Right?
    What’s wrong with putting the Botanical Garden and YMCA facility out at PVCC or some other location?

  24. Read the Assessment before you judge it. I had my doubts when I saw it was a student project, but they did some really good work.

    As for putting a building there, as I said before, there already was one there in the past (the foundation is still there). If it were to be placed on the same foundation, I can’t see how you’d lose one ounce of green space. I think you are imagining some vast sprawling complex of buildings, and that’s definitely not what is proposed. True to the name mainly it will be Gardens and open space.

    That is, unless your objection is really about preserving the Golf Course. I admit it, I’m not a golfer, and I’ve never felt it was the best use of the space. Besides the Golfers have Pen Park. The Pen Park course was built despite huge objections by the community and was justified since Pen Park was billed as a replacement for the McIntire course, which was supposedly being retired.

    Speaking only for myself and not for CBG, I feel Golf is a huge, rather exclusive and environmentally destructive use of space anyway. Even a soccer field can be used for something else when no one is playing soccer. Generally no one is even allowed on the golf courses unless they are playing golf. If McIntire is such an important part of our city then it should get broader use, and Golf is way too narrow of a use for such a large space. Otherwise, let’s open Pen Parks course up to joggers, and people who picnic (or just turn it back into trails).

  25. No surprise I don’t support Norris because he lacks ethics, opposes preservation of local history, and supports eminent domain to seize and sell real estate. This is well-documented. Reality versus rhetoric. He doesn’t work well with the county. Remember the YMCA was originally planned ro be directly next to CHS adjacent Melbourne but was moved to the baseball fields because its users were mainly county residents who paid a fee for that use. He voted for the YMCA because he didn’t want it in the county at PVCC where it was actually welcomed with a free site and interstate access. Smith Pool on Cherry Ave is being replaced why? Because county residents swam there and paid a higher user fee than the much fewer city swimmers. He says the city holds “all the cards” in the water supply game. That’s what it is to him– a game. We need an honest person who acts on principle with the benefit of the broad community in mind, not special interests and unjustified resentment toward neighbors.

    Cville Eye– “What if, down the road the federal government, realizaing the growing problem of water supply start demanding regional authorities for water and sewer in the next fifty years?”

    That’s why RWSA exists in the first place (Betty: it’s not a county board). In 1972 the federalis wouldn’t give the county a grant for a new treatment plant for Crozet sewage being dumped upstream from Rivanna Reservoir unless city-county formed a regional athority. For Mayor Norris, it’s not about safe or adequate water supply– it’s a card game. Who’s bluffing who?

  26. Blair Blair Blair you need to go back on your meds. Your view of reality is so warped it’s not even laughable any more.

  27. We’ve never had a Mayor more pro-preservation than Dave Norris. I’d have to say that you’re way out of touch with current preservation efforts in the City if you’re making such a misstatement, Blair.

    To say that Mayor Norris is playing a game re the water supply tells me that you’re also completely out of touch with reality. Have you ever actually met him?

    I’ve seen many Councils and Mayors come and go over the years, and this current Council as led by Mayor Norris, is the first I’ve experienced that actively welcomes points of view OTHER than businessmen and special interest groups.

  28. I think Blair has made some very good points.
    Voice of Reality what does meeting Norris have to do with anything? Just because I meet someone is not going to make me be a follower for anything he/she might do politically or otherwise. All you have to do is listen to the Council meetings and read his comments in the DP and you will get a very, very good idea of where norris stands on issues. If anyone is out of touch with reality I would say it is norris.
    The city government lacks transparency. Major decisions are made well in advance of public comments or input, i.e YMCA being placed at McIntire Park.

  29. Jogger, meeting a person and having an actual dialog with them on a issue can be a very important step. We’re very fortunate that we live in a community small enough that we can do this.

    A lot of nuance is lost reading newspaper quotes, and hearing someone chair meetings. I’ve met politicians in person (or on the phone) that I absolutely hated. We’ve then gone at an issue hammer and tongs, and both of us came out of it smarter people.

    I’ve always found Mayor Norris to be remarkably approachable via phone, email, and in person. He’s willing to listen to everything that you, Jogger, have to say. And he wouldn’t be afraid to say that you changed his mind on an issue if need be. I’m sorry, but that’s pretty remarkable, and a direct contrast to most on Council in recent years.

    Anyway, you never answered my question as to why you think that low-income housing is going into Meade Park…

  30. All this is about Norris. I’d love to see Kleeman run again. I wanted him elected more than any of the others last election.

  31. Kleeman, Kleeman, Kleeman, Kleeman!

    Norris may be better than what we’ve had recently, but the bar was set very low. I would love to have someone with real smarts on council.

  32. Peter Kleeman has endorsed Dave Norris for City Council in ’09. I agree that it would be nice to have Peter on Council too!

  33. Voice of reality apologies for not responding, here goes. The original intent of the city was to do away with the mead pool all together. A group of neighborhood resisdents expressed their displeasure with this and got the city to agree to build a new pool. The city at that time discussed putting low income/affordable housing in the area where the old pool was and in the playground area in front of the old pool on the east side of the creek. To the best of my knowledge that is still on the back burner waitiing to be moved to the front burner. For all intents and purposes meade park is no longer the enjoyable and lovely park that it once was thanks to the citys’ poor job of maintenance and planning.
    It appears to me that the city has done everything in its powers over the last several years, from 2005 onward, to allow the parks and the recreation facilities to fall into a deplorable state of disrepair. I firmly believe this may have been a concerted effort on the part of the city so that they could justify a number of partnerships with various non-profits to take over the parks and recreation facilities. IMHO.

  34. Thank you Jogger, I wasn’t aware that the city was ever proposing doing away with the park entirely and putting housing there. Not kosher, though I’m sure that neighborhood would have never allowed it to happen.

    Don’t know that they could even do it on the back portion now though as access would be a bit of a problem.

  35. Jogger you have no evidence to support that theory because it is absolutely false, like much of the stuff you come up with. Voice of Reason I’m surprised that you of all people would even entertain it.

  36. But having said that, and not knowing the source (or lack of) for either Jogger or V of R’s comments, such rumors about the park have knocked around Woolen Mills for a while now. It was a battle not to lose the pool entirely. Wondering how the farmer’s market is going to fit in with the entire scheme, now…

  37. Jogger made the allegation, and I was inquiring about his basis for it. This is the second time I’ve heard mention of this and my curiosity was piqued as to the original source of the rumour.

    I wasn’t necessarily entertaining the notion, more remaining extremely neutral in tone. Sorry I left that impression with you, however. Let’s chalk it off to the limitations of the written word, shall we?

    Re the next comment: the Farmer’s Market seems to have been the afterthought in the equation and was never adequately addressed by the City throughout the planning process. That was a great source of frustration for many involved. The goal of the participants has been to not lose the village square feeling that the market had before the construction. It’s anyone’s guess how the City will proceed now. Suffice it to say, any further discussion with locals has ceased on this matter.

    Which hopefully brings us ever so neatly back ’round to the topic of Dave Norris and his bid for re-election.

  38. jogger, I believe housing was brought up during a brain-storming session when the city was entertaining getting rid of the pool at Meade Park all together. Later, citizens complained and the question became What else can be configured in the park in addition to the pool? Housing has also been proposed for other parks as long as the developer provides replacement land. Where the land-swap concept is now I have no idea.

  39. Cville Eye, asking this in case you know the answer. McIntire/YMCA issue aside, why on earth would anyone in the city govt think it’s a sound idea to fill our parks with housing or businesses? Do you recall who might have been pushing this?

    One would assume that a neighborhood would feel that their local park (pool or no pool) is a valuable and enjoyable asset. Who would presume to take that and swap it for land elsewhere?

  40. A friend of mine owns several tracts of land near Tonsler Park that are developable. The idea of trading some of his flat land for some of the city owned land that is more difficult to use for recreation in order to make a better development has been discussed with city staff and, in my opinion, makes sense. He doesn’t need the creek and maybe a walking trail connecting two communities along the creek could be constructed.

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