Norris Reselected as Mayor

Dave Norris will continue as mayor, and Holly Edwards is now vice-mayor. Edwards declined the nomination for mayor, saying that it should be an elected position.  #

27 Responses to “Norris Reselected as Mayor”


  • I think being Mayor would have been the final touch on Huja’s career.
    While one may not agree with everything he has done, there is no argument that he has devoted his entire career to the City. Being Mayor would have been like being honored with a medal.

  • How does declining the nomination to be mayor make it elected or even speak to the issue?

  • Holly Edwards, a fine councilwoman in most respects, is a relative newcomer and reminds us of the shortcomings of newcomer ideas for running government.

    Among the ideas that in the last 40 years failed in the marketplace here:

    Charlottesville should revoke its city charter and revert to a town;

    City and county should merge and become The Combined Metropolitan Area of Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia, CMACACVA or Charlemarle;

    City councillors should be elected to represent their precinct rather than represent the city, ie. become ward healers pitting Belmont’s interests against Jefferson Park’s etc.;

    There should be a popularly elected mayor who runs the city, rather than council electing a mayor whose function is running council meetings, while a trained, professional city manager runs the city.

    Holly seems to be an adherent of that last idea, showing her naivety. Here’s the experienced view.

    To run a complex business like a city you need to be familiar with the departments, what they do, who administers them, how well they do their job, and how what tax payers here get measures up to what tax payers elsewhere get.

    For sheer obtuse inefficiency at the start and corruption later, nothing beats replacing the experienced expert in charge – the city manager – with an inexperienced, politically-motivated newcomer elected by seducing voters with political promises, beholden to large donors and active campaign staffers, and replacing this person every few years once they get the experience to maybe do the job competently.

    Anyone who prefers that, in the immature belief it’s a better way to run a city, (A) is ignorant of the mistakes of history and anxious to make them again, and (B) evidently unable to visualize the future even when everything being in place to see it.

    [I didn’t ignore the rose-color glasses set who thinks people can be perfected and politics can be different from my description. See A above.]

  • Holly Edwards statement is illogical to me. Part of the reason she gave is that she believes the position of mayor should be an elected one by the voters rather than appointed by the councilors (and I guess she didn’t want to serve under those conditions) the SHE proceeds to participate in the current process by nominating Dave Norris for the position????
    BTTW, I haven’t figured out how the position of mayor will be elected when every council member does not run for election at the same time.

  • Good points made here. Its like Edwards,and others who want an elected mayor, do not understand how our city government operates, or the role of the mayor.
    The mayor’s post is a largely honorary or ceremonial one. He or she has no more real power than any other city councillor. Admittedly, a strong, popular mayor could have some strong indirect influence on policy, but still no formal power.
    Are people advocating changing the structure of the city government,to have it run by an elected mayor instead of a city manager? Or electing the city manager? Surprised some well-meaning individual has not suggested that.

  • What difference would it make? For years the Councilors have been voting lock-step anyway.
    @Hollowboy, I doubt very seriously if any professional city manager would bother to run?

  • Thats the real change that needs to be made- breaking the stranglehold of the Democrats’ monopolistic clique that has been running the city for years. Cronyism is the problem-until that ends, nothing will happen.
    As to how this could happen, hard to say. No real Republican organization and the hope that moving Council elections to Nov in hopes of a larger turnout other than the party faithful did not occur.
    Of course there has only been one November Council election so could be too early to judge.

  • It’s easy to break the democrats’ monopoly on elective office here: get them to embrace Republican policies and the GOP to embrace theirs. In representative democracy, people choose ideas they like, reject those they don’t.

    Winners chortle; losers whine.

    There have been good Republicans on council, beginning with Bobby Lee around 1950, the first Republican elected since the 1861 northern invasion.

    Of course Lee was as much a national Republican as Linwood Holton was, IOW a Democrat in any state with good public education.

    In the 1960s when the students and outside agitators of the era made a mess in the community protesting the Vietnam war, to punish them the people put Republicans in control of city council, real Republicans, the kind liberals hate.

    As their want, they looked after their own and no one else, and held prayer breakfasts, and tried to turn council meetings into tent revivals. IOW like today’s bible belt Republicans when they have the chance. Remember where you live, Hollow one.

    What did them in?

    Things like attacking the Quakers as un-American for distributing medical supplies, at a time when their US congressman and their US president were both … Quaker Republicans!

    Cronyism? As soon as the GOP got a council majority, council waived the requirement that new downtown office buildings had to provide off-street parking.

    That was to allow the Albemarle GOP chairman to build the 2-part, 2-story building now standing on the corner of 3rd and High.(A decade later I had an office there.)

    If you do your homework, you’ll stop wishing for Republican control in the south.

    On the other hand, an occasional one like Darden Towe or Lawrence Brunton, or Lindsay Barnes can bring a level head to our council of Democrats where business sophistication is an absolute bar to surviving the nominating process.

    And only the lugubrious can fail to crave a dose of Rob Schilling bucking the establishment once in a while.

  • Unfortunately what you say is valid, Richard.
    I also want to point out that until the 1960s, the whole state was controlled by Harry F. Byrd Sr’s Democratic machine. Many of them held the same views you correctly attribute to the Republicans elected to Council in the 60s.
    In that era if you were a Virginian who wanted a more liberal or progressive candidate, you voted Republican.
    The term current then was Mountain/Valley Republicans,those who loosely speaking had long been at odds with the “Virginia aristocracy” from the eastern part of the state.
    Linwood Holton,and Ted Dalton father of governor John Dalton, were examples of this type of Republican.
    But in the 60s(in great part having to do with the civil rights issue) conservative Byrd Democrats captured the Virginia GOP. Case in point being Miles Godwin, elected governor in 1965 as a Byrd Democrat, and then again in 1973 as a Republican.
    And so on to the present day when the social conservative element has vast influence over the state party. The Virginia GOP is not what it was in the past.
    Not sure what the answer is for the City. Sure no one would agree to it- but maybe it would be best if candidates for local office did not run under a party label. Might help as so many local residents always vote for anyone for anything with a D by the name. Some communities do in fact operate like that.
    In the past election in Rappahannock County a candidate ran as a Republican for the BOS, violating tradition. It backfired, as voters overwhelmingly supported his opponent who while identifying himself as a Republican ran as an an independent, and who unlike his opponent did not urge voters to vote the straight GOP ticket.
    In the past election I voted Democratic for statewide offices and General Assembly-but Bob Fenwick for Council.
    And yes I too have asked the questions- where are the candidates like Towe and Brunton that we used to see running for office here?

  • [But in the 60s(in great part having to do with the civil rights issue) conservative Byrd Democrats captured the Virginia GOP. Case in point being Miles Godwin, elected governor in 1965 as a Byrd Democrat, and then again in 1973 as a Republican.]

    All true. Two minor points: It was not “Miles” Godwin but an old family name – Mills.

    And Byrd was free to capture the GOP because the Dems essentially kicked him out in the late 60s, and his state-wide “court house crowd” followed.

    It was so complete an exodus that in the Dem gubernatorial primary of 1969, Charlottesville’s own Bill Battle (a Kennedy Democrat) battled Norfolk populist Henry Howell to a draw requiring a run-off the day before hurricane Camille, while the Byrd Machine candidate barely got 20%.

    That 3rd place candidate was Lt. Gov. Fred Pollard, and you can imagine how seldom Virginia lieutenant governors fail to move up.

    Howell was just a state senator and Battle never held elective office, though he was Kennedy’s ambassador to Oz and his father was an undistinguished Byrd machine governor.

    During Pollard’s term in office the parties in effect began to switch sides. Fred went from top of the Dem heap to bottom.

    Byrd operatives were not yet in control of the GOP, and had no one in place to fight off the liberal Republican Roanoke lawyer from Big Stone Gap, Abner Linwood Holton. (While governor he legally dropped Abner.)

    Battle beat Howell; Holton beat Battle; and J. Sargent Reynolds was overwhelmingly elected Lt. Gov, setting us up for at least 8 years of enlightened anti-Byrd leadership.

    Alas, a brain tumor quickly eliminated Sarge, the Dems ran Howell against his great nemesis Godwin back for another bite, and Henry blew a sure win by letting his ego and George Lois make decisions better left to his staff.

    And so it goes.

  • Are you gentlemen aware that the majority of people voting in elections today know nothing of which you speak, and thus are not influenced by it?
    The Democrats have assured themselves of control of Coucil by moving the elections to November from May (when students have many other things on their mind) and, as discussed at the last local Democratic Party’s brakfast, the Democrats are aggressively wooing their votes. http://www.cvillepodcast.com/?s=Democratic breakfast
    Other good examples of cronyism is Kurt Krueger’s lease of McIntire Park’s land for a $1 and the $1.6M Council voted to provide land for the Mayor’s cronies from Richmond, Virginia Supportive Housing, to rent for, you guessed it, $1. Why, VSH helped to design the ordinance for single room occupancy for Charlottesville. And please don’t forget the city’s desire to buy brick for the rebricking of the downtown mall from a local who just so happened to buy a brick-making facility near Roanoke. And what former Virginia delegate’s farm gets the city’s leaves for free every fall?

  • A mental condition characterized by unwarranted delusions, personality disorder, and lost touch with reality; suspicion or mistrust of people or their actions without evidence or justification; interpretation of events to lead to a pre-set imaginary conclusion.

  • Oh, how both witty and profound, Sanity-something-or-other.

  • BTW, kwhy do you change your name so often? Are you suffering from bipolar disassociative post-psychosomatic pluralistic disorder brought on by your restless leg eczema?

  • The Democrats have assured themselves of control of Coucil by moving the elections to November from May (when students have many other things on their mind) and, as discussed at the last local Democratic Party’s brakfast, the Democrats are aggressively wooing their votes.

    That’s exactly the opposite of the truth. Many prominent local Democrats fought tooth and nail against moving elections to November. They argued a few things, but it boiled down to a) a more informed electorate turns out b) local candidates cannot possibly get any attention in the noise of state and federal elections and c) the weather is nicer for campaigning in May. It was younger, more progressive Democrats (like, frankly, me) who pushed hard for a change, arguing that this business of wanting a “more informed electorate” was right up there with having a poll tax, and that the single most important goal should be to increase the accessibility of polling and, overall, turnout. We started on that around 2001, and though it took over half a decade, we collectively got old enough and got in enough positions of influence that it was able to be changed. Democrats who desired power among everything else fought that change fiercely in no small part because it could have negatively impacted the likelihood of getting further Democrats elected.

    Moving elections to November assuredly has not a blessed thing to do with “control of Council” by Democrats, and was an important move towards making possible just the opposite.

  • Waldo, I did not say that the Democrats moved the elections to November for the purpose of assuring success. I said that they are now assured of winning because of the availability of the UVAers. It is clear that there are far more liberals at UVA than there are conservatives. Part of that is a function of their ages. The importance of getting out the UVA vote was discussed at the breakfast.

    Democrats who desired power among everything else fought that change fiercely in no small part because it could have negatively impacted the likelihood of getting further Democrats elected.

    Yes, many of the people were members of the committee of 100 who did not want to give up power.
    “…and that the single most important goal should be to increase the accessibility of polling…” I don’t understand what you mean here. Was this goal accomplished?

  • I said that they are now assured of winning because of the availability of the UVAers.

    Seriously, you think that’s why Democrats are assured of victory? Let’s look at the most recent election results.

    I think the biggest reason why Democrats are assured of victory is because the Republicans aren’t running candidates. I see only Democrats and independents here. That’s a real uphill battle for Republicans, isn’t it?

    The second reason why Democrats are assured of victory? Because a supermajority of the city’s residents are Democrats. Ken Cuccinelli beat Steve Shannon by a country mile in the statewide election for AG, but you wouldn’t know it in Charlottesville: Shannon won with three quarters of the vote. LG Bill Bolling defeated soundly Democrat Jody Wagner, but in Charlottesville, yes, three quarters of the vote. And how much of the vote did our own Sen. Creigh Deeds win here? You guessed it: three quarters of the vote. Let’s look at the Council race. How much of the vote did the Democrats get? Just a hair’s breadth under…three quarters of the vote. How does that compare to, say, 2006, when elections were held in May and Rob Schilling was on the ballot? Why, whaddya know? Democrats got three quarters of the vote.

    Charlottesville is the second most liberal municipality in the state, election after election, second only to Petersburg. We could hold the election any day of the year, and time of day, and Democrats will win. That’s how it goes, what with the massive outnumbering of Republicans. With 3:1 margins, seeing Republicans argue about May vs. November elections is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Most important, UVA students don’t vote here. They just don’t. I’ve volunteered at the JPA, Alumni Hall, Venable, and Carver precincts on election days past—all of the precincts in which one might reasonably forecast that students would tend to live. You can count students on two hands. A big reason for that is that registering to vote is evidence of domicile under state law, meaning that students who register to vote at their school are running the risk of being considered Charlottesville residents for legal purposes, which can throw up a host of tax and tuition problems. Students are institutionally discouraged from registering to vote at their place of residence while in college—I encountered this as a student at Virginia Tech in 2003, during which time I voted in Montgomery County for local, state, and national elections.

    Complaining about students affecting election outcomes is like people who complain that open primaries allow the opposing party to vote for the least-viable candidate. It’s a problem that exists only in people’s imaginations.

    It is clear that there are far more liberals at UVA than there are conservatives.

    Clear to whom? I work there, right on central grounds, and that’s not at all clear to me. It’s never crossed my mind that UVA students would tend to be liberal. If you’ve got any evidence that’s so, I’m happy to look at it, but I see no reason why that’s any more likely to be true than the assertion that there are far more conservatives at UVA than there are liberals.

    “…and that the single most important goal should be to increase the accessibility of polling…” I don’t understand what you mean here. Was this goal accomplished?

    As in “getting to the polls.” And, sure—having a seat voted on when there are lots of other things to vote on increases enormously the odds that people will show up to vote. Otherwise people get burned out, thinking “another damned thing vote for?” and don’t show. So, yes, that’s that’s worked out very well—turnout was way, way up for the last council election.

  • How do you know if the people who show up at the polls are students or not?
    If students, a large segment of the University community

  • JPA is 8% homeowner and 92% renters. Dave Norris received his greatest number of votes in the city in that precinct.
    Sorry, my keyboard hasn’t been working properly for a couple of hours and my previous comment is incomplete.
    If students, a large segment of the University, were not voting, why did the lady stress at the breakfast that they party needed to continue to encourage them to vote locally as they did for Obama?
    Wey did the governor instruct the state’s registrars to not ask the students where they were domiciled. Investigators found students actually registered in two states. http://virginiavirtucon.wordpress.com/2008/10/30/students-registering-voting-in-two-states/
    Also, ” A dorm or college address can be an acceptable residential address and does not disqualify you from voting.” http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:Soe5Pqoo79oJ:www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/Voter_Information/Registering_to_Vote/College_Student.html VA state board of elections students voting iIachetta&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=qsb-win Then it certainly wouldn’t prohibit a student voting ins local elections if he, say, lived at 1800 JPA. In other words we have no idea whether a student is voting or not. My comments were that the local Democrats obviously think that student voting is still important.

  • What sort of tax or tuition problems would students run into if they registered here? I’ve known a few out of state student who were able to fake residency to save on tuition, but I’ve never known anyone to try to avoid appearing as though they were a resident.

  • Also, Waldo, there is a legal difference between domicile and residence and many people are justifiably confused.

  • You can tell who is a student because they tend strongly to be aged 18-21, a demographic that tends to vote at low rates. One would expect a high rate of voting of that demographic in those precincts if many of the 18,000 students were voting. But a few minutes standing outside of those polling places reveals that’s not so. And you can say what you like about the legal aspects of registering, but students rarely change their registration out a) a lack of interest and b) fear that it will lead to problems.

    Democrats want students’ vote for the same reason that Republicans do—they are voters like any other people.

    What sort of tax or tuition problems would students run into if they registered here? I’ve known a few out of state student who were able to fake residency to save on tuition, but I’ve never known anyone to try to avoid appearing as though they were a resident.

    Virginia21 has dealt with this a lot. As I recall, concerns include whether they’d have to then file their taxes separately from their parents, that some registrars get angry when students try to register (Williamsburg is a prime example of that), and something about in-state tuition, but I can’t quite remember what it was. Maybe tax benefits available to them in the state they’re from that they can’t claim here? I don’t remember, but it was a Very Big Deal prior to the 2004 election in a lot of college towns. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt ran strong.

  • Waldo, I admit that you know far more about who’s voting than I do. Rarely (maybe one or twice in my lifetime) have I been at the polling place for more than 15 minutes to vote and I have never “worked the polls.” However, I think you forget that there are a considerable amount of graduate students who are here and the only two that I’ve met were going door to do during the Obama election. I can’t believe they were the only ones. One lady is in her late thirties. Shortly, after that election, I heard that a committee was assigned the task to deal with student voting.
    Yes, when it comes to voting and tuition I believe tuition goes by domicile and voting goes by residence. There is a legal difference. A friend’s daughter and her husband are domiciled in DC but they are residents of Texas legally.

  • Here’s the thing: I don’t really care about this minutiae. My point is that there’s no evidence that moving council elections from May to November has the slightest positive impact for Democrats, whether from students or other groups. (Undergraduates don’t vote—and they sure don’t vote here—and graduate students can vote as easily in May as they can November.) Although the notions that a) Democrats benefit from a move to voting in November and b) UVA students tend strongly to be more Democratic than Republican are swell excuses to fit a narrative of conspiracy, there are no facts to support either notion.

  • Who said there’s some dark or shameful conspiracy? Manipulating the polls is what political parties do. Redistricting? What other valid reason was it to move the elections, other than save money ($30k according to Sheri Iachetta)? I have yet to see a politician care about actually saving money so I seriously doubt if that’s the reason. There has been a remarkable increase in those who participate in local elections and it’s only occurred after the elections were move. No, no one has done a poll as to how many students are voting, but, common sense tells me it’s the same people here who just have not been voting all of the time, they aren’t not the ones who have been living here and functioning in Cville in May.

  • What other valid reason was it to move the elections, other than save money ($30k according to Sheri Iachetta)?

    I’m gonna say this one more time, and then I’m done here. The reason for moving the elections was to get more people to vote in them, as has worked out nicely. Your theory that the 5,000 extra people who showed up this at the polls year were all UVA students is, to put it gently, super crazy, as it is based on no evidence whatsoever, despite the rich sources of data that are available to you that would allow such a claim to be proven. If it is your wish to make said super crazy claim without evidence or effort to support it—and with every ounce of evidence proving precisely the opposite—then that is your business, but it’s probably best to understand that, in doing so, you look—again—super crazy.

    And that’s what I have to say about that.

  • Yes sir, Wado.

    -Super Crazy

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