Galvin Holds Press Conference About Tone of Election

City Council candidate Kathy Galvin is lamenting the tone of this year’s council election, Lisa Provence writes for The Hook. She held a press conference on the topic yesterday, flanked by a pair of former mayors (Kay Slaughter and Blake Caravati). Provence quotes Galvin as saying:

I fear we’ve come to a low point in our local discourse that sadly mirrors the rancorous rhetoric and paralysis evident at the federal level in DC. Some have unfortunately adopted a bunker mentality about a particular issue or issues, and espouse a ‘my way or the highway’ approach to politics and decision-making. This isn’t good for the Democratic Party and it isn’t good for Charlottesville. We must change.

Galvin specifically cited opposition to building a new dam and opponents of building Meadowcreek Parkway, saying that “[w]e’ve already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on studies.”

Maybe I’m just not paying attention to this race closely enough, but I don’t actually understand what the problem is. On the federal level, things are atrocious—I’m not seeing anything like that in the council race. On the contrary, I think this just looks like a competitive race, rather than some Alphonse-and-Gaston routine where Democrats take turns running for office. Am I missing something?

45 Responses to “Galvin Holds Press Conference About Tone of Election”

  • you are not missing anything

  • So let me get this straight… in a press release in which she inexplicably compares a crowded-but-civil local election to the astonishingly divisive current state of national politics, she also:

    a)complains that people are unwilling to compromise on incredibly important issues, while simultaneously

    b)insisting that *her* views on those issues are the only sane and rational ones? well, which one is it? everyone is obligated to change their minds to agree with her, but it’d be crazy for her to consider any options other than the ones she’s currently supporting?

    … and the icing on the cake is that her justification for insisting that everyone support these incredibly divisive and controversial proposals is that “we’ve already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on studies” ?

    So, just because we’ve spent a lot of time researching this, that automatically means it was a good idea? Isn’t that why we DID the studies, to figure out whether or not it WAS a good idea? Well, what did the research say? Her argument that because that research was expensive, we should feel obligated to overlook its’ results is perhaps a tad bit disingenuous. Hasn’t she ever heard of the phrase “throwing bad money after good” ?

    I think it’s pretty safe to say that Kathy Galvin won’t be getting my vote.

  • I guess what makes her statements about the election puzzling is that, while these ISSUES remain incredibly divisive among the general populace, I’ve definitely not seen that level of rancor represented in the discourse of those who are actually seeking office, as Waldo (and Bill) noted.

    It’s the rest of her release that really has me scratching my head, though. Unless I’ve completely misinterpreted the representation of Kathy Galvin’s argument in Lisa’s article.

  • I don’t get it either. She compares the whole city to the mess in the federal government.

    Just looks like the candidates disagree on issues, and I’ve heard nothing but politeness from all of them. In fact I’m much more interested in this election since the candidates do have varying viewpoints on lots of issues not just the ones mentioned by Ms. Galvin at this event.

    Growth and how much the city should give in to the county are important topics that I care about in general, not just associated with one or two current decisions. This will be ongoing- how much do we bend to the desires of the county and where is it best to co-operate and where should our councilors hold their ground. The Riverview Park Pump Station is one example of a decision that I would hope the Councilors would not cave in to the county’s desire to double the size at that location.

    The Daily Progress had a lengthy article on this as well.

  • in a press release in which she inexplicably compares a crowded-but-civil local election to the astonishingly divisive current state of national politics, she also:
    a)complains that people are unwilling to compromise on incredibly important issues, while simultaneously
    b)insisting that *her* views on those issues are the only sane and rational ones? well, which one is it? everyone is obligated to change their minds to agree with her, but it’d be crazy for her to consider any options other than the ones she’s currently supporting?

    That’s my take-away, too. But that makes so little sense that I have to assume that I’m missing something.

  • And I was disappointed to see the 3 councilors
    ( Huja, Brown, and Szakos) exit the position of strength they had; when they all voted for dredging as part of the plan, not as an add on. The county knows how to play hard ball and I haven’t seen that in the City. That isn’t being uncooperative, that is being smart, and looking out for those who elected you.

    Am I missing something ?

  • From the DP article: “It seems that there’s been a lot of distraction going on,” Galvin said. “The studies that have been done on the water plan, they are all corroborating the importance of the compromise plan, that it’s going to work. And the advocates that are for the dredge-only plan seem to be only advocating for getting new studies that corroborate their position.”

    The compromise plan is the one we have, and the one dredge-onlys are unwilling to accept. This isn’t her plan. This was the plan voted on by council, and which Dave Norris wants to overturn by putting for his slate of candidates. Is that was you were missing, Waldo?

  • Karl, I don’t get her comparison to Washington

  • Karl, Why does Ms. Galvin stay focused on the water issue, there are many other issues and I do think there are significant differences. I think particularly Galvin and Beyer will sacrifice neighborhoods to growth and all the traffic that entails to solve other problems, at least that is what I have heard them both say.
    If the county wants a road that impacts a city neighborhood, but improves connectivity, looks like they would both vote to allow county traffic to cut thru the neighborhood. Have you heard something different, you seem to be Ms. Galvin’s spokesperson on this blog.

    I am also worried about taxes, fees, and utility costs that keep increasing and that’s what I think is making Charlottesville unaffordable, not the lack of housing.

  • If Galvin and Beyer are, in fact, the candidates that would support new infill development, street connectivity, and mixture of uses, that’s a big plus in my book. Cville has shown a respectable 8% growth over the last decade, and I’d hate to see the drawbridge raised again. Pushing all new development out into the rural areas is only shooting ourselves in the foot as a region.

    All of the candidates are pretty vocal about supporting walkability, but you can’t have a walkable city without plenty of destinations to walk to. As far as I can tell, Kathy Galvin seems to understand this pretty well.

  • I not Kathy Galvin’s spokesperson. I’m a supporter, that’s all. My guess is that she’d rather talk about jobs, economic development, and city-county cooperation, but the questions she gets are about water and MCP.

    All of your comments sound like fear-mongering to me. Is the road you are talking about the Meadowcreek Parkway? Isn’t that issue over? Or is the new compromise that folks park their cars on Melbourne and get on city-supplied yellow bikes and peddle the rest of the way into town.

    I wish you’d use your real name, HG. You address me by name and I sure do feel like I know you, too. (Ques: is the county road you fear getting built one that crosses the Rivanna River and comes right up Market Street in the Woolen Mills?)

  • You are missing something. Come on Waldo I assume you are a big Norris and Cannon supporter but have you seen the Hook article and the posts around blogs by CSWP supporters? In my opinion the overall tone of them is that if you don’t support dredging or the Norris plan and if you support the earthen dam, one is corrupt or a dupe of the special interests. The Hook article read like a scandal sheet intimating that anyone who doesn’t support dredging/Noris plan belongs in jail: Brian Wheeler, the League of Women voters,any environmentalist who is not part of CSWP, RWSA members, all the consultants involved in the project. There was a lot of innuendo and circumstantial type claims thrown around in that article, you are a journalist and you know it I am sure-it was an editorial and not investigative journalism, and it read like a defamation campaign orchestrated by someone who wants CSWP candidates to be elected. It read like, we have run out of any new facts in the debate so now let’s go after people’s reputations so we can win”.

    I think what Galvin was getting at was the tone of the debate that has been set previously in which everyone is obligated to change their minds about dredging or else they will be castigated and dragged through the allegations mud as well. Like “Oh you support the earthen dam, you mean like all the conspiring crooks?” That’s the tone of the debate she’s talking about.

    Its a lousy campaign tactic and I think the reasonable people of Cville will see through it like they saw through the “lame” show at the debate where the three Norris/CSWP candidates did their ticket shuffle.

    And who at this point doesn’t see the ticket building by Mayor Norris and CSWP as a way of getting a bloc on Council to undo the Dam decision. Sure, anyone is entitled to their opinion about that if you want to turn the campaign into a referendum about the water supply issue, its a free country but we have had a long debate and spent a lot of money on studies about it and there are other issues. The major stakeholders decided on the Earthen Dam. I think Galvin is saying let’s move on. I couldn’t agree more.

    There is an advantage to the Norris/CSWP ticket for staying on the water supply issue in the way the Hook did it, it gets them press, makes them look like underdogs in a faux David vs Goliath frame, makes them look like they are wrestling with the “conservative” element of the Democratic party except Szakos, one of those dems for change who won last time supports the earthen dam and she stood up to the County/state in the western by-pass issue, there goes the theory she crumbles to the County. Galvin will be like Szakos. The water supply scandal tactic also keeps the attention off the quality of the candidates running on that ticket-that’s the real motivator behind all the muckraking. If I move my left hand, you won’t see what my right hand is doing.

    I do agree with your commenter above that there is an element of future direction here in terms of growth vs. anti-growth. My feeling is that the Norris/CSWP camp is vehemently against growth but the other side is not vehemently for growth. I think they will be for sane and measured growth. I don’t want the County lording over us nor do I want developers to turn Cville into NYC. I know that Galvin at least is for a sane and measured growth, looking at the big picture and looking long term now. I trust her to be reasonable about this and I haven’t seen her saying that anyone who supports dredging is corrupt or evil, or duped. She doesn’t use the tactics of the other side. Personally, I think these anti-earthen dam people are getting desperate and resorting to questionable tactics. Plus, its easy to get lost in all the hullabaloo on the water qua scandal and forget what kind of candidates you are really getting if you buy into that ticket. Just my opinion

  • truthtopower,

    You crack me up. Did you really suggest that The Hook’s article was an editorial designed to defame pro-dam folks because we want CSWP candidates to be elected? If that were true, what exactly would be in it for the Hook? Front row seats at city council meetings? Am I going to get a raise? Am I missing something?

  • First: do no harm.

    We have a water supply. We haven’t maintained it. But wait! The cost of dredging it is equal to the dredging of the Panama Canal.

    Let it go, let it go. You “lost”.

    Doing no harm, to me, always means ‘maintain the thing you have’.

    Seriously. Dredge what we have; see how much water it nets us and then move forward.

    Do the first thing first. Then do the second thing if it is then proved to be needed.

    Anyone who says ‘jump to the second thing, first!’ needs to be re-introduced to both the alphabet & arabic numerals.

  • Dave love your work and Courtney’s too. Generally love the Hook’s critical edge and have come to depend on it. But this one didn’t smell right and I have been reading your paper for a long time. Hawes should have left the investigative journalism to you and Courtney (and give you guys huge raises while he’s at it- I do think you are underpaid). Yes I suggest that, an opinion, a take, a possible reading of the situation.

    I don’t think there’s anything in it for the Hook besides an attempt at selling more advertising by taking a political circus/scandal angle and Hawes helping out his friends on the CWSP and their candidates to get elected. The reporting was so full of innuendo and unsubstantiated facts. There was a lot of maligning of people on some pretty thin warrant in my opinion.

    How about you do follow-up with a story about what the Commonwealth’s Attorney is doing about all the alleged corruption referred to in the article. If that stuff you guys published has any real merit other than electioneering, let’s see the evidence and the actual consequences. Have any charges against these people been brought? But I don’t think there is anything there but rumor mongering and innuendo. But if there is something there, I trust you Dave and Courtney will find it without letting your biases cloud your judgement. If not let’s just call it what it was free advertising for his candidates.

    Nothing wrong with the editor of a paper doing an editorial but it should be labeled as one.

    This put me in an odd situation because I am always defending the Hook to members of the status quo, City Hall types, etc. I was disappointed by Hawes’ piece on journalistic grounds.

    I look forward to your work every week. Keep up the good work, I really appreciate it and that goes for Courtney too. You guys are solid journalists. I believe this even if we are on different sides of the water and parkway issue and the fact I disagree with the FLAWs article doesn’t change my opinion of you and Courtney and Lisa for that matter. And glad I brought a little humor to your day as well with my opinions-we should be able to do a little laughing in such serious times.

  • Aren’t some county folks still talking about crossing the Rivanna with a bridge to come in at the end of East Market St. Makes more sense to me than the Meadowcreek Parkway, especially if it comes with an exit from I64. It will help bring downtown bound traffic straight into the city and ease the traffic over the Free Bridge, which would be a good thing, especially on UVA game days. Galvin is a planner and I’m sure she could see the wisdom of that idea if it’s designed along with whatever improvements need to be made to the sewage treatment facilities down there. I’d like to see Galvin’s thoughts on ideas like that and have her comment less on what others want to talk about. Her speech made her seem petty and close minded to me.

  • Is that was you were missing, Waldo?

    Well, no, actually, it’s not. (But thanks for trying. :) I’m aware that there are two sides in the water supply debate, but that hardly “mirrors the rancorous rhetoric and paralysis evident at the federal level in DC,” as she put it. Instead, it’s just what I assume to be honest debate over an important issue. Nobody’s threatening to shut down government. Nobody’s been shot in the head by crazy extremists. I just think it’s a specious comparaison, I guess.

  • If Galvin’s skin is that thin, whe’s not ready for the big time, just like Szakos. I hope they don’t start crying.

  • There has been nothing uncivil about this primary. Various candidates have opposing views on issues and are explaining why they favor those positions. Nobody is calling anyone names, nobody is throwing around insults. This is exactly what is supposed to happen in an election.

  • failing to see the issue

    Galvin is a candidate for office. Clearly this press conference is a tactic and part of a larger strategy, but I haven’t seen any analysis of its effectiveness.

    It’s not that her skin is thin, it’s that she’s positioning herself as the candidate opposed to the “Norris Ticket”, or whatever you want to call it.

    I think she’s smart to do this. If there’s a sizable contingent of the electorate for the Norris Ticket, it’s only reasonable to assume that there’s a sizable contingent opposed. If she stands to receive all those votes opposed, she’ll get on the council.

    Also, this press conference has received considerable attention due to the somewhat controversial message. Any shrewd political scientist would congratulate her on the effectiveness of this play as opposed to taking her words at face value.

    She knows how to play this game and, in my opinion, that fact lend support to the notion that, whatever her positions on the issues, she’d be an effective councilor.

  • Waldo,

    For me the DC metaphor goes something like:

    While we were all focused on the debt ceiling rigamerole, we were not focusing on the national unemployment rate.

    Just substitute “Water supply controversy” (already voted on and supported by UV, ACBOS, CCC, RWSA…)for “debt ceiling” and for instance “Charlottesville minority unemployment rate” for “national unemployment rate”.

    I think that’s what is at issue here.

  • @ failing to see the issue: it’s hard to argue with your analysis, given that this is a campaign, and everything the candidates do is about reaching out to voters (honestly, one hopes) and seeking their support. Knowing Kathy a bit, I suspect she is also keen to discuss the issues that aren’t being discussed. She has shown herself to be an elected official who can debate a topic in public, cast her vote, and–win or lose–move on to the next pressing issue.

  • I think all of the candidates are keen to discuss other issues, unfortunately all anyone wants to talk about are water and the MCP- a lot of it coming from the media.
    You might note what topics were brought up when given the chance to question other candidates at the July 20. I believe it was Galvin and Huja who used the opportunity to bring up the water issue.

  • I’ll take that over throwing soft ball questions to my friends on a ticket any day. At least the questions Galvin and Huja asked were hard questions.

  • Galvin is a candidate for office. Clearly this press conference is a tactic and part of a larger strategy, but I haven’t seen any analysis of its effectiveness.

    It’s not that her skin is thin, it’s that she’s positioning herself as the candidate opposed to the “Norris Ticket”, or whatever you want to call it.

    This, I think, is astute, and isn’t something that I had thought of. You are right—this is a sensible tactic. Ironically, if this is her motivation, this is the sort of thing that one would expect in D.C. politics (or, generally, larger cities that are politically more complex and mature), the very thing she’s complaining about. :)

  • failing to see the issue...

    “this is the sort of thing that one would expect in D.C. politics (or, generally, larger cities that are politically more complex and mature), the very thing she’s complaining about.”

    Yep. Sort of like those negative ads that rail against negative ads, or those seniors-scaring ads that implore an opponent to “stop scaring our seniors!”

  • truthtopower,

    Sounds like you know me…kinda weird not knowing who you are. But thanks for the kudos.

    I think you’re missing the point of the article. It’s not that anyone is necessarily doing anything illegal, its that our public policy appears to have been hijacked by special interest groups, and consulting and engineering firms with clear connections and financial incentives for wanting to build a big expensive dam. Hawes went out on a limb, but he did not do so lightly. This is the result of an enormous amount of research and inquiry. Seriously, have you gone back and looked at Hawes’ body of work on the water debate? Building a dam may very well be the right thing to do, but are you not curious about all the various connections that were laid out? I know I am…and I’m just as confused about this whole issue as everyone else.

    Why has the Nature Conservancy, whose stated mission is to “protect Earth’s natural resources and beauty” inserted itself so vehemently in this debate, calling for the construction of a huge dam, when simply dredging what we have would seem the more nature-friendly route to take? Since when is the League of Women Voters an environmental group? And why does the Sierra Club, an actual environmental group, advocate dredging?

    And do you seriously think that CT’s coverage of the water issue has been an effort to properly inform the public about the issue by way of rigorous inquiry?

    Speaking of Washington comparisons, you might recall that the Washington Post’s stories about corruption in the Nixon Administration were largely scoffed at, relying as heavily as they did on anonymous sources. Indeed, the Post and its reporters were accused of making wild unfounded accusations, of making too much of the story, and of simply aiding the democratic party by attempting to defame the Republican administration.

    Journalists, good ones, don’t give a rats ass about playing politics…its the truth they’re after, that’s the thrill, that’s the goal, like a detective trying to solve a murder, like a dog with a bone in his mouth that he just can’t let go of.

  • failing to see the issue...

    re:”I’m just as confused about this whole issue as everyone else.”

    Off topic from this article, but thanks for admitting this. If a reporter for the hook can’t figure out what’s going on when reading his own editor’s article, I’m glad I’m not the only one with that reaction.

    I couldn’t help but think, when reading the article in question, that it needed some SERIOUS editing prior to publication. It was very hard to read and absolutely sprawling in scope. Woodward and Bernstein didn’t try to cram the entire Watergate scandal in one article, to use your analogy.

  • @ Dave, No we have never met but that is irrelevant because I do really admire your work.

    I would have been more convince by Hawes’ work if there had been more empirical warrant to the allegations made. If its just hijacked by special interest groups you are worried about how about how CSWP is a social interest group trying to get their leader Dede Smith elected. Doesn’t get more interest groupy than that. When you and Wheeler do a story, its much more balanced with quotes from both sides, Hawes
    s article read like propaganda from CSWP, with many fewer quotes from the opposing view or allowing the accused to respond to the allegations. I am not interested in all the connections laid out because they were sketchy to begin with and seemed obviously motivated by a prefabricated ideological POV, that’s not journalism to me, I have not seen you do anything near that. As I said if you are curious go c=back and follow those leads up with some real facts rather than allegations and innuendo, I would trust you if you dug and found out one way or the other I think the environmental groups have stated vewry reasonable and rational reasons why they favor the dam. I resnt the intimation that if I support the dam I am some kind of conservative earth hater, I am as green and tree hugging as any of those faux “eco-warrior” CSWPs claim to be. I just think we need the water and there are trade-offs in any policy issue. I don’t believe the CSWP people for a minute with their “facts” and misinformation. I have seen no evidence that dredging will either deliver the water we need or be significantly cheaper. And apparently neither do BOS, CCC, RWSA, all the ebv. groups, and UVA among others.

    I do think Wheeler’s journalism is as unbiased as yours is. You both get quotes from multiple perspectives as you did on the VQR story among others.

    I agree with you about the Post and Watergate. I just don’t want the water issue and the Hooks coverage of it to be cover for our own version of “tricky dick” to get elected onto Council. I hope the voters see through the water hype and Hawes’ editorializing about it and look closely at the candidates run by Norris/CSWP on their ticket.

    And if “journalists, good ones, don’t give a rats ass about playing politics…its the truth they’re after, that’s the thrill, that’s the goal, like a detective trying to solve a murder, like a dog with a bone in his mouth that he just can’t let go of.”… then I think you are much more of a journalist that Hawes was in this instance and I think your salary should be doubled and he should leave the real reporting to you and Courtney and Lisa as I said before. But hey we can disagree about this stuff, just keep on doing what you do-I like it.

  • re:”I’m just as confused about this whole issue as everyone else.”

    Off topic from this article, but thanks for admitting this.

    Ditto! I haven’t posted about this article because I don’t yet understand it well enough to summarize it in a paragraph! (You may recall me writing about the water issue a few months ago, and having to summarize it as “I’m confused and don’t understand, so just read the article,” or something to that effect.) This is just a really messy issue, and it keeps metastasizing. For somebody who is following it peripherally—like most of us, I think—it’s awfully tough to understand, by the very nature of the debate.

  • I think Galvin’s press conference is just a response to actions set into motion by others related the water issue turned “controversy”, the “metastasizing” is a political media-enhanced ploy to get the anti-dam people elected.

    I think that’s why its best to look at the tactics some have been using and the integrity of the people putting forth information and running. I didn’t follow it study for study and entered after the vote by City Council. In going back and looking at older articles it looked like to me that the pro-dredging people (CSWP) entered into the debate a long while ago and argued vigorously in the debates before RWSA, ACBOS, & City Council. Sides went back and forth, studies were done and votes were taken. In the end RWSA,BOS, CCC, and even UVA went for the Dam.

    My reading of the situation looked like Mayor Norris and the CSWP were very upset about the vote and have been doing whatever possible to over turn it since, even running anti-dam candidates in this election. The situation reads to me like they are fixated on getting their way. It looks to me like the CSWP group presented as many facts as there were and when it didn’t lead to their preferred outcome they have turned to other tactics that are aimed at confusing the public dialogue and with the Hook turning the issue into scandal and “high drama”. Reading CT one sees evidence of CSWP presenting data in very suspect ways-that’s why the Hook stuff was incongruous. Who is the special interest-It looks like CSWP is trying to get their leader elected. Then there is the lame ticket and show at the debate and it seems to me the election has been hijacked by these narrow special interests. A lot of people including the ticket are running to overturn decisions like the parkway and the dam decision. All the hyperbole seems to be an election strategy where challengers use a “controversy” to get attention and frame issues in terms of throwing the “corrupt” bums out pr new turks -old turks. But it all just seems like a side show to hide the fact that their candidates are not the best and in some cases have previous baggage that will escape scrutiny if they succeed in harping on the water issue, which has been voted on and is supported by all by a very small but vocal minority special interest group.

    With complex issues political decisions often come down to values-filtered facts and who is trustworthy and has the previous experience and record to be good councilors. Look hard at the anti-dam candidates and their previous records of public service and political actions. My opinion about the situation.

  • truthtopower,

    What’s funny is you are doing the same thing that you’ve criticzed the Hook of doing, only its the motives of the anti-dam folks you find specious…

    Well, I should mention that while I still have some confusion, due mostly to trying to stay open-minded about this thing (and isn’t the effort of staying open-minded a kind of state of confusion anyway?), I do have a few conclusions.

    From what I DO understand, both building a new dam and dredging have their merits…which means both sides can claim to be right. Which is maybe the reason why it is so confusing to people. Dredging can get expensive, especially with the high cost of fuel these days, but there are many ways to dredge, many methods to use, some more innovative and efficient than others. And if we are going to build a dam, dredging takes the pressure off having to build it right away, as the increased water capacity buys us considerably more time to plan, design, build, etc. Still, it seems prudent in the short term to focus on dredging, conservation, and reuse of the water we use now…there are some truly innovative systems out there, our home-grown Worrell Water Technolgies system being one of them.

    The problem, I think, was that dredging was simply taken of the table in the beginning, deemed too impractical and expensive by the consultants, when in fact it has real merits, could be done at a reasonable price if its done smart, and give us another decade or more of water…and who knows, combined with conservation and emerging technologies we might find ourselves with more water than we expected. This would never have come to light if it wasn’t for certain individuals and some good local reporting.

  • The crux of the issue

    Truthtopower: your last comment seems to imply that there is something unseemly or inappropriate about people working to overturn the very unpopular Feb 2011 city council vote in favor of the massive new dam at Ragged Mountain. If it is unseemly or inappropriate for people to try to overturn a city council vote that they don’t agree with, then would you say it was also unseemly or inappropriate for Linda Seaman, Jim Nix and others to successfully pressure 3 city councilors to flip their Sept 2010 vote in favor of a much smaller dam? I don’t recall any of the pro-dam people saying then that “council has voted, let’s move on” like they are saying now. In a democracy, citizens have the right to try and overturn government decisions they disagree with. And in the case of the Feb 2011 vote the public disagreement was and is widespread.

  • @Dave Mcnair,

    You are absolutely right, all options had their merits and downsides, and I think all the people responsible for making the decision heard all of these and considered all of these before making a decision. I don’t think any decision maker gained materially from their decision. I don’t see David Brown living high on the hog from dam builder money.

    The only problem left as I see it is the CSWP and/or Mayor Norris for that matter didn’t prevail on the matter, so there is incessant nit picking, cries for more studies, crying foul on all studies done by the institution they want more studies from, and bad mouthing respectable people who didn’t have their chance in the Hook to defend themselves. Instead they turned to what read to me like an editorial with a lot of unsubstantiated claims and innuendo. Desperately trying to keep the issue alive and sow seeds of doubt in people’s minds about corrupt politicians. Huja, Brown, and Szakos are not that and we all know it. They made their decision on the merits of the evidence.

    For instance, I could state a fact like “Ted Weschler is a part-owner of the Hook and is also a contributor to Brian Wheeler’s Charlottesville Tomorrow” and then run off by innuendo and speculation about all sorts of possible improprieties like imply how the Hook is supporting a journalist that by its own reporting is part of some conspiracy of special interest to somehow influence his supposedly biased reporting. But I don’t think there is anything there but someone who has interests in a couple of news outlets, end of story. There’s no political axe to grind there like there was in the Hook editorial.

    And yes right again, I only feel compelled to raise suspicion about the motives of the anti-dam people because I feel they ran out of any new facts to add to the debate and turned to tactics that were aimed at ad hominem attacks and innuendo and no one was looking at their motives with any objectivity, like in my opinion getting their leader, Dede Smith elected-maybe that’s why this has lasted beyond its time. And I think Hawes’ editorial contributed to this. I guess turn about is fair play. This is in fact why I think the water issue has gone on for so long. And I don’t agree with your conclusion about any premature cutting off of the dredging issue. It looks to me like it got its fair consideration by all institutions looking including UVA’s planner. From what I gather there is no credible evidence that dredging would provide enough water at a reasonable cost, but CSWP and the Hook have claimed that the people doing those studies are corrupt.

    And “we might find ourselves with more water than we expected”… well might ain’t good enough for me and my kids who will be living here for the next 50 years.

    And to @ Crux, I don’t mind people trying to over turn an “unpopular decision” What I do mind is the way they do it. I thought that during the process through which the ACBOS, City Council, and RWSA were considering these things, that it was appropriate for the CSWP people to advocate their heart out, I appreciate it. Their ideas were given their due diligence by all institutions involved. I would have preferred if, after the votes, it truly was widespread disagreement that they would have gotten the 2200 signatures it need to get on a referendum, rather than trying to do it by putting up substandard candidates who may be passionate about the water issue but with whom we will have to live with after that decision (which I thought was over) is done to the point ground is broken. I would have preferred that the small vocal group, when they ran out of facts, had not resorted to scandal mongering in the local paper. That’s how the narrative looks to me, and I have been no strong advocate for any of these options until very recently.

    I don’t know anything about the Nix and Seaman allegations you are bringing up. Care to give some proven, evidence and fact that that actually occurred in the way you allege? Let’s ask Brown, Huja, & Szakos to go on the public record if they were pressured to change their vote on the water supply issue. Ask them and bring back the quotes and we can discuss. Or are we back to the Hook FLAWS MO?

    I am getting a little bored with the water story. Its played. This election is about the quality of people we put on Council and their previous records and integrity. So far I like Galvin, Huja, Beyer, Blount without the ticket, and Halfaday.

  • Here’s your proof:

    Take a look at the Seaman e-mail to only 3 of the Councilors-Brown,Szakos and Huja. If you listen to the council meeting the night the coup occurred, Mr. Huja came prepared with a written statement to support the new plan for a 30 ft. earthen dam. The 3 councilors overturned the unanimous vote to add 13ft onto the dam at Ragged Mt., dredge and promote conservation, and conspired together without the knowledge of Mayor Norris or Ms. Edwards. Guess they weren’t ready to move on.’-secret-scheme-to-topple-“norris-plan”/

  • What I gather from your comments ttp is that you are making a valiant attempt to elect the candidates of your choosing and undermine the opposition trying use the water debate.

    What you really should do is read the entire Hook Water Archive so you at least have some facts. If you don’t like the conclusions stick to the original documents, there are plenty, then read the studies, and then hire an engineer to analyze them if they are out of your league. And then maybe you will make some sense.

    If you want to blindly believe what the authorities,RWSA the University ect. are telling you, that’s your choice, but I chose to believe those who have done what I suggest above.

  • Anyone who can’t understand the connection the Nature Conservancy has played in this after reading the Hook cover story and checking the documents at the end that relate to the Nature Conservancy ( if they need more proof ) doesn’t want to see it. And nothing the Hook writes or that any other journalist writes will convince these people. They have their own personal reasons for not wanting to understand this and only they know what those are.

  • The crux of the issue

    Truthtopower, the fact that you have or claim no knowledge of the concerted effort to overturn the unanimous Sept 2010 council vote in favor of a more ecologically and financially responsible water plan indicates that perhaps you need to do a little more homework before continuing your anti-Dede Smith crusade.

  • The crux of the issue

    More to the point, neither you nor Ms Galvin have answered the simple question, if it’s wrong to try and overturn a very controversial 3-2 council vote then how was it OK for others to work so hard to overturn a very popular 5-0 council vote??

  • I couldn’t agree with “The crux of the issue” more. The September 2010 vote was lauded as a great compromise by many. It went from being the “Norris Plan” to a true “Council Plan” as many of the councilors worked together to make it even stronger. I was sitting in the audience that night and couldn’t have been prouder of Council, a feeling that was shared by so many.

    Incidentally, I was also in the audience many years ago during the big presentation of the Water Plan and was a supporter back then like so many. Back then, it was a James River pipeline vs reservoir plan, and so choosing the reservoir was a no-brainer! That’s before I saw the documents myself and before I realized that major parts of the reasoning behind the scope of the plan were based on flawed data and figures. At the very least, discovering that required new studies, and also a hard look into how data was collected and processed, and how the RWSA was conducting itself. As Maya Angelou says, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

    TTP, if you don’t care to go through the massive amounts of RWSA, Council, Nature Conservancy correspondence and data, and read the facts yourself, then why on earth are you even opining on this issue? If you haven’t spent years dealing with the RWSA, and seeing firsthand how they and their board handle things (and people), then why do you think that those of us who have are idiots or unhinged? Basically, you’re speaking from a position of personal ignorance on this issue.

    Re the journey from Sept 2010 to Feb 2011: the fact that some of this stuff has been discussed privately, but has never been exposed publicly tells me that there are some really decent folks out there who don’t want to drag other people through the mud. Suffice it to say though, there were some shameful actions, promises not kept, an inordinate amount of pressure from the old-school Dem wing, TNC, PEC, Chamber/AlbCo big business, and generally disappointing and disingenuous behavior. This is a small town, and it got a lot smaller during that time.

    TTP, I know you’re going to scoff at this, but I’ll throw it out there anyway. Considering the amount of hard work done by so many unpaid citizens trying to get to the heart of this matter, can you, just for a moment, try to comprehend what has made them keep at it this long? Unlike the TNC, RWSA, PEC bigwigs, etc, they haven’t been drawing a salary during these years. They don’t have a war chest or the ability to pay PR firms to sway the public in their direction. These citizens, councilors, and council candidates represent a varied political perspective from socialist to conservative. They are lawyers, conservationists, doctors, musicians, City workers, professors, waiters, university administrators, teachers, chefs, journalists, nurses, engineers, farmers, architects, photographers, school board members, authors, and scientists. To brush off their valid concerns by saying that all of these people have been somehow duped is madness.

    To insinuate that Blount, Halfaday, Cannon, Collins and others are hapless schmucks who can’t think for themselves is the sort of rudeness and lazy thinking I’ve now come to expect from you and others. Do you have ANY idea what hard work it is to run for office, and how much risk you take opening yourself up to personal criticism? None of the candidates running in this election– whether Dem or Independent– are doing it because it’s easy and fun.

    Finally, for one Council candidate to tell the people that they shouldn’t be allowed to discuss their valid concerns is alarming, to say the least. Especially when one considers that the rest of the candidates ARE willing to discuss not only those issues, but so many more. Attempting to impose any form of censorship on the people is a huge red flag.

  • For the record, I hope that the ongoing exchange here isn’t the sort of thing that Galvin is lamenting. This is about the most agreeably that I’ve seen anybody disagree about important issues around here. :)

  • builditandtheywillwhine

    No one is trying to limit anyone’s speech.(Freedom of Speech is only about the government/authority limiting a citizen’s speech) The dredgers got many, many times to freely express their opinions and make their thoughts know to the council. Then a vote was held and a decision was made. That’s how democracy works. Factor in the county, the University and many Charlottesville businesses all in favor of the council decision.

    This is about reversing council decisions. This is about a tyranny of a minority of ratepayers to force their will on the majority. As I watch the USA’s debt rating drop to AA , one of the reasons mentioned was the inability of our government to reach consensus by compromise now and in the future. I can’t help by thinking that if the Norris ticket wins we’ll see County/City relationships hit a new low as the Parkway and Water supply agreements are blown asunder.

  • The crux of the issue

    You’re right, a vote was held and a decision was made. Then some powerful special interests and party insiders set out to overturn it. The county said “no way” to compromise and the 3 councilors threw in the towel. It was a truly pathetic spectacle of poor governance and we have to elect councilors who will never allow it to happen again.

  • @ Victoria Dunham states: “If you haven’t spent years dealing with the RWSA, and seeing firsthand how they and their board handle things (and people), then why do you think that those of us who have are idiots or unhinged? Basically, you’re speaking from a position of personal ignorance on this issue.”

    So only the true believers who have been there from the beginning and have all the knowledge (from one side) may speak? I am smart enough to see what’s going merely by looking at dredger tactics, including the ticket nonsense. I am sure i could read all those documents and come up with a very different interpretation of those “facts”.

    I don’t really care what CWSP want or say at this point. I trust UVA’s engineering staff, the three councilors who voted for the Earthen Dam, all the environmental agencies that looked into it, in this case even, the ACBOS,etc. You want us to believe that all these people on these institutions were either duped or are in the pockets of special interests. Not buying. I want water for the next 50 years that is hedged against drought or inconsistencies in conservation rates. The rates to build a bigger dam will never be lower than they are now. I don’t want to pay later and again, have not seen any convincing evidence that dredging is either cheaper or will provide enough water and I don’t buy the everyone but us and all those that support the earthen dam are evil and corrupt argument, that is madness. We have heard it a million times. Where are the charges?

    I will grant you that the CWSP people have worked hard and they are activists with their own perspective, I even admired their tenacity during the fight. If they were not running their leader as a candidate I might be more sympathetic to your argument about their supposed neutrality and good intentions. If what you say about the other side is true, I don’t want to swap out one set of special interest for another that’s just a pendulum swing. That’s why I think there are other candidates (than on the ant-dam ticket)who are reasonable people who are not hard core activist/believers who will take the middle path in all this. People like Halfaday, Galvin, and Huja and probably even Blount. The ticket is what Caravati described as a “politburo” and I don’t want that no matter how much sense dredging makes.

    Didn’t say Halfaday or Collins (who is not running for anything as far as I know) were schmucks who couldn’t think for themselves. I think Halfaday made that quite clear at the first candidates debate.

    I think you mistook Galvin’s comments about the debate as promoting censorship when what she was really saying, I think, is that there are lots of other issues besides water supply and parkway, that have not had their due consideration that we should be talking about and Galvin has been trying to do that. She wasn’t speaking to any candidates really but to many in the public who have moved on from the water supply decision already made and those who have other priorities.

    And we can agree that we both appreciate the candidates putting themselves out there for public service, I just hope people examine their real motivations for doing so.

    At this point when I hear it, The Water supply issue has been turned into a red herring to get Smith elected.

    And didn’t Szakos and Norris run together last time around. How can you guys just turn on her just because she didn’t think dredging was the best way to go?

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