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Waldo JaquithPerson was signed in when posted
02:19 AM ET (US)
Incidentally, in referring to this race as a referendum on stupidity, I'm not referring to Kenneth Jackson. I don't know the guy. From what I've read, he's extremely ill-informed on the relevant issues, and he's certainly got a bit an aggression problem, but that's about it. What I mean is that, based on how underqualified that he is to hold a Council seat, one would have to be rather foolish to vote for him.
Waldo JaquithPerson was signed in when posted
01:47 AM ET (US)
Blair, I know eminent domain is important to you (to my knowledge, it's your only interest), but I think you need to recognize that it's not an issue in this campaign, no matter how much that you might want it to be, as you've wanted it to be in every previous election. Heck, I'd love to see an official city apology for Vinegar Hill, but I'm not about to cast my vote based on the non-starter of an issue of eminent domain. (Not that it matters -- I'm voting in the Blacksburg town council election today, anyhow. Langrehr, Rordam and Lancaster '04!)

Why aren't you speaking out against the Democratic party?

Uh...you mean by pointing out all of the things that they're doing that's stupid? Or perhaps endorsing Meredith Richards, the least-popular candidate?

Oh. Wait. I am. How about that? But I'm not just opposing, I'm working to improve. Any fool can speak out against something. It takes a special kind of fool to work to improve something.
Edited 05-04-2004 02:22 AM
12:47 AM ET (US)
With this guy in the election, the race is turning into a referendum on stupidity. Let's see how Our Fair City stacks up.

Maybe his position on affordable housing was given at the NAACP forum where he said he wants equal treatment, use the laws white people use, "play the game they play."

The best way to help the poor is to reinstate equal treatment under law for poor and minorities. Stop impoverishing people and then bragging about helping the poor. Stop stealing poor people's land and then providing section 8 rent assistance.

Stop calling people dumb if you're dumb enough to think you can vote for city government to steal hundreds and hundreds of properties across generations and get away with it forever. How much stupidity does that take?

How stupid do you have to be not to know that the Republicans are symbols of rebellion against the status quo? Is that the entire depth of your criticism against the candidate: he can't spell?

Come on Waldo. What grade are you in? Why aren't you speaking out against the Democratic party? When's the last time you had to explain to a child the great uncertainty of the American Dream? When's the last time you told to a kid that he has rights in theory, but not in practice?

Eminent domain issue in Council race for #1 City in USA: Get out the vote!
Waldo JaquithPerson was signed in when posted
12:10 AM ET (US)
Um. Wow. Paul, those survey responses are pretty damning for ol' Stabby. I mean, his answers aren't even sentences.

He wants the bypass to connect with 29 again south of Fashion Square? We have that bypass: we call it the "29 bypass," aka "250." He seems to be unclear on the concept. A reading of the dictionary definition of "bypass" may be helpful.

He doesn't have any ideas for low income housing? Sweet Lord! You'd think that such a thing would be this man's bread and butter! I've just got to write out his answer again, bolding anything particularly alarming:

I do not have a specific policy on low income or rent controled
housing the ladder of the two dose not exist in this state, but I do believe that those who are not disable nor elderly can if given the proper training and job potential can move up and off assistance and become self relient.

I mean, spell check, anyone?

I am absolutely galled by his assertion that he's going to micromanage each and every city department, reviewing a line-item budget and working with them to lower their costs. Not only is that well outside of the scope of Council (city staff would hate him for it), but to do so effectively, he would need a great deal of experience with efficiency optimization, finance, and operating businesses.

With this guy in the election, the race is turning into a referendum on stupidity. Let's see how Our Fair City stacks up.
04:39 PM ET (US)
I was disappointed not to be able to follow up on the conversation I started on the candidates' responses to our neighborhood survey. Here's what I was going to post...

I have a little quiz for you. The following are taken from a questionnaire that my neighborhood sent to the candidates. Try to guess which candidate is which.

One of the candidates quoted below is currently on the council, has worked extensively with neighborhoods before being on the council, and works as an electrical engineer.

The other candidate quoted below has stabbed at least three people, and assaulted at least one police officer, and has worked in a string of fast food restaurants for the last decade or so.

4. Please explain your position on an eastern connector. (From 250 or 20 near Free Bridge around the east of the City to somewhere on Rio near Pen Park or to further up Rio or to 29 north of the town.) Under what circumstances would you support it? Explain any funding issue.

Candidate #1
I would like to see the eastern connector round closer to 29 north but within fashion square, this would allow for potential persons to take in our Fashion Square Mall and cut any possible loss revenue which might be lost do to passed by travelers. And would increase city's dollar amount of revenue share.

Candidate #2
I have long been a proponent of the Eastern Connector. While other elected officials were saying that it could never be done, I was taking aerial photos and working with County staff, elected officials and neighborhoods to locate potential acceptable alignments. I am pleased to see that this seems to be a priority for Ken Boyd, the County Supervisor from the Rivanna District. I would not want an alignment that comes too close to the City, but there are a number of potential alignments that I would support. I believe that it would be possible to build this road for under 20M.

12. Policy on low income housing / rent control?

Candidate #1
I do not have a specific policy on low income or rent controled
housing the ladder of the two dose not exist in this state, but I do believe that those who are not disable nor elderly can if given the proper training and job potential can move up and off assistance and become self relient.

Candidate #2
Affordable housing is housing that takes up no more than a third of a person's paycheck. Each person's definition of affordable depends on how much he or she makes. It is useful to note than in Charlottesville, more than 40 percent of renters spend more than a third of their paycheck on rent, while only 14 percent of homeowners spend more than a third of their paycheck on a mortgage.

I believe that Charlottesville should continue to work with groups like Piedmont Housing Alliance, Habitat for Humanity, AHIP and others to increase the supply of affordable housing. We should follow Albemarle County's lead and require developers to build affordable housing when they request rezoning from the City. We should make it easier to build more affordable housing types, such as condos and townhouses. And we should expand our programs to assist City residents with home ownership.

Using existing home ownership programs from VHDA, a person making a living wage of $9.00 an hour, or $18,720 per year can afford to purchase a $95,000 house, which is difficult to find. We will need more condos and townhouses to meet this demand. A person making $12.00 an hour or $24,960 a year can afford to purchase a $125,000 house and a person making $30,000 a year can afford a $150,000 house.
Paul Doherty
03:46 PM ET (US)
Thanks Waldo for setting this up-- I can't find the online forum that people were posting to in advance of the city budget meeting-- people saying things like we should be charging UVA more for water, that we shouldn't be taking on too many beautification projects, and so on-- does the forum still exist somewhere on the city web site? Maurice Cox will not respond to me. Rob Schilling did respond to an email from me to say that he had some of the same concerns that I express below, but did not tell me where an online forum existed.

anyway, I was miffed to read last week's daily progress article about how 55% of cvillians want a meadowcreek pkwy and 70% want a bypass, yet there were all these quotes from our councilors saying that the poll was rigged.

I think I'm a pretty reasonable guy and I think we need the rio rd to kmart connector built quickly, we need meadowcreek pkwy, and we need an eastern bypass-- this city is busting at the seams with the growth at uva and the #1 livable rankings drawing people here… I don't think we need to commission any more expensive transportation studies to tell you this-- why don't we just look at what similarly sized and growing cities are doing?

Which Dems will support new roads?

moving on, I may not be completely or even partially well enough informed on some of the issues below, but I'd like to think the city budgeters should be smoothing out house assessment increases in their minds and only increasing spending as if assessment revenues are only going up 5-7% per year. I realize there is a budget crunch at the state, but page 14 of the budget document that was downloadable from the city web site shows that "other funds", meaning state funds, were $17.17M in fy03 and will be $17.04M in fy05-- no increases but no huge cuts.

I'd like to see more detail in that budget document on:
-- economic development-- what are we getting for $1.4M in spending?
-- comprehensive services act-- what are we getting for $4.2M?
-- public works/public service-- what are we getting for $9.6M?
-- transportation-- why is this up from $3.6M in fy03 to $5.5M in fy05? I get caught behind 4 empty buses while driving down main st in the morning-- they set picks and blocks for each other while 1-2 of them are pulled over-- I believe they are the reason traffic is so bad on main st because they keep people from getting through stop lights-- I ride my bike some-- if the city could use more of the smaller buses, that would:
1) cut down on capital costs and operational costs
2) it would allow traffic to not get bottlenecked as badly at all the new stop lights (some of which were needed-- we need one on 10th st connector for the back entrance of the hospital) that are not synchronized well (why do cars get backed up on the belmont bridge while the traffic lights spends way too much time letting a few cars go from the other 3 directions? there are countless other examples of this)
3) and I'd probably ride the smaller buses thinking they wouldn't take so long to cross town

Apparently there's more detail on these line items in the charlottesville/albemarle comprehensive plan, but I can't find this year's or any other year's on the net... does anyone have it?

Charlottesville is a model for some things already:
See http://freenet.vcu.edu/civic/organ/rich-first/ricfirev.html
and see http://frp.aysps.gsu.edu/frp/frpreports/Report_75/rpt75text.pdf
(when you can find studies like this on the net, you wonder why anyone ever commissions any kind of study that costs a city money)

It would be nice to stay that way, and to make it a model for more things...

As context or background, I got an economics degree from uva in 92, worked at snl financial downtown for a few years, got an mba from uva in 99, started a temp agency doing computer helpdesk and programming work, which I now own/manage on the side of a day job I have in uva hospital finance. I lived in a lot of rentals in the city and the county, bought a house near mjh 2 years ago, and have been alarmed as my property taxes plus gas/water payments to the city have gone from $2000 to over $3000...
Waldo JaquithPerson was signed in when posted
01:00 PM ET (US)
I really will be interested to see if these endorsements matter at all. Historically, competition has never been stiff enough for them to be relevant. This year, I wouldn't be surprised if they really meant something. The timing of the accusation against Brown couldn't be worse, of course.

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