Monday, June 02, 2008

Council approves water plan again

Charlottesville, Va.—Facing opposition from previous supporters of the plan, the 5-member Council passed the resolution unanimously Monday night to move ahead. The Council originally approved the expansion of Ragged Mountain Reservoir on June 5, 2006.

Well, it depends on the definition of the word “local water plan.” Several speakers argued that we can’t move forward because our plan doesn’t fit the state’s definition of a plan. So, when Judy Mueller of Public Works spoke during water rates discussion in the following agenda item, she coined the new politically correct term “local water project.” When a viewpoint is desperate, they redefine or change the words.

Councilor David Brown voted for the original plan. Also on Council are two long-time officials who dealt with water issues for decades. Satyendra Huja was the city’s urban planner 1973-2004. The water authority was created in 1972 amidst intense controversy. Huja received a Master’s Degree in urban renewal from Michigan State University in 1968. Julian Taliaferro moved here in the 1960s as a fireman and served as fire department chief for decades.

Combined with desperation are hypocrisy and dishonesty among the project’s critics. Kevin Lynch spoke again tonight and sounded like he was just making up stuff. He voted for the 2006 plan about to be implemented. At the last meeting (May 19) Lynch told me that RWSA consultant Gannett Fleming have stopped saying 2002 was the worst drought on record. I spoke right after him to correct another speaker’s assertion. When I sat down Lynch said he would have made the correction if he had enough time. But I didn’t believe him. He’s been challenged on this issue a number of times.

Kendra Hamilton has re-appeared, city councilor 2004-2007. She implored the councilors to “remember your professed ideals.” The links below document her credibility from a civil rights perspective locally. Hamilton said she’s now low-income because she lost her job and is now living on a graduate student’s stipend. Only now water rates matter to her. Karma catches up to everyone eventually.

Hamilton and Lynch will talk about the water on the Schilling show Thursday (I believe) at 1 pm on WINA 1070.

Other critics included Rich Collins, chairman of the Rivanna Water Authority 2001-2003 who didn’t tell any media that 1977 was the worst drought on record. So newspapers filed false reports and the community was misled. Collins implemented water saving measures in 1977 while he served as Housing Authority chairman, the city’s urban renewal agency.

While the critics derided the current council for their apparent deception, they left out their own deceptions and failure to act themselves. Jeff Werner pointed out the personal attacks and rhetorical tricks the opponents have been using. You can hear it in the way they speak.

They’re sarcastic. It’s personal. It’s hyperbole. It’s political theater. To read Hawes Spencer, editor of The Hook, who began covering this debate in a blitz which began only in March, the rhetorical tricks are clear to me, as is the hypocrisy. Talk about the history and say you’re a journalist and imply you actually covered the events you’re reporting.

To his credit, Hawes occasionally discloses that he only now discovered this issue because of the many notable citizens and former politicians. But he leaves out the specific footnotes they’ve left in the local history. I’m used to it. He left me out of his C-ville Weekly coverage of the 2000 city council campaign.

It seems to be the water that’s waking people up to how Council actually operates. It’s a shame one group of shady characters is accusing the other group of being shady. Fortunately the ones making no accusations are now in charge of our water supply.

Relate Links

“Dredging alternative at Citizens forum” May 5, 2008

"The emperor has no water" Hoax, Mar. 16, 2008

“2007: Year of the Non-Drought” Jan. 3, 2008

“50-year Water Plan for 76% more population: Ragged at same phase as Buck Mountain”, Sep. 18, 2007

“Rivanna uncomfortable using Buck Mountain land for Ragged Mountain plan” Nov. 2, 2006

“Council approves Ragged Mountain option: Water for another 50 years” Jun. 6, 2006. Includes Tom Frederick’s report to Council Feb. 7, 2005

All about "The Last Drought," Sep 3 2002

"Drought Perspective," Sep 18 2002 (comparison of droughts 2002, 1977, 1930)
All 23 pages of the 2001-02 pamphlet series, includes much local water history.

“Fifeville historic register nomination marches on” Apr. 2, 2008

“Council refuses to release urban renewal archives: Jefferson School conflict of interest: Blighted House has until Feb 15” Nov. 21, 2006

“Levy Avenue for sale: Eminent domain in your face” Dec. 15, 2006. Includes "Council Beat: Parade of grievances, Housing Authority report" Jan. 19, 2005 in Charlottesville Independent Media. Hamilton calls for more urban renewal. I’m the only media who reported this truth.

“Levy Avenue update: Proof of ownership incomplete” Nov. 15, 2007.

“Hamilton nodded in agreement when Johnson said we should preserve the history. Hamilton is unfriendly to preserving local black history and refused, along with the rest of Council on Nov. 20, 2006, to allow public access to Housing Authority Archives. She pretended not to know about the research effort despite a Jan. 2005 email and numerous newsblog postings that document the unwillingness to cooperate with historic preservation.”

“Va Climatologist Michaels resigns year after ouster attempt” Sep. 26, 2007.

“What a difference a year makes. Last August local blogger Waldo Jaquith and outgoing city councilor Kevin Lynch led a McCarthy-style campaign to have Patrick Michaels fired because Michaels' expert opinion on global warming differed from theirs. But they couldn't say that. So their grounds to have him removed was appearance of a conflict of interest. Michaels' position cannot be refuted. Hence the smear tactics and emotional reasoning. That was not a proud chapter in Charlottesville’s history. So you’ll rarely see mention of this story, except by those few who stood up for intellectual freedom and prevailed. Below are excerpts [and links] from a year ago.”


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