Saturday, August 31, 2013

Top 10 Local Issues

Top 10 Local Issues leading to Nov. 5 Charlottesville City Council elections according to me.

(1) Urban Renewal, Public Housing. Stealing of real estate and eminent domain/due process abuse. Discussed at every meeting if you know the code words.
(2) Race Relations. Minorities angry at half century of City stealing real estate. Police conduct evictions if you don't leave "voluntarily." Human Rights Commission. Dialogue on Race.
(3) Public Safety. Everybody afraid of blacks and self-segregating for safety. Blacks attacking non-blacks while police look the other way. When black-on-white violence comes up at City Council meetings, racist far-left liberals jump up and down and scream racism.
(4) Public School Safety. Ongoing racial violence occasionally makes the news while felon teachers and administrators defend the attackers. Yes it's a felony to kidnap other people's kids for your profit-paycheck. Again it's the police who abduct the children and return them to an unsafe place where no learning occurs at a high price financially and spiritually.
(5) City-County Relations. Since 1888 City invasions into the County by annexation. County pays off City not to annex since 1982. City unable to annex under state law since 1984 but the payments continue and grow. Incredible animosity and institutional distrust.
(6) 2006 Community Water Supply Plan in response to 2002 and record 1977 droughts. Almost unanimous support in '06, a small tirelessly vocal group of City activists arose to oppose the plan because the County would also benefit, and delayed until 2011 when Council re-approved the plan for a third time. Land for expanding the Ragged Mountain reservoir originally purchased in late 1800s. Dredging the 1966 South Rivanna reservoir is separate. Over the last decade many proposals and bids to dredge were submitted and ignored by Rivanna water authority. In today's paper the last company willing to dredge has dropped out.
(7) Rule by Committee. Arbitrary, vague, unpredictable regulation by long list of boards and commissions. Board of Architectural Review. Planning Commission. Zoning Commission. City Council. Urban Renewal commission (Housing Authority board of commissioners). Human Rights Commission. Etc. etc.
(8) Over-taxing, wasting money on pet projects while neglecting infrastructure. Creating new fees (Rain Tax) to finance what we already pay for.
(9) Bus Routes and Schedules. Sunday and holiday service is fairly new. Some buses still drive around empty. This is the rare agency that has shown improvement.
(10) Trash Collection. Charging twice for the same service. In the past, collection was free and twice a week and only 1% of the budget. Unintended consequence/perverse incentive to improperly dispose of garbage. Territorial wars to use private dumpsters. With technological advances and single-stream recycling, it's time to go back to a better system.

Thanks guys. I cranked this out because I went to a meeting this week and newcomers didn't know the local issues. I didn't include changes to the election process from at-large (51% of voters select all Council members, direct democracy) to district based elections or ward system where someone actually represents your neighborhood or precinct. From 1888 to the 1920s we had a ward system with similar problems. So the character of the candidates is more important than the type of election. (Also posted to FaceBook )