Dang money: Protests on the Mall, UVA, Lee Park

Taking a page from the "Occupy Wall Street" movement that has been sweeping the nation, a small group of protesters occupied Central Place on the Downtown Mall Friday, October 14, encouraging passersby to withdraw their money from nearby Wells Fargo Bank and deposit it in local institutions. As one bike cop watched, and the wind swirled, about 20 protesters with signs chanted things like "Shame on Wells Fargo," and "Stop payday lending."

Meanwhile, a big confrontation between police and Occupy Wall Street protesters was expected in lower Manhattan as Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the closure of Zuccotti Park, the base of operations for the movement. And although that decision was postponed early in the day, police nevertheless arrested 14 people. Over 700 people have been arrested so far. 

The next day about 40 protesters affiliated with Occupy Charlottesville gathered outside Carr's Hill as UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan hosted a luncheon for the University's corporate sponsors, displaying signs that read  “Goldman Sachs eats UVA Brains” and "People not Profit," a scenario that has been playing itself out on campuses across the country. (Amid protests by students at Barnard recently, Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, canceled a talk he was to give there.)

The Downtown Mall version was tame in comparison. Nearby, people sat outside enjoying lunch with friends and colleagues at places like Petit Pois and Hamilton's, while volunteers for Virginia Organizing, the statewide organization that, well, organized the event, handed out pamphlets. Under the shadow of the Landmark Hotel, a symbol of one local banking mess, VO executive director Joe Szakos (husband of City Councilor Kristin Szakos) stood watching as VO chairperson Sandra Cook rallied the troops. The event started at 1:30pm and ended promptly at 2pm.

"Why do we have to pay to use your own God dang money?" a woman shouted.

"Divest and use your money to invest in our community," said Cook. "And to the banks, we say, 'Pay your fair share.'"

While the movement spreads across the nation, fueled by anger and frustration with the widening gap between rich and poor, and with the predatory practices of the government bailed-out banking industry, on the Downtown Mall the protest was dwarfed by a largely preoccupied crowd of people on their way to somewhere else.

"What the hell is this about?" a man in a baseball cap asked.

"They're protesting Wall Street like the folks in New York City," another man said.

"People are like sheep, man," he said, walking away.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, supporters of Occupy Charlottesville began occupying nearby Lee Park on the Downtown Mall, setting up tents and a make-shift headquarters.

On Monday, October 17, protesters spoke before City Council asking them to suspend an 11pm curfew so that they could occupy the park 24/7. No decision was made, but at least three councilors, including Mayor Dave Norris, expressed support for the protestors. Councilor Holly Edwards wondered if were fair, considering the fact that the homeless are not allowed to spend the night in the park. Councilor David Brown worried about the precedent it might set, allowing other groups, such as the local Tea Party, to occupy the park.  "As hard as it is to imagine Carole Thorpe [local Tea Party chairperson] camping out in Lee Park..." Brown quipped.

On Tuesday, campers in the park felt confident they would be issued a permit.

"I was a big Republican when I left for Iraq," says Evan Knappenberger, an AHS grad and an Iraq war veteran who is camping out at Lee Park. "But I realized the strong have to take care of the weak in this country. We really need to stop thinking of selfishness as a virtue." 


You can see more of these dirty hippies on Saturday October 15th (tomorrow) at 11:00am in Lee Park.

Come join. Come mock. Come bearing gifts. Come for the competing Chocolate Festival.

What abigot. Dirty? These people are dirty? They look pretty white middle class to me.

Great writing Dave! I really liked the sneering & dismissive tone. Every bit as good as the articles you wrote when you were employed by the Rutherford institute!

I suggest that those who want others to pay "their fair share", be very sure that you are........

Wait until it gets a little colder and perhaps wetter..........even the die-hards will get it.

Curious- if I were to take in their money and say that I was going to invest it and give them a great return, would they give it to me?

Perhaps Barney Fwank and Cwiss Dodd can offer some advice.............

Back in the day, around integration for a reference point, we used to pay big time for a checking account. Only students got them free. Now I dont need to know nothin. Online banking is the best think since cornbread and a young Miss Juicy....

disinterested=unbiased not uninterested
or indifferent

At least from the photo shown, I, a conservative, agree with the protestors. Support credit unions (a local business) YES, no government payday loans YES. That I do agree. However, the rant against BoA because of an increase in fees for debit card usage is a big NO to the protestors. The complaint shouldn't be against the bank but against the government. The bank invests millions into developing a debit card system, businesses agree to pay a fee because they think it will increase their business, then they later complain about the fee (That they agreed to!) and send lobbyists to Washington to complain. Then the government steps in and tell the bank they can't charge the fee...so the banks pass the cost onto the consumer. Wake up folks.

Do Kristen Szakos and her husband talk to one another? Her votes on the Meadowcreek Parkway and the Ragged Mountain Dam will only help enrich the sort of people her husband rails against.

got to agree with that last comment. Come on Kristen; think outside of whatever box you have gotten trapped in. That dam pipeline project is a loser.

Yeah Kristen! Don't you know that you are supposed to vote according to your husband's wishes?!!

When her husband was arrested in 2009, KristinSzakos has this to say on another local blog.

"Posted by: Kristin Szakos Location: Charlottesville on Jul 26, 2009 at 01:28 PM

Although I'm delighted to be connected to this fine man and his actions, Joe Szakos is far more than the husband of a city council candidate! He is the Executive Director of a statewide citizens organization and state coordinator of Health Care for America Now campaign. He has been working for justice and citizen empowerment for more than 30 years.

She claims to be "delighted" to be associated with Joe Szakos and lauds the work he has done for "justice and citizen empowerment." She on the other hands seems to want to empower some really wealthy landowners who want to stiff local citizen ratepayers with the bill for providing infrastructure for their development projects. That's some serious cognitive dissonance.

Instead of crashing the Chocolate festival in Lee Park (the sponsors have a permit), their circus now moves to McGuffey Park. Of course, if it rains, the anti-corporate crowd won't be able to seek shelter under the "corporate umbrella" of the named NTELOS Wireless Pavilion as they did Wednesday night. Note to organizers: image matters.

Charlottesville City Council candidate and self-identified socialist Brandon Collins is the ringmaster.

What ever happened to "money can't buy everything"?

They seem to have two points: They don't like Wells Fargo. Fine so don't bank there. And they don't like paying for payday loans. "Why do we have to pay to use your own God dang money?" News flash, if it is a payday loan, then its not your money, its a loan and hopefully you will have earned your own dang money by the end of the week so you can pay it back. Stop living above your means and you wont have to pay to use someone else's money.

How about this --Joe Szakos and the VO could demonstrate to stop the dam/pipeline project --a project whose main beneficiaries are the Nature Conservancy and speculative developers. That would be a meaningful way to support the poor and middle class in our community, who will be hit with the bill to destroy the assets they own, and then be forced to build all new stuff we don't even need.

Hey Joe, think global - act local ?

If they'd actually done the above, many of us would be more willing to take them seriously and they would gain support here in Charlottesville.

The low income residents of Albemarle and Charlottesville will be hit a lot harder by the water rate hikes that Kristin Szakos supports than by the bank fees that Joe Szakos opposes.

Most likely the city will enact means testing to help lower-income ratepayers pay their water bills if it's needed to support city agreed upon and mandated infrastructure projects. Problem solved!

I know that those that have been beating the 'low-income ratepayer' drum will immediately see the logic and compassion of such a proposal. That is, unless they wish to keep this issue alive in a cynical attempt to derail the quite sensible infrastructure project?

Anyone that cares about 'low-income ratepayers' more than their objection to a sensible infrastructure project should immediately back subsidies to help these low-income ratepayers.

Or, instead of adding more taxpayer funded subsidies for the poor how about we just use a less costly approach that still gets us ALL the water we need and doesn't jack up water rates nearly as high? Seems like a much, much more sensible solution.

BOA saves me about $3.50 per month in stamps (dependent upon the whim of Congress and the PM General). That savings and the convenience of one click pay is worth $5.00 per month to me. It is a service over and above a checking account.

My Pentagon Credit Union account charges for bill pay over a defined limit. A Credit Union not always the better deal. I will say the Pentagon Credit Union people are a great lot of folks

Using a credit card and paying it off monthly is an alternative to go; in fact, inasmuch as a credit card is protected, and a debit card is not, I think, a CC is a better way to go.

Pay Day loans: I think I would check first the risk statistics, which supposedly justify the high rates of interest, before I would complain (I don`t think the borrowers are complaining).

The protesters, it seems to me, are supporting capitalism, i.e. ,advocating moving to a better mousetrap. Isn`t that what we are about, competitive money-making?

And if you think the Republicans and Tea Partiers who run Albemarle County are going to approve funding for a new program to subsidize water bills for the poor then you have not been paying attention. No, the poor and elderly and disabled and everyone on a fixed income will suffer because of the hefty rate increases that the Szakoses either support (Kristin) or turn a blind eye to (Joe).

"Still Living"- THANK YOU!!

It's the city poor that can't afford to pay that should be subsidized, by the city gov't. The city gov't agreed to the water plan. If the city plan results in higher rates for poor people, why shouldn't the city help those people? Many county folk are on wells.

What does the tea party have to do with the water plan agreed to by the city? You really aren't making much sense.

If the Szakos's really cared about the poor and middle class ( many who will become poor ) if they can't pay their bills, they would fight spending money on a new dam for the wealthiest environmental group, the Nature Conservancy, and speculative excesses of water supply for developers.

Ragged Mt. is a beautiful park for those who want a rugged hiking experience, in a magnificent setting, without driving an hour to the Blue Ridge Mts. Why would the Szakos want to destroy this opportunity to commune with nature for their citizens when there are far less damaging and less costly alternatives that encourage conservation.

I'm sick of liberal hypocrites !

Hey Mr. Szakos, have you read this ? Why don't you do what other posters are saying and go after these rich folks who are going to bleed the community for their own agenda.


If you really want to help the 99% who will be harmed by the loss of community assets, and higher water bills for a new dam- how about a demonstration here:

Nature Conservancy | Protecting Nature, Preserving Life

The Nature Conservancy protects Earth's natural resources and beauty.

490 Westfield Road
Charlottesville, VA 22901-1633
(434) 295-6106

"pulled off course by the light of gold and

OK- I give up, what the heck are these people doing? What are they protesting? Are they part of the solution or part of the problem?

"Most likely the city will enact means testing to help lower-income ratepayers pay their water bills if it's needed to support city agreed upon and mandated infrastructure projects. Problem solved!" I have been told that it is against state law for the city to use tax money to pay water and sewer bills. The bills must be paid by the rate payers.

The University of Virginia also supports the water plan. Why are NONE of these protesters brave enough to protest the single biggest fiscal entity in the area? Why are these cowards picking on some bank tellers when it is UVA that drives much of the growth in the area that requires the water plan.

Unless and until the people opposed to the water plan go after the real enemy and the elephant in the room, they will appear to be hypocritical cowards to those of us capable of critical thinking.

The Nature Conservancy is not the only billion dollar enterprise out to fleece the ratepayers, you're right meanwhile, look at these sponsors and note the connection between the Nature Conservancy and Goldman Sachs in the Hook cover story " Flaws" linked above.

UVa joins elite water alliance

UVa is the first university to be invited to join the group. The alliance is concerned with assessing and responding to increasing global water shortages and risks.

The group was organized by environmental think tank the World Resources Institute and includes experts from the public and private sectors. Information gathered from the group’s work will be used to influence water conservation strategies.

The Aqueduct Alliance is being supported by Goldman Sachs, General Electric, Bloomberg, the Dow Chemical Company and Coca-Cola.


If groups led by Mr. Szakos and the Tea Party movement refuse to protest the local special interests that are draining the pockets of the taxpayer/ratepayers in their own community - what good are they ?

I was told by the city finance director that already there are city residents coming to him for relief with their water, sewer, and gas bills and unable to pay. If they can't pay now what will they do when the rate increases ?

I just don't get Ms. Szakos's support for this water plan it kills the need to conserve, by overstoring water, and is far more costly than dredging, not to mention the destruction of Ragged Mt. Natural Area.

Huja's support makes more sense, he has always been a friend to the developers, and is an employee of UVA. And David Brown is just friends with the Nature Conservancy folks, and David is a true friend.

I would also like to see the protest take on the entities supporting what will be the largest destruction of natural resources and unnecessary rate increases in the history of Charlottesville.

One thing people are neglecting to realize is that our Water Authority has enough money in the bank to dredge now and not even have to go into debt or borrow. They have taken 25cents of every dollar from our payments to them and put it in a slush fund, now in the millions of dollars.

Where are the street protesters. This new dam is a scam !

Maybe UVA isn't the elephant in the room meanwhile - maybe it is the Nature Conservancy/Goldman Sachs connection leaning on UVA to support their global water agenda . Look at their director who replaced Henry Paulson, another Goldman Sachs, CEO . And look at the board.

Mark Tercek
President and CEO

Before joining The Nature Conservancy, Mark was a managing director at Goldman Sachs, where he played a key role in developing the firm’s environmental strategy. He headed the firm’s Environmental Strategy Group and Center for Environmental Markets, which worked to develop and promote market-based solutions to environmental challenges.


Much bigger fish than Wells Fargo in this town for this group to target

virginia organizing has been silent on the
water plan and the economic impact to rate payers.

one might ask why ?

has virginia organizing worked with TNC having them sponsor
or partner with them in the past ?

i would imagine that sponsorship or partnership would not
considered an endorsement in any way.

It would be interesting to see what hidden connections the Szakos family has to the people behind the big dam agenda. Keep digging folks. Don't forget they both have parents. Probably parents with money.

It is curious given their mission statement that the VSO wouldn't be supporting rate paying citizens trying to get the officials to use new information ( paid for by the ratepayers) that shows we don't need the new dam. I do wonder if there is a relationship with the Nature Conservancy that is preventing their speaking out.

here's their mission statement:

Virginia Organizing Project
Joe Szakos
703 Concord Ave.
Charlottesville, VA 22903-2803
904 984-4655
fax: 804 984-2803
www.virginia_organizing.org Focus: Statewide grassroots organization dedicated to challenging injustice by empowering people in local communities to address issues that affect the quality of their lives.
Current Activities: Community projects to foster citizen involvement in local events; training and education.

@meanwhile, "The University of Virginia also supports the water plan." No, UVa has not officially adopted the water supply proposal. That was Leonard Sandridge and he's gone. UVa's Alliance has other missions and has not endorsed the proposal either.

I'm a fan of VOP, but am completely baffled by their lack of support for citizens, locally, trying to fight off special interests taking advantage of the average guy and gal in town trying to make ends meet. Everyone I know would rather work to conserve water during a drought, rather than destroy the beautiful hiking area and nature preserve at Ragged Mt. And we would rather take care of the reservoir we have thru the sustainable practice of dredging.
I seem to remember that at one time the VOP was against the dam plan when Kendra Hamilton spoke out and wrote a letter to the Hook. I think Mr. Szakos sent it to his members and asked them to contact council and vote against the dam.

Maybe he and his wife are not on the same page this time, but he certainly is not publicly supporting the citizens on this issue.


Cville Eye you are correct. The University has never officially said they support the new earthen dam, and it was Sandridge who delivered this message to a group of neighborhood leaders never to our elected officials.

Now that we have new information, the University should be asked to study that ( since one would think they are interested in facts, conservation, and best practices) . This opinion was rendered before the new information was available. Although my guess is -behind the scenes they are on board with the dam/pipeline plan no matter what the new information shows. Follow the money, as they say .

from CT:

"Leonard W. Sandridge, UVa’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, told a gathering of neighborhood leaders Tuesday that the university favors building a new dam downstream of the existing Lower Ragged Mountain Dam "


Has UVA ever corrected what Leonard Sandridge said?

Please answer yes or no.

If the answer is 'no', then everyone reading should understand that those words ARE the operative words regarding UVA policy. Until UVA states for the record that they do not support the water plan, then Leonard Sandridge's words are the only official UVA statement on the matter.

'Some guy on the internet' vs. Leonard Sandridge? I think when the question is "what is UVA's position?", then Leonard Sandridge's words carry CONSIDERABLY more weight.

Nice try.

But thanks for displaying so clearly how completely terrified these people are of the elephant in the room. UVA is the largest local driver of growth. They are easily the largest contributor to economic disparity in the local area, hands down.

If you don't like the policies that result naturally from that growth and you don't like that economic disparity, you should decry the growth of the University of Virginia (founder, Thomas Jefferson) and their policies that resulted in such economic disparity.

Or, you could go picket a branch of a bank because they charge fees for the services that they provide. Banking should be free but education should cost tens of thousands of year? Ok......

Let's not miss an opportunity to salute "Tobacco" Tom Bliley for co-sponsoring the repeal of Glass-Steagall with the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act.

Well done sir!

So how is that hopey changy thing working out for you?

These people should be in front the White House.

Repeal Obabacare and start over.

THAT will bring new investment and jobs.....

The reason I do not like Wells Fargo is threefold :
1) Yes the debit card fee. The old transaction fee that banks got on every debit transaction was .44 cents and the Durbin amendment to Dodd-Frank put a limit on that which the Fed eased to .21 cents - .24 cents per transaction. The American people already bailed out the banks one time because of their avarice, now we need to bail them out again each month to use the money we deposit into these banks? Is this just a push to get bank customers back to primarily using more lucrative credit cards?
2) the predatory lending practice of their PAYDAY LOAN program, Direct Deposit Advance
3) Wells Fargo having foreclosed on homes on "very questionable" paperwork.

@meanwhile, The Board of Vistors establishes UVa policy. Sandridge was a member of the executive branch and is involved in making the rules for carrying out that policy. UVa is also a water customer of the City. There is no record that Council solicited UVa's opinion about anything concerning water. If, as a customer, UVa wanted to weigh in after reading all of the information presented in the various studies recently conducted rather than just having a staff member read the questions posed by the panel established by RWSA, It would have written a position paper or at least a letter to Council and perhaps copies to the BoS, RWSA and ACSA. Lacking any of this, it is clear that so far, VUa has chosen to remain quiet on the issue.

People really want to put a hurting on banking profits, pay in cash. Local biz saves money on swipe fees and paybacks, and the price of good sold is reduced a touch. I can say this, every month when I get my debit/credti card statement for my biz I just sigh.

I have no choice but to use use the things as no one carries cash around. But I will say this, if you are railing against overly profitable banks while buying a a slice and a soda with your debit card well, your supporting the banks...

Yes, cville eye, it is clear that the only words that could possibly be construed as UVa's preferred policy in regards to the agreed-upon water plan were uttered by Leonard Sandridge. Other than those words, UVa has chosed to remain quiet on the issue.

You can parse his words or depict UVa's separation of powers all you want. But Leonard Sandridge's words will remain and will continue to have far more weight than yours or mine. But, really, nice try.


"It's the city poor that can't afford to pay that should be subsidized, by the city gov't. The city gov't agreed to the water plan. If the city plan results in higher rates for poor people, why shouldn't the city help those people? Many county folk are on wells."

I happen to be one of those county folks on wells who thinks you are full of garbage and probably will profit directly of of the plan. You are the only one not making sense.

The City doesn't need the water. The County does if it wants to keep its massive development projects supported projects going so they can hope to avoid paying the taxes they should be paying for the infrastructure they want. How about the County subsidize the City poor who will have to pay higher rates, but see none of the benefits, or lower taxes, or anything from the developers who make massive profits.

I have no intention of seeing my tax dollars to go pay for this worthless boondoggle of a plan.

Really, now. I have a different opinion so therefore I must profit directly?

Come on, old timer. You are supposed to be wiser than one that would make such an assumption (which isn't true). How could I profit directly from the water plan anyway? I'm commenting on many subjects on this forum. You think I'm a dam engineer or something?

As you well know, the county does subsidize everything the city does, every year, and it will never stop. The very definition of Taxation without representation. Also, the city has a direct interest in the county's tax base.

It's a symbiotic relationship. What is good for one is good for the other, no matter how histrionic and hyperbolic the opponents of this agreed upon plan wish to get.

The county has kept its side of the bargain in the revenue sharing agreement for 30 odd years now, an agreement which could also be termed a boondoggle.

The city has agreed to this water plan. They should keep its side of their bargain too. A deal is a deal. In Virginia, that's supposed to mean something.

Come on everyone, someone has to be able to explain what these folks are protesting against. All you need are two of them to agree on something.............what is it that they want?

Free food? Free place to live? Free place to protest? Free car? Free education? Just what do they want?

Please tell us and perhaps we can figure something out!

@meanwhile... "You can parse his words or depict UVa's separation of powers all you want." Council is worrying about it, too, at its meeting on Oct. 17th. It is wondering if it is appropriate for the City to criticize UVa's burning of coal. You don't have much sense and prob ably no education, so I will no longer respond to your comments, but, instead, skip over them.
As for the Occupy people who are asking for special permission to Occupy Lee Par, it would be of more benefit if you requested permission to put your tents up at the Ragged Mt. Natural Area. Wall Street can't hear you hear but we locals can.

Can anyone tell us what the Tea Party is really protesting against?

Tents at Ragged Mt. what a brilliant idea --stop the dam. Now that would be an action that would have local consequences that would help the poor directly and put Huja, Kristin Szakos, and David Brown to shame for selling out their citizens to please the Nature Conservancy .

Nestle Water and Goldman Sachs, i.e., the Nature Conservancy, should not be taking over our water plan for their own fund raising and PR campaigns.

Occupy Ragged Mt. - stop the dam. Now that could be a movement that would bring out 100's of people and truly make a difference in our community. How about it folks --just say the word.

re:"Now that could be a movement that would bring out 100's of people"... as opposed to the thousands who consistently vote against this movement?

The people have spoken again and again and again. Responsible adults have made responsible decisions and in the appropriate venues.

Only children act in the way you are proposing.

"Responsible adults have made responsible decisions and in the appropriate venues. Only children act in the way you are proposing"

Hm. A few hundred years ago some British Citizens dressed as American Indians tossed three shiploads of tea into Boston Harbor in protest of undue corporate influence and the taxes by MPs who did not represent them.

A childish act, no doubt, but one which led to you not having a British passport today, but an American one. And having a US Constitution to try and hide behind.

No doubt parliament felt the way you do now, but when things are done in such a grossly rigged way, things have a way of changing course dramatically.

Caesonia, the only people being taxed with government representation are the taxpayers of Albemarle County when the city skims right off the top of Albemarle's tax receipts.

The city's voters voted for the current city council. They will also vote for the next city council. There is more than adequate representation for the city approved water plan to be deemed the will of the people.

Of the candidates that opposed the plan and ran in the Democratic primary only one made the cut; she finished THIRD out of THREE on the SEVENTH ballot by a whopping margin of 31 votes. There was NOTHING rigged about the vote, just ask Dave Norris and he'll tell you.

The Sons of Liberty had no representation in Parliament. City voters have representation in city government. The Democratic primary was largely seen as a referendum on the water plan with the afore mentioned results. Had 16 voters switched their votes from Smith to Beyer, then there would not have been a single successful anti water-plan candidate.

Stop with the hyperbole. This is not the American revolution. It's a dam. It's been voted upon SEVERAL times. The opponents have raised their objections to a shrill, fever pitch. They have been unsuccessful each and every time.

But, fine. Put your money where your mouth is. Either go camp out all winter at the future site of the ragged mtn reservoir or admit that you do not have the courage of your convictions. The number of people "occupying" that land will be directly proportionate to the validity of their opposition.

"Barabara Myer"- yes, and I am not a Tea Party member- (I don't need a group affiliation.) They are not protesting or "against" anything. They seem to be "for" reforming our representative Government by voting in those who they feel will eliminate wasteful spending and our deepening debt. They appear to be united in that move. Some of whom they have voted in, have not performed and will be voted out next time around- perhaps eventually we will get the proper group in office to take care of business and eventually being a government lawmaker will actually be an honor and not a job.

One thing I do not think anyone wants to have happen or hear, is anyone, especially a POTUS, telling any of us that they "have to pass this bill".

What I have seen is that when the Tea Party hardliners and even those who are there for the "party" atmosphere, are done with their rallys, they actually go to or back to work. They seem to not be obtuse in their goal.

What we have seen with the OWS group, is confusion as to who or what is behind door #1, #2 and #3. ("1984", Marx, Stalin ??) Now I wonder what they are going to do with $300K+ they have collected? File the tax forms? Deposit in a bank? Pay off protestors debts?

Just curious.

Corporate greed is behind the dam/pipeline plan and corporate greed is fueling these protests. It's the 99% of ratepayers that will suffer if we allow the new dam/new pipeline plan to go forward.

There is still a chance to elect candidates that do not support the dam plan, so I hope these folks get out the vote and oust Huja and Galvin from continuing down the special interest/Nature Conservancy/Monticello Business Alliance PAC grip on Charlottesville.


You like to rewrite history, don't you, and you don't laws that aren't convenient as well. How typical of what is wrong with the County these days.

"Caesonia, the only people being taxed with government representation are the taxpayers of Albemarle County when the city skims right off the top of Albemarle's tax receipts."

This is patently untrue, as are many of your other statements. The County of Albemarle 30 years ago, made voluntary choices on which the entire county voted - not their representatives, but the entire population. Then, as now, many County residents were dependent on City services, primarily the water, but also gas and some other items. The growth, then as now, around the City was the result of County residents who wanted to live in a more urban environment, with the services and conveniences associated with it. It was not only logical, but reasonable for the City to annex these areas when it had become primarily their burden to deal with maintaining it. After all, the County wasn't building squat in infrastructure, and they still don't want to if they have to pay for it.

But the County liked the incoming revenue a little too much, so they decided that they would buy off the City from doing the logical, and legal thing. They especially didn't want the possible revenue from development going to the City. After all, the great landed estates don't generate much of value in taxes, and they never seem to be the fiscal conservatives they like to claim.

I voted against it at the time. I have no interest in this sort of urban sprawl, or paying for it. If people want to live in a city like environment, they should just part of the City. I have watched my taxes go up to pay for one school after another, as the County BOS bends over for developers, and continues to do so. In spite of which, the County continues to run a deficit. All this growth never generates the money they need. But I expect that these days from the 'right thinking' sort of folks. Deficits only matter when its a 'left thinker' in office.

Were't you the one just squealing about a deal is a deal? That isn't always true, but I think you should have to live by your own words.

The County of Albemarle is not getting taxed on City projects without representation. They directly voted for it. They made a deal. So live with it. Unless you are willing to give up the area that was to have been annexed to the City, as should have been done to begin with.

I have tremendous respect for Dave Norris and Holly Edwards, the only 2 elected officials who have stood up to the Nature Conservancy and the Chamber, and stuck to their principles of fact based decisions, looking at the new information and not decimating the environment, or their citizens pocketbooks for a corporate agenda that has nothing to do with water supply and everything to do with special interests.

I hope the Occupy Charlottesville folks will work to influence the election and make sure those who support this dam plan are not elected !

Harry D,

"What I have seen is that when the Tea Party hardliners and even those who are there for the "party" atmosphere, are done with their rallys, they actually go to or back to work."

Bull. Look at the number of retirees in the Tea Party. I guess they just aren't tough enough to stick it out. Its really cute to listen to a bunch of whining old farts who get/got all the benefits of socialism, and better wages provided by things like unions, while they voted against them, and now are mad about the results of their stupid votes. They want to deny the young men and women today from getting the same opportunities they had.

OWS is full of college grads who want jobs, just like the Tea Partiers were given.Tea Partiers have also preached out right violence and revolution.

Folks like you are such flaming hypocrites.

Old Timer- which door are you choosing?

Sorry, Old Timer, but the percentage of county taxpayers that voted for this deal 30 years ago is going down every day and you, as an old timer, should know that.

And all I did was point out that current taxpayers of albemarle county are being taxed with out any say in what a portion of their taxes pay for. It's a fact that you in no way dispute.

A deal is a deal and the county is living with its deal just as it will live with the minor shortfall (not a deficit, by the way; there's a difference between the two).

The city should live up to its word as well, just as the county is doing and has always done.

You may disagree with building schools all you want, but at least county taxpayers have a say in such things. They don't have a say in junkets to Italy, $30,000 christmas trees, playgrounds that undergo endless construction, and a school board that is spending $2.4 million dollars on unproven technology.

Harry D,

Sorry, I don't have to choose any door. I am sick and tired of hearing people like you cry about a reality that never existed. Its time to stop the manchild attitude and accept your responsibility. As a libertarian I look forward to the day when the wool is completely pulled from your eyes, and that of the Tea Party.

Is the same anti-Semitism that is rampant in the Occupy Wall Street movement present here in Charlottesville?


"the percentage of county taxpayers that voted for this deal 30 years ago is going down every day"

A non-sequitor. A deal is a deal is a deal, right? Aren't you the one who said a deal is a deal? The city shouldn't be allowed to change its mind? Something about rational adults in appropriate places making decisions?

"And all I did was point out that current taxpayers of albemarle county are being taxed with out any say in what a portion of their taxes pay for. It's a fact that you in no way dispute"

On the contrary, I have disputed it very clearly. You just don't find it convenient to hear..County voters overwhelmingly chose to hand over a % of their tax dollars to the City in exchange for the retention of land. That is what they are spending their tax dollars on. It's none of their business how the recipient spends that money anymore than its the business of a mortgage holder to have a say in how the interest from their mortgage is spent. Or their landlord spends the money they pay in rent.

In the real world, you don't get to have your cake and eat it, which is what you seem to think you have the right to do.

But I am happy to end the agreement, provided the City gets the land that would have been annexed.

You are making a specious argument because

Old Timer- I know you are sick, didn't know you were tired. Not crying at all.

Which door?

Old Timer,

I agree a deal is a deal, but I do not agree that I, as a county voter, am being taxed fairly.

But I agree that I would abide by a deal made in which I had no say.

The city, on the other hand, does not show the same level of integrity when it renegs on deal after deal after deal.

That's all I've been saying and it appears to me that YOU are the one having trouble hearing the truth. Maybe you need a hearing aid, maybe you need some medicine to clear your head.

Have a nice nap.

"The city, on the other hand, does not show the same level of integrity when it renegs on deal after deal after deal."

I really don't see where you get of saying that. What are all these magical deals the city is supposedly getting backed out of with county? Would you like to list them? And as for being taxed fairly, that's really no the problem of the city. Plenty city residents don't feel they are being taxed ether.

Oh, and by the way, the revenue sharing agreement is not taxation without representation. The county residents got a referendum, and the BOS supported it as well. As Old Timer says, the Albemarle got to keep a large piece of real estate and permanently halt the growth of the city so they could do their own bit of city like development using city infrastructure. Its actuallya pretty good deal for the county, which is why they went for it so quickly so many years ago.

If you disagree with the county using your tax money to preserve land assets, then I suggest you get crackin' on all those wonderful estate tax breaks.

I thought this article had to do with the illegal protester/occupiers?

Just what is their cause? Just what are their backgrounds? Why are they there? Where have they gone?

I'm not going to go around the same circle with those that refuse to see something very simple.

I never voted on this boondoggle of a plan and never will. Many, if not most, county resident got no chance to vote against it either.

And yet, despite this lack of representation, we are taxed.

The Meadowcreek Parkway is a deal that the city agreed to but has not lived up to. The agreed upon water plan is another. The city also agreed to share educational resources as a result of the 2.6 million the city is unfairly receiving from the state but never did.

The City Council and School Board of the City of Charlottesville lack integrity. They say one thing and do another. In Virginia, that used to be known as lying.

I'm not going to go around the same circle with those that refuse to see something very simple.

I never voted on this boondoggle of a plan and never will. Many, if not most, county resident got no chance to vote against it either.

And yet, despite this lack of representation, we are taxed.

The Meadowcreek Parkway is a deal that the city agreed to but has not lived up to. The agreed upon water plan is another. The city also agreed to share educational resources as a result of the 2.6 million the city is unfairly receiving from the state but never did.

The City Council and School Board of the City of Charlottesville lack integrity. They say one thing and do another.

PROTEST NEEDED: Meeting tonight at Lane Auditorium 6pm to discuss running the new reservoir under I64 - and all the work and cost required to shore up the embankment.

Another waste of taxpayer dollars. We don't need the new dam. If we don't build a new dam we wouldn't need to spend millions of dollars protecting the reservoir from toxic spills and an embankment collapse on I64.

Where are the folks that are upset about how close a new Western ByPass might come to South Fork Rivanna Reservoir . This meeting is about running the new Ragged Mt. Reservoir UNDER our major highway I64.

Occupy Charlottesville folks how about walking across the street from Lee Park to Lane Auditorium and protest an unnecessary project that will raise water rates (unfairly burden the poor and middle class), and destroy the beautiful Ragged Mt. Natural Area ( clear cutting 60,000 trees).

This is clearly a dam project for special interests not for those who need water.

Dredging will give us all the water we need for decades - help stop this dam nonsense.

If you want background on this issue the Hook has been reporting on this for years.


I think the city should annex a big chunk of the county and put an end to the revenue sharing agreement. Then the county people will stop whining--at least about that.


"The Meadowcreek Parkway is a deal that the city agreed to but has not lived up to."

Road construction is going on at this time. How many more fairy tales do you plan to make up Pinocchio?

And why should the City make a road for the convenience of the County? Talk about taxation without representation.....

Just give up the land, and you can end the agreement

re:"why should the City make a road for the convenience of the County?"

Because any increase in county tax revenue results in an increase in city revenue via the revenue sharing agreement.

Money isn't the only consideration.

I would highly recommend that these "occupiers" be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

They should not "throw rocks while living in glass houses".

The media should also check the backgrounds on those who choose to give out their name.....it has been interesting to google those who have chosen to do so. try it, you'll like it.

Interesting conversation. A couple of observations:

1. What do the Occupy Charlottesville and The TEA Party have in common? The Constitution. And it will be the Constitution that will help to fix the problems that face our country.

2. The discussion about the City and County Revenue Sharing has been clearly argued. If the County wishes to stop Revenue Sharing, then trade the land and the businesses over that the City had sought to annex. The revenue clearly exceeds revenue sharing.

3. To really solve the City-County issues and get maximum benefit and reduce service duplication is through a City County merger. It also eliminates the revenue sharing issue. We can do it better together!

4. When it comes to unemployment that others are facing; Charlottesville is in a much better place because of UVa. Most people in our community are employed and have one of the lowest unemployment rates any where.

Just sayin...

State law has placed a moritorium on annexation throughout the state. I am not sure that the County can give the land to the City since the County does not own it. The City and County can consolidation, however, the City and County will have to negotiate the City's substantial debt it already owes. As for duplication of service, the City (town) will not get rid of its teachers, firemen and policmen, nor ther nor the rest of its employees. It owns far more fire equip than the County. The City has recreation facilities, the County has parks. The City also directly subsidizes housing, the County does not. What's going to happen to the City's assets and services under consolidation? How much of a savings will there be, as much as $1M?

Cville Eye,

Its not just about saving money, it is also about creating a more effective way of utilizing all of the resources. More savings will come. It also does not require all resources to be eliminated but it does create a more regional approach to the planning process.

Although it is a pie in the sky idea as the politics will never allow it any way.