Peace seeking: Council tells Congress to stay out of Iran

After a variety of speakers pointed out how they'd warned against the war in Iraq before it started, a majority on the Charlottesville City Council voted to send a message to the U.S. Congress urging a moratorium on foreign wars including "drone wars" as well as any military engagement against Iran, the mideast nation suspected of beginning a nuclear weapons program. Several of the speakers at the January 17 meeting asserted that Iran's nuclear ambitions, like those of Iraq under deposed and executed leader Saddam Hussein, have been overstated. One member of City Council, freshman Kathleen Galvin, unsuccessfully attempted to delete the Iranian aspects of the resolution and ended up abstaining from the 4-0 vote.

In other action on Tuesday, a 3-2 majority approved the water supply plan which would put a new dam in the Ragged Mountain Natural Area. The plan has been successfully created and pushed by a group called the Nature Conservancy as an effort to create a national model for river restoration. Councilors Dave Norris and freshman Dede Smith voted against the plan.

A day after the vote, peace activist David Swanson, who helped fill Council Chambers for the vote, informed the Daily Progress that he believed Charlottesville became the first American city to formally oppose American action against Iran, something that won some attention on an Iranian television network called PressTV.

–updated Monday, January 23 in advance of print publication with final paragraph; and first paragraph's reference to "assassinated" changed to "executed."

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Read more on: World Peace

39 comments

Will councilors vocally support a Presidential candidate who opposes warmongering with Iran?

Under the Huja, Galvin, Szakos dam plan the City owns less water, loses Ragged Mt. Natural Area, loses the water they owned at South Fork, pays tens of millions ( they don't know the cost ) for water they once owned but have now forfeited, get no money for the 60,000 hardwood trees they owned, allow clear cutting during the breeding season - and own less water for city use now than they did yesterday - could this be worse for city residents ?

And they have agreed that even if we pay to dredge the water cannot be counted for water supply. Why should water ratepayers pay to dredge South Fork Reservoir for recreational use ?

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If Iran has confirmed nucs I'd say all options are open. This is not Iraq with fabricated cartoon evidence controlled by a cartoon president

People need to get their heads out of you know where and face reality!

This water plan will go down in Charlottesville history
as the greatest environmental and financial disaster for the entire community. And Norris and Smith will be the next Erin Brokavich. Maybe the city could
recoup some money by selling the movie rights now that they
have forfeited their land and water.

deleted (since it replies to a deleted, unsubstantiated comment)

I wish we could get a Ron Paul foreign policy with a more moderate domestic agenda than his.

Hey Moderator.................. Why even offer a sound off if you are one sided? Oh... I forgot. We are in Charlottesville. I did not curse!. I did not use any racist comments. I just said to Kill the nut job in iRAN and to stop being *ussies.

To the Charlottesville City Council:Neville Chamberlain and Jeannette Rankin would have been so proud of you. If we do nothing and the we get nuked, will you blame George Bush? I thought so.

I encourage every Charlottesville resident to watch last nights City Council podcast.

http://charlottesville.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2

Then decide if the votes you cast for Huja, Szakos, and Galvin benefited the City.

Personal belief is that this will go down in Charlottesville history as a failed Council led by the worst Mayor in history. Charlottesville will never recover as the decisions remand its assets to the benefit of the county and an actual liability to the City.

Unbelievable? Just watch the podcast.

Our city council is up to more of its favorite sort of fatuity with this resolution, yet the sentiment is understandable.
The AIPAC co-opted Congress has been beating the war drums at varying intensity since 1979 when the Iranians committed their true "original sin"...breaking free from the post WW 2 system of American colonial hegemony where no nation in the M.E. is allowed true sovereignty. Having the stones to do this,as did Hugo Chavez , is the ultimate act of uppityness by small nations who are considered by us to be "punks" who have no right to true independence. So now the drum-beat has intensified even more now that the failure of the Iraq adventure to provide the flood of earlier envisioned economic cheese to us has become evident. And the usual suspects are angry about this and hold Iran to blame in various ways, so the chorus of press invective has shifted into overdrive to get the people in the mood for another impoverishing foreign military adventure in service of a failing colonial paradigm.
Who can blame the Iranians if they want a nuclear deterrent? You would too if you were they and could hear and read what govt. officials here are saying.
"Uncle Joe" understood this clearly in 1945 when he assembled his security staff and scientific higher-ups and explained the unique peril his nation faced and the over-arching need to get his country into the nuclear club ASAP to forestall falling victim to bumptious aggression from his erstwhile ally in the same way they nearly had in 1941...
If the Iranians acquire nuclear weapons and a modest delivery capability they would actually be doing us a big favor by compelling us to arrive at some sort of accommodation with them, even an uneasy one as long as it circumscribed our options for aggressive intentional war against them. Anything to muzzle some of the yahoos in Congress and prevent another foolish stumble.

"to the benefit of the county"? Sounds good to me. :)>

@ Angel Eyes: Sometimes dictators like Hitler and Ahmadinejad actually write about what their intentions are, but liberal fools don't believe them. Read about the re-establishment of the 7th Century Caliphate and educate yourself.
Ahmadinejad is a true believer and you disregard him at your peril.

Just heard Mr. Spencer on the Coy Barefoot show say that the water plan is a test case for the Narure Conservancy and it's corporate donors- American Standard and Nestlé Waters. Why are water ratepayers being asked to pay hundreds of millions for a Nature Conservancy experiment ?

I'm sorry, but when did our City Council members become experts on foreign policy? Iran is a real nuclear threat and has stated that they want to eliminate Israel. Perhaps the council should stick to what they know about water rights. Wait, they are clueless on local issues as well.

Too bad that the folks qualified to manage US foreign policy already have jobs on the Charlottesville City Council.

I love the "cartoon president" comment by Rider. As if the following are less cartoonish...
1. Bill Clinton wagging his (stinky) finger into a camera.
2. Robert "Tattoo" Reich
3. Janet "911" Reno
4. Tiny Tim the Treasury Troll
5. Obama saying to McCain (arrogantly): "Well, John, we DID win the election." And now--in an election year when he sees how much the American people really cannot stand him--preaches "working with the other side to stop gridlock."
6. Al Gore commenting on global warming while having a carbon footprint that would shame Coran Capshaw.

Need I go on. You libs act as though Bush was the village idiot...true elitists, you. Was it Dukakis sitting in an army tank? Was it Boney Frank entertaining young studly types in his Boston brownstone? Please.

Now, as for the cartoon that is city council, with the crime, school issues and other problems facing this council, the fact that they spent one working moment on this senseless symbolism is a shame to them. The council knows little about foreign policy, such proclamations are laughed at by feds, they can ultimately backfire when opposing parties gain power in the budgeting and "favor" department, and they put the personal whims of individuals ahead of working for the city. A great example of this is the loony Szakos comment: "I for one am happy to vote yes, as I have been fighting for world peace since I was seven." Who cares?

The time wasted on this should be deducted from these fools' salaries. It did nothing for the city except make that unbathed constituency of theirs stand and shout: "Yeah, man. I'm sticking this daisy in your gun barrel."

I remember a Don Henley lyric in the '80s: "That tired old man we made king." Turned out he was a pretty damn good president. I wonder what old Don "Walden Pond" Henley's carbon footprint is? I wonder what the carbon footprint of a DMB concert is?

Hypocrites, the lot of you!
R.I.P.: Bert Convy

Thanks Dede and Dave, you tried valiantly to protect city residents and the 3 county pawns came with prepared statements, and never intended to answer questions, or think about the public comments. Their minds were made up well ahead of the meeting. And new information be damed.

So sad, because the city was sitting on a goldmine that could have paid for social and educational needs for the less fortunate, that the 3 turncoats are always insisting they speak for. Now, they've sold them down the river and will be raising their utility rates as well.

Dede Smith explains what happened last night on the Coy Barefoot show:

http://www.wina.com/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=5644669

Bet Gary O'Connell is licking his chops tonight - Albemarle County Service Authority made a killing hiring him - even if he knows nothing about water or sewer - what he does have is the ear of city manager Maurice Jones, city public works director Judy Mueller and city attorney Craig Brown , his former employees, who, along with councilors Huja and Szakos, were the negotiators of this horrible deal for the city .

Those county cats are smart ! And the city dogs are left hanging their heads in shame.

Full steam ahead was already the O'Connell battle cry in 2008 - at that time he still worked for the city.

"There is more the push from 'public' than the city leaders," writes O'Connell, seemingly mocking the new group, Citizens for a Sustainable Water Plan. "By the way," O'Connell adds, "I have gotten no public [nor] private direction from Council to change course. Full steam ahead."

And going up against the billion dollar Nature Conservancy, even if this plan is unsustainable, as Ms. Smith says, on the above podcast, is tough.

http://www.readthehook.com/81971/news-full-steam-ahead-emails-suggest-oc...

This is all fine and good but I want to know what the council stance will be on:

1. Enbridge Northern Gateway Project in British Columbia
2. The Beltran Leyva drug cartel in Mexico
3. The Taliban peace initiative
4. Free Range Chickens used for school lunches in the UK

Or anything else that isn't their %@^# business, instead of focusing on their mission; city schools, traffic, increasing business tax base, crime...you know, all that provincial city council kinda stuff?

Peace in the Middle East but kill the breeding birds and wildlife at Ragged Mountain Natural Area.

When asked last night by Dan Bieker, ornithologist and natural history professor at PVCC, to postpone clear cutting the magnificent forest at Ragged Mt. until July ( allowing the chicklets to be born and raised) - the 3 peace lovers ( Sazkos, Galvin, and Huja) at Mr. Frederick's behest said, no no and no.

President Eisenhower's outgoing Military-Industrial Complex speech/warning has mostly gone unheeded since January of 1960, to the detriment of the U. S. democracy but to the benefit of war-mongers and their financial benefactors. The Charlottesville City Council is to be commended for its pro-American, pro-humanity, and anti-war resolution. Eisenhower would have approved, even if the U. S. Congress and the Fox News Network will not.

City Manager Maurice Jones should be fired for his failure to protect the financial interests of city residents and allowing this bad water deal to go through. He lives in the county, not the city as required in his contract, and has shown that is is unable to stand up to his former boss O'Connell. This loss of citizen money and assets will follow him wherever he goes.

Our representatives sold out our City. Not really anything else to say.

@ city resident

Thing is, City Managers report to the Council. So the only people who could fire Mr. Jones would be the very people who voted in favor of the bad water deal.

You see what the problem is here?

And I doubt this deal will follow him around wherever he goes, as you say. After he's done working for the City he'll move on to other endeavors and it will be like it never happened. Us "minion peasants" if you will have this tendancy towards thinking that the powers that be in charge will have to eventually answer for their doings, however large or small. But you know what? They never do. Instead, life just goes on, and these people just...move on to new jobs, and it's like it never happened. It doesn't prevent them from getting hired on to more $125-150K+ salaries at bigger and better venues. So don't hold your breath. And I don't say that condescending, I say it matter-of-factly.

The City Council is all over Iranian TV saying that Anerica supports them over out own government

They should not be making roclamations on company time. They have hijacked their authority.

Saddam Hussein was not assassinated Hawes. He was tried, convicted, and executed under Iraqi law. Nice try.

I agree that war with Iran would be a tragic mistake, but I really wish my city councilors would focus their attention on things they actually have some say in, like the future of the city.

Anyone know an online source for the text of the contract that requires Jones to move to the city.

@ cookieJar

Try calling human resources at City Hall? It should be public record, though they probably don't post it online. But I'm sure if somebody asks to see a copy of the contract it's available as public record.

oh yeah, and for what it's worth, Huja is not popular amongst the staff of City Hall. He's not a well liked man by any means. Employees have many a story about him, including people who've quit because of him, but the fact that he's mayor is a scary thing. Though I suppose it was inevitable. If only the public got to see what employees of City Hall have seen of him behind the scenes for decades...

Some ideas scribbled on the napkins at the
Ivy restaurant in Los Angeles should never be
developed further.

As a show this city council has no legs, can't imagine
The corporate sponsor won't seek to fine tune the cast in two years

Poorly written , terrible production values , this cast of characters
deserves the Chuck Barris gong .

The soviet politburo meets Family Ties is not good entertainment.

I wish everyone would stop complaining about the water plan.

No one in Charlottesville complained when they stole $20 million a year from the county through "revenue sharing" at the point of a gun/lawyer.

Now it's our turn. Man up and realize that turn about is fair play. It's time to get even because you've taken a lot over the years.

This plan isn't just a problem for the city, but county ratepayers as well. Even those in Scottsville and Crozet will see their rates rise although they get no benefit from this plan.

There is no reason now to dredge South Fork Reservoir, because this agreement eliminates it's use for water supply and why would water ratepayers be charged to dredge for recreational use ? So that reservoir without dredging will become a swampy marsh. Half of the residents in the county don't pay a water bill so the financial burden of this plan falls on those who do. And county ratepayers will pay far more than city under this cost share.

The only winners from a financial angle are those in the county on wells, who tend to be the more affluent in the first place.
The loss of 60,000 trees and the Ragged Mt. Natural Area is also a community wide loss that could have been minimized with a repair of the original dam ( all the state required ) and a rise in that dam if ever the need was shown for more water. All new studies said that dredging the South Fork would have given us abundant water supply for 40 years or more at far less cost.

If you pay a water bill or are a " true " environmentalist this water plan is a disaster for our community that we should all be ashamed of.

This has nothing to do with sharing money and resources this is simply dumb !

"All that is required for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke

Be good having this forum. UR all fools.
Keep the BS flowing.

City Council is absolutely right to oppose the wreckless drive to attack Iran, which may finally trigger China & Russia into converting our phony war on terror [actually Total Energy Dominance to prop up the petrodollar empire] into world war.

Chris Hedges presents another related approach to that of City Council's apparently impotent gesture against the insane drive to attack Iran. This involves standing up and refusing to condone anything the broken System's carnival barkers propose -- whether Obama or the dismal Republican leadership, Ron Paul excepted.

Whether it be attacking Iran to divert everyone's attention from our Greater Depression, the false solution of SOPA that will and can be used to shut down truth-telling websites, or the ominous powers granted the US military over civilians by the National Defense Authorization Act's deliberately confusing language - our last resort is to refuse to give our consent. City Council's condemnation of the drive to attack Iran is just one small, but necessary step to stand up to the juggernaut that continues to push Americans to be complicit in the destruction of all that the USA was and might still be. The widespread and undeniable reality is dawning on us all that the System is broken and our Power Elite is incapable of doing anything except make everything worse.

Thus, for now, we might do best to continue to refuse to grant our tacit consent to the Power Elite as they stampede the economically-crippled USA into expansion of the unending, unwinnable "Long War" and constitutionally-usurping crisis management that renders the US Constitution and the inherent, flickering redemptive promise of the USA a dead letter, parsed and interpreted out of existence..

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/why_im_suing_barack_obama_20120116/

Beau, I'm sure it seems very unfair for the county to have to pay such a big chunk of money to the city as part of the revenue sharing agreement, especially in these tough economic times. But as you probably know, if county voters had not voted to accept this plan (overwhelmingly), the city would have annexed valuable county land, including the site of Fashion Square mall. The annual taxes that the county receives on this to-be-annexed land exceed the amount they pay the city each year, so you got a good deal.

Rather than complaining about the revenue sharing agreement, why not target the county's Land Use Tax Credits? Many farmers use this legitimately to lower their taxes, but many wealthy county residents, who are not farmers, put a few cows on their property and take advantage of it, paying a much lower tax rate than less advantaged people in the county. That doesn't seem fair.

Charlottesville voters have gotten exactly what they deserve.
@Toni H., I'll bet you'd enjoy Occupying a dog run.