Calling all readers! Cast your nom for Person of the Year 2010

Joel Salatin, Hook Person of the Year 2009.
Gary O'Connell, Hook Person of the Year 2008.
1 of 2

Election day might be over, but that certainly doesn't mean you can relax your ballot-casting fingers. On the contrary–- it's that time of the year for turkeys, new senators, bonfires, and The Hook's annual Person of the Year.

You know the drill: for the past two years, The Hook staff has hemmed and hawed over the year's movers-and-shakers, up-and-comers, and news-makers to pick one local citizen who has made the biggest impact. In 2008, we chose Gary O'Connell. Love him or leave him, the then-City Manager was at the forefront of many of the year's biggest–- and most controversial–- decisions. A year later, Joel Salatin was dubbed "Person of the Year," for the headline-grabbing work he was doing with Polyface Farms. From a mention in Michael Pollan's non-fiction tome The Omnivore's Dilemma to being featured in two bold documentaries (Fresh and Food, Inc.), Salatin was the local citizen we deemed most influential.

This year, we have a plethora of locals to choose from–- but why leave out you, dear reader? You've followed the stories; you've commented on the updates; you've re-tweeted our headlines. Who do you think is the most noteworthy C'villian in 2010? Who made the most controversy–- for better or worse–- this year? Which citizen made an impact that influenced you? Who has the most potential to make waves in 2011? Leave us a comment below with your nomination for "Person of the Year;" leave us a comment on our Facebook page; or tweet at us @readthehook.


Re what Sharon said above about Perriello, the same could be said for Mayor Dave Norris. Though the votes seem to be running strongly for Tom-- and that's certainly fine by me!--I'd like to cast a vote for our own Mayor.

"He’s a uniquely honorable man. He didn’t change his views based on the whims of his supporters or critics. He researched the topics, listened to his fellow citizens”Šcritics and supporters”Šmade a decision and then stood by that decision. Whether you agree with his stances on the issues is not the point. His entire approach showed his integrity, his honesty, his openness. We need more people like him in politics. He truly represented the best interests of the people”Šnot the corporations."

Oliver Kuttner.

Tom Perriello definitely.

I can't think of a more deserving person who has done more for Charlottesville, as well as UVA than John W Kluge!

I have never defended Bushs spending. I have said many times he wasted a trillion dollars in Iraq. We should have leveled the entire country for 20% of that and come home. However.. his real mistake was allowing congress to spend when they were controlled by republicans and when they were controled by democrats.

THe most logical reason for voting for Consrvatives is because as bad as THEY are when Democrats get control of the spending they are ten times worse... just look at Obama/Pelosi and Reid.

At least when the republicans overtax us they give it to business who uses it to make the GDP increase. Generational welfare recipients won't ever do that.

Ken Cuchinelli

I think it is inaaproriate for the government to take excessive amounts of money fron ANY taxpayer and misspend it. Just because one man can "take a punch" better than another does not give you the right to punch him.

The Federal Government is spneding 27 times what it did in 1980.

That is simply too much. The govenrment needs to figure out how to provide the same for less or get out of certain businesess.

Everytime the government has gotten too large unemployment has increeased, everytime they shrank it back down unemployment has decreased.

Is it fair for someone to make 5 babies and expect society to provide them with food shelter healthcare and schooling and call it a "right"? What Right" does one have to burden their neighbors so they can do what they want without regard for those same neighbors?

If the left were willing to address that issue maybe the wealthy would be a little more generous with the money it EARNED.

The Government is simply too big and spends too much money. Forget your tax rate.. take a moment and add up all of the taxes you pay... sales tax, car tax, gas tax, tax on alcohol, cigarettes, phone, gas, electric, water, cell phone, real estate, inventory taxes on busineses that are passed on to you. When you hire a handyman he pays 15.8 percent Social Security that is passed right on TO YOU.

The government gets enough money. They simply cannot seem to spend it wisely.

Address that FIRST. You would not give your child an increase in their allowance without first asking what they spent last weeks money on.

Excuse me, I meant our public debt doubled under Bush Junior.

This is for the uninformed Kim. Do your research. Under Clinton the Federal debt increased. He paid down some public debt, but in turn used federal dollars. If the public debt during those years was bought with other debt ââ?¬â? meaning by the Social Security trust and the Federal Reserve ââ?¬â? we didn’t actually pay down any debt, did we? If you take out an equity line of credit on your home to pay off your car loan, your debt didn’t decrease. Furthermore, if you take out an equity line of credit to pay off your car loan and buy a boat, it would be deceitful on your part to say you reduced your debt, right? This is what happened those four years: We did retire some debt held by the public, but we did so by increasing debt held by the government and the (Federal Reserve). That’s not retiring debt. That’s just shifting it from one lender to another. Please back up your claims.

Hunter Craig

"I nominate the homeless guy that looks like Santa Claus who plays harmonica in the Downtown Mall. Old Santa blows a mean blues harp!"

But can he do it while using a hula hoop?

Tom Perriello.

I nominate the homeless guy that looks like Santa Claus who plays harmonica in the Downtown Mall. Old Santa blows a mean blues harp!

Periello? Political convictions? I supported him because I thought he would support withdrawal from superfluous wars that only got our sons and daughters maimed, killed and left stark raving suicidal, and drove our country into bankruptcy and got us hated and disrespected by the rest of the world for meddling where we did not belong, yet there he was up in lights voting for lots more $$$ for war in Afghanistan. Someone please remind me: How many Afghanis were there on the 9/11 planes again? How many Iraqis?

And please don't tell me that Afghanistan is where Bin Laden/Al Qaeda is hiding so we need to be just missed him --- he was there on Sept 12, 2001. Try Yemeni, try Pakistan, try Algeria, try Saudi Arabia... you know,places that the terrorists were actually from or hung out in.

Tom Periello--some anti-war candidate.

Or Meredith Richards for spending all her since she left Council persistently nudging and lobbying the feds and state government and getting us a new train that runs on time. She's Madame Mussolini!

Perriello, Perriello, Perriello. Both sides of the aisle admire Tom's conviction politics and solutions-based approach. He was a great credit to this city and district, and gracious in defeat. (And will surely go on to bigger and better things).

I support Tom Perriello for person of the year!!!

Halsey Minor.

Whether real or perceived he seems to be the punching bag for most of you and the topic of several stories on this site.

Why not Oliver Kuttner? There isn't an a more eclectic and interesting individual that has a chance to change the world from this area. He's given us buildings on the mall and then developed a world class car that might help save the planet. He will speak passionately at a City Council meeting and take city officials to task in the past.

Jim Baldi

O. Kuttner. He hasn't always succeeded in everything he has tried his hand in (witness the Terraces as a development project) but in others (Starlight Express, automobile concerns) he has brought innovations to our community. This year he brought an innovation to the world.

And please oh please do not, just for the sake of controversy, name Halsey or Patricia or Baldi or Genoways a la Time's Man of the Year designations. In these times, we need to hold up examples of people who create goodness, value and innovation and not complications in the lives of others.

Tom Perriello! He is, in Barack Obama's words, "one of the best congressman Virginia has ever had." And although he lost his re-election, he has done for for the 5th district in less than two years than any other congressman did.

Oliver Kuttner is a close second.

*he has done more for the 5th district in less than two years than any other congressman did.

Sorry, typos.

I really don't understand how you people cant see that Bush was not the only thing made this oh so wonderful Country "broke" funny how we are broke and yet we are still one of the riches country's in the world....

Tom Perriello. His hard work was awe-inspiring and his concession speech was articulate, upbeat and gracious.

Joel Salatin can win every year for all I care...

Thanks billmarshall. I had not seen that. Hopefully everyone will check it out.

Hawes Spencer

Town Elder-I should have said "he has taken city officials to task" but I like you explanation better.

Voter for Oliver- he can take us back to the future!

Support Perriello also. He’s not why the country is broke - George Bush did that

Exactly how did George Bush make the country go broke? He IS responsible for the money he spent in Iraq (one trillion) He is NOT responsible for all the people who lived beyond their means and then blamed someone else for their not paying their bills.

Anybody that gave a loan to an unqualified person broke the law. It was not George bushes responsibility to go over loan documents.

It was CAREER Government workers (not appointees)that let Wall street get away with murder.

It was the Unions that forced US car companies to spend 2k per car on retirement benefits that should never have been given, making their cars inferior.

It was Chris Dodd and Barney Frank and soon to be indicted Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters that came to the defense of the criminals at Fannie and Freddie.

George Bush allowed too much government spending but it was the consumers who mortgaged everthing and then ran their credit cards up when that ran out.

The person of the year in C-ville should'nt be a guy that gave an 850k earmark for a museum to nowhere a week before an election.

Buying votes is not worthy of anything but an indictement.

Support Perriello also. He's not why the country is broke - George Bush did that

Help the people go broke? Please. wake up.

Sleaze of the year would be appropriate for Tom.

I'll second Tom for person of the year. His dedication and long work hours are something to be admired, regardless of which side of the isle you might reside. I really hope he stays in the area and utilizes his skills and knowledge to help the people here.

Even though he lost his election... Tom Perriello.

Rob Schilling for daring to speak the truth.

I nominate Tom Perriello for his tireless efforts on the part of the people in the 5th and his honor, hinesty, and dignity in the process. Thanks Tom!!

Genoways. The Hook has been all over this story (its like McNair is running a column, scandal-du-jour) and its also gotten loads of national media attention. The guy browbeats a vulnerable employee into committing suicide. The rest of his staff quits in disgust. The resulting scrutiny exposes he never bothered coming to the office, while paying himself under a contract he wrote more than Charlottesville's City Manager, looting $450,00 out of an endowment to do so. So then--instead of getting fired and sued, or prosecuted-- with a combination of smooth talk and threats of litigation he persuades a new, gullible and soft U Va President to whitewash the scandal, and set him up with a sinecure in the Office of Research, the best place for money to disappear without anybody noticing. You may have to rename it villain of the year.

@St. Halsey: You wrote: "He will speak passionately at a City Council meeting and take city officials to task in the past."

Is Mr. Kuttner's car a time machine, then? Is it?

If so: He has my vote!


here is a nice link about freddie mac and fannie mae...

Peter Chang!

Person of the Year, Mark Brown. Saved the ice park and brought a new dimension to the Downtown Mall.

Bill Marshall, glad you take the time to actually provide facts and data to support your statements. So Elisha, what exactly did Tom Perriello do for the 5th district? If you make a claim, back it up.


Al Groh's and Dave Leitao's moving men!

Another vote for Tom Perriello.

Hopefully, with a little input from the Democratic state senate, Charlottesville and Albemarle will now be taken out of this district. It makes no sense for us to be in a district with places like Franklin County and not Louisa when Louisa is both next door and is more connected with us from a cultural and economic standpoint. The same holds true for many other surrounding areas that we are not grouped with and the distant ones that we are.

Who am I kidding though? We all know it's all going to come down to what way the district lines can be drawn to keep the current politicians in office. The House of Delegates made one of the most self serving moves ever when it refused to put Deeds' redistricting up for a vote.

I nominate Shay Kelly from Project 50/50 because she is willing to get off her backside and do something. And no she is not from this area. You can also find her on Facebook under 'Project 50/50'.

From her website:
"Travel to all 50 states in a 50 week time frame. Collect and Distribute 200 Canned Food Items Each Week Totalling 10,000 In 2010."

She is currently in state #45 and still going with her truck, Bubba, and her dog, Zuzu. And you couldn't trade 10 politicians for what this young lady is doing.

Since it has to be a local person. Please no pro/con water plan or pro/con Meadowcreek parkway or pro/con periello. Kuttner seems to be more Lynchburg than here. What about Casteen since his tenure ended this year.

Betty Mooney!!!!

Rich Collins

Tom Perriello!!

Tom Perriello is my Person of the Year even if he does not win it here. This district has not even begun to realize what they have done by removing him from office. No one has ever done more for the people that Tom has. He truly is THE Person of the Year!

Tom Perriello. He's a uniquely honorable man. He didn't change his views based on the whims of his supporters or critics. He researched the topics, listened to his fellow citizens...critics and supporters...made a decision and then stood by that decision. Whether you agree with his stances on the issues is not the point. His entire approach showed his integrity, his honesty, his openness. We need more people like him in politics. He truly represented the best interests of the people...not the corporations.

I'm voting Tom Perriello. Nationwide, statewide and districtwide he earned respect. No one ever worked harder for his district.

Calling all Conservatives, support Mayor Dave Norris. The only elected official fighting to stop a huge, unnecessary public work project, that will put us into decades of debt to build a new dam we don't need. Hurray for Dave Norris !!!!!!

I nominate Tomas Stuart Price Perriello for Person of the Year. He stood by his decisions in ways that most politicians would never dream of doing. The respect he showed each and every citizen even those who did not vote for him simply will never be repeated. Why shouldn't we be treated with respect? That is all that Tom wanted to do. Let's give him the honor he truly has earned, facing his defeat with more grace and courage than any single one of the citizens of Charlottesville could ever dream of mustering. I stand by my comment as quoted in this week's C'Ville I can't thank Tom for changing my life and giving me the courage to believe in myself once again. Let's give Tom the honor he truly deserves!!

Tom Perriello..

I nominate Tom Perriello, not because of his politics but because he is a truly decent, faithful person who strives to improve the human condition wherever he goes. His example of faith-guided service and his mentoring of the young people who have served as his volunteers and staff members will leave the world a better place for several decades.

Definitely Tom Perriello! A man who reminded us what a true statesman is, & of the difference between serving & self-serving, a lesson many politicians need to learn.

"..... you might as well vote for what you think is right. The point of being in Congress isn't to get re-elected; it's to make the country better while you're there -- something that seems to have been lost on so many Democrats who took the easy way out."
-Christopher Hayes on Tom Perriello

Person of the year, I think, should represent a person who has made a tremendous impact. It doesn't mean you agree with everything about them. Tom Perriello, has made a tremendous positive impact on my life. It doesn't really matter if he is called "person of the year", his impact is undeniable and will resonate in the district for many years. He has an extremely bright future and we have not seen the last of him!

Tom Perriello. He was a straight shooter and courageous. He held more town halls than any other member of congress. Weather you agree with his votes or not, he gave folks the opportunity to have their voices heard. Part of the problem with the federal government is that most people with the integrity and grit of Tom Perriello do not get involved in politics.

A very strong vote for Tom Perriello.

Tom Perriello has inspired so many people, he deserves the recognition.

NO Perriello He was doing his job (good or bad)
NO Kuttner Self PR king he has never passed a mirror without slowing down

You need to think hard and find a person who does something for the area because he gives from the heart. Somebody who gives their time, and goes above and beyond. Find a person who severs meals on wheels, or a lady who tutors two or three people in ESL classes. Not the guy who runs Habitat, but the person who is there every weekend giving their time. Most of the people listed above this are just doing their job, and that’s what they are getting paid to do. Person of the year should never go to someone like that. Make it mean something.
I know now this will be torn apart by all, but if you cut off Survivor for a minute and think about that scout master, Saturday soccer coach, swim coach, etc. You will find someone worth the award.

I vote for Tom Perriello for Person of the Year!

Tom Perriello

I nominate my boy Tom Perriello

Dr. Meredith Richards has been tireless in her support of rational rail transportation in Virginia. I vote for her.

Tom Perriello

Tom Perriello

Tom Perriello

Bill Hamilton

Tom Perriello

Tom Perriello!

Democratic hack Linda Seaman, for her behind-the-scenes scheming with fellow Democratic hack, Jim Nix, to stand up for the interests of wealthy county developers at the expense of (1) the city's assets, (2) local ratepayers' wallets, (3) common sense.’-secret-scheme-to-topple-ââ?¬Å?norris-plan”/

Elisha Strom.

Geeesh- can't anyone think of anyone who has actually helped other people without regard for their own personal advancement or safety?

Politicians don't count, because they can't count......

I see Tom Perriello almost every other post. I'm obviously missing something. Can any of you tell me why you nominate him with some actually facts and support of your claims of the great things you say he did for the 5th district?

Tom Perriello, for the man he is and the representative he has been for the Fifth District.

Tom Perriello

Out With The Old Guard,

Your comment about Nix and company is why I laugh when anybody calls the City liberal. These days the US has a central right party known as the Democrats, and a far right party known as the Republicans.

So losing by alienating the voter base deserves Person of the Year?

Giving TP Person of the Year is like awarding a participation medal. He lost by a majority of the votes which means he did not meet the approval rating of the people.

Tom Perriello

I definitely recommend Tom Perriello as PERSON OF THE YEAR - a man of intelligence, integrity, and leadership.

I pick Tom Perriello for person of the year. As a Veteran, I voted for him and stood by my wife in all of the support that she gave the campaign.

"Out With The Old Guard" and Rob "The Shill" Schilling can share Jackass of the Year for insinuating that penning a letter to one's elected officials amounts to anything other than a First Amendment-guaranteed right.

Tom Perriello

Tom Perriello is a model of honesty, integrity, and depth of spirit. In his loss, his speech was the most inspiring I've ever heard. It was nice to have a Congressman who led by example and brought the energy he did to the 5th District. He will be missed.

Tom Periello, a truly decent person, and a GREAT Congressman.

My vote for person of the year goes to Tom Perriello.

Tom Perriello

Tom Perriello gets my vote (again!).

He may be recently deceased, but by God, I nominate John Kluge!

Bill Marshall,

"Everytime the government has gotten too large unemployment has increeased, everytime they shrank it back down unemployment has decreased."

So I guess that means you didn't vote for Bush or any Republican in 2004? After all, they created the largest bureaucracy in modern history, and doubled government spending.

Or did you did you find of excuses then to justify why you voted Republican anyways? See, I agree with your sentiments, I just don;t find too many folks like you who practice what they preach.

Tom Perriello gets my vote. I took my sixth-grade son to the rally when Obama campaigned for Perriello, and it really hit us that not too long ago, Perriello had just been a local boy, just like my son, and now he was a Congressman standing up there with the President of the United States, who not too long ago was also just a boy, being raised by a single mom, which my son could identify with -- and I was delighted when my son said, "I wonder if I could be a President or a Congressman someday!" Forget about politics. When was the last time this was so very real for our children? Tom Perriello is a great role model and a great person of the year.

Mayor Norris people!

tom periello

Tom Perriello


No one deserves this award more than Tom Perriello!

Tom Periello?

I vote no along with all of the folk that bumped him out of office. The election clearly shows what the majority thinks of him. Even Obummer coming down couldn't save him.

@Restore the Republic: Speak for yourself only, please.

I didn't vote for Perriello, and I think he should be Hook's Person of the Year.

The majority didn't even vote in the contest between Hurt and Perrielo, so it is impossible to know the what the majority thinks of him.

Virginia's average voter registration rate is 65.8, so if we round up to 70% as a guess for the 5th District (please correct me if you have more accurate data) and then take the 55% turnout of registered voters in the last election, that gives only about 38% of the public letting us know what they think of any candidate. Of those who voted, 51% voted for Hurt, which means about 20% of the people thought Hurt was the man to send to Washington.

That's how we elect people to decide our fates, but it can hardly be seen as indicative of what the majority thinks or wants.

The person of the year should be the TAXPAYER (the 54% of us that actually pay Federal Income taxes!), who has to suffer due to the bad actions of all free-spending politicians (including Periello).

Since we all pay sales tax, maybe everybody ought to be the person of the year.


"Under Clinton the Federal debt increased. He paid down some public debt, but in turn used federal dollars. If the public debt during those years was bought with other debt ââ?¬â? meaning by the Social Security trust and the Federal Reserve ââ?¬â? we didn’t actually pay down any debt, did we?"

You like to keep making that claim, without any citations to back it up. What were the amounts that Clinton borrowed from SS? Was it greater than the amount of public debt he paid down? Do you even know what it was?Was his borrowing from SS greater than say, by Reagan, Bush Sr, or Bush Junr?

You see, borrowing from SS is a tactic that has been used by our politicians for years, including Republicans. I agree with you that it is wrong, but simply making that claim does not in any way prove that Clinton did not decrease the federal budget or for the matter, decrease our public debt.

Like it or not, public debt grew by a factor of 4 under Reagan and Bush. And it doubled under President Bush Senior, partially due to tax breaks.

Tell me, do you think its appropriate for Republicans to borrow from SS funds to finance tax breaks for the wealthy? Should the savings of middle class and poorer Americans be used to increase those of the wealthy? Because that's what Republicans do. They take your savings and they give them to the rich.

More importantly, do you not think it is the obligations of Americans to pay for the services they expect from government? If Republicans go to war, shouldn't they have to pay for that war?

YES, Oliver Kuttner!


George bush managed to pay the loan payments on all of his spending. Even if we had not gone to iraq 911 would have eaten up the surplus in lost tax revenue alone.

The mess we are in now has to do with everybody overspending. George Bush, The Republican congress, The Democratic congress (from 2006 to now)local governments, and consumers.

It will take a reduction in military spending, entitlment spending and eliminating all of the waste in government to get things back on an even keel.

Government is too big and needs to be cut back. Not by deregulating Wall street or other consumer protections but by serving the people more efficiently.

Oh, and Bill Marshall, don't you know those darn "tax and spend" Democrats like that nasty Bill CLinton left this country with a budget SURPLUS of only $236 billion that George Bush -- you know --the FISCAL CONSERVATIVE-- worked very hard to turn into a $1.3 TRILLION DEFICIT.

Bill Marshall,

If you read at all you may want to check out the actual percentage ofthe budget that has been spent on the "war" in Iraq that has yielded absolutely nothing except a bankrupt economy in the U.AS.and alot of grieving families, and then try to think back on who it may have been who conjured up the idea of spending ourselves into a black hole for absolutely nothing. Who could it have been... now let me think....oh, I don't know, maybe.....SATAN????







Maurice Jones...the Barack Obama of Charlottesville.

What about that guy on the downtown mall that plays the fiddle while using a hula hoop?

Tom Perriello!

ignorance is bliss? tom perriello for person of the year? when will america start to pay attention to the wars they have got themselves in....perriello voted for more war $$ than he can even count- his cooperation with the pentagon kills women, children, and men- everyday.
how about war monger of the year?

This year, I would think Brian Wimer or Hawes Spencer.

Bob Fenwick - the man walks on water! Well, almost...

Tom Perriello for having the courage to stand by his convictions despite that not being the politically expedient thing to do.