Gym suit: McIntire Park deal draws litigation from fitness firms

news-piedmontfamymcaThe proposed Y.
COURTESY VMDO ARCHITECTS

The local "Y" just can't seem to find a break. First, the Piedmont Virginia YMCA got embroiled in an acrimonious battle launched by a City Council decision to push softball out of the town's biggest park. And now the Y's plan to take a piece of that park for its nearly $15 million fitness facility while accepting some public funding has drawn a lawsuit–- backed by three of the biggest local players on the local fitness scene.

The contretemps started two years ago when the City agreed to hand over a little over three acres inside McIntire Park while paying $1.25 million in taxpayer money–- coupled with the County's allocation of $2.03 million–- in exchange for various benefits including dibs on swim lanes for high school students and free admission for impoverished families. Opponents leapt out of the woodwork: the assertive Save McIntire campaign, softball players, even anti-Meadowcreek Parkway activists.

But long after the ink dried on the deal and the Y began finalizing plans, a new hurdle arose May 12 when Charlottesville's top private health clubs appeared with a lawsuit portraying the dollar-a-year land lease illegal under Virginia state law.

"It's really all about fairness," says Atlantic Coast Athletic Club CEO Greg Wells. "We were unjustly and unfairly denied the opportunity to participate in the [bidding] process."

ACAC is a cornerstone of the Charlottesville Area Fitness Club Operators Association–- including Gold's Gym and Total Performance Sports and Fitness–- which is waging the lawsuit filed against the city and county in their respective circuit courts and requesting a halt to all construction and a do-over on the bidding process.

"Rules and regulations are in place from the state of Virginia that say everyone needs a fair shake–- the rules were not followed in this case," says Chris Craytor, ACAC's vice president for development. "We're not against the YMCA; we have no ill will towards the YMCA at all."

Although the YMCA is not an active party in the lawsuit, any insistence of "no ill will" rings false to Y Chairman Kurt Krueger, who believes the injunction will only continue to harm the already-vilified Y.

"The sad part is that it's apparent that these private health club owners have no intention of wanting to operate in McIntire," says Krueger. "What they're trying to do is delay us."

According to Krueger, the YMCA and area's private health clubs have flat-out different aims: while the clubs are for-profit facilities, the Y's only purpose is to "build community," including reaching out to underprivileged families.

"The downtown ACAC is a block and a half from Garrett Square," says Krueger, referring to a prior name for the subsidized housing complex now known as Friendship Court. "Those kids haven't been invited to use the ACAC swimming pool."

Krueger notes that the despite the ancient name emphasizing one religion and one gender, the Y is an inclusive place.

"This is a movement founded nearly 150 years ago, and it's mission is not to provide a place to work out," says Krueger. "It's mission is to build community, teaching people our core values of honesty, respect, responsibility–- the vehicle to do that is to participate in sports together."

ACAC officials, however, insist the club does its fair share.

"A lot of what we do in the community is done quietly," Craytor says. "We're not looking for recognition."

Craytor contends that city and county residents will lose out if the YMCA breaks ground in McIntire, as $3.28 million in tax money and park land would be unwisely spent.

"People who live, work, and pay taxes deserve to have all options considered by the government," says Craytor, noting that both the city and county's needs assessments encouraged partnerships with for-profit businesses. "That wasn't pursued at all," says Craytor. "Our door is always open."

If the bidding process for McIntire's land were indeed opened up to for-profit facilities, would the private jump at the opportunity to expand their holdings into the public park? Doesn't sound like it.

"We as a group would rather see the adaptation of existing facilities to meet the needs of the community," says Craytor. "The number one priority for the County is the preservation of green space–- this runs counter to that."

Krueger remains doubtful. Having raised a total of $9 million for the Y, his board is ready to review the building's plans at the end of the month. This lawsuit, he says, will only set back the opportunity for citizens to build community together.

"When [the ACAC] says this lawsuit is a last resort, that implies that they were making constructive proposals or trying to reach out," Krueger says. "There has been no reach-out, no offers of collaboration, only opposition to what we are doing."

–the above story was published online on Tuesday, May 18

Original May 12 post: The long-controversial city-county plan to give land and money to the YMCA has drawn a lawsuit by a consortium of local gyms, according to the Newsplex.

Read more on: mcintire parkymca

69 comments

The Y is a non-profit that will provide in-kind services to the city that will compensate for the land deal and financing. That's part of the whole package. The Y is more than a gym; it's a community resource. Are the other gyms offering reduced-cost fitness memberships to low-income residents, as the Y does? Do they offer child-care? After-school programs? When they start doing all of that, then they'll have standing to sue.

Maybe, but that has nothing to do with a private, not-for-profit (I guess nobody is on salary and thus profits) enterprise like the Y. I also wonder if the City is promoting this mission.

Also, Let, the City has a non-discrimination policy and city staff can get fired if they are seemingly caught discriminating and the City can be sued. According to the Y"s websote a lot of their workers are volunteers. Also, does the Y have any kind of non-discrimination policy? Will the Y allow an openly gay man volunteer? Again, just asking.

Its call "FREE MARKET" you know competition, The other gyms are over charging you That why they don't want the "Y" A DA!!!

prainva, ACAC offers discounts based off income, on-site child care, after-school programs as well as a number of summer programs as well.

Gold's offers various discounts, but I'm not sure about income status rebates. They do offer on-site child care as well.

These gym's have a very valid argument.

Cville Eye, I think even of more concern is that the Y like any of the opther fitness clubs is not beholden to the taxpayer. They have their own agenda, and that agenda will cause a lot of conflict. I think the Pavilion is a perfect example; It took over a public park and is run with disregard for the surrounding downtown communities. When it first opened the music was over 100 decibels, and floors shook. Just getting them to turn down a little bit was a multi-year battle. It's still a problem, and the squeals about profitability can be heard miles away.

Well, you wanted to get a cheap ride on public property, but you don't want to deal with the reality of many public spaces - they are not for profit by nature.

Frankly I don't want any independent organization running the facilities in a public park. A shared resource is just that.

However, I applaud the private clubs for suing, because it's time for Norris to finally face some real blowback for several bad decisions.

crozetite, the government giving land and money to the YMCA is the exact opposite of the "FREE MARKET".

This is a project that was heavily pushed by former mayor, Maurice Cox, and current mayor, Dave Norris.

Never Been to a game, Stepford Babes...I have always been looking for a name for all those women in a pony tail, but have never found just the right one. Thanks! Now I have one! LOL!!!

"The YMCA is a charitable, not-for-protit organization with the following mission: To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body, for all!" http://www.piedmontymca.org/ Does this mean that they are not respecting the principles of, say, adherents of Islam or the Rostafarians? Will women who cover their heads or men who wear thick plaits feel comfortable going there after reading the Y's website? Just asking.

I have never understood the issue of separation of church and state when it comes to the taxpayer dollars funding this. Isn't the Y a Christian organization even if it is non-profit ? How can a Christian, or any other religion for that matter, be given special deals on public land with public money ? Does anyone remember the uproar over putting a creche in front of the county office building at Christmas; this seems to be a more serious affront to the constitution.

Local governments are not paying the current scholarships because there are too few clients to lobby for them. The future plans are for a huge increase in clients and thus a huge increase in the number of scholarships required. Mayor Norris is hoping that a lot of kids from CHS will go there directly from school, rather than go somewhere and spend several hours doing homework or even reading a book in order to improve their academics. Sorry I didn't make a distinction between current and future.
I did infer from Kurt Krueger's interview on TV the other evening that the city required the applicant to be a non-profit which lights up a memory chip for me. The city has long had a misguided prejudice against for-profits.

Neither the Y nor any other fitness building belongs in McIntire Park. The pubic needs to stop this use of their money, and if the officials don't change course, run the rascals who did this out of office.

I think that the concerns about the Y's Christian heritage are a bit overstated. The Y does not discriminate (at least based on age, race, sex, income, and religion)

http://www.piedmontymca.org/about_us.php

and has paid and volunteer staff

http://www.piedmontymca.org/index.php

Someone can ask them directly what their policies with regard to sexual orientation are. I'm assuming that they're a fairly progressive organization.

the Rastafarians run the rec center!

"Of course, it might mean humbling yourself a bit" According to the Y's website, to get the "scholarships" you have to give them a copy of your most recent 1040.
"Another club is on the horizon that offers much, much cheaper prices" They are cheaper because they operate on a government subsidy. But I'm sure you are used to government subsidies. ACAC has to pay for its facilities and buildings and it also has to pay taxes. Guess what, if it wasn't for tax paying entities like ACAC and Gold's Gym and others, Albemarle and Charlottesville wouldn't have the money to give to the YMCA. Jeeez, I'll bet you think there's a money tree somewhere.
Why on earth would you want to call a woman you don't know a derisive name such as Steford Babies. Is it because you think they are not receiving a check from the government every month? Get asome self-respect, get go to work and stop living off of other people.

FitnessShouldBeForAll,

No, it's not about keeping money out of private club owner's pocket's because the Y is a private institution. It might be supposedly offering discounts for lower income families, and not for profit, but that does not stop it from being private.

It is an independent organization with it's own agenda. Period.

It is NOT a community resource, and it does not offer fitness to all. It offers services to those whom it chooses. I can't use it, and I see no reason to give up my park for a facility I can't use.

This is about giving away a public resource to a private entity to follow an objective of a few council members, one of whom should now be thrown out of office.

My question is, who exactly is asking for this Y to be built? I don't see many citizens in support of it. Seems like it's being shoved down the taxpayers throat, at taxpayers expense.

WHY DON'T THEY PUT A BUBBLE OVER WASHINGTON PARK POOL. THE CITY SEEMS TO OPERATE THAT FACILITY REASONABLY WELL.

"Cville Eye, I think even of more concern is that the Y like any of the opther fitness clubs is not beholden to the taxpayer" Yes, but they certainly plan to feed at the public trough. This project and the newhomeless SRO will be Mayor Norris' legacy.

"Appreciate diversity: Respect people of different ages, abilities, incomes, races, religions, cultures and beliefs." Exactly what does "aapreciate" mean? I am sure France will say it appreciates it immigrants, as long as some women doesn't cover her body.
"Most local Y's have stated policies that they do not discriminate based on sexual orientation. Gay people love the Y. Just ask the Village People!" This one has no stated policy and I don't ever recall the Village People being here and have no idea if the VP actually ever stayed at any Y. I thought that song was alluding to the rumor of clandestine sex to be had in some urban Y residences.
My bringing up the heavy reliance upon volunteers for the Y's programs was simply to point out how little control the Y has over them. Glad, though, that you brought up the issue of wages. The City has a policy of not contracting with outside agencies that do not pay at least a living wage, per hour, to all of its paid employees. Is that the policy of the Y?

The Y is a faith-based organization that is providing in this case services that aren't faith related, I assume. It's similar to the Salvation Army receiving public funding to run a homeless clinic.

The YMCA is not providing a "public" service; it is offering a service to the public paid for by the public. They are paying the public 1 for an entire 40 years of rent. The county and city has had to pledge multi-millions in order to get their fundraising campaign started. The city has to run new water and sewer lines to the Y's buildings (I have to run them from the street to my house at my expense. The "scholarships" for county and city residents will be paid for by government.) As is the afore-mentioned public housing, the Y will be a public subsidy, and, unlike parks and recreation, without public control. Why did it take the private sector so long to bring a suit? They have to do their research first to see if they have grounds to bring one. The courts do not allow just anybody to walk in and bring suit on just any grounds. They have a ligitimate, maybe, since the city formed it park plan in April and the competition for that space (which was still obviously under negotiation since it changed from the April's version after it was adopted in May along with the Y plan)was given about a month to come up with an alternate plan. There was no specific RFP issued by the city after it adopted the park plan. The Y was given an unfair advantage by being given the opportunity to help shape the plan. Same process Mayor Norris employed when devising the code concerning the SRO going in on $th and Preston. VSH was part of the defining process AFTER it won an RFP that really couldn't be written until the city had a plan in place. Both projects are Norris driven.
prainva and crozette, I'm sorry you have been duped into thinking that you can get a whole lot for nothing.

It is my understanding that the suit is not about the Y being in the park, but about the process that won the Y the opportunity to be in the park. The private entities feel they weren't given the same playing field in which to compete against the Y for that opportunity. They certainly weren't part of the negotiations involving the the final park plan as was the Y.

@Rob, what evidence do you have to be able to asy "The people who don’t want The Y in the park are RACIST white people..." or are you justtrying to raise the race card in order to frighten people?

This is taken right off of the YMCA's website http://www.ymca.net/ it's at the bottom of every page.

"The YMCA is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to put
Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. "

Sorry, that just doesn't belong in a public park. I don't care what color people they want to indoctrinate with "Christian principles."

For anyone that doubts the true motive behind the campaign against the Y in the Park:

http://www.c-ville.com/index.php?cat=141404064431134&ShowArticle_ID=1143...

The real issue is and always has been about the money not going into private club owners' pockets....if the Y's aquatics program is such a big threat, where are the Gold's Gym and Total Performance pools that will handle the high school swim teams and high public demand/usage? ACAC is fueling the resistance and ACAC alone. The other "clubs" are camouflage as is the paraphrased but still laughable quote by the ACAC spokesperson..."it's not about the business, it's about millions of taxpayers' dollars being wasted." Not so Einstein ...where else can the City & County get a $17+ million aquatic and recreation facility for a $3 million investment? It's just a pool...not holy water and shame on anyone attempting to keep our community from learning and enjoying the benefits of a healthy lifestyle because they can't afford private club dues.

I say revolution against the control of the masses by one spineless guy that won't even fight the public battle. WWTJD?

Lessee, Snap Fitness, 24 hours a day, 356 days a year. 34.95 a month of you pay 6 months at a time. 31 a month if you pay yearly. You also get pool access at several locations, though that is not going to be 24 hours, any more than the Y.

Family packages?

95 month for the whole family if you pay six months at a time.

I have yet to see the Y offer anything cheaper. The fact that they advertise financial assistance doesn't mean much to me. I think most people can get that if they were to go to the owners of some of these clubs like Snap. Of course, it might mean humbling yourself a bit, but if it matters so be it.

I also have to wonder about all these parents who can't afford 94 a month for fitness clubs, but they have satellite dishes and cable plans that are about the same per month.

Many of the supposed services and classes offered by the Y are actually offered by private groups on public facilities. For example karate. These things are available already, so I see the Y as nothing more than the typical fascist project offering at the taxpayer's expense to the pet of a few council members. Gee, and I thought we lived in a Democratic liberal town. What a joke.

Oh, okay. Let me get this straight now...ACAC charges me an arm and a leg to belong to their overpriced fitness club. Another club is on the horizon that offers much, much cheaper prices (albeit marketing to a different clientele). Now ACAC is going to use the money I pay in its inflated rates to pay attorneys to block an organization from coming to town that could offer me a cheaper alternative.

Oh, and I just love the look of the Stepford Babes in this town: a grown woman with a pony tail strung through the back of a baseball cap. Ugh.

With any respect due, reading the "anti-Y" entries sounds like an emotional nerves unusually raw when others advocate for access to wellness and lifetime fitness opportunities for all citizens. As patriotic as C'ville Eye's position sounds, I do think praising ACAC, Gold's, et al for their proper tax paying for their individual owners' profits isn't something for which we should be thankful. It's something we should expect and by the way...if you've lived here long enough, you know how slowly the private fitness clubs have grown with many failing (and not because of the YMCA) over the last few decades so no one should be bowing to leadership there in the fitness field or gratefully thanking the, as you put it: " tax paying entities like ACAC and Gold’s Gym and others, Albemarle and Charlottesville wouldn’t have the money to give to the YMCA." The tax income generated by those private fitness clubs and associated entities is and has been collectively nominal but I'm sure the Y would thank them nonetheless for their indirect but unintended gesture you note.

The very elitism being shown is exactly why a Y is needed in Charlottesville/Albemarle...working out daily is tough, especially when surrounded by curmudgeons that think laws and policies are always interpreted to the letter...there's also the spirit of a law and the common good that must be considered. If private clubs are so worried about non-profits, why aren't they using their political clout to really lobby for properly funded scholastic physical education programs to take steps toward curing the Country's obesity epidemic, instead of fighting the development of Y's?

Not to be fooled, private clubs will tell you they also support legislation to increase PE funding but it's a great PR move when we all know government funding isn't there for PE, the Arts and many other enrichment programs in our schools. As such, it makes no sense to fight the development of an alternative physical education and fitness service provider in a community that serves so many and doesn't profit one owner. The only way our Nation will move toward a baseline personal fitness standard again is when the "fitness business" can no longer be a profit center for a few owners through the exclusion of the masses due to costs. Non-profits can reach populations private clubs never will and since some are against the City/County funding 17% of the new Y's construction costs and 0% of the operational costs for the next 40 years ...maybe those against the Y should view it as a reparation of sorts for governments not funding public school physical education programs appropriately for decades. For the most part, when scholastic PE programs were strong, private fitness clubs didn't exist to any significant degree except in metropolitan areas.

C'ville Eye, you have a tired emotional arguement that rationalizes and preserves an elitist position however I do hope you will open your senses to making things better. You should recognize how your energy being spent to deny a vital service to those that can't afford it elsewhere should be used trying to help others become better, not just better for yourself. You're right about one thing..self-reliance. I have always lived by it. You can always count on yourself but some people aren't able. It's a tough world out there today and those that can't pull themselves up by their bootstraps can sometimes do so with a hand up, not a hand out, from society. I choose to offer a hand up not a heel down.

"...The tax income generated by those private fitness clubs and associated entities is and has been collectively nominal..."
"...working out daily is tough, especially when surrounded by curmudgeons that think laws and policies are always interpreted to the letter..."
"...there’s also the spirit of a law and the common good that must be considered."
"...why aren’t they using their political clout to really lobby for properly funded scholastic physical education programs to take steps toward curing the Country’s obesity epidemic, instead of fighting the development of Y’s?"
"Not to be fooled, private clubs will tell you they also support legislation to increase PE funding but it’s a great PR move when we all know government funding isn’t there for PE, the Arts and many other enrichment programs in our schools."
"...for a few owners through the exclusion of the masses due to costs."
"...since some are against the City/County funding 17% of the new Y’s construction costs and 0% of the operational costs for the next 40 years ”Šmaybe those against the Y should view it as a reparation of sorts for governments not funding public school physical education programs appropriately for decades."

Is this what they're teaching children in schools these days? If you are really self-reliant you can earn enough money to pay for your own daily workouts by shovelling snow and doing yard work, but, hey, then you wouldn't need to go to a gym.

Is my response floating around out there somewhere?

I will try and reconstruct my comment.
ââ?¬Å?...so let’s keep the debate at an adult level” Sorry, you were advocating the parent-child relationship between the Y and its clientele, I mistakenly assumed you were a child.
ââ?¬Å?I am self-reliant and still choose to work because it’s a good thing for the soul.” If being self-reliant and working for what you want is good for your soul, isn't good for others? Why encourage a parent-child relationship between a person that has no special needs and a not-for-profit? Why encourage that person to reliant upon subsidies from not-for-profits and government?
ââ?¬Å?C’ville Eye, you and I aren’t so different with regard to our values of self-reliance and physical labor but we do differ in our perspectives on education and service to others.” I see no ââ?¬Å?service to others” in this scenario. As for education, the schools of central VA provide for more opportunities for organized sports than thirty years ago; especially since the federal government has demanded equal access to athletics for females. Once girls were limited to maybe basketball, softball and field hockey. Some schools even had girls on their tennis teams. Since then there has been an explosion in the number and typ[es of teams that are available in local high schools, offered at considerable expense. Coaches, uniforms, courts and fields, and transportation are pretty expensive to the tax payer.
ââ?¬Å?To do otherwise suggests as a general rule that our highly intelligent younger generations will continue to have morbid health problems due to obesity and die far earlier than they should.” The problem of obesity is far too complex than to be solved by a membership in the Y. That is obvious when you watch the recap of high school football games on the local media on Friday nights. Ever notice the huge football linemen running about? And they put in a lot of hours practicing and weight-training. No, the Y isn't going do anything more about obesity than the Health and PE classes that are currently offered in local schools. Yes, some schools may be cutting back on playground time, but there are often additional opportunities for low-income students (which are not only obese children) during lunch and after-school programs.
I have yet to see even an estimate of the number of people this 70,000 sq. ft. facility will serve; actually I haven't heard a lot of low-income people say publicly that they intend to use the facility. Maybe we should have looked at the numbers that the Y served when it was located at the Old McIntire School building or at the current MAACA building. The Y will have no future without city money. It is already subsidized by paying only $1 a year in rent for the next 40 years while sitting on prime real estate.

This is a bombshell. I thought this deal was wrong from the start. The other fitness organizations are right to call foulplay. Less expensive options should have been considered.

I disagree, the "Y" is a non profit and is a public service. That's like a landlord filing a lawsuit against public housing. This is a bullhockey law suit that will not get any traction. The lawyers will make a few bucks on the gym's before it gets thrown out of court and the gym owners will look like the fools they are!

This lawsuit makes it appear as if the local gyms do not care about the community but do care tremendously about making more money. Whether or not the above is correct makes no difference. Perception is everything.

Well Now & They Does the ACC offers discounts on an over price product as for day care you pay for that too.how many Homeless or unfortunate people do you see using the ACC its a Big fat "0" .
you two ether work for one of the gyms or are the spearheads of a group that I call "WE REALY THINK C VILLE IS PERFICT " society.

This is one of those rare times when I will actually back the complaints by private industry. This is a 'community' oriented as the Pavilion was.

Just because it's not-for-profit doesn't mean it is necessarily a 'community' service. I see it offering different sports, but not general fitness for people of all ages to have access to. So, you are taking a shared resource from me to offer specific resources to a select group of people.

Snap Fitness offers monthly memberships to their club 24 hours a day for 34 dollar a month. That includes pool membership, and discounts on a number of products. I see a lot of teenagers over there.

If it's a community resource, it should be run by the city just like crow pool is. Everyone should have access, and the fees should be minimal.

Oh, I also don't remember a city wide vote being taken to see if this was an agreeable use of the resource, seeing as the park belongs to all residents.

Thoughtful citizens have tried to get the elected officials to consider better alternatives to taking land in a public park, unfortunately, they weren't listened to, and now we have a lawsuit. Another waste of taxpayer dollars.

I find myself standing behind the fitness clubs on this one. Just because something is not-for-profit doesn't mean it should be given free land courtesy of the entire community taxpayer. There are other not-for-profit youth groups out there, why not them?

I thought handing over the park to the YMCA was wrong to begin with and the YMCA has never even ranked high on my list of a community plan. While I am glad they offer things for kids, I don't see them offering much of anything for adults beyond a single exercise class. Much of what they offer can as easily be offered by parks and recreation and years ago did. I don't recall it being expensive at all for my daughter to do things like play lacrosse, beyond her equipment. The YMCA certainly isn't providing anyone with equipment. The ice park did more for the junior hockey players.

If we want to build a public fitness center, with different classes, OK. But don't just hand it over to a single NFP type of organization. That's unfair.

why did ACAC et al wait so long to file this suit? Seems like a delaying tactic on the construction process.

Nancy drew Yes the "Y" was founded a Christian organization .But is morphed to be a united way agency .You want then to remove all reference to god at all public places ?Now that would be a Waste of taxpayer dollars.

The YMCA is a faith-based organization that provides certain services:

The U.S. YMCA mission is:

"To put Christian principles in to practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all"

our local govt. is out of control, take what you have and make it better you dumb dumbs!!!

My research show that the Y is a religious organization, so my question remains- use of public funds on public land ? Here is a quote from a conference they are sponsoring: " Provide a safe, positive, Christian environment "

http://www.ymcacvc.org/

Thank you Frank and CvilleEye, your comments are enlightening. I do wonder though, if services will, in this case be faith based, and therefore, it does matter that land for this use is in a public park. If these services are so heavily subsidized with public dollars and land, I believe there needs to be public control.

I do wonder though, if services will, in this case be faith based, and therefore, it does matter that land for this use is in a public park.
***
Well, that's always an issue with faith-based organizations providing services with public funding. The Bush administration claimed that it wanted to fund programs this way as part of its "compassionate conservatism," but then the issue got less attention when the War on Terror started.

frank hardy YEP just look what happened with "W's" big ideas! What year 10 of one war year 8 of another!The only "compassion"the bush crime family had was for the Saudis and Halliburton.

I think something that is being missed here is why ANY exercise facility should be placed in the park. We need the park to be a park with outdoor events. Charlottesville has plenty of fitness clubs, and the YMCA can do what every other club does.

It's a joke to kill all the green spaces while pretending to be a green city.

I'm so opposed to the idea of a Y in a public park I hardly know where to begin. But first - Applause to the money-seeking big gyms for filing suit. Thank you! To the Y: Please take your religion and your quasi-non-profit out of our public spaces. Don't dig up the park - don't kill trees - don't build the Y. Please go away.

When the government favors one business over another without a fair and open bidding process, that's a crock. It doesn't matter if one of the businesses is non-profit.

Hopefully the City will throw up their hands and just kill the deal altogether.

there was an open bidding process

Like there was 'open bidding' for he city trash pick up contract? Basically it's a done deal but they open bidding for a dhort period of time and don't allow people to really look at their numbers and arrange financing?

Right. Council approved the Parkway 10 years ago, and suddenly only has a month to give alternatives a chance to bid?

Gotcha.

"there was an open bidding process" No, there was not. I'm surprised that webster 52 would make up such a thing. Perhaps webster 52 did not follow the process as closely as I did. I pointed out the process machinations months ago on this blog.

Talking about the city's bidding process, does anyone rememb er that the city announced that it had found a brick vending company that happened to be locally owned that could be used for the mall's bricking project BEFORE it had put the project out to bid? That's been our process with the awarding of the Buford site to the B&G Club, McIntire Park to the Y, the sale of the Ridge Street property to Southern Development and the SRO project on 4th and Preston: name the partner, define the project to the partner's needs, then put the project out to bid. Maybe we need an independent outsider (a non-local not a part of the local political machine) to evaluate this process, someone like the State Attorney General Cuccinelli.

I think PHIL WELDON has worked hard to stiffel competition that would interfere with ACAC PROFITS.. the whole "SAVE MCINTIRE" sounds like a cover for an ACC operation...can the HOOK do soem investigative journalism and look into ths

@Mountain Home, here's an article the Hook has already done on the group and I see no mention of ACAC: http://www.readthehook.com/stories/2009/07/23/cover-mcintire-D.aspx.
Out of curiosity, are you against competiting for profit? Right now, there has been no competition and the Y profits.

@Mountain Home, here is the group's web address so you can do a little sleuthing yourself by asking them directly: http://www.savemcintire.com/

October 2007, YMCA was proposal submitted.

Was that in response to a city-issued formal Request for Proposals with specifically spelled out criteria or actually a proposal submitted by the Y while the city was discussing possibilities for the future of McIntire Park? If you remember that was pretty much a brainstorming process conducted by Parks and Rec. It's difficult for me to see the city sending out an RFP if it didn't know what it was going to do with the park before it adopted a Master Plan for the Park.

The Y does provide a lot of activities in the community that are more than the basic sports. Ping Pong, Judo, swimming and the scolarships ARE NOT paid by government, they are paid through donations from companies like JC Penny, Sears and fund raising The Y does on it's own. They offer Kids Night Out once a month where for 20 bucks you can drop your child off and they do activities like a haunted house in October, arts and crafts and kick ball for 4 hours. Go get a babysitter to do activities for 20 bucks over 4 hours on a Saturday night. The people who don't want The Y in the park are RACIST white people who live near the park and don't even use the park. The Y principals were started AT UVA and while they were then based on Christian principals they have evolved into moral principals. Maybe more of you should attend The Y and work on your morals.

The ghost of Paul Goodloe McIntire will come to curse this building and the parkway. Why will anyone in the future want to donate land to the city ever again to preserve a space for a public park? Somehow, somewhere greed is involved in this process as well to allow the destruction of open spaces.

Sorry, Rastafarians.

Most local Y's have stated policies that they do not discriminate based on sexual orientation. Gay people love the Y. Just ask the Village People!

The Village People played Mem Gym in 1992. They were sensational!

And did they stay at the Y? (Thanks for that tidbit, I was just reving up some vague memories of advertisements of the group locallly, although it's should be obvious that I did not attend).
The Y names it's four ore values, but yet, fseem to feel compelled to name "Christian principles" in its Mission. Why not just rest on its four core values? Seems very strange to me.
I believe the Boy Scouts would also agree with those same core values, but thaey make it amply clear that no gay man can be a scout leader. Why has the Y chosen not to publicize a non-discriminatory policy toward sexaul orientation?

"...where else can the City & County get a $17+ million aquatic and recreation facility for a $3 million investment?..." The city and county certainly are not getting it from the Y. The Y is getting it. Someboy has mentioned the Y hosting regional swim competitions. Do they really think that's going to be for free? Naive to say the most. You people are in for a rude awakening, a very rude awakening that you can't get something for nothing.

Thanks for teeing that one up for me C'ville Eye. For your consideration, I humbly submit that on a personal level I do that yardwork on snowy days and weekends after getting in my workout each morning at 5 a.m. and I don't belong to a gym (or have one in my basement) despite earning a very comfortable salary during my 30+ year career where I've easily worked 50 - 60 hours per week the entire time. I am self-reliant and still choose to work because it's a good thing for the soul. No moss growing here so let's keep the debate at an adult level and not digress to judgments without knowledge or understanding. C'ville Eye, you and I aren't so different with regard to our values of self-reliance and physical labor but we do differ in our perspectives on education and service to others. Our generation will soon be replaced by our children that have learned "how to think" instead of merely being programmed "what to think." It's a wonderful time for innovation, change and growth of mankind/womankind IF we can train young bodies to keep up with the development of young minds. To do otherwise suggests as a general rule that our highly intelligent younger generations will continue to have morbid health problems due to obesity and die far earlier than they should. To me, it makes sense to train the mind AND the vessel. For anyone with a position of influence or with access to a public soapbox, it is our duty to help everyone understand the value of healthy living and personal fitness for extending the quality of life since those particular lessons are not well funded as teaching goals in our public schools anymore. As an alternative, a Y can help address that need for many citizens in Charlottesville/Albemarle that, whether by individual choice or financial circumstance, will never use a private fitness club.