BOS race: Republican Thomas challenges Slutzky

Rodney Thomas is the first challenger in the Albemarle supes race.
PHOTO BY LISA PROVENCE

Former planning commissioner Rodney Thomas announced his bid for the Rio District seat on the Albemarle Board of Supervisors today. "My main objective is to put common sense on the board," declared Thomas. "I'll say that again." And he did.

Thomas stressed fiscal conservativism that would oppose supervisors "unnecessarily collecting or unwisely spending your tax dollars." He also emphasized property rights for landowners on a quarter acre as well as 100 acres. "I feel property rights are being abused," said Thomas.

The Albemarle native and owner of Charlottesville Press criticized how long it takes to get approvals to build and develop in the county, and suggested there might be too many boards.

Rio is Albemarle's smallest–- and most populous–- district, planted mostly in the urban ring. Thomas acknowledged a constituent who complained that the district was a "dumping ground" for growth.

Thomas runs against BOS chair David Slutzky, a Democrat who trounced Republican candidate Gary Grant in 2005. "What's most important to me," says Slutzky, "is preserving the ecological system. Inevitably that desire is going to bump into property rights, and I try to respect that."

26 comments

I'm not wild about Slutzky's approach. He is irritating and impulsive when it comes to his mouth! He recently and publicly made a rude, stupid, and inappropriate remark concerning Rob Bell. I think he killed his chances to challenge Bell as a result of spouting off. Thomas comes across as a gentleman. His winning personality will win votes. I do believe we can't afford to allow the environment to suffer at the hands of those who put property rights and developers first. Look at the ugly sprawl all around. Pantops is destroyed. The sad thing, the Dems are also to blame for handing over control to developers.
Thomas will give Slutzky a run for his money. People are just tiring of Slutzky's presence, and Slutzky has not accomplished that much during his tenure.

David "where's the camera" Slutzky clearly continues to believe that he is the smartest kid in the room, and constantly seeks to impose his perceived intellect on us common folk, because we are just too dumb to know better. it is wearing quite thin. if there only was not such oppressive egoism there, maybe things might actually get accomplished.

Slutzky falls right in with the other members in spinning his wheels and yaking too much. This board has so many unmet goals, it is crazy. They have declared they will fix the county's traffic, water, and economic problems. So where are we here? Nowhere.
What happened with the mountaintop protection ordinance they talked about for years? The other day I noticed a new and huge white house on the mountaintop, Stony Point Road. The zoning department appears to allow anything to happen while the board nods a head. Slutzky and company continually move from one cause to another without accomplishing a thing.

I think Slutzky is progressive in his thinking (not sure what has come of that, and whether it's the system's fault or not) but I also have a lot of respect for Mr. Thomas. Good luck to both, this will be a close race.

ââ?¬Å?My main objective is to put common sense on the board,” declared Thomas. Could it be possible that we may finally have a candidate who cares what the present 50 year water supply proposal costs and that someone should be held accountable for doubling rates in 2002, throwing out a plan to dredge and put a bladder on the reservoir The 2002 plan would have given us decades of water for $13 million.

Now 7 years later, and over 5 million dollars poorer(paid to consultants), we have not a drop more water and are staring at a $200 million dollar proposal whose cost is just a guess with no route for the new pipeline and no cost estimate for the dam or pipeline. The new dam cost has gone from 37 million to over 99 million.

Will Mr. Thomas call for better cost information as another prominent business man has done ?

Common sense I hope so . Get those dredging surveys done ASAP so we have a real cost comparison for increasing our water supply. As a caller on WINA with Mr. Thomas said today, the reservoir should have been dredged long ago . That's the way you maintain reservoirs it's not rocket science. Will Mr. Thomas hold someone accountable for this bureaucratic mess and huge waste of tax payers money ?

http://www.readthehook.com/blog/index.php/2008/10/07/crutchfield-

One word describes Slutsky, ARROGANT. He reminds me of W.

Good luck Mr.Thomas...btw are you related to Sally? :) Is there room on the board for two Thomases?

To Old Crow: Word is that Sally Thomas is not running again, so she could pass the "Thomas" seat to Rodney.

David Slutzky is well intentioned and fairly smart. But his support for raising r.e. taxes this week shows how out of touch he is. And really, now, David: is the "ecological system" absolutely "the most important thing?" More important than the burden that will be imposed on homeowners who are asked to pay increased real estate taxes in the current economy? And fiscal and governmental responsibility? And ensuring that housing costs remain low and ownership is affordable in our region?

I served on a public body with David Slutsky and had looked forward to getting to know him. I ended up sadely disappointed in his participation and contribution. He was often critically late, even to meetings that he volunteered to chair, not letting anyone know if he was coming or not. He threw mini-tantrums when the very diverse group on the body didn't adopt his recommendations lock-step. He wasted a lot of time in several meetings just hearing himself talk and not facilitating any sort of discussion among people from whom he should have been interested in hearing. Awful leadership skills, as has shown by his lack of respect from his colleagues on the BOS.

Rodney Thomas, presumptive winner.

Slutzky is ARROGANT and needs an attitude adjustment. Hopefully Rodney can help free up some time for Slutzky to work on his numerous shortcomings.

Enuf said!

I have known Rodney Thomas for over 40 years, and I think he is the best candidate I have ever seen run for any office in Albemarle County. Slutzky, pack your bags and move aside!

SOTLR, do you think he will stand up for better cost information and hold officials accountable for the mess the water supply proposal is in ? Will he be able to stand up to the Nature Conservancy and get real water supply planning that is in the budget of the rate payers and not based on a fantasy conservation agenda of natural ( whatever that is ) stream flow for the Moorman's River as the whole reason for the current $200 million cost instead of the minimal cost of dredging our current reservoir.Will he get a second opinion as Crutchfield recommendsthey getting business advice from real water supply experts instead of amateurs.

SOTLR, If you know Mr. Thomas do you think he will stand up for better cost information and hold officials accountable for the mess the water supply proposal is in ? Will he be able to stand up to the Nature Conservancy and get real water supply planning that is in the budget of the rate payers and not based on a fantasy conservation agenda of natural ( whatever that is ) stream flow for the Moorman's River as the whole reason for the current $200 million cost instead of the minimal cost of dredging our current reservoir. Will he get a second opinion as Crutchfield recommends from real water supply experts instead of amateurs.

freelovefreida, interesting you say Sally may not run again. To tell you the truth, many think she has cooked her goose while working on the water committee. I'm afraid the public is not buying into the tactics anymore. Many believe she now cannot win another election. We need changes on the BOS asap. The Dems on the BOS have a majority now. What a perfect time for the BOS to make things happen, especially as far as the environment is concerned. I'm shocked as they appear to be doing very little to make a positive impact.

TJ, I think the answer to all of the questions you posed is a definite YES. I know Rodney to be a no nonsense type of person. He won't hesitate for a split second in speaking out on how he feels about any issue. I would trust him to do a better job than anybody currently on the Board of Supervisors.

"Word is that Sally Thomas is not running again." If true, that's the best word I've heard all day. Let's all wish her well in her future endeavors.

Rodney made some good points, today's Daily Progress. He is correct. The county spends too much money, and I believe "in the wrong way". For one thing, the county has far too many people working in the administrative buildings. I suggest Thomas take the time to observe inside the county office building. They definitely could "double up" on many jobs there. No wonder they have no funds to give hard working teachers a raise. I hear the city is trying to find a way to give their teachers a raise. The city deserves credit for better management here.

TA,
i agree there are some hard working teachers but i also must add not all are hard working. when you have no pay based on merit you lose an incentive to be accountable. the city has it easy collecting the county's tax dollars and spending it like its mad money so no comparison.

teacher advocate, I am with you. If the deadwood is surgically removed, money to work with can be found. For just one example, each department head can handle their own press releases or assign an employee to do it for them. How hard is it to make a 15 second comment for Channel 29 and Channel 16/19 once a week or less? The abolishment of this one "county spokesperson" position will generate a savings of $100,000 to $150,000 in salary and benefits. The same is true in the city as well. Now multiply it by the other deadwood that can be cut out. The city and county both have too much wwaste feeding at the public trough.

sotlr,
fyi - the county has 2 positions mentioned - one for school & one for govt i believe. occasionally when the school admin has something to say they use theirs. makes me wonder what they are doing the other 39 hours and 59 minutes of the week.

SOLR, if you think the the county spokesperson costs taxpayers that much money each year you are seriously deluding yourself. there probably is waste in county government operations, but everyone wants their local services, but no one wants to pay for them. for better or for worse, governments are not businesses, different incentives, different functions, plus as the last 8 years have shown us all, the private sector is woefully unequipped itself to deal with these types of issues. do you really think the Free Enterprise Forum could run the County? I think we already saw that experiment - it was called the Bush administration.

I listened on Feb. 5 to WINA's Rob Schilling (Republican) interview Rodney Thomas (Republican) about Rodney's attempt to win the Rio District seat on the Albemarle Board of Supervisors this fall. Here are my observations:

Rodney's first caller was Republican and Albemarle Truth in Taxation researcher Peter Wurzer who handed Rodney a soft ball question and a hearty compliment on deciding to be a candidate. This was obviously a set up question and not a spontaneous caller. Peter should have had the integrity to identify himself to the listeners or Rob Schilling should have done so for him.

The second caller was a Rodney friend named Joe from the Sorensen Institute. Another pre-arranged caller?

The third caller sounded like a young male and politely asked a very good question about the local water supply. Rodney's answer was that he had no opinion on what he would choose for a 50-year water supply source. Rodney then stated that he was still open to taking water from the James River "years down the road." Rodney declares his candidacy without having an opinion on the local water supply?!! And then says the dirty and expensive James River option is still on the table for him!??

The fourth caller was an older-sounding male preaching personal property rights protections. I'm all for that. Also an easy topic for Rodney to handle. Also a pre-arranged call?

The fifth caller was a woman who knew Rodney and was "very pleased" to know he was running. Ho-hum. Thanks, Sis, for dialing in.

The sixth caller was Republican Hank Martin, founder of the citizens group Forever Albemarle. Hank (or again Mr. Schilling) also should have had the integrity to identify who Hank is before he was allowed to fawn all over Rodney.

The seventh caller suggested an early joint appearance for Slutzky and Rodney on the Schilling Show. He then asked Rodney to describe the boundaries of the Rio District which Rodney fumbled through without much specificity. Thanks to Albemarle GOP Chair Chris Schoenwald, also in the studio, at least the Rio voting precincts were identified for listeners.

I didn't hear all of the eighth caller, but by the voice it was obviously Betty Seignor Mooney of Charlottesville, one of the reservoir dredging advocates who doesn't like the Ragged Mountain dam raising option. All I caught was that she was glad the Rio District, where she can't vote, was going to have a "competitive" race. Competitive? Oh, really?

The ninth caller brought up the Western Bypass as having been studied to death and never built, but we never heard Rodney's position on this roadway. He did talk about the county's Architectural Review Board, saying "I can't say whether I'm for or against it." What? Rodney did say that the ARB "kind of" interfered at times with what the Planning Commission was doing when he was on the Commission several years ago. Maybe someone, like the interviewer Rob Schilling, should pin Rodney down with some follow-up questions. Oh, I forgot. Rob was using his show to celebrate rather than question a fellow Republican's announcement.

The tenth caller, a voter from the Rio District, said Rodney was the "answer to my prayers" and got Rodney to declare that his plan is to "knock on every door in the Rio District" during his campaign. Would someone please ask Rodney if he'd be willing to share his door-to-door results on a monthly basis from now until election day? Let's hold him to this foolish and over-generalized campaigning declaration.

The eleventh caller identified himself as Rodney's next door neighbor and a supporter. Go figure!

The twelfth caller was a self-described anti-Slutzky retiree supporting Rodney. To this friendly, Rodney declared: "I am a native. I care. I love Albemarle County." If Rodney's a Monacan, then "nativity" counts for something with me. Otherwise, I don't care where a candidate is from as long as he represents us well.

Prior to the final caller, who identified himself as a UVA student (Young Republican?) with an apparent pre-arranged question about getting out the youth vote, Rob Schilling did ask Rodney one pithy question: "What is government's role in affordable housing?" Rodney's four-part paraphrased replies included: (1) "I can't see the County putting any money into affordable housing." (2) "I would never want to be giving my money to someone who should be working and buying their own home." (3) "I would try to get development costs down so that land isn't so expensive in the county." and (4) "Albemarle County can probably never have affordable housing." So, apparently, this is one local problem that Rodney has already given up on.

Rodney Thomas is going to have to make a much better first impression the next time he goes before the public in search of support from anyone other than his small circle of Republican well-wishers tuned into Republican Rob Schilling's GOP radio show. This was an hour-long Rodney Thomas infomercial rather than a legitimate candidate interview.

Both Mr. Thomas and Mr. Schilling need to do better. I know Mr. Schilling can. I'm not certain about Mr. Thomas. Mr. Slutzky needs to be defeated, if he runs for re-election, but I'm not certain Mr. Thomas is the guy to do it based on what I've heard so far.

By the way, believe it or not, I voted Republican in the 2005 Rio District race.

Willie from Rio

Willie, you should have no stake in this race being in Brazil. Plus, next time the Cliff's Notes, okay? As for Mr. Schilling, he obviously is trying radio as a fall back, knowing his pitching career in Boston is winding down. Mr. Thomas is a good businessman and fair gent. He will do well in that seat. Mr. Slutzky is--well--sometimes a surname says it all.

I really hoped Slutzky had run against Bell. A good, ethical candidate against the challenger...a big government, big spending arrogant Charlottesville elitist with terminal bed-head. David, go home and crank up some Dead, will you?

Thanks for the incite Willie. I'm sure there is alot of truth to what you state. Not knowing Thomas, i agree with your conclusion.
We dont need someone too extreme in either direction.

oops...insight not incite :)

Out with SLUTSky.

I predict that anyone wanting to be elected either to the BOS or City Council who supports the 200 million+ water plan without comparing it to the cost of restorative dredging of South Fork Rivanna Reservoir will go down to defeat.

We don't need to elect anymore politicians for whom cost doesn't matter !