COVER- Hot races: All politics is personal

 


Democrat Denise Lunsford thinks it's time for four-term incumbent Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Camblos to go.
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO

"All politics is local," observed a former speaker of the House of Representatives, Tip O'Neill, who knew a thing or two about how government can affect lives. Sure, presidential elections spur the pathetically small percentage of Americans registered to vote to turn out in full force– 61 percent in 2004.

 

But the races most likely to touch our lives are happening right here, and the last time these seats were up in 2003, only 32 percent of Albemarle's registered voters bothered to show up at the polls.

Worried about growth? About your tax rate? About the water supply in the midst of the eerily hot, dry fall? 

What about which crimes are prosecuted? Or how prisoners are transported to and from jail?

Okay, we're kidding about the last one, which is rarely a hot issue, although this year many eyes are on two long-time lawmen squaring off to see who gets to wear the sheriff's badge.

One snoozer in the constitutional office category– into which sheriff and commonwealth's attorney fall– is the clerk of court: three people are vying for that essential, $113,000-job in Albemarle. Not that the clerk is exempt from controversy. Just ask Charlottesville's clerk, Paul Garrett. But he's not up for reelection this year.

Three Albemarle supervisors are, and they're facing mostly well-funded opposition. In Albemarle, three School Board seats are up for grabs, but only one is contested, while in Charlottesville, seven people are jockeying for four open seats in the city's second elected School Board race.

City Council elections have joined the November fray, with three open seats. Three Democratic candidates face two independents trying to loosen the headlock Dems traditionally have held on Council. 

Even the Soil and Water Conservation District seats are contested, and for the first time, Charlottesville will have its own director, although that's not a hot race.

But these are. And they're getting hotter as November 6 nears.

 


Family woman: Lunsford and Richard Brewer have three offspring: Tripp, Abbie, and Chance.
PHOTO BY WILL WALKER


Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Camblos says the feedback he's getting going door-to-door is that he's doing a good job.
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO

On trial: Albemarle Commonwealth's Attorney

Incumbent Jim Camblos has been commonwealth's attorney for 16 years, and is considered so controversial in some circles that a local blogger has compiled a list of "Jim Camblos' Greatest Hits" because of his decisions to prosecute– in cases like last year's "smoke bomb case"– or not prosecute, as in the 2003 case of former deputy Stephen R. Shiflett, who falsely claimed he was shot by a black man.

"I think the competency of the present commonwealth's attorney is very much an issue this year," says Albemarle Democratic chair Fred Hudson.

"One of the biggest issues facing the commonwealth's attorney in the next few years is the image of the office, that the prosecution is not fair and that the quality of representation has declined," says Denise Lunsford, a criminal law attorney.

 Camblos, 61, argues that the biggest issue as experience– his. And he points to the endorsements of sheriffs current and past, and more than 100 officers in the Albemarle Law Enforcement Association. "That's even more important," he says. "That's virtually the entire police department."

"I think it's very difficult for a police officer who has to work with the commonwealth's attorney to not endorse him," counters Lunsford, 43. And she suggests that Albemarle cops are silently seething when blanket witness subpoenas are issued because "Mr. Camblos is not prepared to know what witnesses are needed," she says.

Lunsford notes that she's practiced law for 17 years. "I am an experienced litigator," she says, "and I'm a very good criminal litigator." She thinks that when Camblos mentions his experience, "He means I haven't prosecuted. He hadn't either when he was first elected."

Even those who aren't Camblos fans concede he's assembled an able staff of prosecutors. "The only person I've heard say I run a bad office is her," says Camblos, who has vowed to run a positive campaign. 

"What he does in a public forum is very different versus going door-to-door or in private," says Lunsford. "That's been very disappointing." She alleges that Camblos has been saying to people– in particular, a citizen who thought Lunsford was gay– "My opponent is unmarried and lives with her partner." Lunsford has been with Richard Brewer for 10 years, and they have three children.

"I'm not doing that," says Camblos. "I've been asked if she's a lesbian, and I've said no."

Lunsford says that Camblos should decide if he wants to be commonwealth's attorney or a judge, a position he's unsuccessfully sought twice, most recently earlier this year.

She's critical of his decisions, such as not prosecuting a UVA student who, when a stinging insect flew into her car, crashed and killed a woman and her two granddaughters. Lunsford also points out that his failure to subpoena a witness resulted in dismissal of a pedestrian death case.

"Anyone in that office is going to make mistakes," says Christian Schoenewald, vice chairman of the county Republicans. "You're dealing with very emotional situations, and Jim's made calls that people have disagreed with, but made more that people agree with."

"When I make mistakes– unlike Mr. Camblos, who says, 'Sorry I didn't subpoena that witness'– my client goes to jail or dies," says Lunsford. "When you're running against the incumbent, you have to say what he's done wrong."

 


Larry Claytor
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO


Chip Harding
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLOCop v. cop: Albemarle sheriff

The job involves no crime solving: it's transporting prisoners, maintaining courtroom security, and serving process papers. So why are two lawman hot to pin on the badge? Perhaps it's the visibility– or maybe the $102,000 salary.

Albemarle cop Larry Claytor is running for the third time, this time as a Democrat after unsuccessful attempts as a Republican and independent.

His opponent, Charlottesville Police Captain Chip Harding, is making his first political foray, running as a Republican, and he has the support of current Sheriff Ed Robb, former sheriffs George Bailey and Terry Hawkins, and city police Chief Tim Longo.

Harding envisions expanding the scope of the sheriff's job by using a volunteer reserve unit to monitor Internet chat rooms for predators and to supplement search and rescue efforts. 

Others aren't so sure that's a good idea.

"In the sheriff's race, lots of things are being tossed out there that have nothing to do with the mandate of the sheriff's job," says Democratic chair Hudson.

"[Claytor] doesn't want to bring in new programs to the sheriff's job– he says he'll get in there and see," says Harding.

Harding is well known for pushing Virginia to provide funding for its DNA databank, which leads the nation in nabbing criminals through cold hits. Claytor supporters are claiming, he, too, was instrumental in lobbying for databank funding as a board member of the Virginia Forensic Science Academy Alumni Association.

The Harding camp sees that as a stretch. "Chip has been a catalyst on DNA," says former sheriff Hawkins, who served on the Virginia State Crime Commission, through which all legislation must pass before it goes to the General Assembly. "He appeared before us a number of times.... Anybody in law enforcement could tell you what he did. As far as Larry having an equal footing with Chip, I don't believe that."

"I think it's a close race," says Robb, "but clearly Chip Harding is more qualified. He's served in leadership roles. Larry Claytor was never promoted beyond master patrolman. He said publicly the reason for his failure to be promoted is he's not interested in administration. What is the sheriff's job but administration?"

Claytor counts the Albemarle Law Enforcement Association among his endorsements, and he serves as president of the Charlottesville Albemarle Rescue Squad. "He's been head of the 160-member group," Hudson points out. "When you run a volunteer group, believe me, management experience is involved."

"I grew up in Albemarle County," says Claytor, 52. "My entire career has been on the front line working to keep the community safe."

And Harding, 56, who grew up in Fluvanna, wants voters to know he's lived in Albemarle for the past 30 years. 'Some people want to act like I'm new to Albemarle," he says.  

Republican chair Schoenewald just wishes Harding's campaign signs would stop being destroyed in White Hall, where other candidates report disappearing signs. More on White Hall later.

 


Lindsay Dorrier
PHOTO BY WILL WALKER


Denny King
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO


Kevin Fletcher
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO

Three way: Scottsville supervisor seat

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors' approval of mega-development Biscuit Run has fired the bellies of the supervisor challengers, nowhere more than in Scottsville, the magisterial district into which Biscuit Run falls.

Dem incumbent Lindsay Dorrier, 64, is seeking his third consecutive term– he served an earlier term in the '70s– and he faces two independent challengers: 42-year-old Kevin Fletcher, who lost to Dorrier four years ago as a write-in and more recently at this year's Democratic convention, and Denny King. King, founder of Location Lodging, a company that finds digs for movie crews, ran unsuccessfully for School Board in 2003 and tried to launch an "all Charlottesville, all the time" television station in 2004. 

  King, 63, is putting his showmanship into the supe's race. "What I'm finding is it's not an incumbent-friendly election time," he says. He challenges Dorrier's responsiveness to constituent emails and phone calls, and even Dorrier's ability to serve– the incumbent suffers from Parkinson's Disease. 

"I like Lindsay Dorrier," says King. "But it's time to accept his diminishing capacity." King touts his own "tremendous work ethic" and "tremendous energy," and pledges to serve only two terms if elected.

King also takes aim at former Dave Matthews farm manager Fletcher, who's running a low-key campaign, having raised just $515, according to the last report from the Virginia Public Access Project, compared to King's $5,350 and Dorrier's $13,950. 

"I'm very disappointed at Kevin's lack of effort to get the vote," says King. "I simply don't feel Kevin has the experience to lead. I've been in the corporate world 35 years, and I've been swimming with the sharks."

Fletcher laughs at King's assessment of his "bare-bones" campaign. "Just because I choose not to put up signs or run commercials doesn't mean I'm not trying," says Fletcher. "I attend and speak at supervisor meetings."

Parkinson's is a central nervous system disorder; sufferers include Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox. Dorrier doesn't dodge the Parkinson's issue.

"We all have something, healthwise, and this is something I've lived with the past 20 years," he says.

As for accessibility, Dorrier says he turns off his phone when he's in meetings, "and I've been in a lot of meetings lately. I try to call back the next day, and I have an active email address."

While both his opponents criticize his thumbs-up vote on Biscuit Run, Dorrier fires back. "I think we can contain growth, but we can't stop it. They think one supervisor can stop growth... I see the threat of lawsuits if we stand in the door."

Dorrier, an attorney and former Albemarle commonwealth's attorney whose family has lived in Scottsville for nearly 200 years, says the race's biggest controversy boils down to this: "Who knows the Scottsville district best?"

 


Ken Boyd
PHOTO BY WILL WALKER


Marcia Joseph
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO

He says, she says: Rivanna supervisor race

If political races were judged solely by the amount of money raised, it looks like someone seriously wants to unseat incumbent Ken Boyd, chairman of the Board of Supervisors. So far, his Democratic challenger, Marcia Joseph, has raised $23,963 compared to Boyd's $18,575. 

The big issue for Boyd could be the National Ground Intelligence Center land deal, which he says isn't, in fact, a big deal. 

Earlier this year, C-ville Weekly reported on Boyd's role in convincing the feds to keep their high-paying spy jobs here in the wake of base closings all over the country. Staying put was contingent on developer Wendell Wood selling NGIC 47 acres at less than market value. In return, Wood wanted 30 acres redesignated from rural to growth areas in the latest comprehensive plan amendment. 

"They're trying to make a mountain out of a molehill," says Boyd, who decries "fabrication" in the original story and says no one has raised the issue with him during the race.

"I'm hearing it's a big deal from some people," says Joseph. "It's something people bring up to me."

"The underlying tone is something was going on behind the back of the public," says Boyd, who adds there's nothing unusual– or illegal– in two supervisors having face-to-face meetings with other parties, particularly a secretive agency like NGIC. And he says all Wood got for his trouble was the supervisors agreeing to bring the comprehensive plan amendment forward through the public process. 

Republican Boyd says that based on voting records, he and Joseph have disagreed on only one vote about growth areas. 

Joseph, a landscape architect and chairman of the Albemarle Planning Commission, disagrees. She lists Rivanna Village, a portion of Hollymead Town Center, and a recent rezoning near NGIC as developments where she voted differently from Boyd, and she says if she'd had a chance, she would have voted against the airport-area development North Pointe as well.

Boyd acknowledges that he's seen as a pro-business candidate, and he embraces that label. "It's not all about land use," says Boyd, who owns a financial services company. "I have more of a business and financial background, and you have to remember, we have an over-$300 million budget." 

"What I do better is seek out and listen to the public," says Joseph, 56, who notes that as Planning Commission chair, she's opened work sessions to public comment. 

Managing growth in the rural areas is the biggest difference between the candidates. Joseph favored phasing; Boyd voted against it. As he celebrated his 60th birthday October 10 at a supervisors meeting that went on until 1am, he came down against proposals on critical slopes and family subdivisions, measures supported by rural protectionists.

 


David Wyant
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO


Ann Mallek
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO

Homegrown: White Hall supervisor race

Certainly David Wyant's 2003 win wasn't hurt by the fact that he's a local boy whose family has lived in White Hall for generations. This year, however, his opponent also has some beefy homegrown creds.

Ann Mallek grew up in the Ivy Creek area. Her father was veterinarian John Huckle, and her mother, Jacquelyn, aka "Babs," served on the Albemarle Planning Commission.

Crozet is the growth-area hot spot in the county where some citizens are aggrieved that after a lengthy master plan process, the Board of Supervisors approved development of twice the number of residences as were in the original plan. 

Republican Wyant, 60, an engineer and NFL referee, falls in the private property-rights bloc of the BOS, along with Boyd and Dorrier. Wyant sees private property rights as the bedrock of American democracy, but adds, "I've always been an environmental conservationist."

"One thing surprising to me is how the other incumbents have been playing politics with critical slopes and family division rights right before the election," says Republican Schoenewald. "They want to get Ken and David on the record as pro-growth. That's a cheap political move."

Earlysville farmer and natural history teacher Mallek, 57, who's been endorsed by the Democrats but doesn't think supes should run on a party ticket, favored those rural protection measures, and says in her door-to-door campaigning, she hears from people concerned about the water supply who feel they're being asked to conserve so there will be enough water for newcomers.

"[Wyant] has been reluctant to get developers to pay their fair share," says Mallek. 

As for why she thinks she'd be a better supervisor than her opponent, "I'm a detail person," she says. "I'm very good at preparation. I don't see [Wyant's] preparation on the board. He doesn't lead that discussion and sits there silent, and then says at the end he agrees with someone else." 

"I have never been to a board meeting yet where I have not reviewed the packets," protests Wyant, who says the materials supes are given before meetings can be huge. 

As for his meeting style, "I'm a good listener," he says. "I'm a professional engineer. I gather data, and when the time comes, I'll make my comments and decisions."

Responsiveness is a complaint about the incumbent that Mallek says she's encountered from constituents– Wyant not answering mail or returning phone calls. "This story is repeated over and over," she says. 

Mallek's own campaign manager is David Wyant's first cousin, Jean Wyant, who issued a press release announcing Mallek's Burma Shave-style signs in White Hall, which were promptly stolen less than 24 hours after they were put up.

Mallek also wants to clear up a misperception about her that she says was generated in the White Hall area– that she was going to take away everyone's guns and clamp down on hunting. "I may not be a hunter, and we do have animals we're concerned about, but we do have hunting on our land," she says.

 


Brian Wheeler
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO


Patrick Wood
PHOTO BY WILL WALKER

At large: Albemarle School Board race

The question is, with three open seats on the Albemarle School Board, why would an unknown candidate challenge Brian Wheeler, arguably the best known member of the board, for the only contested seat in the race?

 "Albemarle does not have any teachers on its board," says Patrick Wood, 40, who teaches in Fluvanna. "I'd be the one voice to help them understand the practical applications of the decisions they make."

As for Wheeler's name recognition, Wood says he's knocked on over 4,000 doors and gone to forums. "What I've found is the name recognition isn't necessarily there," he says.

 Wheeler is the meeting man. As executive director of Charlottesville Tomorrow, a nonprofit growth watchdog, he's a fixture at almost every meeting of public bodies, keeping tabs on growth issues. And of course he attends School Board meetings.

He narrowly edged Linda McRaven (who also suffered sign loss in and around the White Hall area) by 101 votes in the 2003 election, but he says he doesn't know that much about Wood.

While Wood wants to represent teachers, Wheeler approaches the job from the perspective of a parent with children in the county schools. He's been a PTO president and started an electronic newsletter, AlbemarleMatters, that is now the site where 19 county schools report educational issues. 

"Before I ran for School Board, I spent a year going to School Board meetings and spoke up," says Wheeler, 40. "It's a big commitment."

And running a nonpartisan campaign makes covering the county's 28 precincts an even bigger job.

 


Holly Edwards
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO


Satyendra Huja
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO


David Brown
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO

Barbara Haskins
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO


Peter Kleeman
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO

Fall fling: Charlottesville City Council race

Albemarle County has always dominated these odd-year elections in the fall because city councilors were elected in May. No more.

The city's first November election brings two independent challengers to the traditional Democratic slate for the three open seats.

Mayor David Brown is seeking reelection, running with nurse Holly Edwards and former city planning chief Satyendra Huja on a diversity dream team.

Despite the chances of upending the Democratic machine seeming slimmer than Nicole Richie, two independents have stepped into the fray: transportation consultant Peter Kleeman, former Hook Squeaky Wheel columnist and a fixture at City Council meetings, and psychiatrist Barbara Haskins, who was outraged when the city did an end run around the 40-year-old Charlottesville Albemarle Rescue Squad and decided to spend $1 million on its own ambulance and staff.

"It's very different running as an incumbent as far as time– my time is taken up doing Council business," says Brown, who also has his chiropractic practice to attend to. 

Although he's running on the Democratic ticket and has left bigger fingerprints on the city during his 30-plus years as city planning director than any other candidate, Huja, a.k.a. the Urban Turban, paints himself as the "underdog" in the race. "I don't fit into any category," he says. "That's why I'm the underdog."

Haskins is attracting her own category of would-be voters. "Obviously people approach those with whom they feel kinship, so people approach me because they feel City Council spending is a wish list, rather than the other way around– that we have this much money," she says. She hears from citizens who fear they're going to lose their home, and those who don't care for the Democratic lock on Council. 

She's also hearing from city employees. "They have concerns about the way decisions are made and the lack of oversight and cronyism, instead of, 'Are you performing at a level the public expects?'" says Haskins, whose budget outrage seems to have touched a nerve.

Most of the candidates make nice about their opponents, but Kleeman takes aim at Brown's support for the proposed Meadowcreek Parkway, the long-planned road that would link downtown to Rio Road.

"He's premature," says Kleeman. "A number of things need to be put in place before approving that. I don't think that's good public policy."

Kleeman goes on to accuse Brown of working with the Chamber of Commerce and promoting its agenda, while wanting to cut spending on affordable housing. "There are clear differences," he says, between Brown and Edwards, Brown's running mate whose constituency is those who need housing, education, and food.

But Edwards doesn't discount the independents' chances of winning a seat. And she worries that the constituency who came out to help her win the Democratic nomination may not realize they have to come out and vote November 6.

"The only thing I'm concerned about from knocking on doors is hearing, 'Isn't it over yet?'" she says.

The mother of two sets of twins has a pretty simple formula for picking the winners. "I don't care how many people you know," she says. "It comes down to the number of yard signs."

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13 comments

Having worked with Larry Claytor for many years in the Albemarle County Police Department, I had many opportunities to see Larry’s true character. I can think of no better person that I feel comfortable with as Sheriff in Albemarle County. Larry has the very rare quality that is desperately needed in positions of leadership these days. That quality is taking a stand for ethical practices even in the face of adversity for doing so. Even when no one else is closely scrutinizing him, or there is no media attention, Larry has consistently strove for and achieved his goal of serving the community and doing what is right.

His status as a Master Police Officer should also not be taken lightly. In the Albemarle County Police Department the Master Police Officer position is a status which is just as difficult to attain, if not more so, than that of supervisory positions. Often times the Master Police Officers have significantly higher skills in many law enforcement duties than the supervisors may have. Even so, Larry Claytor possesses many leadership and supervisory skills as well. It is no small feat to manage the budget and other duties of the president of the busiest volunteer rescue squad in the country. That experience will greatly serve the citizens of Albemarle County in the operation of the volunteer search and rescue division of the Sheriff’s Office as well as in all other areas.

The Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office is a very small agency that is not tasked with criminal law enforcement duties on a day to day basis. We need someone who understands the duties of the Sheriff’s Office. In addition to Larry’s numerous years of actual hands on experience in criminal law enforcement, he is the only candidate with experience in the Sheriff’s Office as well. It is hard to beat that personal experience.
Please join me in voting Larry Claytor for Sheriff on November 6th.

Karl Mansoor
Master Police Officer ACPD Retired

Larry's got my vote Karl! It will be sad day if the opposing candidate Harding gets anywhere near a position of authority

One of the focuses of the Albemarle Commonwealth Attorney Race is the treatment of victims. The only way to understand how a victim was treated is to interview a victim or members of a victim's family. Have any sexual assault victims come forward and shared their experience with Mr Camblos or his staff with the media? It would probably be an eye-opening experience for the public. But, Privacy Act prohibits the names being released, and few victims have the fortitude to allow these conversations to be made public.

My daughter was raped in her UVA dorm room and because of jurisdictional requirements, the crime had to be investigated by the UVA Police; prosecution was the responsibility of Albemarle Commonwealth Attorney's office.I was present when my daughter met with the prosecutor. I was upset and frustrated by his lack of compassion and empathy, and I was disgusted by some of the comments that were made to her. The decision not to prosecute the case was based on innuendo and not fact. As a matter of fact, only one witness report was provided by the UVA Police for the prosecutor to review and it was later proven to contain lies. The Prosecutor should have made a decision on whether or not to prosecute once all the facts were gathered, not hastily after reading one false witness report. For more details, visit www.uvavictimsofrape.com.

When a victim is treated with indifference or inappropriate and rude comments are made, the emotional anguish experienced by the victim intensifies. It is our duty to elect officials who will treat every crime victim with respect and compassion.

The students in Charlottesville deserve a prosecutor who will take the time and the care to see that every case is handled as if it were the only case. They deserve a Commonwealth’s Attorney who truly protects victims. I support Denise Lunsford for Albemarle Commonwealth Attorney.

Amen to that Susan. And I am sorry your daughter was treated so poorly. I will be voting as you do regarding the CA.

And if you are interested in a Sheriff's candidate, this is from Larry Claytor's web site:

"1. Improve on the services of the Sheriff’s Office:

*
Ensure that deputies treat all people with dignity and respect regardless of race, gender, or status in the community.
*
Give special attention to security for victims of domestic abuse and violent crimes to ensure that no victim fears to testify against their assailant. As a result, we can increase the rate of prosecutions in these crimes."

I suppose there is a reason that there are all those Lunsford and Claytor yard signs together in folk's yards.

The Daily Progress is also covering the debate over the treatment of victims. However, I believe the paper is pro-Camblos and the issue is not being reported accurately. Since the Daily Progress will probably not print my reaction to the article, I am posting my letter here for the citizens of Charlottesville to read:

Mr Seal:
When you approached me, you seemed concerned that what I had to say was relevant to this issue. For all we spoke about, you did not capture the essence of my comments and used my name in your article today to provide Camblos an outlet to appear to be sensitive and caring. Mr Camblos and Mr Moore did not "meet with us extensively"; rather, Mr Moore put my daughter through a grueling 2 hour meeting in which he made her believe the rape was her "fault". Mr Camblos never spoke with us. I have always maintained that the UVA Police mishandled the case, and although I have submitted numerous requests for the police to reopen the case to consider all the evidence that was omitted to the Prosecutor and to correct the false report that was submitted, President Casteen has refused. Mr Moore's comments, which you are aware of, were unprofessional, condescending, and added to my daughter's emotional trauma. I am quite disappointed that you chose not to properly represent our conversation in your article.

Susan Russell
founder, www.uvavictimsofrape.com

Susan,

Thank you for starting your organization. I suggest you purchase web advertisments on the sites like this, the daily progress and on cvillenews.com. they are cheap and it will drive traffic to your site, which I just visited.

And as far as newspapers, thats too bad because Seal seems to get things right most of the time, but it is always a problem with "Reporters", they have there own agendas (or the agenda of their boss or editor) and fix the facts to fit whatever story they have in their head . . .

Of course sometimes it is because they are overworked and have a deadline and dont have time to write something that catches all the nuances.

Sometimes its because they are lazy and or mean.

Just to add one more point ... has anyone noticed that the Daily Progress runs at least one letter per day for Camblos -- I wonder how many Lunsford supporters have sent in letters that the Progress will not print? The Camblos support letters contain the warm and fuzzy "I've known Jim for XX years and he represents our values...." I send in a letter sharing a personal experience with his office and the Progress says they can't print my letter because they can't prove it's accuracy. Isn't a Letter to the Editor supposed to represent our opinions? Is this what they mean by Freedom of the Press? I've always said that Charlottesville was run by a few good old boys ....

I agree with Susan. Charlottesville and Albemarle County is nothing but good old boys looking out for each other in local government. Always has been. Always will be. Perhaps some will recall when we overlooked a well qualified black police major in Northern Virginia for the position of police chief in Charlottesville? The job was given to the then sheriff simply because he was a good old boy, a good old boy who changed his mind and decided he wanted to be chief of police rather than sheriff. The republicans rule the County of Albemarle. And the democrats rule the City of Charlottesville. This is why Harding and Camblos will prevail in the elections.

I sure hope I am wrong about Harding and Camblos winning though. But you see a former sheriff and the current sheriff endorsing their good old boy.

David Wyant seems to be consistent. I thought I was the only one who didn't get a reply to an issue I sent him being that he is my Board of Supervisor. Apparently if I am not a developer or builder I am not worth a response. Even if he had nothing to offer for a solution, a reply would have been a courteous and true Virginian action. I don't know if this arrogance, incompetence or apathy on his part but I expect more! Throw the Good-ole-Boy out! ! ! PS: return those sign!

How about this for good ol’ boy antics:

What about when Terry Hawkins (when he was Sheriff) sued the county of Albemarle to get rid of the Police Department, because he wanted to be top dog in law enforcement?

That was cool, right?

Steve, I think the Rs are really worried about losing this election, that’s why they are going negative in this article; you only go negative when you are losing.

Poor David Brown. So handing out hundreds of thousands of dollars for really idiotic projects takes all his time. He almost makes it sound like he's doing something positive. Puhleeez!!! Are we supposed to feel some sort of sympathy for the clown? http://www.readthehook.com/Stories/2007/03/29/ONARCH-0613-B.rtf.aspx

It is widely known that Brown wasn't the first choice for mayor when he got the job. There are also a lot of my fellow democrats who have been very disappointed with his performance as mayor. What I'm afraid of, and it really sucks, is that if we are unlucky enough to have him re-elected he will probably get to stay on as mayor so everyone can save face.

I'm sure someone will get pissed off, but doesn't the fact that Brown is a chiropractor just about say it all? What the hell is up with the democratic elite in this town?

Vote Kleeman!

There was a public comment Kleeman made during a council meeting some time ago that has stuck with me: he recommends the mayor be a full time job. I agree. The other councilors could be hobbyists as they are now since at least in theory this lends toward getting a cross-section of the poplulace on coucil.

Charlottesville is growing. Obviously New York City mayor is a full time job, and Scottsville mayor probably isn't. Somewhere in the middle, is Charlottesville, and I agree with Kleeman that we have reached the threshold where mayor is not a hobby. We need an undistracted mayor.

Please please please vote OUT Lindsay, Boyd and Wyant.

Here is a good all around political rule; no second terms. They've had their chance. Give someone else a try. No matter the party. No matter the candidate. Politics should not be a career.