Dede Smith joins crowded Council field

A sixth Democrat has announced a run for City Council, and she's the second Dem to oppose the plan to build a controversial mega-dam and cross-county waterpipe. Saying that she's proud of her history of leadership, this former chair of the Charlottesville City School Board and director of the Ivy Creek Foundation made her announcement June 13 in Forest Hills Park. Joining her in support were current mayor Dave Norris as well as former mayors Francis Fife, Nancy O'Brien, and Maurice Cox. Smith enters a field that includes one incumbent, Satyendra Huja, and three other Democrats– Kathy Galvin, Peter McIntosh, and Paul Beyer– who, like Huja, support the mega-dam plan, while Dem candidate James Halfaday does not.

The race also includes one Socialist– dredging advocate Brandon Collins– who is running as an independent along with three others: Bob Fenwick, a dredge-promoting contractor, Scott Bandy, and Andrew Williams.

95 comments

Ooh "mega-dam! Such a scary sounding word. Sounds like a James Cameron movie.

Completely off-base as a description of the proposed project, but that's beside the point I guess.

deleted by moderator.

@Chuck

How about "dam we don't need and can't afford"?

how about "sensible solution to the looming water crisis"?

Is this the same Dede Smith who was a failure as a member and chairman of the school board? She brought controversy and horrible morale to the schools, the administration, and teachers. Eventually, she resigned because she brought poison to the room. Even The Hook, an avowed supporter of Dede, critcized her. Is this the kind of leadership we want in our town?

http://www.readthehook.com/files/old/stories/2005/04/28/newsSueemPostgri...

Richard, please get your facts straight. Dede Smith never resigned as chair of the school board. She presided over a very contentious time in which the community was split over a school superintendent who was hired unanimously by the school board. Many of us wish that people on both sides of this conflict could have discussed it with more civility. But both sides were heard and the community has moved on.

If you would like to learn more about Dede's stance on the issues and her background (including her awards for community service), see:
http://cvilledede.info/

@ meanwhile ---What water crisis ? With Dede she would be crying you a river anytime there was a "difficult" decision .

Not sure what your point is Frank. One of Dede's points on the water supply is that we don't have the crisis that supporters of the $140 million (and counting) plan say we have. Demand is way under what was projected. The cost of dredging is way under what was projected. We have plenty of water for the next few decades. Why commit ourselves to millions of dollars in increased water rates now, especially when there is a new demand analysis underway?

OK, one last post for the morning: At Dede's announcement yesterday in Forest Hills Park, she was supported by our current mayor, Dave Norris, three former mayors (Maurice Cox, Francis Fife, and Nancy O'Brien) and two former City Councilors (John Conover and Kevin Lynch).

The point is that if your opinion proves wrong and there is insufficient usable water supply down the road due to lack of Council foresight then Dede can compensate by tearing up . That is her style from the past when faced with "difficult" problems. Far better to error on the side of abundance . A do nothing approach can be achieved by an empty seat on council or alternatively elect a pylon . Clean air and water are two of the basics . When either are in insufficient quantities time for waxing the B.S. about what can or can't be afforded is over .

Frank, please stick to the issues and facts instead of sexist comments. The facts are that water use in the city has declined for the past several years. Maybe you can afford increased water rates (which in C'ville are among the highest in the state) but not everyone can. We have plenty of water for decades, especially if we dredge.

Cville --- Where did you come up with your sexist crap from ? I said absolutely nothing about sex or gender to warrant your sexist comments comment . Your credability is therefore ZERO . Secondly it is easy for a person to say there is sufficient water for decades without actually knowing what the requirement will be in the near and long term future . There are studies but folks want more and more studies still nothing definative can be proven . Many states ,countries and peoples are stuck with insufficent water currently . Any oversuply can be sold at an ever increasing profit . Retail water in small containers is often more expensive than gasoline .The reseviour needs a mega upgrade to be on solid footing for future gernerational industrial and personal consumption . Listening to the do the nothing crowd will sentenance future generations to drinking out of ditches .Previous generations hard work and investment makes water available for you now,however,you don't appear willing to pass on the required upgrade to future generations . The do nothing crowd are very keen in printing all forms of welfare handout money . Down the road they will find it a little more difficult to print water .

Cville --- What alleged sexist comments sexist comments were you actually referring to ?????

Duh. Women cry. Men don't. Define disingenuous.

" Listening to the do the nothing crowd will sentenance future generations to drinking out of ditches ."

"The do nothing crowd are very keen in printing all forms of welfare handout money . Down the road they will find it a little more difficult to print water ."

He writes after saying another poster's ""credability" is therefore ZERO ."

Uhhhhm.... yeah.

Cookiejar plants himself/herself firmly within the do nothing for the future generations crowd .

Frank, the best way to avoid a lack of stored water for future droughts is to dredge now. We had a plan and a cost share to do that in 2002 and the RWSA has neglected maintaining our largest and most productive water supply ever since the Reservoir was built. Ms Smith and others have recognized this and I applaud them and will vote for them.

And beware neighborhood dwellers of the would be candidates pushing infill development . That's another way of saying more density and less environmental protections for steep slopes, trees and the parks we already own.

Let's stop the grand dam visions and get on with taking care of the house we already own, instead of refusing to do regular maintenance and just let it fall down.

I plan to vote for Ms. Smith and any others that vow to save our paid for infrastructure, thereby saving money and resources and not destroying the environment we have in order to build a different one.

Wasted resources cost money. It's time to elect frugal councilors
( I heard Ms. Smith say she was frugal on todays Schilling show --well hurray for that ! )
who will save money and resources not spend spend spend on the biggest, fanciest, costliest car they can find on the lot.

Dredging up problems more like it . What enviornment problems will be dug up . Deeper still water will just end up as a sludgepit . Rather than taking the proper step forward with a larger res. area some want to dig a water filled mine . What a total enviornmental mess of grunge water that will have to be treated by one part H2O three parts chemicals . Frugal ,living in the glory of buildings built by forefathers ,drinking water supplied by forefathers but too frugal to make plans for future generations . Why not just vote for a pylon if you don't want anything to move forward . A pylon can live in the past,not think of the future and you don't have to pay it a salary or put up with it stuffing it's pockets every chance it gets . Also a pylon won't cry a river everytime it doesn't get it's own way .

Frank Speaker, you still living in Canada???? Just to clue others in to how much you really know about local problems???

LOL

I just saw an army of pylons marching on Route 29 in silent protest of Mr. Speaker's unjustified and unprovoked attacks on them. I think one of them was female.

Should of asked for three volunteers for Council ......

I'm quite firmly in the do something now camp. Something that should have been done long ago. DREDGE!

@Just checking , I think Mr. Speaker's garbled prose has done all that's needed to clue others in to how little he might know about anything. I thought for a minute there I was reading a Sarah Palin quote.

"What a total enviornmental mess of grunge water that will have to be treated by one part H2O three parts chemicals . Frugal ,living in the glory of buildings built by forefathers ,drinking water supplied by forefathers but too frugal to make plans for future generations . Why"

Cookie Jar --Dredging is Bad . In this case dredging for drinding water is doubly bad . It is just a band aid flippant answer that will not work . It's the Let Them Eat Cake response to hunger and thurst . In this case citizens are being told to Go Dig a Ditch .

---drinking water--

P.S. It will be about three times more expensive per unit to increase water supply by dredging .Dredging has limited upside in scale and only kicks the can down the road delaying the requirement to upgrade the dam .Clean air and water are two essentials that can't be triffled with by do nothing meddlers . An upgraded dam will provide a safer better tasting and purer quality of water . Proponents of dredging are not being honest by trying to appeal to the uninformed and the gullable .

It's true that Dede Smith didn't resign as school board chair--she was tossed out by her colleagues after her calamitous 1 year term. For all the years she served on the school board, isn't it curious that not ONE of her former colleagues are standing up now to support her? What should we make of that? Then, as now, Dede Smith is one-issue candidate who does not work well with others. Good candidate for the city council? I don't think so.

Exactly ,she just seems to want on council to continue B.S.ing about the historic legacy left by the forefathers ,dole out welfare,and expensively interfere in properly upgrading water utility infrastructure for currant and future generations .

Karl,

Tossing someone out of a group doesn't mean anything other than someone didn't put up with group politics. The reasons could be good or bad. Tons of people in a group are happy to go along with things they know are wrong so they don't get tossed out of the group. This leads to all sorts of injustices. History is full of it.

Your evidence doesn't mean squat.

This whole thing is an exercise in power by Dave Norris. He is supporting a marginal (at best) candidate in Halfaday and Dede Smith for one reason. He is angry that Kristen Szakos left him at the alter with her dam vote. He supported her over Julian T and she owes her seat to him. I imagine he was pretty upset by the lack of loyalty showed by her vote. If I am not mistaken, everyone else in the field is ok with the water plan now in place.

Does he have the political power to pull this off, only time will tell.

@Cville Voter: "...At Dede's announcement yesterday in Forest Hills Park, she was supported by our current mayor, Dave Norris, three former mayors (Maurice Cox, Francis Fife, and Nancy O'Brien) and two former City Councilors (John Conover and Kevin Lynch)."

Big frackin deal! The fact that Dave Norris is her lead cheerleader means that she will NEVER get my vote.

Build the damned dam! Dredge the resevoir! Finish the parkway!

The Socialist and Independent candidates are all against the water plan and meadowcreek parkway.

yep - Dede is a one issue candidate. water. and she's wrong on that one. All she wants to do is live in the past, talk about past decisions, and relive our past problems. If that's the case, she should relive her own past problems on the school board. How can anyone who couldn't effectively lead the school board - and was forced to resign - possible get on council? If she wins, she could she become our mayor? how do they select the mayor?

I don't know of Dede's bad deeds as a school board candidate but her and her posse have been holding up other important issues in the city with their blind ramblings at every city council meeting about water. Why they haven't had the same presence at County meetings? They love to be on TV. It's not about the end result, it is about being noticed. Not what I want in a City Councilor.

In a basic overview:
Dede Smith and Betty Mooney will make an appearance on the water issue. Peter Kleeman will say something each week on something. Salidas will say something against developers etc. followed by the lady who leads the North Downtown saying how she wasn't informed of ---- and saying something. Rich Collins will say while we are sueing you don't do anything on the parkway. Paul Long will talk about the buses once in a while. Downing Smith or Kevin Lynch from Locust Ave. will say something. Then we have our guest commentators once in a while.

Old Timer, Dede Smith demonstrated during her six years as a school board member (1 of those years as chair, the worst year in the city schools in the 14 years I've had children in the division) that she lacks the personal humility to be a public servant. She did not work collaboratively. (Are any of her school board colleagues supporting her now?) Her single-mindedness interfered with her judgement. (That's the kindest spin I can put on her repeatedly convening the School Board illegally in secret sessions during the Scottie Griffin era.) She had a tin ear for politics. (She was among the last people in town--perhaps THE last person--to recognize the fiasco that had developed in the city schools under her tenure.) I am amazed that she (and her supporters) apparently think that her dismal record as an appointed official are not relevant now. Of course it is. Every politician runs on her record. It is time for Dede Smith to talk about the $300,000 buyout of Scottie Griffin's contract, the secret meetings she convened, her poor supervision of a superintendent whose faulty background check was well known within a couple months of her hire, the atmosphere of meanness that the city schools principals had to work under during her tenure as school board chair, highly questionable hiring practices she approved, highly questionable procurement practices she condoned, dismally low morale in Central Office that she allowed to fester that led the #3 person in the division to write a stunning repudiation of Scottie Griffin's leadership.

Poor judgement InDede . She hasn't got the brains of a beaver . A beaver knows that abundant water is essential for good health and fire protection so he sets forth harvesting wood fibre and building dams . Dams provide a pond sanctuary for humans and animals against disease,poor health,drought and fire . Forefathers figured that out and provided a dam and consequently adequate water for the area . That facility wasn't designed to serve for ever and now needs substantially upgraded to cope with growth,climate,and weather change . If there is a severe drought it will become quickly clear that DD's BS can't deter a dust bowl .

If one has ever had the misfortune of being in a town that has not adequately provided for an abundant safe supply of water then they would never error on the side of frugality in infrastructure facility. Poor water and or short supply leads to poor health across the board . People drink bad alternatives . Anyone that can will move away. The economy goes downhill steadily. Decreasing population base turns the place into a ghost town so to speak . Higher crime rate,more police costs . The town becomes very depressed and dysfunctional as the brighter flee and others avoid it . Government sends officials out ,they shudder as they do their duty and scurry away with some rich stories and jokes about the area . It is sad that the poor quality of people who brazingly put themself forward in a democracy dishonestly or stupidly advocating policies that result in the foregoing scenario .

Karl,

You are continuing to miss the point:

"Are any of her school board colleagues supporting her now?"

Thats like saying that the GOP booing and hissing Ron Paul ins 2008 debates is evidence of his being incompetent, or bad, when in reality, its because he wouldn't rubber stamp like the party demanded.

I think instead of making general statements, you get i these forums, and just say what really happened, if you think Dede is not a good choice. What fiasco was developing? Where are the rules about convening school board meetings, and give examples. Sounds like the Griffen era is a good place to start. Put it out there. If its true, you have nothing to fear, and your message will eventually get through.

I always support the truth, believe me.

"Every politician runs on her record."

Only the women huh? How about the men, who are by far in the majority?

If only it were true that any politican ran on their record. We'd be in much better shape.

re: Scotti Griffin

Why didn't the search firm discover or else disclose the candidate's problems prior to an offer? Or did they?

Did the school system ever consider suing the search firm?

If Griffin was so wrong for being placed in the super position why was Dede not aware . She apparently conspired in secret with Griffin ,and both were blamed for flaming the flames of social discord . When the citizens finally got rid of Griffin Dede said she "tearfully accepted her resignation" . Is that good stewardship of public interest ? Is it in the public interest to advocate against rebuilding the reservoir dam ? NO ! NO !

Frank,

As someone who thinks the new dam in not in the public's best interest, I find it hard to be mad with Dede Smith about her stance. Everything I heard her say sounded well researched.

I want to hear about the Griffen deal.

Old Timer --As someone who has been around a long time haven't you encountered people who put themselve forward with a long speal against building and improving infrastructure . Generally they have a personal aganda and they play on folks paranoia . Roads that will save lives are opposed with religious fury . Often they can get the uninformed and gullable to buy into their negativism . This is the first i have heard of someone looking to get elected to office on a campaign curtail a generous supply of usable water . How do you feel leaving a legacy of century outdated water delivery system ?

Frank, If there's anyone here acting paranoid and hoping to play on the paranoia of others, I'd say its you. And talk about uninformed and "gullable"....

"Poor water and or short supply leads to poor health across the board . People drink bad alternatives . Anyone that can will move away. The economy goes downhill steadily. Decreasing population base turns the place into a ghost town so to speak . Higher crime rate,more police costs . The town becomes very depressed and dysfunctional as the brighter flee and others avoid it . Government sends officials out ,they shudder as they do their duty and scurry away with some rich stories and jokes about the area . "

The good news is that outside of Karl Ackerman and Walt Heinecke, most people in town have moved on from the Scottie Griffin saga and understand that no one involved in it INCLUDING Karl Ackerman Walt Heinecke et al came out smelling like roses. Both before during and after that episode Dede Smith proved herself as an intelligent, data-driven, passionate leader and many of us are thrilled that she is running for council. Go Dede!!!

Oh and the other good news is that outside of Frank Speaker, most people in town understand that the water plan the county officials railroaded through is a terrible way to ensure longterm water supply and that Dede's alternative solution would have provided JUST AS MUCH WATER at much lower cost and causing much less harm to the environment.

Please don't anyone believe the lies and personal attacks. Dede is going to do an excellent job on council and stand up for the city's interests unlike several of the current councilors.

Cookie Jar -- I wondered when you would show up and try to horn in on an intelligent conversation .

@ Yay ---The county folk are smart enough to know that an abundance of water is essential to grow crops,maintain animal/human health ,for industry,irrigation etc.etc. You can be thankful for their leadership in providing you food ,lumber,water,and many other essentials . There is no alternative to the dam . Just patchwork that will at best provide one tenth the volume of water the dam will provide . The patch work will cost approx 50 million dollars and the dam will cost approx 150 million .That is ten times volume of water for three times capital outlay .You do the math on the cheapest route . The patchwork is just that and may not actually provide the one tenth volume that the dam will . The dam will still be required ,however,albeit at a delayed emergency basis .

cookie jar --- For someone viewpoints who you hold in so great distain it is ironic you are always quoting me . Maybe you will actually learn something in the process ,also perhaps if you read some of Ted Genoways work that might help also .

Frank Speaker hahaha you've drunk the growth lobby's koolaid incredible that you actually believe that claptrap

Yay --Have you ever tried to live in a town with undrinkable water ,or unsufficient water for fire fighting,industrial,or residential usage ? If so you would hunger for anyone's koolaid hahahaha ...you wouldn't find anyone there peddling Dede's claptrap hahahaha as the town dies in urban blight hahahaha .....

The shrillness in this string is specially distressing given the seriousness with which all should be approaching the next City Council election.

Three people will be elected in November -- enough to constitute a new Council majority. All three will serve for four years -- much too long a tenure in my opinion. Throughout those four years, all three will make decisions that will affect all the rest of us far into the future not just with their votes but with their appointments to Planning Commission, BAR, and an array of other boards and bodies. (And those they appoint, unless criteria change radically, will continue to confuse appointment with anointment.) Further, all three will preside over a re-write of the so-called Comprehensive Plan -- never either a true plan or truly comprehensive but always an all purpose excuse for putting the interests of buzz word wielding builders and social theorists (for whom we're all so many lab rats) ahead of the rights and needs of citizens.

Political considerations should be irrelevant in such a situation. And that's especially true given how fundamental to quality of life our most pressing issues are. But we're stuck with a partisan system in which only one party is really viable. So it's up to each of us to do as individuals what the system actually discourages -- that is, to focus on candidates' core values and the likelihood of their being true to their values.

When I do that, my choices are Bob Fenwick and Dede Smith, two people no one could ever accuse of being partisan cronies or even political soulmates. Nor is either a partisan crony or political soulmate of mine. Nevertheless, both have shown me that they share the ultimate core value of holding public office. I refer to stewardship -- stewardship of the City's money (i.e. money extracted from all of us as higher-than-anywhere-else taxes), stewardship of the City's natural resources (now being discarded at an alarming rate), stewardship of the City's built heritage (of which we could never claim abundance), stewardship of the City's neighborhoods (the real, supportive ones formed by shared lives rather than the unreal, divisive ones drawn at City Hall), stewardship of the City's crucial infrastructure (everything from sidewalks to water-storage facilities) on which we all must rely.

But given the antic arithmetic of our elections combined with the Democrats' democracy-daunting loyalty oath, there is virtually no chance that both of my choices can be elected. And that would be true even if more than half the voters were to endorse both. So it seems entirely too likely to me that Charlottesville's City Council will continue for the foreseeable future to pursue an agenda driven by pet projects, pet theories, and pet developers. Serious stuff indeed.

@Antoinette W. Roades: "But given the antic arithmetic of our elections combined with the Democrats' democracy-daunting loyalty oath, there is virtually no chance that both of my choices can be elected. And that would be true even if more than half the voters were to endorse both...."

How exactly do you figure that?. And please spare everyone your overwrought melodrama. Would you prefer that the Dems throw wide the doors of their nomination process to everybody in town, thereby obviating the need for a general election altogether?

The local Democratic Party's nomination process is INCREDIBLY inclusive compared to any other local Party in the state (Dem or GOP). The fact that they have striven to be so inclusive (especially considering the weakness of the local GOP) is to be commended! They could just as easily hide behind locked doors and nominate their candidates in darkness - and STILL expect electoral success. So, if you cannot stomach their loyalty oath, by all means do not vote in the Democratic primary. But do not act as you are somehow being disenfranchised!

Frank,

"As someone who has been around a long time haven't you encountered people who put themselve forward with a long speal against building and improving infrastructure "

Of course I have. And I consider the dam and pipeline to be a classic case of those decisions being made for the benefit of those not only outside the district, but stand to profit directly off of greatly expanded infrastructure at someone else's costs. I live off of wells, and I have dealt with watering livestock in times of drought, and haying in wet years for dry years, so I understand using your resources better, not just throwing MORE at it, which is what you are talking about.

The massive project as hand has nothing to do with providing farmers with more water, but to develop the south side of Charlottesville into another morass of retirement condos, strip malls, and marginal developments for a possibly expanding UVA. Lack of water is the only thing that is keeping that area fairly pleasant, and untouched.

I see no reason why I, or anyone else, should be expected to pay for that foolhardiness.

Improvement of the infrastructure means fixing what we have, and making it more efficient. Then we'll see if we actually need more. When thats what happens, that's what I will support.

I've said it before: If you want to live in the county, then live in the County. If you want to live in a city, live in the City. Don't complain that you can't make the County look like the City.

@Old Timer: as for the Dede Smith-Scottie Griffin record, check out the archive at cvillenews.com. (Or google.) @ Yay Dede!: if the Scottie Griffin era was, as you put it, a "saga," and you are extolling Dede Smith's leadership during the saga, then this is discussion we need to have during her campaign. Either Dede Smith is proud of her leadership during the Scottie Griffin saga ("I stand by my record.") or she needs to address her role in the mess.

@Old Timer: as for the Dede Smith-Scottie Griffin record, check out the archive at cvillenews.com. (Or google.) @ Yay Dede!: if the Scottie Griffin era was, as you put it, a "saga," and you are extolling Dede Smith's leadership during the saga, then this is discussion we need to have during her campaign. Either Dede Smith is proud of her leadership during the Scottie Griffin saga ("I stand by my record.") or she needs to address her role in the mess.

Mr. Fictional TV Slacker-type Character:

Thank you for prompting me to check my own arithmetic. Doing so, I realize there is in 2011 a glimmer of hope that did not exist in 2009 without single-shotting. To wit:

Every voter who goes to the polls for a Charlottesville City Council election can cast as many votes as there are seats open. In '09, two seats were open. So, each voter could cast two votes.

Let's say that 100 people went to the polls in '09 and that 51 of them voted for Bob Fenwick while 49 cast a vote each for Democrats Kristen Szakos and Dave Norris. Had Fenwick voters stopped there, Fenwick would have been elected. But if only three Fenwick voters cast their remaining vote for Szakos and three more Fenwick voters cast their remaining vote for Norris, then Szakos and Norris would have been elected with 52 votes each and Fenwick would have been shut out (as indeed he was).

In 2011, however, three seats are open. So each voter has three votes, and it's therefore barely possible that a non Democrat like Bob Fenwick could squeeze in. But, of course, it's also possible that the squeezed out Democrat could be Dede Smith.

Communities across the country have come up with ways both creative and constitutional to avoid putting voters in the position of voting both for and against their own first choices in such elections. Ways can be found by Googling "proportional voting." But none of them will ever be found here, because the local Democratic Party would have too much to lose under such a system. (Voters can, of course, practice proportional voting by simply not casting extra votes -- that is, by single-shotting.)

The local party would have even more to lose with non partisan elections. For one thing, it would lose the advantage it has in a high turnover town where many newcomers and short timers consider themselves national Democrats and vote automatically for any candidate so labeled whether they know anything about the candidate or not. For another thing, the more powerful in the party would lose the ability to cull party members who challenge them in any way.

Those who look under the proverbial bus will find assorted thrown bodies, all of them belonging to candidates who actually won elections on the Democratic ticket -- e.g. Steve Deaton, Meredith Richards, Julian Taliaferro. Lots of non party members who voted in previous elections for those three were excluded from participating in the primary by which they were removed from consideration for reelection. And that's only one example of how the party system here disengranchise non party-member voters.

Charlottesville comprises 10 square miles and counts 40,000 souls give or take. The number of registered voters is small, the number who turn out smaller. The issues with which we contend here affect all of us. Our elected officials have a responsibility to all of us equally. National parties have no place in so small a body politic.

Old Timer ---I farm like yourself but have a home in the city live in both envions . It is easy to get set in ones ways as you say you are . You are just getting by waterwise and sort of saying to heck with anyone else . I have noticed that drought,fire,and all problems associated with a lack of water don't recognise civic boundries . You might take a look at the engineering studies and cost analysis of a fixer up compared to a new dam facility . It costs several times more per increased unit (gallon) by fixing up than by upgrading the dam . However,you are actually against any significant upgrade as you state you want things to pretty much stay the same . Your forefathers provided infrastructure for you but you don't want to pass the gift of an upgraded facility on . Instead you want to burden them with a big fix up bill . They will get the wasted money bill on the fix up that didn't fix anything plus they will be faced with paying for an urgently needed new dam . On your farm do you keep putting money into an old piece of junk or do you make the right choice to upgrade with something that is more efficient that can be relied on for the future ........

I didn't think Frank Speaker was local, but was instead brought to our local media sites by Morgan Harrington stories mentioned on BlinkOnCrime.

Miss Roades:

Where to begin...

"Communities across the country have come up with ways both creative and constitutional to avoid putting voters in the position of voting both for and against their own first choices in such elections. Ways can be found by Googling "proportional voting." But none of them will ever be found here, because the local Democratic Party would have too much to lose under such a system. (Voters can, of course, practice proportional voting by simply not casting extra votes -- that is, by single-shotting.)"

I don't need to Google anything. You must not be aware that the mean old City Dems' firehouse primary ALREADY uses a proportional voting system to determine its nominees. That's right, primary voters rank their choices in order and those choices are tabulated in rounds of counting (eliminating the highest and lowest vote-getters) until the appropriate number of nominees is achieved. Sorry to burst your bubble.

If you want to see a similar method tried city-wide, I suggest you call Sheri Iachetta. I suspect that you would hear more logistical arguments against it than partisan ones. But go right on ahead blaming the Dems.

"The local party would have even more to lose with non partisan elections. For one thing, it would lose the advantage it has in a high turnover town where many newcomers and short timers consider themselves national Democrats and vote automatically for any candidate so labeled whether they know anything about the candidate or not. For another thing, the more powerful in the party would lose the ability to cull party members who challenge them in any way."

Let's say that the local parties stopped nominating candidates for local office. If what you say is true about all of our clueless "newcomers and short timers" simply voting for anybody with a D, what is to stop every single candidate from claiming to be a Democrat? I daresay that we would find ourselves learning a lot less about the actual policy positions of potential candidates that way. Would that make you happy?

And please explain who these "powerful" Party Bosses are who are able to "cull party members who challenge them in any way." And how exactly do they "cull" these members? The last firehouse primary saw some sixteen-hundred voters cast ballots. Do you want to tell me how ANYBODY is able to manipulate such a process? I would LOVE to hear that!

"Those who look under the proverbial bus will find assorted thrown bodies, all of them belonging to candidates who actually won elections on the Democratic ticket -- e.g. Steve Deaton, Meredith Richards, Julian Taliaferro. Lots of non party members who voted in previous elections for those three were excluded from participating in the primary by which they were removed from consideration for reelection. And that's only one example of how the party system here disengranchise non party-member voters."

What a convoluted bunch of hogwash!! Is it completely lost on you that those officials were on a general election ballot IN THE FIRST PLACE because they had been NOMINATED by their Party!!?? By your rationale, Holly Edwards' decision to “remove herself from consideration for re-election”, has "disenfranchised" everyone who voted for or against her four years ago! Simply absurd.

Why do all of Smith's supporters want to just "move on" from the school board/supt. debacle. Politicians run on their record. The fact of the matter is that Smith, whose heart may be in the right place-I don't know, is merely an incompetent politician and she proved that during her tenure as school board chair. That cost the City about $ 300,000.00 of our tax dollars, caused a lot of racial tension in town, and was mismanaged. In fact Yay Dede should just thank Ackerman and Heinecke and the others who recognized the incompetence going on and lack of due diligence by the school board (only one of which is running for elected office) and who stood up to ludicrous accusations whipped up to further Smith's strange agenda. Ask any Cville school principal from that time and you'll get the truth. Thank goodness reason prevailed but at what cost. To blame Ackerman and Heinecke, who are not running for anything, for being out in front of Bob Gibson's reporting is just crazy talk attempting to deflect attention from Ms. Smith's record.

As to all the old time democrats who showed up to support Smith, they are the same ones who opposed the elected school board referendum (The Smith Act so to speak). That passed @ 75% so I am thinking that the wise voters of Charlottesville will put two and two together and realize that Smith's actions on the school board led to a lot of strife in the community, a waste of taxpayer monies, and the overwhelming move to an elected school board so that the Old Timers wouldn't keep screwing up the school's through elite control of the school board process. In the end the process led to a good thing, an elected school board that was even more diverse than the appointed one and the development of excellent candidates for Council like Galvin and Collette Blount, who I hope throws her name in the hat.

As to Dave Norris and his support for Smith, this blog has clarified that Smith's candidacy has brought out the worst in Cville politics, I won't add to that. I would only say that while I disagree with Dave on this one and believe his support is a bit myopic due to the water issue, I still respect and admire Dave and would vote for him again. I think a Council with Norris,Galvin, Blount, Szakos, and ? (not Smith) would be gang busters and would move the City forward.

Chuck Bartowski:

Given that you addressed me initially not to inquire but to insult, I have already extended you much more sense and civility than you are entitled to. Much more time, too. And that puts me in good company with the other earnest individuals who have dignified your heedless heckling with thoughtful response. All of your alleged questions have been answered many times over. Enough.

I have work to do and the College World Series to watch and am happy to do both knowing that so long as the local Democratic Party has you as a defender we independent critics can relax. (And by the way, I was the Press Secretary of the 1976 Democratic National Convention.)

Ms. Roades,
Insult??!! Heedless heckling??!! Please. At what point did I insult you other than to offer a challenge to your half-baked assertions about the local political process? I certainly did not call you names (a la "Mr. Fictional TV Slacker-type Character"). And you most certainly have NOT answered my questions. Instead, your skulking away in a snit leaves me to assume that you have no answers when called to account for your ill-conceived comments.

"And by the way, I was the Press Secretary of the 1976 Democratic National Convention."

Congratulations. You must assume that this thirty-five-old designation gives you some "special" insight into our little burg's current electoral practices (otherwise, why mention it?). If so, I beg to differ.

Go Hoos!

If one goes to the Democratic meeting Aug 20. What pledges in oral or writing are they going to ask for?

Old Timer said: "The massive project at hand has nothing to do with providing farmers with more water, but to develop the south side of Charlottesville into another morass of retirement condos, strip malls, and marginal developments for a possibly expanding UVA. Lack of water is the only thing that is keeping that area fairly pleasant, and untouched."

He is absolutely right. The current Albemarle BOS operates at the behest of Vandal Wood and other developers and bends over for UVA. The dam is a bad idea; we don't need it, and dredging will go a long way toward ensuring decent water for the foreseeable future. For my part, I am doing everything I can to make sure Paranoid Boyd and his friends aren't reelected.

@Sam: From the Cville Dems website...

All persons voting in the Caucus must sign a Democratic Declaration Form, attesting that the participant:
A. Is a Democrat;
B. Is a registered voter in the City of Charlottesville;
C. Believes in the principles of the Democratic Party; and
D. Does not intend to support any candidate who is opposed to a Democratic
nominee in the next ensuing election.

Fairly boilerplate stuff really. And nothing you wouldn't expect to sign if you plan to take part in any other Party's nomination caucus. Like I said earlier, if somebody has a problem with it, they should probably stay away.

Better yet, go, sign the form, vote as you please there, and then ignore the stupid pledge when you get to the polls.

I'm going to vote single shot for Fenwick, but I also plan to go to the nominating convention and vote for his weakest Democratic rival.

What happens if a candidate signs the pledge but then supports a non-dem. candidate?

I find it hard to believe that if a water plan supporter and parkway supporter gets nominated that the Dems in opposition (such as DeDe, Betty Mooney etc) will support the nominee. And vice versa for the pro water and pro parkway. The difference being there is no independent supporting either project but there are independents and socialist in opposition. And for Clerk Court, who ever gets nominated basically gets it.

i don't know much about Ms. Smith, but I know that the rswa has an absolutely horrible track record, I know that the water plan smells like a big gift to developers at the expense of the taxpayer and at the expense of promoting common sense stewardship of resources, I know that the parkway as currently sited will not benefit the city economically (except maybe in the form of a bigger bribe from the county if the latest strip mall makes them more tax revenue - or did they give that away as "incentives" so we could have another supermarket and movie theater?) nor help create a less auto-centric economy so we can save money on gas, nor will the location of the new ymca provide more benefit to most than does the current status quo. so anyone who is in favor of revisiting those bad decisions has a shot at my vote, including ms. smith.

Good point stew . As a city resident I see lots to fear if we elect more councilors that don't put their citizens first . What I care about is councilors that will protect our limited resources and protect us from higher taxes and utility bills. That looks like Smith to me and any others against the dam plan and giving away our parks for county growth.

I guess I disagree with everyone.

I think Dede Smith is on the right side of the dam issue, and was absolutely on the wrong side of the Scottie Griffin issue. She's smart and hard-working and I'd love to vote for her. But she's got some explaining to do on her disastrous tenure as school board chair.

@Citizen Party: "What happens if a candidate signs the pledge but then supports a non-dem. candidate?"

Absolutely nothing. Other than that everyone will know that their word is meaningless.

You also have to consider their level of support for that competing candidate. Nobody would begrudge them the right to vote their conscience in the privacy of a voting booth come election day (not that anyone would even know how they voted). But donating money, sticking up yard signs, driving around town with bumper stickers all over their car, or otherwise visibly endorsing another candidate would seem (to me at least) to violate the pledge. Of course, others may have a different interpretation. Or they may not care about the value of their own word.

The point of the oath is not to punish those who violate it, but to help ensure that the people participating in the nomination of the Party's candidates are at least nominally Democrats themselves. Otherwise, it ceases to be a DEMOCRATIC primary.

The local Democratic Party ceasing to be a DEMOCRATIC party would be a wonderful thing. No one would have ever voted for David Brown, Kristin Szakos etc., if not for their party affiliation alone and we have gained little or nothing by having that sort of person on Council.

Charlottesville would be a much better place if candidates for local office ran as independents and had to earn votes based on who they are and what they stand for rather than who their friends are.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion. However to be clear, sixteen-hundred "friends" voted in the last Democratic Council primary.

@Chuck Bartowski: "@Citizen Party: 'What happens if a candidate signs the pledge but then supports a non-dem. candidate?' Absolutely nothing. Other than that everyone will know that their word is meaningless."

What happens if a party member makes the pledge but then supports a non-dem supported candidate?

caroline
I am the cville delight, a true American patriot.
Maybe one day during a relaxing lunch or an early morning stroll on the mall we will have the opportunity to encounter one another, me with my made in the USA Arkansas alligator boots, Enro shirt, Pendleton jacket with the 22k gold chain connected to my 1910 solid gold railroad pocket watch, you will know its me when these blue eyes lock on to yours and look through that liberal shell your peers have put you in, right into your soul where I know there is also a real American patriot longing to be awakened.

stay tuned
so long

SSwwwiissshhhhh……..

lhasan2: you and I are more on the same page than you might imagine. I've never questioned Dede Smith's intelligence or her work ethic. But when someone has led so disastrously (as you put it) no amount of explaining can wipe the slate clean: I have watched Dede Smith closely, I have talked to her, I have talked to all the members of the School Board who worked with her, and I am finally left with the conviction that she simply does not have the personality, poltical acumen, or personal integrity for the job of city councilor--or mayor. During the Scottie Griffin debacle, Dede Smith never seemed to understand that, as chair of the School Board, it was her job--hers alone--to see that the public discourse at School Board meetings remained civil. It is quite a stunning thing (I say from personal experience) to be called a racist (a "redneck in white sheets") simply because you wish to have a public servant such as a school superintendent held accountable by the School Board for a growing list of serious grievances. LLet's be clear: Dede Smith says she remains proud of her leadership of the schools. Should we be surprised, if she is elected, if she brings the same divisive style of leadership to the city--on the water issue and all the other important challenges facing the city? "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

@Citizen Party...

Q: What happens if a candidate signs the pledge but then supports a non-dem. candidate? A: Absolutely nothing. Other than that everyone will know that their word is meaningless.

Q: What happens if a party member makes the pledge but then supports a non-dem supported candidate?"
A: Same thing. It is between them and their conscience (if they have one).

Karl Ackerman, I'd like to see who you think does have the personality, poltical acumen, and personal integrity for the job of city councilor. Why don't you tell us who you are supporting in this race, so we can compare.

I, like most of my friends, couldn't care a hoot what Karl Ackerman has to say, but having not paid attention during that time I found CvilleEye's comments at cvillenews.com insightful.

Cville Eye Jun 22nd, 2011 at 1:01 pm

“We have other things to worry about in our city like poverty, racism, economic development, our schools and the increasingly disenfranchised kids in them, the redevelopment process, public housing.” These issues are no more important to this community than the issues she has been working on for years.
@Karl Ackerman, you should be able to guess that I agree with every negative comment that have been posted on this blog about you and your actions. You know that all meetings dealing with personnel matters are closed to the public and are held “behind closed doors.” Yet you try to convince such naive people as truthtopower to think otherwise. I remember those Dr. Griffin days well - the hours you and Lictensomebody spent in school board meetings screaming at the school board about Dr. Griffin’s transfer of two elementary school teachers and calling her incompetent for doing so. Of course the school board met frequently because of your screaming at every meeting about this personnel matt5er. Every year teachers are transferred. Your behavior doing those months was despicable and it will come back on you and your family. Thank you, Former Teacher for your comments. Karl Ackerman is quick to spout out conclusions but he has always failed to give examples of the former superintendant’s incompetent actions because she was not here three months before he and his pack moved in for the kill. That’s why so few people applied to replace her.
Kathy Galvin? She has just voted to waste $36M in remodeling schools to move the fifth graders back to the elementary schools (in an effort to save money tax money supposedly) and now she wants to move onto Council to be in a position to get the money for this project. Other than the schools I have not seen where she has been interested in anything in this town and she will not be getting my support for anything."

Maybe Karl Ackerman should put all this negative energy to better use and write a book to provide some catharsis for himself.

Kathy Galvin voted with her School Board colleagues to close the upper elementary (grades 5 & 6) at Walker and move 5th graders back to the six elementary schools, and move 6th graders to Buford Middle school. The vote on Feb 17 was 7-0. It was absolutely the right thing to do, in line with how the vast majority of school districts around the country organize their divisions.

Kathy has my vote because she honest, collaborative, respects process and governance, and is not a one-issue candidate. All of Kathy's School Board colleagues stood behind her at her announcement to run for city council (except Colette Blount, who is a teacher). Leah Puryear, school board chair, introduced her.

Karl, there are two big issues that Galvin doesn't seem to want to talk about, the Meadowcreek Parkway and the water supply. Instead, she peddles fluff like "greener, smarter, stronger." We're talking abut an urban planner here. She really doesn't have an opinion on the greenest. smartest, strongest way to deal with those major issues? No way she's getting my vote like that.

@Karl Ackerman, Dede Smith is most certainly not a one-issue candidate. Unlike Galvin, she believes in preserving neighborhoods, historic resources, and actual green space (not the phony teensy pocket park variety that yuppie growth proponents like Galvin love).

Smith has worked her tail off on the water issue for years now, all as a volunteer. She's walked the walk and proven her dedication many times over. Galvin will be nothing more than another David Brown caving in to county interests. No thanks.

@City Resident, agreed.

Regarding Cville Eye's comment quoted above, many people who were present during that time have talked about the way Ackerman behaved then, and the terms "shouting" and "bullying" have come up repeatedly in the retelling. Where there's smoke, there's fire.

@Small is Enough: Don't believe the hype.

When whistle blowers do what is right, the conservatives come out and and protect their interest and demonize the whistleblowers.

Remember the City Council then was controlled by an old guard clique in the Party (same ones supporting Smith by the way). That Council, at that time, appointed the school board headed by Smith at the time and that school board screwed up-big time (just read the news reports from that time). When citizens brought it up there was resistance by the City Council and the school board to stand up and be accountable or to do anything to fix the problem. The Party people behind them egotistically would not admit failure nor be accountable to the public. SO Ackerman and many other citizens in the City joined together to say it loud enough for the Councilors to hear. That's when you saw Bob Gibson's reporting of the facts, and finally the City Council came to its senses and forced the school board to do the right thing, at a cost to the taxpayers. Then, right after that we had a referendum in which 73% of voters passed a referendum to move to an elected school board, something the party and the Council would have never done on their own. And we are better off for it.

That's your "shouting" and "bullying". One man's shouting and bullying is another man's democratic right to free speech and whistle blowing. Look how it turned out. History is on Ackerman's side. Open the eyes!

Ackerman's only reason for bringing it up now, I assume, is so that voters can use their conscience and vote on candidates' actual records of service. I have not forgotten Watergate or WMD, have you?

Bottom lime there are a lot of other candidates out there with records of excellent service on elected bodies. I say out with the old and in with the new.

The council already seems really divided and acrimonious, we don't need more of that. Vote for candidates who have been positive in their past service. Or are we going to go back and forth every election fighting over the water supply and the parkway? Some of you blame Ackerman for not moving on, come on.

@Small is Enough: Don't believe the hype.

When whistle blowers do what is right, the conservatives come out and and protect their interest and demonize the whistleblowers.

Remember the City Council then was controlled by an old guard clique in the Party (same ones supporting Smith by the way). That Council, at that time, appointed the school board headed by Smith at the time and that school board screwed up-big time (just read the news reports from that time). When citizens brought it up there was resistance by the City Council and the school board to stand up and be accountable or to do anything to fix the problem. The Party people behind them egotistically would not admit failure nor be accountable to the public. SO Ackerman and many other citizens in the City joined together to say it loud enough for the Councilors to hear. That's when you saw Bob Gibson's reporting of the facts, and finally the City Council came to its senses and forced the school board to do the right thing, at a cost to the taxpayers. Then, right after that we had a referendum in which 73% of voters passed a referendum to move to an elected school board, something the party and the Council would have never done on their own. And we are better off for it.

That's your "shouting" and "bullying". One man's shouting and bullying is another man's democratic right to free speech and whistle blowing. Look how it turned out. History is on Ackerman's side. Open the eyes!

Ackerman's only reason for bringing it up now, I assume, is so that voters can use their conscience and vote on candidates' actual records of service. I have not forgotten Watergate or WMD, have you?

Bottom lime there are a lot of other candidates out there with records of excellent service on elected bodies. I say out with the old and in with the new.

The council already seems really divided and acrimonious, we don't need more of that. Vote for candidates who have been positive in their past service. Or are we going to go back and forth every election fighting over the water supply and the parkway? Some of you blame Ackerman for not moving on, come on.

PS. When I look at photos of the candidate announcements for Smith and Cannon, I see Kevin Lynch and Dave Norris. This makes me think they are trying to put together a ticket to undo the dam decision. If they are shopping for a third candidate to join them on that, it is transparently just the "roll back the dam" ticket. I hope any third candidate they court thinks twice about joining this ticket and what they would owe the others when they could win without selling themselves. I think there are candidates out there and one to come who could win on their own without having to make such a deal.

Our elections have been pretty independent in the past, but now the acrimony over the water issue is driving the whole election (and I don't even necessarily agree 100% with the dam decision). That is sad, as there are other pressing needs in the City. I hope other candidates maintain their independence and don't get sucked into the myopia and the acrimony. Is this about the city's best interests or about sour grapes for losing on the dam issue? If that what happens it will make me rethink my strategy and I may end up voting for the candidate that voted for the dam (which I was not planning on doing, but might because I don't like the taste of this direction)

Whoops, my last post should have said:

@truthtopower says:

"PS. When I look at photos of the candidate announcements for Smith and Cannon, I see Kevin Lynch and Dave Norris. This makes me think they are trying to put together a ticket to undo the dam decision. If they are shopping for a third candidate to join them on that, it is transparently just the "roll back the dam" ticket. I hope any third candidate they court thinks twice about joining this ticket and what they would owe the others when they could win without selling themselves. I think there are candidates out there and one to come who could win on their own without having to make such a deal.

Our elections have been pretty independent in the past, but now the acrimony over the water issue is driving the whole election (and I don't even necessarily agree 100% with the dam decision). That is sad, as there are other pressing needs in the City. I hope other candidates maintain their independence and don't get sucked into the myopia and the acrimony. Is this about the city's best interests or about sour grapes for losing on the dam issue? If that what happens it will make me rethink my strategy and I may end up voting for the candidate that voted for the dam (which I was not planning on doing, but might because I don't like the taste of this direction)"

and I agree.

Copied and pasted and hit submit too soon

Norris pimping out Dede will do him no good especially when people stand up for progress .

@Citizen Party, " Our elections have been pretty independent in the past,..." Where have you been?
@Karl Ackerman, I have read the articles in the local papers filled with charges against Dr. Griffin that were never substantiated by you or Bob Gibson. You frequently describe Griffin as a bully - where's your evidence. You said she intimidated principals - how many that did not need to be intimidated? You said she bullied the #3 person in Central Office - who said she was #3? Are you suggesting the woman was hired by Dr. Griffin so that Griffin could play cat and mouse with her? If so, then why get rid of her? The school board made it clear to her that #3 would have to leave the system at the end of the school which should have been enough time for her to look for employment elsewhere. You also have spoken of lawsuits brought by and brought against Dr. Griffin - what were they about?
As you know well, School Board members are not allowed by law to discuss personnel matters in public (Council isn't either), so why are you continuing to ask Ms. Smith to break the law?
It seems after the school board voted 7 - 0 to spend $36M to remodel the schools, Galvin and Blount wish to move to Council in order to see to it that the schools get the money to do so. Why is this necessary? Because the impetus for the reorganization was to save money as suggested in a study. However, how is spending $36M saving money? It seems like it's spending money to me. In 1974, the 6th graders were move from Jefferson School to Walker and Buford Middle Schools and it cost several hundred thousands of dollarsI. Moving the 5th grade in with the 6th grade certainly did not cost $36M either. I suspect Galvin and Blount are single-issue candidates who think money is no object. Karl Acerman may take the position that because the vote for this expenditure was 7 - 0, it must be a good idea. I personally think the board lost sight of what it was trying to accomplish. Just how many times we are going to re-configure our grades? This is not an example of thoughtful leadership; it's more of an example of "not seeing a dollar that they did not want to spend." My elementary school had 1st through 7th and it did not affect my education one iota. Why? Because we had grade-separated classrooms.

@ Cville Eye: So I am hearing that you think Scottie Griffin was a GOOD hire? Apparently you are alone on this one--I'd imagine if Dede Smith thought Scottie Griffin was a good hire, she would say so.

The Daily Progress archives aren't on-line, but I did find this on Waldo Jaquith's cvillenews.com site, quoting a key Bob Gibson article:

“When members of the Charlottesville School Board hired Scottie Griffin as the city’s school superintendent, did they check out her background?”

“Did they know that Griffin had sued the Flint, Mich., school system in 1999 and that the suit was settled behind closed doors?”

“Did they know that about 30 students and two parents had picketed outside Flint’s Dort Elementary School when Griffin was principal there asking that she be removed from her position?”

“Did the Charlottesville School Board know when they hired Griffin from New Orleans that she was being sued there in federal court?”

“Did anyone in Charlottesville know that two months after Griffin started in New Orleans that Clay had informed her she was requesting a transfer away from Griffin “due to intolerable working conditions?”

Waldo writes: "The list goes on, and on, and on. Some folks here on cvillenews.com had done some homework on Griffin and dug up a couple of these things, but obviously the Progress has been hard at work, because, as I said: damn."

In another post, Waldo writes: “Frankly, though, between Bob Gibson’s piece in Sunday’s Progress and The Hook’s discoveries in this week’s issue (I can’t find the article on their website, but they got a copy of Griffin’s resume and — hoo boy — it’s a humdinger), I can’t see why she’d want to stick around. She’s essentially been exposed as, at best, incompetent. Seven jobs in ten years, four of them she left midway through the school year, two lawsuits (one of them brought by a black subordinate, FWIW), and no real accomplishments to her name… Why continue in this line of business?”

Did you every see Scottie Griffin's resume, Cville Eye? I saw it in August 2004, a month after she was hired. (Dede Smith saw it before she was hired.) It is a humdinger. 7 jobs in 10 years! Why on earth did we hire someone who had had 7 jobs in 10 years without doing our own background search? The bottom line is that if Dede Smith, as the leader of the school division, knew the checkered past of our superintendent and chose to do nothing when the fireworks began in the summer of 2004, then she is fully responsible for all that went wrong that school year; if she did not know (if she didn't read the resume or pay attention to the poor decisions and staff discontent, then she is unqualified to hold a position of leadership on the city council.

@Cville Eye, We don't usually have sitting council members endorsing candidates. Think of the consequences if their candidates lose, conflict ridden councils. You obviously have not done a careful reading of the Progress and Hook's coverage of the Supt. debacle. Whether # 3 was # 3 or not is the point, and she was the third ranking Asst. Supt. Read what she wrote in her letter published online. She was being bullied. She wasn't hired to play cat and mouse, she was hired and then could not take the treatment, its all in her open letter. The fact that the school board board cut her loose was just more evidence of bullying by the school board. She blew the whistle and got punished for it. Go back and use google and you will see what the lawsuits were all about, it doesn't take much digging. Your ideology is clouding your ability to see the facts.

As far as the schools go the entire board and the supt. did their diligence on the reconfiguring decision. They had plenty of good citizen input. All fiscal conservatives dislike any decision to spend money even when it is necessary to support the common good. I find it fascinating that when a school district starts to serve more minority students than Anglos, no one wants to spend money on making them nice places to learn. A good education is not cheap, and we shouldn't be short changing our kids. I disagree, Galvin and Blount are not single issue candidates just bec. they are on school board. Look at their campaigns it is clear they are not. Smith looks like an anti-dam candidate and that's about it.

deleted by moderator

Dede is definately a one issue candidate worse still she is wrong on her one and only issue .Some people got a lot of nerve to put themselves out there expecting people to vote for them .