LETTER- Fixing Fifeville; Cox rocks

I was impressed with the [Cover story: "Nicing Dice: But at what price?" September 25, 2003] by Courteney Stuart, regarding Fifeville.

I understand why Mayor Cox is "incensed" by resistance to improvements of houses in Fifeville: We all know someone who has bought and fixed up an undervalued house in Charlottesville, subsequently selling it for a profit. Why not improve the houses in any neighborhood?

There's no "gentry" moving into Fifeville– they live in the county. The only gentry in Fifeville have been the drug dealers and the slumlords who pack multiple tenants into ill-maintained, abused houses that were built as single family structures. The neglect of this neighborhood by police and other municipal authorities was a scandal: This rich small city did not become "Sweet-Town" without a consensus by those in the power structure that resulted in fear and tragedies for residents of certain streets.

Aaron Wunsch, "a graduate student in architectural history" (not urban planning or sociology) from who knows where, who lives not in Fifeville, has got it all wrong, both in the article and in his letter of the subsequent week ["Call it gentrification," October 9, 2003] where he postulates that maybe "low-end" renters will be "re-housed at the City's fringe." He's worried about too many rich people in Fifeville and too many poor people in Albemarle County?!

We need to change our laws to allow Mayor Cox to remain mayor after his term expires. He is the best.

Mark Gruber
Charlottesville

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