Charlottesville Breaking News
By Rob Schilling
A 32-year reign of engineered, single-seat black representation on Charlottesville’s City Council crashed to a screeching halt on Sunday, August 21 with the early morning release of results in Charlottesville’s Democratic Firehouse Primary. In their wake, racial turmoil and long overdue electoral reform increasingly are likely.
Colette Blount, assumed successor to the “black crown” on Charlottesville’s all Democrat and historically white City Council, has lost her electoral bid, reportedly finishing fifth in a field of seven candidates. Only the top three vote-getters can appear on the November general election ballot where the finalized Democrat slate is predestined for victory.
Blount’s defeat puts Charlottesville’s primarily white Democrat committee and the city’s black com...
On August 2, Piedmont YMCA CEO Denny Blank says, he was in a meeting with the contractor who was going to build the new $15 million, 72,000-square-foot YMCA facility in McIntire Park when he got the news.
"We were very, very close," says Blank. "Their bid came in at $180 a square foot, a great price, and we were ready to get rolling."
That's when Blank got word that the Virginia Supreme Court had agreed to hear the so-called Charlottesville Area Fitness Club Operators Association's appeal of dismissal of their lawsuit against the County, which claims they were illegally locked out of the bidding process for construction of a public fitness facility. That lawsuit, and another against the City, were both dismissed in local courts.
"We were stunned by this," says Blank. "It's all because of one man's personal greed, one man trying to block this project because he's afraid of losing his monopoly."
Blank says that ACAC owner Phil Wendel told a YMCA representative [correction: in a previous version of this story it said that Wendel told Blank this directly, but that was misreported] that he would accept the local court's decision and that he "just wanted his day in court."
"But he didn't like the outcome," says Blank. "The sad part is that the community is the real loser here."