Pat Napoleon addresses City Council to say she can't understand one of its members.
Satyendra Huja acknowledges that he has an accent, and says he's trying to do better.
PHOTO BY HOOK STAFF
It was business as usual during public comment at the July 18
Council meeting, until one citizen veered from typical issues,
such as the Meadowcreek Parkway and the water plan, to raise a new
concern, one that stunned councilors and led to accusations of
xenophobia, government stifling of free speech, and a parliamentary
vote of confidence.
City Council regular Pat Napoleon had finished her comments
about the Parkway and used the rest of her three minutes to address
"I must relay a serious concern relating to a sitting member of
Council," said Napoleon. "Others and I have been unable to
[Satyendra] Huja's comments at City Council meetings and forums
for years. It is the right of citizens to hear and comprehend what
is going on during official meetings."
Huja, former Charlottesville director of strategic planning,
worked for the city for 27 years and was instrumental in creating
the Charlottesville of today with its Downtown Mall, flowers, and
trees. He was born in India 69 years ago, elected to City Council
in 2007, and seeks a second term at the August 20 Democratic
Napoleon suggests that any elected officials who could not be
understood should hire a translator at their own expense.
"It is crucial citizens...