Oh Ward...

It seems that Valerie Garner, from The Countryside Neighborhood Alliance, has uncovered a slice of the past.

She has laid her hands on an article from Nov. 5th, 1997 about the voting down of a potential Ward system in Roanoke.

You can read the article here, with accompanying map.

What's really interesting is the fear-mongering and dis-information that led to the Ward system being voted down (at least as reported by the article).

"More than any city campaign in years, the wards vote brought the city's establishment into open conflict with scrappy, populist types such as the Roanoke Education Association and the NAACP. Powerful lawyers, wealthy Roanokers and business executives worked hard against wards. They noted that voters who now get to cast ballots for all seven council members would have had just three votes under a ward system - ones for the candidate from their ward and one each for mayor and vice mayor.

Ward detractors also called forth an image of Chicago in the days of ex-Mayor Richard Daley - a city of back-room deals and corrupt, cigar-chomping, ward-healing politicians. They warned that council members would be fighting over provincial matters within ward borders instead of promoting the larger interests of the city."

Well - the only good thing is now we need not worry about the Mayor Daley references, as we are rife with back room deals even without the ward system. But I am saddened to hear the twisted math of 7 votes vs. 3. 7 votes that gain you little, vs 3 that might actually accomplish something.

Must be some of that new math that makes 3 useful votes seem like a bad thing.

You know as well as I do, Roanoke needs some form of locality based representation. This "at large" system is only playing to those with "vested areas." Like SoRo, Old SW, and even to a certain extent NW.

10 years later, maybe it's time to do it all again?



It is with a heavy heart that I take down the Jean Shepherd Odeo Player - hopefully temporarily.

Due to the rising cost of gas around here - I brought back the VirginiaGasPrices.com Gas Buddy.

With oil topping $97 bucks a barrel today, and gas hitting $2.99 on Electric Rd. I thought I would try and help out with finding some deals on gas.

Looks like the Roanoke ShareBike program could not come at a better time. I just do not look forward to attempting to pedal home with Christmas presents.