Words failed me

Sure, there was much to be said last week. I was in the process of putting together a nice post recapping the week in my head for the weekend.

Saturday morning everything was derailed.

I had barely skimmed the entire paper on Saturday morning, opting to head straight for the "Letters to the Editor" as I usually do. The wife alerted me to something I missed, on the front page of the Virginia section.

GOP will sit out Roanoke elections.

Now, thankfully I have very large very sturdy coffee cups, as I slammed the one in my hand down on the table in disgust and shock.

Not one person to run for ANY of the open seats, including that of Harris. Disgraceful.

To me, this means all these guys, and these guys, are failures and directly to blame.

If ever you needed a better reason to gain candidates and stir up the pot of dissent against the current administration - you couldn't find one than the current state of the City.

Well, once again - we, the people, have been failed by our "leaders." Now our only hope is some decent, sane and strong independents to guide us. March 4th is the deadline for that, so let's get busy folks - and don't forget - the election board has to count write-in votes too.

The Burcham-crats, or Harris-crats, or Piece-o-Crats have the upper hand for now. But they also have all the baggage and damage control. They can, and for the good of the city, must be replaced.

Or do I need to go from door to door with a lantern looking for that one semi-honest, pissed off man to run.

And before I get the obvious comment of "why don't you run" - who says I am not?

I have made no declarations as of yet.

But shame on the Republicans... pitiful.


Jeff St Real said...

Hey there. I haven't chimed in for awhile, because, hey, what do I know?

But I'm thinking the lack of Republican opposition may be a sign of two things:

1) People are much happier with the current direction of the city than you think.

2) Republican's nationwide are throwing in the towel.

If David Bowers gets in the mix as an independent I think he has a real good shot at council (not mayor - he would lose that again). I also think Bev Fitzpatrick is going to get the boot.

RoanokeFound said...

Well, I'd sorta like to agree with you - but unfortunately - you know #1 is not true.

Anyone who thinks the citizens of Roanoke are happy with the council is delusional. The citizens have more likely given up on the Council and the likelihood of anything they want happening. And that's the word on the street. Explains why turnout is so low at the elections.

#2, perhaps. The party sucks right now - it doesn't really stand for anything - but thats all going to change eventually.

The only way Fitz can get booted is if he does not get the nod to begin with. And that seems slightly unlikely - otherwise, there will be no reason to bother voting this time around for Council or Mayor as all races will be uncontested. Even with Bowers.

Anonymous said...

Your average Democrat here. I'm so disillusioned and disgusted with the options being thrown at me for Saturday's firehouse primary (to be held at Patrick Henry HS) that I'm not even going to bother. None of them have come right out and say what they "will" do.

oldbag said...

I almost agree with Anonymous, but my dearly-departed granny voted by absentee ballot from her hospital bed rather than miss having her say. I have to uphold the family tradition!

That said, I identify with the Democrats because the Republicans got too involved in things I consider deeply personal and not for public abuse: religion, sexuality, medical procedures. In terms of city politics, I don't think there is much reason for any kind of party label. Certainly it is useful if the city leadership aspires to more within the state organization, but beyond that, it's pretty superfluous.

Looking at the line-up, I am tired of the preacher who wants to be the white Noel Taylor. I am tired of Bev Fitzpatrick and his trolley dreams. I'm glad he finally has a job at the Transportation Museum. It's something he's passionate about but it's time for him to get out of politics.

As to the rest of the line-up, well, let's discuss for a moment the fact that we'd already have an amphitheater if Linda Wyatt hadn't changed her vote. The reason she gave a friend of mine was sheer petulance,but my friend, a veteran of Hizzoner da First Mare Daly of Chicagga's politics, is a doubting Thomas from word go. She's a cynic, I admit, but her idea made me wonder...could it be that Berglund bought her off? Now if you want to take the conspiracy theory a little farther, now that they have the votes, why hasn't Council revisited that and gone ahead and built the darn thing?

Looking at the rest of the field, Alex Ballin is a sweet kid, but he couldn't muster enough controversy to disagree with Fralin on anything. I'd prefer he get out in the world and live a little before trying to get into politics. He's a smart one, comes from a really nice family and all that, but he's as green as a shamrock.

Anita Price is a nice lady. Her husband is a contractor who has had his gripes with the city. Conflict of interest, maybe? My cynic friend, who used to teach with her, says that when she was REA president, it became a church lady social club rather than a hard-hitting advocate for the teachers. Given the way the teachers were taking it on the chin, she makes a good point. They finally began voting with their feet and that's what got everyone's attention - not the efforts of the REA. If she couldn't galvanize the teachers when they most needed to be activated, then why would she be a good leader for City Council?

Court Rosen hasn't been a resident for very long, but he was endorsed by the business leaders. That made me suspicious, but I'm willing to give him a listen.

Sherman Lea. sigh. Nice guy. Big mistake to cast his lot with Wishneff. Now he's had to suck up to the rest of the Democrats to get back into their good graces. If he was dumb enough to get sucker-punched with the Victory Stadium bandwagon, what other dumb initiative will he agree to in an effort to get along with the other kids in the sandbox?

So, yeah. This is hard. I'm hoping there will be a couple of true independents out there just because the Burcham Machine needs to be challenged in order to keep it as honest as possible. I apologize for the length of this, but the bloggers need to have their say!

Al said...

I tend to agree that there is no place for D's and R's in local government. As to citizens being satisfied with the current mix...sure do not agree with that at all. What we have in Roanoke is an "organization" parading under a party banner because that party has the machinery to succeed in local elections and that machinery is oiled by the money from the "business community", medical establishment and a few other well heeled individuals. The reason there are not more contenders is that they do not have the connection to the money. The current city council is the FACE of Roanoke but really not the people calling the shots. Those folks are behind the curtins putting their plans in place and pulling the chains of the pupet "government". So who will win this "primary"?
1. Harris 100% certain
2. Cranwell 85% Certain
Harris is setting the stage to get his payback from Daddy Dickey when the good mayor wants to advance to the next level.
3. Price 75% certain
A new face, the right race and gender to bootie, political lightweight and can be controlled.

4. This is a hard call. FitzP is a bouncing bozo and maybe he has gotten too goofy to satisfy the string pullers. He will win, IF Harris wants to keep him around. Lea will be replaced by Price. The Lea Harris relationship is too strained for Harris to allow him back. Giving him the boot will show Harris' "control".

So my number 4 will be
Bozo Bev at 51 % certain.
But I'll leave the door open to one of the youngsters at 49% certain.

Lauren said...

Hey all - I too won't vote for many of the candidates running for council. At least take a few minutes to meet one or two - and then make up your mind. There is a meet and Greet tomorrow night - My husband and I arranged for our friend Court Rosen. Good guy - new to Roanoke (which is great)... YOUNG - worked in DC for years - and has lots of good ideas. Not going to promise something he can't deliver - but please come meet him:


Come meet and greet COURT ROSEN, Candidate for City Council

Where? Blue 5 Restaurant (312 Second Street, Downtown)

When? 5:15 - 7:15 pm Thursday Feb 7, 2008

Why? Because for once, you can get to know who you are voting for…

Snacks will be provided

More info: rosenforcouncil2008.blogspot.com

Lauren Ellerman

Al said...

Just a word or two for your info from my point of view. If you are a good person and have a lot of good ideas, that's not going to get you very far with the Harrisites. In fact, I'm not sure they really want "thinkers", prefering people like Dowe, Mason and such. But then if you are "bright" and promising (but not threatening) you may be able to connect with the Harrisites but you must be willing to get in line and do as you are told. Not good in my view. There remain a lot of various groups that have been walked on by Harris and company. If you could ever connect these various "factions" into one "organization" I think you could win. And there is a desire to see new "younger" people involved. The question will be, if elected, do you retain you identity and hold true to your own views AND LISTEN TO THE CITIZENS...
OR are you just another Harrisite?

Anonymous said...

How could anyone vote for Choo Choo Fitz after he was quoted as saying Roanoke was a hobby to him? Give him a toy train and keep him away from city council.

Al said...

Say, speaking of FitzP. Someone told me a study was done by NS (?) on why his
Transportation "playground" was doing so poorly and the conclusion was "bad management"....where that story?

RoanokeFound said...

To be perfectly fair about the VMT - Bev is not the management they were referring to. It was the past director, Dills or whatever his name was. The guy who directed the 125th Kickoff celebration, and then got stabbed in the back by Darlene.

It's mostly a funding issue now.

Al said...

Darn! But then again, why be fair? It's a lot more fun to beat up on FirzP! Is the report public?