RVA Dirt New Years Eve 2016 Festivities.
Levar Stoney has said over and over that he views the role of Mayor as "Grand Convener" so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that he had a role in getting the stakeholders together to talk. But I was surprised at at the Mayoral Debate that night, he did not mention his role in the conversation.
To me, the whole set up is unsettling and/or anxiety inducing. We have been talking about the need for focusing on funding RPS for how long? And how many years have we gone back and forth on the stadium issue? Don't get me wrong, I am glad that if a conversation is going to happen, it is about the Boulevard; however, I feel like residents and mayoral candidates alike who have been crying out to focus on the basics. I feel like Stoney's role in facilitating the conversation is picking at an unhealed wound and is not listening to the people crying out for elected officials to fund our schools. Even in the early stages, the conversation does not feel transparent.
Maybe my gut instinct to be distrustful is wrong but it brings a healthy dose of scrutiny to the table. This is either a really bad Inception-style dream or we are living out Groundhod Day.
Several weeks ago, we at RVA Dirt published an endorsement for RVA Coffee Stain to be our next Mayor of Richmond. Now, we want to let all of our readers know who we will not be endorsing--- Jon Baliles. I know Jon basically saved us from Shockoe Stadium... I know he is the only candidate with a clear funding plan for RPS... I know he loves Richmond... but RVA Dirt will not endorse him. Before you throw your computer out of a window and hunt me down to tell me I am wrong; hear me out. If Jon Baliles is our next mayor, RVA Dirt will cease to exist because there will be no drama to talk about! How do you live tweet a mayor who listens to Richmond residents? Jon is so Richmond his last name is basically Belle Isle. I dug deep in the deep recesses of google to find the worst of the worst dirt on Jon to show exactly what a Mayor Baliles administration could look like. Read through the damning evidence and decide for yourself.
For those of you who did not know, somewhere between his time as Governor's son and working in City Hall, Jon was a local blogger who went by the nickname "Snoopy." Now, I can't hate on someone doing what I do now... but seriously, Snoopy? Woodstock was far better of a Peanuts character. I get it, he "snooped." I am willing to retract this criticism if he tells me that he picked Snoopy because in this metaphor Richmond is Charlie Brown, private developers are Lucy pulling the football away at the last minute, and Jon/Snoopy is Richmond's stable friend who daydreams a lot.
Speaking of blogs... JON BALILES WROTE HIS BLOG IN A CENTRIST VOICE? For shame sir. For shame. You are a terrible rightie. Maybe that is because you identify as Democrat.... but anywho.
In 2012, Baliles beat Bruce Tyler by 20 votes when he went on a full blown attack over an expensive alley. Doesn't he know Bruce Tyler's alley has needs? Maybe my Northside alley doesn't have the same drainage problems and doesn't need an expensive alley. Not everyone needs the Taj Mahal of alleys! Only Bruce and his neighbors needed one!
Bruce Tyler got rude with Jon's mom at Council and he didn't go full blown Fighter-for-the-People on him? He kept his cool??? Well, now Richmond knows who to practice their best yo mamma jokes on.
Jon Baliles felt safe in City Hall. There were 130 calls for disorderly conduct over the period of one year over all 19 floors and Baliles didn't notice? Where was he during all of these calls? Was he hiding out in his office doing work? Didn't even stick his head out to see what the commotion was about?
Ugggghhh I know Jon took the bus to City Hall a lot but does he not know how much time these traffic circles waste when I am cruising the city in my car? Well, at least he answers constituent emails (here's looking at you, Ellen).
Baliles, why you got to point out facts about Richmond being different today? Over there respecting rights while speaking out about Richmond moving forward beyond being the capital of the Confederacy. SMH.
This one speaks for itself. Baliles wasted so much time fighting to block Mayor Jones's Shockoe Stadium proposal. Why wouldn't he just let it go. Sixth Street Marketplace wasn't that bad... it was just ahead of it's time. It totally would have worked out if he let it play out. GOSH. Why would he spend time fighting to save Richmond from financial ruin???
Apparently Jon received a request to erect a memorial sign so he talked to the neighbors and civic association. He made a tough decision that favored the opinions of residents in the area. The easy answer would have been approving the sign but there Jon went... asking residents their opinions and listening to them instead of folding like a cheap suit. If he stopped listening and took the easy way out, he could spend more time catering to private developers!
See what I mean? RVA Dirt would be ruined if we elected a mayor who spent his time working, listening to residents, advocating for Richmond, and fighting against cronyism. It would be four years of us tweeting photos of the blind dog Jon adopted being BFFs with their deaf cat. While I am an extraordinary freelance pet photographer, there are only so many photos you can take before you wander into the abyss of pet costumes. No one wants to see me dress up the Duchess of Windsor Farms like Marty Jewell. Before you vote on November 8th, please spend some serious time imagining a world where RVA Dirt didn't exist and City Hall ran smoothly and addressed the city's needs. Is that the kind of world you want to live in? Vote your conscious.
A spooky tale of Jack Berry and the O.G. Boondoggle (warning: scary content. reader discretion advised). - written by Jessee Perry, edited by Melissa Vaughn
Connecting the dots on Jack Berry's opinion of the Redskins training camp. Written by Jessee Perry and edited by Melissa Vaughn.
And then I asked... how can Bruce Tyler, Lawrence Williams or Bobby Junes win?
Analysis of the CNU Mayoral poll to hypothesize on possible outcomes if candidates drop out of the race.
RVA Dirt announces first endorsement.