Goodbye, dredging? Brown, Huja, Szakos opt for mega-dam

news-hujaszakos-i1For months, Brown (inset) has been asserting that dredging won't supply enough water. Huja and Szakos now officially agree.

In September, Charlottesville City Council took a stand in favor of dredging to create more local water supply. But on Tuesday, January 18, the same day that one Albemarle Supervisor alleged that dredging might unleash potentially damaging fumes, City Council took a vote that appears to give Albemarle County and the Nature Conservancy what they want: a mega-reservoir to focus the local water supply in a massive lake that would hug Interstate 64.

Talking about the sacrifices made by previous generations, City Councilor Satyendra Huja–- long the issue's acknowledged swing vote–- gave an impassioned speech in favor of building a large dam in the Ragged Mountain Natural Area. A moment later, fellow Councilor David Brown made a motion favoring the construction of a 30-foot increase in the height of the existing dam, a project that might require clearing 160 acres of mature forest. Councilor Kristen Szakos followed suit with a thumbs-up of her own.

Mayor Dave Norris and fellow Councilor Holly Edwards voted against the dam plan. But what does it all mean?

"Ratepayers will have to pay a lot more," said a clearly perturbed Rebecca Quinn, a water resources engineer who has been speaking out in recent months, asserting that future water projections are based on outdated data.

"It may not be a steak and lobster plan," said Quinn recalling some language once employed about an even larger dam plan, "but it may be Chilean sea bass. It's still way more than what we need for 50 years."

Quinn pointed out that ever since the record-setting 2002 drought, consumers have dramatically curtailed their water use. Indeed, a recent Hook study of over a decade of figures found that total use has fallen 22 percent despite a nine percent climb in population and a 20 percent spike in the number of customers.

But Huja talked of the University of Virginia's recently-announced discussion about expanding faster than in the past, and he said that UVA demand will more than double from 1.5 to 3.1 million gallons per day. Already, UVA–- whose chief executive, Leonard Sandridge, declared his preference for a new dam in December–- consumes 31% of the water sold by the City.

Huja said that he didn't know when he cast his pro-dredging vote in September that the Virginia Department of Water Quality would reject Mayor Norris' dredge-centric plan. Later in the meeting, Norris said the DEQ never rejected his plan. But Huja's calculus clearly fell on receptive ears of two colleagues.

Councilor David Brown has long alleged that UVA and Charlottesville have already achieved the bulk of their water-conservation efforts–- that the community has already plucked the "low-hanging fruit," as Brown once put it. In Council, Brown spoke of the 30-foot dam increase as a good compromise since Norris had suggested 13 feet while the Albemarle Supervisors pressed for 45 feet.

"You sold out the city," an outraged Dede Smith told the Council. "The only role you have to play is to defend the city, and you failed us." [MP3-audio]

Another angry citizen, seeming to doubt Councilor Szakos' knowledge of the issue, asked how many years of water a 30-foot dam might provide. Szakos defended her vote as an attempt to bring closure to the debate and "a way to move forward."

"But I asked a specific question," the citizen, engineer Richard Lloyd, shouted from the gallery.

"You had your time; this is mine," responded Szakos, declining to answer the question.

Mayor Norris said after the vote that the majority's action renders dredging–- something he touted as a simple maintenance operation–- superfluous in the wake of such a massive reservoir.

"I'm disappointed," said Mayor Norris. "But that's democracy."

Reached the following day, Albemarle Board of Supervisors Chair Ann Mallek, pronouncing herself "very glad" about the vote, said she looks forward to "keeping the conversation going."

Mallek is the one who made the comment about methane as an environmentally unfriendly byproduct of dredging, and she says she has seen the gas bubbling up from a lake on her own property. While she doubts it swayed anyone on Council, Mallek says some of the environmental aspects of the dam plan haven't received fair treatment.

For instance, she says that newly-planted trees–- which will be part of multi-million-dollar effort to mitigate the clear-cut forest at Ragged Mountain–- actually sequester more carbon than "older trees that are just hanging out."

Mallek says she hopes that Council's vote for a 30-foot dam gets a little tweaking toward her goal of a still-higher dam. "It's still very sensible," she says, "to do the 42-foot construction even if only filling it 30 feet."

Next steps in the quest for a new reservoir, Mallek says, include obtaining updated data on the I-64 embankments and deciding between a concrete or earthen dam. Another looming decision involves allocating costs between Charlottesville and Albemarle water consumers. Already, County officials have committed their citizens to paying nearly a million dollars for the design of an earthen dam.

"I don't want any City residents to feel," says Mallek, "like they're paying for growth in the County."

-–updated 2:21pm Wednesday, January 19 with Mallek comments and again at 3:45pm with Huja's


@NBM -So you are calling me spineless for not revealing my name but haven’t revealed yours as well? Well played Old timer, well played indeed.


I think Old Timer's point is that those who are actually responsible for organizing support/protest in a public manner shouldn't then hide once they get to The Hook. We know who Betty Mooney and Richard Lloyd are, and when they come on here they reference their sites. What they say here matches what they say in other public spaces.

I don't think Old timer has been publicly doing things like Lloyd, or Mooney, or you got some time on the Schilling Show, didn't you?

Conservatives don't despair, my crystal ball sees a coup in the making. Next election the spend thrift dam builders will be overthrown and the thrifty dredge fans will be brought to power.

And just as in 2002, the dam plan will be repealed ( if the Republicans in Congress can do it, so can you) and dredging will finally occur, and there will be water water everywhere for people and mussels alike. And the trees will stand tall at Ragged Mt as they did in my day and for 100's of years to come - never fear - never fear
judgment day is near.

Where are these UVA consumption forcast comming from? Has UVA published a demand analysis?


Love some positive and enthusiastic. Why don’t you run?

I just listened to both Ms Szakos and Mayor Norris on the Coy Barefoot show. Ms Szakos has no logic behind her decision, it was not based on the new information that she paid for with city resident dollars, it was clearly, from her comments, based on getting along with the county's position when they proclaimed they would not compromise.

This is sad for city residents and for ratepayers in general. This will be a far costlier plan with far more environmental damage. I, as a previous supporter, would never vote for her again and believe this is such a huge loss of city assets that a recall is in order.

How could she sign away so many millions of dollars of city owned reservoirs and dams without any promise of something in return ?
She did not even insist on dredging as part of the water supply plan.
She completely let the county have their way without any knowledge of what the city's financial obligations will be for the cost.

Perhaps her lack of business experience has led to her willingness to cave in so easily. We must do better next chance we get.

C'ville Voter:

It's good to know that you're focused on the upcoming Democratic Party primary, but distressing as ever to be reminded why that primary matters so much. You say correctly, "If history is any guide that wil decide who is elected in the fall..."

We live in a town barely ten square miles in area and 40,000 in population. Party affiliation has no place in the affairs of so small a body politic -- party affiliation that denies a wide array of people (including true Independents like me) any voice in the crucial phase of the process.

"(T)hat's democracy," Dave Norris said after the cadre within a cadre within one political party made a decision that will profoundly affect all who live here far into the future.

Not really.

Last night's vote was an abnegation of fiduciary responsibility to city residents, on the part of Huja, Szakos and Brown, in my opinion.

This was a complete give away to the county with nothing required in return for city ratepayers, or to compensate city residents for the assets they own.

There is no longer any fiscal incentive to dredge, and no reason to conserve. Ms Szakos although mentioning the need for conservation and dredging, put nothing to tie it to building the 30 ft dam in the resolution. Once again the county whined and 3 city councilors caved in " we have to be nice and all get along " but at what cost ?

Listen to Dede Smith, Kevin Lynch, Mayor Norris and Hawes Spencer give you an on the scene account of what transpired and what it all means .

Spencer and Norris :

Seriously, you guys are going to pump water uphill for 10 miles? Ya'll are dumber than a box of rocks.

I am from the County. I did NOT support the vote by the City Councilors last night. Their vote affected my taxes, water rate increases, development in the County, roads, our environment and our local culture. I am a long time resident of the County and I don't like the growth experienced in the last 10 years in the County.
"How about those of us who have been in the area for a few centuries?" Yeah, how about those of us who have been here for a long time? Those of us who lived and worked here and payed taxes here and sent our kids to schools here for more than 25 years. Don't we have any rights or say so in the Shared Vision for Community Development?!! The developers are creating the Vision for Albemarle growth. Some development is justified. But there has been too much development over the past 10 years!!

NancyDrew is right! "Looks like the big winners in this vote are the developers and the Nature Conservancy. The big loosers are everyone else, including the folks who live on the Moorman’s, or care about streamflows. They have signed a pact with the devil!" The problem with the Plan is that there is excessive development and UVA interests driving the Plan. Not sufficient citizen support to justify the vote last night.

"There isn’t enough money in China to justify pumping the 3rd largest river in Albemarle County 10 miles uphill for all the growth they can possibly squeeze in this area in the next 50 years." There isn't enough money in Albemarle to pay for a maintenance nightmare with no existing easements. Please promote stopping the pipeline project to stop the entire project. Litigation may be necessary.

The major issue is the cost of the overall project. The numbers show that dredging, conservation of resources, maintenance of existing systems, and by maintaining the Sugar Hollow Reservoir is less costly than buidling a new dam, or increasing the height of the existing dam by 30 feet. Building the pipeline will cost in excess of $65 million by the time easements are acquired. Easements and land acquistion will take years to acquire. My bet is that the pipeline alone will cost in the range of $90 million for 10 miles of construction.

I would like to thank Councilors Norris and Edwards. They are to be congratulated for continuing to support the interests of the people in Albemarle and Charlottesville. I am very disappointed in Councilors Szakos and Huja.

Voters in the County will remember in November!

Last night's vote was a shameful caving in to county interests. How dare they pretend to represent the citizens of Charlottesville? It is sickening and for the first time ever I want to pack up and move so as not to watch the destruction of Ragged Mountain. A truly irrational, scary turn of events to serve some very narrow agendas.

i am deeply saddened by this vote baffled too
thank you to Mayor Norris and Vice Mayor Edwards for their clear thinking and balance

"If we want more trees, let’s plant them. "

I agree completely and I don't understand why this issue turns into a "tree vs. no tree" issue. If the opponents of the dam want more trees, what is stopping them from planting more trees?

There is absolutely nothing in the water plan that prevents the opponents of the dam from planting more trees anywhere they like.

Saying that the dam or the meadowcreek parkway should not be built because trees get cut down is not a real argument when UVA has been cutting trees down for centuries without any protest from those that are opposed to the dam.

The source of the controversy is the growth policies of UVA. I do not understand why the opponents of the dam are not spending their time alternating between protesting those policies and planting trees.

In fact, if the opponents of the dam want to have a real impact, they should go to a UVA basketball or football game and unfurl their protest banners. At the football game they could try to plant trees on the field.

I assure them that this would garner considerable media attention to their cause and make them look no less ridiculous than they already do.

"Not Betty Mooney," your ridiculous argument about the "replacement trees" reminds me of those fools who say "At least with the Meadowcreek Parkway we'll finally get a nice new bike-ped path through McIntire Park." Well guess what: we could just have easily constructed that bike-ped path through the park WITHOUT building the road, and we would have saved tens of millions of dollars. And we could just as easily plant 200 acres of new trees at Buck Mountain WITHOUT destroying the Ragged Mountain Natural Area as Huja, Brown, Szakos, the County and the Nature Conservancy are about to do. If we want more trees, let's plant them. Let's not clear-cut a beautiful, mature forest and then try to make ourselves look good by planting a bunch of saplings elsewhere.

Why don't the opponents of the dam protest UVA's repeated decisions to grow larger? It seems obvious that the region is growing and UVA is the primary driver of growth. Also, NGIC has recently added jobs. This causes even more people to move here.

As the region grows and more people move here, they need to drink water.

Yes, there are business interests that seek to profit from this growth. But claiming that they are responsible for an allegedly flawed plan and being angry at "the county" is misguided.

UVA is the main reason why the area is growing. NGIC is another large employer that is growing locally. Our local economy has not suffered nearly as much as the surrounding areas nor the country's as a whole. This compels people to move here for economic reasons.

Those that are turning this issue into a city vs county controversy couldn't possibly be so obtuse, could they? They couldn't possibly miss the fact that the city is symbiotically related to the region as a whole? Do they actually believe that the city is such a nice place to live due to the decisions of the local government and not the affluence generated by the University of Virginia and by the beauty of the surrounding environs?

Sure, dredge away. But there's going to be a new dam and no amount of misguided histrionics will stop it.

This will be their legacy. They destroyed 50,000 trees, and all the wildlife habitat that it includes at Ragged Mt., they destroyed the South Fork Reservoir to sedimentation. They turned over all the city owned infrastructure to the county , worth 100's of millions. They just gave it all away and got nothing in return . I hope they are happy today !

Turn on the spigots and let the water run and run and've got all you could ever need.

Thanks for the link. When the people started talking about projecting water usage 50 years down the road, I knew we were in trouble. It is clear that the current Councilors do not know how much water we will be using 10 years down the road. Mr. Juna panicked when he heard that UVA is expecting its consumption to eventually rise from 1.5 million gallons per day to 3.1MGD. That is not a significant increase in usage. Now that most of UVA's construction projects are finished we will see a reduction in its water use. The representatives just want to move on to something that they will be incompetent dealing with, like the Belmont and JPA bridges. The show was over for these lackeys when Leonard Sandridge was quoted in the media being in favor of the big build-out. I'm sure quid pro quo will mean some zoning favors by the county in UVa's research parks.

So you are calling me spineless for not revealing my name but haven't revealed yours as well? Well played Old timer, well played indeed.

Lloyd and Mooney have made themselves part of the topic by constantly calling into questions the motives, intelligence and honesty of all those who don't agree with their views. This chorus of Cassandra's drown out all who might oppose them. Feeling, seemingly, that their voices must be heard above all others. The vitriol toward for those who voted for the 30 foot dam on this very page seems outstripped by the reality of the situation and it's true impacted.

The water tribe (ASAPians if you will) now sound like all those pampered movie stars and agents after Ricky Gervais's performance at the Golden Globes. It borders on religious furor for those who want dredging- of course, having someone post vengefully as Mother Nature is quite amusing.

As for you digging your heels on this issue, of that I never thought you would do otherwise, your faux neutrality aside.

Dear Richard, I cannot not imagine what we would say to each other that might make an impact on either point of view. Part of me thinks you're more interested in what information your caller id would provide then anything I might have say. I have seen how you have berated our public officials in public and you will excuse me if I want nothing to do with it. You see Richard, I am but a simple serf and not a monarch.

If you are making some point with that jumble of numbers you posted as some sort of math proof, I'm unsure of what it means. It is your belief that post would magically make some devastating point that truly puzzles me. Perhaps in a clearer form it might make some sense. If you are unhappy with this interaction and no longer want to take part in it I completely understand.

This is the forum you and the ASAPians have chosen to wage your battle between public meetings. I have chosen to meet you on this forum and follow The Hook's rules- not yours.

The debate that has raged on about our
community water plan has had the unintended
effect of showcasing the people we elect to office,
and appoint to boards and commissions in the city
and county.WIth few exceptions it is not a shining
moment for many.
We elect these people......and we can show them to the exit.

@confused easily, which show was that?

@confused easily, are you surprised that there are illegalities going on in City Hall?
@Richard Lloyd, Leonard Sandridge determined the numbers using last week's consumption figures.
@Not Betty Mooney, you'd better bet your panties that something has occurred. Unfortunately you seem as though you can't see the forest for the trees. It will take 50 years for the new trees at Buck Mountain to reach anywhere near the size of the trees at Ragged Mountain. And, besides, how can doing something at Buck Mountain have any effect on Ragged Mountain? Do you think the birds will move over there? What about the rest of the flora and fauna? Thank God that guy trying to restore the wetlands destroyed by Saddam didn't think that moving them to Iran is mitigation.

Oh no NBM, my use of ad hominem is quite correct, as using insults and abuse, or trying to make character references is the classic definition. Sort of like you trying to make character assignations on me via my handle. I know you think it makes you sound intellectual and witty, but it really just proves you don't have have a defensible argument.

Come back when you really have something to say about the dam.

Frank Fountain:

Re Charlottesville needing a ward system, I disagree both respectuflly and vigorously.

Although legally a "city," Charlottesville is really a small town of only ten square miles and a bit more than 40,000 residents. And at any given time, many of those residents are doing U.Va. touch-and-go landings. That's much too small a body politic to further divide by party affiliation. It's also much too small to further divide geographically. More issues of import than not affect the entire community, not just a discrete part of it.

Consider the consequences of such division:

For one, wards would inevitably differ in their residents' interest and participation. And that could result in a City Councilor who'd received very few votes and maybe even run unopposed casting votes of equal weight on City-wide matters with a Councilor who'd garnered hundreds of votes against vigorous challenge. Also, it would be all too easy for a ward to create a Councilor-for-Life -- hardly a healthy situation.

For another, wards could effectively ghettoize the City. Today, all sorts of people live in all sorts of City neighborhoods. If people of a particular political stripe were numerically dominant in a particular ward, however, people of a different persuasion would be effectively disenfranchised if they chose to live and invest there. Who would be their City Hall representative? What possible incentive would the candidate of the ward's majority have even to hear them out?

The fact is that many of the City Council decisions and/or actions that have been rightly criticized in recent years resulted directly from a de facto ward system hatched in City Hall in the 1990s. I refer to the completely artificial system of capital-N "Neighborhoods." The dead giveaway that they're not real, organic neighborhoods created by shared problems and perspectives is that no one isn't in one capital-N "Neighborhood" or another.

These "Neighborhoods," which in some cases actually divide real neighborhoods, serve Neighborhood Development Services as planning districts to which staff members are specifically assigned. But they also serve Councilors as a way to distance themselves from their responsibility to each and all of us. A citizen handbook issued by NDS a few years ago opened by stating (I'm paraphrasing here): Your contact with City government is through your neighborhood association. (Never mind that neighborhood associations are purely voluntary assemblies to which no one's membership can be required.)

Often, these artificial "Neighborhoods" are used to give an illusion of grassroots empowerment, as when a pot of money extracted from all City taxpayers is divided equally between "Neighborhoods" for projects to be chosen by "Neighborhood" residents -- a group version of "walking around money" paid out by ward bosses in the bad old days.

In notable cases, these artificial "Neighborhoods" have been used to dillute public participation in thoroughly pernicious ways, as when concerned real neighbors have been told they have no say in something planned for right across the street because it's not in their "Neighborhood."

Divide and conquer: It's done here every day. And a ward system would make matters infinitely worse.

from cookieJar's last post:

"Upon petition, a circuit court remove from office any elected officer or officer who has been appointed to fill an elective office, residing within the jurisdiction of the court:"

(I emphasized "MAY")

That would be the problem - "may remove". It doesn't say "shall remove". If you could get 50% of the voters to sign a petition there would still be no guarantee that a judge would enforce the will of the people. Judges don't give a dang about what us commoners want. Still, even though I live in the county I would heavily consider volunteering to go door to door to get said signatures on a petition.

Recall is a great idea. It would not take many signatures to put the issue before a judge, only 10% of the number cast in the last council election. That should be pretty easy to get.

Here's what the law says:

VA code 24.2-233. Removal of elected and certain appointed officers by courts.

Upon petition, a circuit court may remove from office any elected officer or officer who has been appointed to fill an elective office, residing within the jurisdiction of the court:

For neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties when that neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office......

.....The petition must be signed by a number of registered voters who reside within the jurisdiction of the officer equal to ten percent of the total number of votes cast at the last election for the office that the officer holds.

what is a "material adverse effect " ?

Richard Lloyd your 3rd point from way back above:
"3 - the tax base of Martha Jefferson Hospital has gone to the county"

I was thinking when Martha Jefferson was sold that the Hook or a comment to to story was that M.J. never paid commercial real estate taxes to the City. (?) The new owners have to now since Martha Jefferson is only renting the building. So they City might actually increase commerical/residential tax base if this is true.


ââ?¬Å?Upon petition, a circuit court remove from office any elected officer or officer who has been appointed to fill an elective office, residing within the jurisdiction of the court:”

should have been:

ââ?¬Å?Upon petition, a circuit court MAY remove from office any elected officer or officer who has been appointed to fill an elective office, residing within the jurisdiction of the court:”

(gotta remember to stop using the greater/lesser than symbols)

re: Martha Jefferson Hospital-they have never paid real estate taxes, as they are exempt as a hospital (private, non-profit).

how about a petition asking all the councilors to call a new vote and vote according to the best interests of the city? if enough people sign it will be clear what the will of the voters is and perhaps even the three sellouts will do the right thing and represent their constituents.

The KEvin Lynch Dede Smith interview with Coy Barefoot is a good one. Wish Kevin was still on city council.

Antoinette W. Roades brought up some very interesting points about another item on last night's agenda in her comments on another Hook article.

What happened with the proposal to sell a City-owned parcel on Elliott Avenue to Southern Development? If what Ms. Rhodes says is true, that looks like a sweet give-away to someone with connections in City Hall and a story well worth an investigative article. Looks like shady dealing at every level of city government.

For what it's worth, I did vote single-shot for Fenwick and Kleeman before that. I'd even vote for Rob Schilling before any of the current crop. I'm counting on some more people joining me in voting this bunch out next time around.

Well done - thanks for the vote to end the laments of the 0 growthers.
It took courage to actually make a decision that moves this endless studies from thought to action.

People act like their water bills will bankrupt them, that is bogus. County ratepAyers will have higher bills and a better water supply. Let's move on

Well, Dave Brown has already announced that he's not running in the next election, so nobody will be voting him out....

I think it's time City residents look for a recall process in the City charter. Then dissolve the RWSA.

"If they build that thing it will be the first item ever built in the history of Charlottesville that will be built for the future. I’m all for doing something that will last more than 50 years!"

The fact that the City has owned it's first resevior since the 20s shows how ignorant a tool you are.

Ann Malek needs to educate herself about the environment. I have yet to hear a SINGLE environmental claim out of her mouth that is based in actual fact or science. The fact that she gets away with all the stupid things she says (methane bubbles? Really? Planting new trees is better than preserving an existing forest? Lunacy!) is mindboggling to me.

ââ?¬Å?I don’t want any City residents,” says Mallek, ââ?¬Å?to feel like they’re paying for growth in the County.”

The pumping station I mentioned above is being enlarged to handle sewage coming from the county. City residents will be paying for that.

To several of you and anyone else who doesn't know:

Charlottesville ceased holding City Council elections in spring several years ago. So your next opportunity to vote your rightfully righteous anger will be in November. The bad news is that some of that anger will undoubtedly dissipate by then. The good news is that you have time to organize a credible challenge to those who have angered you.

CookieJar, the pumping station is primarily necessary to carry the stormwater from the City which is entering the sanitary sewer system, denying County residents capacity in that pipeline which normally flows below capacity. Ever driven down McIntire Road after a thunderstorm??????????

Szakos was utterly clueless when asked how much additional supply her proposal would generate. She just said a 30 foot rise "felt" like a good number. All fact and reason went out the window. Now councilors are making decisions with multi-million-dollar price tags based on vague "feelings" and suppositions. How thoroughly irresponsible. What a joke.

"But on Tuesday, January 18, the same day that one Albemarle Supervisor alleged that dredging might unleash potentially damaging fumes" The only damaging fumes are coming from the politians mouths .Just shut the @#%k up and do your jobs .The people want more water do the right thing now before the cost skyrocket any higher.
Their all a bunch of wanna be dictators.

Free Rob Schilling!

I thought Ken Boyd was a financial planner --why doesn't he get this ?
I think he believes if he just says enough times, our water plan will not raise your rates, people will believe him . Not me

Thank you Mr. LLoyd. I'd like him to look at what you published and then say, no my dear friends we will not raise your rates.

I wish people like you would run for office in the county. We need some officials that understand a budget.

Podcasts from today:

Kristin Szakos:

Dave Norris:

Thank you Dave Norris, you will always be a hero for the citizens and one can only help the others don't carry thru with this and forfeit hundreds of millions of city assets, trees, reservoirs, dams and obligates us to so much debt.

The council did right.

Their bravery and wisdom in the face of the chicken-little opposition to this sensible plan will be remembered and, in decades hence, rewarded.


wow, "some trees on ragged mountain will die." ho hum.....gee what's all the fuss about? The overblown dam will in fact: "Flood 135 acres of mature forest that has been cited for its exceptional wildlife habitat by a Smithsonian study and Albemarle County Biodiversity Committee
In the summer of 2002, Dr. Matthew Etterson of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center conducted a research project on the effects of forest fragmentation on nesting success of Wood Thrush at several sites in the Piedmont, including Fernbrook, Humpback Rocks, Betsy Bell, Fortune's Cove, Natural Chimneys, Paul State Forest and Ragged Mountain Natural Area. He found that among all these sites, Ragged Mountain Natural Area proved to be not only the most productive, with a total of 64 nests, but also the site of greatest nesting success. Etterson attributed that success to the maturity of the forest and the protective topography of the land.
In the 2006 Albemarle County Biodiversity Report, the Ragged Mountains and Reservoir were cited as significant for unusual habitat that support species scarce in our area such as River Otter, Prothontary Warbler, and Wood Frog.
Build five miles of roads at the Ragged Mountain Natural Area
Roads will be required for clear cutting of timber, dam construction, and reinforcement of the I-64 embankment. In addition, two miles of the now rural Reservoir Road will need to be widened and improved for the heavy equipment needed to build the dam." and the list goes on. "some trees indeed" Utterly shameful.

The new CEO of the Nature Conservancy comes from Goldman
Sachs. Its Board of Directors members are mostly from
investment companies (including Goldman Sachs) and other businesses. Maybe two scientists. I no longer trust their

Brown and Huja's votes don't surprise me one bit. No need to waste words on Brown, as he'll thankfully be off Council soon.

The fact that Huja caved so publicly to his employer's (UVA) interests does, however, surprise me. One would think that he would have at least been more circumspect in hiding his personal monetary agenda.

And Szakos...? Incredibly disappointing. Many of her supporters have been let down by her namby-pamby attitude on this important issue, and I doubt she'd win another election based on what I'm hearing. Sure, she's fought a little harder for some of her pet issues, but I have to wonder if she would have caved there also had she faced more strenuous opposition. I get the impression, based on my interactions with her, that if supporting an issue makes her feel good about herself, then she tries harder. Perhaps dredgingand other environmental issues don't meet that criteria? That's not something that I, as a ciizen, care to gamble on any further.

Mayor Norris and Vice-Mayor Edwards have been stellar in their efforts to represent the citizens of Charlottesville. I'm sure it hasn't been easy for them facing constant pressure and personal insults from the county and development money that's been fueling the drive for the huge dam. Our congratulations and thanks must go to them for remaining so stalwart under pressure, and doing it with grace and a sense of humor. They've always represented EVERY single one of us-- the poor and homeless, the disenfranchised, small business, the environmentally-minded, the creative community, etc.

Now, what do we do to find a few more strong, ethical, and progressive citizens like Norris and Edwards-- Councilors who will actually stick up for the people of Charlottesville, rather than act as puppets of the Chamber of Commerce? Surely they must be out there somewhere?

Everybody relax:

Speaking for myself, although certainly not for "others," I never forget for a moment that we have Mayor Norris to thank for Ms. Szakos (and I doubt Mayor Norris ever forgets that either). But that does not mean that she could not have been beaten by a concerted single-shot effort on behalf of Bob Fenwick. A City voter casts his or her votes -- or single vote, if that's the voter's choice -- for individual candidates, not for a ticket.

Looks like the big winners in this vote are the developers and the Nature Conservancy. The big loosers are everyone else, including the folks who live on the Moorman's, or care about streamflows.

They have signed a pact with the devil, believe me, the $63 million, electricity hungry, uphill connecting pipeline, needed to fill their new nature destroying bathtub, will NEVER be built.

There isn't enough money in China to justify pumping the 3rd largest river in Albemarle County 10 miles uphill for all the growth they can possibly squeeze in this area in the next 50 years.

The Nature Conservancy wins because, they can say they got politicinas to turn over their water supply plan to them for a river restoration project, even if the plan is never implemented. They still can put it in their glossy brochures and say, pipeline to be built at some future date.
And then they'll move on .....

I share people's disappointment with Kristin Szakos. But why all the attention on her and not Mr. Huja? There were several factual errors in the statement he read last night. If I understood him correctly, he said that UVa's water demand will double. No one has said that, even with their growth. (Right now they are using less water than they did in 1989, due to conservation measures.) He said that DEQ won't allow a dam of 13ft. Not true. One would hope he would at least get his facts straight.

And, he is up for reelection this spring.

Great comments from most everybody, all 150+ of you. And I am sure many more thoughtful people who are following the dialogue.

Please don’t forget the specific issue at hand, the one Hawes wrote about. The City is loosing its assets being its three reservoirs. The City is losing control of its future water after the 4-Party Agreement specifically, and wisely reserved ownership (control) for The City.

These are irreplaceable assets!! No new reservoirs can be created within The City. No wells can be drilled either. The County has Beaver Creek Reservoir already built. It is only half full, go look. And Chris Green was built as a water supply reservoir and is full, but unused. There is a huge aquifer, The Blue Ridge Flank Aquifer, which potentially can carry the entire region through any drought without any damage from over pumping. But it receives no attention and remains undeveloped.

Charlottesville is being ââ?¬Å?hollowed out”. If you want to stop it the IMMEDIATE ACTION is required. Don’t waste a moment. Call, write, visit Szakos, Huja and Brown. They live here. Let them know this cannot happen. They need to act and ACT FOR THE CITY RIGHT NOW, IMEDIATELY. No week sister compromise or feel good dodges.

Think about what will inevitably happen if this vote goes forward.

Since coming back to town in 1995 I've seen
City spending double and:
Rebricking of Court Square but before that was finished:
Pavilion started, but before that was finished:
Bus station started but before that was finished:
New eco roof for City Hall but before that was finished:
Rebricking the whole mall again but before that was finished:
then the water plan, Meadow Creek Parkway plan, Jefferson School Plan, redo of all public housing plan at 100 million+.
Most of these plans got done or are wanting to be done with earmarks so tax payers else (the broke federal gov't) will pay for it. What runs into problems is when we have to pay for it ourselves, rather than earmarks. My understanding of the water plan is that there are no earmarks coming for it.


I appreciate the supportive words and agree with all else you say ââ?¬â?? including that we’re somewhat off topic.

Re a cemetery on the Ridge-Cherry property: In early 2004, I found an 1883 deed that reserved a family graveyard to descendants of builder Allen W. Hawkins. The deed located that graveyard on a large parcel created by survey shortly after Hawkins' death in 1857. That survey is on record. Narrowing the potential site wasn't difficult.

Also in ââ?¬Ë?04, I found that the deed record of the graveyard. had been found and noted in the 1970s by architectural historian Eugenia Bibb as she prepared the surveys on which the City's first historic designations were based. So the fact of a cemetery had been in a City Hall file for almost thirty years.

Within months of finding the Hawkins deed, I found someone who remembered actually tripping over a gravestone on the property some 50 years earlier. He wrote his account for me. A year later at a City Hall meeting, a woman who'd often visited nearby relatives on 5th Street S.W. blurted out a memory of seeing "two, real old gravestones" behind her grandmother's house. A third memory (a second-hand one) has come to light since.

Combining documentary evidence and eyewitness evidence with anecdotal evidence -- the fact, for instance, that close Hawkins kin lived on Ridge Street into the 1950s and would have raised an alarm had anyone proposed building on their family bones -- I narrowed the probable location to Parcel 157 on City Tax Map 29. In 2009, archaeologist Lynn Rainville reviewed my research and endorsed it in an e-mail to City Council.

N.B. Archaeological intervention is now crucial because shortly after Southern Development's creator, Dr. Charles Hurt, bought Parcel 157 (along with four others) in 1999, he sent (without permit) a monster bulldozer onto the property. It felled trees, pushed them into piles, radically disturbed earth, and undoubtedly turned those "real old" gravestones into gravel.

Charlie Armstrong of SD has routinely ridiculed both me and the evidence while relentlessly misstating the situation. For instance, he's often said that SD's attorney's have found absolutely no evidence of a graveyard in Charlottesville deed records. Correct. The evidence is in Albemarle County deed records because the property was in the County when the relevant deed was filed.

Pressed from several sides on the matter, Planning Commission addressed it in the process of approving SD's William Taylor Plaza in '09. Address consisted of having an Assistant City Attorney explain in minute detail why the City had no legal authority to require SD to conduct an archaeological survey, the only way the graveyard's presence (or non presence) on Parcel 157 could possibly be determined. That was, I thought, a shameful shucking of responsibility. Given the close relationship between City Councilors and SD, no legal authority was necessary. Had Councilors simply told their good friends that WTP was a non starter unless SD did the right thing, the right thing would have been done.

Now the Nature Conservancy can conduct their pseudo-scientific experiment and release more water into the Moorman's --compliments of City Council who just signed a blank check and gave over all the city owned infrastructure to let them try this. They asked for nothing in return.

No one knows for sure if it is good or bad for the fishies to super charge the Moorman's --this is a $142 million dollar experiment ( that is sure to cost the ratepayers more) once they pay for the cost overruns and debt of a huge engineering project like a new dam in an area of fractured rock area and a new pipeline without a route that must pump water 10 miles uphill --good luck Charlottesville --they got you this time . I'll add you to this list:

" the next major "growth market" for TNC acquisitions with potential consequences on water users " --see article below

"The Nature Conservancy turned heads earlier this year by announcing an ambitious plan to protect 10% of the world's total land. This appeared to be a strikingly ambitious land acquisition endeavor; in fact the largest real estate acquisition proposal in history. But with declining land prices and a worldwide credit crunch, the cash-rich Nature Conservancy has often the only available buyer to farmers and landowners who need to sell. It is not surprising that conservation land deals are moving forward at a record pace this year. Still, no one expected to find such a dramatic change in land conservation totals so quickly.

Now Mark Spalding, senior marine scientist with The Nature Conservancy announces that 13% of the world's land surface is now protected open space in a new book "The World's Protected Areas, examines the relationship between people and protected areas". Mr. Spalding says that the amount of protected land is now equivalent in size to the total amount of the world's croplands. It is not clear whether TNC underestimates the amount of land previously under conservation prior to announcing its goal or whether the land acquisition project has progressed beyond its stated goals.

In the past The Nature Conservancy has relied primarily on a strategy of purchasing open land from private landowners and selling the land back to local governments at higher prices. This strategy vaulted TNC the world's wealthiest organizations. More recently, TNC began promoting a conservation easement program that allows farmers and rural landowners to continue to own and use the land, but prevented future development. Purchasing easements is less expensive than purchasing land and may be better for preserving the stability of rural and agricultural communities.

No comment has be issued by The Nature Conservancy about how this recent announcement of 13% will affect its plans for future land acquisitions. It seems reasonable possible given the current worldwide real estate market that environmental groups like TNC could continue to acquire land at a rapid pace and possible boost the total amount of protected land to 15% to 20% of the earth's surface. It seems unlikely that attainment of the 10% goal would deter TNC from future land acquisitions.

Mr. Spalding points out that our waterways and oceans are not equally protected, with only 1/2 of one percent of the world's oceans under conservation easement. Freshwater protection is even lower. This might represent the next major "growth market" for TNC acquisitions with potential consequences on water users and fishing industries. Noting that this major announcement is made by a marine scientist lends credibility to my suspicion that TNC is gearing for an increase in oceanic and waterway ventures. The fact that Mr. Spalding's announcement was strategically published overseas in The Daily Telegraph rather than in more critical U.S. news sources (due to the current political debate on use of offshore oil reserves) also makes me believe that this book announcement is part of a larger strategic maneuver by TNC.
Posted by Harley D. Nomes at 5:45 AM 0 commen

I was wondering if someone was going to bring up Linda Seaman's letter. It's obvious to me that if we want progressive smart Councilors with some spine-- like Norris and Edwards-- we're going to have to make sure that the Old Guard Dems like Seaman, Brown, Vandever, et al are kept out of the process.

People are focusing on Szakos because she's such a gross disappointment to so many of her former supporters. I can only imagine how Norris feels discovering that she played a part in this shameful display on Tuesday. Quisling is too kind a term to use to describe her. Norris has been an exceptional mayor and deserves better from Szakos.

Frank Fountain:

Fsscinating as it is to hear myself quoted to rebutt me, I detect no inconsistency. I don't disagree with you that we have a huge leadership problem in the City, one owed in large part to the far too narrow party-controlled pipeline to public position. (Talk about pumping uphill for miles.) I just disagree with you that breaking down our already small body politic into smaller separate and potentially competitive pieces would do anything but make matters worse.

I'm a City native descended from a great grandfather who arrived in 1859 to found a photography studio and another great grandfather who arrived in 1868 to work as a printer and who in the next year co-founded a newspaper (and who was also often elected recorder of town meetings regularly held in his day). As a poltically precocious child, I got up my first petition in 4th grade and had my first letter to the editor published in The Daily Progress when I was a high school junior. As a professional researcher, I have read almost every extant issue of every newspaper published in Charlottesville or Albemarle between 1825 and 1925, which includes a period when the City had a ward system. And I've closely watched the many and often dismaying changes that have taken place in my home town over the last half-century while also fighting myriad battles -- at first with the City as ally; later with the City as adversary -- in my Ridge Street neighborhood over the last 23 years. Between high school and Ridge Street, I had the opportunity to live and report publc affairs in, among other venues, Richmond, Washington, and New York. I still read at least half-a-dozen newspapers a day. So I feel some confidence in my perspective.

You, of course, are entitled to your opinion. I just hope it doesn't prevail.

It is stunning that these 3 City Councilors believe they have acted in the city's interest. How misguided !

ââ?¬Å?You sold out the city,” Ms. Smith is right. Time for these three councilors to go live in the county, because that's where they belong.

Huja and Szakos and Brown have done more, in this one vote, to decimate our tree canopy than any greedy forest-clearing developer ever dreamed. Why are Huja and Szakos and Brown so determined to destroy our forest? 50,000 trees gone because of them. Environmental devastation is their legacy. They've sold out the city's interests and they've sold out the city's assets. We need new city councilors ASAP!

"The people want more water do the right thing now before the cost skyrocket any higher."

No, not all people want more water perse. They was the current structures to be maintained to continue providing the water they need.

Tree lovers you act like the trees are going to be cut down for a shopping mall- they are going to be replaced with a larger body of water. There will be more trees and a bigger reservoir. More trees and a bigger body of water seem environmental reasonable to me not the environmental holocaust that the more hysterical among you predict.

Making a larger body of water appear to "detroy" nature is a classic overreaction by super NIMBY's who moved here years ago and thinks nothing should ever change. The ASAP crowd ( whose members are legion in the water tribe) actual want to make it near impossible any new homes to ever be built here.

Albemarle is, right now, 80% forested and the growth area is only 5% of the overall land in the county. The land being "destroyed" is in the county and every supervisor has support this adding to make a larger body of water. UVa wants the dam and now a majority of city council does as well.

Meanwhile... I think your point are quite well taken and this has always been about UVa's future growth.

The basic cost of living in Charlottesville is about to go through the roof. In addition to the outrageous costs of building an unnecessary damn, local utility users are soon going to be paying to increase the size of RWSA's pumping station in the Woolen MIlls neighborhood. That project is estimated to cost $27 million to $37 million.

So if this damn is built, the area will no longer be "The Ragged Mountain Nature Area" right?

Crawdaddy plan.

Not Betty Mooney,

"Making a larger body of water appear to ââ?¬Å?detroy” nature is a classic overreaction by super NIMBY’s who moved here years ago and thinks nothing should ever change."

How about those of us who have been in the area for a few centuries?

I have to wonder how nasty and spiteful you would be had only the 13 foot dam been accepted. Now if the cost of living is so high that no one moves here at all anymore, maybe you will be satisfied.

Ms Szakos will be held responsible along with Huja and Brown for needlessly killing tens of thousands of trees in the beautiful Ragged Mountain Natual Area. Where I once roamed with my fellow students. All based on a guess of how much water is needed in 50 years.

She may have alot more sleepless nights for her vote on the eve of my birthday, and if she plans on running again for council just when her term is ending and she is considering running again, in 2 years, she can go to Ragged Mountain and watch those dead trees being trucked out and the bombed out mountain left behind- creating a huge hole ((because who believes she will stop at 30 feet if the county wants more) what's another 12 feet and tens of thousands more trees and all the creatures that once nested there gone.

Never more, never more, to nest again.

All because she ( mark my words) guessed wrong.

Ms Szakos, here are some real facts to chew on

"Whatever the cause, new data obtained in a pair of Hook Freedom of Information requests finds that from 1999 to 2009, total urban water consumption dropped from 4.03 billion gallons annually to 3.2 billion gallons, a long-term decline of 22 percent.

As it turns out, water consumption has fallen despite a significant rise in population. According to the Census Bureau, the Charlottesville-Albemarle population grew nine percent in just the eight years from 2000 to 2008, from 124,285 to 135,562. Supporters of the new dam/pipeline point out that total population matters less than the location of increased population, an elusive figure. However, Hook figures compiled from the Freedom of Information requests show a veritable plummet in the amount of water used per customer connection.

In 1999, the 25,596 water customers in the urban system used an average of over 157,000 gallons annually. By the end of 2009, customer connections had increased 20 percent to 30,782. And yet average use had fallen to about 104,000 gallons, a 34 percent drop in per-connection consumption."

@ CvilleVoter

For me I think it's just because she annoys me more. :D I've had personal dealings with her and find her to be incredibly ditzy/dingy, completely not qualified to be in that position, making decisions that effect an entire city and population of approx. 40,000 people. It really gets under my skin that she's a councilor, and that such massive power has been put in the hands of only five people, and that she's one of those five. Nobody's perfect, but the only councilor I think I truly respect is Holly Edwards.

"said Szakos. ââ?¬Å?I think that given our best guess looking forward ”Š I feel strongly that the likelihood of our needing that [added water capacity] within this next 50 years is high.”

How about getting an accurate analysis of how much water we actually used in the last decade instead of guessing ? I would think spending $142 million and giving away all your citizen's water resources and parkland at Ragged Mt. would warrant something better than a guess, or relying on faulty data ( which is what the 2006 plan is based on )

As Ms Edwards so elegantly said, would you treat cancer with outdated 2006 drugs or new drugs that had been developed this year ?

You have been told many times that the current use has dropped steadily in the past 9 years and now is 22% below the 2006 plan projections. And UVA, even if they grow and grow has dropped their water use 30% since the 1990's and will never use that much water again no matter how much they grow.

Ms Szakos please stop guessing and get the facts - you owe it to your citizens. What if you are wrong- look at the financial mess we are in -you have a duty to your citizens to err on the side of caution - have you done that with their money and resources ?

Listen to the WINA interview (link above)where Dede Smith is shocked that councilors actually voted on something shows a profound misunderstanding of procedure. Ken Lynch doesn't bother to correct her- knowing there was nothing unusual, illegal, or against the rules. The real story is that the Norris plan is dead, the only support for it (other than the mayor) is Edwards-who has been said so little in public about the Norris plan it would be tough to prove she was there from review of the audio podcast.

Dede Smith says they can only build a 30 foot concrete dam, nope she's got it wrong again. They can build the earthen dam to that height as well (it is quite valid to point out they probably won't)- she leaves out that the earthen dam cost estimates have been lowered .

Kevin Lynch shows his arrogance saying he didn't think the Supervisors hadn't "properly articulated" to him in a private meeting why they want the earthen dam. Um Kevin you're not an elected official anymore and don't get a vote. I got to wonder why the Supervisor met with a city resident who didn't like their plan to begin with. They should get hazardous duty pay for that meeting. Lynch's crowning folly is to assert that because Norris has work really hard to understand and therefore we should all listen to him- thus dismissing official who disagrees with Ken and the Mayor as intellectually inferior or possibly corrupt.

Dede Smith justifies not building the dam by saying that in the future some glorious water saving technology will be invented that will render all this unnecessary. Of course it will Dede- BTW where is my jet pack or my flying car? She dismisses UVa's support of the earthen dam. According to her they comprise 11% of all the water used but the fact they want the County plan is dismissed out of hand.

The County, UVa and now a majority of City Council don't want the Norris plan-

Here’s a short skit I made with my friend Ted Millich about why we are even talking about borrowing over 100 million dollars to build a big dam and flood Ragged Mt. Natural area:

Huja is up for re-election and with this vote he has abandon his duty to put city residents first and so good-by Mr. Huja.

And you said you were planting 200 saplings at Buck Mt., but we will remember you for cutting down a 100 year old forest and destroying Ragged Mt. Natural Area.

And handing over control of all the ciy's water infrastructure to the county and not dredging --becuase the longer they stall, and they will stall and stall until their new dam is built --the less likely we will ever see South Fork Reservoir dredged for water capacity . They will have no money left, nor need any more water --the motivation will be gone.

Mr. Huja you have killed 50,000 trees with one vote.

Poe, many liberals in this town supported the Norris Plan. The answer isn't necessarily to elect conservatives to Council. It's to elect innovative forward-thinking people with some spine.

Considering that the conservative Free Enterprise Institute, with its board packed full of Republican and Libertarian developers, has been one of the main proponents of the 2006 water plan, it's doubtful that most right-wing candidates would dredging and the Norris Plan. They're not exactly known for their support of the environment. The problem is not that three of our Councilors are Democrats. The problem is that they are apparently tools of the conservative development lobby.

Folks. It's time to move on. There were experts on both sides of this issue, and your side didn't prevail. It happens. Next issue please!

Ken Boyd appeared on the Schilling Show with me several months ago. He said ACSA had just published their 5 year budget and he was pleased to announce there were to be no rate increases. I had the budget and called his attention to rate increases each year after this one. Blha Blha Blha

Hard to read the below table copied from the ACSA web site.

Residential Water Rates per 1,000 Gallons 8% 8% 5% 3%
Level 1: 0 - 3,000 gallons per Month $ 3 .32 $ 3.31 -0.30% $ 3.59 $ 3.87 $ 3.99 $ 4.11
Level 2: 3,001 - 6,000 gallons per Month $ 6 .64 $ 6.62 -0.30% $ 7.18 $ 7.74 $ 7.98 $ 8.22
Level 3: Over 6,001 - 9,000 gallons per Month $ 9 .96 $ 9.93 -0.30% $ 1 0.77 $ 11.61 $ 11.97 $ 12.33
Level 4: Over 9,000 gallons per Month $ 13.28 $ 13.24 -0.30% $ 1 4.36 $ 15.48 $ 15.96 $ 16.44
Non Single-Family Residential Water Rate - $ 6 .19 $ 6.19 0% $ 6.44 $ 6.70 $ 6.90 $ 7.10
per 1,000 Gallons
5% 3% 3% 3%
Sewer Rate per 1,000 Gallons $ 7 .21 $ 7.21 0% $ 7.50 $ 7.80 $ 8.03 $ 8.27
Water Rates During Emergency Water Restrictions:
Residential Water Rates per 1,000 Gallons
Level 1: 0 - 3,000 gallons per Month $ 4.15
Level 2: 3,001 - 6,000 gallons per Month $ 9.96
Level 3: Over 6,000 gallons per Month $ 19.92
Level 4: Over 9,000 gallons per Month $ 26.56
Non Single-Family Residential Water Rate - $ 9.29
per 1,000 Gallons

Well, let’s see. First a democracy requires active, transparent participation. So I guess I can speak out. Especially as I do not hide behind a pseudo name like Fizz Fizz. Who are you and why do you hide?
Second, this self censorship for etiquette steams from a monarchy where the ruler would not tolerate indignant speech. Many of our forefathers seemed to take the liberty of disrupting that, for a cause. It was tried again in the suppression of the slaves. I think MLK had a way of dealing with that, peacefully.
Slander or name calling is definitely inappropriate. But speaking out for answers from public officials is worth the effort in my book. Especially when that official refuses to answer questions presented in public and private venues.
I have requested meetings with Ms. Szakos and she refuses to meet. For public officials to avoid answers to the public is reprehensible.
OH and I am the Treasurer of Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population. That’s public record. I believe our elected officials deserve accurate fact based scientific information on the cost of population growth in economic, ecological and societal terms. Then they can make informed decisions. You may enjoy or research which can be found here:
If you want to chat, call me. 434-409-0780.

Ok, last post for tonight. Fizz Fizz may note on the research page of ASAP is a study named Underground Albemarle. We have 2 large pure aquifers. They potentially could be safely tapped, not necessarily for expanding population, but for use during a drought. The alone look like they could carry the entire community through any drought without any disruption or damage to the aquifer. It needs to be considered and the potential defined. Just think, underground, safe plentiful water for use only during drought.

Fizz, to be accurate the City has not decided whether to build a new dam or use the dam they have. In fact the majority has now insisted that the dam be NO Higher than 30 feet. Schnabel has not designed a 30 ft dam and phasing an earthen dam is impractical, so it is far less costly to build a 30 ft rise on the dam at Ragged Mt. and will do less environmental damage because it requires a smaller footprint.

But first they have to find the money and they've spent their pot, raised from rate increases on, first Gannett Fleming's design for a concrete dam, and now Schnabel's design and all the additional ITRT and related consultant expenses ( probably around 15 million by now), and so the pot is much smaller.

Also the county keeps saying they will pay for it all, but if the city does one thing right they will get that in writing. With a refund for all the design expenses as well, and compensation for all the land and assets they will lose. The city doesn't need any more water !

If the city doesn't get this ( at the very least ) Judy Mueller and Maurice Jones should be fired. The cost share is up to them.

"UVA only represents 11% of the water usage"

That happens to be a sizable percentage which ignores:

1. city/county residents that work directly for UVA

2. private businesses that would not exist without patronage from UVA students and employees

2. private businesses that would not exist without direct patronage from UVA

3. city/county residents that work for private businesses that would not exist without patronage from UVA students and employees

4. city/county residents that work for private businesses that would not exist without direct patronage from UVA

The fact that the University of Virginia ALONE accounts for %11 of local water usage leads me to believe that the University of Virginia's total water footprint (including the 4 usage subsets listed above) is easily over %50. Probably closer to %70.

If the University of Virginia would agree to zero growth for the next 50 years, I'd say that you were correct that we wouldn't need to grow our water supply. Without that agreement, I'd say that you were wrong.

It's not just a matter of trees--it's destruction of wildlife habitat. People should not be so cavalier. Planting trees does not make up for wholesale destruction of a forest. It's like giving birds the equivalent of a FEMA trailer.

The whole situation smells to high heaven of corruption. Can any lawyers reading this speak to whether there is potential for a lawsuit to stop this bad decision?

I suppose there is no hope. Humanity is a cancer on the earth.

Of course we can be Cavailer, dawg we @ UVa. So we shouldn't build the dam be because of birds?? Most of Albemarle is forest now. What if they plant the replacement trees now, the trees that need to be cut down could be there for years as their replacements get bigger. If that was a critical habitat the Feds, the states or some environmental groups would have look to designate it so- not just one science guy. I call fowl on this one.

Fizz, so why don't they use the money to dredge and repair the spillway at Ragged Mt. and have money to spare. Now that we're using 22% less water, than they predicted, we don't even need a new dam

And Dam projects are risky and fraught with delays and cost overruns - just ask Schnabel engineers overseeing the earthen dam in Stafford County.

There have been three (3) modifications to the current expansion of the sewage treatment plant design. Lots of change orders and re=engineering. None have anticipated the additional capacity to match the expanded water system. Futhermore the TDML are being reset and that will expand it yet again.

Fizz Fizz get it right before you go public, please. Way too much misinformation is choaking the issue!


The growth study does not ignore any of those things you listed seperately or together, as the growth of both the city and the county have always been impacted by all the things you mentioned. In fact, in spite of the growth from 2002, the City itself has grown very little in population. It is the County that is growing.

Regardless, water usage has been in decline in spite of the growth, mainly because UVA has made so changes to become far more conservative. As have others. The facts are the facts, and no matter how hard you want to twist, the County's project was a laughing stock for a reason, just as was the Meadowcreek Parkway, and the 29N widening in the 1990's. But of course, that's what happens when you let a few business interests get involved, instead of letting the academics simply follow the facts.

Albemarle, UVa ( which is actually in the county I've been told) and the city have decide that this area is best served by building a new dam. What part of democratic process don't you understand?

Richard unlike I won't be rude and yell out during a meeting. What part of what my explanation was wrong? While you are at could you respond to the charge that you membership in ASAP is the driving for e behind your oposition? Is Not Betty correct in (her?) analysis of your involvement in ASAP?

Richard Lloyd you haven't bothered to explain ASAP pervasive influence in this folly and don't give me the "you don't post under your real name nonsense" it's a artificial standard you don't hold anyone who agrees with you on to. Do you demand TJ, Poe or old timers real names as well to make their words more meaningful to this discussion? I got a feeling that lots of ASAP people post here under all sorts of names (not their own).

I do love how you justify you ill mannered behavior by invoking rage against a monarchy- seriously? Just vote out the people you don't like or run yourself. If we lived in a monarchy your intolerance and boorish behavior would be treated with the lash or worse- not anything I would endorse to deal with you and others in your tribe's recent temper tantrums.

But thanks for helping confirm ASAP and it's hand in this attempt to limit growth by stall, study and misdirection.

To my dear old friend Betty, are you a member of ASAP as well?
Also if you have been to more meetings you would know that votes can be taken after a public hearing and there have been many public hearings on this subject. Votes themselves do not have to be scheduled-but feel free to make it seem underhanded or some other sort of conspiracy you and others seem so fond of hinting at.

What was the total cost of getting to this point?

These clowns should all be back-charged for all the costs involved in the "studies" that brought them to this point. If they were "put on the clock" with these kinds of issues, they would take action quickly and efficiently.

Thank goodness they don't have anything to do with the City- ooops

What is the big deal about planting sapling at Buck Mt, they own the land. They could have done that any time they wanted to. What does a sapling cost ?

How can they compare saplings to the beautiful forest at Ragged Mt.
I thought Mr. Huja was the great tree protector, and don't they have a tree commission. Have they inventoried all the trees they own at Ragged Mt. all 900 acres. They couldn't plant enough trees in 100 years to equal all the trees they will kill with this dam.

Doesn't anyone care about my forest and my legacy in Charlottesville roaming in those woods. What kind of preservationists are you ?

Waldo you better get your name off their website then

I'm really not sure how I'd do that�it's not my website. I could set up a website claiming that you're on the board of NAMBLA, but that wouldn't make it so.

Charlottesville-Right Now thanks for the link to Hr Huja's interview on your radio spot yesterday. Sounds like the 3 stooges had an illegal meeting before City Council meeting and omitted Norris and Edwards.

Also Huja admitted that he was being advised on the interpertation of Scott Kudlas, DEQ, letter. I doubt he actually read it. Maintains that "staff" (not disclosing who) had taled with DEQ and was told that The Norris Plan could not be permitted. This is impossible as they have not done the analysis work.

And he has no idea about the UVA demand forcast as it relates to the Swartz Report on Demand.

So why is this guy on council? Somebody believes he was the best choice.

Oh, good. Not Betrty Mooney wants to take on Waldo. This should be very amusing. I'll watch.

Dede Smith and Betty Mooney co-founded Advocates for a Sustainable water plan. It is an organization of city residents, mainly, who are concerned with the Community Water Projects. Both Ns Smith and Mooney are exceptionally bright, articulate individuals who have a solid understanding of the issues.

But I speak for myself and I do not speak for Ms. Mooney. She is very capable in communicating her thoughts.

That being said, it is interesting how much we agree.

NBM: waldo's libel claim is against ASAP, not you. Not everything on this board revolves around you.

Cville Eye:

Your reference to City plans for more "low-income housing in...Ridge/Fifeville" suggests that you're tuned in to the current Ridge-Cherry property situation -- a situation that continues to disimprove (as the Irish might say).

Just this week, those of us who're following what's afoot learned that the matter now set for Joint Public Hearing (i.e. a first and last opportunity for public comment) by City Council and Planning Commission on 8 February is the creation of just such a facility under pretence of making a few changes to the Southern Development PUD (William Taylor Plaza) approved by Council in 2009. (Council had approved in 2008 the sale of two City-owned parcels on Ridge Street to Southern Development -- two parcels without which the proposed mixed-use megalith could not be built.)

On 23 December we learned that SD, which listed its five Ridge-Cherry parcels (acquired by SD-creator Dr. Charles Hurt in 1999) for sale at $2.3 million immediately after WTP was approved, had found a buyer in Pinnacle Construction's William Park after relisting at $1.8 million last fall. Despite SD never having closed on the two crucial City-owned parcels, Mr. Park, styling himself "Contract Purchaser," applied for rezoning them along with the five parcels SD already holds. Originally set to be heard on 11 January, the matter was subsequently recheduled for 8 February because, quoth NDS, Mr. Park was "interested in additional changes."

The combined "changes" ââ?¬â??- which in fact constitute a new and different project -- now include:
~~built area of 120,000 square feet rather than 80,000-100,000 square feet (an increase of 20-50 percent)
~~project inventory of 80 residential units rather than 50 residential units (an increase of 60 percent and a factor that would increase traffic impact proportionally)
~~project placement that would intrude more deeply into the fragile site's most fragile zone
~~tree-preservation requirement that would allow more latitude for tree removal
~~building-standard requirement that would apply Earthcraft Certification guidelines rather than the much vaunted LEED Certification guidelines approved
~~project that would include the two City-owned parcels contracted to SD (but never closed on) without making the contract-required cash payment of $253,000 (So if Mr. Park's request is approved, the City would receive not one single cent for two prominently located parcels that belong not to the denizens of City Hall but to all City taxpayers.)

In 2009, David Neuman, U.Va. chief architect and non-voting member of Planning Commission, observed adroitly that Southern Development's William Taylor Plaza was essentially "City-sponsored." Given that there is now no market for any element of such a massive mixed-use mess -- a mess that perfectly exemplified the fake boom that is now bust -- WTP should be expiring quietly. Instead, it appears that Southern Development's very good friends on City Council are sponsoring its far too quiet reinvention as an in-town version of the William Park-AHIP joint project, Treesdale Park (Affordable Multifamily Rental Community), for which ground was recently broken on Rio Road.

In reviewing these many comments, I find something interesting. Namely, that no one seems to have identified the real ââ?¬Å?issue” involved here.

It’s not the dam-dredging-water debate, and it’s not whether Councilors Brown, Huja and Szakos have or have not let down their supporters and political allies.

The issue at hand is that since the City Council is elected ââ?¬Å?collectively” (by the entire City), the Councilors themselves are not accountable to any one constituent group ââ?¬Å?specifically”.

Councilors can basically vote on how the ââ?¬Å?feel” on an issue with little danger of being held accountable in the long term. If Councilors were elected to represent specific geographic areas (ââ?¬Å?wards”), then each Councilor would be held responsible to the specific long term needs and desires of that ward. However, with the ââ?¬Å?collective” nature of the current electoral system, any up swell in opposition must be of a large enough nature to overcome the ââ?¬Å?collectively” nature of the current system.

This is a distinct weakness, and the root cause of the current situation.

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the current debate, everyone eventually gets bitten in the back side due to the current electoral system. Until the citizens of Charlottesville are prepared to elect Councilors on a ward basis (and truly accept the ââ?¬Å?diversity of thought” and true ââ?¬Å?negotiation” that comes with a ward based system), the current non-accountable thought processes of Councilors will continue.

Charlottesville is simply too big of a ââ?¬Å?city” to continue with the current nonsensical methodology of electing its Councilors. That’s the real ââ?¬Å?issue” here.

Just my 2¢.

boo, Szakos was an unknown before running for office. And as far as friends, I suspect some of her own friends didn't even vote for her. And she wasn't the only person who rode Norris' coattail into office. It was quite interesting what was going on behind closed doors at the local democratic party. Some of those who felt they were with the "good ole boys club" didn't even see it coming!

Let the gnashing of teeth and wearing of ash cloth begin! The Hook calls this a "Mega dam"-based on what? It's just a dam the only thing that is mega is the hype and bias the Hook has lavished on this issue. The longer the fight, the more news stories it can write.

The trees lover bemoan the lost of trees- never mentioning that that more then 2x as many trees will be planted in mitigation. The parties have also agreed to look at dredging after the already agreed to 2006 plan is settled. The dredge first crowd just wants to delay the process. This 4 corners defense is their attempt to get a win by just running out the clock.

I watched the small band of the water tribe once again try to dominate the coverage with Lloyd shouting out and the histrionics of Smith and others- a lack of civility that they excuse with "a by any means necessary attitude."

Let's end this "death by debate", "just one more study" and any other of the concern by the water band that has always been about limiting growth.

Even if one agrees with Brown, Huja, and Szakos's desire for a 30-foot dam (which I don't), it was a terrible decision from a negotiating point of view. Negotiation 101: Don't make a concession to the other party until that party agrees to make a concession to you. These three caved to the county; what motivation does the county now have to agree to a reasonable cost sharing agreement? Or to agree to dredge, much less help pay for it?

There are three seats open on council this spring. Let's support candidates who look after the interests of city residents and not those of the county or the Nature Conservancy.


You can find the person you seek at the home of Bob Fenwick, who might well have beaten Ms. Szakos had concerned voters single-shot.

horrible vote. I will never support those three for any public office. they are not there to represent uva or the county, they are supposed to represent the citizens of this city, the ones who are here now and who elected them and they have lost sight of that. they should all be ashamed.

Szakos doesn't seem interested in doing the work involved in being a city councilor--lazy is the word I am looking for.

Long time Democrat, attended every mass meeting/primary there is. Done with this group. They are naive about how government works and will get their lunch handed to them by the county every time. This isn't some teabagger jumping on them--I have supported the leadership of the city through good and bad--this and the bullcrap and lies they spread about the Meadowcreek interceptor--talk about a few thousand more trees down to make sure we have the capacity for the mythical Albemarle place/stonefield/whatever.

Time to start doing the work needed to oust this group.

1) Antoinette and others:

Some of you need to remember that Szakos was on the ticket in the first place thanks to Mayor Norris.

2) I wonder now if Hawes will be able to move on to another pet issue so that he may further damage his journalistic integrity/objectivity?

The City Council has needed a big cleaning for years. Szakos did appear to want the dredging tied in with the additional dam, and we want to get them to make sure that is part of it.

"Szakos doesn’t seem interested in doing the work involved in being a city councilorââ?¬â??lazy is the word I am looking for."

"Szakos was utterly clueless when asked how much additional supply her proposal would generate. She just said a 30 foot rise ââ?¬Å?felt” like a good number."

"And Szakos”Š? Incredibly disappointing. Many of her supporters have been let down by her namby-pamby attitude on this important issue, and I doubt she’d win another election based on what I’m hearing."

I've had a few choice words to describe this person who has absolutely NO business being a council member, but if I posted them they would be "deleted by moderator," and besides, I think people here have adequately summed things up. She rode Dave Norris' coattails and used her connections with the Obama campaign to land a position she's completely unqualified for. (And I'm not qualified to be a councilor either...but you don't see me seeking out the position.) But people don't look at qualifications. They look for a familiar face. "Oh, I know her! I'll vote for her!" Yeah, well, doesn't mean the woman knows what she's doing or has an ounce of sense in her.

Terrible vote. Szakos is a huge disappointment. Let's just pave the county and be done with it.

Does anyone think these three stooges are qualified to make a desision like this?

Old Timer - Thank you

I believe I have furnished "Not Betty Mooney" with enough information, including my phone number. No call yet. There is no top growth motivation. End of topic. This is yet another Red Herring!

Richard Lloyd,

Most surprisingly in this is those so angry about limiting growth. There are plenty of places already filled with the growth they appear to want such as in Northern Virginia. Centerville looks great these days from growth.

The only people for growth aka sprawl in America are those who stand to personally profit off of it. Developers. Everyone else pretty much catches the downside.

People in Albemarle forget that growth usually means higher taxes.

Szakos is an amateur and a dilletante. Give me a break.

"Not Betty Mooney"-- if there's 'splainin' to do, perhaps you'd care to enlighten us regarding the members of the Free Enterprise Forum's board and their interest in this issue. Applying your logic to them, is it fair to say that their voices represent nothing more than agenda and conflict of interest as well?

Ann Mallek has just started with Council:
Reached the following day, Albemarle Board of Supervisors Chair Ann Mallek, pronouncing herself ââ?¬Å?very glad” about the vote, said she looks forward to ââ?¬Å?keeping the conversation going.”
@Not Betty Mooney, it sounds to me that you're either Ridge Schuyler or Jeff Werner. Both of them tend to talk more about people than the issues. You don't have the brains of a Betty Mooney. As for Jeff Werner or Ridge Schulyer running for Council, I doubt if they get nominated, they both have been down in Council chambers crying to there buddy David Brown.

@NBM -The water tribe (ASAPians if you will) now sound like all those pampered movie stars and agents after Ricky Gervais’s performance at the Golden Globes.


I read and responded too fast. This here is another example of why Old Timer said what he/she said. this is purely ad-hominem nonsense that does not answer any of the questions about the pro-damers. I alos find it interesting that you are upset that they look at motives - as you do - and then you defacto admit that they are right in their assignation of your motives, because you get angry about possibly limiting growth. Why get angry if you aren't for growth and sprawl?

All, we are spending way too much time on Not Betty Mooney!

Charlottesville is getting hollowed out by the three stooges on council. They dont care about facts.

Consider the recent:
1 - loss of parkland for a jointly owned YMCA
2 - a parkway has been built to the edge of our principal park. The City Council will likely provide more parkland to continue it to the 250 bypass and then on to I-64,dividing the town.
3 - the tax base of Martha Jefferson Hospital has gone to the county
4 - the city owned existing RMR is being abandoned
5 - the city owned land at RMR Nature Area is being flooded and crisscrossed with logging roads
6 - the city owned granite ridge above Camp Holiday Trails will be cut down to form a spillway for the big earthen dam, not required with Black and Veatch design.
7 - the land below the existing RMR dam will be given to buils the big new earthen dam
8 - the SFRR reservoir and dam will be surrendered to silting in unless taxpayers pay for it, unlikely
9 - the SFRR Dam will become useless but and removal will fall upon the city
10 - the city owned Sugar Hollow Reservoir and Dam will supply unatural flows to the farmers and cattlemen during drought. Supervisor Ann Mallek stated this at the last 4-Board Convention

All this either a loss of city assets or a cost of construction. Total is maybe order of $600 million. Divide this by 45,000 city souls. $13,000 per soul (man woman or child)

All that is gross estimates, understood. But we talking are serious money just for the Community Water System.

Now add in the other items above and you may get an idea of whats reall going on.

Charlottesville is getting hollowed out.


Rich Collins, Richard Lloyd ,Waldo Jaquith, Tom Olivier are members of the ASAP Board of Directors-

No, I'm not.

anybody hear Huja on the radio today explaining his vote? He said that he, Brown and Szazos discussed their plan of action prior to the city council meeting. Isn't such a meeting between 3 council members a violation of Virginia's open meetings law?

My, My you'll are having quite a time trying to guess who little old me is- Nope never been on the Schilling show but you probably wouldn't believe anything I might say about that. I'm just a serf who watched this water debate spiral out of control by the ASAPians and think they have an unchallenged ride for far too long. A citizen whose tired of listening to those who tell half the story and wail that the sky is falling if we don't listen to them. I truly believe the dredger are the vocal minority but are possessed of a missionary zeal that theirs is the only true solution. They talk of compromise but they really don't believe in.

I'm not mad about limited growth, I think it's fine- we already have that with a designated growth area and low growth rate. What I'm opposed to is the ASAPians ZERO growth strategy subverting normal means but now expressed by limiting the water supply.

Caesonia - beautiful name, just like the wife of Caligula, who went mad as a result of a love potion Caesonia administered to him. Have you been tampering with the ASAPians water perhaps? I'll let old timer speak for themselves if you don't mind-
Your misuse of "ad-hominem" is disappointing and incorrect.

Saddened why don't you address your own concerns of that board? If you have something to add go right ahead and enlighten us all. Just don't toss out the innuendo and walk away pretending something sinister has occurred.

Waldo you better get your name off their website then

"Waldo Jaquith is the web editor for UVa's Virginia Quarterly Review. He attended Western Albemarle High School and the Living Education Center for the Ecology and the Arts, and holds a degree from Virginia Tech. His interest in civics and community have led him to establish a series of related internet resources, including Richmond Sunlight and He was a 2005 fellow of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, and lives in the Southwest Mountains of Stony Point with his wife."

Mr. Huju was on my radio program today discussing why he voted the way he did this week. Podcast is here:

Huja- sorry- )too late for me)

I'm wondering if somehow city council can get suckered into finishing up a certain hotel project on the downtown mall too... Ya know in 50 years we'll need the hotel rooms right?

What does that have to do with this topic?

Waldo - you have a libel claim. Maybe Betty Mooney or Richard Lloyd can address this for us.

My crystal ball shows me that now that the city has given up control of their water infrastructure to the county, thanks to Huja, Szakos and Brown, they will have no control of water rates, their sewer costs will rise ( more water means more sewage) and they have lost an important tool to negotiate other matters as well. The low tax county will continue to have the upper hand on the city, forcing them to pay for their growth. Taxes will continue to rise in the city and fall in the county.

Never never never believe the county when they say --you will not have to pay for growth

Richard Loyd,

Everyone in the county is a little tired of Charlottesville's complaints. Charlottesville is a center for homelessness and people who don't work. The city pads its budget by stealing $20 million from the county every year, much of it to spend on indigents. Its time to start giving some back.

Smart city residents are happy the county is taking control and managing the situation. Maybe this extra water isn't needed by our current population, but it will help attract big industry and even retirement homes that bring jobs and new people who spend money locally. It benefits everyone.

Charlottesville needs to just sit back and let us do what needs to be done. The productive citizens will all benefit and the rest can keep cashing their government checks. City council has seen the light and you might want to start thinking about this too.

Waldo - you have a libel claim

No I don't�I haven't been harmed in any way.

"Everyone in the county is a little tired of Charlottesville’s complaints." Richard Lloyd has said on the radio that he is a county resident. Obviously you do not know everyone in the county.
" Maybe this extra water isn’t needed by our current population, but it will help attract big industry and even retirement homes that bring jobs and new people who spend money locally. It benefits everyone." The county said back in the fifties when it refused to rezone land for DuPont to locate here that it was not interest in a big industry locating here. Are you expecting Hanover Tomatoes? As for retirement homes, we old people do not bath all day long. Besides how many people do you know that work in retirement homes can afford to buy their own homes?
County resident, you sound like a teenager to me. My you need to just sit back and let us old head do what needs to be done while you make fun of the homeless and the jobless. BTW there are a lot of county residents picking up food every week at the Food Bank.

County Resident

That is an interesting comment.

I also currently live in the county. We will relocate soon.
Maybe you have heard me say that Charlottesville is becoming a tourist attraction with a low-cost housing project in back. Frankly I fear moving to the city as its tax base erodes and social services ratchet upward. But the county has similar dysfunctions. Like the current water plan.
Having worked in sizable and small businesses, I do not know of a business that needs huge quantities of water. Maybe there are some, but most want an affordable cost of living environment and a suitable trained workforce. And low taxes. The cost of water is the big determinant for business and families.
True, ConAgra used a lot of water, but they were years ago when pesticides contained heavy metals and DDT was common. The apples were washed and the water flushed into the streams. Modern businesses are far more efficient and enviornmental laws are now enforcable.
Comparing gallons per capita among cities is from a bygone day. The DEQ told me that they do not even keep such information because it is misleading and useless. Consider comparing Charlottesville to Lynchburg. They have much more industrialism, Ariva, even though both are college towns. The students go home but the factory workers do not. I do not know where Liz Palmer of ACSA gets her information but the DEQ could not give it to me.
The revenue sharing issue is from the past. The deal was made and signed. Now the County is crying about it. Seems they missed their computations concerning the cost of development to the tax payers. Oddly ASAP has recently commissioned a study on just that topic. It will be available publically to anyone including our elected officials making community decisions.
I was born here and returned to die. I would like to enjoy the next several decades. But the city/county battles need leadership. The current displeasures highlight the severity of the need. The next election is going to be pivotal. All this petty politics needs to STOP, the Red Herrings need to cease and professionalism needs to come to Charlottesville. It’s a special place with a unique heritage.

@Richard Lloyd, the problem with moving to the city is that you do't know what Council will allow in your block be it restaurants or low-income housing. And face it, low-income housing does not help the tax base. County Resident isn't the only people who believe that the city is full of the down-and-out. Many people refuse to buy in the city for just that reason. We still have over 60% rental and houses often stay on the market for over a year. I would think a long time about moving to the city. We have declining market value without a corresponding decline in assessments. Right now there are plans for a large omount of low-income housing in Belmont, Tenth & Page and Ridge/Fifeville. It is not a matter of people as it is a matter of economics. A person's home represents a great deal of his wealth that he has managed to accrue in his lifetime, and I feel fortunate I was able to move before I lost mine.

If someone wants to start the recall process, I will be glad to knock on doors and ask for signatures. I think it would be pretty easy to get enough after this vote, the questionable hiring of Maurice Jones, the give away to the YMCA and more. There have almost certainly been more secret meetings about the Meadowcreek Parkway and it is very likely the same thing will happen with another surprise vote approving it. It is time to act before it is too late to stop that.

Do we have recall in VA?

Oh yes,_Portsmouth,_V...

My earlier comments about the Huja's radio appearance seem to be eaten once again by the Hooks filters *sigh*- the real news is that Huja claims that Szakos told Mayor Norris that there would be a vote- so somebody is not telling the whole story on that one. Also I think Huja handled himself quite well but you should listen for yourself.

Waldo, you are clearly listed a member of their Board of Directors on their website- that is not my doing but theirs. Are you saying you have never been a member of such group or have they just not updated it and you USE to be on it.

Your demure insistence that there is nothing you can do about it is almost charming. Perhaps you could simply tell Richard Lloyd to remove your name right here and now. Hey Richard, what to do have to say as the ASAP treasurer about Waldo- Is he now or has he ever been a member of the ASAP? Can you get his name off your website? I only know what I read about ASAP- someone want to clear this whole thing up for us?

Since I have never been a member of NAMBLA ( you owe a royalty to the Daily Show for stealing that shtick ) I would be quite upset if I was listed as a member on their website - if it was a clerical error of time the I would have told you that I was no longer a member of their Board of Directors.

confused easily- I love the fact that you think that my writing that Waldo was a member of ASAP is a libelous action. I never thought that claiming someone was a member of ASAP (by linking to their own website not something that was made up) would be met with legal action. That made my night- thanks.

No, no earmarks, Sam.

Where's Ed Abbey's MonkeyWrench Gang now that we really need them?

Frank, I respectfully disagree. I think Charlottesville is too small a city to have wards. All city residents pay water rates and collectively own the dams and reservoirs and land, so it is a citywide and not a neighborhood issue. The loss of all these resources, and the cost to city residents is the problem for everyone who lives in the City .

This is a County plan using City resources and the 3 Councilors just gave everything to the County and got, or any assurance that City residents wouldn't see there water bills increase to pay for this very expensive plan.

Ms. Roades & Birdseyeview:

Thanks for your thoughts; however, I do (respectfully) think that you are missing the point.

IMHO, the lack of a ward system (and other independent ways for citizens to gain potential leadership opportunities) results directly in a lack of true ââ?¬Å?leaders” to serve our City. A ward system would present growth opportunities that would allow potential city wide leaders to be developed. Without it, we (as a City) increasingly depend on a local ââ?¬Å?party” to identify our leaders; or, as Ms. Roades effectively noted in her December 26th, 2010 response to a different Hook article, the City currently has a ââ?¬Å?one-faction-of-one-party rule. The entrenched crew has no problem throwing fellow partisans for whom they have no use under various forms of public transportation.”

Similarly, in the 01/25/2005 - 01/31/2005 issue of C’Ville, Ms. Roades also noted that ââ?¬Å?there’s a . . . continental drift away from local representatives who took as their first priority the practical matters that make daily city life livable . . . and toward representatives more and more focused on grand schemes and personal ââ?¬Å?visions” that profit nonresident developers and potential residents rather than those whose lives are already invested here now.”

While one can point to the fact that Charlottesville’s populations has hovered around 40,000 residents for the past 20 years that ignores the fact the Charlottesville MSA now has over 200,000 residents; an increase of ~40% over those same 20 years. In spite of the City’s population, the City (as the nexus for the expanding MSA) is experiencing issues that relate to political sub-divisions of a greater size and scope. However, we are not developing leaders in the same fashion as larger political sub-divisions.

So, instead of choose individuals who might serve our City effectively, we require our potential leaders to bow to a ââ?¬Å?party” instead. Of course if one chooses to not to bow to the ââ?¬Å?party”, one is forced into a City-wide electoral process. That results in a commitment of resources that few (outside the "party") may be able to muster.

Our current system is the weakness. We can continue down the current path, and be dominated ââ?¬Å?one-faction-of-one-party rule”; or try something different. I would prefer looking at acceptable versions of the latter.

Frank I do see your point. It is difficult to break the hold that "the party" has on Charlottesville. If we had elected Bob Fenwick we would see our water resources maintained, a far less costly plan, and we would dredge the South Fork first, instead of killing 60,000 city owned trees in a beautiful Natural Areaat Ragged Mt.

Thank you Antoinette for your perspective. I admire your advocacy for historic Ridge Street Neighborhood, and wish that all our city leaders did so as well, and all our citizens, for that matter.

There is so much we could do to honor it's history and make it more beautiful. Eugene Williams has also been a valiant advocate and I wonder how he feels about cramming even more low income housing, in such concentrated fashion, into a neighborhood that already has one of the highest concentrations of poverty in the city. I thought smart people learned long ago this was not good housing policy.

It is foolish for the city to try to house the majority of the regions poor. Of course, they should do their fair share, but with all the surrounding low tax counties, and Albemarle refusing to raise taxes to pay for growth, Charlottesville is becoming a poverty magnet.

We should all oppose this increased density, and fight to keep this parcel a park for the neighborhood.
Didn't you find a cemetery there ?

I realize this is off topic, but this is another example of trying to do good and doing bad.

Whether it's loosing water infrastructure, parkland, or this parcel, the City is increasing the cost of living, and cutting the quality of life in Charlottesville, while the county is doing the opposite.

Not a wise strategy for the future.

This vote appears to be a most pitiful collapse of our City Council in the face of an intransigent County Board of Supervisors.

One wonders if a recall campaign is feasible...???

They have made our homes safe and convenient for developers for years to come... Real estate and commercial interests may rejoice in the knowledge that they need no longer be restrained by concerns about water availability in doing whatever they wish to do to us.

We should remember this vote as we suffer from the traffic, crowding, noise and light pollution that our City Council has just facilitated.
Welcome to Northern Virginia....

is this vote irreversible? what can city residents do to change it?

That’s a good question. I assumed that Martha Jefferson paid real estate taxes along with collecting sales taxes. Generally I try to use facts I have researched, but that was an assumption.
Does anyone know the real story concerning Martha Jefferson Hospital taxes? I will research in the morning

I'll sign, and I'll help publicize it. every city resident i have talked to in the past week thinks this vote was not in the best interests of the city.

Kristen Szakos, your City Councilor will be on Coy Barefoot Show, Charlottesville Right Now, at 4:08 TODAY.

You can call in and voice your opinion using phone number 434-977-1070.


Dave Norris will be on during the second hour with Coy.

So there you have both sides of the recent vote. Don't miss the opportunity to let them know your position in memorable words.

The 3 Democratic hacks on council (Brown, Huja, Szakos) clearly had engineered last night's vote - there was nothing spontaneous or coincidental about it - huja even brought written talking points. and my guess is the county knew full well that the 3 were planning to renege on their september vote, even though all of the evidence since sept. has only validated the wisdom of the city's plan. So, since the 3 councilors knew they were going to kill the city's plan, and since the county probably knew the 3 were going to kill the city's plan, what in the hell was the purpose of the joint meeting of council and BOS yesterday and how immensely disrespectful was it for them to subject their colleagues to that charade? The county has those 3 wrapped around their finger.

If they build that thing it will be the first item ever built in the history of Charlottesville that will be built for the future. I'm all for doing something that will last more than 50 years! Everything else around here is outdated before it is even finished!

I will readily vote for Mr. Huja. Kristin Szakos, not so much.

Story just updated with information from Albemarle Supe Chair Ann Mallek.--hawes spencer

Huja works for UVA and he has no idea what he is taliking about . Fire Him ! He sold out the city.


Thanks for noticing the relatively small but highly indicative measure Councilors heard for first reading Tuesday night -- the sale of a prominently located 8,200-plus parcel of City property to Southern Development for a sweetheart-deal price of $40,000. I didn't tune in on that one because I know there's not the slightest chance that it will not be approved at the next meeting.

I have no problem with that particular parcel being bought by SD for an extension of Burnet Commons. The scandal is in the too low assessment and further lowered sale price -- justified by, would anyone believe, potential "cleanup costs." It's definitely a give-away.

I do have a huge problem, however, with the two City-owned parcels on Ridge Street being sold to SD to be immediately flipped for what we now know is nothing but a bailout for SD. The Ridge-Cherry property -- that is, the five parcels bought by Dr. Hurt in '99 and the two parcels Councilors voted to sell SD in '08 -- is in many respects a miniature Ragged Mountain Natural Area. It's a steep-sided wooded ravine bisected by an originally spring-fed creek that now carries massive amounts of storm runoff into a highly effective rain garden.

But if what's afoot at City Hall happens on February 8 -- when the public will have both a first and last chance to comment on it -- all of that will be sacrificed for a physically enlarged and environmentally dumbed down version of William Taylor Plaza. That project aleady exemplified perfectly the wretched excess of the boom that has gone so spectacularly bust. By all logic, WTP should now be dying a natural death, not being resuscitated by the City so that it can kill an irreplaceable natural asset.

Ms. Roades, I was referring to the Democratic Primary, which will be this May. If history is any guide that will decide who is elected in the fall (you are correct that that is when the general election is). I hope that everyone who is a Democrat and is outraged by last night's Council decision will come out and vote in May.

The vote is most disappointing. Reporting it on Poe's birthday has some significance - nevermore - the ghost of Ragged Mtn may rise again.

Dede Smith and Kevin Lynch on the Coy Barefoot show:

Someone will pay dearly for this. Mark my words. No longer can Ya'll claim to be environmentally friendly. Good luck.

Thank you Mr. Schilling for your good detective work:

Coup you: Charlottesville Democrats’ secret scheme to topple ââ?¬Å?Norris Plan”

A high-level operative from within the Charlottesville Democratic Committee has taken direct aim at Mayor Dave Norris and his alternative water plan.

Linda Seaman, a 2007 candidate for Charlottesville City Council, and an obsequious delegate of Charlottesville’s ââ?¬Å?old guard” Democrat cabal, is conspiring to arrange a coup d’©tat headed by three ââ?¬Å?sympathetic” councilors: David Brown, Kristin [...]

TO ALL Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink.

Dredge the res. Sell the silt sludge or whatever you want to call it to a landscaper/grape grower/wine maker/lama raiser/a fertilizer plant. To cut the cost of the project.The 50 year plan will be the same as it is today because of the anti-expandtion rules on building in his town.What theres 100k people in the county? In 50 years maybe 110k.That is unless the rich and famous folk find the fountain of youth and live (rule) forever, Looks like Mr . Poe has already found a way to return from the grave.Edgar share it with all of us will Ya?

Szakos is the most disappointing councilor in memory--makes Schilling look like someone with a clue. Good thing Brown is leaving--time to elect folks who will best represent the long-term interests of city residents.

The best hope is to have someone step up to join Norris and Edwards so that Huja and Szakos become marginalized. Sometimes it is NOT in the best interests of city residents for everyone to just get along. Instead, sometimes actual leadership is called for.

I stay young by watching City Council on TV- look what I've learned

It was clear at the meeting ( watch for yourself) that Brown was the leader of the pack and he has been trying to topple Norris's Plan and the courageous battle he fought for the ratepayers, ever since it became obvious that the plan was based on overblown costs of dredging the Reservoir.

The close ties of Brown to his friends at the Nature Conservancy blinded him to any factual data that was presented. The new data showed that there was a far less costly, less environmentally damaging water plan for our community . And that our water use had dropped so precipitously that we didn't need a new dam, only dredging. He could never see beyond his bond to Ridge Schyler's Nature Conservancy river restoration project, no matter what the cost to Charlottesville citizens.

Every Council meeting, where the water plan was discussed Brown would bring up his friends Jeff Werner, in the Piedmont Environmental Council and Ridge Schyler, formerly head lobbyist for the Nature Conservancy. Ridge Schyler is credited with the new dam/uphill pipeline project which the Nature Conservancy wanted as a model for their river restoration agenda. To do that they needed to take over the community water plan for their own purposes.

Brown was always against dredging for water supply and tried to undermine any attempts to do so. He and his friends at the Nature Conservancy were clearly the ones who used the DEQ letter, that Brian Wheeler foiaed, and published in the Daily Progress to get Huja to jump ship, by convincing him, ( with his close ties to UVA, it didn't take much convincing), that the DEQ would not permit the Norris PLan. A totally trumped up charge. And Huja ended up favoring the Nature Conservancy agenda over an affordable water plan as well.

Linda Seaman's motivation is unclear, but she and Kristin Szakos are compromisers and once the County said No Compromise, that the plan had to be done " their way " Szakos folded . Just shows you kids, if you put your foot down hard enough everyone will do what you want.

So the City residents lost big time and now we get a water plan that costs tens of millions more than the Norris Plan, that stores so much water we will never have to maintain any of the city owned dams and reservoirs, and allows us to never have to conserve water.

Good job Szako- Brown -Huja.

Why not change the structure of local government and
bring in a Town Meeting type format instead? They
can be quite effective and they're more fun.


"People are focusing on Szakos because she’s such a gross disappointment to so many of her former supporters."

What went through my mind is that maybe this can be a wake up call learning lesson for people. The writing was always on the wall as far as Szakos is concerned. *But her supporters failed to see what was right in front of their face.* Let it be a lesson to you. Next time, choose your elected officials a little more wisely. If they have no proven experience with anything political, if they seem ditzy and namby pamby, if they have no real discernable platform or goals, then open your eyes, *see* this and take mental notes, and then *don't vote for them.*

And my crystal ball and TV watching tell me that Jim Nix, Szakos's campaign chair, and co-chair of the Democratic Party had alot to do with this. Does he work for the Nature Conservancy, I see him there alot ?

I haven't been very impressed with Norris, except on his stand on the water plan. He mainly has his pet projects like most councilors, and then tries to make everyone happy. On this though I think he really stood on the issue where it needed to be stood on.

If you listened to the podcast I think a very good point was made though. This wasn't rally what the County wanted. Outside of them getting control of Charlottesville's water supply - and they have wanted that for a long time so they can control the City.

Might be time to move on, after so long. I lived elsewhere I can live elsewhere again. I watched this stupidity of sprawl happen in NOVA, and I can't stand it. Never thought Albemarle would be so dumb, with all the agriculture and wealthy scions around. I guess I was wrong.

At least now the battle lines are drawn.

Huja, Brown, Szako, and the Board of Sups, on the side of the Nature Conservancy and the Big Moneyed Developers.

Norris and Edwards on the side of the ratepayers, and one environmental organization, the Sierra Club, willing to stand up to the Nature Conservancy and represent more than just the Moorman's River science project/streamflow agenda.

Next election let's level the playing field.

Charity Navigator rates the Sierra Club higher than
the Nature Conservancy. Its CEO makes a little over
$100K. The CEO of the Nature Conservancy makes almost

There is a rumor that Ridge Schyler, architect of the Nature Conservancy dam-pipeline plan, may run for City Council. Well, that would be the equivalent of giving the Nature Conservancy an elected official to represent the ratepayers, who are being screwed by their plan.

They already have their staff on the Albemarle Service Authority Board, isn't this a conflict of interest already. That board sets water rates and will pay for their plan. How many boards are they trying to control . Taking over this water plan must mean big bucks to them to be lobbying so hard.

And does anyone understand the role of the Rivanna Conservation Society in all this. Is that another board controlled by the Nature Conservancy. I heard they recently put out a news letter supporting the 2006 plan.

the myopic chicken-littlism and hysterical ravings of those opposed to the dam is astounding: No straw-man is too desperate a device, no invented villain is too devious, no imagined motivation too far-fetched.

Take a deep breath and let it go.

Now we're hearing that this is about the county wanting to "control" the city? We're hearing that city residents get nothing out of this?

Neither of these examples of extreme hyperbole are true. City residents get the enactment of a plan to provide water well into the future. This is not a bad thing, believe it or not.

As for the county trying to "control" the city; really now.

Anyone that lived here through the drought of 2002, when we were 90 days from literally having to truck in water, should be pleased that such a disaster will not be repeated. Water is one of those things that you don't gamble with. Yes, we've cut down on the rate of consumption and yes, growth projections are merely projections. But so are conservation projections.

The fact is that water has to come from somewhere and, increasingly, it needs to be paid for. It is the 21st century and the supply of fresh water is not going to increase as time moves forward and the world population grows; quite the contrary.

The city council did the wise thing. It is good and sensible that the local area will have more than enough water for the foreseeable future. It is a responsible decision to ensure that the water is derived from local sources.

I'm sure there are plenty of Charlottesville residents that would be more than happy to have their water come from some poor locality that can't afford to protect its local ecosystem and is invisible to them. Anything to protect "their" environment is considered just.

Unfortunately for their arguments, the world is finite, trees are a renewable resource and water is not.

It's time to put down our childish things and face the fact that our existence on this planet is not a free ride.

Yes, some trees on ragged mountain will die. This is a small price to pay when compared the supply of water for our local community.

"City residents get the enactment of a plan to provide water well into the future. "

City residents need no more water, in fact they currently own all the water they could ever need by maintaining the current supply at South Fork. The big dam has to be so big because the reservoir ( that can't fill itself plan) envisions the South Fork Reservoir filling with silt, and becoming a marshy swamp with silt piled up against a dam that will become a danger to everyone downstream.
If the Nature Conservancy hadn't stepped in we would have dredged by now. If they want this plan so bad - let them pay for it !

Great plan !

@ Meanwhile: You'd be the first to go.

" For instance, she says that newly-planted treesââ?¬â? which will be part of multi-million-dollar effort to mitigate the clear-cut forest at Ragged Mountainââ?¬â? actually sequester more carbon than ââ?¬Å?older trees that are just hanging out.”

Perhaps Ann Malleck would like to propose a clear cutting program to get rid of all those polluting older trees that are, as she says, "just hanging out "

so tell UVA, NGIC and all the other employers in the area to stop growing. Instead of blaming all the gov't officials and private interests that are anticipating and planning for future growth, blame the real culprits: Thomas Jefferson's crowning acheivement, the University of Virginia.

This city would not be on the map without UVA. UVA is growing and will continue to grow as long as it exists.

A wise decision is not one that says, "we have everything we need right now, let's just put our heads in the sand and hope things will be ok in the future" but rather plans for expected growth.

Sort of like how parents buy clothes that are a little loose and big for their children, knowing they'll grow into them? It's kind of like that.

It was high time the adults stepped in and made a responsible decision. Yes, the children amongst us don't like it and have discovered that not everything the adults do is perfect. But those minor flaws are not paramount enough to derail this sensible plan.


"Now we’re hearing that this is about the county wanting to ââ?¬Å?control” the city? We’re hearing that city residents get nothing out of this?"

Other than increased water bills, they don't. Get rid of the county users in the 'greater Charlottesville area', some lesser dredging and repair of infrastructure would do them fine for the next 50 years. They can afford to do it on their own then.

County residents like myself who choose to really live in a county, on a well(s) also get nothing out of it. Except the cost of the debt of what they do pay for in the years to come, so a couple of developers can go nuts on 20S, where they couldn;t develop for years becuase there is no water.

The City should pay for it all, and then just raise the water rates on the County resident living in the 'Greater Charlottesville Area'. Raise it to make up for the difference in property taxes.


"This city would not be on the map without UVA. UVA is growing and will continue to grow as long as it exists."

Neither would Albemarle. y the way, UVA only represents 11% of the water usage, even with growth. NGIC is far far less. I don't know why you think NGIC will somehow grow explosively continuously, especially with Gates going to the chopping block. Cut off the contractors and you will get a great sucking sound.

Never forget in spite of growth that water usage is down substantially due to water conserving products.

The Adults were the ones who showed up to review the process. It was the spoiled children who were spoiled once again.

One day I keep hoping that Albemarle COunty will get tired of being the laughing stock of the state for stupid public projects country wide. Both the 29N widening and the Meadowcreek Parkway are already up there as examples of hat NOT to do.

Who builds anything for 50 years in the future now ?

Who builds anything for 50 years TJ? Anyone who wants to use resources properly and plan for a real future. The real TJ, Jefferson would laugh @ your myopic suggestion. Not all of this is built at once; it is phased in.

I applaud (meanwhile...)posts again and would point out the if any group is behind the water tribe it would be ASAP. ASAP's members (many of whom have moved here themselves) are telling us that we should put absolute controls on population. I'm talking an actual hard ceiling that Albemarle can't grow beyond- if you want to move in you will have to wait till someone else moves out or dies. They have viewed controlling the water supply as the best way to accomplish their goals.

Look at the members of ASAP and see how many are in the water tribe and the accolades. Jack Marshall sat on the water board and approved of a critically underfunded infrastructure that has required massive investment today. His mismanagement and negligence of that board is never taked about. Jack Marshall is president of ASAP. Rich Collins, Richard Lloyd ,Waldo Jaquith, Tom Olivier are members of the ASAP Board of Directors-

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that most of the rest of the water tribe were regular members of ASAP as well. This one group has tried to stop the dam by many different arguments but never utter the true one in public - when you choke off the water supply you can stop growth.

Please remember that the previous plan to dredge for water supply and add 13 feet initially, and go up to 42 if needed, which had been unanimously supported by council provided more water for our region's future that just building a megadam and pipeline ever will.

Controlling growth is not what this debate is about, controlling cost and maintaining our resources is.

Who pays is the question. If the city loses Ragged Mt. Natural Area, their best water supply reservoir at South Fork and their best water source the Sugar Hollow Reservoir, --and since they need no more water than what they currently they own. They have gained nothing but lost a great deal.

By joining in the county plan they lose hundreds of millions of dollars of their citizen's asessts.

And in 50 years what will the need be, Not Betty Mooney? You seem soooo smart:) And the cost of maintaining pumping stations and pipelines and when Mother Nature strikes? remember Hurricane Camile anyone? The cost to the environment?

I see my old friend is back, " Not Betty Mooney ". Yes, I think the 3 Councilors made a mistake in their duty to represent city residents. But what I find most egregious is the way they did it.

This was on the agenda as a report. We anticipated further discussion about the Black and Veatch approach, but not a totally new plan without any discussion. 30 feet and why 30 feet, other than I read Mr. Frederick recommended it as the minimum to meet streamflows in the permit.

The information upon which the permit is based is no longer valid. No business person would base a plan on this information, who had to look out for the financial well being of their business. The councilors had agreed on a far better plan: both financially and environmentally, but now 3 of them have caved into the county demands to not compromise. Who does that benefit ?

When Mr. Frederick said dredging cost over $200 million dollars I started looking into this issue myself, and I wish Huja, Brown, and Szakos had been more skeptical as well.

Mayor Norris sits on the RWSA board and has far more knowledge of the facts on this issue, and up to date information, than any of those who overthrew the previous unanimous consensus, they had reached. They would have been well advised, in the interest of their citizens, to listen to him. Now they have weakened their negotiating position with the county.

Did Ann Mallek say that the old trees at Ragged Mountain were "just hanging out" and those saplings should be planted when the 50,000 old trees were cut down? WOW !!
Why not just go ahead and plant the saplings? We all know planting a sapling cost a very small fraction of the cost of cutting the big old trees and hauling them away.

Please understand that conservation has huge impacts. It’s not just saving water! All the water not removed from the river goes down the stream, a good thing. But also remember that all the water not removed does not go through the sewage treatment plant. Expand the water usage and you need to also expand the treatment plant.
Huja, Szakos and Brown (our thoughtful and informed City Councilors) have no comment on the cost of the water impoundment (the dams and reservoirs). They also have no comment on recovering the already spent CITY MONEY used to buy Buck Mountain which will go to mitigate damages caused by the big new dam required by the County. And they have no comment on the abandonment of the City Assets such as the existing dams/reservoirs at Ragged Mountain (submerged) and SFRR (silted in) or Sugar Hollow (capacity to farmers and cattlemen). And they have no comment on the cost of future dredging required to save the SFRR power generation equipment within the dam or the dam inlet tower and the dam itself from overload. And they have not even discussed cost of EXPANDING the SEWAGE PLANT needed to treat the expanded capacity!!
This is outrageous and appears to be classic Misfeasance. Who knows but that when the whole story is known that it will turn out to be Malfeasance? The ââ?¬Å?Why” as in ââ?¬Å?why are they doing this” is an interesting topic.

They have discussed the sewage plant and other sewage issues. In fact most of the capital budget in the next 5 years is to address those issues of sewage that have been neglected for the past years as has been mentioned

What I want to know is why hasn't any mentioned that they can build the new dam WITHOUT raising rates. They starting saving for it in 2003. All those who are lamenting the rate payer fail to ever mention that a good portion of the dam's cost has already been paid for by prudent planning

The new councilors are weak and politically naive. Although Huja has many years of experience in government, they were based in an area where compromise and consensus were paramount--ticking people off and standing your ground were not. In this instance, you get there, but not by conceding every point in this fashion. I don't know the deal with Szakos--maybe she doesn't have the stomach for it. Brown is easy to read--tool of the development crowd and his NC pals.

What a disappointing legacy.

Oh I feel so special Not Betty Mooney has named me. Must mean I worry her/him a great deal.

It's true, Mr Lloyd did not call me out, and some others.

Here is what is also true:

Of all those who have taken organized public stands in this debate, the only ones with the spine to say who they are on The Hook, have been those on the side of dredging. You, Not Betty Mooney, and your brethren, have not.

I also note that the likes of Lloyd and Betty Mooney never shirk from sticking to the topic, and pointing to statistical evidence. That is also a problem for you and your brethren.

Those items alone were enough to make me dig in my heels and start pushing against the 2006 project.

Thank you OLd Timer

"Follow truth where ever it may lead you ....."
Thomas Jefferson

There is a lack of ACCOUNTABILITY in our current times on many levels. Our current local government needs to be held accountable to facts. My humble opinion. But sadly some of the public appears happy to believe the perposterious. Some are Sheepeople? Thankfully not everyone, there is hope.

Eventually everything will come to the surface. I would hate to live with the knowledge that I participated in a deception.

"Follow truth where ever it may lead you ....."

Like so many others if I stated my true feelings they they would be deleted by the censor.

I think Brown is jealous of Norris because the Sept compromise wasn't his idea. Brown also stops thinking once he has selected a position because he doesn't want to be embarassed about being wrong as evidenced by his steadfast support for Frederick and the RSWA against van Der Linde.

Szakos is self righteous and only interested in her own social agenda. She doesn't even know the facts. She needs to spend less time baking cookies and criticizing citizens for using "gyped", stop worrying about cooperating with the county rather than representing the interests of those who elected her to whom she swore to serve, and start doing her home work.

Both Sakos and Huja are worried about upseting Ken Nix chairman of the City Democratic party who is a big dam advocate because they are worried they would lose his support in the next election.

dont get mad get right. come on folks, lets do something to take charge of this issue in which we have been under served by our elected representatives. i am a charlottesvillian of 25 years, out of town until april, I will assist in any genuine public efforts to change direction on this horrible decision. host a meeting, circulate a petition, i dont know whats best, but i know that the only people who make sense are the ones who oppose this idea. this is a terrible idea for the city. and we will pay for it for years and years, maybe forever. its just like the parkway, the city's interests get buried by the county's, and our reps seem to lose their spine for their jobs as soon as the election is over. throw the bums out!