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Fenwick defends Van der Linde

by Dave McNair
published 4:03pm Tuesday Oct 20, 2009
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news-fenwicktrolley“This is a monumental waste of time and money,” says Bob Fenwick of the Waste Authority’s lawsuit against Peter Van der Linde, seen here on the trolley Van der Linde uses to give school tours of his recycling facility.

Independent City Council candidate Bob Fenwick held a press conference today at Peter Van der Linde’s $11 million Zion Crossroads recycling facility, at which he dropped off some trash of his own (concrete scraps, yard waste, and a broken weed trimmer) and called on Charlottesville City Council to rescind the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority’s $20 million RICO lawsuit against the recycler.

“We have two governments going after Peter Van der Linde using my tax money and my water fees,” said Fenwick. “Their staff attorney has been reported to be charging $515 an hour. This is a monumental waste of time and money.”

As an area businessman for 30 years, Fenwick said that Van der Linde’s struggle with the RSWA “struck a chord,” and like the YMCA plans for McIntire Park, seemed like another case of “government not following the will of the people.” Fenwick said he’s tried to find out the RSWA’s side of the story, but to no avail.

“Why doesn’t someone from the County Board of Supervisors or City Council stand before us and tell us why this lawsuit is a good idea?” Fenwick asked. “They have publicly accused this man of being a criminal, and now they hide from public comment.”

Fenwick also criticized the RSWA’s recent discussion on adopting a flow control ordinance, which would give the Authority monopoly control over trash collection and shut Van der Linde’s facility down, questioning director Tom Frederick’s recent statements.

“Tom Frederick says flow control is off the table for now,” said Fenwick. “Does he really think the public is stupid? It’s off the table only until after the election. This is political deceit. After the election, they will do whatever they want, ruin this man and destroy a leading green industry in our area.”

Afterwards, Van der Linde guided Fenwick and reporters on a tour of the facility, which included a glimpse of the new household garbage handling facility, which Van der Linde says should be operational once his permits are approved, which he hopes will be in the next week or two.


  • TJ October 20th, 2009 | 4:46 pm

    With our local governments looking at dwindling revenues, and increasing unemployment in our workforce, how can any elected official support this suit ? Maybe Duane Snow and Rodney Thomas will have the courage to join Fenwick and standup to this wasteful government spending. Duane –Rodney where are you–speak up so we can hear. Citizens need to demand greater accountability from our elected officials, and call on them to stop this harassment of a private businessman. This is not a democratic or republican issue. This is an issue of common sense which currently is in short supply among our officials.

  • watching the bob show October 21st, 2009 | 1:06 pm

    Wonder if Fenwick is enough of a grownup to realize that, if he gets elected, he will no longer be able to behave like a gadfly agitating from the outside; instead, he will have to say the responsible thing when asked questions involving litigation to which the government he represents is a party, just like the current council members are doing. Being an entertaining character in political theater does not necessarily make for a competent council member (it sure didn’t for Rob Shilling, at least). Of course, if the lawsuit has factual and legal merit (something neither Fenwick nor his dittoheads seem interested in addressing), it is reckless and decitful to characterize it as “harassment.” Last I checked, we individual citizens don’t really have a right to oversee how and when the government chooses to enforce identified violations of law — there is a thing called “enforcement discretion.” If you don’t like your taxes being used to make people comply with laws, you need to go through the legislative process to get the underlying laws changed.

  • cookieJar October 21st, 2009 | 1:47 pm

    watching the bob show, I too hope Mr. Fenwick will do the responsible thing when he is elected. The responsible thing in most if not all of the situations Mr. Fenwick has commented on would be to do the same from the inside.

    I don’t want another politician who won’t speak out about the idiocy that plagues local government. Our elected representatives shouldn’t attempt to represent “the government,” they represent the people who elected them. Indeed we citizens do have something to say about how and when the government chooses to enforce laws. We can vote for people like Mr. Fenwick.

    Single shot for Fenwick.

  • Jeff October 21st, 2009 | 2:55 pm

    The way to stop wasteful spending of taxpayer money on frivolous lawsuits, such as this one, is to elect officials that will put a stop to them. That is why we elect people to represent us. Our present Council is asleep and we need someone to wake them up and be willing to not only listen to the people, but act to represent them and not hide behind statements like –no comment–I’ve had enough .Single shot for Fenwick !

  • Betty Mooney October 22nd, 2009 | 9:37 am

    Thanks to the willingness of citizens, like Bob Fenwick, and the excellent reporting in the Hook and on the Coy Barefoot and Rob Schilling show, our elected officials are being forced to face this huge waste of taxpayer money. I am voting for Mr. Fenwick, and after getting to know him, I believe he will be the strongest advocate we can find for the concerns of city residents, to oversee these authorities, that have become completely dysfunctional, as well as a strong advocate for all neighborhoods concerns, which have too often been dismissed.

  • Teacher October 22nd, 2009 | 10:25 am

    I am a teacher and I was impressed to see the trolley that is used to give school children tours of the recycling facility. I believe this type of education is our best opportunity to instill a culture of recycling in our youth. I do not understand why anyone would want to harm this enterprise.

  • Concerned Troy Residents October 23rd, 2009 | 12:03 pm

    Van der Linde’s representatives were gracious enough to offer to ban all of their trucks off of Route 250, Fluvanna portion, via SUP, unless service is required in using Route 250. They now utillze I-64 at Zions Crossroads. By doing this peace and quiet has returned to those who live along Route 250 in Fluvanna County. Also, the trash has cut back along the sides of the road. However, the noise and trash that remains is from BFI, Allied Waste, or what ever they call themselves now. If they become a monopoly lord help us poor Fluvanna County residents who once again will have to contend with constant noise, trash, safety issues for school buses, road deterioration, and other negatives. After repeated calls to them they will listen but do nothing to stop them from taking Route 250, going 8 mailes west to access I-64 at Boyds Tavern to go to Charlottesville rather than accessing I-64 at Zions Crossrroads, which is exactly, we have tracked the mileage, one (1) mile east from the entrance/exit of their facility just off Route 250. They claim their vehicles need to use Route 250 to use access service–bull crap! We follow them on a daily basis and they go straight to Boys Tavern exchange to service areas West of Fluvanna County. We never see them keep straight on Route 250 or take Black Cat Road–doesn’t this tell you something?! We are rooting for you Mr. Van der Linde!

  • TJ October 24th, 2009 | 9:40 am

    No elected official or candidate is willing to stand up to this outrageous waste of citizen money, only one man, Bob Fenwick. We must elect him or they will waste millions more of our hard earned dollars.



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