Jewell’s departure is expected to bring a quieter, less-entertaining council, and perhaps signal the end of a long line of council firebrands.
During his eight years representing the 5th District, Jewell was the peppery, crusty character, mixing homespun sayings with his frequent criticisms of clumsy and wasteful city operations.
“Outrageous” was a favorite word.
(Watch our video report to see a compilation of Marty Jewellisms.)
He was rarely at a loss for words. Reporters knew to just wait a second and he would turn it on.
He had little patience for wasting city funds, which he called the people’s money.
Jewell, a Norfolk native who had consulting and cleaning service businesses, never shied from taking a swing at city government, and at council. And he would have fun doing it.
But for the past two years, Jewell attacked Mayor Dwight Jones at every turn, as he did vigorously when the mayor was missing in action during Hurricane Irene.
Paul Goldman, a longtime city and state government analyst, said Jewell went overboard with his criticism of the mayor in the face of Jones’ political strength, attacking “like he was superman.”
It was political suicide, Goldman said. Jones and his political allies “beat him like a drum.”
On Wednesday, Jewell – a past president of the Richmond Crusade for Voters - said he will continue being an activist for Richmonders, something he has done for three decades.
“You take a licking and keep on ticking,” Jewell said, borrowing from an old Timex watch commercial. “Sometimes that’s all you can do.”