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GOLDMAN: Seven ‘yes’ votes needed, or just five? Potential Shockoe Stadium shocker

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Paul Goldman is a local lawyer who helped run Doug Wilder's historic campaign for governor of Virginia.

RICHMOND, Va. – Are activists for continuing baseball-on-the-Boulevard, along with community organizers dedicated to protecting African-American historical sites, about to get hit with a big legal surprise?

They are assuming Mayor Jones needs seven of the nine Richmond City Council members to support his Shockoe Stadium proposal. But is their legal math correct?

Today’s Richmond Times Dispatch highlights this seven-of-nine Gospel.

There is an article repeating the Mayor’s continuing unfounded charge – he resembles Mitt Romney attacking President Obama – against those opposed to his Shockoe Stadium as “anti-growth and lacking “vision” [at least he stopped for now calling them anti-black.]

But more importantly, the news story contains this important question and answer:

“When asked how confident he is that he’ll secure the seven council votes needed to move the plan forward, Jones answered: “I can’t say that I’m confident.”

He might not be confident about seven, but what about five? The Mayor could be playing possum here.

Or put another way, why isn’t the typical five-of-nine majority enough? The reporter didn’t ask due to the seven-of-nine Gospel.

The assumption is based on Article VII, Section 9 of the Virginia Constitution.

This provision admittedly contains a “seven-of-nine” provision. This constitutional clause did apply to the details provided by the Mayor and his pro-Shockoe Stadium allies in their original proposal.

Here is the pertinent part to this provision:

“No rights…streets…or other public places…shall be sold except by an ordinance or resolution passed by a recorded affirmative vote of three-fourths of all members elected to the governing body.”

The original proposal discussed with the public and council did include selling city land covered by Article VII, Section 9. But the Mayor and his pro-Stadium posse have never actually submitted any final proposal details to City Council.

That’s right. There is NO actual detailed plan that meets the legal requirements for action before the city’s governing body.


AFTER I wrote my pieces explaining why his original proposal failed simple financial math, Mayor Jones wrote a letter to Council Jon Baliles admitting he had changed the proposal’s financing structure.

Baliles deserves credit for helping to smoke it out. But again, the Mayor didn’t tell Baliles the actual details to his final proposal.

MY SOURCES TELL ME behind the scenes, the Mayor and his pro-Shockoe Stadium posse are making the rounds outlining a new financial plan based on leases not yet revealed to the general public.

My sources have been right to date.

So I ask, if he is changing to leases [in order to bypass a public referendum and hide the project’s bloated cost] in order to hook the city to putting up over $100 million in public for his “free stadium,” then why not go use leases to convey all the required land rights?

This avoids the “seven-of-nine” requirement in Article VII, Section 9. It does trigger a constitutional provision likewise found there requiring a public bid process. But City lawyers can effectively Jerry-Rig the process to dictate the ultimate winner.

As the Richmond Free Press pointed out, Mayor Jones’ use of the race card locked-in pro-Shockoe Stadium votes from three council members:

  • Ellen Robertson [6th district]
  • Cynthia Newbille [7th district]
  • Michelle Mosby [9th district]

Fourth District councilwoman Kathy Graziano is considered by pro-Stadium forces to be a “sure” YES vote according to my sources.

This gives Mayor Jones four solid YES votes. He only needs one more to reach five.

Before the Mayor gives his State-of-the-City address this evening, the media should determine whether he needs seven or only five “yes” votes to win.

Paul Goldman is in no way affiliated with WTVR. His comments are his own, and do not reflect the views of WTVR or any related entity. Neither WTVR nor any of its employees or agents participated in any way with the preparation of Mr. Goldman’s comments.


  • Excapee (as they say)

    Glad I emigrated from the City of New Harare on the Nuevo Limpopo (formerly known as Richmond) before another Marxist Mayor and corrupt council could waste money on yet one more special project to collect graft for themselves. More bread and bigger circus from the Comrade Mayor Reverend Jones. Bet you he got good kick back contributions for his political career from this boondoggle.

    I am also surprised that Party Comrade Goldman would speak up about it. Things must not be well in the Central Soviet.

    • manalishi

      Very well put Excapee! However, racist democrats will forgive each other during their oppressive love fest before they vote to bury richmond.

  • icculus

    I think it is disgraceful the former slaves have not been exhumed and given a decent burial to honor them as fellow humanbeings!

    Philly Jones could care less about his kind.

    • Becky

      All he has to do is Preach in his Pulpit to his kind that it is ALL For Their Good and Benefits,
      while he ceremoniously, and Transparently, SERVES up his Rich Friends to Enrich and Engorge themselves with FREE Taxes.
      While he race bates, what is His True Color, black or passing, entitled
      rich white?

      • Becky

        WHO requires Tax Paid security and protection detail against his folks?
        Public Safety and Protection is not his Priority, obviously.

  • Bill

    God forbid anyone build atop the historic parking lots. This plan also includes a slavery museum and a needed grocery store. Trying to build a stand alone slavery museum there will fail just like Wilder’s site crashed and burned and ten years from now we’ll have the same vacant lots sitting in the bottom.

  • Becky

    Jones’ other set up shoe-in is Samuels.
    Samuels SERVES Venture, Board Member, and Council Member too.
    Jones SERVES Venture as President and Richmond Mayor.
    …This “Detractor/One Note Johnny/Whitey” doesn’t want to “Play Ball” with a Crooked, Corrupt Politician, extorting Taxes through Scams, Cons, Tricks, and his down and dirty Collusive “deals” and orchestrated maneuverings of, by and for his Rich Donors, Friends with Benefits and their Buy Ins for Pay Offs of Free Taxes for their CON GAMES.
    This Preacherman/Mayor is totally devoid of character, integrity, ethics,
    principls, standards , professional deportment, All signified by
    his down and dirty “Deals”, Scandals Galore, “I KNOW NOTHING! about NOTHING routine, Scams and Cons.
    “His Legacy” should rightfully be iMPEACHMENT!

  • Glen Allen

    I have said it before, and I will say it again, if the developers are so sure the proposed grocery store, hotel, apartments/condos, and slave museum will be successful, then let them pay the $15 million to upgrade the current combined waste water lines and flood problems, but leave baseball where it is. The developers could still build an outdoor concert area in the land where they propose the diamond, and could charge admission to get some of the money back in the event their $1 million plus condos do not sell. Permanently disposing of 60+ acres on the Boulevard to pay for something somewhere else does not make sense, if you cannot afford it, don’t build it.

  • Ed

    Let nutty pay for it! Than maybe we should build an arena 18,000 seats to attract bigger things like concerts pro sports and NCAA final 4 if okc can do it why can’t the city do it. I bet it will make more money than the diamond ever did. Nutty should pay for the base ball stadium,or leave and go find a Podunk city ware they came from. Ha ha

  • Ed

    Richmond has to decided do they want a Podunk image or a vibrant city image. Think Podunk you get just that. I read resonantly that richmond is the most underrated city in America wow. Isn’t that wonderful.

    • Dustin Cavanaugh

      With people like this in charge I am not surprised. Richmond has gone downhill in the last 20 years because we have simpletons like this in office and even more simpletons voting for them.

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