GOLDMAN: RTD stadium story says council too timid to stand up to Mayor Jones
RICHMOND, Va. – Just read these key excerpts from today’s Richmond Times Dispatch:
(1) “The council voted 6-3 last month to give the administration more time to nail down details of the [Mayor’s Shockoe Stadium proposal]. The council’s resolution … set a deadline of March 27 for the multitude of agreements needed to put the plan into action.”
Yesterday, at least according to the calendar used since the 1700s, is listed as March 27.
(2) “A Richmond City Council-approved deadline for negotiations on the Shockoe Bottom stadium … has come and gone…”
Again, this comes from the RTD story in the morning paper under the headline:
“As deadline comes, Shockoe deals still unfinished.”
(3) The story continues by saying “It’s unclear what the consequences will be, if any, of the deadline arriving with so many elements still unfinished” writes ace reporter Graham Moomaw.
Sorry Graham, but actually it is very clear: The Mayor is betting Council will do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN THAT REGARD, AS IN ZIPPO, NADA, ZILCH.
Everyone else in the city misses a deadline and there are consequences. But for the Mayor and his Shockoe Stadium developers, proponents, NOTHING.
WHAT GIVES AS THE SAYING GOES?
Why does the Mayor and his Stadium posse believe they can simply disregard the “deadlines?”
Mayor Jones isn’t being shy here. In political terms, he is daring those six – Baliles, Hilbert, Graziano, Robertson, Newbille, and Mosby – to show backbone.
Indeed, the Mayor is using the Economic Development Authority to bypass the public’s right to have a direct vote on this tainted mess. City Council could make sure the people get their right to vote. But they refuse. The Mayor seems equally confident they will continue to roll over here too.
I ask you, if City Council is simply going to roll over for the Mayor on his controversial Shockoe Stadium sweetheart deal, why pay the roughly $2 million it costs per year for the City Council and staff?
According to Councilman Jon Baliles, the City Council has so little to do he wants them to meet only once a month, not twice a month as has been necessary for decades.
Now, the Council wants another $50,000 to pay for yet another no-bid contract to yet another “independent” Shockoe Stadium “consultant” so the Council can get “advice” on how to vote.
Why waste this money if they have already made their decision?
THIS IS WHY THE REFERENDUM PETITIONS BEING CIRCULATED ARE THE PUBLIC’S ONLY HOPE FOR A FAIR, HONEST AND OPEN PROCESS SERVING RICHMOND’S INTERESTS IN THE LONG RUN.
Again, I am literally begging people, I have a proven record of bringing together bipartisan coalitions to reform our state and our city, the President on down have praised the strategies used for making history.
The Mayor once agreed with me on the need to both weigh the development side and the history side very carefully BEFORE the CITY DECIDES TO BACK A BASEBALL STADIUM PROJECT IN THE BOTTOM.
He knows I remember the 1994 effort in the General Assembly.
He, his patron Henry Marsh, City Council and the Richmond legislative delegation have apparently changed their minds for reasons only they know.
I am sticking to those original principles.
But in the end, only YOU, THE PEOPLE, can decide the right path for Richmond’s future.
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.