GOLDMAN: Offering Mayor Jones a face-saving way out

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RICHMOND, Va. – The most important lesson in politics is you must be a good winner. Richmond’s future lives on even if Mayor Jones’ Shockoe Stadium is dead.

In that regard, the best move for Richmond’s future right now is to give the Mayor and his pro-Shockoe Stadium posse a face-saving way out.

Moving Richmond forward is a “we” thing, not a “me” thing. Life is short, but being on top is shorter.

Jones’ philosophy of the “winner gets the spoils” has ruined his second term so far.

It needs to be rejected.

The Mayor’s No-Bid, negotiated in secret, deal has been exposed for what it is. His people, his posse, have tried to shoot the messenger for months.

So yes, Mayor Jones and/or his pro-stadium posse have in one way or another tried to label me as a racist, anti-poor, spreading misinformation if not outright lies, tried to have me thrown out of public events, tried to punish me financially over the years, whatever.

But as Dr. King pointed out, you need to forgive, but never forget.

Why anyone on Council would support the Mayor’s No-Bid, negotiated in secret, deal rooted in an end run around the City Charter, city law, state law and the state constitution baffles me.

But that’s not the subject right now.

Today we’re discussing offering the Mayor a face-saving way out of the Shockoe Stadium hole he dug for himself, the Governor, the State Democratic party, the City Democratic party along with his pro-stadium posse.

The Mayor can reject it, that’s his decision to make. But it will just be “doubling down” on a losing position.

The people have spoken.

Historic preservation has a far higher priority than a minor league baseball stadium.

The Mayor and his political allies actually agreed with this priority FOR YEARS until they got seduced by those showing him how to manipulate the Economic Development Law for selfish reasons.

Baseball on the Boulevard is what the people want, but that’s not all. They also want the city to put the acreage around the stadium to far more productive economic development use.

In 1994, the Mayor proposed a statewide commission to address the joint issues of historic preservation and economic development in the city’s historic East End.

This may have been a good reason to ask for this state commission 20 years ago, but not in 2014.

We can handle all this ourselves here in the River City. We also have to address both the Bottom and the Boulevard.

The City Charter gives City Council ample authority to create the official independent bodies required to address all matters ASAP and prepare credible reports for the peoples’ consideration along with their representatives.

The Mayor will get his share of the appointments, like I say it has to be a “we” thing between City Hall, City Council, their appointees, and those appointed to protect the public interest.

But the future can’t be built on the same ole, same ole policies and procedures. New people, new idea, new openness must be included.

It is never too late to start doing something the right way.

If we move quickly and with the required skill, we can start 2015 the right way for Richmond’s future.

Like Joe Louis said of rival Billy Conn, “He can run but he can’t hide.”

It is Mayor Jones’ choice. He can embrace the “we” thing required for future success, or continue to double down on the “me” thing’s past mistakes.

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.

14 comments

  • Ron Melancon

    The Mayor does not care it’s all about him and not about what is really good for Richmond. It’s his way or the highway well guess what Me.Mayor we are boycotting the baseball team now and you can take it and the sucky beer and shove it

  • me

    This Dwight Jones activitely sought and campaigned for this
    Government CEO position, twice. Accordingly, and in compliance
    with All government legislated rules, regulations, procedures,
    city charter, state constitution, documened due processes,
    and Oath of Public Office, he should be held absolutely
    responsible and accountable for his deliberate actions, methods,
    and means to circumvent them all.

  • me

    What is under this Mayor tables of his Closed Door Governance?
    Failures, long standing dysfunctions, derelictions of duty and obligations, debacles, scandals galore, and down and dirty deals for donors as documented from 08 to today.

  • John

    Thank you Paul Goldman for keeping us informed, other wise, we would have been up a creek with out a paddle. Beware of people that attemp to hide information from you.

    • Becky

      Wikipedia: Complaints of corporate influence and favoritism arose after Jones’ 2008 election when the Mayor supported construction of a new city jail by City Central LLC. City Central LLC was a consortium of individuals and corporations which were major contributors to Jones 2008 election campaign.
      On February 16, 2010, City Central LLC submitted an unsolicited proposal to build a new jail. Although the city of Richmond had already begun the process of expanding the existing jail and had received 11 proposals, the City Central LLC proposal was accepted and the eleven other submissions were returned unopened. Acceptance of the City Central LLC proposal was controversial and after opposition by the city council, additional proposals were requested by the city administration.

      • Becky

        Mayor Jones eventually awarded the jail construction project to Tompkins/Ballard Joint Venture of Washington. City Council members questioned the award, claiming bias and the city had ignored its own procurement rules, and ordered an audit of the procurement process. Despite concerns and questions raised by the audit, and after Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Operations Christopher Beschler accepted responsibility for the procurement failures, the City Council approved the selection of Tompson/Ballard. Despite the approval, some city council members were not satisfied with the process. Member Bruce Tyler stated, “The mayor chose to put politics in front of people. They rammed it down our throats instead of dealing with our questions”.]

  • reeltime

    I think Jones can no longer save face. The taxpaying citizens have seen who he really stands for. Voters remember this when his term is over and vote out anyone that stood behind this and against him as he persues “bigger and better” political positions, which we know he will.

  • Becky

    Maya Angelou: “When someone shows you who they are,
    Bellieve them!” Jones has and continues to showed us his Face.
    Dysfunctions, Derelictions, Failures, Scandals, Debacles, and Down & Dirty “Deals for Donors”, Fraud and Corruption.
    He Sealed his Own “Legacy” by his own Hands.

  • manalishi

    Jones is a democrat. Not at all different than any other democrat. This is the democrat platform at it’s core. Cheers to everyone who is willing to come to this forum and call it for what it is.

  • Becky

    The Democratic Party has deliberately, decisively, and
    intentionally set their Tax Exempt Non Profit Special Interest
    Groups.
    These Groups get Tax Advantages, Taxes, and public,
    private, lobbyists, and party /friends Donations.
    They “Subsidize”, bolster, firm up, and Propagandize Party
    Agendas. It is Exclusively of, by, for, and through the
    Party’s Ways & Means.
    They ALL know full well, flat out, and out right, that US
    IRS Code forbids Tax Exempt from engaging in “POLITICS”.
    (IRS does not Target these.)
    **Examples: Planned Parenthood, LGBT, Immigration Council,
    Joyce Foundation of Gun Control (Obama & Jarrett both served
    on that Board), Soros’ Open Society, Move On, The Clinton
    Foundation, Streisand & Tides Foundations, NAACP,
    Media Matters, Venture Richmond, Sports Backers, 2015
    Champtionships, LovingRVA, Richmond Urban Collective.

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