Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Shakeup At The Resort Advisory Commission?

It's nearly that time of year again: the annual appointments - and reappointments - to the Resort Advisory Commission (RAC). This year's round looks to be very interesting:

1. Three Commissioners will term limit out on December 31.

2. Six Commissioners are in violation of the RAC Charter's attendance requirements (i.e. you can miss a maximum three meetings annually).

Together there is the potential for a major turnover in personnel. The most intriguing question is how are the delinquent Commissioners dealt with. Removed? Asked to resign? The entire mess swept under the rug? Attendance at the RAC has become huge: the August meeting failed to muster quorom, while October made quorom with two late arrivals.

Then there is always the question of minority representation:

1. Currently there are three minority Commissioners.

2. There is only one African-American Commissioner.

Does City Council make a minority appointment or two to try to balance the numbers? Two years ago Council dealt with female underrepresentation. In a city that's nearly one-third minority and about 20% African-American, we have a RAC that's 15% minority and 5% African-American.

Friday, October 26, 2007

"There You Go Again"

To quote Ronald Reagan. On Tuesday the Virginia Beach City Council by consensus decided to commission Master Plans for three Strategic Growth Areas (SGA) per year. They've already funded the Resort Area Master Plan for this fiscal year. The other two: Pembroke/Town Center (no surprise) and...Northampton Boulevard/Burton Station.

Burton Station. Where the city used Jim Crow tactics to try to force African-American familes off their land. Where the city tried to get a Redevelopment Authority to bulldoze the same families' homes. It speaks volumes that the city has the nerve to try again.

It becomes all the more appalling when you realize the city could get more bang for the buck by moving along the Norfolk Southern Corridor, preparing the SGAs there for light rail.

Sometimes the Virginia Beach City Council makes me want to barf!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Light Rail Groundbreaking

The Groundbreaking Ceremony for Norfolk's Light Rail Starter Line will be on Saturday, December 8 at Harbor Park from 1-3 P.M. The public from throughout the region is invited to attend. There are festivties being planned.

Update: at the November 8 TDCHR meeting, it was announced that the Groundbreaking will be December 8, rather than the previously announced December 1. The rail spike driving and speechs will be at 1:30. There will be barbecque, a radio remote broadcast, and children's activties.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Henry Ryto Tagged To Return To RAC

The Council of Civic Organizations (CCO), Virginia Beach's civic league federation, is one of five groups with a voting seat on the Resort Advisory Commission (RAC) . The CCO has unanimously chosen to ask City Council to reappoint Henry Ryto to a second full three-year term as CCO RAC representative.

Henry has served as CCO RAC rep since February, 2004, and has yet to miss a meeting of the full RAC during that time. (He has missed a few committee meetings.) Previously he spent 7 1/2 years in the hotel business, about 95% of that as a Night Auditor. He has brought to the RAC an informed grassroots perspective.

His name now goes to City Council for approval.

CCO 2008 Officers Nomination Slate

The Council of Civic Organizations, Virginia Beach's civic league federation, has named it's official officers' slate for the November annual election:

President: Chandler Scarborough
1st Vice President: Dan Baxter
2nd Vice President: Jermaine Hannah
Past President: Ken Jobe
Treasurer: Joe Yurso
Recording Secretary: Karen Nuskiewicz
Corresponding Secretary: Kim Rizzo
Director: Sam Reid
Director: Jim Glynn
Director: Jay Kerr

Entering the second year of two-year terms as Directors are Todd Solomon, Bob Heard, and Henry Ryto.

The election will take place at the November CCO meeting on the 14th. The program that night will feature School Board Chairman Dan Edwards as speaker. It will be at 7 P.M. in the Central Library Auditorium.

RAC TPPC To Punt On Tram?

This morning the Resort Advisory Commission's (RAC) Transportation, Parking, and Pedestrian Committee (TPPC) decided to send back to the full RAC the word that the TPPC's support for continuing to study a Boardwalk tram is "tepid". None of the four committee members present was warmly supportive of a tram. Three objections have been brought up:

1. The inability to get good information in quantity.

2. Not being able to secure a tram for a test run on the Boardwalk.

3. Running a tram on an already-crowded Boardwalk.

In other news, proposed changes to the Resort Parking Permit Program (RPPP) were endorsed with two changes. Civic leagues in the area sought more restrictive measures to deal with problems in the neighborhoods.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Nanny State Strikes

Tonight the Virginia Beach City Council is set to vote on a smoking ban in all restaurants. Two problems with such a proposal:

1. It smacks of the nanny state trying to regulate personal behavior.

2. Virginia law doesn't make a distinction between restaurants and bars.

I'd much rather someone at a bar slow up to have a cigarette than continue to chug down drinks.

Update: City Council passed the ban 7-3. Kudos to Bill DeSteph, Reba McClanan, and Harry Diezel for voting "No".

Sunday, October 21, 2007

City Council Budget Discussion

This past Tuesday evening, the Virginia Beach City Council held a public discussion on the Budget. With this the start of the Budget drafting process, the City sought to get public input at the outset, rather than waiting for the Public Hearings in the Spring.

66 people preregistered, as was requested by the City. 80 showed up. Most conspicious was the Very Bellicose Terrorists Authority-er, the Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA). Only one in their leadership preregistered, but I counted four of them there. Crashing the party? Virginia News Source twice attacked the meeting, in Erb's Blurbs and the heading of the link to The Virginian-Pravda story on the meeting.

As for the meeting itself, there were 6 citizens at my table. It was a crossection ranging from a Democrat to VBTA sympathizers. 3 of the 4 who spoke up support a local income tax to replace a portion of the Property Tax. Such a tax would allow the rate to be cut 16 cents. In addition, there was a loud consensus for more mass transit. Finally, the desire to cut City employee fringe benefits, which now make up 26% of total compensation costs.

The VBTA? I knew we were in trouble when I saw Reid Greenmun (cofounder of Messnerism-Greenmunism) at the same table with John Uhrin (City Council Liason to the Resort Advisory Commission). Glad I wasn't over there when Resort policy came up....

Here We Go!

This is the start for Avenging Archangel, the newest blog in Virginia Beach. I plan to bring things to you from a grassroots, right-of-center, populist view. I hope this blog becomes a regular stop for you!