Thursday, January 8, 2009

Brian Smith at HRT

Recently hired at Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) is Brian Smith as Government Affairs Coordinator.

If the name sounds familiar, he's the former Chairman of Norfolk Tea Party II. As here at the Beach the Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA) wants to convince you public transportation is anti-taxpayer, you only have to look across the city line to Norfolk. Obviously those at Norfolk Tea Party II see the value in mass transit.

18 comments:

Reid Greenmun said...

Henry, have the membership of the Norfolk Tea Party voted to support the use of tax funds to subsidize Light Rail?

I really do not know if they have or they have not, but extrapolating from the fact that that one member of the Norfolk Tea Party took a job with HRT must therefore mean that the entire organization supports spending tax funds to subsidize Light Rail seems like a bit of a stretch to me.

Avenging Archangel said...

1. While light rail is part of mass transit, you argue as if LRT alone IS mass transit.

2. Randy Wright has given money to NTP2. Think he would have if they were anti-LRT?

The point of my post was that the VBTA could learn much from NTP2.

Anonymous said...

You could not be more correct. Having lived in both Norfolk and VB, I can tell you that the Norfolk Tea Party is much more grass-roots based than the VBTA.

They would not (and presumably still do not) tolerate the big egos, non-civil behavior, etc. that seems to be characteristic of the VBTA.

Their membership base also seems to be significantly deeper. They actually have allies on the city council.

I would suggest that it is time for a VBTA-2 to replace the existing one, modeled after the success of the NTP-2!

Reid Greenmun said...

Still avoiding questions?

Please answer my quesation:

Henry, have the membership of the Norfolk Tea Party voted to support the use of tax funds to subsidize Light Rail?

Reid Greenmun said...

"Anonymous",

Why aren't you using your name when you attack others by spreading incorrect information as this:

"They would not (and presumably still do not) tolerate the big egos, non-civil behavior, etc. that seems to be characteristic of the VBTA."

Your view "seems to be characteristic of the VBTA." is uninformed and incorrect.

Have you attended any VBTA meetings or have you ever been a member of the VBTA?

How many VBTA meetings or events have you attended?

On what experience are you basing your characterization of the VBTA?

I am a board member of the VBTA. Our meetings are very civil and by far our members are very humble citizens that have joined together as a grassroots organization to work for the best policies we can in regard to taxation and government budgets (debt, spending, taxes).

Please considier using your name when you denigrate others and take responsibility for your opinions. It is the honorable thing to do.

Please answer my questions.

Thank you.

Avenging Archangel said...

Reid,

I mentioned the money from Randy Wright, who is closely tied to NTP2. Think Wright would be working with a group that is anti-LRT?

I checked NTP2's wensite and I couldn't find anything on mass transit on it.

In turn, I did the obvious: I e-mailed Brian Smith to ask him.

Anon 7:15 is correct:

1. "big egos": a few VBTA frontbenchers have more baggage than a Samonsite warehouse. Rather than make way for the next generation, they continue on, fighting yesterday's battles.

2. "non-civil behavior": there are meetings in Virginia Beach where additional security is put on if VBTAers are expected to show up.

Reid Greenmun said...

Henry, please provide ANY examples of non-civil meeting held by the VBTA.

You can't - because there aren't any.

Once again you are spreading untruths about the VBTA. You really need to stop this false witness you bear against others.

Yes, Randy Wright was a significant force behind the creation of te Norfolk tea party.

Thank you for pointing that out. Your point serves to rebut the comments "anonymous" made whe he/she wrote:

"You could not be more correct. Having lived in both Norfolk and VB, I can tell you that the Norfolk Tea Party is much more grass-roots based than the VBTA."

If the Norfolk Tea Party was created largely by the efforts of a sitting City Councilman (Randy Write) then would it not be LESS "grassroots" then the VBTA?

BTW - thank you for answering me question and sharing that you don't have any evidence to back up your assertions that the Norfolk Tea Party are advocates for the use of tax funds to subsidize mass transit, or Norfolk's LRT.

Please let us know what respnse you get from your email to Brian Smith. I'd suggest that you might want to contact the current leadership of the Norfolk Tea Party being as Brian Smith now works for HRT and should call into question his objectivity on this matter.

William Bailey said...

Reid: Henry doesn't need me to defend him and that isn't my point. My point is I was personally threatened twice to be “punched in the head” by two members of the VBTA after publicly criticizing Robert Dean in front of City Council. The names shall remain anonymous as it is old news and bringing it up no serves no purpose except to bring credence to Henry’s comments/post.

That night in council chambers after a public meeting, no punches were thrown but the threat and potential was present. The only thing that stopped it was the VP newspaper reporter was sitting next to me so cooler heads prevailed that evening. They were not happy campers that evening…

So it has happened and Henry's point is valid. Don't take offense but the facts are the facts.

Reid Greenmun said...

William, I am sorry to read that this happened to you. It is not condoned by the leadership of the VBTA. I imagine some of your union members have threatened others from time to time. Yet you don't read myself or anyone else condemning the union the way Henry attacks the VBTA.

We work hard to create a friendly and civil atmospere at our meetings. We encourage our members to treat others in a civil manner.

Last Wednesday evening at our Board meeting we discussed the misconceptions about the VBTA being spread across the bloggoshre and the board rededicated itself to doing a better job to ensure our leaders and members display civility as we work to improve our government.

William, how long ago was this and what provoked such a comment?

This is the first I have heard of this incident.

Thinking about the members of the VBTA i can't picture any of them threatend you - but that does not mean it did not happen.

What were you denigrating Mr. Dean for in front of City Council?

Avenging Archangel said...

William,

Thank you.

Reid,

It's common sense. (Then, that would require you to have some....) Randy Wright wouldn't give money to a group that opposed his pet project.

Furthermore, let me point out that the VBTA "endorsed" the EVMS - Norfolk BOS extension, so you're trying to hold NTP2 to a standard that the VBTA can't meet. Typical Messnerism-Greenmunism: you try to hold others to a standard you can't start to meet.

Your reply to William is simply disingenous:

1. What threats from union members to VBTAers have actually happened?

2. You express regret at the threats...then turn around and attack William for having the audacity to publicly criticize Robert Dean.

Finally, glad you admit the VBTA is adopting CACI's dirty tricks. During the 1999 LRT referendum campaign, CACI tried to suppress posts and have posters removed from Talknet. Now the TLP so-called "Libertarians" want to attack the 1st Amendment rights of anyone who disagrees with the VBTA. Sieg Heil!

Anonymous said...

William's comments provide back-up to at least one of the points: the lack of civility of the VBTA membership.

While I have never been threatened by the VBTA, I have witnessed (on TV) the actions of its membership at city council meetings.

Yelling at council members, treating city staffers with disrespect, etc. are all available for anyone to see on the VBTV archives.

Finally, since William's members are public safety employees, they know it is against the law to threaten people. I doubt you will find any examples of this.

Reid Greenmun said...

Henry,

Now you revert back to simply telling more bold faced lies.

What is wrong with you?

You really need to stop before you convince everyone you simply can't be trusted to write the truth anymore.

Once gain; a claim was made that the Norfolk Tea Party was more "grassroots" than the VBTA yet you share with us how it was started with the efforts of a sitting City Council member.

That's not too grassroots, now is it?

Next you drag up some claim about wanting to "censor" posts - but drag up things from TalkNet - long gone?

You are so desperate to attack anyone that you feel stands in your mass transit agenda that you have to try to drag up stuff from many, many years long past?

How sad - and how irrelevant.

Now you are adding the TLP to your list of wild accusations and false witness?

For example once again you TRY to misquote what was written and twist it. You falsely state that:

"Furthermore, let me point out that the VBTA "endorsed" the EVMS - Norfolk BOS extension, so you're trying to hold NTP2 to a standard that the VBTA can't meet. Typical Messnerism-Greenmunism: you try to hold others to a standard you can't start to meet."

Okay ... wrong - again,

Let me point out that the VBTA simply endorsed the funding of a STUDY to gather facts regarding extending the Tide to the naval base.

My comments simply pointed out your radical LEAP that because Brian Smith took a job with HRT - and because he was once a leader in the Norfolk tea Party that somehow was twisted in your mind to mean that:

YOU wrote:

"As here at the Beach the Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA) wants to convince you public transportation is anti-taxpayer, you only have to look across the city line to Norfolk. Obviously those at Norfolk Tea Party II see the value in mass transit."

No, it is not "obvious". In fact, i asked you to provide some proof that the Norfolk Tea party members supported the use of tax dollars to fund The Tide and you reported back that you could not find any.

Further, your comment above states:

"the Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA) wants to convince you public transportation is anti-taxpayer."

This is also a false statement.

The TRUTH is that the VBTA reviews each proposed project that uses tax funds and makes a decision to support or oppose each project on its own merits.

To make a rationale cost benefit analysis requires dependable facts.

The EIS process and some studies can reveal such facts and can help the VBTA - and the citizens - to make informed assessments.

The VBTA has never taken a position as an organization that, as YOU claim, "public transportation is anti-taxpayer."

Once again you spread your lies and distortions.

As to what threats members of the VBTA have had from union members, I was verbally and physically threatened by a union LEADER in Chesapeake regarding the 2002 Regional Sales Tax Referendum. I was jumped outside of a restaurant and I was pinned against a wall by a very large union leader. Fortunately for me others saw this and intervened to help me.

My WIFE has had threats made to her from Union Leadership. She was a union member for 14 years with the U.S. Postal Service. My wife was sexually harassed by her fellow union members in the Norfolk General Mail Facility. The unions response to this harassment was deplorable.

My uncle was attacked and beaten by union members for refusing to join the union at his place of work.

Do we really want to go here?

No.

The point is that I have never attacked William Bailey or his union connections because of these things.

William can attest to that.

Any organization that has a lot of members may have members that behave badly. Thing happen over the years. These things don’t have anything to do with William Bailey. Unlike YOU henry – I don’t try to smear Mr. Bailey for things he did not do.

What matters is what the leadership of an organization (or Union) adopts as their policy and how they act in accordance with their adopted policies – and how they police their own.

The leadership of the VBTA are committed to civil meetings and civil debate. That is a FACT. The same hold true for the TLP.

On the other hand Henry, YOU clearly lack the capacity for conducting yourself in a civil manner once you decide your life's mission is to trash anyone or any groups that you feel stand in the way of your agenda. Henry, you are incapable of politicking yourself – and you have stated here on your blog that your “policy” is to continue to act in an uncivil manner.

Your behavior on this blog simply proves that as a FACT for all to see.

Avenging Archangel said...

Reid,

You have made numerous statements against public transportation, as any regular reader of this blog knows.

You accuse me of dredging up the past...then cite for yourself the 2002 Transportation referendum? Pot, meet kettle.

I haven't said I have a policy of being uncivil; I've said this blog will be a HQ for anti-VBTA news. Pro-VBTA does not equal pro-civil.

This blog's readership is acutely anti-VBTA. The VBTA position has never won in a poll on this blog . When the VBTA Transportation Chairman makes an implausible statement to the MPO, it's exactly the kind of thing they want to hear about. Sure enough, two-thirds didn't believe you.

William Bailey said...

I have suggested to Henry that he "stop making every issue about the VBTA" but it helps his readership numbers and is an easy target so he continues. Likewise if Reid would stop responding, Henry would be forced to move on to new issues after a while. However you both need each other to continue the debate so feel free...

I run a tight ship and my members do not make threats. We take action and back up our points. Threats are not the way professional unions and their members conduct business. As for the threats I experianced, I hoped to be struck as it would have been a front page local newspaper story and would have helped me achive my budget objectives. Since nobody actually hit me, it wasn't news... And now it is old news and not worth the effort to surface anew.

I'm out of politics and do not even get the newspaper any longer so I'm happy just to be a "pawpaw" to my grandchildren. It is a lot more fun than chasing politics all over this state and city...

I do wish the both of you would put aside your petty atacks and get on with your lives. Life is too short for BS... Good night.

Reid Greenmun said...

William, how long ago did this incident happen?

Henry, you once again PROVE to all that you cannot be civil.

This makes your uncivil condemnation of others hypicritical.

Your once agin changing the words to try to wiggle out of what was stated.

You stated:

""As here at the Beach the Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA) wants to convince you public transportation is anti-taxpayer, ..."

I pointed out that this is simly wrong. The VBTA has never stated this, nor is it a position of the VBTA.

What I am writting here is a fact - what you are writting is a lie.

Now you try to wiggle out and write:

"You have made numerous statements against public transportation, as any regular reader of this blog knows."

Satements that I have made do not always mean I am speaking on behalf of the VBTA - just as the many vile statements you have made do not mean you are speaking on behave of the RAC or the HRT citizen advisory group you are a member of.

Further, I offer sound reasons for objecting to specific wasteful spending of tax funds on transit related projects, inefficient transit operations, and the efforts to target the wrong people to pay for mass transit.

Yes, I have good reasons to object to a great deal related to our local transit situation.

The VBTA takes positions on public matters based on studying the facts and other information made available.

I serve the VBTA Board by focusing on Transportation. Others focus on other matters such as the city budget, property tax rates, the school board, etc.

Just as any rational person understands that the horrid remarks YOU make about others are not the position of the organizations you serve with, they appreciate that not every comment I make is representing the VBTA.

However, when I begin my remarks in public forums by stating "I am speaking to you today as the Chairman of the VBTA .." then I am communicating a formal position of the VBTA Board.

This is the case when I spoke at the MPO.

Most people understand this - YOU seem incapable of grasping the concept.

Yet, I suspect you are capable - you simply chose to lie instead.

William, I will hold Henry accountable for his lies and distortions.

All henry needs to do is stop spreading lies and distortions here and I will be pleased to simply discuss the issues.

I am always happy to discuss the issues.

That is why I was one of the VBTA Board members that supported the study of Light Rail connecting to the naval base.

Yet Henry and otehrs that post here have falsely accused me of being untruthful about this.

Those are simply lies. Plain and simple - lies.

There are a lot of lies being spread on this blog.

That doesn't speak to well of the transit community, does it?

Well, I realize that the few Transit Zealots that hang out here do not represent the majority of transit riders, so unlike Henry, I am not going to condemn all of them becuase of Henry's vile and uncivil behavior.

Avenging Archangel said...

Reid,

You don't get the point. Yes, VBTA Officers do that all the time: they make extremist statements, then claim they were making them as individuals, not on behalf of the VBTA. However, the turds they unload speak volumes about the sick minds that draw up VBTA policy.

Reid Greenmun said...

Lovely language Henry.

Working hard to retain your "vile" behavior I see - we all see.

William Bailey said...

Grow up.