94% of you grasped that the Council of Civic Organizations (CCO) inviting John Moss, Chairman of the extremist Virginia Beach Taxpayers Alliance (VBTA), was a blunder. There are so many reasons it shouldn't have been done.
First, it hurts the CCO's credibility. There's an old diplomatic axiom that "You can tell a revolution by its friends." The CCO holding hands with the VBTA doesn't paint a pretty picture of the new CCO leadership.
Second, wait for the political blowback. The CCO now has a number of powerful organizations and individuals unhappy with it. There will be ramifications.
Third, from my own prior tenure with the CCO, I know you schedule programs based on two drivers:
1. It will get good information to the community.
2. It will bring out attendance.
The VBTA only gives lies and conspiracy theories. The only attendance will be the Kool-Aid chuggers coming to worship their cult leaders.
Fourth, the CCO used to have annual Budget meetings. Management Services from the City of Virginia Beach would give a presentation. They were discontinued due to poor attendance.
Fifth, some will probably claim the CCO was just trying to offer a different perspective. If so, why doesn't it invite the KKK, the Nation of Islam, and the National Socialist Movement? If not, why are they inviting the VBTA, another group clearly out of the mainstream?
Sixth, did the CCO forget it has a seat on the Resort Advisory Commission (RAC)? How does the CCO expect it's RAC representative to be effective when it's playing footsie with the VBTA, which believes the Resort Area is public enemy number one? (If I held the CCO RAC seat, I'd resign, my job impossible to accomplish.)
Seventh, the CCO often works through partnerships. It does projects jointly with the City, including the Community Legislative Package. It funds it's annual Party In the Park, and offsets the annual Banquet, through donations from the business community. Neither will be pleased with this snafu.
The bottom line: the CCO will spend at least six months repairing the damage from this.
The new poll question: which routing should light rail take into Portsmouth - Downtown Tunnel or Midtown Tunnel?