It's a dark week for those of us striving to build an inclusive Virginia Beach.
The first Public Hearing on the FY 2012 Budget is scheduled for Holy Thursday evening. That's a night that any Catholic worth their salt is in church, not at a Budget Hearing. Yes, there are two other Public Hearings. However, the second one traditionally focuses on the Property Tax rate. The final one is the night of Budget adoption. Given that City Council is highly unlikely to amend the Budget on the floor that night, its only real use is to stake political ground towards the next Budget.
At Tuesday's Council Workshop, first item on the Agenda is City Redistricting. The City has rehired Kimball Brace as consultant, who had the same contract a decade ago. In 2001, he told City Council that it would take many more districts to draw a minority-majority Council district in Virginia Beach...then proceeded to help draw one for a draft eight district plan. His rehiring in itself is a rejection of inclusion, and shows the City Council Redistricting process will be another sham.