Thursday, April 20, 2006

99 years

(Personal appeals to this City agency not to short-cut through our residential neighborhood go unheeded.
Nothing changes except quickening pace of the erosion of quality of life.)
Note: when concrete trucks accelerate at this corner, the decibels generated are 95db +/-. Very very noisy

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting one of our candidates for City Council. He was out walking the neighborhood, shaking hands, listening to citizens' concerns. Mr. Candidate's years of selfless public service mark him as a good man.
In fact, if you look at the resumes of the councilors we have had in the City of Charlottesville over the years, they are a worthy group.

As the Candidate proceeded westward on Woolen Mills Road, I knocked on a neighbor's door and said "here comes Mr. Candidate, would you like to meet him?" After a pause Mary said "No, no I don't think so..." and turned away.

Mary's family has lived in that house since 1906. It's a great house, lovingly cared for. For 100 years Mary's people have upheld their end of the social contract. They have sent children to school, worked in the community, paid taxes.
Mary is retired. Twice a year she holds a potluck and welcomes new people in the neighborhood. She is a citizen any one of us would be proud to count as a neighbor.

So why not meet the candidate? Why not say "hello". No harm in saying hello.

I am speculating here, but I suspect the last four decades have been laced with too many disappointments for Mary to greet a City representative.
Mary has lived in the 900 square foot house of her grandparents and watched as the quality of life in her neighborhood has been steadily eroded by urban planning (or lack thereof).

The neighborhood has engaged the City in a dialog. For close to thirty years, since the formation of neighborhood associations, we have begged, pleaded, chided, cajoled, implored.
It is a short litany, we ask for assistance:

Preserving the rural historic character of our neighborhood
Preventing Inappropriate dense zoning
Eliminating Sewage smell
Dramatically reducing cut through traffic on Franklin Street

How many years have we had a solid Democratic council, plenty. How many Democrats are there in the Woolen Mills, plenty.

We remain hopeful. We can't give up hope.

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Blogger John Racine said...

Voting for the right people is not enough. There's got to be follow-up. Nothing makes an elected official more accountable than showing up to laud or question his votes. Nothing calls attention to the impact of decisions a mile away in city hall like having a trouble-maker named Bill to shine a lens on the impact of decisions. People've got to get off their front porches and make things happen before and, especially, after election day.


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