The story that keeps on giving

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The story that keeps on giving

First, let me say what an outstanding job C-VILLE has done in covering this most interesting situation [“Pantops land will remain in growth area,” Development News, May 29, 2007]. When Jayson Whitehead finally gets to the bottom of this, I feel sure we’ll all be sitting around slack-jawed. It’ll probably turn out to be the proverbial tip of the iceberg. This could take a while, so we’ll just have to be patient and relentless in our search for the truth. As my momma always told me, the truth will come out!

In the meantime, my “gift” to the story is a Charlottesville Tomorrow podcast of the May 3, 2006 Board of Supervisors meeting. This audio account clearly contradicts claims made by supervisors Boyd and Slutzky in the latest C-VILLE article concerning the connection between the addition of the Wood property to the Places 29 Growth Areas and an offsetting reduction of Clara Belle Wheeler’s property in the Pantops area. The C-VILLE article even referenced the Resolution of Intent, which did indeed include both the Wood and Wheeler parcels. Still Boyd and Slutzky denied any connection. The podcast conclusively proves otherwise.

In the C-VILLE article, Boyd was quoted as saying, “There was never any tradeoff, there was never any association between the two items. In the same article, Slutzky was quoted as saying, “It wasn’t a factor in this whole NGIC thing happening…at least with me,” Supervisor David Slutzky was quoted as saying, “The key here is that we won’t want to expand the growth area without an appropriate offset somewhere else.” But then he downplayed the existence of Wheeler’s land in the resolution when he was quoted as saying, “I didn’t even know this was in the resolution. I didn’t remember that it was in there.”

Here’s a transcription from the Charlottesville Tomorrow podcast:

Boyd says: “Also mentioned in the same resolution to offset that 30 acres is the fact that we’re working on the opposite, and that is to take 80 acres out of the planned development area in the Pantops area which is being discussed with the Pantops Master Plan…”
Slutzky interrupted Boyd and said: “It’s 77 acres, I think.”

That’s good enough for me. They both knew Wheeler’s property was in there and it was intended as an offset. Now they deny, deny, deny. Boyd clearly said there was to be an “offset,” and Slutzky knew Wheeler’s land was in the resolution. He’s the one who interrupted Boyd and corrected him on the exact size of Wheeler’s property.

So why do these two supervisors DENY a connection? Jayson will find out.

Want to hear them speak the words? Listen to the podcast, “Board of Supervisors recommends adjusting growth area boundary for NGIC,” at http://cvilletomorrow.typepad.com/charlottesville_tomorrow_/2006/05/
board_of_superv_1.html.

Too bad there isn’t a Charlottesville Tomorrow podcast of all those secretive, two-by-two meetings that were orchestrated by Supervisor Boyd to discuss the NGIC/Wood situation in private, behind closed doors, out of the public eye before the May 3 Board of Supervisors meeting. Who knows what there would be to deny?

Lynda Harrill
Charlottesville

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Gainesville ain’t all that

It was interesting to find that Gainesville, Florida, is now ranked the best city in America [“‘No.1’ beauty and curse lifted,” Devleopment News, May 22, 2007]. I lived there for a year and a half (a couple of decades ago). Here is what I thought of the place: It was a great college town with nice people and a lot of activities, BUT the electric and cable would go out at least once a week; the electricity was expensive due to a company foul up at the Crystal River facility; it was over 90 degrees every day for half a year (running up electricity with the AC on); it was an hour and a half away from the ocean or the gulf and flying cockroaches were everywhere including in year-round residencies in the car. Thunderstorms occurred everyday at 4pm, and instead of cooling the air, it made it more humid. Gainesville is not near any other nice cities—Jacksonville and Orlando are not what D.C. and Richmond have to offer. Most people in Gainesville had to travel hundreds of miles to do anything really interesting (to the Keys to scuba, to North Carolina to ski or to Mardi Gras in New Orleans). I loved Gainesville, but I sort of got what they call Island Fever—when you feel too cut off from civilization. I also noticed that if you strayed out of town too far and you did not have enough of a Southern accent, some people made it real clear you were not welcomed. One thing I really liked about the University of Florida is that there were a lot of activities and even if you were not a student you could participate (with a higher fee for the activity). To sum it up…it was my yearning for the good things of Gainesville that led me to leave the incredible jet noise of Virginia Beach and move to Charlottesville. Despite my great expectations of Charlottesville, so far I am not disappointed.

Stephen West
Charlottesville



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