By Robert P. Hodous
City Councilor Rob Schilling is the one Council candidate for whom I shall vote on May 2. Rob is a thoughtful and concerned neighbor who has become a friend. Rob’s traits as a neighbor carry over to his hard work for us on City Council.
When Rob first ran for Council, he voiced his support for an elected school board. Because of a bipartisan effort with Rob as one of the leaders, we shall now be electing our School Board members. Rob was the only member of Council to voice support for an elected school board.
Rob has great faith in your ability as a voter to make intelligent decisions about school leadership.
Another of Rob’s major concerns has been the cost of living in Charlottesville. Rob has focused on issues directly under Council’s control to help make living in Charlottesville more affordable for all residents. Councilor Schilling has worked to slow or halt the escalating effort to fund programs through ever increasing real estate taxes. This effort has paid off. While taxes have still gone up by double digits over the last four years, the increases have been slowed with rate reductions totaling 12 cents over the last three years. Such decreases were not seen in the years before Rob’s efforts.
Rob Schilling knows we need to halt our ever-expanding local government to make living in Charlottesville more affordable. Our city has not grown in size or population for over 25 years. Yet the size of our City staff, not including schools, has ballooned. Most of the growth is not in core safety services. While staff and costs have increased, services have decreased. Trash collection has dropped from twice a week to once a week. We pay for large trash collection now and have to schedule it when it
used to be free and occurred city-wide twice a year. Fewer neighborhoods have regular bus service, and some have no
Rob has urged a change in the budget process. Rob wants to start with a lean budget and have Council do the hard work of setting priorities as the basis for justifying additional expenses. The normal process is to anticipate revenue increases, budget to spend all anticipated receipts and then see where to save. This approach does not work. As soon as an increase is proposed, people fight any smaller increase. With the revenues already anticipated, there is not the political will to say no. Since Councilor Schilling has urged a change, outgoing Councilors have agreed with him. Yet they have not had the will to change while in office, and we are left with the same unworkable process.
One of Rob Schilling’s strengths
is listening to and helping peo-
ple who have problems with
City services. Many residents talk about Rob’s visits when they have called with problems and concerns, often something only Rob would do. Frequently Rob has been able to help citizens get their problems solved when others would not.
This aspect of Rob’s work on Council is similar to the way he treats his friends
I have been on both sides of politics in this city, having been on the Democratic City Committee in the 1970’s and now being the Chair of the Charlottesville Republican Committee. My change in attitude is not related to how I view people in either party. I have friends in both parties and do not choose friends because of political affiliation. I prefer to look at the issues, and I encourage you to look at Rob’s record detailed above. For my money, Rob Schilling is right on the issues. Please join me and the Democrats, independents and Republicans who plan to vote to re-elect Councilor Rob Schilling.
Bob Hodous is a local lawyer, a resident of the city for over 38 years, a former member of the Charlottesville Democratic Central Committee, currently the Chair of the Charlottesville Repub-lican Committee and current or former member of numerous local boards and committees.
Rob Schilling knows
we need to halt our
ever-expanding local government to make
living in Charlottesville more affordable.