Playing the Racism Card… Just Pathetic

Mayor Howard Myers. Photo credit: WTVR

In other Petersburg-related follies… Petersburg Mayor W. Howard Myers has told fellow City Council members that the attacks on his leadership are motivated by racism and partisanship.

“I will as a representative of Ward 5 and as major duly to my right hand, serve the public without blemish and from scare tactics from a few racists[s] and Republican supporters,” he wrote in an Aug. 11 email that he asked the city clerk to share with other council members, reports the Richmond-Times Dispatch.

Dude, you presided over the worst financial meltdown of a Virginia locality probably since the Great Depression and you think your critics are motivated by racism? Under your watch, the city is facing a current-year budget gap of $12 million (nearly 20% of General Fund revenue) on top of $19 million dollars of unpaid bills, and you have conceded in unguarded remarks that you had no idea how this all happened, yet you expect anyone to believe that the people who are unhappy about it are being partisan in their attacks?

Do you know how totally pathetic that is? Not only pathetic, but in this racially polarized era, wildly irresponsible?

As I understand from the news coverage, Petersburg’s five City Council members are all African-American while many of the citizens who get irate and engage in shouting matches with you during council sessions are mostly white. Yeah, I suppose one reason that they’re argumentative is that they’re racist. But there’s another possible explanation: They’re pissed off at how you ran the city into the ground!

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12 responses to “Playing the Racism Card… Just Pathetic”

  1. That is pathetic. Here’s what the mayor said when he heard that the city had a $17M budget deficit, “I had no idea. I’m like, wow, where is this coming from”.

    The deficit came as a surprise? I am not sure how that can be possible without either incompetence or dishonesty.

    The Vice Mayor had this to say, “This is a problem that has compounded over many years, so the balloon has blown up and it has popped here on us.”

    That sounds more honest if not any more competent.

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    How long has he been Mayor? Who sets the budget and tax rate?

    What role does the Mayor play in Petersburg governance? Is he responsible for the budget and spending or is the City Manager and the Council?

    so yeah.. this looks a little suspicious.. and yeah.. I’m not surprised how Jim Bacon sees it!

    come on Jim – how about a bit more accurate picture of how Petersburg is operated – and who was in charge when things started going south ?

    Is the current Mayor really responsible for all of this?

    1. He has been mayor for two years, also Myers is a city council member. Part of their job is to be kept informed by asking where money is being spent. They were warned this was coming in 2012 when Johnson was city manager who was a good buddy of Mayor Myers and former Mayor Brian Moore. We have no at large council or mayor. Council is elected by wards and Mayor is chosen by council members. After being warned about the financial implosion on the horizon the city gov’t, the council, and the Mayor chose to ignore it.

  3. I feel the same way about this lack of awareness that I feel about Dragas and her FOIA foibles. Billions being reallocated to to a Strategic Investment Fund over at least four years and she claims never to have known until her last day on the BOV, then was shocked — SHOCKED — to realize it was being discussed right in front of her (and under the wrong agenda item, no less!). Such secrecy must be perfidy of a more sinister sort; it just couldn’t have been her own inattention — or stupidity.

  4. Andrew Roesell Avatar
    Andrew Roesell

    Dear Jim,

    No need to get worked up on this one. To paraphrase Dr Samuel Johnson, cries of “racism! are the last refuge of a scoundrel”, at least these days, if not some decades ago.



    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      Welcome back, Andrew.

  5. LarrytheG Avatar

    so the folks ragging on the Mayor… what are they expecting him to do ? Does he have any power to alter anything of real consequence in Petersburg?

    I would think the City Council would handle the purse strings and the City manager the things like the budget and operations, spending, etc.

    so why are these folks after the mayor?

    Come on Jim Bacon… let’s get the facts out here.

    1. The Mayor is a city council member…

  6. Andrew Roesell Avatar
    Andrew Roesell

    Dear Reed,

    Been scouting on the perimeter every day, but just thought I drop in a little closer this time and say “hello.”



    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      You have just used my father’s most common expression when asked what he was up to. “Been scouting on the perimeter,” he’d say, the throwback to his early days as a scout in the US Marine Corps.

  7. DCtoRVAtoDaBurg Avatar

    The Mayor has been mayor for two years. He has been on City Council since 2011. There are so many issues with Myers that I care not to have to repeat them! He repeatedly stifles citizen input, that is his biggest issue. He has been involved with several underhanded city owned real estate transactions. He is currently suing his previous employer who is also a 10% partner of the Freedom Lofts that he is pressing. (more underhand and RFP issues ) They have broken RFP laws, FOIA laws, Open Govt laws and YES the mayor has been at the helm of most of these violations. He has retaliated against citizens, against the law! The City Council oversees the City Manager. They were told in 2012 by Davenport the financial consultant they had no cash reserves and to curtail their spending. They have approved budgets after budgets without even understanding what they were approving. SO YES! This is ridiculous and I SIR! I am the citizen he is retaliating against and being called a racist and republican too! The City of Petersburg does not even have partisan elections for council! and I am NOT a racist nor am I a Republican. The mayor has sued nearly everyone of previous employers. He has a GED for education. Did you read the letter he wrote? Before making comments please do your research. He is an absolute nightmare! He has cost the city tons of money in legal fees. The ACLU sued him only a few years ago for violation of free speech of another citizen! and won! Read the paper, watch the news. SO yes, he and the other council members are responsible. He gets the heat because of crap like this! Also it is NOT only whites that get up and complain! Our trash is going to be cancelled Friday. Our Fire equipment was repossessed yesterday, that we had fema grant money for! Why would anyone be happy about any of this! Oh and yes he knew and was told by Sen Dance. Did you see the transcripts of his illegally recorded phone call with her?

  8. LarrytheG Avatar

    The mayor came in 2011 and Davenport warned in 2012 – and it’s the Mayors fault ?

    what happened to the other folks on City Council who approved the spending ?

    it takes more than one person to vote the budget and approve the spending.

    Why is the focus on one guy when the problem was already well ongoing when he first appeared?

    Can the Mayor do anything about the budget or the spending ?

    you’re got issues with the Mayor that seem unrelated to the way the city has been and is now being operated by others…

    so he has a GED and that’s a reason why the city has been irresponsible in it’s finances since before 2012?

    Ya’ll have problems ,no question, but this one guy did not cause them – and as Mayor, cannot fix them.

    why have ya’ll not voted the City Council out and replaced them instead of complaining about one guy?

    It’s the majority vote on City Council that determines your finances and the services you receive.

    blaming this one guy won’t do anything.

    Ya’ll got elections coming up – are you going to replace your City Council?

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