Has the City of Charlottesville become the Berkeley of the East Coast, a college-dominated town populated with enough leftists to enforce their destructive brand of politics? Maybe not quite yet, but when anarchists are referring to the liberal Democrats on City Council as “fascists” (view the video above), it could be getting close.
“While Charlottesville’s government continues to spin wildly off-center, raucous public meetings and accompanying calls for social, economic, and legal anarchy come at great cost,” writes Rob Schilling, a local radio host who bills himself as the first and last Republican since 1986 to get elected to the Charlottesville City Council, in the Bearing Drift blog. Consider the following, taken verbatim from his article:
- Most recently, local developer and perennial City Council ally, Keith O. Woodard, cancelled the long-planned $50 million West 2nd project, citing an “adversarial” relationship with the City and “uncertain” process. The development was expected to net Charlottesville nearly $1 million annually in direct tax revenue.
- Adding insult to injury, Charlottesville City Councilor, Mike Signer, himself was General Counsel on the Project Team for WillowTree at Woolen Mills. In such capacity he presumably helped negotiate app developer WillowTree’s exodus from Charlottesville into neighboring Albemarle County—a $20 million, 200-job boon for Albemarle’s economy and another crushing financial blow to the City, this time delivered by a Charlottesville elected official.
- Nine years on, the rusting hulk of the Landmark Hotel on Charlottesville’s downtown mall stands as a monument to ineffective, bumbling, incompetent governance. The economic implications are manifest; no rational developer would risk large-scale “investing” here presently.
Says Schilling: “The escalating social and civic anarchy promulgated by the current crop of councilors has impelled Charlottesville into a rapid downward spiral, wherein nothing much may be left to ‘tear down’ when all is said and done.”
Bacon’s bottom line: Charlottesville enjoys a historic opportunity for urban revival as broad economic forces across the nation propel investment capital and people back into traditional downtowns and urban neighborhoods. In other Virginia metros, businesses are moving from the suburban jurisdictions to the urban cities, not the other way around. It would be a shame — and an object lesson to others — if the crazies ruined everything.