Virginia Beach, Where Nothing Changes

Pharrell Williams

by Kerry Dougherty

I told you the cronies were back in charge in Virginia Beach.

On August 22 four city officials including Councilmen Aaron Rouse and Linwood Branch — the latter was one of the original “Three Amigos” who were, ah, mighty friendly with local developers decades ago — flew to New York City for a meeting with rap legend and Beach native Pharrell Williams.

Williams yanked his “Something In The Water” festival from his hometown in a huff over what he called a “toxic” Beach environment in the aftermath of an oceanfront orgy of violence and gunfights on March 26, 2021. That bloody Friday night left the Beach resort area looking like a “war zone” and saw 10 people shot, two fatally, including William’s cousin, Donovon Lynch.

Angry knee-jerk rhetoric in the media and elsewhere over Lynch’s death fueled anti-cop fever in the city.

Yet it turned out Lynch was shot by an African-American police officer who was cleared of wrongdoing by a special grand jury that found the officer acted in “justifiable self-defense.”

So what was discussed in Manhattan’s tony Mark Hotel this week where a cheeseburger goes for $41, French fries for $17 and a Margarita will set you back $25? Nothing you peasants should concern yourselves with, say the people who jetted there on your dime.

“City Manager Patrick Duhaney, Deputy City Manager Taylor Adams and City Council members Aaron Rouse and Linwood Branch flew to New York in the morning on a commercial Delta flight and returned the same day,” reports The Virginian-Pilot.

“They talked about Atlantic Park, a public-private project set to break ground this fall at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, according to Branch, who declined to offer any more details about the meeting.”

We in Virginia Beach have seen this movie before. City officials canoodle privately in exclusive settings with millionaires, massaging egos to keep VIPs happy and leaving the public in the dark about the backroom deals until it’s too late.

So much for open government.

City council elections are in November. Choose carefully.

Beware: The cronies are coming for the lone grassroots member of that body, the one councilman who isn’t afraid to stand up to the rich and powerful on behalf of the little guy: John Moss.

More on what’s happening with Moss next week.

Stay tuned.

This column has been republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.

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5 responses to “Virginia Beach, Where Nothing Changes”

  1. DJRippert Avatar

    The Mark Hoel sure is tony. Rooms staring at $1,000 per night. But … the gub’mint people flew commercial and didn’t stay at The Mark.

    1. vicnicholls Avatar

      Does it matter? They may not have stayed there but it cost the taxpayers to fly them there, when Pharrell could have footed the bill for his own self & cronies to go to VB instead of commanding the regular folks to pay for it!

  2. vicnicholls Avatar

    For those who don’t know, John Moss is a fine man, who does stick up for us regular Joe’s and Jane’s. The ones running against him even admitted he was a great guy and they think alike. However, that leads me to believe, they will VOTE to stick it to the regular folks AGAIN where developers are concerned. This was all revenge because John Moss was the ONLY one who showed you could accomplish the VB budget WITHOUT, in effect, raising taxes.

  3. dave schutz Avatar
    dave schutz

    Now, VB has had to change from its truly remarkably bad earlier system are you telling me that this change has not wholly fixed things?

  4. energyNOW_Fan Avatar

    Of course the festival was moved to Wash DC, where it seemed to go well, according to press reports. Good publicity via WTOP radio etc.

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