Local / Norfolk / Politics

ICYMI: Leaders in reverse

op-edMy latest op-ed, title above, appeared in The Virginian-Pilot last Friday. Of all 43 speakers at last Wednesday’s public hearing on the budget, it was the comments of longtime civic activist, Alton Robinson, that resonated the most.

Either council is unaware – or doesn’t care – that the optics of putting $89 million into the hotel-conference center are really, really bad. Spending such sums and then asking every other area to do more with less is hard to swallow.

And it certainly doesn’t help to have council on a well-lit stage, looking down on the speakers before them, while saying nothing. Most of the folks on the stage looked bored, as if hearing from the people was a chore. They’ve always done this, of course. But just because it’s always been done that way doesn’t mean that is the way it should be done.

I expect more fireworks this Wednesday, as council hears from the people on the proposed increase in real estate taxes. That complaint session public hearing is set for 6pm at Granby High School.

My column appears in The Virginian-Pilot every week, usually on Thursdays. You can see the columns as they are published here, or navigate to them from the PilotOnline.com homepage by clicking on Opinion and then choosing my name at the bottom of the dropdown list. You can also see the columns by liking my Facebook page. Although my column appears weekly, I am not and have never been an employee of The Virginian-Pilot.

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