Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mr. Councilman you were not invited

Many years ago Councilman Court Rosen popped into our Countryside Neighborhood Alliance meeting uninvited and unannounced. He was asked to leave but stood up befuddling the members asking “do you all want me to leave?” I told him that he needs to let me know and that it may not be a discussion we wished him to hear. Last night was the second time recently that he has attended our neighborhood meeting and that was at the times Charles Price on behalf of Northwest Recreation Center attended.

This is the last time – all of our meetings from now on are “executive sessions.”

Last night Chris Chittum was invited to mostly talk about the amendment to the Countryside Master Plan. The change proposed by Chittum is to  use the 12-acres designated for agriculture repurposed for recreation. This is for the purpose of putting two of NRC’s soccer fields between the Miller Court and Countryside neighborhoods. Miller Court was present and objected to it as well.

The eight-acre parcel on Frontage Road for ABEAR that would be used for training athletes while saving the barn and silo we all agreed was a good thing. However, it was a strange use when comparing it to the description for its use in the Master Plan.

Mr. Rosen vocally objected to my interpretation that what will end up for all the property is sports fields. That so far is all we have proposals for and council keeps saying “yes.” Our proposed Master Plan “town center” will never see the light of day.

Mr. Rosen needs to learn that he is a guest and not running a city council meeting. Following the meeting he huddled with a few members from Miller Court and Countryside trying to make a case for why we should let his friend Charles Price (Anita Price’s husband) put soccer fields in the middle of our neighborhood.

He tried to convince them of how good it will be for our home values and that all these soccer fields would not deter any future development. My neighbors did not fall for it. Thank goodness Rick Williams from the Planning Commission was there to make sense.

On June 21 the planning commission will set a public hearing date on the plan change. We will lobby the planning commission to postpone and not to waste their time.

Rosen had the gall to say how he was spending two hours at our meeting when he could be home with his child. Excuse me where you invited? There were people in wheelchairs and a neighbor who left a husband who just had an MRI and was heading to UVA. They didn’t want to be at any more meetings on Countryside. We have now lost our “young couple with baby” to foreclosure. They were underwater on the mortgage on their house on Countryside Drive now that the bottom has dropped out of our home values.

In 2005 we saw all this coming but no one would listen. This property was the answer to the city’s tax base prayers. And the developers are still laughing!

And we are paying! Bend over please and can I have another!!!!

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Commentary

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Comments (3)

Bob Clement

June 12th, 2012 at 5:52 PM    

Normally ‘executive sessions’ are for a period of time within an otherwise public meeting in which no meeting minutes are taken as only the organization’s ‘Executive Board’ is present as the discussion taking place has been deemed as confidential. As such, if a neighborhood group meeting is not a public meeting but rather is an ‘executive session’, then in addition to Court, other residents within the neighborhood who are not serving on the Executive Board, residents from outside of the neighborhood such as Miller Court, Melrose Rugby or others, police representatives as well as other city staff including myself would also not allowed to attend….right? If so, I would think this would negate the purpose, objective and goals of the organization as expressed in the organization’s By-Laws for no longer would the organization be inclusive or participatory in the development of the Countryside property.


June 13th, 2012 at 12:19 AM    

Thank you for the lesson Bob. I am fully aware of what an executive session is and I respect your loyalty to your friend Mr. Rosen.

I would not attend someone else’s neighborhood meeting without checking with them first as a courtesy.

It would be nice to have you at our meeting sometime but I know you have been busy.


June 16th, 2012 at 9:57 PM    

We welcomed Bill Bespitch to our picnic which our Neighborhood has every year but no one else from the City attended. We were so glad the firemen came by and took the leftovers (of which there were a lot). What a good opportunity it would have been to talk to the City … other than at our meetings. Oh well.

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