Where's Lee Young When You Need Him?
Remember when being embarrassed about Richmond politicians was fun?
Former and current Council member Reva Trammell “discussing crime” with a cop at 4 a.m. at the Virginia War Memorial. A shirtless Stephen Johnson, then chairman of the School Board, posting naughty bits about himself on gay dating Web sites. Former Councilman Chuck Richardson getting busted … again. Former Mayor Leonidas Young embezzling from his congregation so he could live large, in more ways than one. Former Sheriff Michelle "Miss Buns" Mitchell … well, just Michelle Mitchell. Former Councilwoman Gwen Hedgepeth, convicted of bribery-related charges. Former Councilman Raymond Royall who faked his own death to avoid federal tax charges. Faked his own death!
Aaah, the good old days.
I guess it was so entertaining precisely because we knew most of these people were dopes and that things would turn around as soon as the citizens of Richmond decided to start caring about things like elections and electing people who, you know, weren’t dopes.
Well, somewhere along the way, Richmonders got serious. They started electing big-brain, capable people to the council and the School Board. They elected a venerable former governor for mayor, for crying out loud.
So what do we get for our trouble? A mayor so embattled with the school board that he is blackmailing them into a second audit of the school system by withholding the funds they need to run the schools. We’re talking half of non-payroll funds. (That’s money for food, instructional supplies, special ed providers, or to keep soap in the dispensers, by the way. You know, nothing important …) A mayor who has backed the school board so far into a corner the only way they can scratch their way out is with a lawsuit. A City Council stuck in the middle, paralyzed like deer in the headlights.
Kind of makes you pine for the dopes, doesn’t it?
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
Acting Chief Administrative Officer Harry E. Black, responding to claims from school officials that his office has ordered Consolidated Bank & Trust to deny school finance employees access to the Richmond Public Schools bank account:
"The concern is the disingenuous nature of the individuals involved in this and their looseness in regard to dealing with the truth."
He certainly wouldn't want to call anyone a liar ...