Meet The City Council Candidates

Brent Finnegan -- October 12th, 2010

On October 1, we asked readers to help us come up with a list of questions for Harrisonburg City Council candidates to answer. We made a list and emailed all the candidates the first question.

This is the first post of several in a Q&A series about the upcoming local elections (November 2). We’ll be emailing candidates questions and posting answers periodically throughout the rest of the month. All responses are listed unedited, in the order in which they were received.

What qualifies you to serve on city council?

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Joe Fitzgerald: My two greatest qualifications for City Council are my unique experience and my previous service as mayor and councilman.

Before joining JMU as the Technology Liaison for the College of Arts and Letters, I was city editor of the Daily News-Record for five years, and worked for the software start-up SEI for four years. The first job was running the local news operation for the largest media operation in the Valley. The second was investigating new technologies and making them work for the company and its customers. Those twin skills of communication and technology come together in my current job.

The customs of the American newspaper were born before the Civil War, and some of the newest technology is younger than this century. Understanding the traditions of the past while facing the changes of the present is critical in a city that has such a long history and is going through such rapid changes as Harrisonburg.

My first term on council (2000-2004) was marked by my efforts to research issues beyond just what information was supplied by city staff, and my willingness to make the right vote for the city despite the personal or political consequences. That readiness to make the tough decisions often made me a swing vote and a lightning rod. It’s worth remembering that I was in that position because I was beholden to no faction or group, but only to what was best for the city.

Two of those tough decisions came my first day on council, when I turned down the mayorship the first time it was offered to me, and voted to complete Heritage Oaks. The first decision was because I had made the personal commitment to vote for someone else, and the second because I had been right in my campaign statements about the project. “If we are elected, we are going to be stuck with a golf course,” I said two weeks before the election.

During my term as councilman and mayor I dedicated my time to learning not just the details of the issues, but the details of how local government works. Having a good idea about what the city should do is only the beginning. A council member also has to know how to make it work.

My unique and varied experience and my ability to make tough decisions haven’t gone away. A councilman must take the time to research issues and listen to the people of Harrisonburg. A councilman must have the ability to withstand sharp criticism for doing the right thing regardless of the personal consequences. That research, that listening, and that ability are what separate those who’ve held the job from those who have truly done the job.

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Charlie Chenault: I think the right kind of experience can always help. I reference my web site (www.charliechenault.com – just click on my skybox ad on hburgnews to go there) for a summary of my experience that I think helps qualify me to serve on council. In my mind, the most important qualification I have to serve on council is my ability to work in a collegial manner with my fellow councilmen and councilwomen, city employees and staff and the citizens that council serves. I think Ted, Carolyn, Rodney and George will tell you that the two and one-half years we served together was one of great accomplishment and friendship primarily because of our ability to deal with issues on a non-personal, non-partisan, do what is best for Harrisonburg level. I also think I have a close connection to all of Harrisonburg’s neighborhoods and the people who live in them. I don’t just get around at election time. I live each and every day discovering new things about our city and its residents. Finally, I have always given and will continue to give every ounce of energy that I have to Harrisonburg whether I am on council or not. The last approximately two years that I have been off of council have not changed one bit the work I put into the city and the enjoyment that I get out of it.

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Greg Coffman: A Harrisonburg native, I graduated from HHS and Bridgewater College. My roots, home, and family are in Harrisonburg.

I’ve served as Chairman of the American Heart Fund and the WVPT Auction. In addition, I’ve served as a board member of the Harrisonburg Jaycees, Harrisonburg Kiwanis Club, and WVPT. Over the past several years, I’ve been a proactive member of the Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance Economic Development Committee and have worked to revitalize our downtown at the grassroots level. I was fortunate to serve on the Comprehensive Planning and Advisory Committee whose work provided the basis for our current Comprehensive Plan. Also, I’ve served on the City Parks and Recreation Department Commission.

For almost two decades, I’ve had the honor of serving on the Harrisonburg City School Board, and have been its chairman a record three times. I was instrumental in starting the Massanutten Regional Governors’ School that involved the cooperation and working relationship of four separate school systems: Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Shenandoah County, and Page County. I’ve also served two terms as the chairman of the Board for MRGS and have been on its board since its inception. Similarly, I’ve served two terms as the chairman for Massanutten Technical Center and played a key role in making the alterations in the school’s program that have led to its tremendous recent success.

My experience on the City School Board has been rewarding, but it’s also been extremely challenging. Our school system has been on the forefront for years in dealing with the many demographic issues that our city has faced. We’ve been constantly vying with Northern Virginia as the school system with the highest percentage of English As A Second Language students, otherwise known as ESL students. Providing adequate programs to meet the needs of these students has been an ongoing struggle. However, we’ve been successful year after year due to constant innovations. We’ve had to build several new schools to accommodate the growing population of Harrisonburg, and every one of those schools was completed under budget. In our school system, we now have as many students receiving grants and scholarships in the fine arts programs as in the athletic programs. I’m told by many parents that my involvement and support of the fine arts programs has contributed significantly to this success and has offered more students additional opportunities to succeed than ever.

Over my years serving the city, I’ve dealt with budgets during the best and worst of economic times. I know how to balance a budget, plan for the future, and how to make the hard decisions that are often required. I’ve faced legal matters, personnel issues, and fiscal accountability in a manner that I think has gained the respect and confidence of the Harrisonburg taxpayers. I believe strongly in conducting the public’s business in public, and my years in office verify that principle. Throughout the years, I’ve tried to serve with openness, candor, and honesty. One reason I’ve been able to do that is because I have no conflicts of interest; I’m here to serve, not to accomplish any personal agenda. These are the same principles I will pursue as a member of the City Council.

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Ted Byrd: I am running for re-election to City Council because I continue to see a need for a balance point of view relative to the issues of growth, community development, and cooperation among various constituencies. My family and I are tied to the community through schools, neighborhood involvement, public service, and just plain caring. My goal is to ensure that Harrisonburg, our home, has the best quality of life it can offer. I hope to continue to apply my listening skills with varied experiences in economic development, transportation, business management and agriculture to provide thoughtful consideration to the myriad of issues that come before council. I will continue to be a partner in a city government that is responsible and open to all communities who share this unique part of the Shenandoah Valley. My goal, if re-elected by you, is to listen carefully and to make decisions that will balance the needs of all sectors as we grow into the future.

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Carolyn Frank: I have spent much of my life serving my community though civic, church and community organizations. Each commitment has brought me in contact with citizens from different socio, ethnic, and economic groups; revealing the different needs in our community and stirring in me the compassion and heart to serve all citizens. I was first elected to City Council in 2000 and hold the honor of being Harrisonburg’s first woman mayor. In May 2004 I lost my bid for reelection by a small margin, but by the will of the citizens, I returned to the Council in May of 2006. My time on the council has provided me the opportunity to work with 11 different members, each with varying experiences in civil service and each with their own unique talents. I have learned from each and every one of them. It takes a team effort to find solutions for the challenges facing our city, especially in tight economic times. Many times the best teacher is experience. I am glad for the opportunity I have had to serve and the great experience I have had while doing so.

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Sal Romero: I have lived in Harrisonburg for the past twenty years, I have been educated locally, and have graduated from James Madison University. I hold a master’s degree in school administration from Shenandoah University and have directed Second Home, a before and after school program for students attending Spotswood Elementary School and Thomas Harrison Middle School for the last three years. Over the last five years I have worked in the Harrisonburg City School division in various capacities. I currently direct a men’s adult soccer league that includes 31 teams.

My experiences at the personal and professional level, my love for Harrisonburg, my commitment, and my capability to represent various groups in our community allow me to bring something unique to city council that no other candidate is able to do. I will bring tireless energy, new and fresh ideas that will guide our city in the direction that best benefits its residents.

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70 Responses to “Meet The City Council Candidates”

  1. Kristen says:

    Thanks for posting this. I can’t wait to learn more about everyone running for council.

    Kind of on-topic…who is behind the No Frank signs and what is their beef with Councilmember Frank?

    Thanks!

    • Dave Briggman says:

      The developer is Bruce Forbes…Forbes Development, etc…I would suggest boycotting his properties and related businesses around town…but that’s just me.

      • Ross says:

        This is a non issue. I don’t believe an independent will win. The Parties are too strong with numbers.

        • Both “independents” are people with previous experience on City Council and deep networks of supporters in the city. It’s hard to tell just who will get out to vote this November, but I wouldn’t count Chenault or Frank out by any means.

          I don’t really understand why Harrisonburg City Council races are partisan anyhow.

          • Ross says:

            Jeremy, you may very well be right. However, it’s possible that those “networks” aren’t what they used to be. It will indeed be interesting to see the results.

          • JGFitzgerald says:

            Semi-partisan. Parties can nominate candidates, and we’re grouped by party on the ballot, but the party isn’t listed. Also, most candidates run individual campaigns. Faux partisan? Partly partisan?

          • Kai Degner says:

            Jeremy – I was at the Virginia Mayors’ Institute a couple weeks ago. Many were talking about their local elections, and it struck me how many people were surprised to hear Harrisonburg had party-nominated candidates. I finally asked the 35-40 people which of their cities and towns have party-nominated candidates in their local races. No one else but me raised their hands! Of course, it wasn’t a survey of every city and town, but it was surprising to me.

            I asked around a bit, and it seems Harrisonburg has created a recent tradition in using the party nomination process. It is available in other cities and towns, but all the candidates simply choose to get on the ballot as independents by obtaining the necessary number of signatures and/or the local committees aren’t active and don’t get involved.

          • Ross says:

            The party affiliation is not a recent tradition, the parties have had candidate nominations for local offices for, at least, the past 2 decades. It surprises me more that other Virginia localities don’t have party candidates for local elections. I would think that local elections would be the foundation that the parties build on for state and national elections.

          • Dany Fleming says:

            Kai, that’s pretty interesting. I’m not sure I find that much value in attaching party affiliation in our local candidate races… at least as it’s currently set-up. As far as I can tell, neither local party really establishes positions on local issues. Though, I guess they certainly could (e.g., land use, local taxes, education, etc.).

            Party affiliation may provide some general political insight to local candidates, but I’m not sure it provides any indication of voting on local issues. Researching that would certainly provide an interesting investigative report.

            The question that’s more important to me is around having voting districts and representation in Harrisonburg. For some strange reason, we have voting districts for the school board (East and West) but not for city council. That seems completely backwards to me.

            The argument that we shouldn’t have city council district representation because it would create “regional” turf battles is a complete straw man argument. I think it just shows a lack of trust and respect for certain areas of the city and does a disservice to a growing city. Without a doubt, there are areas and demographics in the city that don’t feel they have much representation. Harrisonburg is large enough to merit district voting.

            So, I’d like to know the candidates positions on creating city council voting districts. That is one issue that would be worthy of a city discussion and referendum.

          • Kai Degner says:

            Ross- I characterize a couple decades as still recent in city history, but, your right, it’s been a while.

            Dany- I’m not so sure it’s a complete strawman argument that district voting would create turf battles. For all of its benefits, there is evidence of very contentious turf battles in cities and counties across the state that result in more costly decisions. Being elected by the whole city makes me accountable to voters in a different way than were I only accountable to a specific district (I live in the Northeast).

          • JGFitzgerald says:

            Off the top of my head, city council members’ precincts for the past 20 years. Waterman, 3; Spotswood, 5; Don’t know, 2; Stone spring, 2; Simms, 3; Keister, 2.

  2. Sarah MacDonald says:

    Thanks for doing this, it’s a much appreciated civic service!

  3. Carolyn Frank says:

    Kristen,

    The anti-Frank campaign is funded by a developer who is mad at me for voting against another student housing complex off Port Road near a residential neighborhood and an elementary school.

    • Frank J Witt says:

      Ms. Frank, I was told by some elder family members…if you are hated by someone, you stood for something you believed in…THANK YOU!

    • seth says:

      out of curiosity,
      were there any other council members who voted against that development? if so, are any of them currently running?

    • LBJ says:

      Carolyn Frank did not vote for the Friendly City of Harrisonburg’s best interest during a city council meeting, but voted after making the following statement not once but twice:

      I do not want to vote for more student housing in Harrisonburg because my rental properties will go vacant. The parents will want their students in the new, improved, clean, and safer areas. You know, I own rental properties on South Main Street.

      As a result of the above statement, Carolyn Frank, Council Member Candidate will vote based on personal matters and does not represent the Harrisonburg City Tax Payers. Carolyn Frank was asked to remove herself from the vote before the meeting due to a conflict of interest* which she did not.

      Yet, a vote before the city council on December 11, 2007 Carolyn Frank approved within 300’ as the crow flies a high density, high rise complex that is a sore thumb on top of the hill on Port Republic Road. Please see for yourself at
      http://www.harrisonburgva.gov/fileadmin/user_upload/cityclerk/files/Minutes/2007/December_11__2007.pdf.

      Another fact, Carolyn Frank’s personal residence is assessed below other comparable real estate assessments on the same street as well as her rental properties. For proof of the assessments, please feel free to visit http://www.harrisonburgva.gov/infoprop/. Steve Jones who comments on Carolyn Frank is the husband of the Jones who ran for Treasurer to replace the corrupt Rebecca Neal.

      Why anti-Fitzgerald, sold vote for golf course to become the Mayor?

      Furthermore, Council Member Candidates should not use diversionary tactics to get the focus off of the candidates running for office.

      Taxpayer’s should FOCUS on the GOOD for the City of Harrisonburg!
      *Conflict of interest From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Conflict of interest (COI) occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other.
      A conflict of interest can only exist if a person or testimony is entrusted with some impartiality; a modicum of trust is necessary to create it. The presence of a conflict of interest is independent from the execution of impropriety. Therefore, a conflict of interest can be discovered and voluntarily defused before any corruption occurs.
      Examples of some occupations where a conflict of interest is most likely to be encountered or discovered include: policeman, lawyer, judge, insurance adjuster, politician, engineer, executive, director of a corporation, medical research scientist, physician, writer, and editor.

  4. Anne Lorimer says:

    How many of these fine folks can we each vote for? As I recall, it was three back in 2008 — does that mean we get to pick four this year? Apologies for my ignorance.

    • Anne, no need to apologize. I didn’t know any of this stuff until I started writing about it in 2006.

      There are five members of council at any given time. Each member serves a four-year term, but the seats are staggered 3-2. In other words, three seats were up for grabs in 2008, and now the other two are up in a few weeks.

      So, pick two.

  5. Anne Lorimer says:

    No wait, there are only 5 altogether, so I guess we get to pick 2 …

  6. charles chenault says:

    Seth – I voted no as well – in fact, I think all but one voted against it – thanks – Charlie

  7. Ted Byrd says:

    Charlie, It was a 5 to 0 vote against. I think it was a 4 to 1 vote for 865 East. thanks Ted

  8. charles chenault says:

    Even better – thanks Ted – Charlie

  9. Ross says:

    Thank you gentlemen for the clarification. So, what you are telling us is; that there are other current candidates who voted the same way as Frank. However, there are no signs against them put up around town. Sounds to me like this man or company has another reason to not want Frank re-elected.

    Mrs. Frank, just curious if you know the real reason for the signs? Especially if the previous commenter is right that these signs are from a previous campaign, that is what I call a long lasting dislike for someone.

  10. Brooke says:

    Ross – my thought is if Mr. Forbes feels strongly enough to put up the signs all over town, the onus is kind of on him to say why, instead of requesting that Carolyn speculate as to why he put them up. I think Carolyn’s job is to tell us why we should vote for her, not to speculate as to why one individual, or family, thinks we shouldn’t. :-)

    • CityMom says:

      Brooke, unfortunately, this type of political bullying allows Forbes to place his signs without having to comment any more if he doesn’t want to. It’s his 1st Amendment right, but it’s cowardly. Carolyn, on the other hand, is the one seeking votes and is really forced to respond or leave it to everyone else to speculate.

  11. CityMom says:

    Isn’t this the same Forbes that donates in big bunches to JMU? Sounds to me like this guy is amateurish, spiteful and immature. All that money at his disposal and he could get whatever media coverage he demands and he throws up those cheap, cowardly signs?

    It’s ironic that he has the Forbes Performming Arts Center named for his donation and this is the most creative thing he can come up with. I don’t blame JMU folks if they keep mum on their big donor but they must be rolling their eyes at this joker.

    I’m not endoring Carolyn, but I hope she knocks that arrogant and cowardly bully on his a…..butt. And we in “The Friendly City” should soundly reject this type of bullying and campaigning.

    • Brooke says:

      I think Mr Forbes can support whoever he wants for candidates, and I wouldn’t deny him his right to express his opinion. That being said, I’m with you CityMom. I think the manner in which he’s chosen to make his express his political views does tend to make him look rather childish, spiteful and kind of a bully, especially in light of the fact that apparently Ms. Frank wasn’t the only council member to vote against the developments in question.

      • Ross says:

        Brooke, I dare say that is not the reason for the signs. This would not even be a topic if when asked, Mrs. Frank said “I have no idea what those signs are all about, why don’t you ask the person putting them up?” But, she didn’t. She is the one linking a very old vote which she voted in unison with other council members to the signs.

        It is obvious that is not the reason. Unless of course, she was to sway the other votes and failed to do it. Who knows? Not the voters.

        • Brooke says:

          Well, Ross, if you read Carolyn’s response below, it does very much seem like he supported her as a candidate, and so he was especially ticked when she, as the individual he felt he “put into office” didn’t vote the way he thought she should/would. That explanation makes sense to me why he’s singling her out over the others – he didn’t believe he “put them into office” so he wasn’t expecting to vote in favor of his projects.

    • Dave Briggman says:

      The descriptions of CityMom and Brooke about Bruce Forces is fairly accurate…it’s the same type of behavior he once showed to a Rockingham County Circuit Court Judge:

      http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinions/opncavwp/0699043.pdf

      Now, I will say that he likely WASN’T released from jail early…our judges here apparently don’t know that you get day-for-day credit for criminal contempt…and Forbes really pissed McGrath off.

  12. Carolyn Frank says:

    Mr. Forbes was a supporter of TAGS (Taxpayers against Golf Spending) which I help spearhead. He also supported my run for City Council. The night of the rezoning vote, he told me before the meeting, “I put you in office and I can take you out.” This is the 2nd anti-Frank campaign he has run against me. I would say, he feels he didn’t get his money’s worth when he supported me. Ross, what do you think??

  13. Ross says:

    Mrs. Frank,
    I’m still not understanding why Mr. Forbes would turn on you, if your vote made no difference. Did you have a deal with him on certain things and then backed out? Since Mr. Forbes was a big supporter of TAGS you would think he would be against Mr. Fitzgerald for not doing what he PROMISED the voters and that was to STOP the golf course development.
    Your story just doesn’t make sense. Maybe it’s just me but, it all seems a little fuzzy.

    • Brooke says:

      I’m curious why you are so incredibly convinced and insistent that there’s something else behind this. Do you have some concrete reason to believe there’s something else behind the signs?

      I’ll be honest, I haven’t been a big Carolyn supporter, but all the same, the explanation she gave made perfect sense to me. He felt, as a supporter of her campaign that she would vote for things he proposed, and even if her vote didn’t make a difference, he still felt betrayed and angry when she joined with the others to vote against his project(s).

      • Brooke says:

        In other words, with his campaign support, he felt he was buying a candidate, and when he didn’t get that, he took it personally, and this is his payback for what he perceived as betrayal. Of course, he apparently forgot that when you vote someone into office they are there to serve the people, not just their biggest campaign contributor(s), and their vote, *should* reflect what’s best for the people/area they represent, not their campaign supporters. I say good for Carolyn for voting the way she thought she should, not how Mr. Forbes expected her to.

      • Ross says:

        Cool your jets folks. Lets face it, there has been very little talk about in this election. This is one topic where the candidate’s answer didn’t add up. And when someones answer doesn’t ring true, it makes me wonder and ask more questions.

        As a relative newcomer (at least in Kia’s time table) to the area, I tend to listen to what the candidates are saying, rather than who I know. I do tend to question things that are stated as fact that don’t hold water.

        That’s all, I didn’t mean to ruffle any feathers.

        • Brooke says:

          I still don’t get what “doesn’t add up” about Ms. Frank’s explanation. It seems almost like you’re trying very hard not to get it.

        • Lowell Fulk says:

          More people should be willing to ask questions, Ross. Look at the good discussion and explanations which have been the result of your persistence. I for one am glad to have folks of “Kia’s” timetable involving yourselves in the area’s government and direction setting.

          One example of which I’m speaking: Joe Fitzgerald actually didn’t promise to stop the golf course. In fact, it turns out that weeks before the election, he warned that there may be no way to do so, and it turns out he was right.

    • Dave Briggman says:

      What’s up with you, “Ross”?

      This issue’s been well hashed as this isn’t the first time that Forbes has displayed his signs.

      Carolyn clearly stands for the prospect that just because a developer wants to build new housing when there’s no real demand for it, doesn’t mean he gets to.

      Pretty simply, unless you know something most of the community doesn’t.

    • JGFitzgerald says:

      Ross,

      Thanks for the mention, but I never promised to stop the golf course. That’s an urban legend. But for what it’s worth, Bruce has come after me, but privately.

      • Ross says:

        JGFitzgerald,
        Thought I’d give you another mention, did you
        know;
        You NOW have a sign up across from Lowe’s, that says not to vote you or frank and that both of YOU have FAILED the voters of Harrisonburg. ( or something close to that).

    • Deb SF says:

      Ross: from http://www.dnronline.com/opinion_details.php?AID=51308&CHID=32
      (this is not behind the paywall)

      …A story in the Daily News-Record on April 19, 2000, two weeks before the election, quoted Joe Fitzgerald: “It looks like that if we are elected, we are going to be stuck with a golf course.”….

      The story was by Jeff Mellott.

  14. Carolyn Frank says:

    Ross,

    Never made any deals. I think you have to know Mr.Forbes. I really don’t know anything else to say about the matter, except, Mr. Forbes donated the land I believe to JMU and got naming rights for the Forbes Center and I really enjoy attending the production there. I wish him well. He is a smart man and has developed some really nice properties for businesses and restaurants in Harrisonburg. When you run for office and try to serve the public you can expect attacks. I don’t know that we have ever met, but sometimes I feel like you are attacking me in a different way than Mr. Forbes. At least his is straight up and to the point. You are welcome to contact me if you want to discuss it anymore or anything else that is on your mind.

    • Lowell Fulk says:

      Forbes donated the land? I’m confused.
      Wasn’t this the same land that was taken from Kenny Kyger against his will via eminent domain? This isn’t the same property where “Kyger Funeral Home” existed?

      Where was that property?

      And please know, I’m not taking sides on the issue of good bad or otherwise in the taking.

      • Ross says:

        Every answer creates more questions. Please don’t take it personal Mrs. Frank. You have put yourself in a public position and these questions are not of a personal nature. You have to realize that people are talking about the signs, they are highly visible and not a common practice for someone to do.

        Now that you mentioned it, I remember the stink with Kyger Funeral home and eminent domain. Was that a city council vote or JMU decision? If city council, who voted to take away Mr. Kyger’s property against his will?

        • Lowell Fulk says:

          I apologize, Ross, for perhaps confusing the issues here. I could easily be mistaken. Ms. Frank would be in a much better position than would I to know that Mr. Forbes donated the property. I’m obviously not remembering correctly.

        • Lowell Fulk says:

          I was thinking that it was a JMU decision to use eminent domain to force a sale when a price couldn’t be agreed upon, but I’m not sure it came to that point in the end. Around five million dollars sticks in my mind as the amount Mr. Kyger accepted, I thought. But again, I had many distractions during that time and wasn’t paying as close of attention as I should have to be speaking to the issue now… Maybe someone better informed could shed some light?

          • JGFitzgerald says:

            JMU used eminent domain to take some of the land, including the funeral home. Forbes donated several million dollars toward construction.

          • Carolyn Frank says:

            Kenny Kyger’s land and funeral home were purchased by JMU for the Forbes Center. The land Mr. Forbes wanted to rezone was off Port Road, behind the Food Lion. When he didn’t get the rezoning, he donated the land to JMU. At least, that is what I was told and believe to be true.

            JMU threaten eminent domain for the Kyger Funeral Home. Kenny said the threat of eminent domain was the same as eminent domain. He sold the funeral home for $5M and moved out of town.

            It was a JMU Board of Visitor’s decision. Mayor Larry Rogers was on the Board of Visitors of JMU. Kenny supported me in my election bid in 2006, defeating the incumbent Mayor Rogers.

  15. charles chenault says:

    I did not mean for this tread to go in this direction, but I know that is not my decision. I just wanted to clear up the vote on the rezoning. Carolyn is my friend, and one of the most ethical people that I know. Nothing about Carolyn is for sale, especially her vote. Carolyn, I am sorry for putting you through this. Additionally, Lowell’s and Deb’s recollections on Joe’s timing are the same as mine.

    Thanks – Charlie

    • JGFitzgerald says:

      The rule of thumb is that a blog thread can’t stay on topic for more than 12-15 comments. This one has actually been kind of cohesive.

      • That’s generally true. At least this conversation is still about City Council decisions.

        It’s easier for me to ascertain the reasons Forbes wouldn’t want Carolyn re-elected than the reasons why Ross isn’t satisfied with the answers.

        Tell us, Ross. What’s your beef?

        • Dany Fleming says:

          Ross, maybe you should go straight to the source (Forbes), if you’re not satisfied with all the speculation on his motives. It’s hard to get more clarity if only one-side is willing to give feedback.

          • Ross says:

            Dany,
            You are right. It would be better if Mr. Forbes came on here and told us all?
            How about it Mr. Forbes?

          • Brooke says:

            I’m not sure Mr. Forbes reads this forum. Maybe you could call his office, or see if there’s an e-mail for him?

          • Ross says:

            What a good idea Brooke. I did just that and let him know that he is the topic of conversation and we would welcome his input regarding the anti-Frank signs. It was his office, he may not get it until tomorrow.

          • Emmy says:

            I noticed that a lot of the anti-Frank signs are now gone.

  16. Dany Fleming says:

    Speaking of moving off topic – I think it’s refreshing and informative that we have candidates, as well as our Mayor, who are willing to hop into an online discussion on ideas and issues. It’s an honest give-and-take with folks.

    No doubt, much more dialogue (and openness) could happen online, it’s the way our civic discourse needs to move. (Though, Kai has certainly pushed and worked hard with different dialogue platforms and doesn’t shy away from honestly engaging with folks.) That candidates are speaking on Hburgnews also shows their trust in the fairness and value of this blog. This can be a real benefit to Harrisonburg and the area.

    So, kudos to the candidates and to Hburgnews.

  17. lbj says:

    Joe A lot of people know that you sold your vote to Lantz and Rogers to become mayor. They would vote for you if you would vote against Frank and Peterson. This was verified Friday night.

  18. lbj says:

    Joe: On July l you voted to finish the golf course against Frank and Peterson. They needed your vote to stop the course. Lantz and Rogers made you an offer that they would vote you in as mayor if you would vote with them. You know that you did not run on the lantz and Rogers ticket. If you have problems with this go to the city minutes for confirmation.

  19. lbj says:

    You can damage Mr.

    You can damage Mr.forbes and run articles that are very poor taste but you are unable to run the truth. Is this Joe and Deb webb page? This looks and reads like their work. We have no intentions of modifying the article

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    May 2: Harrisonburg was honored when the League of American Bicyclists announced the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) designations over the weekend to kick off May as National Bike Month.