Letter: Money and Governing

Letter: Money and Governing

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

Now that I’ve stopped laughing, it’s time to put pen to paper and reply to Mayor Euille’s comment in your Oct. 8 edition that “It takes money to run campaigns. When I make decisions, it has nothing to do with whether or how much a developer contributed.”

Really Mr. Euille?

According to the Virginia Pubic Access Project, Mr. Euille has accepted donations well in excess of $100,000 from the real estate/construction sector. That does not include tens of thousands of dollars more in contributions from the legal and financial sectors.

For a job that pays $30,500.

I’ve often heard Mr. Euille say before a City Council vote on a development project that he has taken donations from the applicant. And instead of recusing himself (which many citizens might think appropriate), he goes right ahead and votes for the applicant’s project.

In fact, I can’t recall an occasion on a major development project where Mr. Euille has made a similar declaration and then voted against his donor’s interest.

That helps explain his comment during a May primary debate at Minnie Howard School that “We are not in the business of telling private property owners what they can do with their own real estate.”

But isn’t that the whole point behind the city’s Master Plan and Zoning Code? Those laws tell property owners what can and cannot be done with their property.

I’m glad the Democrats have nominated a mayoral candidate in Allison Silberberg who actually returns donations from developers. It’s a principled action that all the members of the next City Council should follow.

Rod Kuckro