Norfolk Tea Party 2 Out of Focus?

On a cold, rainy and dreary Saturday morning, The Norfolk Tea Party 2 held another Town Hall Meeting. The message that came out of that meeting was as cloudy as the weather outside. The Norfolk Tea Party 2’s past success has been based on doing it’s homework, having its facts straight, and sticking to the issue of a high Norfolk real estate tax rate. Half truths, fuzzy facts were spewed by many in attendance. (We have at times accussed the City of the same thing. We are better than this.) None of this was necessary. The budget of this city is in a written document. Spending by Norfolk is documented; therefore, facts are readily available to the Tea Party if the leadership had been willing to do their homework.  Clearly apparent yesterday was another agenda at work; an agenda to remove the City Manager. The City Manager serves at the pleasure of Council. Obviously, since she is still the City Manger, most of the Council must be satisfied with her performance. And why shouldn’t they be satisfied? Most of the wards in the city are recipients of economic development projects and spending for city services that are improving their citizens’ quality of life.

The geographic make up of the attendees was mostly folks living outside of the Westside of Norfolk. The Greater Wards Corner Partnership area was sparsely represented at the Town Hall Meeting. We in the Greater Wards Corner Area have bigger fish to fry. We do not need to expend our energy in a bitch session, when we have not cleaned up our own mess caused by a lack of proper representation.  The Norfolk Tea Party 2 will not get our Comprehensive plan off of first base; only through our efforts and attention to the task at hand will.

4 Responses to Norfolk Tea Party 2 Out of Focus?

  1. Beverly Sexton says:

    I guess you was not at the same tea party 2 that i was at.What i got out of the meeting was getting the people that attended a agenda of what the people of norfolk want.Hope you filled out a survey card.That will be the discussion or should say the results from the survey at the next meeting on February 16.

  2. Eric says:

    I also realized during my reading of this article that I have no idea who wrote it. Correct me if I am wrong but anyone should be able to be heard on any issue that involves the improvement of Wards Corner District. I am glad that Beve

    I am glad that Beverly responded as she did. I am finding my inability to atend all these meetings and having both sides of the experience is important to many of us.

    Unite Wards Corner! For some the tax cut is extremely important and in addition it gives the people of Norfolk a voice and we are part of Norfolk.

  3. Tim Smith says:

    I don’t feel anything should be posted to this web site unless in can be traced back to someone, matter of fact, I’m not sure how anything gets posted on this site or who picks what is posted. I wanted to post on this site but could not find a link. It seems you can only comment on selected posts. Not very open or transparent if you ask me. Isn’t that what we are asking of our elected officials?

  4. At the invitation of Ms. Elyse Kalfus, I attended the Ward Corner Now meeting held a couple weeks ago. I applaud those involved and the obvious passion, concern and committment demonstrated – deep frustration for many – that night. I wish the organizers and resident-volunteers the very best in securing what Wards Corner needs and deserves now and in coming years; as I gather from those with intimate knowledge of the issues – its long overdue. Beyond this, I can’t say much; to do so I’d risk speaking about things which, truthfully, I do not know about.

    This is the mistake the person who posted the original message above has made.

    The theme of the January 19th Norfolk Tea Party meeting, and the ongoing work of the Tea Party, has always been stated clearly, i.e., “Fair Taxes and Good Government for All of Norfolk”. This is the heartbeat of the Tea Party, as I stated Jan 19th.

    Alas, actions speak louder than words – so I could just stop writing now. The Tea Party’s record speaks for itself. It’s in plain view for anyone to scrutinize (www.NorfolkTeaParty2.org)

    [Parenthically, ‘All’ includes Wards Corner; but of course we’re not co-opting any else’s agenda. Sincerely – good luck to the Wards Corner Partnership and those seeking the implementation of the comprehensive plan. That the writer above laments the sparse representation of Wards Corner Partnership at the Tea Party meeting, what can I say? Everyone from anywhere in Norfolk is invited – we do our best to get the word out and encourage people to attend – but we can’t control who participates. Nonetheless, our tent remains a big one, open to All.]

    The Tea Party exists to give opportunities for the average taxpayer in Norfolk to let their voice be heard. Last year we did that through a petition. This year we are conducting a citizens survey.

    As to the budget and “doing our homework”; we are following developments on an ongoing basis and attempting to have positive impacts during this current budget cycle.

    Yes, the budget is on paper. We have copies, as I suppose the writer above does too. In addition, I can report now (which at the time of the Jan 19th meeting was not the case) the City Manager’s office has finally responded to our Freedom of Information Act request for important budget documents; the City manager’s letter to department heads about executive expectations for developing the FY09 budget, and current budget instructions. For those doing this much and more, perhaps it’s their prerogative to critcize the Tea Party on this point. Perhaps. But not really. Anyways, I wonder, was the author of the post above even in attendance at our November 14th Tea Party meeting with Budget Director, now Asst. City Manager, Marcus Jones, to discuss budget details?

    As to “another agenda” vis-a-vis the future employment of the City Manager. As I’ve said before I say again here: our agenda is public not personal.

    When was the last time our city government had a city-wide townhall meeting or other organized effort of any sort to inquire how citizens feel about their real estate taxes, or to solicit unfiltered feedback from the public?

    It’s my sincere hope that most folks, and I believe most do even though the anonomous commenter above does not, will take the Tea Party’s citizens survey at face value. We do. Quite plainly, how do citizens feel about the tax rate? How do they feel about the job city officials are doing? What items do they feel are most important?

    So, finally, the Tea Party will next do precisely what we said we would do. The results of the survey will be compiled and reported back to the public in February. Its a citizens survey, and citizens can decide for themselves its significance.

    I hope my writing here helps to clarify some of the wrong rhetoric of anonomous above [[ about the Tea Party that is, and not about his/her passion for Wards Corner ]]. Otherwise, if the Tea Party appears out of focus – epsecially with a vision as skewed as the author above posits – its most probably due to the clouded vision of the observer.

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