In February and several times since, we submitted interview questions to 5th District Councilman Marty Jewell. More than once, we were promised a response, however, in recent months, there has been no answer back at all.
The questions were a blen
d of those submitted by readers, some standard questions given to his challenges (both of whom responded and have their interviews posted here and here), and some tailored to Mr. Jewell’s record and reputation as our neighborhood’s representative. Since we don’t have his answers, we can only speculate and come to our own interpretation about the silence from the office of our City Councilman.
For the record, and for the public’s discussion, here are the questions that were last submitted to Mr. Jewell through his liaison, Francine Young.
What do you hope to accomplish as a City Councilperson if you are reelected?
Which accomplishments from your previous terms on Council should voters keep in mind when deciding their vote this year?
Several months ago, then-candidate, David Gammino stirred things up by accusing you of “demagoguery.” What is your response to that?What are your impressions of your opponents’ contributions to the city?
People complain on this blog about their council rep being unresponsive. Even these interview questions went unanswered for several months. Even your opponent, Parker Agelasto, is using a slogan (“A Worker. Not just a talker”) to contrast against your reputation. What is your response?Describe your relationship with the Mayor and your fellow representatives on Council and how do those relationships help the people you represent. From our readers:
Marty Jewell, you voted for the meals tax increase and the Center Stage deal that shielded it from FOIA. If elected again, what will you do anything about the meals tax and Center Stage?
If elected, what will do you to change Richmond’s water rates? Right now, Richmond has the highest minimum water rate in the country at $47 a month. At the same time, the City utility charges less to big institutional users and actually sells water to the counties who in turn charge a lower minimum rate for their residents.For many citizens on a fixed income, this is a huge expense and keeps people in poverty. At the same time, the high minimum water rate discourages conservation and is also an environmental issue. The James River, the source of our water, deserves better stewardship. It should also be noted that the local Green Party has tried to bring attention to this issue and encourage change.
Parking is an issue for the residents in the Spring when Richmond Little League comes to play on the Byrd Park softball fields. These people, who do not live in our neighborhood, take all the parking spaces leaving the residents nowhere to park. Many evenings I have come home from work and there is nowhere to park. This means I need to drive around for a couple of hours until they are gone, or risk getting a ticket by double parking in the middle of the street. This has been and continues to be a consistent problem despite the neighborhood’s efforts to negotiate with Richmond Little League. Are you going to do anything about this? I pay taxes in the city and vote in your district. Most members of Richmond Little League do not.
Mr Jewell, there are many issues in Oregon Hill that need attention such as student parking infringing on residents, need for appropriate zoning for the Cary Street business corridor, protection from VCU’s encroachment, preservation of the historic canal system and many others. Despite these needs, you have continually been a “no show” at community meetings despite polite invitations and in fact have supported the wrong side on many of these issues. Why should we support you again for Council? Are you going to have an epiphany and start doing things totally different from the way you have been? There were over 400 street trees planted by the city from 2002 until your election and not one has been planted since despite requests for nominal funding. How would you grade yourself on this expansive list of your failures?