Mar 9, 2010

Letters to the editor: Has anyone seen my hat?

by Lee Beaumont

According to Mayor Foster in a News & Advance article written on Feb. 21, “political hats are left at the door.” My source of confusion lies in the actions of some council members, both in and out of council chambers, and how it differs from their words.

In a blog by Marc Schewel on May 30, 2009 he identifies Bert Dodson and Joan Foster as ‘two of my democratic friends on city council.’

On Oct. 22, 2009 WSET featured a story “Democrats formally back Valentine,” and in the picture are Vice Mayor Bert Dodson, Mayor Joan Foster and Councilman Ceasor Johnson.

On Aug. 18, 2009 Mayor Joan Foster was invited to be part of a delegation handpicked to meet with Candidate Barack Obama; normally an honor reserved for party insiders.

On Oct. 25, 2009 the News and Advance ran a story about Creigh Deed’s rally in Lynchburg and Mayor Joan Foster was in the background (mentioned in the picture caption).

I do not recall seeing the Mayor at any Republican events during the last general election. Mayor Foster can also be seen front and center, with a rather unhappy look on her face, at Shannon Valentine’s campaign headquarters upon learning the Heritage precinct had not yet been counted (picture 15).

Their partisan activities include actions inside council chambers as well despite Mayor Foster’s remarks. On Feb. 19, 2010 at 10:52PM Councilman Nelson wrote an LU student and is quoted, “For the sake of your expressed concerns, you may want to direct your inquiries to Mr. Helgeson and Mr. Perrow. They opposed Mayor Foster’s and my efforts to include an LU site.”

That statement is laughable since Councilmen Perrow and Helgeson asked for a special meeting (much to the chagrin of the partisan majority on council) to look at additional sites. In addition, on Feb. 17, Councilman Nelson was quoted as saying, “One thing people (dislike) is politicians who vote one way, then turn and consult the polls or the special interests and change their vote.”

Councilman Nelson, I would like to add another thing people dislike — politicians that claim to be things they are not. Do we really have “independents” on city council? Has anyone seen my hat? I cannot remember if it was the one with the Donkey, Elephant, or “I” on the front.

Lee Beaumont

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