Now I’ve seen it all. As if he did not have a big enough forum at the “six million dollar site” (aka www.charlottesville.org), city Director of Disinformation, Ric Barrick, is posting personal drivel and responses defensive of the city’s outrageously inept and/or corrupt assessment system on another local blog.

Read what Ric is doing in his “free” time, or was some of this done on city (taxpayers’) time?

Ric Barrick Feb 4th, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Let me just make a few corrections here, outside of the water bill issue. The figures used in 29’s piece involved new construction. Why is that important? The average homeowner concerned about assessment should not be focussed on that number because it reflects total taxable property in that neighborhood. That includes any increase in assessment in existing property AND new property built since last year. If they heard the Channel 29 report they would assume property in Fifeville is going up 18%. The reality is that the assessed property from 2007 to 2008 in Fifeville went up 11% on average. Some property was assessed higher, some lower as it is an statistical average. Using 18% is misleading since it represents the increase in total property value in that neighborhood and most who heard that report would assume their house value and taxable assessment went up by that amount. I make this correction because we have been dealing with a lot of calls concerned after that report. I have asked for a correction to the original story which was teased as if you live in Charlottesville your tax bill will go up. Not true. Nearly 30 out of the 48 neighborhoods will average a flat assessment or a decrease. This is the second smallest increase in assessment in the City’s history. That should have been the story.

And again:

Ric Barrick Feb 5th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

I will check with our water department to see if there has been an issue, but I hadn’t heard of any to date. You are also welcome to email me at barrick@charlottesville.org and we can look into your specific situation.

And yet again:

Ric Barrick Feb 11th, 2009 at 12:06 am

Thank you Woah. I’ve learned that even though I’m just staff, folks feel as though they can toss a few, particularly anonomously. Being the middle guy is challenging but when you feel you are working for and with quality people it minimizes the spokeswenie and Director of Miscommunication comments. And if I tried the news position a few times and survived, this is a pretty good place to be.

It’s purported that the city is paying Ric Barrick $93k per year to do his job, which in and of itself offends me as a city taxpayer. That position’s necessity is dubious at best, and I have called for the entire department to be eliminated.

But, with a taxpayer supported bully pulpit (www.charlottesville.org), Ric has no business posting missives defending the city on outside blogs. That is unless he wants to open up the “six million dollar site” as a public blog so that we can reply directly and publicly to the disinformation diseminated within.

Charlottesville's Director of Disinformation
Charlottesville's Director of Disinformation

5 COMMENTS

  1. The city’s web site has cost way over $6M and is still under construction.
    Of course Ric Barrick and Assistant City Manager, Maurice Jones, are paid well because they effectively block Overrun O’Connell’s having to deal with the public. Recently, everytime I walk by the City Manager’s office, his lights are out. Of course, he keeps up with his email using his PDA. O’Connell’s is MIA.

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