Word has reached The Schilling Show that not only has Mayor David Norris resigned from his paid executive position at PACEM, but that in doing so, he may have left the organization in financial straits. Apparently, PACEM gave three or four days notice to clients and supporting churches last week that they would be shutting down on Friday, March 13, nearly three weeks prior to the previously announced March 31 closing date.
As a result, many of the area’s homeless population unexpectedly were turned back out onto the streets and tents that they now must call home.
Mayor Norris has spawned a poor public perception regarding his financial track-record with organizations he has run. In particular, his tenure with the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority has been called into question. But is there more to this story?
After almost singlehandedly shutting down the HOPE Community Shelter (a competing organization to PACEM) and then refusing to endorse or sign paperwork that would have allowed HOPE to more easily pursue grant money in order to reopen a shelter here, Mayor Norris has left his PACEM position for greener pastures.
Given the Mayor’s inside track and personal relationship with First Street Church benefactor Tom Shadyac (Norris honored Shadyac at a PACEM event last year), and the curious timing of his PACEM departure, we predict that Mayor Norris will apply for and be awarded the Executive Director position for the First Street Church project.
Of course, given the inherent conflict of interest in holding this job while serving on Charlottesville’s City Council, Norris being named to head this project would be a travesty, but what else would you expect in Charlottesville?
P.S. Almost forgot to mention that Dave Norris’s de facto running mate, Kristin Szakos and her husband Joe Szakos are prime movers of the Virginia Organizing Project, a partner in the First Street Church project.
P.P.S. Don’t let the name fool you, despite its locating in a former church building, the First Street Church project currently is a secular humanist, not a Christian faith-based endeavor.