norris-filmstripThere are many responsibilities that accompany the position of Charlottesville Mayor; primary among them is courtesy in response to citizen concerns.

Mayor David Norris publicly portrays himself as a “nice guy,” but those on the receiving end of his vitriol can testify that things often are not as they appear.

Case in point: Note the condescending acrimony in Charlottesville Mayor David Norris’s email response to a constituent inquiry:

From: dave norris []

Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2009 3:01 PM

To:; jim tolbert; Jeanie Alexander

Cc:; brian daly;;; Craig Brown; Tim Longo; Waldo Jaquith; Brian Wheeler;; schillingshow;;

Subject: RE: Thoughts for more effective signaling

Staff will respond to any proper FOIA request as required by law.++And I’m sure you are+fully aware that doing so takes valuable staff time away from making safety improvements to our community, including+to this very intersection.+ Staff have been very clear to explain, over and over again, that your request was heard and is being addressed.++Having said that, the City cannot bend over backwards and drop everything it’s doing at the insistence of one resident,+no matter how+loudly or persistently he insists that his+concern is more pressing than everyone else’s.+ Dave

Dave Norris, you never should speak to a citizen in such a dismissive and demeaning tone—no matter your “feelings.” Your abusive, unprofessional retort shows absolute disdain for a citizen you have vowed to serve.

It’s evident, Mayor Norris, that you have become one of “them,” that is, the elitist Charlottesville City Hall establishment—a cabal known far and wide for caluminating treatment of perceived political “enemies” (aka those who dare to disagree). Through your own temerity, you have been unmasked, and your faux-friendly façade has been fractured by your own hand.

You’ve had three years in which to prove your worthiness for re-election to the Charlottesville City Council, “C-ville Dave.” Sadly, but predictably, you have failed the audition.

Update—10/19/09, 6:32 AM

Apparently Mayor Norris did not read The Schilling Show blog prior to blowing his lid at the same constituent via email, a second time. Arrogance of power reveals its ugly (red) head again:

From: dave norris []
Sent: Sunday, October 18, 2009 4:09 PM
Subject: RE: FOIA Request

I take none of it back.+ You were/are clearly more interested in grandstanding and goading than in acknowledging the fact that Jeanie Alexander, whose integrity/competence you publicly impugned, responded professionally, cordially and responsibly to your concern.+ I realize that government-bashing is all the fashion these days among the teabagger crowd, but to malign Ms. Alexander the way you did, even after she repeatedly demonstrated to you that your concern was being addressd, is beyond the pale and I will not apologize at all for what I wrote.+ We need to do everything we can to retain skilled public servants like Ms. Alexander (we are very fortunate to have her here in the City, she could certainly be making more money elsewhere) and someone needs to stand up for them when they are being unfairly maligned.+ Thanks to her leadership, the City has done more for pedestrian safety in the past year than many previous years combined.+ Have we solved all of the problems in one year?+ No.+ You are to be commended for pointing out one problem area that we have not yet solved.+ And Jeanie Alexander is to be commended for working to solve it.+ She cannot be all things to all people all at once.+ But she works harder than most people I know and it was very disappointing for me to see you treat her the way you did.+ Dave


  1. I enjoy seeing Dave “lose his cool” so to speak but shouldn’t we also see what has been sent to the city? We are only reading one side of this email exchange. Granted, almost no matter what, Dave should always be nice to “his people”. I am actually wondering what this is about… “I realize that government-bashing is all the fashion these days among the teabagger crowd, but to malign Ms. Alexander the way you did, even after she repeatedly demonstrated to you that your concern was being addressd, is beyond the pale and I will not apologize at all for what I wrote.” The last thing I want to do is align myself with the mayor or council but seeing the whole email exchange makes sense.

  2. After reading the entire email exchange I can understand how a long democrat voter will not be voting for Norris when the election comes up. As I read I heard (read) patience from a citizen that went on for over 7 months and Norris decides to “malign” (your word Dave) someone who was trying to solve a problem and get answers. This is Charlottesville and and has been for many years. “The teabagger crowd”? Very well done Norris! Almost childish. Maybe I’ll go through your emails and pull out all the stupid things you have said. You left a good paper trail here and not once were any emails sent to you as attacking as yours were.

  3. Dave Norris has always had disdain for those he does not agree with. I just love it when he tries to take the morally-high-road tone steaming with indignation. I can imagine his swelling up like a tick. He particularly swells up when he’s criticized for giving a bunch of tax money indiscriminately to groups of anonymous people in the form of welfare. I’m sure the emailer’s criticism doesn’t match that in scathing to that Norrishood dished out to the lady who ran public housing several years ago even though she had the last passing evaluation from HUD that the housing authority has received in years. And that’s with Norrishood serving on the authority’s board. He certainly didn’t praise that lady’s hard work.

  4. What if they say they satisfied your request BUT they haven’t? What if they wax poetically on the importance of historic preservation while blocking the release of historical archives. Council refuses to release urban renewal archives, Nov. 21, 2006. What has this former urban renewal chairman done to get this data published and made available for research projects? Nothing. Just this week I had an email request from a high school teacher for documents of the Vinegar Hill project. Whatever’s in these archives must be more shocking than even I imagine. The best course of action is to be civil and persistent, and tell as many people as I can the truth about Dave. Mr. Mayor, why are you (and your staff) still suppressing our history after 5 years of petitions and chronicling? What’s in these 6,000+ documents and 1,000+ photos that you don’t want us to see?

    But you want our vote, right?

  5. I’m sure they’re hiding something. Too bad they didn’t turn over all of the documents and pictures to UVA’s Special Collections so that the public could eventually have access. Yep, must be some Democratic Party dirt they’re hiding. They would gladly make it public if it made Republicans look bad.

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