Following the scandal-ridden, unanticipated departure of Ric Barrick from Charlottesville’s high-paying Director of Communications (DOC) position, the city was in a bind.

Who would tell community stories? Who would spin news to the best advantage of city hall? Who would shield high-ranking government officials from direct questioning by media?

For several months, those chores were handled by a small team of city hall backbenchers, each of whom had hoped to ascend to the DOC. But now, after an extensive nationwide search, Charlottesville City Hall has hired an outsider to permanently assume Barrick’s duties.

Incoming Charlottesville DOC, Miriam Dickler, leaves a similar position in Harrisonburg, where since 2005 she has functioned as that city’s Public Information Officer.

What could entice a former radio news reporter to leave a relatively cushy position she’s held for nearly seven years in order to work in Charlottesville?

a) The allure of working for Charlottesville’s corrupt, Democrat City Hall cabal

b) Filling the small shoes of a crooked predecessor

c) An offer she couldn’t refuse

The correct answer is “c”

Dickler’s PIO position in Harrisonburg paid her $47,403 annually—a nice salary for a job requiring minimal experience and only moderate skills. But in Charlottesville, they do things big. And the city known for unduly overcompensating its mid- and upper-level management has not failed Ms. Dickler or its own reputation for internal generosity. Her starting salary, effective August 7, 2012 is $84,000 per year, a raise of nearly $40,000 (and a $32,000 premium over the average public relations salary in Charlottesville).

Why would a central Virginia city of 43,475 (Charlottesville) pay 77% more for the same job than a roughly comparable central Virginia city of 48,914 (Harrisonburg)?

Because it can.

Because it buys political loyalty.

Because Democrats have no problem being liberal with other people’s money.

Because it lends an air of superiority to a town with an already overinflated sense of self-worth.

Because no elected official is minding the store.

And ultimately, because Charlottesville’s chief government executive—City Manager, Maurice Jones—is himself grossly overpaid. High salaries for underlings helps to normalize city hall’s inclined pay scale, providing prima facie justification for Jones’ own outlandish $173,400 annual salary.


  1. Excuse me, I was living in County when the population votes yes, I was one of few who voted no. If I had to do it all over again, I would vote no. Because if the city had taken land as they wanted to do, the county would not be dealing with headache that involved the new development that is going up corner of 29 and Hydrate.
    The problem in city is that voters stay at home and let the 20% who alway vote for the liberal way of live.
    It is time for the other 80% to get off their backside and get out and support to individuals next yr who believe that money that is collected as taxes still belong to the citizens, not the city.

  2. Love believes all things. The so-called Christian Right believes every remotely plausible bad thing about liberals. “The world” can see the difference.

  3. “The so-called Christian Right believes every remotely plausible bad thing about liberals.”

    Uh…..Ken, I sure don’t think they (*the Christian Right – and you might as well have added the gamut of conservatives too) believe the constant stereotypes that incessant persisting liberals (a bad thing – what you imply) seem to live for generating about them (them meaning *.)

    Think McFly…..

  4. I don’t know who McFly is, and I don’t know what your point is. Two wrongs make a right? There are respectful voices on the Right and on the Left, and even among Christian conservatives. But why do so many people who are supposed to love and pray for their enemies love guys like Rob and Rush who specialize in mocking them and gleefully pointing out their every wrong and always imputing the worst possible motives to them?

    What’s even more ironic is that it’s the Christian Right that is especially concerned with evangelism. How do think – to name just one example – Christianity looks when the most well known Christian conservative in town posts a video of a Perriello volunteer speaking privately – or so she thinks – in order to embarrass and shame her? Did Jesus pull meanspirited pranks like that?

  5. @Kenn

    What about the “Christian” Left? What are their shortcomings?

    Looking forward to your thoughts.

  6. Dear Rob, Please help my memory. Didn’t you report
    that the disgraced and now “rehabilitated” with new
    M.O.J.O., Rick Barrick, received a salary of 95K as
    Director of Communications? If so, are City and
    County taxpayers getting a “bargain” with the new
    D.O.C.’s salary of $84K? Doesn’t a “world class
    city” need to pay “world class salaries and wages”?

  7. Hi Gary,

    Yes, the disgraced Ric Barrick was earning $95k upon his resignation. However, two current city employees were assigned to take his place: Kristen Gleason and Joe Rice. They will remain on the city payroll. And, let’s not forget that Barrick is still drawing a healthy city salary. Soon to be 4 people on the payroll all doing portions the same job! Not much savings there…

  8. The Christian Left is more liberal than I am theologically and politically, and it’s my impression that many on the Left, like many on the Right, conflate righteousness with correct political positions and fail to understand how good Christian people could disagree with them. But if there are mean-spirited political actors on the Christian Left, I’m not aware of them. They certainly don’t have the high profile and great popularity that people like Laura Ingraham and Bill O’Reilly do on the Right. In other words, they don’t speak for the majority.

  9. Okay, maybe you were born after 1985 and that I’ve unnecessarily dated myself. Here’s a couple clues: Trilogy Movie ….. one of the better known lines “where we’re going, we don’t need…. roads.

  10. And then there were three.

    Rob, I am a friend of Kristen Gleason and I learned today she is leaving her position with the City to be the new Director of Communications & Marketing at St. Anne’s-Belfield School. She posted it on her Facebook page today, saying she has three more days work, then a week off before beginning her new position at STAB.

  11. Thanks for the update, Carole. Just speculating, but I wonder if she applied unsuccessfully for the Barrick job? I heard, at that salary, news-people from all over town and all over the state were applying!

    How will they ever manage with only three directors of disinformation?

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