A $2,000 “gift” of Albemarle County taxpayer funds to the green-themed Tom Yum Festival (TYF) has many seeing red.

The locavore TYF is one element of the encompassing Tom Tom Founders Festival—a largely left-leaning, Charlottesville-based gathering, with only tenuous ties to Albemarle County taxpayers.

Festival sponsorship, as touted in a recent County press release, highlighted several attendee opportunities, including:

WEED SALAD BAR: Pat McCafferty and his students from Mountaintop Montessori School will host an assembly-line style Weed Salad Bar lined with 10 varieties of edible weeds. Pat will also lead an Edible Weed Walk throughout the warehouse district in downtown Charlottesville.

The cash donation (and appurtenant, unvalued endowment of county employee staff time) was administratively approved—sans oversight or scrutiny from the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors—by County Spokesperson, Lee Catlin, who authorized the expenditure from her own “advertising line item” budget.

Notably, an Albemarle County Board of Supervisors majority (Duane Snow, Ann Mallek, Dennis Rooker and Chris Dumler) recently enacted a $600,000 tax increase, citing lack of funds for ongoing County schools’ operations.

While Charlottesville’s weed eaters, locavores, permaculturalists, and their fellow travelers rejoice over public “support” of the Tom Yum Festival, forlorn and unrepresented Albemarle County taxpayers have good reason to mourn.

Qu’ils mangent les mauvaises herbes.


  1. Albemarle County spends $2,000 taxpayer dollars to promote edible weeds and the like? It's worse than we thought…

  2. A mere 2000 bucks so that anyone who wants to show up can learn how to save money on groceries by eating what they can find for free? That sounds like a really smart investment.

  3. I find the fact that this post has been up for 3 hours and has garnered only on comment very sad. This should spark outrage to all in the county. This is our money people!! Would you stand for it if that $2000 was deducted straight from YOUR checking account?

  4. Would you stand for it if that $2000 was deducted straight from YOUR checking account?

    That’s obviously the wrong question, since this is only costing each taxpayer a small fraction of a penny. Rob would reply that the cost isn’t really the main issue, that the issue is the principle of the thing. I agree. Is it wrong on principle for a government elected by the community to spend the community’s money to save the community money? I guess the answer depends on whether you dislike the whole idea of government more than you love saving money.

    As for the whole notion that a democratically elected government is “stealing” money when it spends it on things only a minority of the electorate opposes, I remember Neal Boortz ranting about the government schools, and I ask myself, “are Tea Partiers incapable of simple logic, or do they just love self-pity?”

    It’s great that the Boy Scouts could teach kids in schools how to identify edible weeds. But they apparently haven’t.

  5. Perhaps Ken, you have an over-tolerance to governmental sanctioned pick-pocketing. Just saying.

    Now for something entirely different but semi-related. Was conflictingly intrigued but apprehensively dismayed to learn Supervisor Rooker is slated to be one of the guest panelists at the Boom-Boom … err, (I meant) Tom-Tom Debate Friday April, 12th – 5:30pm at the Haven.

    Wonder which side will see to pre-packing the room for the event first? Wonder what probable odds the bookies are offering on ASAP?

  6. Perhaps Ken, you have an over-tolerance to governmental sanctioned pick-pocketing.

    Well, I gave the reason for why I don’t think it’s pickpocketing. You could give an actual reason for why you think it is. That’s how people learn to understand each other’s positions – it’s not by one side just repeating their charge when challenged.

  7. You could give an actual reason for why you think it is.

    I notice that Rob shirked the chance to answer this on the show. That’s the fascinating thing about ideologues – they feel no need to actually deal with arguments other than their own.

  8. Yes, I think the only thing left for Ken to make sure others take his opinions as their own, would be to use a bullhorn. Go ahead and keep desirous of a government that’s preoccupied and covetous of having as much of it all – down to even your last two cents. Government can grow but not you, your property, your privacy or that of your very next door neighbor’s.

    My rudimentary subsistence is my bare livelihood, including either wanted or unwanted obesity. Government can permit itself to supersize but not you. Go ahead and keep wanting a moral-less government preoccupied and covetous of having down to your last two pennies. I don’t want any government that’s aiming to snatch up all up to your very livelihood.

    Oh and Ken, the fascinating thing about demagogues – they don’t have no feel to believe (yet hear) others or outside ideas, set alone their very own.

  9. Spade, you’ll notice that I actually asked for conservative ideas. I more or less do that a lot around here.

    Here’s the liberal caricature of conservatives, which I assume you’re familiar with: Conservatives are greedy racists who don’t care about the poor and the needy or anyone unlike themselves. Christian conservatives are also proudly dumb and ignorant and afraid of the modern world. These bad character qualities are all it takes to explain conservatism. In other words, conservatives have bad motives for being conservatives, period.

    That’s a really unfair and – more to the point – dumb view of conservatives, but it flatters liberals. But the Schilling Show/talk radio view of liberals as covetous and amoral and immature and – in the case of politicians – spineless and cynical is just as dumb and unfair. If you’re really as poor as you make yourself you to be, it’s in your economic interest to vote liberal. Liberals aren’t covetous of your money; they want government to give you services. It does give you services that save you money. If you’re ever really down to your “last two cents,” the social safety net that liberals fight for will be there for you.

    There is no person or other living entity called government that wants to take your livelihood. You may have other reasons like pride and religious belief and cultural heritage,etc. that make you vote conservative, and I respect that, but the idea that some mean, godless government is out to get you, and that liberals always fight dirty and are so hateful and unethical (which is what a lot of them say right back you) . . . all that stuff Rob likes to “purvey” is political pornography alright, and it’s just as bad for your brain as the other kind.

  10. This county is a runaway freight train with taxpayers money. Just another liberal outpost full of idiots running the show. I pay over 3500 a year in taxes to this county and receive nothing in return. Except know I am helping to pay for someone else's pension. F this county. Oh…. and leave the damn statue alone. HISTORY should not be rewrtten. It's HISTORY YO!

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