Democrat Brad Sheffield is not known for holding his tongue. In his short tenure as Albemarle County’s Rio District Supervisor, Sheffield often has addressed his constituents brashly and sometimes recklessly, exuding an air of superiority rather than a sense of understanding or compassion.
While Supervisor Sheffield continues to double-down on the Grade-Separated Monstrosity (GSM) at 29 and Rio, a disenfranchised public—led by Rivanna District Supervisor Ken Boyd and an independent group known as Smart29.org—is pushing back.
And, Sheffield is lashing out.
When fielding a constituent’s email challenge regarding Albemarle County’s policy on the promotion of town hall meetings held by individual Supervisors, Sheffield snapped. Mimicking the petulant demeanor of his once-removed Democrat predecessor, David Slutzky, Sheffield unnecessarily and viciously maligned his Republican colleague, Ken Boyd, as an adjunct liar:
From: Brad Sheffield [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2015 11:58 AM
Subject: RE: Town Hall meeting you deny
As with many things, we will disagree.
I disagree with your assertion that the County is stifling Supervisor Boyd’s attempts at meeting with his constituents. I do agree with the decision by County staff to not use County resources to hold meetings that contradict the standing policy and position of the Board of Supervisors.
I would expect the same if I chose to hold a town hall meeting to solely discredit the use of red light cameras, a position and policy the majority (5 to1) of the Board of Supervisors support.
Supervisor Boyd is clearly intending to use this meeting to legitimize the lies and misinformation coming from the opposition. That is not an effective use of our County resources. [emphasis added]
Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
Perhaps the barrage of anti-GSM advertising is taking its toll on Mr. Sheffield. Perhaps the growing public outcry against a wasteful project that will benefit few and harm many is a threat to the wayward Supervisor’s political aspirations. Or perhaps he’s just naturally nasty to challengers. There is no excuse, however, for such spite, dismissiveness, and unsubstantiated accusation in official correspondence.
Going forward, Democrat Sheffield should not unleash his anger and frustration with colleagues on constituents via email. He should publicly state if he feels that a fellow Supervisor is lying to or misinforming the electorate. And although he did not intend to do so in this instance, he now has.