Mayor Signer’s original statement listed four specific “initiatives,” including:
- Direct Charlottesville’s City Manager to advise City Council on becoming a Sanctuary City
In multiple media interviews following the Schilling Show’s revelation, Signer downplayed the “Sanctuary City” aspect.
Speaking with Newsplex, the Mayor stated:
“This question of a Sanctuary City, I don’t know whether that’s the right idea for Charlottesville.”
And talking with WINA’s Morning News, Signer directly contradicted his own press release initiative:
“Sanctuary City is a very vague term that means different things to different cities. Um, I haven’t asked for that; that may not be a good idea here.” [emphasis added]
Instead, Mayor Signer has taken to using softer language. In a written response to the Schilling Show, Signer offered new, “Sanctuary-City-free” talking points:
“I plan on asking Charlottesville’s City Manager to advise City Council on all our legal options to protect immigrants and refugees—particularly if the administration’s approach becomes even more draconian.”
The abrupt turnaround came after Signer’s planned designation made national news, and internal blowback from staff and his fellow City Councilors—who reportedly were not notified of Signer’s premeditated stunt—became intense.