Yesterday, in spite of all the missed deadlines and squirrelly moves, etc., in a STYLE Weekly interview Mayor Dwight Jones said he doesn’t believe his administration could have done a better job with handling the stadium matter.
Was that supposed to be a joke?
Today, while encouraging the mayor to go on wallowing in denial, this Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial suggests that the “calm reason” of City Hall was overwhelmed by the “passion” of an uninformed rabble — an angry mob with no alternative plans. Then the editorial magically turns a slavery museum project into a civil rights memorial. Then it says a civil rights memorial can’t go it alone — it needs a stadium.
In any event, it’s not been the job of the opponents of the mayor’s so-called “revitalization” plan to invent alternative proposals. The many opponents to the mayor’s scheme have had a list of reasons for being against baseball-in-the-Bottom. They don’t all agree on what should be on the list. The “opposition,” as the RT-D’s editorial board calls it, is made up of ordinary Richmonders who haven’t raised a bunch of money, hired consultants, bought politicians, etc.
All the mayor’s collective opposition, which mostly means unorganized residents in every neighborhood, has been able to articulate together is, “No.”
While a few individuals have begun to lay claim to having been the most significant one in killing Shockoe Stadium, this spring the chorus saying, “No” grew larger each week. That’s what made the sound increasingly louder. It was more due to the number of voices speaking than it was to their stridency. After the student “walkout” demonstration at City Hall, on Apr. 28, many more people chimed in.
Fortunately, Charles Samuels and Jon Baliles couldn’t ignore the sound any longer, so they wisely made a populist choice to help slay the dragon.
No, it was mostly the dire needs of our public schools, together with Shockoe Bottom’s unique history, that finished off Shockoe Stadium … if it’s really dead.