Tuesday, April 25, 2006

City council election

Can't I just vote for Dave Norris twice?

He says, in today's Cville, "[Charlottesville would be better if]: we had more affordable housing for the folks that do the hard work of making this city function (teachers, police officers, firefighters, retail/service workers, etc.)"

Thank you! I know, who am I to talk, a homeowner in the infamously overpriced Belmont-- and we're the ordinary working people Norris is talking about--my husband is a nurse and we lived on one income up until last November. But we moved to Charlottesville in 1998, when, if you mentioned Belmont to real estate agents, they'd respond with a shocked "NO!" (Although a neighbor of my brother-in-law, way back in 1998, told me that Belmont was the up-and-coming neighborhood. As I recall, she said, "That's the neighborhood where people our age are buying." And she was right.) So now we have this house, and are grateful for it, but what will we do if assessments go so high that we can't pay the taxes anymore? Sell it? And where would we live then? Kansas?

It's funny, because I come from Buffalo, NY, where there is, incredible as it may seem, a law that requires that all city employees--including public school teachers--live within the city limits. Police are exempt from this law, and possibly fire fighters as well, but it just blows the mind that there is a city that must actually pass a law forcing middle class workers to live there, when in C'ville, those same workers want to live here and can't afford it. And Buffalo, by the way, is a nice city to live in. There is a wealth of huge, gorgeous old houses going for prices that would make anyone used to this area tear their hair in frustration. Mixed comfortably among the houses are bars, restaurants and shops--at least on the west side, where we lived. It's a perfect urban environment. I wonder why Charlottesville is Charlottesville and Buffalo is Buffalo?

1 comment:

  1. That's interesting about Buffalo. In St. Louis, police and firefighters are required to live within city limits, which makes sense to me. Of course, because the schools are not great, taxes are high and crime is not as low as they'd like it, they do have to incent people to live in the city. I knew plenty of people who maintained two households to sidestep the requirement.