Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Referendum? Good Timin'

Oh, you need timin’
A tick, a tick, a tick, good timin’ 

-- Jimmy Jones

If one Richmond politician sticks his, or her, neck out, to become the most visible champion of the campaign to put the kibosh to Shockoe Stadium -- and the job gets done! – that savvy politician would have a good chance of becoming the frontrunner of Richmond’s 2016’s mayoral race.

Timing is crucial. The tipping point of this game is approaching. Doug Wilder's jumping into the fray a week-and-a-half ago was a clue. Looks to me like he wants a large portion of what will be the credit for slaying Mayor Dwight Jones’ stadium dragon. To be able to brag that his latest slavery museum proposal drove a wooden stake into the heart of the Shockoe Stadium concept, Wilder couldn’t risk waiting much longer.

However, once we’re looking back on this third unsuccessful pass at baseball-in-the-Bottom, I suspect a lot of observers of local politics will say it was the student Walkout demonstration at City Hall, on April 28, 2014, together with the mayor's inept response, that really cooked Jones’ goose.

With public school still in session the time is at hand for the right ambitious politician to risk making a smart move. Coming out in favor of a referendum, by saying it is now the best response to questions the students' demonstration raised, will go over well.

The mayor's so-called “revitalization” plan doesn’t stand a chance of getting the voters approval in November, and Jones knows it, so he has to oppose the referendum -- which will be revealing in itself.

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