Most Flying Squirrel fans say they want to keep Richmond baseball right where it is, on the Boulevard, where it's been for nearly 60 years. So who's behind the push to move it to Shockoe Bottom? Two recent media items point a finger. 

The first, by the "Open Source" radio program on Richmond community radio station WRIR, is an interview conducted with H. Louis Salomonsky, who, according to Richmond.com, is "the single biggest residential developer downtown," with major projects in Shockoe Bottom. 

Salomonsky, you may remember, was convicted in 2003 of attempting to bribe a City Council member to vote for a pro-developer candidate for mayor. He was fined $40,000 and sentenced to two years in prison.

What's interesting about the interview is Salomonsky's prediction for what he considers to be Richmond's rosy future:

"... minorities moving to the counties for better schools, the empty nesters, both older and younger moving into the city, with no children and the decline in the school system, you will eventually see the city's tax rate below that of the counties. And on that day the city will be, let's say 25 to 40 years from now, infinitely wealthier than the counties, but we – it's still a foot race to get there."

The interview is a fascinating insight into how one of Richmond's most powerful real estate developers sees the city, its problems and his solutions. The section with Salomonsky and the Richmond's tax assessor starts at 26 minutes and 13 seconds (26:13).

"Open Source" interview with H. Louis Salominsky
TWO The second item, also from "Open Source," reports on a letter sent to Mayor Jones and City Councilmembers by the international hackers group Anonymous. The letter lays out a wide range of concerns, including a listing of what is says is the amount of money given to each politician by real estate developers. It also singles out developer Salomonsky for particular venom.

The following figures were culled from the section on the total financial contributions to the mayor and City Council from what Anonymous calls “landlords." The officials are listed in the order of the amounts Anonymous says they have received:

Mayor Dwight Jones:  $135,917
Former 1st District Councilman Bruce Tyler:  $82,307
4th District Councilwoman Kathy Graziano:  $71,706
3rd District Councilman Chris Hilbert:  $43,472
6th District Councilwoman Ellen Robertson:  $29,525
Former 9th District Councilman Douglas Conner:  $29,400
2nd District Councilman Charles Samuels:  $24,250
Former 5th District Councilman Marty Jewell:  $20,600
8th District Councilwoman Reva Trammell:  $20,095
7th District Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille:  $4,100

1st District Councilman Jon Baliles:  no amount listed
5st District Councilman Parker Agelasto:  no amount listed
9th District Councilwoman Michelle Mosby:  no amount listed

Total:  $461,372 - 29% of which has gone to Mayor Jones.

NOTE: The Defenders appreciate everyone's contributions to the struggle to stop a Shockoe Bottom stadium. However, we wish Anonymous would have consulted with Black activists working on this campaign before declaring that "There is no voice in Richmond" opposing the injustices it eloquently cites. Actually, there are many voices, of which this blog is proof. Also, Anonymous calls on Richmond City government to "commit fully and transparently to enacting recommendations by the Richmond Trail of Enslaved Africans Commission for a heritage site in Shockoe Bottom." Unfortunately, there is no "Richmond Trail of Enslaved Africans Commission." There is only the so-called "Slave Trail Commission," an official body of Richmond City Council which has been much more of an obstacle to reclaiming sacred ground than preserving it. Other than that, not a bad letter. - PW

Click here to read the news report and the full text of Anonymous' letter:


Donald O'Keefe said...

This is not a full representation of the people who support the stadium.
Many normal people also support the stadium.

Vintage Richmond said...

Agreed Donald. I support the Shockoe Bottom plan, and I know many other city residents who do as well.

Paul Hammond said...

As do I. No claims about being normal though.