Monday, October 29, 2007

It’s Really Tragic

I take no joy from the poll results published in the TD that show that Mayor Wilder’s approval ratings have gone way down. The poll shows that if the election for mayor were held today only 35% of registered voters would vote to reelect Mr. Wilder. I cannot deny that for the past year I have been constantly berating Mr. Wilder for his performance as this city’s chief executive. But that’s not the way I wish it was.

When Mr. Wilder was elected mayor, I was kind of excited. I thought he would provide the type of leadership that any city could use. I have been greatly disappointed. That is the reason that I have felt compelled to criticize him.

Almost from the day he took the oath of office L. Douglas Wilder has been acting as if he had been anointed instead of elected. He has attempted to purge the leadership of the city to remove anyone who doesn't agree with him. He has not acted like a leader. A leader tries to bring about change by persuading other people to follow and by making compromises if necessary. Mr. Wilder tries to lead by imposing his will, by making unfounded public charges against anybody who tries to be independent. And he has never thought himself to be bound by the law.

I think it is tragic that this man, who has earned a place in history, should destroy his reputation in a few short years. Unfortunately, he will be remembered most for his attempt to evict the School Board from City Hall rather than for the things he accomplished as Governor of the Commonwealth.

Hopefully, Mr. Wilder will use the poll results as a wake-up call. He still has a year before the next election to regain the trust and support of the citizens of Richmond. I wish him well.

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