RoxAnne Christley may have lost the Republican primary for Roanoke County Board of Supervisors last month. But she “won” another contest after my June 6 column, which was headlined “Roanoke County board won’t be dull if Christley gets on it.”
I got more emails and comments about that column than any other last month. Which means it’s time for the July reader mailbag. We’ll begin with Ben Marchi, a Christley fan.
“She’s intense!” he wrote me. “But frankly, that’s not such a bad thing for the board you described. I’ve endorsed her for that reason — and because she tries to do what she thinks is right; not what benefits her friends. I respect that she doesn’t have all the answers — but she’ll go find the answers, once asked about something.
“You hit the nail on the head so well that my wife just looked over at me, sitting on the couch and asked, ‘why are you laughing to yourself?’ I was snorting.
“Would I want a board full of RoxAnnes? Nope. But does that board need a RoxAnne? Oh yes.”
Drucilla Miller of Roanoke County begged to differ.
“Lord help us. We don’t need another Ed Elswick, Butch Church, or Al Bedrosian (especially Al Bedrosian) on Roanoke County Board of Supervisors,” Miller wrote.
Dennis Crowley of Hunting Hill offered high praise for the column. At least, that’s how I interpret what he wrote.
“I have to congratulate you on the underhanded and snarky manner in which you attempted (successfully, in part, as it turns out) to undermine the candidacy of Roxanne Christley with your column of June 6, which appeared a scant five days before the election for the Windsor Hills District on the County Board of Supervisors.
“By ‘wishing’ for a Christley win by pointing out (to you) her ‘spitfire passion’ and seemingly inappropriate behavior, you cleverly made it appear a vote for her opponent was clearly a more rational move. This sort of indirect electioneering clearly belongs more appropriately on the editorial page and not in one of your intermittent screeds!”
The June 16 column, about the loyalty oath voters had to sign to vote in that election, also brought forth reader response.
“I want my two hours back!” wrote Linda Cory of Roanoke County.
“I came into town to vote at my usual poll and was redirected with a flimsy sign saying that voting had been moved to the Brambleton Center with nothing said about a Republican primary. At the Brambleton Center, I made it as far as entering the hall when I read what I was being asked to sign. I handed it back, saying I made a mistake with coming there, and the fellow retrieved the clipboard with a sheepish look. Evidently he had already heard it.”
Cory added: “But in the long run, their actions (with presenting a loyalty pledge) have damaged future election turnout. I never want this to happen again and I’m sure I’m not alone.”
That column also elicited an email from Gerry Gunn of Caroline County. He had minor beef with the headline, “Some voters in Tuesday’s primary felt stung by Republican pledge.” Gunn forwarded me a similar document recently used by Democrats in Caroline County.
“Both political parties in Virginia regularly require such statements, and the courts have consistently upheld the right of both parties to set these rules,” Gunn noted.
Peggy Lester of Radford emailed about the June 25 column regarding Dan in a Can, which is now available at Big Lick Brewing Co. on Salem Avenue. As that noted, the smooth potion is so hyperbolic it can raise the dead.
“What fun to read your article today about the launch of Casey’s Kolsch. Cannot wait for the grumps to chastise you for your very humorous writing. With all the sadness and insanity in our world, your article was a true joy to read,” Lester wrote.
Last but not least, I got an email from Bob Ward of Roanoke. It was about the June 13 column on the upcoming special session in which the Virginia General Assembly will consider some gun control legislation.
That column noted that state law prohibits local governments in Virginia from banning firearms in municipal buildings, save courthouses and jails. Among other things, it means Roanoke City Council cannot ban guns from its meetings.
Ward started off with “I am a gun owner. (Don’t jump to any delusions.)”
He continued: “It is absolutely nonsense that the Roanoke City Council cannot restrict firearms from council meetings. No one needs a firearm at a council meeting except an on-duty police officer. You quoted the law restricting the Council’s FREEDOM to govern in a safe, mature, and American manner. Would the same law apply if a citizen showed up at the White House with a firearm to attend a meeting?
“As a child of the 1960s I would suggest that Mayor Lea and the rest of the Council hold all future meetings in the jail. Firearms aren’t allowed there. Problem solved. Second Amendment knuckleheads can go cry somewhere else.”
That’s the best idea I’ve heard from a reader in a while.
Thank you, folks, for all those letters, emails and phone calls. Please keep them coming!