Political Commentary and Analysis of Contemporary Issues Affecting REAL PEOPLE
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Liberty University Goons trying to play HARDBALL with Lynchburg Mayor and City Manager
Only a couple of weeks ago, Liberty University Chancelor Jerry Falwell, Jr. was singing the praises of Lynchburg Mayor Joan Foster, touting her as a person that Liberty University could work with. Then only a week later Jerry Falwell Jr. releases to the local press his interest in recending a Conditional Use Zoning Permit ordinance that was supported by the entire Lynchburg City Council on a 7-0 vote in 1991.
Citing that it's an overly burdensome regulation that really only applies to companies and institutions within a residential area, Jerry Falwell, Jr. indicated that Liberty University moved away from the downtown areas to an area that was originally zoned for commercial use to avoid battles with residents over expansion. Falwell feels that Liberty University shouldn't have to ask permission from the City of Lynchburg to build on its own property. It was his hope was that it would be "fast-tracked" through the process before the City Council Election on May 4th. Mayor Joan Foster and the rest of the Lynchburg City Council (with maybe the exception of Jeff Helgeson) indicated that they saw merit in what Jerry Falwell, Jr. was saying but they were not inclined to fast-track the process because these types of decissions should be considered carefully.
Then, last night at the Lynchburg City Council meeting, the matter was brought up and it was revealed that Jerry Falwell, Jr. and the other Liberty University officials had secretly taped their meeting in Chancelor Falwell's office with Mayor Joan Foster and City Manager Kimball Payne. They claimed that they wanted to have an "accurate" account of the meeting and that Mayor Foster and City Manager Kimball Payne indicated that there would be unanimous support and that Liberty should pursue a fast-track request to do away with the Conditional Use Permit. The only person on Lynchburg City Council that was defending the secret taping was Jeff Helgeson. As far as if this is legal, in Virginia you only need one person/party to agree to the taping. So, this might be legal but it don't make it right.
Regardless of what was said on the videotape, I can't see how Liberty University thinks this will improve relations between the school and the rest of Lynchburg. But this does raise a few questions for me, and hopefully others: What other secret tapes does Jerry Jr. have? Are there other hidden cameras in other "sensative" places on Liberty University's campus? Does this mean that he secretly tapes the students? I am only asking questions, that's all.
Besides the shock and outrage that Jerry Jr. and the rest of the Liberty University Administration would stoop to this level and justify what they did, Jerry Jr. and his Liberty University GOONS must be stopped. If Liberty University and Thomas Road Baptist Church wonder why they are so vilified, its because of a track record of lies, deception, intimidation, and Goonish behavior like this.
The Lynchburg City Council Elections are coming up on May 4th and there are three Liberty backed Republicans running for the three open seats on City Council. A group called Lynchburg 1st has endorsed Mayor Joan Foster, Randy Nelson, and J.P. Vaughan, who are all running as Independents. If anyone that lives in Lynchburg or knows people that live in Lynchburg are concerned with Jerry Jr. and his Goons taking over City Council, follow the link below to Lyncubrg 1st to get involved with the campaigns.
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