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Council Races: (not) choosing sides
UPDATE (5:47 p.m.): Davies dropped off his letter of support for Girvan this afternoon. Read it here.
Tom Tomzak’s campaign sent out an e-mail this morning with the subject line: "Rev. Lawrence Davies endorses Tom Tomzak for mayor." Attached is this letter.
Davies states in the letter that "When the current campaigns for the Fredericksburg mayoral election began earlier this year, I decided to remain ‘neutral’ toward either candidate." Davies points out that he supported both Tomzak and Debby Girvan in the 2004 mayoral and City Council elections, and says that, "In the beginning of your campaigns, I also felt that either of you would be a good choice for mayor."
It seems from his public statements that he may still feel that way. Davies said in a phone conversation this morning, "I am still endorsing both of them." He said he will be releasing a letter supporting Girvan’s work on the committee that has raised money for the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation’s work in Fredericksburg, and praising her for asking at a council meeting whether the Dixon Park Pool would be affordable to all city residents–comments that preceded local philanthropist Doris Buffett’s decision to write the city a check to allow it to make pool admission free for city residents.
In his letter to Tomzak, Davies says, "I have decided to continue my support of your candidacy for re-election." He notes that the city faces some expensive capital mandates in the future–the courts, wastewater treatment plant and regional jail among them, and says, "Without Kalahari it is obvious that we would be in serious financial difficulty." In her campaigning, Girvan has said repeatedly that she is against the incentives package the council is considering for Kalahari.
Davies goes on to say Tomzak has "shown unselfish leadership in finding new sources of income for the city that will help take the burden of these costs off city taxpayers," and calls him a "consensus-builder among the members of council and in the community."
Asked to explain the cryptic public statement that writing endorsement letters without choosing sides sends, Davies said, "I am endorsing one for one reason and the other for another reason." He said he’s supporting Tomzak because Tomzak supports Kalahari, and he’s supporting Girvan because he applauds her role in the Cal Ripken and pool admission issues.