Special/Signature Issues » 30th Anniversary Issue

Wilder comes unglued.

The 2007 Power List, July 25, 2007


By the summer of 2007, hizzoner was derailing spectacularly. Then a few months later, on Sept. 21, he attempted to evict the School Board from City Hall — forcibly, with police blocking the doors and moving trucks looming — which marked the beginning of the end of the Wilder years. But the great unraveling was probably best summed up in the 2007 Power List, in which Wilder slipped to No. 2:

"We're beginning to worry about you. Your rants are often indiscernible. And you're beating up the school system for bloated overhead while ignoring inefficiencies in your own backyard. Bill Pantele is already printing up campaign placards with your mug and that infamous quote, 'I haven't got a clue,' blurted when you were confronted with the reality that your administrative expenses have risen by $10 million since you took the throne.

You put the real estate assessors on notice in the midst of appeals season. You sent police cars to employees' homes to notify them that their jobs were in jeopardy. That's not tough love, it's just wrong. And what about that missing $172,000 from your gubernatorial campaign in 1989? Did your son, Larry, really snort that much coke? And you, tight-as-a-tick Doug, didn't realize it was missing? 

We're not buying it. And pretty soon, Richmond's going to stop buying it too. Maybe a year from now all the sledge-hammering will make sense, but now it doesn't. You ran off well-respected Chief Administrator William Harrell, we're told working for you was the most trying period in his professional life, and your new second-in-command, Harry Black (No. 56), may be running the city illegally (he still hasn't been approved by City Council, a requirement). So who's running the city? We have a clue. It's you, Doug."

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