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Roy West's Rant on Wilder Draws Opposing Reactions

Roy West, who was a first-rate mayor of the city, has lost none of his starch or perspicacity ("Wild West," News & Features, July 11). In hanging out to dry our present egomaniacal mayor, Doug Wilder, West is, as they say, "right on."

Roy West had an ego too, but he never inflicted it on the city or its servants. Mayor Wilder, on the other hand, brought to his present job a legacy of substantial political achievements and a mandate for effecting change.

Wilder has fought nasty spats with almost everyone involved in city government, and bullied and abused public servants (for recent example, the city auditor), who are trying their honest best simply to do their jobs.

If Doug Wilder were the nation's president, by now he would have fired and sent home all of our military personnel and then would have declared war on Western Europe, the Middle East, Russia, Asia, the African continent and the Anzac countries simply to prove how manly and forceful he is.

Get a life, Doug; do something constructive with the rest of your term.

L. Charles Long Jr.
Old Church
(Former resident of the city)

Man, oh man. There have been a lot of folks who have served our city well and never received any credit. And then there is Roy West.

Let's look past his name-calling and go back to his rise to mayor and what he is known for. I was new to Richmond when Roy West pulled the race card to define his administration, just as George W. Bush uses the war on terror to define the entire world.

Roy West is known for what? He oversaw the building of 6th Street Marketplace and defended its multimillion-dollar losses for years as his contribution to define our city. West ignored the financial district and anything not Broad Street. He divided our city and had zero results other than when he left, all said "Good riddance."

Every once in a while Roy has come back, with dictionary in hand, and reminds us of his days as a man without a political plan: He did what for education? Policing? Crime? Zoning? Public housing? Roy West kept the race card firmly planted on his forehead, and Richmond had to watch Broad Street die a slow, ugly death in the name of building a bridge to nowhere.

So now as we see Broad Street come alive, and development on the James River and a new form of government, Roy West would like us to miss the old days. Well, I don't know anybody who misses the old days, and I never hear anybody say, "Ya know, Roy West made that happen when he was mayor." If they did, it was not meant as a compliment.

Michael Byrne

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