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Mowbray Arch, Ghent, Hague, Norfolk, City Council, Christ and St. Lukes, Andria McClellan, Courtney Doyle, Barclay Winn, Paul Fraim, Kenny Alexander, Hague School, Love Locks, Norfolk Southern, coal dust, neighborhood

Politician, Norfolk-Style

(or playing with power like a pro)

 

"The requisite for elective office isn't honesty or ability or good judgment or any other amirable quality. It's convincing the voters that you actually have such qualities."

 

DISCLAIMER:

The foibles of a private citizen should not be the subject of public discourse, unless those foibles insinuate themselves into the public domain. For example, if Anthony Weiner had limited the recipients of his sexting to consenting adults, and he was not a politician, then his sexting would indeed have been no one else's business. But — we all know the rest of that story.

Most of us have an embarrassing character flaw or two that we would just as soon keep private. But the politicians among us are people who deem themselves fit to have the power to make important decisions that effect us all. When they choose to become politicians, they simultaneously choose to expose themselves to more public scrutiny than the rest of us, even scrutiny of things that might cause us to question their worthiness of the power that they crave. And what of politicians who themselves repeatedly attack private citizens, a form of abuse of power?

So why do these people become politicians in the first place? Psychologist David McClelland popularized the term"need for power (nPow)." In his theory a high need for power can have both positive and negative effects. With women, for example, it can make them more likely to indulge in relational aggression. Lord Acton's famous dictum didn't quite put it right, power doesn't corrupt, it just brings out the real person.

 

 

An Inauspicious Beginning

Using her opponent's web domain name to direct visitors to her own website

At first she says"somebody" did it, don't look at me

Then it's "anticipating the election landscape, not deceitful"

"It doesn't make anyone 'lose faith in politics.' What does make people lose faith in politics is the lack of transparency in our local governmet," blah, blah, blah — A. McClellan

Let's put it this way: Not only could she not resist conniving and deceit, but she didn't have the judgment to realize such a stunt would inevitably become public knowledge. On the otherhand, in the Age of Trump maybe she was too well in touch with much of the public's tolerance for such behavior.

andria mcclellan, courtney doyle, norfolk city council, barclay winn, ghent neighborhood league, christ and st. luke's, church, norfolk, virginia

andria mcclellan, barclay winn, norfolk city council, norfolk.gov, courtney doyle, paul riddick, paul fraim, angela williams

From one of her campaign ads

(the necklace notwithstanding, she wasn't running for Lord Mayor of London):

andria mcclellan, barclay winn, norfolk city council, norfolk.gov

In cahoots with Norfolk's premier polluter?

andria mcclellan, barclay winn, norfolk city council, norfolk.gov

Campaign sidewalk vandalism — the "A-Team" strikes again?

andria mcclellan, barclay winn

And yet, she won!

 

But oops, lost the vote in her own neighborhood:

(Chrysler Museum precinct).

 

Funny, in Norfolk they hold the City Council elections in May instead of November. This is supposed to give the incumbents an edge, but it doesn't always work that way. Photo below from her selfie-rich Facebook page (text added):

andria mcclellan, barclay winn, norfolk city council, norfolk.gov

Statue of the brainiac who kickstarted someone's political career

by tapping her for the Planning Commission?

andria mcclellan, paul fraim, norfolk city council, norfolk.gov

andria mcclellan, courtney doyle, norfolk city council, ghent neighborhood league, christ and st. luke's, church, norfolk, virginia

A Huge Ayn Rand Fan

Andria McClellan

It was on the conservative talk radio John Fredericks Show (minute 1:33 into her second appearance on that show) that she revealed that she's a huge Ayn Rand fan! — just like Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, etc., so much so that she even named a kid after one of Ms. Rand's forcefully manly fictional characters (see Gary Cooper playing "don't take no for an answer" Howard Rourk) in one of Ms. Rand's forcefully manly novels. Lest you think Ms. Rand's seduction scene was a tad abrupt, here's the subtle beginning of The Fountainhead romance: The Famous Quarry Scene (there's just something about a guy who knows how to work a jackhammer).

Her second appearance on the show:

 

Andria McClellan

You see, Ms. Rand dwelled full-bore in an anti-feminist mindset, though some modern-day self-proclaimed feminists seem to have embraced her "philosophy," Objectivism.

Some prime Ayn Rand quotes:

“I’m a male chauvinist."

"I am profoundly anti-feminist because it’s a phony movement.”

"The essence of femininity is hero worship – the desire to look up to man."

“She [a female president] would become the most unfeminine, sexless, metaphysically inappropriate, and rationally revolting figure of all: a matriarch.”

Our local Rand-loving pol even claimed (minutes 1:39 and 2:47 into her first appearance on the John Fredericks Show) that one of the reasons she was moved to run for high office was that she was "personally" told by a former mayor of Norfolk that she could not stand up and speak longer than the alotted three minutes (this writer happened to have been at that meeting of the City Council and witnessed that the mayor treated her with the same courteousy that he treated all speakers).

But Ms. Rand, too, would surely have chafed at such a constraint on her personal freedoms. Nevertheless, years after this Ayn Rand fan got herself elected to City Council, has this time limit or the Council's turn-off-the-camera policy changed?

 

Her first appearance on the show:

 

Andria McClellan

John Fredericks, Trump-true conspiracy theorist

 

 

On the Losing Side of a Neighborhood Issue

Her church, Christ and St. Luke's Episcopal Church, had a grandiose idea, an ultra modernistic glass structure right next to its Gothic Revival cathedral, which was built in 1910. But neighbors in the Historic District didn't approve, so they went to court, and in 2008 they stopped it. Even though old houses in the Historic District should not be demolished willy-nilly, before the final resolution by the court, the church tore down its 100-year-old Guild House, which the new structure was to replace. The original idea was that the church would build a replica of the Guild House across the street from the new glass-and-steel edifice, but just like the new structure, the replica never appeared.

Don't know how involved she was in the demolition decision, but she was quoted in the local news: "It's [the lawsuit's] cruelly and negatively affected our ability to maintain and restore our buildings."

Is tearing down a historic building a proper way to "maintain and restore" it?

Andria McClellan

Virginian-Pilot photo, February 27, 2008

andria mcclellan, norfolk, city council, christ and st. luke's

 

On the Losing Side of

Another Neighborhood Issue

(make that an ugly, stupid, and even illegal issue)

 

But nothing to be ashamed of. She was hardly the only chronologically grown woman to have been seduced by the lock love craze (see the infamous locking scene from the Italian teen-angst romance novel/movie that started it all).

andria mcclellan, courtney doyle, norfolk city council, ghent neighborhood league, christ and st. luke's, church, norfolk, virginia

Andria McClellan, love locks, hague bridge

The mayor when the lock blight began:

andria mcclellan, paul fraim, norfolk city council, norfolk.gov

Court ruling that finally got the locks off the bridge

The judge pointed out that locking padlocks to a public bridge IS INDEED ILLEGAL, City Code Sec. 42-10(b), plus it IS LEGAL for citizens to remove such locks.

City Council politicians didn't seem to want to explain under oath why they refused to uphold the law or even answer citizens' questions and complaints?

 

BYE, BYE, LOCKS!

 

Take a gander at the vandalistic blight she "loved" seeing on the bridge.

All about love, she said, but maybe not love of the bridge. When a city official encourges this kind of vandalism, there will always be those ready to oblige:

 

Andria McClellan, love locks, Norfolk

They only got worse, until citizen protest and a court made them go away:

Andria McClellan, love locks, Norfolk

 

Dissing the neighbors, not the vandalism

(her intemperate use of social media)

on the Hague bridge

Right, all her neighbors liked those locks — except for the hundreds who signed the petition against them.

 

Here's one of the fliers she complained about:

Andria McClellan

Damage to benches on bridge occurred April 27, 2014,

soon after the vandaistic locks appeared:

Andria McClellan

NOTES:

While the neighbors' house in question is neither the "skinniest" nor the "tallest building in The Hague," it does have the distinction of being an obstruction to the erstwhile view of the annual Fourth of July downtown fireworks from guess who's house.

Also, the Norfolk Circuit Court pointed out that putting locks in a public bridge is illegal (and Norfolk's Code of Ordinances agrees), and it is also legal in Virginia for users of a public way (for example, the bridge) to remove such locks or other obstructions.

Also, hundreds of her neighbors ("All the neighbors with whom I've talked like the locks," really?), people on her own sytreet even, did indeed sign a petition stating that they "DO NOT LIKE" the locks and asking the Norfolk City Council to remove them ASAP.

So what lofty matter does this City Council member choose to "bitch about" (her expression) next...?

 

Champion of the Great New Lock Thing

— or all talk and zero results

Her most impressive idea/goal/accomplishment may be the Great New Love Lock Thing (aka "Andria's Folly" or "McClellan's Mess"), an expensive ($10,000 - $20,000!) sculpture for "lovers" to lock their so-called love locks to instead of to the Hague pedestrian bridge. At least, she squawked up a storm about it, after dissing those trying to remove the rusting eyesores from the bridge (see Facebook bullying below). She even christened the spot she chose for the Great New Thing (the shady stretch of walkway between Brambleton Avenue and the bridge) "The Love Grove" (her naming power will surely be evident on future maps of the area). She even took an online survey to prove the need for her Great New Lock Thing, though whenever she talked about that survey, she never seemed to point out its most relevant finding, namely that only 23% of respondents wanted the locks to remain on the bridge:

Andria McClellan

andria mcclellan, norfolk, city council, love locks

She called the 31.5% of people who "hate" the locks a "critical mass" (yes, that's the way her push poll of a survey was worded, who "likes" the locks and who "hates" the locks), while the real critical mass was the 77% of people who said they did not think the locks should remain on the bridge. As we'll see later, she has a penchant for labeling people "haters," especially when they don't seem to agree with her about something as 'important' as love locks.

Andria McClellan

"All my neighbors with whom I've talked like the locks."

— A. McClellan (Facebook)

Uh, except for the hundreds who signed the petition against them.

 

Andria McClellan

"Don't we need this now more than ever?"

But after all the talk, time (well over a year), and meetings,

SHE GAVE UP ON IT. Her great lock saving idea never materialized.

Andria McClellan

 

andria mcclellan, courtney doyle, chrysler museum, norfolk city council, ghent neighborhood league, christ and st. luke's, church, norfolk, virginia

 

 

Coverup

Cronyism, abuse of power, and record keeping shenannigans

(or just more of the same at Norfolk's City Hall)

Andria McClellan

Here's the story: A retired couple saw a vacant lot in the neighborhood and decided to buy it and build a house for themselves on it. They even decided to build their house in the style of the historic neighborhood's original 1890s houses, and many of the neighbors complimented them on the beauty of the house. But a couple of neighbors got ugly, and one of them was our politically ambitious protagonist, who in the meantime got herself appointed to the City Planning Commission. When the couple had to appeal to that commission for an exception to locate their front steps about a foot-and-a-half closer to the sidewalk than current City regulations allowed (even though the majority of older houses in the historic neighborhood violate this johnny-come-lately aesthetic rule), said brand-new planning commissioner at her first appearance at a public meeting of the commission launched into a disparaging whopper-filled rant against the house under construction. Rumor had it (neighbors said they heard her bitching about it) that she was miffed because the new house would obstruct her view of the downtown fireworks from her balcony porch. After one of the home builders stood up and rebutted all that she said, the Planning Commission decided to continue its consideration of the exception to its next month's meeting (in other words, costing the home builders a month's delay in construction time).

The retired couple then requested that the Norfolk City Council recuse the obviously prejudiced planning commissioner, who appeared to be using her nowfound powers to her personal ends, from any further considerations of their construction project. They also requested a copy of the minutes of the Planning Commission meeting under the provisions of Virginia's exceptions laden Freedom of Information Act. Curiously, when the copy of the official minutes of that City Planning Commission meeting arrived, all mention of the commissioner's disparaging whoppers and the rebutals made to them had vanished from it.

The credulity-strained verdict of the hogtied Virginia FOIA Council

The Norfolk City Council did not respond to the recusal request, which seemed odd (except that we are talking about the reascals who run the City of Norfolk). Not an investigation, not an announcement its findings? Also, neither the Norfolk City Council nor the chairman of the City Planning Commission responded to inquiries about how the minutes of the meeting got "manipulated."

Nevertheless, and possibly because the home builders made noises about taking legal action over how the City's so-called rules were being applied to their house, the whopper telling and typically conscientious planning commissioner failed to appear at the next scheduled meeting of the Planning Commission, and the couple's request for an exception was granted.

andria mcclellan, norfolk, city council

andria mcclellan, norfolk, city councilr

 

 

Too Mean for School — and Facebook

Mean girls don't grow up, they just become "more prominent."

 

Her Privileged Online Indignation

This haughty rant against challenged elementary school kids

reputedly got the budding politician kicked off the board of The Williams School:

Andria McClellan

She started her election campaign claiming her own kids went to public school, which sounded all populist and egalitarian, but oops, maybe they didn't always:

Andria McClellan

 

But a Battle-Tested Champion of the Sisterhood

(text emboldening below ours)

Andria McClellan

No, none of it is okay, but all crosses aren't equally hard to bear:

 

Andria McClellan

 

Photographic Proof She's No Hater

NOH8 Campaign

 

 

Starting Another Facebook Hate Forum

Ouch, a "hater" dropped a dime on her "no hate" sign!

#HYPOCRISY  #hate-R-us  #mean-girls-RULE!

From her Facebook hate forum:

Andria McClellan

At what point must we start considering her "history" of social media intemperance?

Andria McClellan, Norfolk City Council

The travails of high-and-mightiness:

andria mcclellan, courtney doyle, norfolk city council, ghent neighborhood league, chrysler museum, christ and st. luke's, church, norfolk, virginia, marie antoinette

NOTE: "HATERS gonna hate"? Or did she mean to say "HATER gonna call someone else a HATER"? What's with the psychology of someone who loves to call others haters? As she pointed out herself, the alleged "hater" waited a full 5 months before dropping a dime on her "no hate" sign. Are haters usually so patient? Don't they like to pounce post haste? — you know, like on social media.

PS: Her "Governor Blackface" sign (in the photo) had outlasted its welcome too.

Should a City Council member know (or care) about the laws of her City and know and understand her City's confidentiality policy, which encourages citizens to report signage and other violations to the City without having to dread the recriminations of the neighborhood mean girl?

See the rest of her Facebook thread.

Doxing: It's ILLEGAL.

andria mcclellan, norfolk, city council

Maybe a better sign for her yard?

Andria McClellan, cyberbully, norfolk.gov

Don't laugh until you've been a victim of the Queen of Mean.

 

Advice Column

(excerpt from Ghent Living, March, 2019)

Got a good idea? Got a just cause?

Try sucking up to your city councilperson:

anandria mcclellan, norfolk, city council

"Cronyism, shmonyism! Moi?"

andria mcclellan, norfolk, city council

 

Big Responsibilities

OMG! Now she's the only thing keeping us from sinking!

andria mcclellan, courtney doyle, norfolk city council, ghent neighborhood league, chrysler museum, christ and st. luke's, church, norfolk, virginia, flooding

And keeping us safe from the scooters. Oops!

Andria McClellan, cyberbully, norfolk.gov

Rockin' with the Gov

in her own crib even!

andria mcclellan, northam

Andria McClellan, Northam

But how's their relationship now, after she urged her buddy to resign (Twitter, February 3, 2019) over his medical school yearbook page? That was indeed a righteous call — so congrats, for a change! or was she just jumping on the same bandwagon du jour with other Democratic politicians — but her moonwalking buddy might consider it a case of disloyally jumping the gun, now that he seems to have beaten the blackface rap, howbeit doing it Trump-style in every way— lie and deny (even after originally admitting to being in that photo), then hang tuff, never back down... Maybe so much for a plum appointment for someone in Richmond now?

Why would anyone wear blackface to imitate Michael Jackson anyway?

Andria McClellan, Norfolk Southern

Tara bound? Next stop, home of the cash cow? Plus, it's higher ground!

andria mcclellan, courtney doyle, norfolk city council, ghent neighborhood league, chrysler museum, christ and st. luke's, church, norfolk, virginia, flooding

But maybe she'll stay and someday Our Queen:

andria mcclellan, courtney doyle, norfolk city council, ghent neighborhood league, chrysler museum, christ and st. luke's, church, norfolk, virginia, flooding

Andria McClellan

Watch tweety twit like the pro below:

andria mcclellan, norfolk, city council

Andria McClellan

 

 

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