Peter Schmidt's failing environmental record
Peter Schmidt, candidate for one of two at-large seats up for election Tuesday, touts himself as God's gift to the environment. He treks along the waterway in his ad boasting of his service as Gov. George Allen's Director of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and his commitment to saving the planet.
He has kicked in thousands of dollars, in a conspiracy with Page Lea, an associate of outgoing councilman Billy Harrison's, to run an attack ad against one of his opponents under the guise of a pseudo conservation group headed by Steve Vinson. (Could it be that all issues are environmental when they are self-serving? And all these people are environmental quacks?) See also: Lea in conspiracy funding attack TV ads against opponent
His opponent, Schmidt claims works for a developer who 'could' trash the city's environment. All of this without one scintilla of proof self-acknowledged.
In that regard Schmidt and Lea are both campaign frauds: Neither of them has ever met the developer. Neither of them has ever discussed their environmental concerns with the developer. Neither of them even knows what property the developer even owns. Neither of them knows what projects the developer has planned. (FYI: The developer owns no land in the southern part of the city - south of the city's imaginary Green Line - where most environmental concerns are centered.)
The truth is that Schmidt and his boss, Gov. Allen had the worst environmental track record in recent history in the state. The federal government even had to step in because the state's environmental bosses refused to follow the law and do their jobs.
And if Schmidt had his way with local government in 1996, shortly after leaving his state job, his company would have polluted Lake James with a highly toxic TBT-laced substance called black sand, residue described by the Virginian-Pilot as 'an unappetizing blend of old paint chips and other debris sandblasted off ship hulls.' It could have been Virginia Beach's 'Love Canal' had it been approved and contaminated Lake James and surrounding environs.
Schmidt almost sneaked through approval of his plan to locate the facility adjacent to Lake James where he planned to combine it with other materials and sell it back to the state, for use as a base in road construction. He'd just left the state after working there as DEQ head for two years and was ready to do private business with his former public servant colleagues.
Fortunately, residents of this upscale subdivision got wind of the plan, after it had been approved by the city's Planning Commission, and forced Schmidt's company, Agglite Corp., to withdraw the plan.
But, what the hell, what he couldn't get then, maybe he can now by getting elected to council. People should study who these candidates are, not what they say. Speaking with a forked tongue seems to be ok when it comes to discussing the environment.