Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lawsuit Dismissed - Now What?

Great News!  Yesterday, April 20, 2011, the judge dismissed the Charlottesville City lawsuit just like the County suit last November.  There was a press conference following where several YMCA Board members, myself and the Mayor expressed that the ONLY thing preventing the construction is what this association is doing.  We all know that Phil Wendel is behind it.  I know it first hand.  And for what?  He plans to drag this out as long as possible until the community loses interest.  Why is he untouchable?  Why does he have a monopoly on the media?  None of the statements we made at the press conference were made in the press to show the community what is REALLY going on.  Now is the time to take action.  He plans to appeal and we must go to the where it hurts him - his brand and prestige in the community.  Not the ACAC organization, which is made of great hard-working people who produce a great product.  HIM.  We hurt his brand that claims to do well for the community, but really doesn't because of his actions and excluding a LARGE part of the population that needs wellness.  Look for a facebook revolution to start ASAP!  If Egypt and Tunisia can do it, so can Charlotteville!

See links to news story below and another editorial - this one from fellow supporter Marc Weathersby.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Good News - But the fight is NOT over!

Dear Fellow YMCA Supporters,

Many of you have heard about the good news of the hearing on Nov. 2.  Judget Cheryl Higgins dismissed the lawsuit against the County!   This is GREAT news. 

What does this mean?  We now have to wait, perhaps 90 more days, for the hearing against the City.  That hearing will cover the same claim against the County, with the additional claims regarding the land lease and the bidding process for that. 

You can see their "spin" about their suit at:

Any Y supporter who would like to hear the YMCA's side in this may contact the Executive Director, Denny Blank at

In the meantime, the building of a Y facility or discussions about an appropirate alternative are stalled.  This is very detrimental to our community's health.  Those who will be best served by the Y are the people who need to know about this fight.

What can or should we do in the meantime?  We need to keep pressing Phil Wendel to be a hero in the community and either drop the lawsuit or make an alternative happen.  That is all he needs to do.  

In the next week or so, he will receive communication reminding him of that.  He will be told about the plans for public support for the Y and how that may damage his brand.  Please be on the lookout for information about T-shirts.  I have some ready to be printed and will post info as soon as that is done.

Thank youeveryone!  

Monday, October 11, 2010

Keep the Momentum

Thank you to everyone who has followed the blog so far. 

Since it has been almost six months since the lawsuite was filed, I wanted to bring everyone's attention to it again, and for those who are new to it, bring them up to speed.  Here is a link to the newstory about it.  Please take the time to read the posted comments, many of which are in support of the Y and in a similar vein as the points I and others have made. 

A quote from the article is "The Charlottesville-Area Fitness Club Operators Assocation (CAFCOA) says they've filed lawsuits against the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County over a proposed YMCA in McIntire Park. ACAC is involved in the lawsuit and says the legal move is their last attempt to stop the YMCA's construction."

The next link below is to my original letter to the Editor of the Daily Progress.  (The text follows.)

As a long-term resident of Albemarle County, I am very proud of the greater Charlottesville community, its distinction as a very desirable place to live and its outreach efforts to people of all socio-economic levels and backgrounds through public and non-profit efforts.

However, I am outraged and embarrassed at the latest attempt to block the building of a full facility YMCA. A YMCA facility is a cornerstone of most communities. It provides affordable, family-friendly programs and activities structured to encourage healthy lifestyles in a wholesome and safe environment. America’s grave concerns about the obesity epidemic should urge all of us to support this type of facility and the programs it offer more than ever.

However, a group of affluent private health-club owners have recently tried to block this. What about the many families who cannot afford the high cost of the memberships at these private clubs, and will never be able to participate? What about the many children who will never be able to participate in the many programs that the Y offers?

Despite the challenge of not having a facility, the YMCA has grown over the years through its volunteers and fundraising to provide programs for more than 4,000 youth in our community and financial assistance to families who could not otherwise afford the full cost. This makes me proud. This shows that the community needs a facility to continue these services and reach more families in need.

A facility should not detract from the membership of the other private clubs. It should only enhance the community through making it a more desirable place to live, thus increasing the potential number of members for all facilities. Business owners who are confident and understand their niche should understand that despite the competition an additional facility may cause, it will make everyone in the community, including them, better for it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I support the Piedmont YMCA Facility for Charlotttesville, VA

Dear Charlottesville Community,

Many of you have seen the editorial in the Daily Progress that stated my feelings about the shameless blocking of the YMCA facility.   I have met with the owner of ACAC, Phil Wendel, who is the money and leader behind this.  I appealed to him to think about the greater Charlottesville community and the many families who do not have access to the high class facilities that he owns.  I suggested he could leave a legacy to this town, instead of the bad public relations that this is causing, especially among the many members of his club such as me.   I thought ACAC was about "We Change Lives", but apparently only for those who can afford it.

There has been no action to date to look for a win-win.  The basis of the lawsuit as I understand it from talking to Mr. Wendel, is that he should not have to compete with a business that gets land for free from the city.  There is obviously a need and he must be a part of that solution.  He could immediately be a hero for this community.  However, it is 2 months after the construction was supposed to start, and it is being delayed for what I believe is nothing but greed and ego.  Afterall, Mr. Wendel is a prominent member of the International Health, Raquet and Sports Club Association who's mission seems to be to destroy or oppose Y's or other non-profit health club facilities.  

Join me now with your words of support, especially ACAC members!  Tell Phil Wendel and the ACAC and Legacy Management group teams that we love their facilities and organization, but we love Charlottesville even better and will not stand by and allow this to happen in our town.