Home Jim Wood ‘matter’ is ‘closed,’ and Waynesboro leaders are pretending it never happened

Jim Wood ‘matter’ is ‘closed,’ and Waynesboro leaders are pretending it never happened

news virginian jim wood
Screenshot: The News Virginian

Not only is the matter of Waynesboro Vice Mayor Jim Wood’s homophobic slur “closed,” but there he is on the front page of one of the local papers, big smile on his face, at a ribbon cutting for a new local business.

The rehabilitation tour of the guy who thought it appropriate to refer to a Cabinet secretary as “ol’ Pete Buttplug” is in full force.

“It just shows the effort and all the work being put into town to try to bring that outside visitation and as well as the local economy for Waynesboro to improve,” Wood told the News Virginian at the Wednesday grand opening of the Grey Pine Lodge, a 22-room motel on Route 250 near the Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail.

That would be the same Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail that city leaders are lobbying the U.S. Department of Transportation for a federal grant for a project to connect the city to.

The Department of Transportation is headed up by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Wood, on a Feb. 15 Facebook talk show that he has since deleted from the interwebs, along with years of other questionable video and audio content, addressed Buttigieg, who is gay, as “ol’ Pete Buttplug, or whatever his name is.”

Two days earlier, Wood joined members of City Council in formally approving the effort to ask Buttigieg to back a federal grant for a project to connect Waynesboro to the Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel.

Wood’s name appeared on a letter signed by Mayor Lana Williams addressed to Buttigieg asking the transportation secretary to approve the city’s request for funding from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity program to go toward the project.

“As a proud and resilient post-industrial community, the City of Waynesboro is at a crossroads in its examination of the new economy that we must deliver not only for Waynesboro residents, our region, but also for all Virginians,” city leaders wrote to Buttigieg in the letter. “The successful award of the requested RAISE Grant will tremendously assist us in this endeavor, and provide a meaningful transportation option for all Virginians.”

That grant request would represent some of the heavy lifting on the part of city leaders “to try to bring that outside visitation and as well as the local economy for Waynesboro to improve” that Wood referenced in his comment to the local paper.

The vice mayor denigrating the guy they’re asking to approve the grant request with a gay slur wouldn’t seem to help things along in that respect.

Interesting timing, too, with Wood flanking Williams in the ribbon-cutting photo.

The photo was taken on Wednesday, and Wednesday was when Williams emailed the other local paper, the News Leader, to tell them that she considers the “matter” with Wood’s slur “closed.”

“Closed” would be one word from city leaders relative to the “matter.”

“We’re hoping people forget this ever happened” would be seven others.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].