(Programming note: The audio for this newscast will be available later this evening due to a logistical error. We apologize for the inconvenience.)
Why, hello! And welcome to your daily digest of news and information from in and and around Greater Charlottesville. This is the eighth installment of what is shaping up to be an informative way for you to get a quick look into what’s happening in local and state government. Today’s edition is brought to you by Court Square Tavern, a local institution since 1976. Along with the great beer, keep in mind the most expensive food item on the menu is $13! At those prices, you can’t beat Court Square Tavern.
There are now four people who have indicated they are seeking a Democratic nomination for Charlottesville City Council. Defense attorney Lloyd Snook will launch his campaign on Tuesday at an event at Bashir’s Taverna on the Downtown Mall. According to his website, Snook grew up in Charlottesville and is an occasional commentator on local news stations. Yesterday, another city native, Sena Magill, announced her candidacy at an event in CitySpace. Magill is a member of the Region 10 Board of Directors. This week, housing activist Michael Payne announced his candidacy and his running mate Don Gathers will publicly declare in the near future. Both are running on the Progressives for Cville banner. The Democratic primary is June 11. The three incumbents have not said whether they are running again.
Ned Gallaway is the new chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. Gallaway is the newest member of that body and takes over from Ann Mallek. Unlike in Charlottesville, the presiding officer in Albemarle usually serves one term. The exception in recent years is when Supervisor Ann Mallek served for four years in a dispute related to transportation issues.
Soon after Gallaway became Chair, Rivanna District Supervisor Norman Dill announced he would not seek a second term. That means there will be at least one open seat up for election this year in Albemarle. Ann Mallek said she would make an announcement next week on whether she will seek a fourth term in the White Hall District. Rick Randolph did not say anything about whether he will seek a second term in Scottsville. In addition to the supervisor races, four members of the School Board are also up for election, including the at-large seat currently held by Jonno Alcaro.
Efforts to have Virginia becomes the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment took one small step yesterday. The Senate Privileges and Elections Committee voted 8 to 6 to approve Senate Joint Resolution 824. ERA was first proposed to Congress in 1972 and opponents argue that a ten-year deadline for the amendment make ratification impossible. However, the resolution points out that the 27th amendment to the Constitution became law 203 years after first being proposed by James Madison. Earlier in the day, Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, a co-sponsor of an equivalent ERA resolution in the House of Delegates made an impassioned plea from the floor. The next step for House Joint Resolution 579 is the House Privileges and Election Committee. The Virginia Mercury has an article today that explores it chances in that body.
And finally, City Councilor Mike Signer has the Planning Commission to hold off on scheduling any more meetings related to the city’s Comprehensive Plan.
“Mike has asked us to hold off on future meetings for two or three months while he puts together a memo moving forward with staff or consultants or a combination of the two to help us move forward with the land use plan,” said Lisa Green at the end of Tuesday’s meeting.
The Commission has been working on the Comprehensive Plan since early 2017. Virginia law requires every community to create such a plan, and many have been requesting delaying completion of the current revision until the city can create a strategy to increase the number of affordable housing units. More details on what Councilor Signer wants will be revealed at the next City Council meeting on January 22