Monthly Archives: December 2022

Albemarle elected officials continue conversation on how to pay for $318M school capital request

Last week, the Albemarle School Board met with the Board of Supervisors for a work session on financial planning that will be required to help cover the school system’s request for $318 million over five years to build two new schools, buy land for a third, and renovate existing ones. I wrote up the details of the request last week and this next piece captures the discussions of how to pay for it. (review the presentation)

That part of the conversation began with a note from Andy Bowman, the chief of the county’s Office of Management and Budget, about changing one policy. Currently Albemarle seeks to cap the percentage of debt service to revenues below a certain amount. Bowman said one scenario would be to expand that to eight percent. 

“If we went to eight percent, there would be another $37 million under the county’s financial policies that could be borrowed that,” Bowman said. “That capacity is not planned for at this time because everyone at this table knows very well, that is not free money and we have to think about the other financial side. It’s just the borrowing but how it gets repaid.”

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Grants available for Charlottesville Sister City projects

Charlottesville has either four or five Sister Cities depending on whether you include Pleven, which is now considered to have ‘emeritus’ status. But the Bulgarian city is definitely not one of the four places eligible for a grant from the Sister Cities Commission for projects to make cultural connections. 

“Past grants have supported initiatives in the visual arts, music, municipal services, digital communications and connectivity, education, literary fields, sports, photography, and more,” reads the press release

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Charlottesville launches satisfaction survey

Are you a Charlottesville resident and do you have between 17 and 18 minutes? That’s the amount of time suggested you’ll need to fill out a community survey between now and December 22. (fill out the survey)

“We really do look forward to hearing from the community,” said Deputy City Manager Ashley Marshall at the December 5 City Council meeting. 

The survey’s website is run by a firm called Polco and respondents will be asked to provide an email and a zip code. 

“The city will not have access to any of that data but it is asked to make sure that individuals from the community are who is answering the survey so we can make sure that we are getting our community members’ responses and not someone in California, for example,” Marshall said. 

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Callsen seeks open House District 54

Albemarle County School Board member Katrina Callsen has filed with the Virginia Department of Elections to be a candidate to run in the House of Delegates district being vacated by Delegate Sally Hudson. Callsen is seeking the Democratic nomination for the open seat in District 54.

Callsen was elected to represent the Rio District on the School Board in 2017 in a competitive race in which she secured about two-thirds of the vote. She ran unopposed in the 2021 election. She works for the city of Charlottesville as a deputy city attorney and is the School Board’s current vice chair.

Hudson is challenging Senator Creigh Deeds in the Democratic primary for Senate District 11. Two Democrats are seeking the nomination for House District 55 where the incumbent is Republican Rob Bell. They are emergency room nurse Kellen Squire and former Charlottesville School Board member Amy Laufer.

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