The current administration of the City of Charlottesville has inherited a city government that has struggled to turn ideas for road and multimodal improvement into completed projects. For instance, the Commonwealth Transportation Board awarded three Smart Scale grants to the city in 2016, but none of them has yet gone to construction. The city saved up millions for a West Main Streetscape project that was canceled last year with the money reprioritized for the renovation of Buford Middle School.
The task of reforming the city’s transportation process has fallen to Deputy City Manager Sam Sanders. Last year, he worked with the Virginia Department of Transportation on a plan to fix the city’s broken process, including the cancellation of a couple other projects. Last year, the city did not submit any applications through the Smart Scale process. That was one concession to VDOT officials who have become impatient with the city’s inability to deliver.
There is new leadership on the seven-member Charlottesville City School Board. James Bryant has been elected as chair and Dom Morse will serve as vice chair.
Bryant was first appointed to the seat as an interim member in April 2018 to fill a vacancy left when Adam Hastings resigned. Bryant was elected to a full-term in 2019 in a five-way race in which he placed fourth. His seat is up again for election this year.
Yesterday the city announced it will take a new step to try to keep the bids below that estimate. They will pursue the work as a “Design-Build” project as opposed to the “Design-Build-Bid” process that has been used for decades.
“In this method, the designer and builder work on the same team from preliminary design to project close-out,” reads a press release that went out yesterday. “This method allows better communication of intent and constructability right from the start.”
As of Wednesday morning, no one had filed to run for any of the three Council seats up for election this year. There’s a lot more interest in replacing Sally Hudson as the Delegate representing Charlottesville in the House of Delegates with two candidates previously announced.
This week, former Charlottesville Mayor David E. Brown filed for the seat. Brown served on Council from July 1, 2004 to December 31, 2011 and spent the last several years as director of the Virginia Department of Health Professions before Governor Glenn Youngkin appointed a replacement last November. Before that, Brown spent two years as an assistant to former Delegate David Toscano, according to his LinkedIn page.
The City of Charlottesville has moved quickly to open up the process to replace the vacancy that will open on City Council when Sena Magill resigns next week. Magill announced she would be stepping down on Tuesday.
The application asks for basic information and then asks five questions.
How long have you resided in the City of Charlottesville?
Have you ever been elected or appointed as an Officer or Commissioner for the City of Charlottesville?
Please indicate why you are interested in serving on City Council.
Please indicate your areas of experience and knowledge that you see as important for consideration of your application for appointment.
Please list any relevant leadership skills or educational training.