Clayborne to chair Albemarle Planning Commission this year

The first meeting of 2023 for most elected bodies has so far featured a selection of officers, as I’ve been reporting. Usually that means the beginning of the meeting is chaired by a familiar face who is not elected. 

In the case of the Albemarle Planning Commission, that means the county’s planning director. That position is currently held on an acting basis by Kevin McDermott. 

“I am opening this meeting because this is our organization meeting and we will begin by electing a chair,” McDermott said. 

The 2022 chair had a nomination.

“I’d like to nominate Commissioner Corey Clayborne for chair of the Albemarle Planning Commission,” said Karen Firehock, Commissioner for the Samuel Miller District. 

There were no other nominations and Commissioners voted 6 to 0 to make the selection. There is currently a vacant position in the Rio District Clayborne represents the Rivanna District and joined the Albemarle Planning Commission after a partial term on the Charlottesville Planning Commission. 

“I’m coming into my fourth year and I remember learning a lot from former Chairman [Julian] Bivins as well as former Chairman Firehock and others along the way and I ask that you just keep me on the straight and narrow this year,” Clayborne said. 

Bivins nominated Fred Missell of the Scottsville District to serve as vice chair and that election was also unanimous. 

Commissioners also discussed their committee assignments for the year. Bivins is a member of the Land Use and Environmental Planning Committee, but Missell said he also attends those meetings. His day job is director of design and development for the University of Virginia Foundation. 

Firehock said she wanted to keep the committee assignments she has already, but noted that the Acquisitions of Conservation Easement Committee has not met for some time. 

“And there’s been no movement by the Board of Supervisors to reconvene it in any way,” Firehock said. “So it doesn’t really count on my burden, if you will.” 

Firehock also said the Historic Preservation Committee has not met for several months due to a lack of quorum. 

“I don’t even know if we have enough bodies to make a quorum so that certainly needs to be addressed because that’s a really important committee for the Comprehensive Plan,” Firehock said. 

In a discussion of whether a Planning Commissioner should sit on the Natural Heritage Committee. Firehock said she is aware that some Supervisors would like to reduce the number of standing committees. 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the January 13, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon. The podcast version of this particular segment contains a little more sound than the written narrative.

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