Monthly Archives: March 2023

TJPDC round-up: Assessments up all over, Nelson County commuting patterns

The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission is made up of five counties and the City of Charlottesville. Like similar bodies across Virginia, the TJPDC’s mission is to help those localities with both planning and implementation. 

For instance, the TJPDC is currently leading a 13-county effort to use federal funding to leverage private dollars to expand broadband internet across southern and central Virginia. Locally, the body now collects county-issued cigarette taxes. 

The Board of Commissioners meets monthly and provides an opportunity to check-in with what’s happening around the region. All across Virginia, it is budget time and that includes Louisa County, where Rachel Jones represents the Green Springs District on the Board of Supervisors.

“Our [real estate property] assessments went through the roof and I think many of yours did, too,” Jones said. “It’s not just Louisa County. It hits hard for our residents. Last year we did make adjustments to our personal property tax and I think we will be probably be figuring out if there’s anything we can do to help with our assessments.” 

Read more

More details from the recommended Charlottesville City Budget

For a reporter who has covered more than a dozen budget cycles, it’s a bit jarring to have to look at material in a new way. But, the world changes and so has the way the Charlottesville budget is available for review as the city’s budget process really gets underway.

The budget is now available online as part of an interactive website. There’s a lot more detail available, and all of it can change as the Council goes through their review beginning with tonight’s work session. 

Time unfortunately doesn’t allow me to go through all of the budget, but here is at least some of what’s in the new document. 

All of the familiar elements of a budget document are here in this form. That includes the budget message from interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers. 

“The adopted General Fund revenue and expenditure estimates both total $226,239,155, which represents a 6.27% increase from the FY 2023 Budget and is balanced,” Rogers writes. (link to his message)

Read more

Albemarle offering $100K in grants for Climate Action

Do you work for a group that may have a project that you think could demonstrate ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Albemarle County has announced a grant program to encourage innovation as a way to meet the goals to reduce emissions from fossil fuels to zero by 2050. 

“Projects can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in transportation, buildings, waste, agriculture, and natural areas,” reads the website. “Projects can also contribute to increasing carbon sequestration in agriculture or natural systems.” 

Read more

Karsh Institute to take on public service functions from Weldon Cooper

Change is coming for one of the University of Virginia’s most public-facing institutions. The various entities that have been under the umbrella of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service will now be moving to the Karth Institute of Democracy, as reported by UVA Today

This includes the Virginia Institute of Government, the Sorensen Institute of Political Leadership, the Center for Survey Research, the Center for Economic and Policy Studies, and the Demographic Research Group. The latter provides the official population estimates and forecasts for the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

The announcement dates back to last July and the change takes place on July 1. The name Weldon Cooper will continue to be used in some capacity. 

“The Weldon Cooper Center has a long history of supporting good governance across the Commonwealth, and we intend to keep the Center intact,” writes Alexandra Rebhorn, communications and engagement director for the center. “The Cooper Center has incorporated many different entities over the years, so we will continue to look at ways to flexibly enhance its service model in years to come.” 

Read more

Podcaster files paperwork to run in White Hall District

A second candidate for Supervisor has emerged in the White Hall District, creating the possibility of a contested race for a second election cycle in a row. Brad Rykal of Crozet has filed a statement of organization with the Virginia Department of Elections to run as an independent. 

According to an August 5, 2022 article in the Crozet Gazette by Theresa Curry, Rykal is a Crozet resident who produces a podcast on local affairs.

Read more

Arrests made in gun violence incidents

Both Albemarle County and Charlottesville police have announced the arrest of individuals alleged to be involved in recent gun violence. 

This morning, Charlottesville Police announced the arrest yesterday of 19-year-old Raymaqu’a Antonio Nicholas of Charlottesville in the February 22 murder of 20-year-old Gordonsville resident Nicklous Pendleton. The suspect was taken into custody yesterday after an investigation involving the Federal Bureau of Investigations, The United States Attorney’s Office, and The Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. 

Read more