Monthly Archives: May 2023

How to access the information

Today’s a strange day where I will be on WINA’s Charlottesville-Right Now on a Wednesday rather than a Monday. Usually on Mondays, I send Courteney Stuart a rundown of various things I wrote about in that week’s Week Ahead newsletter. Those usually come out on Mondays.

But what to do when I switch up the days as happened this week? The week is mostly over and many of the meetings I preview have already happened. So today instead, we’ll talk about what’s in today’s edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement. You can visit that site here and please sign up.

And this post exists solely so that listeners to the program can find the newsletter. In about 18 months of doing the show, I’ve struggled to explain to a radio audience how someone accesses the newsletter, which is on Substack. Substack is a content platform for writers and I’ve published hundreds of newsletters and stories since July 2020. During that time, Substack has made a lot of advances including the creation of a very useful app.

Yet, explaining this on the radio is not easy, so I usually promote this site which I set up to serve as an archive for the individual stories. It’s difficult to find old material so I post most of the stories to this site so they can be more easily found by search engines. All of this work is intended to create a steady body of work and one day I hope to offer more directly on this site.

So for today, I’m posting this for anyone who has always wondered how to get to the actual newsletter. So please subscribe and help me grow this community resource!

Albemarle review panel takes first look at plans for new Home Depot

Last year, a national hardware chain purchased a large portion of Fashion Square Mall in Albemarle County. Less than a year later, plans to redevelop a long-closed anchor store with a new Home Depot location are working their way through the process.

On Monday, the Architectural Review Board took a look at the site plan. 

“The new structure would replace the Sears building that currently stands at the north end of the mall,” said Margaret Maliszewski, a planning manager for the county. 

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Council candidates on City Manager search

Last week, I co-hosted held a candidate forum with the Free Enterprise Forum for four of the five candidates in the Democratic primary race for three seats on the city Council. Dashad Cooper was unable to attend.

The four who were present took questions on housing, economic development, and the budget. They also were asked a question by me during the session:

“Charlottesville has contracted with an independent consultant in their city manager search,” I asked. “While the new city manager might be selected prior to the November election, what three skills do you believe are critical for the position of City Manager?” 

One of the slides in Polihire’s search for the open city manager position (read the brochure)
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Council holding strategic planning retreat this weekend

For those who want to make sure they are able to consume every single meeting of the Charlottesville City Council, interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers has good news.

“Our strategic planning retreat will be this weekend and we’re looking forward to it,” Rogers said. “And the event will be livestreamed so we will have our citizens watching in as we contemplate the future of our great city.” 

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New leader for CATEC

The Board of Directors for the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center has appointed a Charlottesville High School administrator to serve as the transitioning body’s new principal. 

Dr. Stacey Heltz has been assistant principal at CHS since 2016 and will now lead a school that will be solely operated by the city of Charlottesville at the end of the next fiscal year. Earlier this year, the Charlottesville School Board exercised its option to purchase Albemarle County’s share for $5.3 million. 

“I am so excited to step into this role at CATEC,” added Heltz. “I have always been impressed by the opportunities that CATEC offers to high schoolers and adults in our area, and I will begin immediately to learn, connect, and work for continuity.”

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Only one candidate in race for Charlottesville School Board so far 

There are 34 days until party primaries in Virginia including several legislative races and City Council. But there are also races for School Board in Albemarle and Charlottesville and it’s time for a quick check-in.

First, June 20 also serves as the deadline for candidates for school board races in localities that elect people to those positions. There’s still time for people to consider running for a leadership position. 

There are four seats up for election on the Charlottesville City School Board with the terms of James BryantJennifer McKeeverSherry Kraft, and Lashundra Bryson Morsberger set to expire at the end of the year. 

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