Judge Norman K. Moon has thrown out a federal lawsuit filed by former Police Chief RaShall Brackney against the city of Charlottesville. Among other claims, Brackney had argued her firing in late summer of 2021 was racially motivated and was a violation of Virginia’s whistleblower statutes.
The city had sought dismissal of the suit and Judge Moon agreed.
“Because Plaintiff does not allege sufficient facts to support these claims, Defendants’ motions to dismiss are granted,” reads the executive summary of the January 20 ruling. (read the full ruling)
The 39-page ruling goes through all of the various counts against individuals named in the suit including Mike Wells of the Police Benevolent Association, various members of City Council, former City Manager Chip Boyles, former communications director Brian Wheeler, and assistant police chief Latroy ‘Tito’ Durrette.
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 24, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.
Planners across the Commonwealth got new information Tuesday on what projects are likely to receive funding through the process the Virginia Department of Transportation uses and which ones will need to wait another two years.
The fifth Smart Scale round is the largest one since the program began in 2016 with $1.53 billion in projects recommended for funding.
“We had 413 applications this round and we screened and validated and had 394 eligible applications to be scored this round,” said Brooke Jackson, VDOT’s program manager for Smart Scale. “We are recommending in the staff recommending scenario that 152 applications get funded.” (view the presentation)
Charlottesville City Council has appointed members to two new committees formed as part of a call to restructure the way funding for affordable housing projects is governed.
“A major portion of the discussion during the Affordable Housing Plan that was developed a year plus ago was talking about the need to separate out the different functions, the different advisory functions into a funding committee and just the general Housing Advisory Committee [HAC],” said Charlottesville Mayor Lloyd Snook.
The resignation of City Councilor Sena Magill earlier this month also means that the remaining Councilors had to fill the vacancies she also left on other committees. In addition to attending Council meetings, each elected official serves on several boards and commissions as the official representative from Council.
“We’re not filling every position that she had had but these are ones that have something going on right now for which its important to have the members right now,” said Charlottesville Mayor Lloyd Snook.
The end of the fiscal year is 161 days away, and it’ll be about ten months or so until accountants will know if the City of Charlottesville will have a shortfall or a surplus. Council gets a quarterly briefing on revenue collections and spending and got a projection for another surplus from city staff.
“We’re looking at a total of about $5 million,” said budget director Krisy Hammill. “Most of those are driven by the tax revenue sources that we continue to talk about. The real estate tax… reassessment notices for calendar year 2023 will be going out at the end of this month.”
The city is still seeking a replacement for former City Attorney Lisa Robertson with the position posted for applicants. Interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers had previously announced that Senior Deputy City Attorney Allyson Davies would serve as the interim attorney, but that has turned out to not be the case.
“We will fulfill the role of City Attorney with the law firm of Sands Anderson,” Rogers said. “We made that determination because we are down an attorney in the office and we think the nature of the support we need is with a law firm and not just one individual.”
So far, there are no candidates who have filed to run for Charlottesville City Council this year, but two former members are now in the race for House District 54.
Dave Norris served on Council from July 2006 until the end of 2013 and has filed a statement of organization with the Virginia Department of Elections.
“I am pleased to have served the Charlottesville-Albemarle community in a variety of ways over the past 30 years, and I look forward to building upon my track record of proven progressive leadership if elected to the Virginia General Assembly,” Norris wrote on his campaign website.
The first campaign finance reports for the 2023 election are in and they look back to activity from the second half of 2022. Thanks to the Virginia Public Access Project for making all of this information from the Department of Elections easy to navigate.
Michael Kochis has been on the job as Charlottesville’s Police Chief since Monday but his swearing in came yesterday at the tail end of a City Council work session.
“Mayor and City Council, we’ve arrived at the time where we can welcome a new member to our family here in the city of Charlottesville, a new leader for the Charlottesville Police Department,” said interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers.
The Week Ahead newsletter that went out on Sunday is nearly 4,000 words long. But this is where I confess I neglected to list the meeting Wednesday of the Greene County Planning Commission.
The group will meet in the administration building in Stanardsville at 6:30 p.m. but the meeting can be watched. You can also participate via Zoom. (agenda)
The first thing the group will do is elect officers in the annual organizational meeting. After that they will continue work on the Comprehensive Plan review. Greene County is taking a much more literal approach to the state code requirement to review the plan every five years by having the five Planning Commissioners go chapter by chapter.
“Greene County is very much a community in transition, a reality that underscores the importance of ensuring that whatever the County evolves into reflects the wishes and aspirations of those who live here,” reads the final paragraph of a section called Greene County: From Past to Present. (read the draft plan)