Category Archives: General Government

Charlottesville poised to re-adopt Comprehensive Plan

Charlottesville City Council has held first reading of an updated version of the Comprehensive Plan that was altered in response to a lawsuit. 

The re-adoption did not come without changes.

“There are substantively two items in fact,” said James Freas, the city’s Director of Neighborhood Development Services. “The adoption of the Climate Action Plan and amendments supporting manufactured housing as a form of affordable housing.” 

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Council agrees to renew lease with McGuffey Arts Center

For many years, the City of Charlottesville rented out properties throughout the city with no central way of knowing who was where, how much they were paying, and whether the public was receiving any benefit by subsidizing tenant rents. Last year, Council was briefed on efforts to get the issue under control. (read the story)

Now, the city is considering renewal of the lease with the McGuffey Arts Center which is housed in a former elementary school in downtown Charlottesville that has been used by artists, artisans, and artsy people for several decades.

“The McGuffey Arts Association has leased this building from the city since 1975,” said Brenda Kelley, redevelopment manager for the city City of Charlottesville.  

“We are an arts association that is run like a cooperative and run on committee and on sweat equity,’ said Amanda Liscouski is the Executive Council President for McGuffey’s current fiscal year. “We have 100 associate artists in our community who exhibit in our space and teach in our space as well as 50 renting members who have studio space.” 

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Charlottesville City School Board appoints new leaders

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. 

James Bryant (left) and Dom Morse (right) (Credit: City of Charlottesville) 
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Adams retains chair seat on Louisa Board of Supervisors

On Tuesday, the seven-member Louisa County Board of Supervisors held their annual organizational meeting. That was opened by County Administrator Christian Goodwin.

“And the first order of business on that agenda is a resolution to appoint the chairman of the Louisa County Board of Supervisors for 2023,” Goodwin said. 

Goodwin opened the floor to nominations. There was only one from Supervisor Eric Purcell of the Louisa District. 

“Mr. Goodwin, I’d like to nominate Duane Adams for chair please,” Purcell said.

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Application window opens to replace Magill on Council

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. 
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Deputy City Manager Marshall details city’s efforts to keep people warm during cold snap

The temperatures today will be in the mid-60’s but just over a week ago the air around Charlottesville remained below freezing much longer than usual. That put a lot of vulnerable people in danger and the City of Charlottesville made efforts to help.

“During the cold snap, we’re very thankful that we were able to work hand in hand with our nonprofit partners at the Haven as well as at PACEM to ensure that members of our community who found themselves unhoused were kept safe and warm,” said Deputy City Manager Ashley Marshall. 

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Price elected for second year to chair Albemarle Supervisors; Andrews becomes vice chair

Albemarle County Supervisor Donna Price may not be running for a second term, but she will serve as that elected body’s chair for 2023. The six-member body had their organizational meeting this afternoon as conducted by County Executive Jeffrey Richardson.

“At this time, I will conduct the election of the chair and I will open the floor to nominations and I will open the floor for nominations for chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors,” Richardson said. 

“Mr. Richardson, it is a privilege to nominate Supervisor Donna Price to be our chair for 2023,” said Supervisor Ned Gallaway of the Rio District. 

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Councilor Magill resigns seat effective January 11

At the tail end of a crowded Council meeting, Charlottesville City Councilor Sena Magill announced she will resign her seat effective January 11. Technically, Magill handed City Councilor Michael Payne a statement to read.

“This evening I have the regrettable news that I must step down from office,” Magill wrote. “The needs of my family have changed during my term in office and in the last few months it has become more and more apparent that I cannot meet the needs effectively of both.” 

Magill’s last day will be January 11. Council will next meet in a joint session with the Planning Commission the night before. 

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Charlottesville City manager report: Interim City Attorney in place

Later on this evening, the Charlottesville City Council will have their first meeting of the year. One of the items is a report from interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers who will celebrate his one year anniversary on January 31. These written reports provide a glimpse into the operations of the city government and here are some of the highlights. (read the report)

  • Allyson Davies is serving as the city’s interim City Attorney following the sudden resignation of Lisa Robertson late last month. Davies has been with the city since 1999 according to a question that ended up being a Freedom of Information Act request. The position has been advertised. Rogers writes that he wants the position filled in three months. 
  • The city has hired a labor relations manager to manage the new collective bargaining ordinance which went into effect on January 1. Petitions and elections will be conducted in February with the first bargaining period set to begin in March. 
  • Seven firms have responded to a request for a firm to conduct the city’s next strategic plan. A selection will be made by the end of the month with the work set to begin in February. Strategic plans help local governments prioritize what staff members should be doing. 
  • The pedestrian tunnel under the Belmont Bridge has reopened. A mid-block crossing at Graves Street will be permanently closed once a sidewalk between Graves and Levy is completed. 
  • A temporary bus stop has opened on East High Street as a sidewalk is built in front of the AT&T building. The stop was recently moved to prevent impatient and potentially unstable motorists from using parking lots to pass stopped buses.
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Albemarle preparing for end of COVID federal benefits

It has been two and three quarter years since COVID-19 was declared a public health emergency and much of the economy was shut down for a while to help reduce the spread of a virus that was still little known. Rules for federal benefits were altered for a while and now social services departments across the United States are scrambling to prepare for that period to end.

“The Department of Social Services finds itself responding to some pretty significant mid-year federal policy change which we predict will result in a significant increase in the workload required for us to manage this,” said Kaki Dimock, Albemarle County’s Director of Social Services. 

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