When the Charlottesville-Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Policy Board next meets, there will be a new person representing the Virginia Department of Transportation. Sean Nelson will become the new district engineer for VDOT’s Culpeper District, which spans nine counties.
“I am honored to return to Culpeper District as the district engineer and look forward to working with our talented teams and valued community partners,” Nelson is quoted in a September 30 press release. “I was born and raised in Louisa and am now raising my family there. I am proud to come home and am committed to making a difference in this region.”
Charlottesville has a new director of the department that oversees land use and zoning within the city. James Freas will be the next Director of Neighborhood Development Services, a position that’s been held by Alexander Ikefuna for the past six years. Freas is currently the director of Community and Economic Development in the town of Natick in Massachusetts, a position he has held since November 2019. Before that, he worked in land use positions in Newton, Massachusetts. He also served four years as a city planner in Hampton from 2005 to 2009.
This will be a return to Charlottesville for Freas, who graduated from the University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in psychology. He also earned a Master of Community Planning from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Studies in Environmental Law from the Vermont Law School.
“I am excited to be returning to Virginia and eager to get started with the City,” Freas said in a release. “There are a number of important conversations happening right now around development and zoning and I look forward to engaging with the community.”
Freas will report to Deputy City Manager Sam Sanders and begins work on September 13.
Charlottesville has hired its first-ever Deputy City Manager for Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Ashley Reynolds Marshall is currently the chief executive office of the YWCA of Central Virginia in Lynchburg. Marshall is a Roanoke native with degrees from Hollins University, William of Mary School of Law and Virginia Tech, where she is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in public administration and policy. The new position will oversee the Human Services and Social Service Departments as well as the Police Civilian Review Board and the Office of Human Rights. Marshall begins work on May 10, 2021.
The city is also seeking a new city attorney, neighborhood services development director, social services director, and a deputy city manager for operations.
Do you or someone you know want the chance to be Charlottesville’s next Director of Neighborhood Development Services? The city is taking applications through April 2 for the position, for which a vacancy was created when Alex Ikefuna was demoted to deputy director in February 2020. (Daily Progress article)
‘The ideal candidate must have experience and knowledge with all aspects of Planning and Development operations and a proven track record in managing a complex organization while demonstrating the ability to work with many stakeholders in a highly engaged community,” reads the application for the job, which has a salary range between $100,000 and $150,000.
There’s a vacancy on the seven-member Charlottesville Planning Commission. Gary Heaton was appointed to the body in October 2018 soon after moving to the city to become senior pastor of First United Methodist Church. He told his colleagues he’ll be leaving the city shortly for another professional posting.
“I will be reassigned as of July so I think will be exiting my responsibilities on the Planning Commission what did I say, the 15th of April,” Heaton said.
In six days, Chip Boyles will officially become Charlottesville’s City Manager. Last Thursday, the Board of Commissioners of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission said goodbye to Boyles in his capacity as their executive director. He has been there since April 2014. Greene County Supervisor Dale Herring is Chair of the TJPDC Board and he read from a proclamation.
“Whereas the influence and reputation of the TJPDC and the quality of programs and services during Chip’s tenure has been greatly enhanced by the vision, skills, and passion he brought to TJPDC’s mission, therefore be it resolved that the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission expresses enduring gratitude and appreciation for the generous and faithful service provided to the TJPDC and this region by Chip Boyles.”
Charlottesville City Council has suspended its search for a new city manager to replace Dr. Tarron Richardson, who resigned last September.
“Council has decided to pause working with a search firm for the City Manager recruitment and is evaluating next steps to stabilize the organization over the next 12-24 months,” reads a statement from Council sent to the Daily Progress yesterday by Councilor Heather Hill. “We anticipate providing additional information to the public in advance of our next regular meeting on January 19th.”