Two Charlottesville School Board members not seeking re-election

There are 27 days to qualify for the ballot for the November 7 general election. Today, Charlottesville City Schools announced that neither Sherry Kraft or Lashundra Bryson Morsberger will seek another term. 

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my service to the Board, and the time has come for me to pass the torch to the next person,” Kraft is quoted in the press release. “Those who are considering the role have my full encouragement – it’s a rewarding, challenging, and meaningful way to contribute to our community.”

Kraft was first elected in 2015.

Morsberger was elected in 2019.

“This job and our children deserve someone who can give it the time and careful consideration it deserves,” Morsberger said. “It’s been an honor to serve, but my job, my family, and my other commitments need to take priority right now. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished, and there is more work to do.”

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Fadeley to challenge incumbent for Rivanna District seat

The owner of a used vehicle dealership on Pantops has announced he will run for Rivanna District Supervisor as an independent candidate, setting up a second contested race for elected office in Albemarle County this year.

“I have a large stake and a personal investment in sound government in our community,” said T.J. Fadeley. “And I’ve been asking residents ‘how did you like your recent property tax bill?’”

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Albemarle Executive report: New disc golf course at Chris Greene Lake, HARTS team in place

In Virginia, a locality’s top manager actually performs the business of government and is responsible for executive actions. In Charlottesville that’s interim City Manager Michael C. Rogers. In Albemarle that is County Executive Jeff Richardson. 

Often reports on what’s happening are made to the elected body. On May 17, Albemarle Supervisors got a report from Trevor Henry, the Deputy County Administrator. They learned there is now a new 18-hole disc golf course at Chris Greene Lake.

“The development of this new amenity in the northern part of the county was a successful partnership between Parks and Recreation by providing the space and in-kind services and the Blue Ridge Disc Golf Club whose members devoted 1,100 volunteer hours to construct the course,” Henry said. 

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Charlottesville’s new economic development plan to focus on inclusivity, workforce development

Charlottesville is in the midst of writing up a document intended to guide how economic development should be conducted by the local government. Resonance Consulting of New York City was awarded the contract to create a strategic plan for the topic.

“First and foremost, Charlottesville is a diverse and young community with an authentic small-town charm,” said Resonance Vice President Steven Pedigo at the May 15 meeting of Charlottesville City Council. “Charlottesville is home to a highly skilled work force, a variety of industries, and a really strong healthy economy.” (view the presentation)

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State Corporation Commission approves solar panels at Ivy Landfill

A project to install solar panels atop the Ivy Landfill has been cleared by the State Corporation Commission. That entity regulates power generation in the Commonwealth and requires Dominion Energy to submit proposed solar projects that seek to use funds from ratepayers. This dates back to the passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act in 2020. 

The project at the Ivy landfill was one of several projects Dominion submitted last October and approved by the SCC in a final order dated April 13. (read the final order)

“We anticipate that that project may be completed next year at the Ivy [Materials Utilization Center], said Bill Mawyer, the executive director of the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority that owns and mitigates the landfill, which was closed in the late 1990’s. 

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Charlottesville awarded over $17.5 M in state funds for Buford renovation

The Virginia Board of Education held a special meeting on May 11 to take care of unfinished business including the award of $365 million in the school construction assistance program. 

“This is the major school construction grant program which was created in the 2022 [General Assembly] session and funded at $450 million,” said Kent Dickey, Deputy State Superintendent for the Division of Budget, Finance, and Operations.

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Charlottesville warns against contact with water in Meade Creek

Routine water monitoring by the Rivanna Conservation Alliance has detected elevated levels of e. coli bacteria in Meade Creek near Meade Park. 

Charlottesville is warning people to avoid contact with the waterway. 

E.coli is a type of fecal coliform bacteria and when it is found in water, it is a strong indicator of sewage or animal waste contamination which can cause disease or illness,” reads a press release sent out this afternoon

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Council candidates introduce themselves to Greenbrier neighborhood

Last week, the Greenbrier Neighborhood Association held the second of many planned candidate forums for the three nominations for Charlottesville City Council. The event began with opening statements beginning with Dashad Cooper who was unable to attend the May 10 event I co-hosted with Neil Williamson of the Free Enterprise Forum. (view that event)

“As a Council member, I believe it is crucial that we have an open and honest discussion about the vision of Charlottesville, and I’m here to share my vision,” Cooper said. “Together I believe we can work towards a solution that would benefit all members of society.”       

Cooper is a social services assistant who said he sees many people struggling with mental health issues who are affected by increases in rent. 

“I think mental health has been overlooked for far, far too long and the pandemic has put the mental health at the forefront and the people need help now,” Cooper said. 

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CTB to meet in Charlottesville this week

The body that approves funding across the Commonwealth of Virginia will meet this week at the Residence Inn on West Main Street in Charlottesville, steps away from a now-canceled project. 

The Commonwealth Transportation Board will begin with a workshop at 8:30 a.m. that will feature a large amount of state-wide business. One item to watch is a discussion on the fifth round of Smart Scale, which is a mechanism that helps decide what transportation projects are funded.  (workshop agenda

The CTB will make a final decision in June, but here are three area projects currently in the running:

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Albemarle purchasing land on Wednesday?

The next regular meeting of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors is not until June, but the six members will meet in closed session this Wednesday. Virginia’s open meetings laws allow for elected bodies to discuss certain matters without the public present. 

The notice for the May 24 meeting at 1 p.m. cites two provisions of the state code. (view the agenda

The first is “to discuss or consider the acquisition of real property in the Rivanna Magisterial District.” 

The second is “to consult with and be briefed by legal counsel regarding specific legal matters requiring legal advice relating to such acquisition.” 

Immediately after the closed session, Supervisors will vote on a resolution to authorize purchase of property and assets. There are no further details but Supervisors will convene in Room 241 after this vote to hold a media briefing. 

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