Another week of quarantine begins across Virginia, with local government activity continuing but without public meetings. This is a list of what we know is happening for this week and into the rest of the month. It will be updated as new information becomes known.
You can also keep up with the local response to COVID-19 on the podcast I am producing. You can subscribe using services such as Apple Podcasts to make sure you have the latest episode. Or visit: https://covid-19-in-charlottesville.simplecast.com/.
There are no Albemarle County meetings this week. The Board of Supervisors (BOS) will meet virtually on April 13 for a public hearing on the tax rate for the current calendar year as well as the fiscal year 2021 budget. The document will look very differently as the economic shutdown has drastically reduced the amount of revenue Albemarle expected to receive.
“For the last three months [of FY20], we are looking at what I think is the worst case scenario,” said Albemarle County Executive Jeffrey Richardson at the April 1 BOS meeting. He told elected officials there will need to be at least $3 million in cuts to the existing year’s budget. A revised FY21 budget will be built on the reduced budget. Details will be posted here as we get them.
Albemarle will spend the month of April testing new public engagement techniques before resuming sometime in May.
“County staff has been working diligently to develop alternative solutions that will allow us to continue safely processing applications and eventually to conduct virtual meetings that will allow engagement between Planning Commission members, county staff, applicants, as well as members of the public,” said Charles Rapp, the county’s new director of planning.
Aside from a virtual gathering of the Electoral Board, there are no city meetings this week. Charlottesville is under an emergency continuity of government ordinance and most meetings are canceled.
“All planning and zoning matters will remain on hold indefinitely, except for any matter that would be essential to continuity of government operations during the state of emergency,” said planning manager Missy Creasy in a March 25 email to the Planning Commission letting them know their meetings this month won’t happen.
The city’s communications department will screen two more episodes of the Cville 360 program. On Tuesday at 11 a.m, guests will be Police Chief RaShall Brackney and Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania. (show details) On Thursday at 4 p.m., host Brian Wheeler will interview city officials about how development activity is proceeding at this time. (show details)
A steering committee to help guide completion of Charlottesville’s Comprehensive Plan will meet virtually on Tuesday night. Details are not yet published about how we access the call. I am serving on this group and will provide a report.
This is spring break for city schools, and the city is working with local merchants and the Charlottesville Food Justice Network to make food available on Monday and Wednesday. You can review all of the details here.
Want to get involved in policy-making in Charlottesville? City Hall is collecting applications for vacancies on several boards and commissions through June 5. These range from the Architectural Review Board to the Vendor Appeals Board.
“We believe it is not only the right, but the responsibility of interested and capable citizens to become engaged in local government policy by advising the Mayor and City Council on important community-related issues,” reads an email notice. Visit the city’s website to apply.
There are no scheduled meetings this week. Greene County is providing updates on their website.
As always, thank you, and please reach out to me if you have any questions!
Field Representative – Albemarle, Charlottesville and Greene
The Piedmont Environmental Council