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January 27, 2009

Supervisor Slutzky will not challenge Delegate Bell; Focusing on local agenda in 2009

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20090126-slutzky-barefoot On January 26, 2009, Albemarle County Supervisor David Slutzky (D-Rio) appeared on WINA’s Charlottesville Right Now radio program and announced he had decided not to challenge Delegate Rob Bell (R-58) for his seat in the Virginia General Assembly.  Slutzky told host Coy Barefoot that he intended in 2009 to remain focused on the priorities in his work before local government. 

Slutzky did not announce whether he would seek re-election for a second term on the Board of Supervisors.  In an open seat election, Slutzky defeated Gary Grant (R-Rio) in November 2005 after the retirement of David Bowerman from the Rio District seat.  Earlier this month, Slutzky was elected by his colleagues to serve as Chairman of the Board during 2009. His current four-year term on the Board ends on December 31, 2009.  The seats held by Supervisors Sally Thomas (I-Samuel Miller) and Dennis Rooker (I-Jack Jouett) are also up for re-election in November 2009.

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“My role on the Board of Supervisors has gotten interesting,” said Slutzky.  “I’ve got a lot of things that we are dealing with that are very important to the community…and [I am] very interested in and engaged in some of these topics, and to take on a major campaign at a time like this…would be very distracting.”

Coy Barefoot asked Slutzky to name the top issues on his local government agenda.  “Right now, front and center is the issue of transportation.  We have serious transportation challenges in Albemarle County and Charlottesville right now,” said Slutzky.  As a Supervisor, Slutzky also serves as Chairman of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and has represented Albemarle on a task force related to the formation of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Transit Authority.  

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Slutzky described two bills (HB2158 and HB2161) introduced by Delegate David Toscano (D-57) that would allow the community to form the joint transit entity and, separately, to hold a voter referendum on a local sales tax increase to fund both transit and transportation needs.  Slutzky said that if the local sales tax was raised by a penny the City and County would raise close to $25 million a year which could be applied to the community’s approved list of priority transportation projects.

Supervisor Slutzky identified two other priorities that will get his attention in 2009.  First, efforts to address climate change and reduce the community’s ‘carbon footprint,’ and a proposal to allow for the transfer of development rights in Albemarle County.

Brian Wheeler

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