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May 13, 2012

Panel discusses women and diversity in local politics

DailyProgressBy Courtney Beale
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cupcakes and political anecdotes were shared recently when a panel of women involved in local government spoke about their experiences in politics.

Charlottesville Tomorrow, the Junior League and the League of Women Voters sponsored Wednesday’s event, which was held at the Cat Thrasher Photography studio and the Sweethaus bakery.

20120509-Women2
Andrea Copeland & Colette Blount

Andrea D. Copeland of Positive Channels moderated the conversation, which centered on how women can become involved in the political process and the obstacles they may face.


Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20120509-WomenInPolitics

Former Charlottesville Mayor Nancy K. O’Brien, city School Board member Colette Blount and Sally H. Thomas, former chairwoman of Albemarle County’s Board of Supervisors explained their personal reasons for becoming active in local politics.

“The impetus for me was that I cared about something,” O’Brien said. “I cared about something in the community and after caring, I thought I could do something about that better than some of the other people.”

Continue reading "Panel discusses women and diversity in local politics" »

January 01, 2012

Board leadership, appointments could be contentious

DailyProgressBy Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Sunday, January 1, 2012

When the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors holds its first meeting of 2012 on Wednesday, members say they may immediately deadlock on the question of leadership and critical committee appointments.

Among the positions at stake are chairman and vice chairman of the Board of Supervisors and the two seats held by supervisors on the Metropolitan Planning Organization. The MPO is the key transportation funding and policy body that will have some oversight over the recently approved U.S. 29 Western Bypass project.

During the previous two years, a conservative majority consisting of three Republicans and one Democrat have held sway with 4-2 votes on a number of controversial issues, including the bypass and some environmental matters. That block’s de-facto leader is Supervisor Kenneth C. Boyd, who was just re-elected to a third term.

On these contentious issues, Boyd has been joined in the majority by fellow Republicans Duane E. Snow and Rodney S. Thomas and conservative Democrat Lindsay G. Dorrier Jr. With Dorrier’s retirement, and the election of Democrat Christopher J. Dumler to the open Scottsville District seat, the specter of split government may be returning to the County Office Building.

“The board has a 3-3 split that will probably emerge on some issues now that there’s no longer a 4-2 majority on Ken Boyd’s side,” said independent Supervisor Dennis S. Rooker.

Continue reading "Board leadership, appointments could be contentious" »

November 07, 2011

Albemarle Supervisor candidates on their qualifications

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

 Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, EIGHTH IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comPlease describe your past experience that qualifies you to be on Albemarle Board of Supervisors?


 

Rivanna District

Ken Boyd (R) – Incumbent

I am a 30-year resident of Albemarle County and a husband, father, and grandfather.  All four of my children were educated in Albemarle County Public Schools, and I have been active in this community for all of those 30-years as a neighborhood leader, a youth coach, an education advocate, parent council member, PTO president, and on community service boards. 

I was elected in the Rivanna district as a representative on the school board and spent four years in that position.  For the last eight years I’ve been a member of the board of supervisors.  My formal education includes both a BBA and an MBA.  I spent 23-years as a corporate executive in the banking business before starting my own small financial planning company 20-years ago. 

These local, life, education, business and civic experiences are what position me to be the most qualified person to continue representing the Rivanna district.

 

Cynthia Neff (D) – Challenger

…I started in business with a friend, but then I ultimately ended up at the IBM corporation….I picked it because it was an ethical company.  I picked it because it was one of the first companies that had a woman vice-president, that was the first companies that … that embraced … hiring black employees before there were rules that you had to.  They did domestic partner benefits before it was trendy to do so.  They really did believe in respect for the individual in those kind of things… I had about 29 careers while I worked at IBM.  I learned that there was really no limits.  I could almost do and be who I wanted to be and it was – there was really it was a merit-based system, I was held accountable for results, and I was recognized for results.  The last…decade of my career with IBM I had responsibility for large, global organizations. …

Continue reading "Albemarle Supervisor candidates on their qualifications" »

November 06, 2011

Albemarle Supervisor candidates on transportation

 

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comimage from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

 

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, SEVENTH IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comWhat is your transportation agenda for the county? Does it require more money?  How will you fund AND implement it?


 

Rivanna District

Ken Boyd (R) – Incumbent

Multi-modal transportation is important to our community and the board has committed to providing opportunities when fiscally feasible—and that’s important—where fiscally feasible.  We participate in the city with mass transit routes, and we put bike lanes on all new and expanded roads, we promote Rideshare, we contribute heavily to JAUNT and we advocate for mixed-use neighborhood model [development] where citizens can work, live and shop within walking distance.

I will continue to support all of these initiatives, but the key to it is we must be fiscally responsible in doing this.  Transportation efforts can be expensive, and I think we need to do it in a responsible way.

… I think what we have to do is look at the budget and we have to allocate the funds appropriately for our transportation along with the other things there.  It would be difficult to say how I would change what we are doing today.

 

Cynthia Neff (D) – Challenger

So that is maybe the hardest question that I’ve seen on here. … I’ve heard people say that we haven’t gotten our fair share of transportation money and yet I know that the State of Virginia has decided not to fund transportation … we don’t really fund for the maintenance of it. …

…  I think the frustration level has grown exponentially among residents that are saying, “What’s going on here?  Do we have a plan?”  And I’ve been involved and I’m not sure we do.  I know that we had a transportation plan for the neighborhood I live in called Places 29.  And I know it kind of got thrown out of the window.

Continue reading "Albemarle Supervisor candidates on transportation" »

November 04, 2011

Albemarle Supervisor candidates on their top priority

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, LAST IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comWhat is the top priority in your personal strategic plan for action by the board of supervisors if you are elected?


 

Rivanna District

Ken Boyd (R) - Incumbent

I’ve been on the board of supervisors since the early stages of a formal strategic planning process and I continue to support this effort as a high priority.

The plan is built around the values of integrity, innovation, stewardship, and learning.  There are five specific goals which are measured outcomes in the two-budget cycle plan.  They are future capital needs, communication between general government and the school system, our economic vitality action plan, future library structuring, and solid waste disposal.  Now I was part of crafting this strategic plan and it was a unanimous vote to support it, so I am supporting it. 

This year in our strategic plan work session, I proposed that we challenge staff with coming up with suggestions about how we might encourage a return to a culture of individual responsibility and self-reliance.  That’s what my priority item would be at this point.

 

Cynthia Neff (D) - Challenger

If I was elected in November, the first thing I’d like to do in January is have a public hearing on the bypass.  I am disappointed.  You know, we can debate – which we won’t do – the merits of the bypass or the lack of merits of the bypass or whether we should have one or whether it won’t ever work, but we should have an opportunity to see the VDOT study and the environmental assessment.…

The second thing I think I would do is really is to focus on the Comprehensive Plan and make sure that that process is going to give us an accurate reflection of where we’re at now….Maybe we’ll decide we need to put more land into the growth area because we need more land to…  Maybe we’ll decide – my own personal bias coming out here – maybe we’ll decide that we should really focus on redevelopment and taking Shopper’s World and Albemarle Square and saying, “Let’s keep that core of our business district healthy and vital before we move out even further.”  So but I think we can’t do that unless we have a really clear picture today of where we’re at.…

Continue reading "Albemarle Supervisor candidates on their top priority" »

Albemarle Supervisor candidates on economic vitality

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, SIXTH IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comWhat role should local government play to stimulate economic vitality?  Do you support Albemarle’s economic vitality plan and are there areas you recommend for improvement?


 

Rivanna District

Ken Boyd (R) - Incumbent

Well, I’ll address the second question first.  Of course I do support the economic vitality plan.  It was an initiative that I put forward to begin with.  I think the only thing that bothers me is that it’s moving a little slowly.  That’s what I would like to see, the process moving a little faster.

I’ve been a proponent of that in this community since coming on the board.  As I mentioned, I initiated the discussions [regarding joining] the Chamber of Commerce and the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development [which] was eventually approved by a majority vote.

I originally proposed the establishment and funding of an economic opportunity fund which was instrumental in keeping over 100 high-paying jobs at MicroAire in our local community under a contract, and people will have to understand it was a contract, which will return our investment in under five years. 

The current Economic Vitality Action Plan was started with a motion by me [to get] jobs that are a high priority in our community.  I have worked with the county’s large and small employers to ensure their success by not overburdening them with excessive government regulation.

 

Cynthia Neff (D) - Challenger

Local government doesn’t create jobs, but local government can certainly do things to make a place more desirable to live in.  I lived and worked in the Silicon Valley during the boom.  I saw very effectively how Sunnyvale and Palo Alto and San Jose worked, to try to do things to make companies want to move to the Valley so that they would be part of this high tech revolution…

Continue reading "Albemarle Supervisor candidates on economic vitality" »

Albemarle Supervisor candidates on taxes and capital funding

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, FIFTH IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comIn recent budgets, the board of supervisors has chosen not to raise taxes to provide additional funds for capital budget needs such that the current capital budget primarily supports only maintenance projects.  How will you address capital funding needs as part of the next county budget?


 

Rivanna District

Ken Boyd (R) - Incumbent

The problem with capital “needs,” is who defines what these “needs” are.  I fully support the needed infrastructure as well as maintenance of our capital assets.  We do have to be diligent in our spending relative to the state of the economy and the impact on our citizens. 

I would not support borrowing more money that we don’t have the existing capacity to pay back.  Meaning that if we don’t have the operating funds to pay back the loans, then we can’t borrow the money.  That’s what they do in Washington, D.C. and that’s what’s gotten them in so much trouble at this time.

Sometimes you have to kind of keep the late model car rather than buying the new one if you can’t afford to buy a new one.  That should apply to government as well as in our individual lives.

 

Cynthia Neff (D) - Challenger

I think that the actual word from the county executive was “minimally maintains what we have.”  Minimally maintains what we have.  And yet if I look at the capital needs budget, it’s actually a funny document because it talks about all these grand and glorious things we’re going to do.  Here’s our vision, we have walkable communities and they’re self-sustained and then we’re going to protect the rural areas, we’re going to…provide great quality of life and infrastructure.  We’re going to do all this stuff, but oh by the way we don’t have any money…

If you look at the Strategic Plan, if you look at the Comprehensive Plan, you look at the Economic Vitality Plan, we continue to articulate a vision for what this place looks like, what it feels like, you know, the kind of place it is to get an education, raise children, you know, conduct a business and yet we’re not supporting those goals. 

Continue reading "Albemarle Supervisor candidates on taxes and capital funding" »

Audio & Video of Albemarle Supervisor candidate forum - Scottsville District

2011-election-DPx476On November 1, 2011 at Monticello High School, Chris Dumler (D) and Jim Norwood (R), the two candidates vying for the Scottsville District seat on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, participated in a candidate forum co-sponsored by Charlottesville Tomorrow and The Daily Progress.
 
Read this article for complete coverage by The Daily Progress.


Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20111101-Scottsville-Forum

The candidate forum participants





Watch the forum video

TIMELINE FOR PODCAST:

  • 00:00:52 -- Welcome and introduction fromm moderator Brian Wheeler
  • 00:03:55 -- Opening statement from Jim Norwood (R)
  • 00:07:27 -- Opening statement from Chris Dummler (D)

Continue reading "Audio & Video of Albemarle Supervisor candidate forum - Scottsville District " »

November 03, 2011

Albemarle Supervisor candidates on the Western Bypass

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.com

In the run up to Election Day on November 8th, Charlottesville Tomorrow will once again mail out our in-depth nonpartisan voter guide, featuring exclusive one-on-one interviews with all the candidates for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council.  In the weeks before the election, we will feature one to two questions a day so that citizens like you can compare candidates’ answers and make an informed choice November 8th.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s 2011 Election Center website features links to the full written transcript and audio of candidate interviews, as well as links to videos of candidate forums, copies of our 2011 voter guide, information on where to vote, and more.  All the following passages are excerpts from our interviews.

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, FOURTH IN A SERIES

image from cvilletomorrow.typepad.comDo you believe the Western Bypass project is consistent with the character of our community and the public’s vision for transportation in Albemarle County?


 

Rivanna District

Ken Boyd (R) - Incumbent

Well, despite the shortcomings of the proposed Western Bypass, it would be irresponsible for us as a board to turn down the amount of infrastructure investment in our community.  We were not really given an option from the state to spend this money on any other road, so I think trying to compare it to whether it fits in the nature of our roads may not be something we can do. 

We were able to include in the deal funding for one of our highest priority projects, which is widening of [U.S. Route] 29 from Polo Grounds to Hollymead Town Center, and I think that is certainly a coup for us, that we were able to get the money to do that as well.

Keeping with the character of the community?  Yeah, I think this road can be built in such a way that it will keep in character with the community.  You’ve got to remember it was the byproduct of years of study, while it might have been some time ago, and I think that this will be just the first leg of what I hope will be a much longer bypass in the future.

 

Cynthia Neff (D) - Challenger

No. I just don’t.  I have been so disappointed over the bypass.  And let me tell you why.  So when I moved here, I heard about these bypasses.  I thought, “What a great idea.”…  Of course the other thing is that I actually don’t believe our traffic is as horrible here as sometimes we bemoan….I mean there are worse traffic nightmares than here, but we’re special, so I think we’ve really got to work to keep it that way. 

But it took me a long time of working with the Places 29 plan to realize the time for a bypass – that part of the Route 29 highway is over.  It’s gone.  If they’d had built that 20 years ago, it would have been different.  You know, ten years ago, three of twenty of us didn’t live here….Forest Lakes didn’t exist.  Hollymead didn’t exist.  North Pointe wasn’t even a sparkle in somebody’s eye…

Continue reading "Albemarle Supervisor candidates on the Western Bypass" »

November 01, 2011

Live audio streaming of Scottsville District candidates forum

 

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Charlottesville Tomorrow will be streaming a live audio broadcast of the Tuesday, November 1, 2011 supervisor candidates forum for Albemarle County's Scottsville Magisterial District. 

The event is being co-sponsored by Charlottesville Tomorrow and the Daily Progress. 

Broadcast starts at 6:30 pm on November 1, 2011


Stream videos at Ustream