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August 15, 2011

Video and Audio of Senior Statesmen City Council Candidates Forum


On August 10, 2011, the Senior Statesmen of Virgina invited the twelve people running for three seats on the Charlottesville City Council to participate in a Candidates Forum. The participating candidates are Scott Bandy (I); Paul Beyer (D); Colette E. Blount (D); Brevy Cannon (D); Brandon Collins (I); Bob Fenwick (I); Kathleen M. Galvin (D); James Halfaday (D); Satyendra Huja (D); Paul Long (I); Dede Smith (D); and Andrew Williams (I).

The event was held at the Senior Center on Pepsi Place and was moderated by Sue Liberman, president of the Senior Statesmen.

Download Download complete transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Listen using player above or download the podcast:

Download 20110810-Senior Statesmen-Forum


Senior Statesmen City Council Candiates Forum
from Charlottesville Tomorrow on Vimeo.

July 21, 2011

Audio & Video of Charlottesville City Council candidate forum

On July 20, 2011, Charlottesville Tomorrow and The Daily Progress co-sponsored a city council candidate forum for the seven candidates seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for three of the five seats on Charlottesville City Council.

About 150 people filled the Burley Middle School auditorium to hear the candidates respond to questions posed by the moderator, the audience, and each other.  Read this article for complete coverage by the Daily Progress.

Photo by Andrew Shurtleff, The Daily Progress

Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20110720-CityDemsForum

Download Download complete transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

The Charlottesville Democratic Party will hold an “unassembled caucus,” also known as a Firehouse Primary, on Saturday, August 20th, from 9am to 7pm at Burley Middle School to select its three council nominees.  One candidate for Clerk of the Charlottesville Circuit Court will also be nominated.

In the primary, Charlottesville Democrats may vote for up to 7 council candidates and rank them by order of preference.  This ranking is to facilitate an instant runoff in the event there is not a simple majority.

The candidate forum participants
  • Paul Beyer
  • Colette E. Blount
  • Brevy Cannon
  • Kathleen M. Galvin
  • James Halfaday
  • Satyendra Huja
  • Dede Smith
  • Brian Wheeler, Moderator

Charlottesville City Council Democratic
candidate forum
from Charlottesville Tomorrow on Vimeo.


Quick response topics

Do you support construction of the Meadow Creek Parkway in the city of Charlottesville, YES or NO?

Do you support the Western Bypass route now in place if the state fully funds its construction as well as fully funding other local transportation priorities such as the Belmont Bridge replacement, Hillsdale Drive Extended, Berkmar Drive Extended, the widening of Route 29, and the improvement of the Best Buy ramp to the U.S. 250 Bypass? YES or NO?

As the primary approach for adding to our long term water supply, do you favor dredging and water conservation before construction of a new or taller dam at the Ragged Mountain Reservoir, YES or NO?

Moderator questions (each candidate received 3 of the 7 questions)

What is your transportation agenda for the city and how will you fund AND implement it? 

City-County relations
Much is made of the status of city-county relationships and the importance of maintaining and strengthening this relationship. On a grading scale of A to F, how would you grade this relationship, and how do you think it can be improved?

Performance measurements for local government
Do you think the city is doing a good job of measuring its performance on the implementation of its vision and council priorities? Would you favor any specific other approaches or methodology?

Water supply
Are you planning to seek a new vote by the council on the previously approved 50-year water supply plan and how would you change the plan, if at all?

Role of City Council
What are the top responsibilities that you believe City Council should be actively and consistently engaged in?

Are you satisfied with the performance of the city schools? How would you support continuous improvement as a member of City Council?

Workforce development / Jobs
What do you see as the best opportunities to develop career-ladder jobs that city residents can pursue?

After the moderator questions, the candidates each answered one question from the audience.  Then each candidate had an opportunity to ask another candidate a question.


June 29, 2011

Colette Blount launches campaign for Charlottesville City Council

2011-election-DPx476 By Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Colette E. Blount announced Wednesday that she is entering the race for the Democratic nomination for one of three seats on Charlottesville City Council.

Blount, who turns 47 next month, was elected in 2007 to the Charlottesville School Board and has lived in the community since 1994.  Her school board term ends at the end of 2011. 

20110629-Blount1 “The message that I want to put out is that Charlottesville is a wonderful place to live, and I want it to be a wonderful place to live for everybody,” Blount said.


Listen using player above or download the podcast:
Download 20110629-Blount

Blount, an African-American, reflected on Charlottesville’s racial history, something she has been examining through the ongoing Dialogue on Race project launched by city council.

“I want to engage the community in ongoing dialogue, but also in action to move forward,” Blount said.  “With the African-American community, Charlottesville has its history, and I think part of that history has made people feel that they’re not part of the greater city.”

“I applaud the efforts and vision of Councilor Edwards and City Manager [Maurice] Jones in getting the community-based initiative the Dialogue on Race off the ground,” Blount said. “I will work to continue community dialogue such as this so that Charlottesville progresses.”

Blount said she would seek the Democratic party’s nomination at the unassembled caucus, or “firehouse primary,” being held on August 20.  Blount is the seventh Democratic candidate to announce in advance of the party’s July 8 filing deadline.

Blount’s announcement took place in front of Burley Middle School, an Albemarle County school located in the city.  Blount said she stood apart from the other candidates by being an educator who has taught for the past seventeen years in the community.  Blount will be an eighth grade civics teacher at Burley this fall.

Blount outlined three major beliefs for her campaign.  These included providing equal access to quality education for all citizens, environmental stewardship, and citizen engagement.

“It is in part through my work on the city school board that I have come to see more clearly the broader connection between Charlottesville the city and Charlottesville the people,” Blount said.

Blount said that, if elected to council, an important goal would be to help build a “sustained and engaged citizenry.”

When she ran for school board in 2007, Blount has said it was a last minute decision and that she only had three days to collect the necessary petition signatures.  Four years later, Blount is expected to be the last Democratic candidate to make a council announcement, but she was joined at her event by a host of heavy hitters in the local party.

20110629- Blout wide angle
Blount was introduced by Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris.  Other former Charlottesville Mayors standing in support of Blount included, Maurice Cox, Francis Fife, and Nancy O’Brien.

Norris, a Democrat, has now made appearances supporting three of the seven candidates running for the party’s nomination.  Besides Blount, Norris has also appeared with council candidates Dede Smith and Brevy Cannon, both of whom stood with Blount.

“Colette is somebody who has, over the years, demonstrated her commitment to the betterment of our youth,” Norris said.  “She is somebody who has a strong commitment to our natural environment and someone who has a strong commitment to community engagement and who will be an effective leader for city council for our community.”

Blount received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College in 1986 and her Masters in Education from the College of William & Mary in 1994.

Speaking to the media after her announcement, Blount shared further details about her positions on the water plan and the Meadow Creek Parkway.

Blount said had she been on city council earlier this year that she would have supported dredging as opposed to building a new dam at the Ragged Mountain Reservoir. 

In February, City Council approved, by a 3-2 vote, the construction of a new earthen dam as part of the fifty-year community water supply plan.  Blount said she would be willing to revisit that decision on the water plan if, after reviewing more data, she determined that there was a better plan.

On the Meadow Creek Parkway, Blount pointed out that she had already voted against the parkway as a member of the school board when city-owned land at Charlottesville High School and CATEC was required for construction of the county’s portion of the road. 

“I’m a strong proponent of the environment,” Blount said.  “Ultimately I weigh as many different sides as there are against what is best for people and best for the environment.  People can speak up for themselves, the environment can’t.”

“I voted against the parkway on the principle that it would go through McIntire Park,” Blount said.  “Nothing is wrong with open green space, and Charlottesville has very limited amounts of that.”

Walt Heineke, a neighbor of Blount’s, said he came to the announcement to show his support.

“I think she has done an incredibly great job on the school board,” Heineke said.  “She has the right vision for getting Charlottesville moving in the right direction for the future.”

Also in the race for the democratic nomination, besides Blount, Smith, and Cannon, are incumbent city councilor Satyendra Huja, Paul Beyer, Kathy Galvin, and James Halfaday.  The Democrats who win the nomination August 20 will face at least four independent candidates who are collecting petition signatures to get on the November ballot--Scott Bandy, Brandon Collins, Bob Fenwick, and Andrew Williams.

Watch the video below:

Colette Blount announces candidacy for Charlottesville City Council
from Charlottesville Tomorrow on Vimeo.

June 22, 2011

Brevy Cannon launches campaign for Charlottesville City Council

DailyProgressBy Graham Moomaw
The Daily Progress
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

University of Virginia media-relations writer Brevy Cannon publicly announced his candidacy for Charlottesville City Council Wednesday, launching his campaign as a “pragmatic progressive Democrat.”

The 36-year-old has worked in the UVa Media Relations office for the last five years. Cannon said his job involves taking big ideas from faculty and visitors, and distilling them down into pragmatic concepts.

“That requires carefully studying complicated issues, digging into details, listening to a wide diversity of people, asking incisive questions and getting to the heart of the matter at hand, all valuable skills I would bring to City Council,” Cannon said during a speech to about 75 people on the Downtown Mall.

Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20110622-Cannon

20110622- Brevy head shot Cannon, a resident of Ridge Street, officially announced his campaign in a Monday email, but he held a kickoff event Wednesday in the café space of Eppie’s restaurant.

“I believe our city deserves bold, creative, visionary leaders, who are willing to think big, but balance that with pragmatism,” Cannon said. “We need to be bold but pragmatic about jobs, schools and trails.”

Job creation should be a top priority for City Council, Cannon said, adding that the city has the “key ingredients of a biotechnology hub.” He pointed specifically to Indoor Biotechnologies’ plan to build a biotech campus at the old Coca-Cola bottling plant on Preston Avenue as a development that would create more high-quality, middle-class jobs.

“That’s exactly the sort of project that we need to be doing more of, and if I’m elected to council I’m going to make that a priority,” Cannon said.

He offered a specific plan to reinvigorate the Rivanna Trail system, saying more investment is needed to develop the trail in a fashion similar to what has been done at Riverside Park in Woolen Mills.

“Our trail system should extend eventually from Biscuit Run in the south, to Downtown, to Forest Lakes in the north, to Crozet in the west and beyond,” Cannon said.

Cannon closed his remarks by offering what he called an example of a “creative, out-of-the-box solution” related to the replacement of the aging Belmont Bridge.

“I’ve got a vision for the Belmont Bridge that we can leave the west half of the bridge in place,” Cannon said. “And we can plant grass on it, trails, trees, make it a walkway and a bikeway that connects the east end of the Downtown Mall with Belmont.”

Cannon said he understands that building a new bridge while leaving part of the old one standing would pose some engineering questions, but it’s a vision that deserves to be on the table for further study and discussion.

20110622- Brevy announcing
Cannon first came to Charlottesville in 1997 to attend UVa, where he studied economics, history and religion. He said he’s also worked more than 1,000 hours as a volunteer firefighter and served as a leader of Left of Center, a local group of young progressives and Democrats.

At his speech, he was introduced by former councilor Kevin Lynch and Mayor Dave Norris.

“Brevy is a guy with big ideas,” Norris said. “He’s going to move the city forward in a way that I’m really excited about.”

Cannon joins incumbent councilor Satyendra Huja, homebuilder and developer Paul Beyer, city School Board member Kathy Galvin, fitness-club owner James Halfaday and former city School Board chairwoman Dede Smith in seeking one of three nominations by the Democratic Party.

Retired attorney Peter McIntosh withdrew from the Democratic race.

Independents Bob Fenwick, Brandon Collins, Andrew Williams and Scott Bandy also have announced campaigns.

Councilors Holly Edwards and David Brown have announced they will not seek re-election this year. Mayor Dave Norris and Councilor Kristin Szakos are not up for re-election until 2013.

The Democratic Party’s “firehouse primary” is 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 20 at Burley Middle School. The general election is Nov. 8.

Watch the video below:

Brevy Cannon announces candidacy for Charlottesville City Council
from Charlottesville Tomorrow on Vimeo.

This story appears on Charlottesville Tomorrow's website through a partnership with The Daily Progress.  Photos, podcast, and video produced by Charlottesville Tomorrow.

June 15, 2011

Neff seeks to challenge Boyd for Albemarle Board of Supervisors

DailyProgressBy Frank Muraca & Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Retired IBM executive Cynthia Neff announced Tuesday that she would seek the Democratic nomination for the Rivanna seat on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.

“I’ve decided to run for the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors against Ken Boyd, because someone needs to stand up for the residents of the Rivanna District and Albemarle County,” Neff said.

20110614-Neff Neff criticized the current board for its vote last Wednesday to reverse the county’s position on development of a Western Bypass for U.S. 29.

“What’s been going on recently at the Board of Supervisors is appalling, even embarrassing,” Neff said. “Deciding to vote against the rules in place [for meetings] to decide on important community issues at 11:30 at night, then changing the county’s transportation strategy in the dead of night, is not OK.”

Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20110614-neff-announcement

Scottsville Supervisor Lindsay G. Dorrier, Jr. asked the board to reconsider the bypass and four Albemarle Supervisors, including Boyd, voted to direct its representatives on the Metropolitan Planning Organization to remove language blocking the state from allocating money for its construction.  The topic was not on the meeting agenda for public comment and the board had to suspend its rules of order to enact the change. 

Supervisor Kenneth C. Boyd, a Republican, is seeking re-election to a third term on the board. He was unavailable Tuesday to comment on Neff’s announcement.

Neff, 59, who ran unsuccessfully for the Virginia House of Delegates in 2009 against Republican Rob Bell, made her announcement on the steps of the County Office Building while flanked by about 20 city and county residents.

Neff moved to Albemarle County in 2006 after retiring from IBM. She currently serves as board president for the AIDS/HIV Service Group and is on the board of directors for Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population. In 2008, the county contributed $25,000 to ASAP’s study of the city and county’s optimal population size.

“What I hope to find with ASAP, is to take all the research we’ve done, all the studies that have been done, all of the impact, work with the comprehensive plan, understand what it looks as it’s built out,” said Neff. “Is this working? Do we have the accompanying infrastructure? What is the impact on our natural resources?”

Neff outlined her other priorities, which included education and strong city, county and university relations.

“The [priority] that comes to the top of my mind is, first and foremost, is always education,” Neff said. “If we don’t have a maniacal focus on our community to make sure that our kids get a quality education that builds the future, we will never be successful.”

Neff said that she was wary of approving development that would bring low-paying jobs, where workers would be unable to live in the county.

“When I think of the economic development plan, I think of the recent MicroAire move here, I look at NGIC, I look at…the [University of] Virginia Research Park,” Neff said. “Those are the kind of jobs that we need, jobs that add value to the community.”

Neff also emphasized government transparency as a priority. She said it has been difficult to learn about Albemarle’s comprehensive plan and development plans.

“I also learned that sometimes the process wasn’t quite as transparent as it should be and that financial pressures made for strange bedfellows between the county and developers,” Neff said.

On the water supply plan, Neff said she supports the current plan to build a new earthen dam at the Ragged Mountain Reservoir.

“I support the water supply plan [and I am willing to] learn a bit more, but I have seen nothing in the water supply plan … to say, ‘I don’t support that,’” Neff said.

Democrats will nominate their candidate in a caucus on Aug. 15. Currently, both Neff and Boyd are uncontested for their party’s nomination. Ann H. Mallek, the Democratic incumbent from White Hall, is currently running uncontested. In Scottsville, Democrat Christopher J. Dumler and Republican Jim Norwood are running to replace the retiring Lindsay G. Dorrier Jr. The general election is Nov. 8.

Watch the video below:

Cynthia Neff announces bid for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
from Charlottesville Tomorrow on Vimeo.

June 13, 2011

Smith announces bid for Charlottesville City Council

2011-election-DPx476 By Frank Muraca & Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Monday, June 13, 2011

Former city school board chair Dede Smith, announced Monday that she would seek the Democratic nomination for a seat on Charlottesville City Council.

“I believe I can bring a wealth of experience, energy, informed decision making, and a grassroots style of government to this council,” said Smith at the city’s Forest Hills Park.

Smith was introduced by former Charlottesville mayor Maurice Cox.

“You can see how her passion and her vocation can easily be translated to the things that we all care about,” said Cox.  "In 2000, [Smith] was appointed to the Charlottesville School board and had a six year term. It was an extraordinary time, it was a challenging time, and every single step of the way Dede was leading it."

Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20110613-Smith

About 30 people attended Smith’s announcement.  In addition to Cox, Smith supporters present included Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris, former mayors Francis Fife and Nancy O’Brien, and former council members John Conover and Kevin Lynch.

Smith, 55, moved to Charlottesville in 1979 and served for fourteen years as Director of the Ivy Creek Foundation.  Smith was chair of the Charlottesville School Board from 2004 to 2005.

After leaving the school board in 2006, Smith’s community activities became increasingly focused on the Charlottesville-Albemarle community water supply plan.  In 2007, she co-founded Citizens for a Sustainable Water Plan with Betty Mooney, a local group that has opposed the construction of a new earthen dam at the Ragged Mountain Reservoir

“Given all the new information that we have, we should reconsider the approach that we are taking to expanding our water storage capacity for the future,” Smith said.

Smith said the existing Ragged Mountain Dam should be repaired to address safety concerns, but not raised to store more water.  In the first phase of the almost $140 million water plan approved by city council, a new earthen dam will be built downstream raising the reservoir by 30 feet.

20110613-Smith-square Smith said she believes that restoring existing facilities like the Sugar Hollow Pipeline, the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir, and the existing Lower Ragged Mountain Dam are adequate measures to address the community’s water needs.

“I absolutely believe that we need to restore the current infrastructure, the infrastructure we have already paid for, which is valuable not only for the water supply, but also for recreation,” Smith explained.

Smith said that she would be someone willing to work with neighboring Albemarle County and she highlighted parks as one of the many ways the communities work together today. 

“I believe that City Council has a responsibility to represent what’s in the best interest of the citizens of Charlottesville in all negotiations with our neighboring counties,” Smith said.

In her speech, Smith made preservation of park land and open spaces a key part of her platform, as well as her commitment to supporting social diversity in the city.

“I believe in the preservation and the protection of our natural and historic landscape,” Smith said. “Whether it’s in our education system in the arts culture in our city, or in the availability of housing, we need to honor the diversity of income, of ethnicity, of race in our city.”

Smith has joined a group of six candidates who are seeking the Democratic nomination to run for City Council. Four independent candidates have also announced their candidacy. A Republican candidate has yet to announce intentions to run. Democrats vote nominate three candidates in a firehouse primary on August 20th. The general election will be held on November 8th.

Watch the video below:

Dede Smith announces candidacy for Charlottesville City Council
from Charlottesville Tomorrow on Vimeo.

June 12, 2011

Scottsville candidates respond to votes on planning grant and Western Bypass

DailyProgressBy Frank Muraca
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Saturday, June 11, 2011

Days after a contentious meeting of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors, candidates for the open Scottsville District seat voiced their opinions on sustainability, local planning and the Western Bypass.

“I do think that it’s important that local planning decisions should be...local,” attorney Christopher J. Dumler (D) said of the board’s decision to cancel its membership with ICLEI, a nonprofit organization that provides technical advice and software to localities wishing to reduce their carbon emissions.

Dumler answered questions about the meeting Saturday at his official campaign kickoff to seek the Democratic nomination.

Listen using player above or download the podcast of Christopher Dumler's (D-Scottsville)
campaign announcement
: Download 20110611-Dumler

Get audio and video of James C. Norwood's (R-Scottsville) campaign announcement

Christopher J.Dumler (D-Scottsville)

At Wednesday’s meeting of the Albemarle supervisors, hundreds of citizens came out to voice their opinions on the issue. Unlike its membership with ICLEI, the board voted unanimously to participate in a federal grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to assist in local sustainability efforts. 

Dumler said that he has not developed a conclusive position on the ICLEI issue, but added that he would have voted in favor of accepting the million-dollar grant.

“I am totally opposed to ICLEI,” said Jim Norwood, a Republican business owner who is also seeking the Scottsville seat. In an interview, Norwood explained that the fundamentals of his campaign were to protect the rights, liberties and freedoms of his constituents, particularly property rights.

“People can talk all they want about how [ICLEI] is just a matter of software that we should use as a guideline…that’s really not the case,” Norwood said. “We should be able to, with the strength of the University of Virginia and the intellect of our government, here in this area… we should be able to make our own decisions on how we maintain our sustainability going forward. We really don’t need anyone else to tell us what to do.”

James C. Norwood (R-Scottsville)

Norwood added that he had suspicions about how the HUD grant was proposed and who submitted it.

“I would have liked a little more information before I cast the vote,” Norwood said.

At the end of the meeting Wednesday, current Scottsville Supervisor Lindsay G. Dorrier, Jr. requested an opportunity to change his June 1 vote opposing the Western Bypass of U.S. Route 29. The motion came as a surprise to many because of rules adopted at the previous meeting that did not allow actions items to be brought up without advance notification to board members and the public.

With Dorrier changing his vote, the supervisors voted 4-2 to direct its representatives on the Metropolitan Planning Organization to remove language blocking the state from allocating money for the construction of the 6.1-mile bypass. Dorrier explained he had spoken that day with Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean Connaughton who promised to fund the long-stalled road project if the board changed its position.

Dumler said that he would be willing to take a pledge to allow adequate notification to the public before bringing up a major policy change to the board. However, he did not find anything wrong with the way the board reversed its position.

“It’s not like the ball has tumbled all the way down the road and we’ve gone from point A to point Z. We’ve gone from point A to point B,” Dumler said. “And obviously there will be plenty more opportunities for public comment and a public process.”

Norwood said that he had not attended the meeting and that he was unable to comment on the process of the vote. However, he added that he is sympathetic to the change in direction.

“I’m a pretty strong supporter of a bypass,” Norwood said. “I’m not quite sure if it’s the bypass as presented to date, but I do have a strong feeling about the need to take a heavy traffic off of 29, the commercial area for our constituents.”

Norwood did not specify whether he would support or decline a pledge to provide adequate time for the public to provide input, but added that “any major decision should be brought out with plenty of time for exchange with the supervisors.”

Dorrier, who currently holds the Scottsville seat, is retiring this year. The Democratic caucus to nominate its candidate will be held in August. A date for the Republican caucus has yet to be announced. As of now, neither Dumler nor Norwood face opponents for their party’s nomination.

Watch the video below:

Christopher J. Dumler announces campaign for Albemarle Board of Supervisors
from Charlottesville Tomorrow on Vimeo.

June 09, 2011

Beyer announces campaign for Charlottesville City Council

By Frank Muraca
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, June 9, 2011

Home builder and developer Paul Beyer announced Wednesday that he would seek the Democratic nomination for one of three available seats on the Charlottesville City Council.

“This is my home town, this is where I grew up,” Beyer said. “Our family has had a business here for nearly 40 years. Civic engagement and investment in the community has always been a priority for us, and it’s why I'm running,” Beyer said.

Paul Beyer

Beyer, 29, is Vice President of Development for R.L. Beyer Construction where he handles land sales and acquisitions, advertising and promotional outreach, rental property management, and interaction with city and county government. The company is owned by his family and has been in operation since 1972.

Beyer was surrounded by around 35 supporters at his event. He outlined three main goals for his candidacy, including job creation, an emphasis on the arts, and a sustainable vision for the city.

“We have a unique vibe and a culture and an image of Charlottesville, and it’s progressive, it’s green, it’s innovative,” Beyer said. “I want to see that continue, I want to see it fostered.”

Christine Mahoney, who attended the announcement, noted her appreciation for his support of the arts, and that not many politicians express those concerns.

“I think he has a holistic vision for the city,” said Mahoney.

Beyer said a top priority if elected would be to increase affordable housing. He cited his past business experience and relationships with the local government in carrying out those goals.

“There is a no more sustainable concept than affordable workforce housing. Ideally, [affordable housing] is living in a community, it’s walkable green spaces and public spaces, its staying close to work, it’s a focus on community,” Beyer said.


Paul Beyer announces candidacy for Charlottesville City Council
from Charlottesville Tomorrow on Vimeo.

Beyer has served on the Albemarle Housing Committee for six years, which provides guidance
and advice to the Board of Supervisors on housing issues relating to all incomes in the county. Beyer graduated from New York University with a degree in history, writing, and film. He has made promoting the artistic and creative aspects of the community a key aspect of his campaign.

When asked about his thoughts on the water plan and Meadow Creek Parkway decisions, Beyer responded that those decisions were not made lightly and that the city should stick to them. “It’s a distraction really from the real issue. Which is...do we have upwardly mobile jobs, do we have a vibrant middle class, and do we have a progressive for the future of the community. So that’s what I would like to focus on.”

Beyer said another priority while in office would be “to bring a greater sensitivity” to small business, employers, and job creators. He gave credit to the current city council for retaining its AAA bond rating and emphasizing fiscal responsibility.

Four other candidates have announced their bid for the Democratic nomination. When asked about his past involvement with the Democratic Party, Beyer responded that his involvement has centered on pragmatism, and the “nuts-and-bolts” of community engagement. He did not reference any specific local party involvement. Four individuals have announced that they will be running as independents. No Republican candidates have announced campaigns.

The Charlottesville Democratic Party will hold its firehouse primary on August 20th, where they will nominate three candidates to run in the general election in November.


June 03, 2011

Retired business owner announces candidacy for Scottsville district

DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Friday, June 3, 2011

Retired businessman James C. Norwood has announced he will seek the Republican nomination to represent the Scottsville District on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.

“As a conservative, I think it’s very important at this time in our history that the rights, freedoms and liberties of all our constituents of any party orientation are maintained,” Norwood said.

Listen using player above or download the podcast:  Download 20110602-Norwood

James C. Norwood

Norwood, 67, used to own and operate shoe stores in Charlottesville, Richmond, and Virginia Beach. He has served as the president of the local chapter of the American Heart Association as well as the American Cancer Society.

During an announcement at the Albemarle County Courthouse Thursday, Norwood saluted incumbent Lindsay G. Dorrier Jr. The Democrat is retiring after three terms.

“[Dorrier is] a truly great Virginian and someone who has contributed to the quality of life in a major way here in Albemarle County,” Norwood said.

Norwood and his wife, Joan, have five children and seven grandchildren. He moved to the area with his family in 1997 in part to enjoy collegiate sports and to take advantage of the University of Virginia Medical Center.

“We did have choices of different locations around the East Coast, but we fell in love with Charlottesville,” Norwood said.

If elected, Norwood said he wants to improve Albemarle’s school system.

“I do feel … that we have to find a way to reward our teachers in a very positive way for their excellence in the schools,” Norwood said.

Norwood said he also wants to promote small business, and pointed out that his 25-year-old daughter has recently opened a restaurant in Scottsville.

“This is what has to happen in our county in order to expand and to include more jobs for those that need them,” Norwood said.

Norwood said he needed to do more research before weighing in on issues such as the community water supply plan and the Western Bypass. However, he is a former resident of the Colthurst Farms neighborhood, which would be impacted by the current bypass design.

“We were in the bull’s-eye of the Western Bypass,” Norwood said. He added that he needed to better understand why Supervisor Rodney Thomas sought to revive the issue this week before he could take a position.

Norwood said there is a need to get traffic off of U.S. 29, but he is not sure if the bypass should go through existing neighborhoods. He is also cautious about the concept of grade-separated interchanges at key intersections on U.S. 29.

“Without question, retailers on U.S. 29 are going to be sensitive to any kind of alterations to the traffic pattern,” Norwood said. “Anything that’s done is going to have to be done with the intention of not inhibiting consumers to get to those retailers.”

Norwood graduated from the University of New England in 1966 with a degree in economics. He served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He has also been the director of economic development for the Scottsville Chamber of Commerce.

Rachel Schoenewald, chair of the Albemarle County Republican Committee, said the party will decide on June 11 how it will select its nominees. She said she would not rule out other candidates coming forward.

“We are always on the lookout for people who are active in their community, who are concerned about the people in the community and have the best interest at heart for common-sense solutions for the Albemarle-Charlottesville area,” Schoenewald said.

Scottsville attorney Christopher J. Dumler has filed paperwork with the Albemarle County registrar and is seeking the Democratic nomination in the Scottsville District. That party will hold its caucus on Aug. 15 to select its nominees, according to chair Valerie L’Herrou.

In the White Hall District, only incumbent Ann H. Mallek, a Democrat, has come forward as an official candidate, seeking her second term. Schoenewald had no comment regarding a potential Republican opponent in that race.

Republican Kenneth C. Boyd has announced he will seek a third term in the Rivanna District. No Democratic or independent challengers have emerged for that seat.

Watch the video below:

James C. Norwood announces campaign for Albemarle Board of Supervisors
from Charlottesville Tomorrow on Vimeo.

May 25, 2011

McIntosh enters race for Democratic nomination to Charlottesville City Council

2011-election-DPx476 By Brian Wheeler
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Retired attorney Peter McIntosh announced Wednesday that he is entering the race for one of three seats on Charlottesville City Council.  McIntosh said he would seek the Democratic party’s nomination at the unassembled caucus, or “firehouse primary,” to be held on August 20.

20110525-McIntosh(400head) McIntosh, 67, moved to the city in 1975 to accept a job as director of the Legal Aid Justice Center where he provided legal services to low income clients, a position he held for 13 years.  During 1989-2006, McIntosh was an attorney with Michie Hamlett.

Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20110525-McIntosh

McIntosh held a press conference outside the Charlottesville Transit Center and told a gathering of media and campaign supporters that he had broad experiences in leadership and community service. 

“I don’t think there was a day in my time, 36 years here, that I wasn’t on one board or another, so I am very adept at working with groups and reaching consensus,” said McIntosh.  “I also practiced mediation for 12 years and that requires you to get both sides to talk to each other in ways that they might not have before.”

McIntosh said his campaign would be organized around several major issues including improving access to “workforce housing,” economic development, and maintaining the city’s AAA bond rating.  In addition, McIntosh called for the city to move forward with the Meadow Creek Parkway, the water plan, and the YMCA facility in McIntire Park.

“I want the city to be looking through the windshield and not the rear view mirror,” said McIntosh.  “I think we need to go forward.  The decisions [past] councils have made were struggles, they were difficult, they had detractors, I understand that…but it’s time to focus on the benefits.”

McIntosh said the Meadow Creek Parkway, which has been almost completed in Albemarle County but not yet started in the city, will provide the benefit of allowing more access to the park.

20110525-McIntosh(400group3 “[We can] create a beautiful garden in McIntire Park and make it our Central Park,” McIntosh said.  McIntosh is on the board of the McIntire Botanical Garden, a project he has encouraged city council to include in the park’s next master plan. 

“The benefit of the water plan is that we will not have to go through the agony of the 2002 drought,” said McIntosh.  “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when the next drought happens.”

“If the question is between underbuilding or overbuilding [the water supply], I favor the approach the city used in 1966 when they overbuilt, and that water supply has lasted us to this day,” McIntosh added.

McIntosh said he would support dredging of the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir.

“I think maintenance dredging will have to take place,” McIntosh said.  “I think the [University of Virginia] should contribute since their rowing team is one of the prime users.”

McIntosh also said city-county cooperation was “not a choice, it’s an imperative.”

“Now it’s easy to fixate on where the disagreements arise between the city and county,” said McIntosh.  “It is…often forgotten that the city and county cooperate on a wide range of policies and services.”

McIntosh joins Kathy Galvin, James Halfaday and incumbent city councilor Satyendra Huja in the race for the Democratic nomination.  Three other candidates have already announced they are running for city council.  Independent candidates collecting petition signatures to get on the November ballot include Scott Bandy, Brandon Collins, and Bob Fenwick.

Watch the video below:

McIntosh announces campaign for Charlottesville City Council
from Charlottesville Tomorrow on Vimeo.