Press Announcement 2015
It has been an honor and a joy to represent residents of the White Hall district for the last four years. I truly enjoy the citizen interactions, the challenging issues, and working to find the middle to achieve small steps of progress. We, as a community, do not have success on the fringes of opinion; we succeed when people of different viewpoints gather to find what the majority can support.
After more than thirty years of active service in Albemarle – on the farm, in the classroom, at many committee tables, and seven plus years on the Board of Supervisors – I announce today that I am running for re-election for the White Hall district seat on the Albemarle Board of Supervisors.
I would like to highlight four areas of accomplishment during the last term:
- Accessibility to citizens
- Infrastructure improvements delivered
- New Ordinances for agricultural activities passed
- Supported Restructuring of county investments to areas of greatest need
First and most important, I continued to be accessible to citizens in kitchens, neighborhoods, and organization meetings on a regular basis. Over the seven years I have served, I have hosted 39 town halls across the district, with three more scheduled in March 2015. The goal is to increase common understanding of challenges we face in policy and budget, which affect every part of our quality of life.
I pushed for the completion of needed growth area infrastructure projects in Crozet:
- The opening of the Crozet Library,
- The completion of Jarman’s Gap Road improvements,
- The construction of the stormwater wetland project to collect and treat stormwater from the downtown Crozet area,
- The transfer of ownership of the parking lot at the Square from CSX to Albemarle County after 17 years of effort, and
- The completion of the Crozet streetscape improvements on Crozet Ave.
Ordinances for Agriculture
I pushed for passage of new ordinances for the agriculture and local food sector. These simplified processes to establish farmers markets, offer on-farm sales, and post off-farm sales signs allowed an increase in farmer success and greater access for citizens to purchase locally grown food.
I championed the development of the Monticello Artisan Trail, the first in the state. There are now more than 100 artisan and agri-artisan trail sites in Albemarle and Nelson which enhance citizen and tourist experiences and also enhance rural small business success.
I led work for revised regulations for wineries, breweries, and event spaces. I attended and spoke at each of the state sponsored On Farm Working Group meetings, seeking to prevent heavy handed general assembly interference in local public process and decisions for rural event activities.
Restructuring County Investment to Greatest Need
I have worked to balance our county budget investments during a time of economic downturn to encourage restructuring of county staff and services to areas of greatest need.
- Hard decisions have been made to meet state mandates and provide local government services: to our most vulnerable citizens’ health and welfare, for educational opportunities for all ages, and for public safety.
- We have begun the process to bring two new parks into service and to improve access to urban trails and recreational features, with terrific groups of volunteer trail builders.
Work on these issues is not over:
- Infrastructure needed for 1000 new residents every year is an ongoing challenge.
- The growing event industry in the rural areas must be balanced with the quality of life issues of rural residents as well as the ability of the county to provide needed services such as public safety and roads.
- If we do our job well, the local food movement should continue to grow and will need spaces for processing and distribution.
- Budgets will always need careful scrutiny and good choices after thorough debate.