Home | Blair's Blog | Facebook | Youtube | TV10 | TV10 Archives | Weather

Blair's Magazine of Lost History | Charlottesville, Virginia | healingcharlottesville@yahoo.com

Stories from City Council Meetings.

2018 | Feb 20 (2) | Feb 5

2017 | Dec 18 | Nov 20 | Oct 2 | Sep 18 | Sep 5 | Aug 21

All Agendas 2018–2017

Previous Stories


Compare with 1924 naming contest for Monticello Hotel at Court Square.
Rename Lee Park Again. Sunday February 18, 2018. (Share)

CHANGE City Council meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
Watch LIVE | Watch LATER | Agenda Feb. 20 Materials | City Council Page.

Report from City Manager Maurice Jones:

City Council created the ad-hoc Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials and Public Spaces (BRC) on May 2, 2016 to address the questions and concerns brought before Council regarding the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Eleven commission members were appointed after an application process.

[ 47-meg 328-page Report from Charlottesville.org. Also archived at blairhawkins.net/RH/2016BRCReport.pdf. The BRC voted 6 to 3 to keep the statues, add historical context and to change the names Dec. 5, 2016.

Blair's Magazine wrote 2 stories about the report and discussed it on the Schilling Show.

They were charged with providing Council with options for telling the full story of Charlottesville’s history of race relations and for changing the City’s narrative through our public spaces.

A final report was presented to Council on December 19, 2016. The Council reviewed the Commission’s recommendations at its January 17, 2017 meeting.

On February 6, 2017, the City Council voted 3-2 to remove the Lee statue from Lee Park. (Subsequent to the events of the summer, the vote changed to 5-0.) In separate motions, the Council voted unanimously to rename both Lee and Jackson Parks and to move forward with developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) for professional design services to create a Master Plan for the Historic North Downtown and Court Square Districts.

[ 2-day trial is scheduled for January 31, 2019 to save the Lee & Jackson statues. The tarps covering them since August 12, 2017 will come before the City Court again on February 27, 2018. ]

On April 17, 2017, the Council voted to hold a naming contest for the two parks and asked the staff to forward the top ten appropriate suggestions to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the Historic Resources Committee for each group’s consideration. The charge for both boards was to provide the Council with three naming options for each park.

Located below are the top ten appropriate names for each park as collected by the City via the Charlottesville.org web site during a three week period of time in the spring of 2017.

There were 1,382 suggested names for Lee Park and 1,355 names for Jackson Park. Over 1,100 submissions were received for both “Lee Park” and “Jackson Park”. However, those names are not responsive to the request to provide “new” names for the parks.

Robert E. Lee is unveiled May 21, 1924. Lee Park is the first public park 1917.
The top ten appropriate suggestions for Lee Park were:
  • Monacan Park
  • Sally Hemmings Park
  • Vinegar Hill Park
  • Unity Park
  • Freedom Park
  • Library Park
  • Market Street Park
There were several other appropriate submissions that received three votes each:
  • Progress Park
  • Central Park
  • Liberation Park
Stonewall Jackson monument on McKee block at Court Square since 1921.
For Jackson Park, the top appropriate suggestions were:
  • Court Square / Courthouse Park
  • Sally Hemmings Park
  • Freedom Park
Numerous appropriate names received two submissions:
  • Monasukapanough Park (Monasukapanough was a Monacan Village near the Rivanna.)
  • Sandra Lewis Park (Ms. Lewis was the first African-American woman to graduate from the University of Virginia.)
  • Barack Obama Park
  • Frederick Douglass Park
Council asked the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the Historic Resources Committee to review the list of possible names and offer their suggestions for consideration. The Parks and Recreation Board met on May 17, 2017 to review the list. Members of the board submitted their individual choices on May 25. The Historic Resources Committee met on May 24, 2017 to discuss the list and offered their suggestions as a body the same day.

The Parks and Recreation Board submitted the following names for Lee and Jackson Parks:

  • Lee Park
  • Market Street Park
  • Library Park
  • Festival Park
    The Virginia legal code seems unable to protect "Memorials for War Veterans."
  • Community Commons
  • Central Park
  • Monacan Park
  • Vinegar Hill Park
  • Unity Park
  • Freedom Park
  • Center City
  • Barbara Johns Park
  • Barack Obama Park
  • Julian Bond Park
  • McKee Park (The McKee property was the site upon which Jackson Park was built.)
  • Unity Park
  • Justice Park
  • 13th Amendment Park
  • Memorial Park
  • Harriet Tubman Park
  • Progress Park
  • Independence Park
  • Transformation Park
  • Abolition Park
  • Liberty Park
  • Jackson Park
  • Court Square Park
  • Courthouse Park
  • Justice Park
  • Central Park
  • Unity Park
  • Little Sorrel or Sorrel Park
The Historic Resources Committee voted as a group on the Committee’s suggestions. They are as follows:
  • Lee Park (ranked in order of preference):
    1. Community Park
    2. Central Park and Market Street Park (tied)
    3. Festival Park
  • Jackson Park:
    1. Court Square Park
    2. Courthouse Park
    3. The Commons
    4. Memory Park
The motion passed 6-0, with one abstention.

On June 5, 2017, City Council voted to re-name Lee Park to Emancipation Park, and Jackson Park to Justice Park.

Discussion: In December 2017, City resident Mary Carey brought a petition to the City Council requesting the City reconsider its decision to change the name of Lee Park to Emancipation Park. The petition (attached in two separate documents) encourages Council to “immediately” rename the park. Numerous suggestions were included in the petition. Council directed staff to place the item on a future agenda. Council also asked to open the process to both Emancipation Park and Justice Park, as well as hold a public hearing.

The Council has several options:

  1. Consider renaming the parks with one of the names from the petition or from the previous lists of suggestions.
  2. Consider creating a new community engagement effort to rename the parks.
  3. Leave the name(s) Emancipation Park and/or Justice Park in place.
Staff is seeking direction from Council this evening.

Top


Public Housing 23-unit Renovation $200K. Friday February 16, 2018. (Share)

CHANGE City Council meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Watch LIVE | Watch LATER | Agenda Feb. 20 Materials | City Council Page.

The urban renewal agency requests funding for renovation of 23 of the 376 units of public housing proper. The funding "drawdown" will come from the $2.5 million set-aside from the Charlottesville Affordable Housing Fund (CAHF) to Redevelopment of public housing. The Housing Authority also manages 300 housing vouchers, including the Friendship Court 150-units acquired originally as public housing.

$81K will go to Centennial Contractors, with a 45-page contract from 4 months ago that itemizes the apartments. The report graphics show one unit at in-the-news Crescent Halls but I can't find it in the listing. The improvements in the 30+ year old apartments include bathroom vanities, plumbing, electrical, and floor repairs. Over the years there have surfaced many complaints about lack of maintenance and security.

$110K will go to CRHA for non-labor administrative support. In past years the Housing Authority has received $5 million annually from Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Since formed in 1954, CRHA has had only HUD funding until 2007 when Mayor David Brown connected a local funding stream.

On Jan. 7, 2013 City Council raided the Redevelopment fund. But funding resumed in City Manager Sep. 14, 2014 Housing Authority review with $200K for a Redevelopment Coordinator and Modernization Coordinator, $125K from CAHF and the rest from Human Services and Self Sufficency position.

Notice the city map has changed on the western side. Before the 2010 census added a precinct, UVA grounds was shown inside the city limits although technically in the county.

The latest agenda on Tuesday is different from past reports, which avoided any mention of history. CRHA was formed "by referendum vote of the citizens of Charlottesville in 1954." Times are slowly changing.

The Housing Authority page on the City website has been revamped and now includes a mention of history. It also further proves CRHA is a local City agency.

Because of urban renewal and public housing, the Housing Authority is the most controversial of the city's departments, the most shrouded in secrecy and misinformation. Some people think it's a federal agency with HUD funding. Some say CRHA is an independent quasi-pseudo government body. So when you complain to the City, they say it's a federal or rogue agency. Complain to HUD, they say it's a local issue. This "artificial wall" of separation was debunked by the urban renewal chairman Dave Norris on Dec. 20, 2012, and by others as well.

From 1954 to 2007 all the funding came from HUD. But all the property came from City Council's acquisition and disposition of land. The 1954 referendum authorized Eminent Domain to seize and sell real estate for the first time in City history.

The Affordable Housing Report postponed from the last meeting is postponed again apparently. The Housing Advisory Committee (HAC) had not weighed in on the subject.

The report shows the housing charities are charging poor people for the home repairs the housing fund is supposed to pay for. Also the nonprofits seek to place the poor in a permanent disadvantage as a way to collect back the equity in order to keep your house affordable.


Top


Affordable Housing Report 2017. Saturday February 3, 2018. (Share)

Regular City Council meeting Monday at 7 pm. Watch LIVE | Agenda with Background | City Council Page

"The City of Charlottesville currently administers a number of programs to address housing affordability [...] by (1) making existing housing more affordable for low-income senior, disabled and veteran households; and (2) encouraging the development, redevelopment, renovation and preservation of affordable housing throughout the City’s neighborhoods.

Commissioner of Revenue Programs

  • The Real Estate Tax Relief for the Elderly or Permanently Disabled Program forgives a percentage of the real estate tax assessed during a given taxable year. To qualify for the program, homeowners must be (a) 65 years of age or older or (b) permanently disabled, with (c) combined household incomes no greater than $50,000 and (c) a net worth less than $125,000.

    The tax relief remains as part of the 2006 City Charter Amendment Section 50.7 seeking sweeping new urban renewal powers. Council passed it 4 to 1 on Nov. 21, 2005. A Senate committee stripped out the Eminent Domain powers in January.

    The charter amendment. Letter in opposition. Tax relief passed. Charlottesvile nonprofits are sitting on $7 billion in profits.

  • The Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption Program is available for any Veteran who: (a) has a U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs confirmed 100% service-related disability, (b) owns the property for which they are seeking the tax exemption, and (c) occupies that property as their primary place of residence. The tax exemption may apply to (d) surviving spouses of disabled Veterans, under certain circumstances.

    In 2017, a total of 380 elderly/disabled and 10 Veteran households received an average of $1,299.38 of real estate tax relief and an average of $2,707.17 real estate exemptions per household respectively.

  • Homeowners who do not qualify for these programs, may qualify for assistance through the Charlottesville Housing Affordability Tax Grant Program, or CHAP. CHAP serves (a) non- elderly/disabled households with annual incomes less than $50,000 and (b) whose homes are valued at less than $365,000. In addition, homeowners applying for CHAP assistance (c) must not owe any delinquent real estate taxes or (d) own any other real estate.

    The program is subject to annual renewal by City Council and, each year the program is renewed, the Commissioner of Revenue mails application materials directly to all homeowners who may qualify for the CHAP grant. In 2017, a total of 707 homeowners received an average CHAP grant amount of $439.71 each.

  • Finally, the Rental Relief Program for the Elderly or Permanently Disabled provides grants to qualifying renter households to help offset the costs of rental housing. To qualify, applicants (a) must be 65 years of age or older, or (b) permanently disabled, with (c) combined household incomes no greater than $50,000 and (d) a net worth less than $125,000. Assistance is provided as a grant with the grant amount based on the previous year’s total rent payments. The average grant amount awarded this fiscal year equals $607.24 per household.

    Table 1: FY 2018 Commissioner of Revenue Housing Affordability Programs

    Program / Households Served / Total Amount
    CHAP. 707 $310,875
    Real Estate Tax Relief for the Elderly/Disabled. 380 $493,764
    Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption. 10 $21,071.68
    Rental Relief Program for the Elderly/Disabled. 382 $231,965
    Total 1,479 $1,057,675.68.

Neighborhood Development Services Programs
  • In 2009, the City implemented an Affordable Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance as a means for encouraging the inclusion of affordable housing in residential and mixed-use development projects undertaken in the City. The ordinance applies to any approved Special Use Permit or Rezoning applications with project densities greater than 1.0 Floor Area Ratio or an equivalent density based on units per acre.

    For any project meeting these density thresholds, the project developer must: (1) provide ADUs on the development site, (2) provide ADUs at an off-site location within the City, or (3) make a cash contribution to the Charlottesville Affordable Housing Fund (CAHF). To date, the ADU Ordinance has resulted in more than $1.8 million being contributed to the CAHF and 14 homeownership ADUs being provided, with an additional five rental ADUs in the pipeline (see Table 2).

    Table 2: Affordable Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance Activity to Date

    Project / # ADUs / Contribution to CAHF
    1011 East Jefferson Street 5 $0.00
    Cedars Court Apartments 0 $42,407.32
    Lochlyn Hill 14 $0.00
    The Pavilion at North Grounds 0 $278,095.00
    The Plaza on West Main 0 $487,490.59
    The Standard 0 $664,776.63
    The Uncommon 0 $331,450.68
    Water Street Promenade 0 $45,833.26
    Total 19 $1,850,053.48

  • Expedited permitting for affordable housing is provided through the ADU ordinance to encourage provision of affordable units. Under expedited permitting, once a rezoning or special use permit (a) has been approved, site plans submitted for review are acted upon by the director of NDS or the Planning Commission within 21 days of the plan being officially submitted. Expedited permitting also applies to (b) any preliminary site plan application which guarantees that (c) at least 15 percent of all proposed residential units included in the site plan will be affordable to households (d) with incomes no greater than 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI) for (e) a minimum of 30 years.

  • To further incentives the development of affordable housing units, NDS offers reductions in water and sewer connection fees. The cost reductions apply to the construction of units either for sale or rent to households earning 80 percent or less of AMI. The amount of reduction is based on the size of the water meter.

  • Lastly, through its Free Paint Program, the City provides paint, primer, caulk and painting supplies to income qualified homeowners (i.e., those with household incomes up to 80 percent AMI) who can least afford to purchase such items to maintain the exterior of their homes. Homeowners may apply for program assistance once every five years.
Support for Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority Site Redevelopment Urban Renewal.
  • Beginning with the FY 2018 approved budget, the City of Charlottesville is committing a total of $2.5 million dollars to support the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s public housing redevelopment efforts. The funds will be drawn from the City’s Capital Improvement Fund, with an initial $250,000 set aside in FY 2018, and an additional $500,000 set aside each fiscal year between FY 2019 and FY 2022.
Housing and Grants Programs
  • Located within NDS, the Housing and Grants programs provide funding support for a variety of affordable housing and housing related projects through the Federal HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) and the Charlottesville Affordable Housing Fund (CAHF). These funding sources provide direct financial assistance for affordable housing efforts through nonprofit partners, with an emphasis on support for construction of new units, preservation of existing units, and provision of down payment assistance. Housing initiatives funded through both programs must serve individuals and families with incomes equal to or less than 80 percent of AMI as defined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. The most recent figures (effective 4/20/17) can be found in Table 3.

    HOME is the largest Federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households. Funds can be used to support a wide range of affordable housing related activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership, as well as providing direct rental assistance to low-income households. In Fiscal Year 2017, the HOME program supported a total of 29 housing projects in the city. Activities included: providing down payment assistance for 22 low- income homebuyers, rehabilitation of 23 owner-occupied homes, and two rental housing projects.

    Established in 2007, the Charlottesville Affordable Housing Fund, or CAHF, is the City’s primary mechanism for promoting and supporting the creation, preservation and rehabilitation of affordable housing within the City. The CAHF is funded through annual allocations from the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP), as well as developer payments satisfying ADU Ordinance requirements, monthly rental payments related to the Local Energy Alliance Program lease agreement and repayment of any loan balances (i.e., home rehabilitation/preservation loans). The amount of CIP dollars allocated to the CAHF has increased 43 percent since FY2008, from $1.75 million to approximately $2.5 million.

    Combined with the other CAHF funding sources, the total amount of City dollars allocated to the CAHF exceeds $20 million. Of this amount, more than $16 million (or 98 percent of total CAHF allocations) have been directly invested in affordable housing projects, creating or preserving an estimated 807 units of affordable housing since FY2008 .

    Table 4: Total CAHF Funding from fiscal '07/'08 to '17/'18.
    CIP Allocation $16,386,002.00.
    CIP Plus Program Income & Transfers $20,344,332.92.
    Excludes AHIP Emergency Repair Program.

    Table 5: 10-year Breakdown of CAHF for Affordable Units.

    Includes the $850,000 interest-free 5-year loan to Dogwood Housing's 57 units. In October 2017 the loan was extended for a third time. Other recipients include Piedmont Housing Alliance, Habitat for Humanity, Albemarle Housing Improvement program, Virginia Supportive Housing Single Room Occupancy Development (The Crossings), Jefferson Area Board for Aging, Thomas Jefferson Community Land Trust.

    Appendix A includes other recipients and gives a more complete picture of the slush fund.

    Slated for 2017/18 is $4.3 million to assist 236 units. Carlton Views II $1.4 million for 48 units. Community Services Housing $612k for 35 units. AHIP Scattered Site Rehabilitaion $803k for 22 units. Habitat Project 20 $480k for 16 units. CRHA Urban Renewal / Section 8 Supplemental Rental Assistance $900k for 79 units. Charlottesville Landlord Risk Reduction Fund $75K for 36 units.

2025 Goals for Affordable Housing, established in 2010, aims to ensure that SAUs (Supported Affordable Units) comprise 15 percent of the City’s total housing stock by 2025. Despite the significant investment in affordable housing through the CAHF, SAUs have consistently accounted for approximately 10 percent of the total housing stock since tracking began in 2010 (see Table 5). A number of factors account for the slow pace towards the 2025 goal including:
  • Increased development of student and market rate housing, which has outpaced the capacity of local nonprofit providers’ affordable housing efforts;
  • Decreasing amounts of developable land, and the increasing costs of available land in the City make affordable housing development financially unfeasible without significant financial support from government entities;
  • A lack of data identifying gaps in affordable housing need and provision within the City hindering efforts to set appropriate annual targets for SAU development and preservation efforts; AND
  • No mechanism with which to ensure the long term affordability of homeownership units beyond the initial CAHF beneficiary. This last issue is particularly important, as 16 percent of all of the City’s SAUs are homeownership units. Due to the lack of long term affordability measures for homeownership projects (including new construction, down payment assistance, and rehabilitation), the total number of SAUs in the City will decrease by 148 units (or 16 percent) over the next 20 years.
Top

Tale Of Two Speeches – Mary Carey Shuts Down City Council. Monday December 18, 2017. (Share)

Black supremacist Mary Carey threatens safety of Councilor Kristin Szakos several times. Allowed to stay.

Carey began her speech by thanking a group called Ebony.It went down from there. Szakos insisted Carey be removed. Antifa Attorney Jeff Fogel became disorderly in defense of pro-black racism. Fogel himself is a violent person. Camera was turned off.

At 7:33 pm cameras came back on. Carey was allowed to stay. The Black racism won. Szakos apologized. In the previous speech, Jason Kessler threatened nobody and called for inclusion. Yet police escorted Kessler from the chamber. So we have yet more proof that the police and City Council are racist.

Other breaking news is the new police chief has resigned. The Council meetings are the 1st & 3rd Mondays at 7 pm. Watch the meeting LIVE.

Agenda | Background | Minutes

Top


Land Bank Is Latest Urban Renewal Real Estate Scheme. Monday November 20, 2017. (Share)

12 years ago almost to the day, City Council passed 4 to 1 the Charter Amendment Section 50.7 Housing and Community Development. 7 new powers to seize and sell real estate. 4 new powers to fund the felonies. Va. Senate stripped out the Eminent Domain powers, leaving the low-income homeowner subsidy program, which usually has a surplus because qualified owners choose not to apply.

The Land Bank deals with a specific problem. How to entice a developer to purchase Housing Authority (urban renewal) property seized and for sale since the '60s and '70s, which has many strings attached. They won't sell at auction. The hope is a developer will buy the urban renewal land from a Land Bank but not from the urban renewal agency.

Sort of like when the City donated "surplus public land" to Habitat. Because that was illegal at the time, the transfer went through Piedmont Housing Alliance. Land Trusts also have come up as possible solutions to the shortage of affordable housing caused by the Housing Authority urban renewal agency and other housing charities. A land trust creates a bureaucracy to own the land, where tenants have lifetime rights but not full Due Process of ownership.

The Land Bank appears to serve as a middle-man for real estate transfers. The public is more sophisticated today than 12 years ago. 11 citizens expressed concerns. The City Treasurer warned the ordinance would set a precedent of ear-marking general tax funds to a particular non-profit agency. 50% of property tax would funnel back to the Land Bank program.

The public questioned why we need a new committee to duplicate the work of HAC - Housing Advisory Committee. Because status quo housing charities are eliminating affordable housing in a specific way, mentioned by 2 speakers. Affordable for 50% of Area Median Income means your current home affordable at 25% AMI just doubled in price. No housing cost is being REDUCED to 50% AMI.

The most disappointing was to see Brandon Collins' fall from respectability. Collins was arrested earlier this year in connection to local Antifa. Collins started out advocating for residents of public housing. When the landlord began to fund PHAR, the neighborhood association began to work in the interest of the landlord (City Council Housing Authority).

So Collins is now part of the corruption where affordable housing charities are eliminating affordable housing. In 2013 City Council raided the public housing redevelopment fund.

The links below tell the story. This post is based on the video. I haven't looked at the Agenda yet.

Land Bank 11-20-2017. 56 min includes 15 min recess. Action is deferred. From City's TV10 Archive.

Agenda | Background | Minutes

Top


$900,000 To Replace Locals With Non-Citizens. Sunday October 1, 2017.

10-2-2017 City Council Agenda 214-page 54-meg PDF 18 items with background material. | Minutes.

Charlottesville has been swimming in corrupt money for many years. We can make perpetual interest-free loans. We can spend $10 million to be reimbursed later. All the spending at the regular meetings is off-budget.

In 2007 Council made a 5-year interest-free loan to Dogwood Housing LLC to subsidize 57-units of so-called affordable housing. The landlord wants to extend the loan a third time for a total of 15-years. In addition to the $850,000 loan, Dogwood Housing must count the free interest as income. Most likely the company is too risky to get a bank loan.

Another $900,000 from the Affordable Housing slush Fund will pay the rents of Dogwood Housing illegal immigrants brought into Charlottesville to dilute the local electorate. The land-stealing Charlottesville Housing and Redevelopment urban renewal Authority and middle-man for land thefts Piedmont Housing Alliance will actually spend and benefit from the money.

How do you know it's a slush fund? (1) They can't account for where the money went. (2) The criteria list is long and finally ends with ANY ARBITRARY REASON.



Top


Round 3 Aftermath Of August 12 Race Riots. Sunday September 17, 2017.

9-18-2017 City Council Agenda 198-page 10-meg PDF 20 items with background material. | Minutes.

Double standards will be on display at Monday's regular meeting, from inconsistent procedures to outright favoritism. Often history exposes injustice from inequality because you need two events for comparison. Sometimes both standards are juxtaposed before your very eyes, which requires political (polite) correctness or double-think.

The 1940 Albemarle County Historical Society is now called Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Society. It has been at the McIntire building since 1993, owned by the City as the public library until a 1977 city-county joint venture purchased the old downtown post office next door for the existing library. The first public library was a couple blocks away at Court Square in the days of Jefferson.

It's the closest thing to the Robert E. Lee statue, ground zero for state-sponsored violence on August 12, Occupy Charlottesville in 2011, and countless festivals and homeless people. Yet the Society has been silent on government efforts to destroy the artifacts and landmarks of local history at their doorstep.

Now we know why. A 5-year package worth $750,000. That's what it would cost a legitimate tax-paying business.

The McIntire Building – built for use as a City library by Paul Goodloe McIntire – is one of the more stately properties in Charlottesville. It was first leased to the Albemarle-Charlottesville Historical Society in 1993, after an extensive renovation organized by the Society, using a combination of donated funds and a loan from the City.

Discussion: The previous lease of the McIntire Library to the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society (ACHS) provided for a four-year initial term, expiring June 30, 2017, with a Tenant’s option for an additional one year.

Rather than electing to extend the existing lease, the Historical Society has requested that a new lease be executed under more favorable terms. The previous lease agreement established a first-year rental rate of $2,184, sufficient to offset the City’s average cost to maintain the building.

That rental rate did not account for the cost of capital improvements/repairs to the facility, nor did it reflect the Fair Market Value of the property, estimated at $15/square foot ($114,090/year) or compensate for lost commercial real estate revenue.

The lease being provided for consideration by City Council includes all terms requested by the Historical Society, including:

  • No rent payments throughout the 5-year lease -- estimated minimum net revenue loss of $10,920, not including any rent rate adjustments which may have been negotiated to reflect building maintenance or other cost increases associated with ownership.
  • City assumes responsibility for the provision of electricity, natural gas and water/ sewer utilities – estimated cost to the City of ~$40,000 over 5 years
  • City assumes responsibility for grounds maintenance, including snow removal – estimated cost to the City of ~$11,000 over 5 years.
  • City assumes responsibility for Casualty Insurance.
  • City assumes responsibility for all capital improvements – estimated cost to the City of approximately $118,000 over 5 years, (roof replacement & fire alarm system). As a footnote, the City has expended about $430,000 for capital improvements, over the past ten years at this facility.
What is the consistency of the agenda itself? Spending money is called Appropriation and Resolution. Appropriaion requires 2 readings. A resolution is only one reading. On Monday there will be 4 resolutions to spend about $2 million and 5 appropriations to spend about $1 million. Seven of the 9 spending bills are snuck through the Consent Agenda (list of bills passed in single vote). A consent item can be passed at the beginning of the meeting, but discussed only at the end of the meeting.

Special interest initiatives allocate $2 million for the Carlton Views Phase 2 development from Charlottesville Affordable Housing Fund. Other real estate issues deal with various slush funds – Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Patnership.

To release an easement for natural gas lines back to the free market, you need 2 readings (regular meetings).

It's the 2nd reading to spend the $12,000 on Rose Hill Neighborhood historic survey. What a mixed message! Destroy history in many parts of town while pretending to care about history in other parts of town.

There's an update on the Rain Tax. Columbus Day will become Indigenous Peoples Day (resolution = once).

The final late-night item is a Statement of Economic Principles. It's sure to be Orwellian double-think. While the local economy, posioned with unjust ideas like non-profit and tax-exempt, continues to contract since World War Two, the rhetoric is from the past when historical principles of civil rights led to prosperity.

Cognitive dissonance is unsettling. In recent years City Council has stopped following traditional procedures and created confusion. Every parent knows routine is necessary to prevent children from acting out. Every parent should know that loving one child more than the others creates resentment. Being unable to challenge your parent's double-think creates hostility.

Top


Repeat Of Last Meeting Disrupted By Mob. Tuesday September 5, 2017.

9-5-2017 City Council Agenda PDF 260 pages from City Hall. | Minutes.

The regular public meeting starts at 7:00 p.m first and third Mondays unless holiday. It's usually preceded by a closed meeting.

Review of city council procedures.

Call to Order. Pledge of Allegiance. Roll Call. Announcements. PUBLIC COMENT. CONSENT AGENDA. Agenda Items { Appropriation (2 readings). Resolution (1 reading). Ordinance (2 readings). Eminent Domain (1 reading). Sale of Seized Property (2 readings). } PUBLIC COMMENT. Adjourn the Meeting.

Why don't you trust City Council? The Consent Agenda is their biggest lie. They claim they're not sneaking through legislative items. Yes they are. The items are good enough to pass at the start of the meeting BUT not good enough to be discussed and passed. Moving the item to the end of the meeting proves they are being sneaky.

Yet a councilor or city manager will look at you with a straight face and say....Why don't you trust me? What can the citizen do when a politician says something obviously false and dishonest? Speak the truth early and often. The purpose of the speech restrictions since Jan. 2016 was to allow Council to go unchallenged when they speak absurdities.

Item K should be dropped. It's a $12,000 matching grant from Va. Department of Historic Resources. Charlottesville is not interested in historic preservation as proven by Lee and Jackson monuments, which is shared history of whites and blacks. City Council has offered not one African-American historical marker. The Vinegar Hill monument is an abstraction, intentionally devoid of actual names and history.

Council think they can mandate historic preservation in Rose Hill, Woolen Mills, and Fifeville while destroying history in other parts of town. This double standard proves the bigotry of City Council.

Say that and Council will call you a racist for proving they are racists. Furthermore Council will expect respectful treatment in the face of obvious disrespect for the flag to which they pledged allegiance at the start of the meeting.

Top


The Beat Goes On. Monday August 21, 2017.
(Comment on Facebook)

City Council will fund the Vinegar Hill monument because the community did not want an urban renewal marker exclusive to only one neighborhood. Liberation Day March 3, 1865 is elevated to a City holiday.

8-21-2017 Council Agenda PDF from City Hall. | Minutes 8-21-2017. (Last published Minutes as of Jan. 3, 2017.)



Top

Blair Hawkins.

More on how the City Council has been broken since 1924 Lee monument.


Previous Reports on City Council.

First Baptist Church Site Of First Jefferson School. Feb. 25, 2007.

Council Refuses To Release Urban Renewal Archives. Nov. 20, 2006. "Monday night the 5-member city council refused my plea to 'investigate what happened to the archives of urban renewal.' [...] only Kendra Hamilton responded to my 3-minute speech. She said I should talk to the Housing Authority’s new executive director since 2005. The concern may not have been passed on. Hamilton is the Council’s staunchest supporter of urban renewal. At first glance, it all seems fine…unless you know the back-story."

Public Hearing on 125-year-old Water Plan. Sep. 19, 2010. "City Council will hear from the public Monday evening on the latest phase of a civic water plan set in motion in the late 1800s when all the land was purchased for the latest expansion of Ragged Mountain reservoirs 1885 and 1908. The city has allowed hiking trails and other public uses until the community decided to further enlarge this water storage. In June 2006 and again June 2008, City Council approved the water plan resulting from an unprecedented series of community forums held by Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority beginning in 2005. The County has also repeatedly approved the plan. The purpose of the latest public hearing is to delay the plan."

Council Rules On Blighted Belmont House. July 5, 2011. Has until September.

Blighted House Demolished By Eminent Domain Ordinance. on Nov. 17, 2011.

TEA Party Takes Heat At Council Meeting. June 6, 2011. " In public comment, a deluded Jack Marshall characterized the Jefferson Area TEA Party as deluded. Marshall’s 3-minute speech was one for the ages, to be memorized by students of rhetoric because he used every trick in the book. [...] What’s more important? The environment, the planet, the weather, the global nations? Or you – the most tiny minority of all – only one person? One person can make a difference – for the worse if Jack Marshall prevails and for the better if Carole Thorpe can articulate the radical ideals our forefathers set as the supreme law in our national constitution."

Council spends almost $1 million off-budget, debuts budget process. March 7, 2011. “When someone flushes their toilet in Forest Lakes, we don’t want to smell it [in Woolen Mills]” – Allison Euring.

Council Real Estate Dealings Under Scrutiny. June 20, 2011. "Former Mayor Blake Caravati criticized the City for not being transparent in its sale of surplus public land."

Urban Renewal Director Dunn Takes Heat. Sep. 24, 2012. "The latest executive director since April, Connie Dunn stood her ground. Dunn said the agency has had fewer evictions under her tenure than there were last year."

Human Rights Commission Passes. May 20, 2013. The public is divided into at least 26 groups according to 13 criteria. The ordinance does not spell out which race is to be favored and which is to be discriminated against. (1) Race (2) Color (3) Religion (4) Sex (5) Pregnancy (6) Childbirth or related medical conditions (7) National origin (8) Age (9) Marital status (10) Disability (11) Gender identity (12) Transgender status (13) Sexual orientation.

Update On Water Plan, Human Rights Commission. Aug. 20, 2012. " Construction of the new dam is proceeding. Bonds to finance the project have been validated by the Virginia Supreme Court. Granular-Activated Carbon and chlorine will disinfect the water. Chloramines (bleach + ammonia) are off the table. [...] Executive Director since 2004 Tom Frederick presented a quarterly report to City Council after City Manager Maurice Jones called him a few weeks ago for an update."

Race Commission Postponed, Dialog On Race Forever. Dec. 17, 2012. "We can’t be trusted to do the right thing. To her credit [Dede] Smith’s logic brought her full circle."

Mayor Huja Shuts Down Dialog On Race. Jan. 7, 2013. " The real dialog on race finally came to City Council Monday night. In public comment some stereotypes were shattered while others were reinforced." City Council raided the urban renewal public housing redevelopment fund.

Top


Blair Hawkins | Charlottesville, Virginia | healingcharlottesville@yahoo.com | Résumé | Top

Home | Blair's Blog | Facebook | Youtube | TV10 | TV10 Archives | Weather