Monthly Archives: April, 2011

Greene County Public Hearing Offers No Surprises as Supervisors Prepare to Approve 2011/2012 Budget

By Pauline Hovey

With little discussion and fewer than a dozen residents offering public comments at the budget hearing, Greene County supervisors are poised to move forward with the FY 2011/2012 budget.

The main item of concern for most in attendance, including School Board members, all of whom but one were present at Tuesday night’s public hearing, was whether supervisors could be convinced to allocate additional county money to the $11,730,653 they had proposed.

Only about a half dozen residents, some of whom were teachers, expressed concerns regarding the school budget, and another four people spoke in favor of further supporting the Jefferson Area Board on Aging (JABA), Piedmont Regional Dental Clinic, and the local Virginia Cooperative Extension office. But supervisors seemed satisfied with the financial allocations they’d made leading up to the public hearing.

buggs peyton Supervisor Buggs Peyton (Stanardsville) said he considers the fact that the county is allocating an additional $512,029 to the schools next year to be significant “considering the sluggish economy.” This amount includes carryover funds that had not been spent from last year’s budget, which the supervisors agreed to put back into the school budget for next year.

Supervisor Carl Schmidt (at-large) stressed that “thanks to strict budgets” that the board has adopted in the past several years, the county is “in good financial shape now, but we have put off capital improvements to make that happen, including rescue squad ambulances, fire trucks, and school buses. Now we have no choice but to deal with these things,” he said. Such pending capital improvement projects will be the supervisors’ next focus.

Schmidt also noted that supervisors previously removed a line item out of the budget to pay for school buses separately, and supervisors consider this estimated $88,000 for buses to be money they are giving the schools in addition to the total proposed school budget.

Supervisor Jim Frydl (Ruckersville) said that, based on what was appropriated last year, the board is offering a 3-percent increase in the overall amount allocated to the schools, although some, including School Board members and Superintendent David Jeck, would argue that point, noting that the administration has had to significantly cut their school budget each year in order to make due with what the county allocates.

As for the real estate tax rate, based on the county’s current  financial condition, supervisors unanimously approved keeping the tax rate at .69 per $100 of assessed value. This actually represents a decrease in taxes for Greene County residents as their property values have decreased with the recent property reassessment.

The board also unanimously approved the percentage of tax relief for 2011/2012 as authorized by the Personal Property Tax Relief Act.

The public hearing was held in the county administration building rather than the high school’s Performing Arts Center because the latter is under renovation as a result of the board’s approval of a $5.3 million school facilities project loan made possible by retiring debt. Supervisors authorized the schools to apply for the loan from the Virginia Public School Association at a previous meeting.

Pauline Hovey is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.  If you find this report helpful, please consider supporting the Free Enterprise Forum.  To learn more visit www.freeenterpriseforum.org

Photo Credit: Greene County

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ACSA Infrastructure and Financial Stability Grow with Development Activity

By Neil Williamson, President

FORUM WATCH EDITORIAL

As I sipped my coffee this morning (4/25), I was not surprised to read Brandon Shulleeta’s article in The Daily ProgressDEQ says sewage seepage must stop”.  Local officials have long been aware of the challenges the wastewater treatment system endures in heavy rain events due to infiltration of storm water into the sewers.

Clearly significant investments must be made in replacement infrastructure that have nothing to do with growth of the system yet the growth of the system is a significant part of paying for the solution.

Please let me explain.  

Last week (4/21), the Albemarle County Service Authority (ASCA) released its Fiscal Year 2012 operating and capital improvement budget.  For the second year in a row the proposed budget calls for no increase in monthly water and sewer rates to consumers but does include an increase to those wishing to “buy in” to the system.

In their Budget At a Glance – The ACSA states:

In light of the area’s current economic distress, our goals in the coming fiscal year are:

  • To meet anticipated operating and capital improvement expenses without increasing water and sewer volume charges, and to ensure that current operating expenses will be paid with current operating revenue; [emphasis in original –nw]
  • To increase new customer buy-in and connection fees due to large systems capital improvements, which maintains our policy of “growth paying for growth;” and
  • To maintain, to improve and to extend system infrastructure. 

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s   Daily Progress article accurately reported the Free Enterprise Forum’s position regarding the increase in connection fees

“The ACSA continues to make significant investment that is in many cases being paid for by the new development that needs these increases in capacity,” [Free Enterprise Forum President Neil] Williamson said. “This is example of development paying its way.”

However, he said the increases would make it harder for developers to offer affordable housing, as they will add the fees to the cost of each home.

“As connection fees rise over $11,000, you’re talking about that representing around 5 percent of the price of a $200,000 home,” Williamson said.

The Authority plans to spend $10.6 Million Dollars in capital improvements.  Based on the above statement, one would anticipate a significant number of the improvements would be related to increasing capacity for new growth but that is not the case consider the following chart distilled from ASCA Memorandum date April 15, 2011 from Director of Engineering Peter Gorham

Capital Project Cost
ACSA Facility Improvements – Building Renovations $112,000
Scottsville Streetscape Upgrades $40,000
Key West Water Main Replacement $335,000
Shoppers World Water Main Relocation $126,500
St. George’s Avenue/Buck Road Water Main Replacement $540,000
Ashcroft Water Improvements $162,000
Ashcroft Pump Station #1 $25,000
West Leigh Water Main Replacement Phase 2 $560,000
Jarman’s Gap Road Water Main Betterment $19,700
Berwick Road Water Main Replacement $390,000
Hardware Street Water Main Extension $392,800
Scottsville Phase 2 Sewer $115,000
Western Ridge – Foxchase Water Connection $54,700
Buckingham Circle Water Main Replacement $530,000
Brookway Drive Aerial Sewer Crossing Replacement $87,000
Oakhill Sewer Phase 1 $185,000
Crozet Drainage Basin Phase 2 Sewer Rehabilitation $141,000
Biscuit Run Drainage Basin SESS $252,000
North Fork Regional Pump Station (expanding capacity and decommissioning two existing stations) $5,558,800
Meadow Creek Drainage Basin Sewer Rehabilitation $283,600
Hollymead Water Main Replacement $160,000
Automatic Flushing Assemblies $60,000
SCADA System $364,500
Developer Participation/pipe upsizing $100,000

[Emphasis added-nw]

The Free Enterprise Forum applauds ACSA for recognizing and addressing its replacement infrastructure.  The majority of the 25 capital  projects listed in the FY2012 CIP are replacement or rehabilitation.   

While we agree the connection fees and system development fees seem to be accurately calculated (as far as we understand the formula), we also contend that these payments (coupled with the new customers brought online) actually pay more than for just their growth.   ACSA estimates that FY 2012 funds from buy in and connection fees is $2,924,158. 

In addition, we are concerned that the general public does not recognize the significant investment the development community makes in the creation of the infrastructure, beyond just the connection fees. 

In the budget message, ACSA Executive Director Gary O’Connell predicts further infrastructure investments and how the new customer fees will be used:

To provide clean and safe water and wastewater treatment, and to protect our natural environment and streams, we will need to continue to making major expenditures in order to meet these capital needs.  As the community grows, and development increases, we will see a continuing reliance on new connection fees paying for the growth and capacity needed by our water and sewer system. [emphasis added – nw]

So new connection fees will not only pay for growth but also capacity (note not added capacity, simply capacity).

It is clear, from our review of the proposed budget and CIP, ACSA will rely on growth to not only pay for the growth of the system  but also to help offset needed infrastructure replacement and repair.

So not only is new development area growth paying its way, it is adding ASCA consumers and new infrastructure thereby placing the ACSA in a stronger position for the future.

Such growth should be celebrated.

Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Williamson

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20070731williamson Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson County.  For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org

 

Nothing to Make Light Of

By. John Haksch, Louisa Field Officer

A sharply divided Board of Supervisors in Louisa County agreed, after lengthy debate, to allow staffers to investigate what actions are taken in other jurisdictions, statewide, to abate light pollution or ‘nuisance lighting’ complaints in residential neighborhoods.

clip_image002The issue was brought to the board by Supervisor Dan Byers (Jackson District), on behalf of a constituent, in order to discuss the possibility of creating an ordinance to address the issue. On questioning, county staffer Jeremy Camp, Director of Community Development, stated that this was the first and only complaint of this nature in the county. Supervisor Tommy Barlow (Mountain Road District) voiced the sentiments of those on the board who were opposed in principle to the legislation of more restrictions on citizens’ rights by adding residential or agricultural properties to those areas already covered by so-called ‘dark sky’ ordinances that are in force for commercially zoned properties. A consensus was reached to expand the investigation by county staff – for informational purposes only – regarding existing ordinances or regulations in a wider region than originally examined, since adjacent jurisdictions had no codified restrictions of property lighting other than for properties zoned commercial.

The Board returned to the question of funding the maintenance and replacement of buoys for Lake Anna as was requested at a previous meeting by representatives of the Lake Anna Community Association (LACA). Members questioned a document circulated by LACA which stated that one of the reasons for requesting funds from the county through the Lake Anna Advisory Committee (LAAC) was to promote the perception of county liable for any legal actions resulting from the presence or lack of buoys anywhere in the county portion of the lake. Supervisor P. T. Spencer (Louisa District) introduced a motion to deny the funding request for this reason, as well as the lack of itemized documentation of expenditures for past contributions by the county, and the lack of any documentation of exactly which buoys – whether they are channel markers, safety buoys, no-wake markers – the funds are intended to maintain. The door was left open to revisit the issue if LACA were to address the perceived deficiencies in their request.

Jeremy Camp introduced sweeping amendments to the zoning ordinances, proposed by the Planning Commission, that are ostensibly intended to clarify allowed uses in agricultural and other districts. Dissenting opinion saw the changes as being open to interpretation as a more rigid restriction on allowed uses in that any use not specifically enumerated in the zoning ordinances would be automatically prohibited. Mr. Camp insisted, however, that no currently allowable uses would be impacted by the changes. The board adopted the changes on a vote of 7 – 0.

The 2011 voting district changes do not encompass any significant changes in the demographics of any district beyond the shifting of voting district boundaries to balance each district’s population as mandated by state and federal law. clip_image002There was a slight reduction in the percentage of minority population in three of seven districts and a lesser increase in the other four districts, due to the diminution of the minority population in the county as a whole, from 21.6% in 2000 to the present 17.7%. The proposed changes to the voting districts were adopted on a vote of 7 – 0 and forwarded to the Department of Justice.

John Haksch is the Louisa County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.  If you find this report helpful, please consider supporting the Free Enterprise Forum.  To learn more visit www.freeenterpriseforum.org

Fluvanna Supervisors Set Budget, Tax Rates

By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Officer

Fluvanna County’s Board of Supervisors set a real estate tax rate of $.57 per $100 of assessed value at it’s April 20th meeting. The board also set a personal property tax rate of $4.15 per $100 of assessed value. The vote was 4-2 in favor, with supervisors Chris Fairchild (Rivanna) and Don Weaver (Cunningham) voting against.

Prior to the final vote, the supervisors defeated a motion by Mr. Fairchild to set the rate at $.555; only Mr. Weaver supported that motion.

There were few surprises in the final budget, but one created some controversy. Supervisor Shawn Kenney (Columbia) succeeded on directing $250,000 towards what he termed economic development concerns. Mr. Kenney inserted $125,000 for post high school trade school scholarships, and $125,000 for “micro-lending” for small business in the county.

While the funds were allocated in the budget, there was no discussion on how the two economic development programs would be implemented. One supervisor, speaking off the record, doubted that the funds ever would be spent.

The supervisors kept local school funding at the FY 2011 level. But the board did provide one significant concession: unexpended school funds returned to the county at the end of this fiscal year will be returned to the School Board for FY 2012. Present estimates suggest that figure could be on the order of $600,000.

In other matters, supervisors:

· Approved the proposed five year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP;

· Approved a Verizon request for a cell tower in the Columbia district;

· Deferred a change to county ordinances to require sidewalks in industrial and commercial areas; and,

· Adopted the VDOT recommended secondary road construction and improvement plan.

The Board’s next meeting will be held on May 4th.

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William Des Rochers is the Fluvanna County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization.  If you find this report helpful, please consider supporting the Free Enterprise Forum.  To learn more visit www.freeenterpriseforum.org

BOS to Address Redistricting in Greene County – Possible 4th District

By Pauline Hovey, Greene County Field Officer

Due to population growth in the Ruckersville district, redistricting looms on the horizon for Greene County. Based on the 2010 census, County Planning Director Bart Svoboda said Greene County has to move about 700-800 residents out of the Ruckersville district in order to balance the three current voting districts: Monroe, Stanardsville, and Ruckersville.

At Tuesday night’s (4/12) Greene County Board of Supervisors’ meeting, Svoboda reported that the population growth reported in the 2010 Census may require the Board establishing a fourth magisterial district. Before that can be determined, however, he and County Registrar Sandra Shifflett must receive the necessary maps from the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC), and that won’t happen in time for the board’s next meeting on April 26. TJPDC has the software to produce maps based on 2010 data, which the county will use to revisit district lines and determine whether it’s feasible to divide the several hundred residents among the three voting districts or to establish a fourth district.

Redistricting could affect current board seats.  If a fourth district needs to be established, the Board would likely convert from the current two at-large seats to one at-large seat, and this would in turn affect those residents considering running as Board of Supervisors candidates in the November 8 election. 

Once Svoboda and Shifflett have reviewed the maps and prepared their recommendations, they will meet with the Supervisors at their May 10 board meeting. A public hearing would follow on June 14 to address the proposed voting changes. After the public hearing, the plan would then be voted on by the Board of Supervisors.

According to Shifflett, Greene County will not be required to submit its redistricted voting precincts to the Department of Justice for approval prior to the next election, which, she said, is good news, because in a redistricting year, a primary election would be held August 23, and absentee ballots would need to be ready by July.

Interestingly, the Free Enterprise Forum notes that both at-large seats are up for election in the 2013 2011 election cycle (and the Ruckersville Monroe District).  If the Board chooses to go with one at large supervisor, it would set up the potential of having two incumbants in a contest for one seat. 

In matters from the board, Supervisor Carl Schmitt (at-large) informed the board he had met with the Commissioner of Tax Revenue, Larry Snow, regarding a study Schmitt discovered on the impact of conservation easement on tax revenue. Although the commissioner is required to report the latest “appraised assessed value” of land for taxation purposes, Schmitt learned that Snow can report the “land use value” of land under permanent conservation easement. This change would reduce the value of land under permanent conservation easement by about $41 million and, as a result, change the number that goes into the computation of the composite index. This would mean additional state dollars for the county for school funding, although this increase would not be immediately realizable.

Also at the meeting, the board approved the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Six Year Plan presented by VDOT’s Karen Kilby. According to Kilby, the plan entails two crossings at Mutton Hollow Road, both of which have been fully funded and planned; Matthew Mill Rd., Route 607, fully funded and planned; and Beazley, Simms, and Rosebrook Roads, which are listed as priorities but not fully funded at this time.

Supervisor Mike Skeens (Monroe district) asked if VDOT could look into establishing a turn lane at the Greene County Primary School due to traffic congestion and the lack of a direct entrance to the school facility, thereby creating “cars stacked up there in the morning and after school.”

The board’s 2011-2012 budget deliberations have ended, and, as in years past, the board has given the schools less than requested. The board has proposed a $300,000 increase to the schools, which totals only about half of what the School Board requested. Committed to giving salary increases this year, the School Board is having difficulty making drastic cuts that would not impact students. A public hearing on the budget will be held Tuesday, April 26.

[April 19th – Correction made to timing of elections.  Thanks Bill! – nw]

Pauline Hovey is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.  If you find this report helpful, please consider supporting the Free Enterprise Forum.  To learn more visit www.freeenterpriseforum.org

VDOT Study Calls for Charlottesville Bypass

by Neil Williamson, President

Yesterday’s (April 12) print edition of the Daily Progress featured this doughnut dropping headline:

100_0413

The idea that Charlottesville may be a bottleneck for freight headed north and south is not a new concept.  Local officials have long acknowledged this concern but answered that such through traffic makes up only 10 – 20% of the total vehicular volume, so is not really a problem for local officials.

State officials charged with keeping Virginia moving may have a different perspective. 

The study commissioned by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Multimodal Transportation office focuses on the importance of U.S. 29 to freight traffic as a part of the Commonwealth Transportation network.   Phase I of the Virginia Statewide Multimodal Freight Study was released on April 11th and found that statewide:

Through truck movements represent around 43 percent of Virginia truck tonnage.  According to TRANSEARCH, the routing patterns for this tonnage tend to concentrate on
a few key routes: I-81, I-95, and I-77, and to a lesser extent I-85 and U.S. 29.

   image

…truck tonnage with a Virginia trip purpose (inbound, outbound, and internal traffic) is heaviest along I-95 and the Washington Beltway; next heaviest along I-64, I-66, I-81, I-77, I-85, and U.S. 13; and next heaviest along U.S. 29,
U.S. 460, U.S. 360, and other state routes. The highest densities of truck activity are at Virginia’s major population hubs: Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Hampton Roads,
with concentration also visible at Roanoke, Lynchburg, and Charlottesville

Why is the movement of freight important to the State of Virginia?  Again according to the Phase I report:

Around 50 percent of Virginia’s output, 28 percent of its gross state product, and 34 percent of its employment, is from freight-related industries that depend heavily on the
movement of raw materials, intermediate goods, and/or finished products. Virginia ranks among the faster growing states in the nation, whether measured by its rising
population, overall income gains, or economic growth. The robust pace of economic growth puts pressure on the Commonwealth’s transportation system as well as on all
other aspects of its infrastructure. [Emphasis added-nw]

On a more local level this is more than just about product, it is clearly about jobs.  According to the Virginia Employment Commission Albemarle County had 4,960 jobs in the “freight intensive” industry cluster in 2004.10rel27a (connaughton pix)

In releasing Phase II of the report earlier this week, Virginia Secretary  of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton said, “The findings and recommendations in this report will help shape an effective freight transportation policy.”

The Free Enterprise Forum found the description of the Charlottesville Bypass on page 318 (of 523 pages) to be most interesting as the road is described as having a “High Impact” on Freight Transportation.

The question for the Commonwealth Transportation Board, which oversees all transportation projects, and is four months late on their own US 29 Corridor study,  is now that the seminal freight report has illuminated the benefits of a Bypass;  what now?

Will a Bypass ever be built?

If so, when?

If not, what is the expectation of level of service based on freight traffic doubling by 2035 (according to the report)?

Stay tuned.

Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Williamson

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20070731williamson Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson County.  For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org

 

 

Public Matters

By. Neil Williamson, President

Across the many localities the Free Enterprise Forum covers, public comments are increasingly being limited by elected (or appointed) officials.   

In Albemarle County’s Planning Commission meeting last week, Chairman Duane Zobrist admonished potential speakers to direct questions to the issue at hand, a potential subdivision rather than any other topic that may be related to the parties involved. 

While understanding and appreciating his goal, the Free Enterprise Neil Williamson before the Albemarle County Planning Commission Forum questions whether citizens who are time limited to speak for only three minutes should be so directed. 

And if the public is required to stay within those bounds shouldn’t the members of the commission be held to the same standard?

In a meeting earlier this year, Chairman Zobrist said that the Planning Commission had received all the citizen e-mails and he would appreciate it if speakers only presented new information.  Interesting, as the staff report that is presented is not “new” information.

But Albemarle pales in comparison to the actions in Louisa last week.  Greg Dorazio’s article in The Central Virginian that last week’s Louisa County Board of Supervisors meeting included a supervisor shouting at a member of the public during his remarks.

Stallings, who has written extensively on his website about his perceptions of corruption in Louisa, continued-to the growing agitation of Spencer.

"Your opinion is your opinion," [Supervisor P.T.]Spencer started in on Stallings again.  "Mr. Chairman, I would recommend you get this guy moved, because I am gonna tell you right now, I am tired of hearing it, and so is everybody else on this board."

Chairman Willie Gentry, Cuckoo District supervisor, did ask Stallings to leave, but not before Spencer made further comments.

"You’re not gonna sit here and down the county administration or county staff because you have some delusion that you know more about the law than our county attorneys do," he continued.  "…Mr. Mullen is a pretty big boy.  You keep pushing him, and you’re gonna find out."

Later in the article, Supervisor Spencer apologized for losing his temper and indicated that he was “totally wrong.”

Our review of the video from the April 4th meeting indicated that the citizen, who may have been out of line with his direct criticism of an individual, was clearly berated by a member of the Board of Supervisors.  Such Board behavior is unacceptable. 

Regardless of our views on a specific issue, the Free Enterprise Forum believes public input is critical for good government and should be encouraged on all levels.  Even when we disagree, discussion sharpens the argument. 

We tend to agree with Albemarle County Deputy attorney Greg Kamptner who suggested to their Planning Commission Chair  to “be as liberal as possible” regarding allowing public input.

When citizens, who often don’t generally have experience speaking at public meetings, are directed on how to speak or what to speak about; they often simply choose not to.

And that is an opportunity lost. 

Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Williamson

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20070731williamson Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson County.  For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org

 

Fluvanna Supervisors Get an Earful

 

By William J. Des Rochers, Fluvanna Field Representative

Fluvanna County’s Board of Supervisors held an all day/evening meeting to perform numerous housekeeping chores and receive public comments on the proposed FY2012 budget and tax rates. They got an earful.

Public comments regarding the proposed tax rates were sharply divided. Those opposed to any tax increases cited the current poor economic conditions, the hardships any increase would inflict upon fixed income residents, and the difficulties many already have in paying taxes.

One speaker, citing Office of the Treasurer statistics, said that the tax delinquency rate amounts to twenty five percent of all tax notices sent out in the county.

Those who favored the proposed tax rate largely came from the school community in the county. They argued that the schools should be funded fully to the School Board request (adding approximately another $1 million in the school budget).

The supervisors advertised a real estate tax rate of $.57 per $100 of assessed value. Currently, the rate is $.54. The effect of the increase is:

  •  A 5.5 percent increase over FY2011;
  •  Approximately a $1 million revenue increase – one penny increase in the tax rate amounts to about $350,000; and,
  •  A $75 increase in the annual tax bill for a residence and land assessed at $250,000.

Separately, the supervisors are considering a larger increase in the personal property tax. Currently the rate is $3.85 and the Board has advertised a rate of $4.15, a 7.8 percent increase. If enacted, the new rate would:

  • Increase revenue by approximately $500,000 – or the equivalent of $.014 of real estate tax;
  • Increase the tax on a $20,000 vehicle by $44 (assuming it qualifies for state tax relief), and,
  • Be in the middle of the nine jurisdictions in the region.

The Board also plans to increase the personal property administrative fees.

The Board also heard comments on a proposed $59.3 million budget for FY2012. Most speakers either urged increased funding for schools or complimented the supervisors for holding the line as much as possible. The budget increases total expenditures by 2.2 percent, most of which is debt service. Highlights of the budget include:

  • No increase in the county contribution to education – it would remain at the FY2011 level of $13.7 million;
  • $250,000 for a real estate reassessment in 2012; and,
  • An additional $606,000 for high school debt service.

The Board will make its final decisions at its next meeting on April 20th.

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William Des Rochers is the Fluvanna County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization.  If you find this report helpful, please consider supporting the Free Enterprise Forum.  To learn more visit www.freeenterpriseforum.org

If not you, who? If not now, when?

by. Neil Williamson, President

Ballot BoxCould you be the next member of your Board of Supervisors or City Council?

Don’t laugh it off.  As a reader of this blog, you have self identified an interest in local public policy.  

Here in the rains of April, November seems very distant. 

Candidates of all stripes, both successful and unsuccessful, have indicated the more time you have as a candidate, the more doors you knock on, the better honed your message becomes.

Think about it, you as a candidate.

What do you think are the key issues for the 2012 local campaign?

  •  
    •  
      •  
        • Bicycle Lanes bike lane sign 
        • Community Water Supply  
        • Debt
        • Demographic Changes water drop
        • Economic Development
        • Education
        • Energy
        • Environmental issues
        • Government Spending
        • Historic Preservation cow FreeDigitalPhotos.net
        • Homelessness 
        • Housing Affordability
        • Land Use Tax Relief
        • Public Safety
        • Real Estate Taxes
        • Rural Preservation
        • Transportation

Yes, there is a litany of “evergreen” issues in each locality.  Who should be determining the extent (and expense) of local government involvement  in these issues.

The Free Enterprise Forum is a non partisan public policy organization and does not endorse candidates.  We do believe in contested elections.  We hate to see a candidate run unopposed.

As you look around, who would you like to see elected to a four year term in your jurisdiction? 

Don’t forget to look in the mirror.

Respectfully Submitted,

Neil Williamson

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20070731williamson Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa  and Nelson County. 

For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org