Rivanna River Renaissance Conference remarks

lqz96qytosuyWelcome to the County Office Building and to our Board chambers, where decades of Boards have enacted policies to support the preservation of the Rivanna River through zoning, planning, and engineering – and worked to enhance access, through parks, projects and programs.

 

Albemarle has several initiatives underway that we are looking forward to sharing with the community in the coming months including:

 

  • the Joint City-County Rivanna River Corridor Study, which will look at revitalizing the river and enhancing access near Pantops
  • a new riverfront park near the South Fork Reservoir Dam in the 29 North corridor
  • enhanced trail access throughout the Rio corridor, and
  • the redevelopment of the historic Woolen Mills area

 

You have an inspiring agenda and I look forward to 2 days of celebrating our river heritage – thanks to all of you for your continued commitment to the Rivanna River.

 

photo by DesignOutTheDirt

Welcome remarks to the 2017 Virginia County (VACo) Officials Summit at The Doubletree

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On behalf of Albemarle County, I am pleased to welcome you today and express our appreciation at being the host jurisdiction for the 2017 VACo County Officials Summit.

My welcoming comments this morning were challenging to write given the local, state and national environment – while we are delighted to have you in our midst, we remain deeply saddened and distressed by the recent events in our locality. It is important that I begin my remarks with a clear and unequivocal statement that our community forcefully rejects the recent acts of violence and intolerance caused by ignorance, bigotry and hatred. I hope you have seen in our community’s response over the past week those actions do not represent who we are or what we are like in any way. That being said, it is not hyperbole to say we are forever changed.

In the face of these realities, there could be no better place than this very community and no better time than right now to gather as local government colleagues to discuss the challenges and opportunities for meaningful positive leadership in the communities we all love. Public service as a vocation and a practice has never been more important than it is right now, and the local government arena is where many of the most critical issues are being addressed.

As county leaders, we have to be very concerned as we see how unimaginable events continue to play out in communities, and as we consider how we should prepare and when and how we should respond. So, even as each of us grapple with how we process these distressing recent events, as public service leaders we must remain totally focused on providing the services that keep our communities moving forward and supporting the employees that are working hard each and every day.

I would like to close by thanking you, as representatives of your communities, for the many words and gestures of support and comfort that have come our way both officially and unofficially – it has meant a tremendous amount to all of us. I would also like to thank you for your dedication to serving the public. Now, more than ever, we need caring, compassionate, principled people leading and managing our communities in partnership with our citizens. And lastly, I thank you for coming here to this conference, in this place, at this moment, to assert the power of partnership, unity and positive purpose. This is how we make a difference at a critical moment in our collective history.

Good luck with the rest of your conference, and enjoy your stay in Albemarle County.

STATEMENT FROM DIANTHA MCKEEL, CHAIR OF THE ALBEMARLE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, REGARDING EVENTS OF AUGUST 12, 2017

On behalf of the Albemarle Board of Supervisors and County staff, I would like to offer sincere condolences to the family, friends and coworkers of the victims of the violence that occurred in our community today.  We are extremely distressed and dismayed by the actions of those who acted in ignorance and hate, and we condemn those actions in the strongest of terms.  We appreciate the courage and professionalism of the many public safety officers and our own local residents and others who stepped into frightening and chaotic situations throughout the day to offer aid and care.  They represented the true spirit of our community by acting with grace and compassion in the most trying of circumstances.  While this evening we are rightfully focused on caring for those in need and ensuring our community’s immediate safety, we also are mindful of the need for reflection and healing in the days to come.  We urge everyone  to remain alert and respectful as this weekend will continue to be a time for vigilance in our community.

Remarks from the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the opening of Berkmar Road, one of the Route 29 Solutions transportation projects.

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Good morning! On behalf of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, I welcome you to celebrate completion of the most impactful group of transportation projects this community has seen for a generation.

The Route 29 Solutions projects are an investment in our long desired parallel road network, providing transportation options for local traffic in this critical state transportation corridor and a growing local commercial area.

These projects are particularly valuable for their focus on multimodal improvements including bike lanes, sidewalks and shared use paths that provide a quality urban environment while paving the way (no pun intended!) for our priority of redevelopment and revitalization of the Rio/Route 29 area. Our own Albemarle County strategic place-making efforts.

Success of the Route 29 Solutions, particularly the grade separated intersection at Route 29 & Rio Road, would not have been possible without the exception performance of VDOT and its contractors.

Communication was front and center as VDOT went to extensive lengths to keep all stakeholders and the general public aware of and engaged in the projects. The perspective of impacted businesses was considered and roadway design altered to reflect businesses preferences.

During construction VDOT partnered with AC and the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission on a public information campaign to keep drivers very aware of changing traffic patterns.

The Route 29 Solutions projects were overseen by the strong and visionary leadership of Phillip Shucet and the Project Delivery Advisory Panel who weighed in at every step to provide recommendations on many issues that arose during project development and delivery. We appreciate their dedication and attention to every detail.

In closing, thanks to Philip, the advisory panel members, TJPDC and the entire VDOT team for the courage, competence and determination that resulted in completion of these amazing transportation projects.

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