Category Archives: News

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.

Remarks at the Democratic Caucus

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Good evening and thank you for this opportunity to talk with you about the future of our county and of our party.

For all of the years in which I have represented residents of the Jack Jouett District, first on the School Board and now on the Board of Supervisors, I have knocked on thousands of doors.

What I learned certainly helped me to win elections. More importantly, the connections I made with people from all walks of life helped me to represent their needs and hopes.

Those trips to doorsteps all across the district underscored an important value—that true representative democracy begins in the homes of the people it is designed to serve.

That’s what you and I have in common. We believe in a collaborative process, one that considers many points of view, all backgrounds and experiences. The Democratic Party stands for open doors.

Upon reflection, here’s what else we have in common:

A commitment to high quality public education;

The protection of civil and voting rights;

A belief that strength comes from diversity,

Preservation of our environment;

Fiscal responsibility and,

A recognition that government can be a CATALYST for OPPORTUNITY.

Accordingly this evening, I request your support of my candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the Jack Jouett seat on the Board of Supervisors.

Over the past four years, here are a few accomplishments for the residents of our county:

  • We obtained $230 million in transportation improvements along the Rt 29 corridor, working with VDOT to complete the projects quickly and under budget.
  • We now have a Natural Resources Manager to help protect and manage our ecosystems and natural resources.
  • The Northside Library and a Regional Firearms Training Center were completed; both are examples of successful regional cooperation.
  • Albemarle County public schools are recognized among the top two percent in the country, according to 2016 national rankings.
  • The Board of Supervisors now has four memoranda of understanding with the City to enhance cooperative services in education, transportation, affordable housing and the environment.
  • We have formalized twice-annual meetings with the City to support regional work.
  • More than 25% of County land is now either in parkland or conservation easement.
  • We completed Ragged Mountain Dam, adding a billion gallons of stored water for County and City use, and,
  • We approved ordinances to protect the quality of life for residents living in urban neighborhoods.

Much remains to be done.

 

I am proud to receive the Democratic nomination for the Jack Jouett seat on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors!  I look forward to knocking on doors across the district, chatting with residents about issues and concerns, and asking for their support in addressing the challenges and opportunities that await us!

Ninth Annual Scholarship Recognition Breakfast sponsored by the 100 Black Men of Central Virginia Chapter.  The organization works to close the achievement and opportunity gap between white and black students.  At this breakfast African American scholars in local middle and high schools were recognized.  11 seniors received college scholarships.

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