A log of Charlottesville City Council Meetings 2008-2015. Transported from the City of Charlottesville website as a project of Smart Cville, http://www.smartcville.com.


HELD ON Monday, May 21, 2012, AT 6:00 p.m. IN THE Second Floor Conference
Closed session as provided by Section 2.2-3712 of the Virginia Code
Council met in special session on this date with the following members present:
Ms. Galvin, Mr. Huja, Mr. Norris, Ms. Szakos, Ms. Smith.
On motion by Ms. Szakos, seconded by Ms. Smith, Council voted, (Ayes: Mr.
Huja, Mr. Norris, Ms. Smith, Ms. Szakos; Noes: None; Absent at time of vote: Ms.
Galvin), to meet in closed session for (1) Discussion of the acquisition of real property
right-of-way and easements by purchase or condemnation in connection with the Route
250 / McIntire Road Interchange project, where discussion in an open meeting would
adversely affect the City’s bargaining position or negotiating strategy, as authorized by
Va. Code sec. 2.2-3711 (A) (3). The properties are located (a) at the intersection of
Birdwood Road and the Route 250 Bypass; (b) on the north side of the Route 250 Bypass
west of Park Street; (c) on the east side of McIntire Road near Harris Street; and (d) at
Hillcrest Road and the Route 250 Bypass, and, (2) Discussion of compensation for the
City Manager, as authorized by Virginia Code sec. 2.2-3711 (A) (1).
On motion by Ms. Szakos, seconded by Ms. Smith, Council certified by the
following vote (Ayes: Mr. Huja, Mr. Norris, Ms. Szakos, Ms. Smith, Ms. Galvin; Noes:
None), that to the best of each Council Member's knowledge, only public business
matters lawfully exempted from the open meeting requirements of the Virginia Freedom
of Information Act and identified in the motion convening the closed session were heard,
discussed or considered in the closed session.
Council met in regular session on this date with the following members present:
Ms. Galvin, Mr. Huja, Mr. Norris, Ms. Smith and Ms. Szakos.
Ms. Smith welcomed the Charlottesville Community Scholarship Program and
invited representatives to speak. Ms. Linda Seaman, Chair of the program, invited the
scholars to introduce themselves to Council.
Mr. Huja announced Charlottesville was recognized for being a Silver Bike
Mr. Huja recognized Mr. Wes Bellamy and his students for their work with
HYPE. Tyrone Akram spoke on behalf of the group HYPE. He told Council about their
program and what they are doing with their youth. He said they could use a bigger space
to train. Ms. Szakos thanked them for speaking to Council and thanked them for their
letter, which she said was an effective way of communicating with Council.
Mr. Norris announced City pools are opening this Saturday, May 26. City Hall
will be closed for Memorial Day. Trash, recycle and transportation will operate on a
normal schedule. Sign up for the Youth Ride program with CAT, open through June 8.
He also announced an event sponsored by the First Tee Program, the “Dennis Walters
Golf Show”, on Saturday, May 26.
Ms. Szakos announced upcoming events for Celebrate250!, including the Festival
of History. There will be a free Mental Health Expo at CitySpace on May 25.
Ms. Galvin announced the first annual Tonsler Park Festival on May 25. She also
announced the chloramines information session will be held June 21 at 6:00 p.m.
Mr. Scott Bandy, 1639 Cherry Ave., spoke against adding chloramines to the
water supply.
Mr. Brevy Cannon, 710 Ridge St., thanked Councilor Galvin for her revisions to
the City Market RFP. He spoke in support of the RFP and asked that the role of the City
Market Committee be clarified. He asked that the Market District Alliance have three
representatives on the City committee.
Mr. Jeff Snyder, 800 Druid, said he was here to support a Council resolution for
Citizens United – Move to Amend.
Ms. Debora Judson-Ebbets, 327 Key West Dr., said she is speaking as a
representative of the Sierra Club. She spoke in support of a permanent home for the City
Farmer’s Market. Please support the proposed resolution on the Citizens United issue.
Ms. Lorrie Delehanty, 645 Evergreen Ave., spoke against adding chloramines to
the water supply. She gave Council an account of a community that reversed adding
chloramines to the water supply because of adverse effects.
Ms. Nancy Carpenter, 727 Denali Way, said there are people waiting to live at the
Crossings because Albemarle County is holding up funding for the vouchers. She asked
Councilors to speak with County supervisors and encourage them to grant funding. She
supports the Citizens United resolution.
Mr. Galen Staengl, 129 Goodman St., said putting chloramines in our water
supply is a bad idea. He shared data regarding byproducts.
Ms. Barbara Cruickshank, 324 Parkway, spoke against adding chloramines to the
water supply. She shared statistics on how lead affects children. She asked Council to
adopt the Precautionary Principle, adopted by the European Union, which states we must
act in a precautionary manner if there is some evidence of a health risk, even in the face
of scientific uncertainty.
Ms. Joanna Salidis, 129 Goodman, said she supports the recommendations of
Market Central regarding changes to the RFP. She also supports the move to amend the
Constitution to overturn Citizens United. She said we should use carbon filtration instead
of adding chloramines to the water supply. Rivanna says they cannot afford it, yet they
are spending hundreds of millions of dollars supporting developers.
Mr. Evan Knappenberger, 308 Parkwood, said Council should vote in support of
overturning Citizens United. A revival of participatory democracy requires
empowerment on the local and state level. He asked Council to put this on the agenda for
the next meeting.
Ms. Emerald Young, 237 Yellowstone, #106, requested that Council enact a
requirement that the health risks of fluoridated water be disclosed to the consumers of our
water. She asked Council what it would take for them to decide to enact such a
Mr. Kenneth Case, 904 Blue Ridge Dr., passed Council handouts with graphs that
showed dental decay dropped over time irrespective of fluoridation. He quoted an ADA
report that says fluoride works topically only, not systemically.
Mr. Huja reminded citizens there will be a meeting to discuss issues of
chloramine. Ms. Smith requested the meeting be rescheduled because she cannot make
June 21.
Ms. Smith said she supported adding the Citizens United – Move to Amend
resolution to the next agenda.
Mr. Norris endorsed requests of the City Market representatives. He also
requested the Citizens United – Move to Amend resolution be added to the next agenda.
He agreed with Ms. Carpenter that we need to find a way to get those nine residents into
housing. The focus needs to be on the county officials. He thanked Ms. Cruickshank for
voicing support for the Precautionary Principle. The burden of proof has to be on those
proposing to introduce a new chemical to prove it is not harmful.
Ms. Szakos said she supports the Citizens United resolution. She also urged the
county to make a decision about the residents at the Crossings and urged citizens to
continue bringing people to speak to them.
Ms. Galvin said she has no problem entertaining the Citizen’s Resolution, but she
reminded Council of their stated priorities. We need to discuss what will have the most
impact on the local affairs of our community. She is pleased we are discussing issues
that are in line with those priorities. We must discuss them in the context of a strategic
plan so we can understand how we are going to budget for them.
Mr. Huja said item g is a 2% raise, which all City employees received.
Ms. Szakos asked for item h to be removed for further discussion.
On motion by Ms. Galvin, seconded by Ms. Smith, the following consent agenda
items were approved: (Ayes: Ms. Galvin, Mr. Huja, Mr. Norris, Ms. Szakos, Ms. Smith;
Noes: None.)
a. Minutes for May 7
b. APPROPRIATION: March Primary Reimbursement - $16,000 (carried)
c. RESOLUTION: Settlement of Litigation – 219 West Main St (Demolition
d. RESOLUTION: Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Fund Accounts
Cleanup - $134,671.85
e. RESOLUTION: Application Approval for Land and Water Conservation
Grant – Hartman Mill Property Acquisition – $100,000
f. RESOLUTION: Reallocation of Funds (Capital) – Market Street Garage
Mall-Side Elevator Repair- $34,000
corrected from May 7 consent agenda
g. RESOLUTION: Amendment of City Manager Employment Agreement
h. ORDINANCE: Council Access to Employee Medical and Dental
Ms. Sharon O’Hare presented to Council.
Ms. Smith asked for clarification on the seasonal rates. Ms. O’Hare said the City
decided to implement seasonal rates in 2003 as a method of conservation. It makes water
more expensive in the summer and cheaper in the winter. The City developed a
composite rate, but no one ends up paying that rate. The summer rate would be 30%
higher than the winter rate.
Ms. Galvin asked what we have been doing to encourage people to use natural
gas. Ms. Hildebrand said we have an extensive marketing program that we use to
encourage developers in particular to use gas.
Ms. Smith asked to clarify the difference between connection fee and facility fee.
Ms. O’Hare said the connection fee and facility fee are the same.
The public hearing was opened.
Mr. Brandon Collins, 536 Meade Ave., said he is pleased his rate will be
somewhat lower, but he is concerned that variable rates between summer and winter
make it so that details get lost in the jumble. He asked for more consistency when these
are reported. Also, no one should ever have their utilities shut off without person to
person, proactive contact.
Having no further speakers, the public hearing was closed.
Ms. Smith said she is concerned that subsidizing our rates in order to artificially
keep them low and increasing our subsidy of water rates yearly, is digging us deeper into
a hole; wastewater is even worse. She reiterated her concern that increasingly
subsidizing our rates is not sustainable. Ms. Smith asked about the fund we use for rate
stabilization. Ms. O’Hare said the primary component of the fund is the facility fees.
There have been cash infusions in the past due to an increase in profit from changes in
weather or climate.
Ms. Szakos asked about cut offs, rate forgiveness and subsidies for low income
families. There have been 1,874 cut-offs over the course of a fiscal year due to nonpayment,
including both residents and businesses. It is not known how many of these
were unique. A $30 reconnect fee is charged, as well as a $48 fee for after hour or same
day service. There is a GAAP fund of $60,000 that Council approves every year. Any
unexpended funds are carried forward.
Ms. Smith said we should be able to tell where people are getting cut off, and how
many of the 1,874 are repeats. That number is 10% of our residents, if they were all
individual cut-offs. Ms. O’Hare said we know some of them are repeat cut-offs. Ms.
Szakos asked what was being done to help people make arrangements for nonpayment.
Ms. Smith said there should be coordination of services with organizations who deal with
families in crisis. Ms. Szakos clarified that payment arrangements can be made if an
account is cut off, but accounts are not allowed to fall egregiously behind.
Ms. Smith said we have a high cost of water, the second highest among cities in
Virginia. She voiced concerned about the high level of taxation on water rates. She asked
about PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) on our water, wastewater and gas.
Ms. O’Hare said since we have a municipality-owned utility, we do not have to
pay taxes to ourselves, but we pay taxes back to our shareholders. We are not a private
entity that has to pay taxes and charge our customers. We do not make a profit, but we
do allow taxes to be paid and applied to the general fund for other operations.
Ms. Smith asked if we have to do PILOT, or if it is a revenue source for the
general fund. Ms. O’Hare said she would find out and get back to Council. Ms. Smith
said we have come to depend on this fund, but that does not justify continuing it. She also
said the PILOT fee is built into our rate, and then the utility tax is assessed on top of that,
so we are taxing a tax.
Ms. Szakos said it is difficult to balance the hardship of a high water bill for a low
income family and the elasticity of water use, and the fact that when prices go too far
down, there is less incentive to conserve water. On a national level, the common belief is
that water rates should be going up. We should figure out how to make our rates go up
without troubling the people at the lower income side of the scale.
Ms. Smith asked if the City still reads gas meters physically. Ms. O’Hare said we
do for new occupants. Ms. Smith clarified that we pay for computer systems out of our
gas fund. Ms. O’Hare said it was a decision made by Council in the past.
Mr. Norris said for the record, he does not support paying rates to support a
system that is outsized and overbuilt. These rates are paying for things that are rather
gratuitous, such as dredging the South Fork Reservoir
On motion by Ms. Szakos, seconded by Ms. Galvin, the ordinance carried.
Mr. Brian Daly and Mr. Chris Gensic presented to Council. The City purchased
the property a few weeks ago, and per the contract, they are looking to grant an easement.
The public hearing was opened.
Mr. John Conover, 104 W. High St., urged Council to pass the easement.
Ms. Lena Marie, Charlottesville, asked what the legal mechanism was for how to
keep the City from putting roads through parks, and if so, how did a road come to be built
through McIntire Park.
Having no further speakers, the public hearing was closed.
On motion by Mr. Norris, seconded by Ms. Smith, the ordinance carried.
Mr. Jim Tolbert presented to Council.
The public hearing was opened.
Mr. Peter Kleeman, 407 Hedge St., said Land and Conservation policies are that
you can overturn those properties, but you would have to provide equivalent properties at
other locations that provide similar recreational resources. He asked the City to make a
statement that it will maintain this property in perpetuity for recreational purposes.
Having no further speakers, the public hearing was closed.
Ms. Szakos asked for information before the next meeting on what Mr. Kleeman’s
request might involve.
Ms. Smith asked if the $50,000 was over and above the $350,000 allocated to
Azalea. Staff said this is a match, and we would get $50,000.
On motion by Ms. Szakos, seconded by Ms. Smith, the ordinance carried.
Ms. Mary Sullivan, Vice Chair of the Social Services Advisory Board, presented
to Council. She read the mission and vision statement for the department. She reviewed
department programs, the number of people who receive SNAP, and foster care data. Ms.
Kirsten Parker Smith presented to Council on Family Partnership Meetings. Ms. Sullivan
said the number of adoptions increased to 15 children for FY 2011. She explained future
challenges, including child care automation, space needs, health care reform, and online
benefit program applications.
Ms. Galvin asked if Ms. Kuknyo has been able to see that we move people out of
dependency in this program. Ms. Kuknyo said getting people to a living wage is very
Mr. Huja asked for more information about part time versus full time statistics.
Ms. Smith said she has enjoyed being on the board. She asked what percentage of
residents goes through social services for one reason or another. Staff reported that 18%
have received SNAP benefits. Social work is need-based, and 20-24% of the community
passes through the door throughout the year. Ms. Smith asked if there is need for better
coordination with other nonprofits serving the community. Ms. Kuknyo said the
department has a very good working relationship with dozens of nonprofits in the
community. Ms. Smith clarified that there is support in place for smooth transitions for
folks who move between localities. She asked how the department views the effect of
utility costs on their families. Ms. Kuknyo spoke on the benefit of supplemental heating
and gas programs.
Mr. Tolbert presented to Council. The Design for Life Cville program is a twotiered
approach to create more accessible housing units for both the disabled and aging
community in Charlottesville.
Ms. Szakos said often when people have to renovate their house to make it more
accessible, it is during a time of crisis. Being able to provide a discount to make that
happen is very useful.
Ms. Galvin said she likes that this is incentivizing action instead of penalizing for
not taking action.
On motion by Mr. Norris, seconded by Ms. Smith, the ordinance carried.
2012-2013 - $91,742 (2nd reading)
Mr. Tolbert explained why there was a change in funding.
On motion by Mr. Norris, seconded by Ms. Szakos, the appropriation was
amended to reflect the updated amount. On motion by Mr. Norris, seconded by Ms.
Smith, the appropriation passed. (Ayes: Mr. Norris, Ms. Szakos, Ms. Smith, Ms. Galvin
Mr. Huja; Noes: None.)
Mr. Jones gave Council a background of the City Market and work that has been
done in the last year.
Mr. Norris clarified that no one on City Council or the Market Alliance has ever
advocated that we keep those two lots available for a giant plaza once a week. Instead,
the market would be integrated for a mixed use setting.
Mr. Engel presented to Council. He discussed the purpose of the RFP and said
Council can use this process to seek more information if they do not feel they have
enough to make a decision.
Mr. Norris said he wanted comments from Mr. Cannon regarding additional
requests, which was to attach recommendations from David O’Neill as an additional
attachment. He asked to clarify the role of the study’s steering committee, which has a
passive review role and should perhaps be empowered to play more of an active role, and
asked that there be representation from Market Central and Market Alliance.
Ms. Szakos thanked Ms. Galvin for her work on improving the RFP document.
Examining impacts on parking and traffic patterns is important to the project and is
missing from the RFP. She asked Mr. Engel if he knew what the project would cost. Ms.
Galvin said the whole Strategic Area Investment Plan is $150,000, so she would be
nervous to go beyond that. Mr. Norris said he wants to ensure the vendors who
participate in the market will be given a voice in the process. Ms. Smith she was
concerned that this came to Council on Friday and to the market task force on Sunday,
and questioned whether they had enough opportunity to have input before Council passed
it. Ms. Galvin said she met with the group personally, and there is a desire for us to move
forward on this project.
On motion by Ms. Galvin, seconded by Ms. Szakos, Council voted unanimously
to adopt the draft.
Ms. Poncy updated Council on the Bicycle Plan and the work of the Bike Safety
Committee. Approximately 30% of the on road projects have been completed. She
presented on the two year action plan. She explained Neighborhood Greenways, possible
integration of stormwater management as part of their Green Streets Initiatives, and
exploring methods for benchmarking progress.
Ms. Galvin asked if the two year plan list had been prioritized. Ms. Poncy said all
items on the list are already funded in the budget. Ms. Galvin said she appreciated the
benchmarking idea.
Ms. Szakos said she has received feedback from residents having trouble with the
th Street innovation. She asked if there is more signage to come, because people are
surprised by coming upon the new configuration.
Ms. Szakos asked if they can look at adding more bicycle parking spaces in the
Market Street parking garage.
Mr. Norris said he has heard so much positive feedback about the new lighted
crosswalks, and he hopes we will add more. He asked about using railroad right of way
in the City. Mr. Gensic said the law passed, and they will address this when they answer
the question about the Greenbrier Overpass. Mr. Huja said there has also been discussion
about the trail on the railroad from here to Market St. to Riverview Park. Mr. Gensic said
the coal tower property owner will build that to Beer Run, but getting through the scrap
yard is more difficult because it sits uphill. We are still looking at this from a topography
Ms. Smith said about old railroad tracks, such as the ones near Bodos. Mr.
Gensic said we are working on this area. Ms. Smith asked if there was any coordination
with bike Share UVA. Ms. Poncy said we are working with the folks with UVA, who did
get funding, and we will get another update from them for what their plans are for the
fall. Ms. Smith asked Mr. Gensic if we could host a rental bike event at Riverview Park.
Mr. Gensic said he sees this on the horizon. Ms. Szakos said there could be mountain
bike rentals to Monticello.
Ms. Galvin said as we are increasing our cycling population, we may need to do
some really good public education about cycling. Ms. Poncy said the first step was to
raise awareness with the You Know Me, I Ride a Bike campaign, and once this is
launched, more education and additional classes will be in the works.
Mr. Huja said he likes idea of no traffic streets. He said he is concerned over the
linkages between the routes. He asked about paving trails. Mr. Gensic said we are
working on this area.
Mr. Ellis presented to Council. Mr. Norris asked if the makeup of the board is
dictated by state law. Mr. Ellis said it was. Mr. Huja said he is concerned one group can
block having a quorum so they cannot accomplish anything. Mr. Jones said this is a
matter of fairness as well, so that if a representative cannot make a meeting, the board
cannot vote and prevent them from weighing in. Ms. Szakos said there could be a policy
that repeated no-shows get replaced on the board.
Ms. Galvin asked what the magnitude of the towing problem is. Mr. Ellis said he
has dealt with six or seven cases since he started working for the City. Ms. Galvin asked
why the first course of action is not talking to the offending vendors and figuring out
what the problem is from their perspective. She said this is a very narrow mission and
may be overkill for this problem.
Mr. Norris said ultimately this is not an issue of towing, but the parking lot
owners, who are arguably the ones we should be focusing on. The towing companies are
just doing their jobs. Ms. Szakos said towing companies have been complained about
specifically. Mr. Jones said we have more authority to work with towing companies than
with private parking lots. Many of our complaints do come from the result of towing
Mr. Norris invited towing company owners to speak. Ms. Linda Jones, owner of
Colliers Towing, said they are contracted by parking lot owners. She said they already
have the Towing Board of Virginia to answer to.
Ms. Smith asked if the towing companies get called to pick up cars. Ms. Jones
replied that was the case about half the time.
Ms. Szakos said this solution brings everyone to the table.
On motion by Ms. Szakos, seconded by Ms. Smith, the resolution passed. (Ayes:
Ms. Szakos, Ms. Smith, Ms. Galvin, Mr. Huja; Noes: Mr. Norris.) Mr. Norris said he
feels our hands are tied by the state’s requirement for the composition of the task force.
Ms. Szakos asked staff to figure out if there are other ways to deal with the parking lot
owners. Ms. Smith said there is a form available online that can be used to report issues
until January of next year.
DENTAL PLANS (carried)
Mr. Beck presented to Council. Mr. Huja asked if Albemarle County provides an
opt out benefit. Mr. Beck said they do not.
Ms. Szakos said this is basically a 50% raise in the form of a benefit for Council,
which seems like a big change in how Council is compensated. This is also an equity
issue. However, having insurance is a barrier for people to serve on Council who may
not be independently insured.
Ms. Galvin said perhaps this is a benefit that should have been happening all
along. We already get gym benefits; discriminating between which benefits Council
receives and which they do not is unfair.
Ms. Smith said Council should consider the benefit as if every Councilor would
take advantage of it from a budget standpoint.
Councilors requested the item be deferred to the next agenda.
Ms. Lena Marie, City resident, said the 250th Anniversary events are very difficult
to find online. She said we have a very good farmer’s market, and she hopes this will
continue to be something the farmers want to continue to participate in. She agreed with
the Precautionary Principle.
Ms. Julia Wagman, City resident, spoke against adding chloramines to the water
supply. She spoke of the negative effects of chloramines on health, copper pipes, and
household appliances.
Mr. Bruce Penner, City resident, said the inaugural concert of Queen Charlotte’s
band will be part of the Festival of History, and he petitioned Council for a $750 grant to
get the band started. Mr. Norris asked Mr. Jones to follow up to see if there is money in
the 250 Committee budget for his band.
Mr. Jehle, on the Bike Safety Committee, will be leading a ride from the IX
building on March 24 and invited Councilors to participate. He and Ruth Stornetta are
also leading neighborhood bike rides the last Sunday of each month. He said he is a
temporary seasonal employee of the City, and he has been for 28 years, and health
benefits are not available to them, even though they have worked for decades.
Mr. Mark Kavit, 400 Altamont St., said NDRA took several months to put
together a handout, which he distributed to Council. He called Council’s attention to a
particular request, that the City encourage the County to buy additional land to
accommodate baseball, soccer fields, and a municipal golf course. He said developers
would rather pay fines and be non-compliant, because it is less expensive. He said we
need to examine lots for better signage.
The meeting was adjourned.

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