By Sean Tubbs

Charlottesville Tomorrow

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Albemarle County Board of Supervisors

has begun amending County Executive

Bob Tucker’s

proposed $293.8 million budget for the next fiscal year. The Board is reviewing all areas of the


during a series of four work sessions between now and next Wednesday.

Podcast produced by Charlottesville Tomorrow * Player by Odeo

Listen using player above or download the podcast:

Download 20100308-BOS-Work-Session1a

Monday’s session covered general government, and each Supervisor had the chance to suggest changes in the form of new cuts or increased spending on various initiatives.  By state law, the board must pass a balanced budget before the beginning of the next fiscal year which starts on July 1st.

Tucker’s budget reflects a $10.3 million decrease in county expenditures. One-time spending cuts range from $21,000 by reducing landscaping on county property to $100,000 by contracting out custodial services.

“This recommended budget comes with some difficult and painful choices that change services in our community,” Tucker said.

Other cuts are more structural, particularly in reductions to the county administration and the community development department. The majority of the county’s 78 frozen or eliminated positions come from these two areas.

Deputy County Executive Tom Foley leads Supervisors through the budget section by section

“We’ve been very responsive to the need to improve our operations and become more efficient, but our changes have also positioned our operations for the future by restructuring and reallocating staff to core responsibility,” said Deputy County Executive Tom Foley.

The impact of those cuts will likely be felt in the county’s efforts to guide development in its growth areas.

The Board of Supervisors has adopted two master plans (




) and action is pending on two more (



Village of Rivanna


Assistant County Executive Bryan Elliot said the county may no longer have the resources to coordinate community input on how to prioritize the construction of new community infrastructure. For instance, the Pantops Advisory Committee has already cut back to quarterly meetings according to Supervisor

Ken Boyd



Dennis Rooker

said this trend would reduce the effectiveness of the master planning efforts.

“It troubles me that we’re cutting back so significantly in that area that we’re not going to do what may be necessary to effectively implement [the Places29 master plan],” Rooker said.

Foley said the Board will eventually need to decide what level of community engagement will go to support the plans.

“This is probably the best time for us to be scaling back, but once the [plans] are finished, and those committees are formed, it’s going to drive some demand,” Foley said.

Additionally, the county’s transportation planner has been reassigned to another department because there are no funds in the capital improvement program for new projects.

Supervisors listen as details of budget are presented by county staff


Ann Mallek

asked for more information on why the

Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation

is set to receive $6,000, claiming that the county pays the

Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission

to perform similar work.

A growing part of the proposed budget is a 4.4% increase for the county’s finance department. This includes the unfreezing of a business auditor position in county government to focus on tax collection in order to help secure new revenues. The concept was accepted by Supervisors.

The Board will discuss the school budget during

Wednesday’s work session

, and the capital improvement program next Monday. The amended budget will then be presented to the public on

March 31




Interested in what we're working on next? Sign up for our weekly newsletter and never miss a story.