Kathleen M. Galvin
announced Thursday that she is entering the race for one of three seats on Charlottesville City Council.
Galvin, 55, was elected in 2007 to the Charlottesville School Board and has lived in the community since 1983. Her school board term ends at the end of 2011.
Galvin said she would seek the Democratic party’s nomination at the unassembled caucus, or “firehouse primary,” scheduled for August 20.
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“It’s time to focus and finish what we start in Charlottesville,” Galvin said to a crowd of supporters outside the Charlottesville Transit Center. “The way we do that is by working together as a council to make Charlottesville greener, smarter, and stronger–by design.”
“I am running for council because I believe we as a city need to be greener in how we build and how we plan, smarter in how we work together to set priorities, and execute those plans, and stronger, in order to meet the global economic challenges of the 21st century,” Galvin said.
Speaking to local media after a brief speech, Galvin was asked to provide examples of what she was referring to when she said Charlottesville needed to finish projects it had started but not completed.
“The City Market, for example,” Galvin said. “We had a guest consultant come…and it was pointed out to me…that people had forgot that there was actually a design competition about what to do about a permanent location for the [City Market]. The plans were just locked away somewhere.”
“That was done in 2005, and here we are in 2011 asking the very same questions and nobody even knew that there was a set of plans lying around,” Galvin said.
Galvin said another example included looking at all of the city’s corridors that have been designated as growth areas and studied repeatedly.
“There have been multiple Main Street studies, there have been multiple…corridor studies, and they look the same that they did in June 1983 when I first came here,” Galvin said. “Those are our economic engines and we need to start diversifying our economic base in order to provide the work, and the incentive to go to work, that many of our people need.”
Galvin received her masters from the University of Virginia School of Architecture where she is an adjunct faculty member in the school’s Urban & Environmental Planning program. She manages her own business, Galvin Architects, and has been a design consultant for both the Crozet master plan and the Places29 master plan in Albemarle.
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Galvin was asked about her positions on both the community water supply plan and the Meadow Creek Parkway, two issues that have been at the center of increasingly difficult relations between city and neighboring Albemarle County leaders.
“I really do appreciate all the discussion that’s been going on, and I appreciate all the hard planning that’s been going on, but I must admit that I am concerned,” responded Galvin. “We’ve got to get to the point where we make the decision and then execute.”
“[The decisions] were made, and they were made with a very, very good process,” Galvin added. “I do believe that we need to be very careful when we undo those kinds of agreements that we are not damaging long term relationships with our surrounding neighbors. Albemarle County and the city of Charlottesville are inextricably linked and we need to start working together.”
“I do my homework, and I will continue to investigate these issues,” Galvin said. “I am determined to find out what is absolutely best for the city and best for the region, we cannot look at this in isolation.”
Galvin was joined at her announcement by her husband of 24 years, Michael Costanzo, and their son Patrick. Her younger son Kevin, who Galvin described as “her staunchest supporter,” is a sophomore at Charlottesville High School.
Galvin joins James Halfaday and incumbent city councilor Satyendra Huja in the race for the Democratic nomination. Three other candidates have already announced they are running for city council. Independent candidates collecting petition signatures to get on the November ballot include Scott Bandy, Brandon Collins, and Bob Fenwick.