On October 1, 2009, the two candidates vying for the

Rio District

of the

Albemarle County Board of Supervisors

met at a Candidates Forum sponsored by Charlottesville Tomorrow and the Free Enterprise Forum. Democrat

David Slutzky

and Republican

Rodney Thomas

answered ten questions on land use, transportation, and growth in the County. The candidates also answered several questions submitted by members of the audience. The event, held at Hollymead Elementary School, was co-moderated by Neil Williamson of the

Free Enterprise Forum

and Brian Wheeler of

Charlottesville Tomorrow


Podcast produced by Charlottesville Tomorrow * Player by Odeo

Listen using player above or download the podcast:

Download 20091001-CT-FEF-Rio-Forum


Rio District Candidates Forum


Charlottesville Tomorrow





Question 1:

According to the Albemarle County Strategic Plan, “the County desires to maintain a strong, sustainable economy, increase business activity in the urban cores of development areas, and ensure all citizens of the County are able to participate fully in a vibrant economy.” How would you assess Albemarle’s economic condition today? As a Supervisor, what specific strategies would you pursue to generate new jobs and economic vitality? What is your vision for the county addressing economic development opportunities?

Question 2:

How would you assess Albemarle County’s growth management strategies? What other steps would you advocate be taken to discourage development in the rural countryside and encourage development in the growth areas? Are the existing incentives adequate?

Question 3:

Should we start the planning process over on the fifty-year community water supply plan? Why or why not?

Question 4:

Albemarle County has expectations for the development community to build or pay for affordable living choices in new developments. Do you agree with that approach? How do you believe the County should address the need for not just affordable housing, but also workforce housing?

Question 5:

The Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission have both held work sessions on the transportation elements of the Places29 Master Plan. If there is an opportunity to receive a significant developer proffer related to Berkmar Drive Extended in exchange for an expansion of the County’s designated growth area, should that be pursued as part of the Places29 Master Plan?

Question 6:

Do you support the proposed grade separated interchanges on Route 29 as major components of the Places29 master plan? Why or why not?

Question 7:

Do you agree with continuation of the current land use tax program in the rural areas and with the revalidation process that was recently initiated by the BOS? Why or why not?

Question 8:

How do we ensure the community infrastructure—roads, sidewalks, fire/rescue facilities, libraries, etc.—is in place to support our current population, new development and redevelopment in our designated growth areas? To what degree should this infrastructure be funded by the real estate property tax, a gas tax, developer proffers, or new service districts?

Question 9:

An emotional issue that has divided the community is before the Board of Supervisors. How should an elected official balance citizen input, staff input, and the goal of making decisions that are in the best interests of the community as a whole?

Question 10:

How should we measure local government’s effectiveness on its strategic plan


Audience question 1:

Both candidates have been in elected or


ed positions in Albemarle County. What letter grade would you give your constituent service from that period and how do you plan to improve it if you are elected?

Audience question 2:

With 60% of the County’s budget going towards education, how do you propose ensuring Albemarle provides a quality education for its children that attracts high-paying jobs to the area? Do you plan on cutting education funds to balance the budget?

Audience question 3:

It seems like we’ve seen nothing but tax increases from the board. When do you see these taxes increases stopping?

Audience question 4:

What is your position on public transportation, in particular, cooperation with Charlottesville Transit Service and University Transit? What are your feelings on a Regional Transit Authority? How did you get here tonight?

Audience question 5:

What is your position on the County’s current cash proffer system?

Audience question 6:

The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library has had a 30% increase in visitors over the past year and a more than 6% increase in circulation at the three Albemarle locations, but also was level-funded in this year’s budget. Do you intend to increase funding to support increased use?

Audience question 7:

Give us your general perspective on balancing development and the environment in Albemarle County?



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