Thursday’s forum is first in a series on “Understanding Government”
Charlottesville, VA March 27, 2017: The first in a series of free educational forums on understanding government will be held Thursday, March 30 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in Charlottesville City Council Chambers and will feature talks on local government by three former Charlottesville and Albemarle County officials with over a hundred years of government experience between them.
Larry Davis, who served as Albemarle County Attorney from 1994-2016 and was a County Attorney in Spotsylvania and James City County before that, will give an overview of the legal framework of local government in Virginia, especially in relation to state government, the Dillon Rule, and “who does what”
Former Charlottesville City Manager, Cole Hendrix and former Albemarle County Executive, Bob Tucker will offer their views on local government, how it functions, how it affects people’s lives, and important lessons learned during their decades of public service.
Tucker began working for Albemarle County as a planner in 1973, when the county population was just over 42,000. He became Planning Director in 1976 and served as County Executive from 1991 to 2010. When he retired, the county had more than doubled in population, had developed a commercial and residential urban ring and was managing growth with a comprehensive plan that defined growth and rural areas, with 95% of county land set aside for rural farms and forests.
Hendrix served as Charlottesville City Manager from 1971 to 1996, during a time when the city developed the downtown pedestrian mall, crafted a revenue-sharing agreement with Albemarle County, signed a cooperation agreement with Albemarle and the University of Virginia, and formed water and sewer and solid waste authorities with the county. After retiring, Hendrix served as interim town manager in Orange and as Associate Vice-President of Community Relations at UVA Health Sciences Center.
The local government session is the first in a series of six forums on understanding government offered by the Democratic Road Forward PAC, which was established in 2003 by the late Delegate Mitch Van Yahres.
In reference to the PAC, former Charlottesville City Councilor and PAC president, Meredith Richards explained that the mission is to encourage and nurture government leadership at the grassroots in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area. “While some of our activities are partisan in nature,” she said, “others like the Understanding Government program are non-partisan and exist for the sole purpose of promoting good government and contributing to a well-informed citizenry.”
The Understanding Government forums will run every other Thursday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. from March 30 to June 8, with the first one held in City Council Chambers and the remaining forums at City Space in downtown Charlottesville.
Confirmed speakers for future forums in the series include:
State Government and its relation to Virginia communities (April 13)
- John Thomas, former Director, Virginia Institute of Government at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at UVA
- Delegate David Toscano, 57th District representative, Virginia House of Delegates
- David Blount, Legislative Liaison, Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission
Regionalism: Jurisdictions working together to develop effective solutions (April 27)
- Chip Boyles, Executive Director, Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission
- Diantha McKeel, Chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
- Michael Signer, Charlottesville Mayor
Public Education: Meeting the Needs of our Children in Today’s Challenging Times (May 11)
- Juandiego Wade, Co-Chairman, Charlottesville City School Board
- Others TBA
Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System (May25)
- Timothy Longo, former Charlottesville Chief of Police
- Jim Hingeley, former Head, Charlottesville-Albemarle Public Defenders Office
- Dave Chapman, Charlottesville Commonwealth Attorney
- Others TBA
How Zoning and Land Use Planning Shape the World Around Us (June 8)
- Kathy Galvin, Charlottesville City Councilor
- Neil Williamson, President and CEO, Free Enterprise Forum
- Jeff Werner, Charlottesville and Albemarle County Land Use Field Officer, Piedmont Environmental Council