State Budget Cuts’ Effect on C’ville?

Hoo2LA writes: Governor Warner has just announced nearly $1 billion in budget cuts. U-Va, of course, was hit strongly — to the tune of $32 million. Has anyone noticed or heard of any direct impact on life in Charlottesville from these cuts (or of the augured cuts of the next budget in December)? An article in the Washington Post describes the cuts.

16 thoughts on “State Budget Cuts’ Effect on C’ville?”

  1. Didn’t I read comewhere about a new basketball arena at UVA costing like 20 or 30 million dollars? Please correct me if I am wrong.

  2. It is an expensive playground. The U-Va faculty tried to condemn the expense the other night at their meeting, but ended up tabling the resolution.

  3. Not defending or opposing the new basketball arena, but one thing to keep in mind. If a donor wants to donate $10 million to the University for a football field, then that is what it will be used for — these are known as restricted gifts. I believe that the arena falls under this category — most of the money has been specifically solicited in the past years for an arena. The university (or any organization receiving gifts of money) cannot take someone’s money and use it as they want to unless the donor makes it unrestricted. It would a bait and switch kind of tactic to say the least.

    Let’s face the facts, most people donate money because they have either beat cancer and want to support work on research, or support football and want their name somehow connected with it (or at a minimum get a better parking space for the games), or have a building with their name on it. It is a wonderful benefactor who donates money with no strings attached for as needed projects. I would imagine that there is a feeling that the University (or any institution) ought to have enough money to pay for their basics like maintenance, etc.

    But getting back to the main subject, more likely than not, most of the money raised for the arena was specifically earmarked for the arena. It’s not to say that someone at the University won’t go to these donors and ask for more money for the academic side.

  4. Ah, how I love the stranglehold that collegiate sports has on our institutions of higher learning!

  5. The income universities receive from top-level sports is far higher than what you see being spent on a new stadium. And that additional income, beyond what is needed to fund the sports program, goes to professors’ salaries, academic areas that are more poorly funded, residence life — you name it. I was very surprised when I learned this from a couple of UVa deans, but it makes sense. And the better the team does, the more money the University gets. Not to mention that UVa teams’ success brings more tourist dollars to Charlottesville.

    Mind you, I’m not addressing the moral appearance of spending $X million on a new stadium during budget cuts. Just pointing out that things are not quite as they seem.

  6. Since most UVa employees aren’t getting raises, they’ll probably be spending less around town. I haven’t heard about anything else directly affecting Charlottesville.

  7. I wouldn’t believe it either if I read it in the newspaper, but this information came from two separate sources during lectures in a graduate class on higher education. In fact, one of my fellow students had an internship that gave her access to those types of budget numbers. If it ain’t true, UVa sure knows how to cook the books to make it look that way.

  8. For many of us at UVa, the fact that the University is building a new sports arena at this time — when hundreds of UVa employees will very likely lose their jobs — seems insensitive, at best. Still, the athletic program is self-supporting and produces revenue for other University operations. I can’t speak for the rest of my colleagues, but I’m glad to see the new sports facilities under construction. It’s something positive amid the gloom and doom.

    BTW, the UVa operating budget is a matter of public record: see 2001-2 Budget Summary (PDF doc).

  9. And what do you think Worldcom’s exposes or Enron’s filings stated? C’mon now, what ever happened to ‘critical thnking’?

  10. Whew – thanks for clarifying that. I wasn’t aware that since Enron and Worldcom cooked their books, everybody else did too.

  11. It’s a trend, man. And from where I sit, the message hasn’t got to little ole Charlottesville and UVA yet (witness the top tier pay raises while they cut positions and freeze the small guy’s pay).

  12. It is our fault some idiot in the Commonwealth of Virginia can’t balance the budget? NO! So why should we have to pay for their mistakes?

    I am sure that we will see the budget cuts in our City Government. When they lose the money that the state contributes, I am sure that our city employees will take a hit!

    When push comes to shove, you can bet that city council won’t cut their salaries, but you better believe that they will cut those of city employees, and cut out items and programs that we really need.

    Case in point: Is it really necessary to spend all that money to Syncronize the traffic lights on 29?

    Why do we need syncrozied lights? Is it so that the kids in mommy and daddy’s landrover, and the wealthy council members can drive their BMW without getting stuck at a red light?

    This is absoultley the most stuipd thing that I have ever heard of!

    Look at these decisions being made here folks!

    Look at who is running this town, and remember who to vote for on election day!!!!!!

  13. Well, I agree with the first part of your post. But something has to be done concerning the bottleneck on 29 North in the shopping district. I just came back from a trip to Europe and one of the most obvious differences with its [better] cities and ours is the smart integration of business and residents’ needs.

    A bypass is only ever a 1/2 solution because 1) business feels it misses a large potential clientele 2) it still creates bottlenecks from ingoing and outgoing traffic 3) in an established town like Cville, you have to requisition and/or pass close by existing neighborhoods that don’t want that traffic and accompanying problems.

    What I’ve seen in many French and German mid-sized cities comparable in popilation cont to Cville, are underground extensions to existing arteries. This results in a fast-track to any major point along 29, including a total pass-through. For instance, at the intersection of Hydraulic and 29, a parallel road is built under the intersection that trucks or other users can take if they have no interest in exiting on Hydraulic or nearby businesses.

    This solution has all the benefits except maybe cost, I donít know how much this would cost as opposed to a bypass. But otherwise, it is pretty much ideal. What happens is that you can even reclaim a lot of land at the intersections because these can shrink. Imagine the nasty and humongous Rio Road / 29 intersection replaced by a much more reasonable sized one. Is it possible some of the cost could be carried by the sale of the additional Ĺ acre to be sold off?

  14. The Veterans Claims Office (Virginia Dept. of Veterans Affairs), which has been in Charlottesville since 1946, may soon be closed due to the budget cuts.

    There is currently a secretary and a part time claims agent; the claims agent has been terminated effective Nov 10 and the secretary is to retire from State service in January 03.

    Due to previous hiring freezes, a Veterans Claims Agent could not be hired, and now even the part time position is being eliminated.

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