Monthly Archive for January, 2005

Proposed School Budget Received Badly

At the first of a series of four forums being held about the school budget, Superintendent Scottie Griffin’s budget proposal resulted in hisses of derision last night. She proposes cutting five positions and adding four new administrators, using the bit left over to raise teacher salaries somewhat. The five positions cut would be three P.E. teachers and two guidance councilors, all at the elementary school level. Critics, including City Councilor Kevin Lynch, object to swapping out student-contact staff with a “top heavy” administration. Some proposals were met well, though, including a 5% increase in the starting salary, a new ESL teacher, and making some coordinator positions full-time, including fine arts, P.E., and health & family life. James Fernald has the story in today’s Progress.

County Assessments up 27%

As forecast, assessments are rising sharply in Albemarle County, but not by the expected 18.7%, which was the 2003 increase, but instead a whopping 27.2%. A good chunk of that increase is coming from the rising value of raw land, though house values have climbed quite a bit, too. The biannual assessments are based on the actual value of homes, and do not reflect any action or decision on the part of the county; they are a product of the free market. Putting a positive spin on things, Lee Catlin says that the increase is a sign of “a very healthy and vibrant economic situation,” but they may just price people right out of their homes. Julie Stavitski has the story in today’s Progress.

Used Cars Mean Fewer $$$ for City?

dsewell writes: According to mayor David Brown, lower Blue Book values for used cars translates into lower tax revenues for the city. I don’t get it. “Brown says used cars are flooding the market because people are buying a lot of new cars with all the incentives out there.” So if people are buying new cars, shouldn’t the higher assessments on them offset the lower values on used cars? Or are people buying new cars everywhere but in C’ville?

Perhaps that commercial about cars being cheaper in the country is having its impact? ;)

CDF Closes Shop

The Charlottesville Downtown Foundation has called it quits, WINA reports. A few months ago, it became unclear what the future of the group’s flagship event, Fridays After 5, would be, after the amphitheater was turned over to developer Coran Capshaw. With the amphitheater likely to be under construction throughout this year, Fridays After 5 can’t happen, and so CDF can’t be funded, hence the demise of the group. Capshaw’s agreement with the city stipulates that some kind of cheap or free family music event take place each Friday in the amphitheater, but it’s less than clear that such events will actually take place. 01/12 Update: John Yellig has the story in today’s Progress.

Study: Budget Growth Exceeds Population Growth

A study of per capital spending in localities’ annual operating budgets has shown that, since 1988, Charlottesville’s budget has increased by 3.23% while the population has decreased by 1.74%. While some will interpret this as an indicator that the city is overspending, the city points out several factors that are not considered in the study, such as the skyrocketing cost of natural gas (since the city provides that utility), the failure of the state to cover their share of the cost of the jail and schools, the high rate of poverty among Charlottesville citizens, and the city/county separation that has Charlottesville bear the fiscal burden of providing many services to county residents. Still, the report could launch a discussion well worth having, regarding the size of city government. Julie Stavitski and John Yellig have the story in today’s Progress.



You are currently browsing the weblog archives for the month January, 2005.