Category Archives: Government

CPC Sued Over Open Lot Bidding Process

There’s increased suspicion of secret dealings between the city and the Charlottesville Parking Center, Rachana Dixit writes in the Daily Progress:

A rejected bidder for the Charlottesville Parking Center’s assets is filing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the city, the latest development in an ongoing saga on whether the city will attempt to purchase CPC’s shares.

Spencer Connerat, formerly of Collective Resources Corp. and a CPC stockholder, said the suit is an attempt to force the city to specify if and when it inked a confidentiality agreement with the CPC. Such an agreement would be needed to allow the city to bid on CPC’s assets.

Connerat claimed city officials did not disclose the agreement’s date, and have not responded to his requests to get the information. The action was sent to the city’s General District Court last week.

All of this is over the open, paid lot on Water St:

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The Hook has been following this story for a while, and Hawes Spencer recently wrote about CPC’s odd rejection of a pair of private bids, leading some to suspect that CPC expects the city to come in with a higher price. The lot first went on the market three years ago, and Spencer called shenanigans on the whole thing last spring. So the suspicion that this isn’t entirely on the up-and-up isn’t totally out of the blue.

City Energy Savings Mean Spending Cuts

The greening of Charlottesville is saving the city money, Henry Graff recently reported for NBC 29. (Weirdly, they don’t seem to date their stories on their website.) Conservation is fundamentally about reducing the consumption of resources, and consuming resources costs money. The water is reused when washing buses, they’ve replaced drafty windows, installed motion sensors to activate lights in some buildings, and, of course, installed a green roof on city hall. The city has spent $1.3M on energy-saving measures in the past five years, and it’s already recouped $561,000 in energy bills in the last two years alone.

Media General, in an uncredited story, reports today that the county office building’s green roof is actually a tourist destination. Lee Catlin says that hundreds of folks are visiting it each year, including representatives from other municipalities coming to check it out.

City Plans Efficiency Study

The city plans to hire an outside firm to conduct an efficiency study, Rachana Dixit writes in today’s Daily Progress. Though a firm hasn’t been selected, the university’s Weldon Cooper Center seems like a clear top candidate. The five-month study is intended to measure where Charlottesville can reduce the size and cost of government. Council has budgeted $50,000 for the study, which they hope will begin September 1.

President to Speak at Monticello July 4

Monticello Naturalization Ceremony President George Bush will be the speaker at this year’s Independence Day naturalization ceremony at Monticello. Such events take place around the country, and the annual event at Monticello is for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. Charlottesville’s is always a big deal, not just because of the always-excellent speakers (Sam Waterston, actor and Unity08 founder, spoke last year), but because of its great location. The event is free, though probably tough to get into this year. It’s always stunningly hot, even at its 10am start time, so prepare accordingly if you intend to go.