OwlTail

Cover image of Let's Talk Albemarle

Let's Talk Albemarle

Let’s Talk Albemarle seeks to foster community participation through the exploration of important topics in Albemarle County. Serena Gruia, host and public engagement coordinator, designs each conversation to make local government interesting and accessible for our community. We invite community members to share constructive feedback, submit topic ideas, and ask questions. Call or email Serena at 434-296-5841 x3274 or sgruia@albemarle.org

Popular episodes

All episodes

Warning: This podcast has few episodes.

This means there isn't enough episodes to provide the most popular episodes. Here's the rankings of the current episodes anyway, we recommend you to revisit when there's more episodes!

Podcast cover

S1E9 - Let's Talk About the Comprehensive Plan

In this episode, we'll learn about the Comprehensive Plan Update (AC44). This is a great introduction to understanding what the Plan is, how it's developed, and what it’s used for. We’ll also get some insight into the project team’s role in the process and some of the challenges associated with such a big (comprehensive!) community project. All community members are invited to participate! Please take advantage of these tools to get started: Visit the Introduction to AC44 webpage to learn about the background of the project, why we have a Comprehensive Plan, and what the Plan is used for in day-to-day life. Visit the Planning for Growth webpage to learn the background of the Growth Management Policy (a component of the Comp Plan), review the initial ideas about ways we might update the Policy, and share your feedback. Sign up here to receive email updates and participation opportunities. Select the "Albemarle 2044 - Comprehensive Plan Update" box and any other topics you are interested in. Have You Visited Our Online Engagement Center? We are looking forward to providing you with a variety of robust tools designed to enable you to share your expertise, ideas, and feedback with us on a regular basis. Please visit the site and register to access current and future projects.

19mins

15 Jul 2022

Rank #1

Podcast cover

S1E8 - Let's Talk About Climate Action

In this episode, we’ll learn about the Climate Protection Program, what’s next for the Climate Action Plan, and get a glimpse into the future of Albemarle County if we realize all of the goals associated with this important work. Sign up for Albemarle County’s Climate Action newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/yhc4wfps Learn more about Albemarle County's Climate Protection Program:http://www.albemarle.org/climate Comments, questions, or suggestions? Email climate@albemarle.org Visit the Albemarle County Environmental Stewardship hub website to find information on the County’s environmental programs and can also learn how you can participate in stewarding our natural resources: http://www.albemarle.org/stewardship

32mins

10 Jun 2022

Rank #2

Similar Podcasts

Podcast cover

S1E7 - Let's Talk About the Albemarle County Police Department

This episode is part of a live fireside chat-type community event associated with the promotion of Colonel Sean Reeves to Chief of Police. Our host is my boss and the director of Communications and Public Engagement, Emily Kilroy, who spoke with Colonel Reeves about his professional experience and his vision for the future of the department. Colonel Reeves is the first patrol officer to rise through the ranks to become Chief. The conversation ranged from traffic safety to cyber-crime to community engagement. Toward the end of the live event, we took questions from the audience. Prefer to watch the video? Check it out here. Have a question or comment for the Chief? Email AskACPD@albemarle.org About the Podcast Let’s Talk Albemarle seeks to foster community participation through the exploration of important topics in Albemarle County, Virginia. Serena Gruia, host and public engagement specialist, designs each conversation to make local government interesting and accessible for our community. I would love to hear from you. Call or email me to share your constructive feedback, suggest a topic, or ask a question you have about Albemarle County local government! 434- 296-5841 x3274 or sgruia@albemarle.org.

1hr 1min

7 Apr 2022

Rank #3

Podcast cover

S1E6 - Let's Talk About the Proposed FY23 Budget

About the Show Welcome to Let’s Talk Albemarle. I’m your host, Serena Gruia. I’m the public engagement coordinator with Albemarle County in beautiful central Virginia. Every day I learn more about local government and our community. I have spoken with so many people who really want to get involved in local governance, but don’t know where to start. Well, it is my hope that this podcast is a starting point to supporting community participation, and for those of you who are already super engaged, a chance to dig into important topics. I would love to hear from you. Call or email me to share your constructive feedback, suggest a topic, or ask a question you have about Albemarle County's local government! 434-296-5841 x3274 or sgruia@albemarle.org.Let’s Talk, Albemarle! Episode Notes In this episode, we have a special guest host, the director of Communications and Public Engagement, Emily Kilroy, who will have a conversation with County Executive Jeff Richardson about the proposed fiscal year 2023 budget and how it seeks to meet the strategic needs of the community. We’ll also learn about Mr. Richardson’s career in public service, and what inspires and motivates him to do the work. Visit the Albemarle County Budget Development Webpage Show Highlights What are some of the fiscal drivers in this year’s budget? Real property assessments increased 8.4% Consumer-driven taxes, like sales tax, food and beverage tax, and transit occupancy, which is what you pay when staying at a hotel or inn, are up 17.1% Business-driven taxes, like our business licenses and business personal property We look at key indicators – consumer-driven tax revenues, TOT and meals for tourism, building permits and certificates of occupancy, the unemployment rate – and we look for trends, anomalies, how we compare to peers. Overall, our economic fundamentals are strong, and in most sectors, the indicators have not only recovered but are above where they were prior to the pandemic – and we expect that to continue. We recently had our credit rating affirmed by Moody’s, Fitch, and S&P at the highest, AAA level. That rating reflects the risk to investors in buying the debt that the County issues to fund capital projects – and the AAA rating means that our financial management is top-notch. That rating allows us to issue debt at more competitive rates, meaning we can afford to make more investments in our community. What are some programs and projects that you would highlight in the budget recommendation? Transportation Leveraging - put local dollars to leverage state and federal dollars to address road capacity and safety, bike and pedestrian facilities Broadband – with state funding, we have a plan in place to achieve near-universal broadband Economic Development Biscuit Run Park New Courthouse at Court Square downtown. Community Response Team, led by the Department of Social Services Urban service delivery – we want to keep our development areas vibrant and so we’re increasing service levels for road maintenance Quality Government Operations – which is where we fund customer-focused process improvements and systems that underpin the programs and services we offer for the community. How is the budget balanced? The real property tax is the largest local revenue source for Albemarle County. The real property tax rate is recommended to remain at its current level, 85.4 cents per $100 assessed value. This is the first budget that includes the revenues from the Cigarette Tax, which the Board passed last year and took effect on January 1.This budget also includes another new tax, a plastic bag tax, which would charge 5 cents for every plastic bag given at stores and takeaway restaurants. The tax rates for Food & Beverage, sometimes called the Meals Tax, and Transient Occupancy are recommended to increase in this budget. Thousands of people visit our community for vacations, sporting events, weddings and to visit our natural and historic resources. We’re also a regional hub for commercial activity. Increasing our taxes in these two areas means that we can begin to shift revenues away from the people who live here and spread it out more broadly to those who are visiting our community – and who benefit from our infrastructure, public safety, and amenities. There’s one more tax rate that’s recommended to change this year, and it’s recommended to decrease from 2021. Tell us what’s recommended for personal property, and why. Nationally, due to supply chain issues and material shortages, used car prices have skyrocketed – 40% across the nation. In Albemarle, used car valuations increased on average 26%. Under the state code, we are required to assess personal property at fair market value – which means that, even though most people view their cars as a depreciating asset, if we did not adjust the tax rate, everyone in the community with a vehicle would receive an unexpected bill later this year. It’s responsible because we do not anticipate that this increase in valuations of vehicles is going to sustain – we believe it is a short-term shock in that sector driven by supply chain and material shortages due to the pandemic. The personal property tax rate applies to individual vehicles, motorcycles, mobile homes, and boats, as well as business tangible personal property and machinery and tools. Reducing this rate will have a positive impact across the board for people and businesses in our community.

18 Mar 2022

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

Podcast cover

S1E5 - Let's Talk About Pickleball

Episode Notes If you’ve been listening to our podcast you know that I like to shine a light on collaboration and ways to participate in local decision making. Pickleball at Darden Towe is a particularly fun example of what can happen when community members engage local government to advocate for a project, rally support, and make things happen. In this episode, we’ll learn a bit about pickleball and hear about how community members worked with our local city and county governments to create dedicated pickleball courts. Kayla’s enthusiasm is infectious and I hope listening to this episode inspires you to venture out onto the court sometime soon. Resources Central Virginia Pickleball Club website: www.centralvirginiapickleball.org USA Pickleball website: www.usapickleball.org To find other places to play in Virginia: www.places2play.org/state/virginia Feedback or Show Ideas? Call or email me to share your constructive feedback, suggest a topic, or ask a question you have about Albemarle County local government! 434- 296-5841 x3274 or sgruia@albemarle.org.

21mins

5 Nov 2021

Rank #5

Podcast cover

S1E4 - Let's Talk About the Yancey Community Center

Episode Notes The B.F. Yancey Elementary School officially closed in June of 2017. Almost two years later, the Yancey School Community Center opened in the former school building. This innovative model for a community center creates space for collaboration between local government and non-profit organizations to provide programming and services in support of community health and wellbeing. The service footprint for the B.F. Yancey School Community Center includes Southern Albemarle, and the adjoining areas of Nelson, Buckingham, and Fluvanna Counties. In this episode, we speak with Ed Brooks, the Program Coordinator at the Yancey School Community Center, and learn about the past, present, and future vision for this important place. Learn More Yancey School Community Center Heritage & History Project: https://ysccheritageandhistory.org/Blue Ridge Area Food Bank at Yancey: https://www.brafb.org/yancey/ Contact Serena I would love to hear from you. Call or email me to share your constructive feedback, suggest a topic, or ask a question you have about Albemarle County local government! 434- 296-5841 x3274 or sgruia@albemarle.org.

7 Oct 2021

Rank #6

Podcast cover

S1E3 - Let's Talk About Environmental Stewardship in Our Backyards

Episode Notes In this episode, we’ll have a conversation with Christine Putnam that ranges from biodiversity to composting to the importance of turning off your outside lights at night. We’ll also address a listener’s question: What is your favorite pollinator, and why?

10 Sep 2021

Rank #7

Podcast cover

S1E2 - Let's Talk About the Rio Corridor Plan

In this Episode Let's talk about how to design infrastructure that truly serves the community, the benefits and engineering considerations of roundabouts, and the next steps for the corridor. Learn More For more information about the Rio Corridor Plan, and ways to participate, please visit our project website at http://www.publicinput.com/riocorridor. About the Podcast Let’s Talk Albemarle seeks to foster community participation through the exploration of important topics in Albemarle County, Virginia. Serena Gruia, host and public engagement specialist, designs each conversation to make local government interesting and accessible for our community. I would love to hear from you. Call or email me to share your constructive feedback, suggest a topic, or ask a question you have about Albemarle County local government! 434- 296-5841 x3274 or sgruia@albemarle.org.

26 Aug 2021

Rank #8

Podcast cover

S1E1 - Let's Talk About the Rio Corridor Plan

In this Episode Let's talk about the history of the corridor and the challenges and opportunities associated with the current conditions. Learn More For more information about the Rio Corridor Plan, and ways to participate, please visit our project website at http://www.publicinput.com/riocorridor. About the Podcast Let’s Talk Albemarle seeks to foster community participation through the exploration of important topics in Albemarle County, Virginia. Serena Gruia, host and public engagement specialist, designs each conversation to make local government interesting and accessible for our community. I would love to hear from you. Call or email me to share your constructive feedback, suggest a topic, or ask a question you have about Albemarle County local government! 434- 296-5841 x3274 or sgruia@albemarle.org.

25mins

19 Aug 2021

Rank #9