Our Focus Areas
Nothing is more important to me than ensuring equity for the people of the Scottsville District. An equitable consideration, not just a numerical consideration, must inform our decision-making. When local government considers numbers only, the more populated districts receive more than their share of the available resources. I want to hear from you to make sure that your voices and concerns are being heard and considered. What connects my views on all of the issues facing our district is my abiding belief that our community is strongest when everyone’s needs are heard and considered. Working hand-in-hand and arm-in-arm, we will improve:
Affordable, sustainable, housing is a critical component and foundation of success in life. The reality is that far too many people working in Albemarle County cannot afford to live in Albemarle County. Our “day population count” far exceeds our “night population count.” Our community loses when our teachers, pubic safety workers and others that contribute so much cannot live in our community. I propose a plan to rehabilitate abandoned yet inhabitable housing which for the fraction of the cost of new construction would provide comfortable, safe and affordable housing for these and other families. We need housing plans that track current demand trends, provide safety, access, and security, are an integral part of the Comprehensive and Small plan of the County and a part of the overall process of Community Development.
Ensuring that all Albemarle County Public Schools provide a world-class education is critical to the strength and viability of our community. Every student deserves a quality education that opens up a future full of choices and ways to contribute to society. Equitable education must include access to high-speed Internet both in schools and in homes. Our workforce depends on a top-quality education to ensure that our economy grows. Property owners reap the benefits from great schools. A top-quality educational system requires funding. Albemarle County faces a teacher shortage and school overcrowding concerns that must be addressed. Increased pay is part of the solution but the Board of Supervisors also needs to work closely with the School Board to make sure that teacher workload is sustainable, school size is adequate, and that Albemarle County retains the best educators.
Protecting the natural beauty and resources of the Scottsville District is a top priority for me. I believe in the value of preserving our land for future generations, but also recognize that many jobs in the Scottsville District depend on the health of our land. Development needs to be smart to minimize environmental impacts. Working closely with the Scottsville Planning Commissioner, I will make sure that these protections are put into place to preserve the beauty of our district. With the Rivanna River to our north and the James River to our South, the Scottsville District can and should be a “destination” and must be protected.
Quality of life in our district depends on safe and uncrowded roads. Too many of our roadways have little-to-no shoulders, much less bike or pedestrian lanes and crosswalks. Intermodal design concepts must be included in all future design and re-design construction projects. Increased passing lanes should be included in all road upgrades as the District’s main arteries (e.g., Scottsville Road; Rolling Road; Jefferson Mill Road; Thomas Jefferson Parkway; Martin Kings Road; Buck Island Road; James Monroe Parkway; and US Highway 250) carry substantial commuter traffic from the surrounding areas, through the Scottsville District, to Charlottesville. Ensuring that the Scottsville district receives an equitable distribution, and not simply a data driven distribution of transportation funding is critical to our quality of life.
Attracting businesses that will invest in our community is critical. We need jobs that provide a high quality of living for all of our residents. The Town of Scottsville is not only an important District concern, it is a hub for the surrounding communities such as Fluvanna, Buckingham and Nelson Counties – and beyond. Scottsville can be a regional destination in its own right, while avoiding the suburban sprawl that comes to many nearby communities. In order to ensure the best quality of life for our community, we must insure that improvements to infrastructure go hand-in-hand with economic development. Infrastructure improvements must include access to high-speed internet for all of our residents.
Too often our local residents cannot access preventative health services and rely on costly ambulance and emergency room services. I propose that we redirect funds to the sliding-fee clinic, Southern Albemarle Family Practice. By increasing the hours of the clinic on Saturday mornings and evenings, working families will be able to use this much less costly and better-targeted health care system. This will also ensure that our emergency medical services system is not overburdened.