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6:30pm and we’ve got zero councilors seated on the dais. another charlottesville city council meeting, another late start. ⏰

only three minutes late night! doing better than usual.
only around 2/3 full tonight, which is kind of surprising given the variety of issues on the agenda tonight.
jones is announcing this upcoming event... be there! there will be a forum for candidates for the police civilian board april 24 at 5:30 at the jefferson school
he was supposed to be responding to the matters by the public at the last meeting... all he did was make the forum announcement. uhh, buddy the last meeting raised some issues. but no comment on those, i guess 🤷‍♀️
joy johnson up first — she is asking the council to pull the land bank from tonight’s agenda.
there are questions about the wording of the proposal. staff & city attorney haven’t provided clear language that LAJC, PHAR, & the housing advisory committee are comfortable with
jeff fogel up next! lots to say...
- staff shouldn’t prepare annual report. someone outside should — you’re getting self-serving puffing from dept heads.
- “do away with the mockery of having the city manager” responding to the public
jeff on the therapeutic docket on tonight’s agenda: “the criminal justice system is not the place to deal with mental health. it’s not the place to deal with drug abuse.” the problem is “you must plead guilty to get help.”
“why do we need to force people into compliance?”
jeff: ”is there any evidence that forcing people into pleading guilty” helps them?
wes wants his 2min to respond: wants clarification on who jeff thinks should be preparing annual reports & says folks who complete the program would have their convictions vacated.
jeff: “it has to do with the punitive nature of our society” — sure the conviction gets vacated, but why make them plead guilty to get the help?!
third speaker in support of a clean land bank proposal, with more transparency. the current proposal stacks the board with financial & real estate professionals — we need community stakeholders!
the city is ignoring community input.
the current proposal would put the CRHA & the land bank in competition. this isn’t what we want. the land bank’s purpose should be to create more affordable housing for extremely low income people... this doesn’t.
comrade michael at the mic, also in favor of council adopting the housing advisory committee’s recommendations for the land bank. the board should be be made up of affordable housing advocates & community stakeholders!
city staff recommendations undermine HAC. we’ve seen this in the past with the housing vouchers. power in this city is concentrated with city staff & city manager — that needs to be confronted.
this speaker is worried about litter. which is... valid? but i admit i’m having trouble mustering a lot of energy for anti-plastic bag ordinances. (can the city even ban/tax bags? sounds like a dillon rule issue)
mary carey at the mic. she’s concerned about the bushes that obstruct drivers’ view at first and elliott. she’s been asking for years... they finally put in a crosswalk, but they put it in the wrong spot!
“if you’ve got one person at a bus stop, that person should be covered!” - apparently hill sent mary carey “a bunch of nonsense” about the unfeasibility of putting bus stop shelters in what mary describes as black neighborhoods, citing low ridership at those stops.
heather hill says she didn’t say they WON’T put a shelter, but traditionally they don’t put shelters at stops with ridership at those levels. mary is more concerned about the shrubs...
apparently the shrubs are on IX’s property, which makes it eccentric german millionaire ludwig kuttner’s problem. good luck getting that guy to care about anybody.
someone in the crowd shouts “happy birthday mary!” as she finishes up at the mic.
former cville naacp president mr turner asking why black mothers and babies die at much higher rates than white mothers and babies. institutional racism, my friends.
after reading an article about the racial disparity in infant mortality, he asked UVA hospital if they keep data on this. his time has run out, so i’m not sure what the response was to that inquiry.
he highlighted the work of a local group, sisters keeper collective. i believe this is a doula group for black mothers, but i’ll look into it and post more about their work!
brandon collins from PHAR up now, talking about the land bank.
problems with the current land bank proposal: it could be an end run around the housing authority. “the destructive power of a land bank in the wrong hands is tangible.”
i’ll try to find a write up of the recommendations for the land bank & post that. this community knows what’s best for it! the city would do well to listen to PHAR.
brandon: given the right tools & resources, the existing CRHA does have the capacity to manage more affordable housing.
brandon hopes they’ll strike the vote on the land bank from tonight’s agenda and instead have a work session that includes the attorneys they’ve been working with.
uh, @CvilleCityHall something’s up with the website?
paul long, former city council candidate, up now. he wants to talk about the last meeting. FINALLY.
he’s concerned about brian lambert’s very visible gun in the gallery two weeks ago. acknowledges he had the legal right to it, but that it was done to intimidate attendees.
he says there should be a policy barring guns from city council meetings. i can’t believe this isn’t already in place.
“a tragedy very well could happen at city council and we need to prevent it.”
audience member shouts “that includes the cops!” ✊
signer cites a state law prohibiting counties & cities from regulating firearms. says courts can do this, but city governments cannot.
jones: at the last general assembly, we tried to get on a list that would allow us to regulate firearms in the city, but it was killed in committee. wes says he was there testifying & it was a strictly party line vote. that he felt his testimony was meaningless.
wes: “we agree with you 110%, but there’s nothing we can do.”
fuck the dillon rule, y’all.
next speaker: “i really don’t even have no respect for any of you” after what happened at the last meeting.
we deserve to feel safe here. she’s still shaken from the experience of being threatened by kessler, wayne, and lambert.
“y’all should be ashamed.”
“i’m tired of being policed, maurice.”
“black people cannot walk in our own neighborhoods without being stopped by the police.”
she’s talking straight to city manager maurice jones, who is technically in charge of the police.
“how much more do we have to endure? vinegar hill is gone.”
bless you, miss rosea. thank you for bringing the fire tonight and every night.
mayor walker is addressing the matter of the last meeting. she starts with the issue of chris wayne turning around to address the crowd. she says he wasn’t the first to do this, so she couldn’t enforce that rule? THIS IS NOT THE PRIMARY FUCKING CONCERN.
she is again claiming she did not hear chris wayne threaten us. this is a blatant fucking lie. i’m disgusted.
check. the. fucking. tape. he made clear, loud threats. you can hear them on the city archive of the meeting, which records through the microphones. you can hear it on my livestream. i bet you can hear it on kessler’s livestream from the opposite side of the room. she heard it.
even if she “didn’t hear” this threat... what she did was foolish. it was reckless. spoken threat or not, she knew who those men were. what they stand for. what they’ve done. what they’re willing to do. she saw the gun. and she sent us to fight. to die.
they’re still arguing with miss rosea about a dangerous intersection in her neighborhood. kathy, miraculously, agrees with her. we’ll see if she actually follows up, though.
why is it not required in the permit for construction that the contractor will be responsible for maintaining the safety of the intersection they’re disrupting? sidewalks closed, views obstructed... it’s a danger.
now that’s service! gettin’ our money’s worth with the new communications guy
maurice is “hopeful” we’ll have a new police chief in “may or june”
harold foley from LAJC up now talking about the upcoming CRB candidates forum.
(also we ought to put a bus stop back on page street! the crowd agrees.)
he ceded the rest of his time to a member of SURJ who reiterated the earlier comments on the composition of the proposed land bank’s board.
mayor walker seems very subdued tonight. i hope it’s shame.
“here’s my issue. my issue is actually with you, mr jones.”
apparently he is not respond adequately to a FOIA request from tanesha re: washington park.
she wants pictures of what the park looked like in the 90s. she says there was a murder investigation in that park in 1994, so there must be some pictures somewhere!
“of all parks, the blackest park in this city, and there’s no pictures.”
(to be fair, i assume pictures from the criminal investigation aren’t subject to FOIA, but god knows the parks dept must have something)
she wants to see what it looked like before redevelopment.
jones says this is the first he’s hearing that she is “dissatisfied.”
this man is a ROBOT.
emily from LAJC echoing concerns about the composition of the board of the proposed land bank — it would have no community members!
(i know they hear us. but are they listening?)
i don’t think this has ever happened before... we ran through all the names on the standby list and still ended with one empty spot unspoken for. brief recess...
popsocket update: a comrade brought me one and it’s good as hell. my right pinky is so grateful.
and we’re back in session! we are as close to on schedule as we’ve ever been! paige is reading the consent agenda...
kathy wants to pull item D from the consent agenda, mike seconds. it’ll get moved to the very end of the agenda...
the rest passes unanimously.
now for the public hearing on the renaming of the park. see my tweets earlier this afternoon on the voting process & the suggested namemUZX
jones seems uncomfortable with the name of the vehicle for the survey. “the survey was hosted by survey... uh, monkey.”
professional. slick. modern.
jones is reading the summary of the votes. again, i covered this earlier today!
the audience chuckled at the write-ins for “donald trump park”
kathy is asking how much staff time it would take to have folks vote again. new comms guy, brian, says it took about a day of his time to run the survey the first time, but it would take less time if write-ins weren’t allowed in the second round.
now for the public hearing! first up is mr civility, speaking in favor of the write-in favorite, swanson legacy park. he wants the survey to be run again, including this option & a sentence about each proposed name.
a comrade is holding up a sign saying “civility failed swanson.”
he’s right. uva law’s first black student wasn’t saved by civility.
he wants to expand voting beyond city residents? why should anyone else get to name our parks? (anybody know whether or not this dude lives in the county? my money’s on yes 😂)
mary carey & tanesha both called... but aren’t present. i’m surprised there aren’t more public comments on this.
wes has concerns about the name swanson legacy park, but not the ones i would’ve expected. he says naming a park after swanson would elevate him above local folks whose legacies are more integral to the city, not just the university.
why are we even debating the merits of making the parks after various individuals when the SURVEY overwhelmingly showed folks favor those generic place names?
kathy is talking sense. she is referring to the last naming fiasco when council overrode community input and chose a name themselves. that’s why we’re in this mess. wes wants to do something powerful and noble... just use the results of the fucking survey.
hey also? all this handwringing about the name of the park? it’s pointless. it doesn’t matter what you call the park by the library as long as there’s a massive statue of general robert e lee in the middle of it. or the park by the courthouse with jackson astride little sorrel.
holy shit this is pointless and exhausting.
they’re debating now who should get to vote and how to police it. so i guess we already decided we’re voting again?
nikuyah wants to limit it to city residents and try to increase engagement. uh, half as many people voted in this survey as voted for GOVERNOR in the last election. i think they got the engagement they’re gonna get.
wes proposes re-running the survey with the top 2-3 original vote getters and the top write ins... but no one wants donald trump park on there and heather heyer’s mother has requested they not name the park after her.
they’re gonna leave the write-in option on the survey re-do that is designed to allow people to vote on the previous write-ins? that’s not how this works. it’ll never narrow anything down. what is wrong with these people.
it’ll take another two months to run the survey through the utility bills again. so this won’t come up on a council agenda again until... july probably?
brian wheeler says there were 3 requests for the survey data file, which is public record. he’s concerned about collecting addresses of survey respondents. mike seems confident there’s a way around it.
the woman in the city atty’s chair (not lisa tonight) disagrees... if we collect addresses, they’d be public record. mike is arguing with her. 🙄
what’s not clear to me is whether addresses would be tied to specific vote records?
so what’s the point of allowing a write in this time? honestly? the only way a write in wins is if we either do A THIRD SURVEY including the new write ins OR the whole survey gets trolled and mass votes are submitted for some awful write in. which is a real risk honestly.
it sounds like the new survey will include the top three vote getters + the top write in from the survey + a blank write in option.
wes is concerned about what happens if “swanson” wins for both parks. (it won’t be)
kathy wants to put an asterisk next to swanson so people know it’s on the ballot because it was the winning write in from the original survey.
(is this hell?)
we have exceeded the 30 minutes allotted for this matter.
ok, we’ll talk about this again in july i guess. good talk, guys. great work. moving on!
huh, no public comment on whatever that was. nice & quick.
presentation from the office of human rights. charlene starts by emphasizing the difference between the office of human rights & the human rights commissiY9S2
i know this is important but the bureacracy surrounding this issue is impenetrable to me. i’m trying, walt!
apparently the ordinance means they can only address employment discrimination claims at businesses with 6-14 employees. all 21 logged complaints were with businesses that didn’t fall within their scope. all 12 housing complaints were also outside their scope.
the employment complaints were referred to EEOC. housing complaints to piedmont housing alliance. of the 6 public accommodation complaints, only 2 were investigated & both were determined to be unfounded. so what DID this office do?
seriously though, who is in the city attorney’s seat tonight? is she just sitting in for lisa? is she the new city attorney? why did no one introduce her?
charlene is just describing how the agencies they refer people to work. not how her office works. i suppose because it doesn’t?
raise your hand if you’re surprised race is the biggest problem!
(put your hand down, you damn fool)
this trend data is meaningless because they haven’t used the same criteria for counting contacts in all of these years
she says the housing concerns are largely from crescent halls, which is sad and unsurprising.
shout out to our new communications director @bawheeler! thanks brian!
big plans this year 🙄
the timer went off a few minutes ago... this poor guy has no charisma. no passion. he knows his office is useless.
i’m sorry i didn’t hear a word he said in the past five minutes. i think the crux of it is their office is powerless and we should maybe just listen to what walt’s been saying for years.
charlene is defending their track record of helping exactly zero people by saying the office is only five years old. how could they possibly have figured out how to operate in only five years?!
extreme focus on the dais.
oh dear god there’s still so much agenda left
a comrade told me recently that richmond city council meetings are always over by 9 😭
remember half an hour ago when the timer went off, marking the end of the allotted time for this agenda item?
i’ve never agreed with kathy before, but yeah. EXTREME SAME, kathy.
the next agenda item, if we ever get there, is an update from the re-entry council. it’s described on page 109-111 of the agenda background. vague enough that i wasn’t sure what it was!
they’re talking now about expanding the scope of the commission, which would require more board members. more staff. (but they can’t add staff without more $$ and they DIDN’T set $$ aside for this in the FY19 budget so what are we even doing here?)
mikey’s on it guys. he’s got the facts. he’s currently looking at the website for arlington county’s office of human rights. well, thank goodness he’s here. so helpful.
wow, deep stuff. arlington is a bigger city and their office has more staff. profound. he’s suggesting maybe our office talk to their office about how they work. i hope to god this isn’t the first time it’s been suggested that they ask for advice from established offices.
wes just raised a concern based on something he saw on twitter about the lack of allocated funds for new staff... hey wes!
oh wow now they’re seriously considering adding what sounds like TWO staff positions, one of which would be the investigator? this is a huge reversal from their refusal to even consider setting aside funding for any new staff at the 3/29 budget work session.
of note: the investigator is not legally required to be an attorney, despite all the talk leading up to this point where it was assumed the position would be an attorney.
current-employee todd is going to get training to be an investigator, it sounds like? but the new hire would be the investigator? this is very muddy.
remember a full hour ago when the allotted thirty minutes for this agenda item expired? no really, do you? because i don’t. time has lost all meaning. we are adrift in a sea of bureaucracy and inefficiency.
if you’re playing the city council drinking game at home, finish your drink! someone petulantly brought up roberts rules of order!
dear god, we’ve moved on. nothing was decided. nothing was done. but we’re onto the next item! i’m gonna take a... brief recess. 🚬
worth noting that in the 90 minutes we discussed the mission of charlottesville’s office of human rights, not one person mentioned the human rights issues re: our nazi problem? the literal hordes of murderous white supremacists that came here? and killed someone?
are there not human rights implications of the ongoing prosecution of black men who defended their community on A12? what about corey long’s trial tomorrow? or donald blakney’s grand jury yesterday? nothing?
as a reminder, corey long did nothing wrong.
oh god, no the grand jury was this morning. not yesterday, obviously. today has just been very, very long.
more powerpoints.
this agenda item wrapped up with 10 minutes to spare... so we’re gonna take a ten minute recess.
are we gonna be here ‘til 1am?!
i’m tired and hungry and bored but he tells us this is gonna be groundbreaking stuff...
28% of folks in our jail have serious mental illness according to this study.
upon further study, it’s actually closer to a third.
the accuracy rate of the brief screener is about 75%.
the study shows women are more likely than men, and whites more likely than black folks, to screen positively for serious mental illness. nearly half of all female inmates have a serious mental illness.
unsurprisingly, length of stay is positively correlated to having a serious mental illness.
i don’t even know what this supposed to be telling us
they currently serve... 6 people? did i hear that right?
at least this guy appears to care about his job, his presentation. he’s passionate. far more than i could say about the human rights office folks.
taking questions now. nikuyah asks what the consequences are for folks who don’t complete the treatment program. he says there are a number of responses for “noncompliance.” like more drug testing. 🙄
nikuyah acknowledges the difficulty of dealing with addiction as a comorbidity. how are they dealing with that? he is being... evasive. the answer seems to be that it goes back before a judge. how therapeutic.
“this population does not respond well to standard practice”
buddy, NOBODY responds well to the standard practice of the american criminal justice system.
as a person with a “serious mental illness,” by their criteria, i’m cringing at the way they are referring to these people. this population to which i belong.
nikuyah is asking about the requirement that folks plead guilty to get into the program. does the supreme court require this? he isn’t sure. says he’ll have to check the guidelines. seems like something they should’ve looked into when setting the requirement.
a unanimous vote in favor of funding the program.
p o w e r p o i n t for all eternity
developers must either build affordable housing units OR pay a fee. most developers pay the fee.
same image as the last tweet, but please note the number of delivered units built with the fees developers have paid into the fund to avoid having to build affordable housing.

it’s zero.
aside from the fact that the key doesn’t match the graphic... affordable housing is stagnant. more and more student housing goes up, wrecking the market for folks who actually live here.
her powerpoint is over, taking questions/discussion now. here’s what’s left after this.... the land bank, some report with no time allocation listed, the consent agenda item kathy pulled for discussion (item d), and closing matters by the public.
she says we’d need about 3000 new units to meet the need?! that’s more than double what we currently have. this is not an “affordable housing problem.” this is a crisis.
the goal is for 15% of the city’s housing to be “affordable.” (unclear what AMI we’re talking about with this goal)
ok, the clarification is that we need 3000 total units, not 3000 more, it sounds like. so that’s... less horrifying.
we’re having some math problems on the dais.
i see you cowards unfollowing me. i warned you this meeting would be painful.
oh moving right along! to the land bank presentation. wes jokingly asks her to keep it to five minutes. yeah, we’re all tired but this is important. maybe if we didn’t try to pack 15 hours worth of meeting into two mondays a month we wouldn’t be hearing this report at midnight!
i know i said this was important but if we’re being honest, i’m losing focus here.
i think she’s just reading the wikipedia entry for what a land bank is, though
she’s telling a different story than what we heard from all the community stakeholders and experts. says staff & HAC reached consensus on most issues.
staff recommends the initial board be made up of city staff. “this initial board would not be setting up the bylaws.”
HAC does NOT agree with this.
the housing advisory committee chair is also here to talk... this could get spicy.
phil from HAC: the ordinance in front of council now isn’t the same one they agreed to.
HAC got strong feedback from the public, folks want a larger board that is more rooted in the community.
phil from HAC: in disposition of property, look first to local nonprofits. CRHA should be at the heart of development efforts.
another issue: city employees vs community (assuming he means on the board)
wes starts to say he’s glad “both sides” are agreeing... phil cuts in and says “sides?”
this SHOULDN’T be adversarial, but it really feels that way!
how on earth did i just completely miss 15 minutes of conversation? i don’t think anything new got said, to be fair.
“not having this worked out before we got here is really troublesome”
goddamn, here i am agreeing with kathy galvin again.
maurice says we gotta work this out tonight. really? now? at 12:30am? as much as i joke about everything getting kicked to a committee meeting or a work session or something... maybe send this back to a work session.
ok, it looks like we’re gonna hash out the composition of the board. tonight. now. at 12:30am with one remaining agenda item, that pulled consent agenda item, and matters by the public still left to get to.
kathy moves to adopt the ordinance, excepting the portions they want to amend about the board. then a motion for council to provide the board guidance...? unclear to me what this means.
wes seconds both motions. says the second motion warrants another long discussion (for later).
this ordinance won’t be passed until after the second reading (i assume that’s at the next meeting). they passed a motion that council will provide guidance within three months of THAT.
nikuyah did not vote in favor, but the motion passed.
finally wrapped that up 23 minutes after the timer announced the end of the allocated time. ⏰⏰⏰
now back to the consent agenda item kathy pulled for discussion. wes seconds her motion just because he’s curious to hear what she has to say about it 😂
she is talking. i know she’s saying something. but my brain absolutely cannot process it.
something something rezoning. as per the comprehensive plan. something about turning radii. auto centric design. walkable communities.
this is about a drive through? just let the people get their takeout, kathy. jesus.
she just said “VISION PLAN”

i’m so tired.
this is on pages 11-22 of the agenda background, if anyone cares about this drive through rezoning request
“if you agree to deny, it’s the green button.”
having some trouble with voting 😂
nobody voted with kathy.
her motion to not pass it failed, so now they have to vote to pass it. 4-1, only kathy dissenting.
WAS THIS ON THE AGENDA? folks from ting are here to give us a presentation....
seriously if this meeting was gonna have a commercial break, they should’ve scheduled it for the middle or something. this is painful at one am.
it’s nice that they provide free internet for a dozen local businesses & nonprofits but i sure do wish she’d sit the fuck down.
aha, this is about the low cost internet for folks in affordable housing. that’s a good idea! i guess this is the timeshare presentation we gotta sit through to get it.
i feel like i’ve asked you guys this before, but for the love of god someone remind me to have dinner before these meetings. the smushed granola bar from the bottom of my purse, shared with a comrade, just isn’t cutting it.
“that’s not really why we’re doing it” — the ting lady’s response to mike pointing out this is a write off for them.
she launched into a heartfelt monologue about her VALUES and how much she believes in... something. mike cut her off hard.
it’s unclear what the point of this was? is it a request to get the project on the next council agenda? is it just informative? is it an attempt to get buy in for the project? are we just talking for the sake of talking?
i’m not sure anybody knows.
wes: “so is there consensus?”
long pause
kathy: “consensus to MOVE FORWARD...”

no one knows what’s happening.
mike is concerned about a sole source contract of this size (around $155k)
city atty says the next agenda would have an appropriations vote on whether or not to give this money to CRHA (contract would be between CRHA & ting)
that last agenda item, the rivanna quarterly update, was apparently a submitted report only - no discussion or presentation! and no one had any public comment here at 1:05am. so we are adjourned.
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