650 episodes

Regular updates of what's happening in local and regional government in and around Charlottesville, Virginia from an award-winning journalist with nearly thirty years of experience.

communityengagement.substack.com

Charlottesville Community Engagement Town Crier Productions

    • News
    • 4.3 • 8 Ratings

Regular updates of what's happening in local and regional government in and around Charlottesville, Virginia from an award-winning journalist with nearly thirty years of experience.

communityengagement.substack.com

    April 20, 2024: Nine audio versions of stories from this week’s newsletter

    April 20, 2024: Nine audio versions of stories from this week’s newsletter

    The introductory paragraph of every edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement is intended to be a script for a podcast but recently there was a disturbance in the workflow. Efforts are being made to build a new framework and the arrival of steel beams this week to the construction site for Buford Middle School has prompted me to take the next step. I’m Sean Tubbs, and I miss the podcast, too:
    On today’s podcast edition:
    * Charlottesville City Council adopts a budget that reflects a move toward unionization of the city’s workforce, higher salaries for city employees, and lower education funding from the state due to increasing property values (read the story)
    * There’s a problem with excessive dog waste being left at the city’s newest park (read the story)
    * Charlottesville’s parks and recreation officials want your input on the next master plan to guide the future of public spaces in the city (read the story)
    * The city has a plan to fix drainage issues in Oakwood Cemetery and will further discuss the issue on April 24 (read the story)
    * Albemarle and Charlottesville both need more lifeguards for the summer season (read the story)
    * Charlottesville’s Planning Commission gets an update on the new Development Code (read the story) 
    * Albemarle Supervisors have comments on recent deployment of the HART team and a bomb threat at Planet Fitness (read the story )
    * The Albemarle Department of Social Services helps a lot of people each year and Supervisors get a briefing (read the story) 
    * Albemarle Supervisors weigh in on expanded uses in the rural area as part of the Comprehensive Plan process (read the story)




    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe

    • 36 min
    April 1, 2024: Group plans to hold rally at City Hall in favor of ceasefire resolution; Council to hold first reading of $251M budget for FY25

    April 1, 2024: Group plans to hold rally at City Hall in favor of ceasefire resolution; Council to hold first reading of $251M budget for FY25

    I will state clearly at the outset that this newsletter and podcast comes from Virginia, and not from either Indiana or North Carolina. The celebration of the beginning of the second quarter of the year often comes with merriment and mirth, but this April 1, 2024 edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement comes at a time when there’s information to get out. I’m Sean Tubbs, because who else would I be? 

    In today’s installment:
    * Council will hold first reading tonight on a proposed budget for FY25 based on three tax rate increases, and only a handful of people spoke at public hearings on March 21
    * A nonprofit group building a commercial kitchen to assist would-be restaurant entrepreneurs receives additional funding from the City of Charlottesville
    * Council will hold second reading tonight on funding for several affordable housing projects and services
    * The Charlottesville Jewish Organizing Collective is hopeful City Council will adopt a resolution tonight supporting a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza



    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe

    • 19 min
    Podcast for March 30, 2024: Albemarle Supervisors advertise personal property tax rate increase; Charlottesville responds to zoning code lawsuit

    Podcast for March 30, 2024: Albemarle Supervisors advertise personal property tax rate increase; Charlottesville responds to zoning code lawsuit

    For the past six weeks, a version of the podcast has aired on WTJU 91.1 FM at 6 a.m. For most of this week, I’ve only posted print editions because I need to more time now to make sure the audio is produced correctly. I spent a good chunk of Friday getting this ready for the airwaves and this Saturday morning all of my energy wants to turn to the next set of stories rather than create a new edition.
    Town Crier Productions is an experiment in the practice of journalism and this is the latest iteration. There are many more readers than listeners to the podcast, but audio production has been at the heart of my reporting for the past four years.
    Anyway, take a listen. What’s coming up next? There’s a Week Ahead tomorrow. After that, stay tuned. And if you want to know more about the production schedule, follow me on Substack Notes.
    Sometimes it’s a print newsletter. Sometimes it’s a podcast. Charlottesville Community Engagement always seeks to inform.


    In this edition:
    * Charlottesville’s City Attorney has filed three motions seeking to dismiss a lawsuit that claims the city’s new zoning code is invalid (read the story)
    * The City of Charlottesville is seeking a new member of the Planning Commission after one member resigned publicly in protest (read the story)
    * A UVA geriatrician wants you to get a COVID vaccination if you’re over the age of 65 and especially over the age of 75 (read the story) 
    * Albemarle Supervisors agree to advertise increases in personal property tax, lodging tax (read the story)
    * Albemarle Supervisors learn that funding is in place to get more of Biscuit Run Park under construction (read the story)
    * Albemarle budget officials provide more information about payments that University of Virginia related pay to the county  (read the story)
    * Albemarle County Police have released an annual report with statistics on crime and the make-up for the force (read the story)
    Fun fact: I had two minutes remaining in the program so I opted to do a preview of the Week Ahead for next week. If you want to get that information, you’ll have to take a listen!




    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe

    • 29 min
    March 26, 2024: Podcast edition with segments on Charlottesville's Vibrant Community Fund, the CityHealth Dashboard, and payments UVA makes to Albemarle County

    March 26, 2024: Podcast edition with segments on Charlottesville's Vibrant Community Fund, the CityHealth Dashboard, and payments UVA makes to Albemarle County

    One of these things is not like the other, which is to say that these words are written as a script for a podcast edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement that’s made up of stories from recent editions of the newsletter. I’m Sean Tubbs, and this is an experimental time for Town Crier Productions. Why? There are many reasons I could state but for now, perhaps it’s just better to get on with this edition. 
    This version of the podcast includes:
    * A red flag day last week resulted in brush fires all across Central Virginia including Albemarle and Louisa, and Deputy Chief John Oprandy briefed reporters on March 21 (read the story)
    * The City of Charlottesville’s participation in a health and social metrics program has garnered national recognition (read the story)
    * Charlottesville will hold a meeting this upcoming Wednesday to give an update on improvements to Stribling Avenue to make it safe for people to walk and bike on (read the story)
    * Charlottesville seeks dismissal of lawsuit to overturn new zoning (read the story)
    * Albemarle County budget officials provide more information about the payment that the University of Virginia makes in lieu of taxes (read the story)
    * Charlottesville City Council goes through applications made through the Vibrant Community Fund and City Manager Sam Sanders pushes back against requested tweaks (written version to be published in next edition of the newsletter)



    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe

    • 32 min
    March 20, 2024: Podcast version of most of the last two newsletters

    March 20, 2024: Podcast version of most of the last two newsletters

    Since I first began this newsletter in July 2020, I’ve published almost all of the regular newsletters concurrently with the podcast version. The Charlottesville Quarantine Report was something I started on March 15, 2020 as an experiment on a day when I wasn’t a journalist as the world was about to change. In 1995, my first professional work was as an intern at WVTF Public Radio.
    I’ve always worked like a radio reporter. I love to work with sound, and even in the days I was at Charlottesville Tomorrow, I used audio software to do my work. I had always wanted to experiment with sonic versions of stories, but I was not in charge.

    Now, I’m the sole proprietor of a company I set up to do this work. At the base of it, I want to write up as much as I can about what’s happening so more people might have an understanding and an account of decision-making processes. Since the beginning, the podcast and the newsletter have been published together.
    Since beginning to do a radio version that airs Saturday morning at 6 a.m. on WTJU 91.1 FM, I’ve realized that I’m taking the podcast version for granted. I’ve been using a lot of filters to do the hard work of editing for me, and as a result the sound quality suffered. Working with my colleague at WTJU, I’ve realized I have to begin producing the sonic version with more aural scrutiny.
    At the same time, I’ve been having a weird audio glitch on my primary narration recording computer, one that cost me valuable time.
    Most people read the newsletter rather than listen to the audio. But, yet, I know there are many of you who listen to the podcast. I would like more people who just read to listen, because I think what I do rivals anyone else doing local radio. I say that as a friendly competitor, because I really just want people to know things.
    In any case, it’s time now to post this and get ready for the new set of stories. This podcast covers what I classify internally as CCE-649 and CCE-650 and carries the working title “Brain Breaking Necessary Decision” because a person who works by themselves depends on in-jokes to keep morale up.
    In this edition:
    * Albemarle County Board of Supervisors interrupt a meeting on the Comprehensive Plan to declare a state of emergency related to over a dozen wildfires, and evacuation orders have been issued for some parts of Albemarle and Louisa
    * Charlottesville City Schools appoint a new principal for Charlottesville High School
    * Charlottesville City Council goes through changes in revenues and spending in City Manager Sam Sanders’ FY25 budget
    * The city’s finance director briefs Council on the use of American Rescue Plan Act funds with an eye toward shifting unspent funds to other projects 
    * Charlottesville City Council gets some follow-up answers to some budget questions
    I am looking for feedback. This and every other Town Crier Productions production is an experiment and I depend on those who have come to appreciate the work to tell me what they think.
    Charlottesville Community Engagement is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.




    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe

    • 26 min
    March 18, 2024: More Charlottesville employees agree to unionize; Governor Youngkin vetoes bill to allow bans on sale of English ivy

    March 18, 2024: More Charlottesville employees agree to unionize; Governor Youngkin vetoes bill to allow bans on sale of English ivy

    It is Monday, March 18, 2024 and this is Charlottesville Community Engagement. This program began four years ago as a podcast I started to cover the local response to the pandemic. I took a leap of faith in the summer of 2020 to become an independent journalist and we’re now up to 648 editions of a newsletter and podcast that seeks to cover as much as possible about municipal government in the third decade of the 21st century in this small American community. I’m Sean Tubbs, glad you’re reading or listening. 
    On today’s show:
    * Another set of Charlottesville public employees have joined a union with the city’s labor and trades workers joining Teamsters Local 29
    * The Board of the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission approves continued work to develop by-laws for a potential regional transit authority
    * Governor Glenn Youngkin vetoes another set of bills including one that would have allowed localities to ban the sale of English Ivy 
    * Albemarle County Supervisors began work reviewing a proposed $629 million budget with a review of revenues and expenditures



    This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit communityengagement.substack.com/subscribe

    • 22 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

delucks ,

What’s cookin’ in Cville? This podcast!

I love being able to hear local and regional news while I’m making dinner. Sean’s reporting is solid, his sense of humor gives me just enough lift to wade through the hard stuff, and the sound design rocks too. Thanks for the great work, Sean!

jaclyn5645 ,

a gem

we are so lucky to have this eagle eyed journalist working to create this report-making sure we don’t miss the finer points of Charlottesville

banana bill fart man 136 ,

It’s okay

It’s fine

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