It’s Time to Take the Signs Down, 2023 Edition

Or … 2023’s election season in Albemarle County is finally over.

As the dust settles, we are still a great place to live. Close to UVA, Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive, good schools (with many of the challenges faced around the country), and genuinely a great place to live.

This was the most divisive, and certainly most expensive, local election I remember.

I was talking to a new-to-Crozet friend this week, and he asked for my seasoned perspective on the Crozet elections. Here we go.

That the school board races cost about $300,000

is offensive, shameful, disgusting. Give each candidate $25K, and put the rest to the Food Bank or some other worthy charity that helps people.

For Board of Supervisors between Brad Rykal and Ann Mallek

I’m glad Brad ran; contested elections are better for everyone, and I hope he continues to be involved beyond the election.

It looks like Brad’s strategy of focusing almost exclusively on growth area matters that directly affect the “urban” area of Crozet almost worked.

Crozet residents are more than the “town” of Crozet.

If “Crozet” wants to have autonomy, Crozet needs to become a town. Simple. (related stories from 2021 in January, and August; there are a lot more if you want to search the blog). Crozet is part of the White Hall district, and further, a part of Albemarle County.

We need more infrastructure (more to come after I watch the video of CCAC November), and we need more housing.

If we want more businesses and services, we need more people (have you seen the complaints on godforaken-Nextdoor about the lack of restaurants and other stuff?)

I find it instructive and interesting that the “urban” areas went so heavily for Brad; I see that as a meaningful indication that Crozet’s townification deserves a serious consideration.

Crozet has gotten a lot of money over the years – Library, Streetscape, Jarmans, Old Trail playground, and we need more — there is no argument here. I’d argue we need protected bike lanes and sidewalks. Build it and they will use it.

One request to fellow Crozetians — go to meetings other than CCAC. CCAC is interesting, yet the meetings that matter are the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors — those votes count.

Another is to support local media like Charlottesville Community Engagement, Crozet Gazette, and Daily Progress.

And go consistently, not just when you see that thing coming that will affect your backyard — go now. And next month, and then next. Be consistent in your attendance and involvement. Being a citizen takes effort and sacrifice.

Short of Crozet getting a benevolent dictator, we’re going to have to work together to continue to build a great Crozet, and we need to look beyond our backyards and look at these changes as generational changes.

I thought I was making up the word “townify” — I was wrong; it was first used in 1798!

town·?i·?fy ?tau?n??f?
: to cause to become urban
a pleasant little village rapidly being townified
: to stamp with the characteristics of the town or city or of urban life
the long townified dress she’d put on—
Christopher Isherwood

Disclosures, for what it’s worth — I gave money to no candidates, had coffee with Brad several times, and genuinely like him, and have known Ann for many years.

It’s going to take more than a sign to make things happen; and what’s wrong with that intersection?

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3 Replies to “It’s Time to Take the Signs Down, 2023 Edition”

  1. Link to final results:

    As you mentioned the rural areas are just fine directing all growth within Crozet. This is why (regardless if it was Brad or Anne) our BoS rep is powerless to effect change. No leverage. No idea how to convince the other BoS to adopt a more effective growth strategy for Crozet.
    Electing a new rep just to have them vote NO, with no effective strategy to change the minds on the BoS may make people “feel good” but it s a complete cop out.

    In any type of negotiation, you need leverage. Real Estate: I want your house, you want my money. We each have leverage. So we negotiate.

    With the county BoS: You take my money, and I have zero say which house you are going to give me. I might get just a shed.

  2. I’ll start with the last (the pink sign): I, too, wondered what “fix” is needed. My guess is that it relates to mornings when Crozet Ave. backs up during school traffic time.

    On the first (cost of School Board election): totally agree! Insane that an election of that type should come anywhere close to six figures.

    Re. the BOS election: I noticed that the early voting ballots (in-person & by mail) strongly favored Ann. Those, of course, don’t reveal where the voters reside. It would be interesting to know if that support was widespread across the District or concentrated.

    Finally, on Crozet in general: I don’t want more people (knowing that’s a pipe dream!), & I’m perfectly content with the businesses & services we now have (other than I would like a modest-sized hotel). I *don’t* want Crozet to become an incorporated town (like Scottsville) – even if the legislature would approve that – because that would add another layer of taxation to support the services the town would have to provide on its own.

Something to say?