How Does Local Government Work?

Let’s be inspired. I think we can do this here.

I saw this post recently – An Adult Civics Hour and think we can do the same thing Crozet. And Albemarle.  Based on the Facebook responses, we’re interested.*

I’m thinking of doing this at Crozet Mudhouse to start. Maybe an initial meeting to set the stage.

Topics? Maybe set a monthly agenda?

Note: This is about local politics, but it’s not partisan political; leave that stuff at home.

If you’re interested, please tell me here.

How the heck does local government even work?

City Council, School Board, Pierce County Council, it can all be so confusing. Maybe we learned this in high school, but let’s face it- most of us have forgetten it all.

Join us for a night with Washington State Teacher of the Year Nate Bowling and Metro Parks Commissioner Erik Hanberg. They will be breaking down how local government works and how we can impact the decisions that are made in our communities.

One of the goals for this year is to help Tacomans feel more educated and empowered about how local government works (instead of confused, mad, or disempowered/hopeless…)



In other words.




*I’m going to be moving away from Facebook. They are awful..

New Voting Districts in Crozet

Important from Alison Wrabel at the Daily Progress:

The electoral board proposed subdividing several existing precincts because the number of registered voters in those precincts is growing.

One new precinct, named the Mechums River Precinct, has Western Albemarle High School as its polling place, and it moves some voters from the Brownsville and Crozet precincts.

The change will help with line lengths at the Brownsville polling place, reduce congestion in the Crozet Elementary parking area and shorten line lengths at the Crozet Precinct, the electoral board recommendation said.

 PDF from the DP

Development (units) coming to:


30 – Crozet Station
26 – Blue Ridge Co-housing
126 – The Vue
74 – West Glen


24 – Creekside Village
34 – Haden Place
1850 – Old Trail

Mechums River

180 – Foothill Crossing
24 – Chesterfield Landing
145 – Westlake Hills
65 – Wickham Pond
80 – Adelaide
14 – Fair Hills


More Funding for Libraries

Yeah, it’s a political post of sorts, but yeah, I love our libraries, and libraries are one of the best things in Charlottesville.

If you have two minutes, how about sending an email to our delegate, Steve Landes? (click here to send an email)

Dear Delegate Landes,
Please support the Virginia Library Association’s budget amendment, Item 238 #1h (Delegate Rush), Item 238 #2h (Delegate Sickles), to increase State Aid for Public Libraries by $2.5 million dollars. Local libraries play an indispensable daily role in Virginia’s educational system and State Aid to Public Libraries is essential to meeting those needs. This increase would be used by libraries to support summer reading materials and programs or library materials that target STEAM instruction.
This additional funding will provide an additional $100,248 in state aid to the Jefferson Madison Regional Library and would allow JMRL to improve collections, programming, etc. in support of education here in our community.
Thank you for your support and help with this matter.

Landes Town Hall – 27 December 2017

Last night’s town hall at Crozet Library with our representative, Steve Landes was well attended.

First, thank you to Mr. Landes for having town halls; it’s welcomed.

Second – all of Mr. Landes’ bills in the Virginia General Assembly are here at Richmond Sunlight.

Third – more of this, folks. Local politics matter.

Newsplex has a story.

My highlights from last night (you can see all the tweets by clicking here)

Delegate Landes Town Hall – 27 December 2017

Local politics matters, folks. Get involved. The more, (and the more informed), the better.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017, 6:30 p.m.
Crozet Library, Large Room
2020 Library Avenue, Crozet, Virginia

From Del. Landes’ site:

WEYERS CAVE, VA – Delegate R. Steven Landes, R-Weyers Cave, will hold three town hall meetings as part his outreach initiative for residents of the 25th House District in preparation for the 2018 legislative session. Delegate Landes continues a three-pronged approach to maximize constituent input consisting of Town Hall meetings, a pre-session legislative survey and the continuation of his 25th House District Advisory Committee (HDAC).

Continue reading “Delegate Landes Town Hall – 27 December 2017”

General Election Results – 2017 – Nearly 60% of Crozet Voters Voted

I thought the results were interesting. That’s all. From the Virginia Board of Elections.

Good turnout, too, if my math is right. (check it, please – total voter registrations by locality; votes by precinct). Thanks.

Crozet – 2,304 voted; 3,937 active, registered voters – 58.5%.

Brownsville – 2,688 voted; 4,617 active, registered voters – 58.2%.

Continue reading “General Election Results – 2017 – Nearly 60% of Crozet Voters Voted”

A(nother) Bad Day on 64

Another bad day on 64 led to a bad day on 250, which led to backups on Garth … basically, today was a day to stay in Crozet if at all possible.

I learned about the wreck, and immediately retweeted … and was able to get to Charlottesville earlier than I’d planned.

And then …

From the CCAC Meeting recently

The tweets from this morning …

We have a great community of people on the Crozet Twitter.

Continue reading “A(nother) Bad Day on 64”

Take the Crozet Community Survey – by 20 August 2017

Only a couple days left to take the Crozet Community Survey. Link to the survey can be found here.

After a delay in the mailing of a survey to gauge the Crozet community’s thoughts on growth and development, both the public and a scientific sample of households are being invited to submit their responses by Aug. 20.

Tolson said he hopes the Crozet survey results can be used to frame town hall meetings in the fall.

The 39-question survey covers a range of topics, from development near the U.S. 250-Interstate 64 interchange at exit 107 to whether the boundaries of the Crozet growth area should be expanded.

Tolson said two important areas covered in the survey are growth along the U.S. 250 corridor and in the downtown area of Crozet.

Density along U.S. 250 previously has proven to be a contentious issue. Earlier this year, the Board of Supervisors denied a proposed rezoning near the Cory Farm neighborhood that would have allowed for a new development with 80 residential units. Some community members opposed the development, known as Adelaide, on the grounds that density should be limited on 250. A 35-unit development known as Sparrow Hill is now being planned for the property by-right.

As for the survey, Tolson said, “We’ve had a really good response so far. We’ve had about 780 [responses] … on the scientific sample, and about 500 or so on the public sample.”

They were aiming to get at least 600 responses for the scientific sample. Tolson said they want to collect more responses to lower the margin of error of the results.

Some background on previous master plan surveys. And a letter from a reader in March regarding wariness about the Crozet Master Plan.

Crozet Board of Trade asking for Donations

via email:*

Dear Crozetians,

I’m writing to ask your help in an important community driven effort that will help shape the future of Crozet.   As you may have read, there is a volunteer committee that consists of Crozet Community Association president Tim Tolson; retired planning commissioner Tom Loach (and new/current CCAC member);  current planning commissioner Jennie More; White Hall Supervisor Ann Mallek; Tom Guterbock, the director of U.Va’s Center for Survey Research; Shawn Bird, a political polling expert; Crozet Board of Trade president Mike Marshall; and county senior planner Elaine Echols. Other interested Crozet citizens have also attended meetings.  This committee has been developing a survey on Crozet growth issues for presentation to the public in May.

The committee has prepared a scientifically valid survey with neutral questions. Some 2,000 households inside the Crozet Growth Area and another 1,000 in nearby areas will be sent letters asking them to participate in the online survey. The goal is to get at least 500 households from this random representative sample to respond, with the heavy majority being from inside the growth area.

The same survey will also be available to anyone in the public online or in a paper form published in the Crozet Gazette and also available at Crozet Library. But these responses, while valid and sought after, will be analyzed and reported separately.

The committee has made diligent efforts to be thrifty about the cost of the effort. The expense, including sample purchase, comes down to less than $2 per invitation for the 3,000 letters and follow-up postcards should the letter not get the needed 500 participants.


The Crozet Board of Trade is undertaking to raise $6,000 to cover the cost of the survey. We believe this information is worth getting. The results will be publicly available.


The Board of Trade is a civic nonprofit that traditionally has raised funds for Crozet’s Independence Day fireworks show. We also raised the funds to create the Crozet Historic District. Your contribution is tax deductible and will be acknowledged.


This is a worthy cause. I hope you will send a contribution made out to the Crozet Board of Trade to P.O. Box 261, Crozet, Va. 22932. You can also donate online at this address: (Please note that 3% of your donation is kept by Network for Good as its fee.)


Thank you for supporting your hometown and believing that our caring can make its future prosperous and bright.



Michael Marshall, President, Crozet Board of Trade

The Crozet Board of Trade is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.

One more thought: this survey has been put forth as being “unchallengeable” by the organizers. “With a scientific survey we have unchallengeable results that will be valuable for many purposes.” – Mike Marshall, via email 11/19/2016. 

If they are “unchallengeable” results, are they saying that they are infallible as well?


*edited to add links to CCAC story about Tom Loach and link to CCA.

Notes from the Crozet Master Plan Committee Meeting

Thanks to Tim Tolson at the CCA for this … read the whole thing.

Present: Tom Loach, Tom Guterboch, Jennie More, Bryan Kelly, Shawn Bird, Jim Crosby, Pat Crosby, Tim Tolson, Mike Marshall

Notes by Tim Tolson

Elaine Echols from Albemarle County staff sends her regrets, she cannot make this meeting.

Ann Mallek emailed to say she had another commitment and couldn’t make this meeting.

Tom L. re-capped why we’re doing this survey, to gather opinions about Crozet and growth topics related to master plan in preparation for 2018 when County said it can revise master plan. Starting with 2009 survey that CCAC and CCA and County did, Tim chaired that effort. (Click here for the Crozet Gazette article with more background)

I have a conflict for the next meeting, Thursday, 3/30 at 7:00 PM at the Field School. If you can attend, and can tweet the meeting, please let me know. I’ll pay. This is important stuff, folks. These are not FOIA-able public meetings, even though they are open, and the public is encouraged to attend. While they do a great job with the minutes, having live-tweeting would be fantastic.