Mike sent out the following update to campaign supporters to highlight some of the great work City Council has done in its first hundred days in office:
I hope this finds you doing well. I recently hit my first 100 days as the new Mayor of Charlottesville and thought it would be a good occasion to send the first of an occasional series of newsletters to friends.
It’s been a whirlwind three months, to say the least. As you know, I ran for office to build One Charlottesville. In my first meeting as Mayor, I spoke about how we needed to address the cynicism we see too often today with results, how our Council could be a model of deliberation and responsiveness for our community. With your help, we’ve been doing exactly that.
The highlight of these 100 days by far has been serving with my four colleagues: Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy and Councilors Kathy Galvin, Kristin Szakos, and Bob Fenwick. While we don’t always agree, we have been collegial and constructive and have found a striking degree of consensus on some challenging issues by working together and compromising.
Along those lines, I’m extremely proud of what we’ve done in these first 100 days, including:
§ The appointment of Charlottesville's first African-American Police Chief, Alfred S. Thomas, Jr.
§ A balanced $162 million budget that maintains our AAA-bond rating, increases our public schools by almost $2 million while making some overdue spending cuts and holding the line on real estate taxes
§ A City-County Cooperation Initiative, unanimously supported by both Charlottesville City Council and the Albemarle Board of Supervisors, including memorandums of understanding on four areas: the environment, pre-K, and career and technical education, transit and transportation, and redevelopment and public housing.
§ A unanimous condemnation resolution regarding the blighted Landmark Hotel on the Downtown Mall, which has already led to intensive and constructive negotiations about getting construction underway soon.
§ Comprehensive new governing procedures for Council that have led to more efficient, constructive, and transparent meetings, including moving work sessions into the public eye in regular Council meetings and opening public comment slots to phone and email reservations
§ Passage of the long-awaited West Main Street zoning ordinance, which lowers building heights for the sake of historic preservation, increases building set-backs for walkability, and increases bike infrastructure
§ Unanimous passage of the long-awaited $10 million West Main Streetscape project, which will make bike lanes safer, sidewalks wider, increase tree cover, increase parking, and make the street a destination corridor
In addition, I’m proud of several initiatives I’ve launched as Mayor, including:
§ Open monthly office hours on the first Thursday of every month, which have been packed with citizens sharing ideas and experiences
§ Community forums such as the one recently held at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
§ A new Mayor’s Fellows Program launched in collaboration with the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
§ The new Mayor’s Advisory Council on Innovation and Technology, a group of local entrepreneurs, investors, and policy leaders to help shape our strategy for strengthening the technology ecosystem
I’ve also addressed a wide range of groups in Charlottesville, including the Tom-Tom Founders Festival, the Rotary Club, the Virginia Local Government Managers Association, the Big Read, the Virginia Building Code Officials Association, the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and First Baptist Church.
I can only hope the remaining twenty-one months of my term will be as exciting and rewarding as the first three!
Thank you, as always, for your support,