Ann Mallek, chairman of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, and Dave Norris, mayor of the City of Charlottesville spoke at the March 10, 2010 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia held at The Charlottesville Senior Center. Following brief opening remarks by the participants, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Jim Perkins.
Ann H. Mallek, was elected for her first term to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors beginning in 2008 representing the White Hall District. She was elected chairman earlier this year.
Ann grew up in Albemarle County and graduated from Albemarle High School. She received her B.A. in Zoology from Connecticut College. Since 1983 Ann and her husband, Leo, a general dentist with a practice in Earlysville, have managed the family farm in Earlysville where they raised their two daughters. The farm produces grass-fed beef and pesticide-free vegetables.
Ann is the educator and program coordinator for Central Virginia for the Virginia Museum of Natural History.
She is a member of the following boards, commissions and committees: the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission; Albemarle County Fire Rescue Advisory Board; Piedmont Workforce Network Council; Acquisition of Conservation Easements; and the Building Committee.
Ann is a member of the League of Women Voters; Albemarle County Farm Bureau; Charlottesville-Albemarle Chamber of Commerce; Piedmont Environmental Council; Southern Environmental Law Center; Rivanna Conservation Society; Ivy Creek Foundation; and the League of Conservation Voters.
Ann cites her experience on County boards focused on zoning, transportation, development, and conservation, and describes herself as a strong protector of the environment and rural spaces, and of growth areas that are developed only after rational, long-term planning and proper funding of necessary public services.
Dave Norris was first elected to the Charlottesville City Council in 2006 and was elected mayor in 2008. He is the executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge and previously was the executive director of PACEM. Other positions include the associate director of Madison House, interim director of PHAR (the Public Housing Association of Residents), founding director of the Connecting People to Jobs Initiative (a joint venture between PHAR and Piedmont Virginia Community College), and coordinator of the Virginia Economic Development Corporation’s Micro Loan Program for low-income, minority and female entrepreneurs.
Dave has served on a number of boards and commissions including the Charlottesville Redevelopment & Housing Authority, Monticello Area Community Action Agency, PHAR Advisory Board, Piedmont Housing Alliance, Westhaven Nursing Clinic Coalition, Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless, and the Jefferson Area Board of Aging 2020 Community Plan for Aging.
Dave graduated from high school in Stuttgart, Germany, and received a B.A. in Politics & History from Curry College in Milton, MA, and an M.A. in Government from the College of William and Mary. He recently bought an old house in Belmont and is happy to call Belmont home. He has two children, Eli and Chloe.
Dave is a graduate of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Charlottesville program and a graduate of the Quality Community Council’s Explorations in Excellence leadership development program. He was named one of the Distinguished Dozen by the Daily Progress and was honored as Virginia Citizen of the Year by the Virginia Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors for his work with PACEM.
Ms. Mallek identified several areas of progress over the past several years including the inclusion of the entire county for 100 foot stream buffer; adoption of consistent driveway standards; improvements to erosion and resettlement regulations; master plans and their careful revision every five years; and a county budget process that helps supervisors understand the will of the people. An immediate challenge is the proposed state budget cuts of 8 percent in the Senate budget and 15 percent in the House (and up to 30 percent for the city).
Mr. Norris discussed the many constraints on relationships: Virginia is a Dillon Rule state which greatly restricts what a city can do. Virginia is also the only state with independent cities. This is a dysfunctional system and creates inefficiencies and antagonisms. He would prefer to do away with the system of independent cities and he strives to implement ways to share services with the county. Still, a lot has been accomplished and there has been good progress in the four primary issues he identified in his campaign: affordable housing; environmental sustainability; race and poverty; and youth opportunity and education.
Audience questions pertained to reversion to town status; revenue sharing and school funding formula; the impact of the university; solid waste; Rio Road and Meadowcreek Parkway; annexation; the need for mutual city-county transportation planning; city-county support for the YMCA; why it takes so long to make decisions (e.g., water supply system); and the rebranding of the Charlottesville Transit System.