Archive for March, 2015

Albemarle County: Growth vs. No Growth

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

Tim Hulbert and Tom Olivier presented very different positions in a panel discussion on Population Growth vs. No Growth — What’s Best for Albemarle County and Charlottesville. Listen as they discuss the likely consequences of their positions on the physical environment, taxpayers, local businesses and job seekers. The program was moderated by CEO and Managing Partner of the bridge ltd, Grant Tate. SSV President Bob McGrath introduced the program. It took place on March 11,2015 at the Senior Center on Pepsi Place.

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Grant Tate, Tom Olivier and Tim Hulbert Speaking at the Senior Center

Tim Hulbert has been president and CEO of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce since March 2001. The Charlottesville Regional Chamber has more than 1,100 members and affiliates that together employ more than 45,000 people in the Greater Charlottesville region. Their estimated annual payrolls exceed $1.75 billion. Tim is a native of upstate New York and a graduate of Manhattan College. Prior to coming to the Charlottesville Regional Chamber, he held a similar position with the Rensselaer County, New York Regional Chamber of Commerce. He also held a variety of positions in New York state government, including in the transportation field.

Tom Olivier currently is president of Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population (ASAP). He grew up in New Orleans and moved to Albemarle County in 1981. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Tulane University and a Ph.D. in biological anthropology from Duke University. Tom has done genetics research on mammalian populations in Africa, Australia and the Caribbean. He is a member of Albemarle County’s Natural Heritage Committee and past chair of the Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club. Tom and his wife, Wren, now raise sheep on their farm in Albemarle County, Virginia.

Program Summary

The following was excerpted from the coverage provided by The Daily Progress written by Bryan McKenzie and appearing in the March 12 edition.  The full story is available on the The Daily Progress website.

It’s a fine line. To some, government regulations, including zoning and permits, could help limit growth in Albemarle County, create a sustainable population and save the local environment. To others, it could spur more growth in rural areas, stifle jobs for existing residents and drive up the costs of homes, local business and sustainability.

Tom Olivier, president of Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population, and Timothy Hulbert, president of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, debated commercial and residential growth in region during the meeting.

Olivier said economic growth seldom pays for itself, especially in residential developments, which have a direct impact on tax expenditures for police, schools and other services. He said the concept of a free market is good in limited form coupled with government restrictions, and also said a free market does not provide equal benefit to all residents…. Hulbert said that, although a free market does not equally benefit everyone, it provides benefits in the form of jobs, tax revenue and a vibrant local economy that pays for needed services.