Charlottesville Community Engagement
Charlottesville Community Engagement
May 4, 2024 podcast: Louisa County adopts a budget without funding for PVCC; Albemarle pursues rezoning for defense and research campus outside Rivanna Station

May 4, 2024 podcast: Louisa County adopts a budget without funding for PVCC; Albemarle pursues rezoning for defense and research campus outside Rivanna Station

An earnest attempt to get back to audio versions of the newsletter

Welcome to Charlottesville Community Engagement for May 4, 2024, a program that unfortunately has nothing to do with the fictional Star Wars universe and is less about a long time ago far far away and more about what’s going on right now in the area in and around Charlottesville, Virginia. I’m Sean Tubbs, a local journalist who operates a fledgling information outlet called Town Crier Productions. What you’re about to hear are some of the stories from just a little while ago. 

In today’s edition:

  • Greene County Supervisors approve a two-cent decrease in the real estate tax rate and a three percent increase in the lodging tax rate (learn more)

  • Before adopting a budget, Louisa County Supervisors pull funding for Piedmont Virginia Community College due to the screening of a film on Palestinian independence (learn more)

  • A rezoning and special use permit that Albemarle County is seeking for its own property will go before the Planning Commission on May 14, less than two months after the application was filed (learn more)

  • Half of Charlottesville’s Board of Architectural Review weigh in on a proposal for a hotel at 218 West Market Street in Downtown (learn more)

  • The University of Virginia wants to improve child care for its employees and seek a single firm to manage its four facilities plus a fifth that opens later this year (learn more)

Early voting in the June 18 Virginia primary has begun (learn more)

There’s a two-page overview in the meeting packet for the April 29, 2024 meeting that can be viewed at this link. (Credit: Louisa County)

A word about the podcast

This newsletter got its start as a podcast. My career began at WVTF Public Radio back in 1995 as an intern. Back then, the news department produced a 15-minute local newscast with stories from municipalities across the listening area, combined with national stories read by the local announcer.

That’s gone now and has been for years. But back then, I learned how a news department put together enough resources to pull off a regular series of bulletins to inform the audience. I would go on to freelance for WVTF Public Radio and I created the Charlottesville Podcasting Network in 2005 to experiment with long-form audio.

I stopped producing audio pieces around the time I went to work for Charlottesville Tomorrow in April 2007. I instead was directed to write articles about government issues. I still continued to work like a radio reporter, editing my stories in Audition but not actually producing them.

I left Charlottesville Tomorrow in June 2018 when management changed, and I had an opportunity to try something different. I thought I would be able to continue to write at my new job, that didn’t really turn out to the case.

In January 2019, I experimented for a few weeks trying to see if I could pull together a daily newscast. I really wanted to get back to journalism as an independent reporter, but I needed a product. I didn’t want to rely on freelance work, but wanted to create a way to get information out to people.

These are all archived on Information Charlottesville, which had a different name when I initially experimenting. Go back and listen to the first one from January 1, 2019. There’s no soundbites, and it’s not the most interesting. Also notice there’s no text, but I just found the script which ends with this quote:

“I became a journalist to help bring people information about what they need to make their own decisions. That’s a core value, and one that’s helped me build trust with people throughout my career. I hope as you listen to this, you’ll learn a lot more about the world around you. Thanks for listening. “

The podcast has been on hiatus due to a series of factors, the most important of which is that I’m focused on making sure I can get a version to WTJU 91.1 FM for Saturday morning. I also lost confidence in my recording set-up and am still trying to figure out how to engineer that back into the work flow.

I view all of this as an experiment, an experiment funded by those who want to keep it going. I am a one-person information outlet capable of covering a great deal of things. Thanks to Patreon supporters and over 600 paid Substack subscribers, I’m able to constantly move forward in the hopes of creating more journalism.

For now, the podcast will still be a separate product from the newsletter. Yet, I’m going to try to get two podcasts out a week. To make that more likely, perhaps I can find a sponsor? To make that more likely, perhaps I can find more volunteers who would like to learn audio production and journalism?

Drop me a line if you have interest in either. Thanks for reading this bit that isn’t in the podcast today. Also, tell people about it!

To keep the experiment going, the audience needs to grow. Help that happen by telling people about it today!


Charlottesville Community Engagement
Charlottesville Community Engagement
Regular updates of what's happening in local and regional government in and around Charlottesville, Virginia from an award-winning journalist with nearly thirty years of experience.