eNews September 9, 2022Friday, September 09, 2022 - 04:31pm
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In this issue:
- Former VML President, City of Emporia Councilmember F. Woodrow Harris has died
- VML Innovation Awards will be presented evening of October 3; winners to be announced next week!
- Cloud 9 Band featuring Lucy Kilpatrick announced for VML Annual Conference
- VML legislative committee approves items for draft program
- Commission On Local Government meets
- Workgroups and Boards updates
- BHCD announces code update schedule change
Former VML President, Emporia Councilmember F. Woodrow Harris has died
VML staff were saddened to learn earlier today that F. Woodrow Harris, City of Emporia Councilmember and VML President (2001-2002) died last night at his home.
Harris, 65, served more than 30 years as an Emporia City Councilman representing District 4. In additional to his service to the Virginia Municipal League, he was appointed to numerous boards and commissions by Virginia governors and other leaders in the state and Southside Virginia region.
VML staff’s condolences are with the City of Emporia and his family during this difficult time.
Read more about Councilman Harris’ passing in the Independent-Messenger here >.
Statement from the City of Emporia on the death of long-standing District 4 Councilmember F. Woodrow Harris
September 9, 2022
Our hearts are heavy today as we share the news of the passing of District 4 Councilmember F. Woodrow Harris. Councilmember Harris was a long-standing staple in our community, and he will be greatly missed. Councilman Harris proudly and tirelessly served District 4 since 1988. During his tenure on City Council, he served as Vice-Mayor and served on numerous local, state, and regional boards and commissions.
On remembering her friend and longtime colleague. Mayor Carey shared “While we are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our friend and colleague, Woody Harris, we should always remember and celebrate his many accomplishments and contributions to the city and beyond. Mr. Harris loved Emporia and the people of Emporia. He worked hard every day to make Emporia a better place for everyone. He dedicated himself to helping others, and we are all better off because of his efforts.”
Flags at all City facilities have been lowered to half-staff in solemn tribute to Councilmember Harris. We and our family of employees send our condolences and prayers to the entire Harris family and residents of District 4.
At the request of Councilmember Harris’s family, flowers are welcome and monetary donations can be made to the Greensville Volunteer Rescue Squad.
VML Contact: Rob Bullington, firstname.lastname@example.org
Every year, the Virginia Municipal League presents its prestigious Innovation Awards in several categories to local government programs and individuals that have made a big difference to residents by creating innovative solutions to address emerging needs.
This year, the league was pleased to receive numerous entries across eight categories:
- Community Health
- Economic Development
- Environmental Quality
- Public Safety
- Working with Youth
- Risk Management
- Local Champion
The judges have finished their difficult task and we are set to announce the winners early next week. Look for a special edition of eNews on Monday with all the details! The awards will be presented during the Annual Conference at the VML Reception which begins at 5:00 PM on Monday, October 3rd. At that time the winner of the coveted President’s Award (selected from among the category winners) will also be announced.
Thanks to everyone who entered this year!
VML Contact: Rob Bullington, email@example.com
Following presentation of the 2022 Innovation Awards the evening of Monday, October 3rd, VML members will enjoy the soul, R&B, jazz, reggae, and pop-tinged stylings of Richmond’s own Cloud 9 Band featuring Lucy Kilpatrick.
The Cloud 9 Band consists of four Richmond-based musicians who play in a variety of local groups: Keith Anderson on sax; Brian Johnson on drums; Juan Nelson on bass; Lucy Kilpatrick on keyboard. Lucy Kilpatrick is a Shenandoah Conservatory graduate and is now a recording artist on 32bar records with a debut CD “InnerMission.”
Learn more about Lucy Kilpatrick’s music here >.
VML Contact: Rob Bullington, firstname.lastname@example.org
VML legislative committee approves items for draft program
Support for public education; HB 599 funding; CSB/BHA funding; stormwater and wastewater funding; clarification of referendum authority and funding with marijuana legalization legislation; and opposition to state changes to local option sales taxes are among the items approved by VML’s legislative committee for inclusion in the draft 2023 VML legislative program. The committee met Sept. 8 via Zoom.
The proposed legislative program will be posted on VML’s website early next week.
The committee also heard updates on studies and workgroups including public notices, BPOL, and the Transient Occupancy Tax topics, as well as an update on a possible residential development site and structures database.
The third and final scheduled meeting of the committee will be held on the first day of the VML Annual Conference in Richmond.
VML Contact: Janet Areson, email@example.com
Meetings & Notifications
Commission On Local Government meets
Today’s meeting of the Commission on Local Government (COG) covered a lot of ground. The commission adopted the 2022 Catalog of State and Federal Mandates to Local Governments to include the following updates:
- 19 new/newly identified mandates
- 24 expanded mandates
- 3 eliminated or removed mandates
- Several trends including expanded mandates in education (school boards primarily) and small increase in elections mandates
- Changes to secretariat names were not included
VML Contact: Mitchell Smiley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Workgroups and Boards updates
Virginia Housing Commission Affordable Housing and Neighborhood Transitions
The Virginia Housing Commission Affordable Housing and Neighborhood Transitions workgroup met Thursday and heard various presentations on subjects including defenses for non-payment of rent, companion animals in apartments, and short-term rentals. No action was taken on any of the issues.
The presentations are available here >.
E-911 Services Board
The E-911 Services Board met Thursday as well and provided an update on the Next Generation 911 deployment; these maps are a great snapshot of the deployment.
View the maps here >.
The board also heard a report from its legislative committee on harassing calls to 911 dispatchers and “swatting” – prank calls to 911 dispatchers to attempt to summon a large emergency and police presence to a particular address. VML’s legislative program will have the same issue.
A grant in the amount of $150,000 was also approved for the City of Staunton – Congratulations!
Code Commission workgroups
The Code Commission work groups on public notices and transient occupancy taxes also met in the past two weeks. These groups are “slogging” through their work and will both have draft reports in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned!!
The Broadband Stakeholder advisory group
This group has held 2 of 3 meetings scheduled for this year. The September 30 meeting will consider the final report of the workgroup. Deliberations are ongoing.
Small Scale Solar Project workgroup
The HB206 Small Scale Solar Project workgroup continues to deliberate and refine consensus proposals to mitigate impacts of small scale solar projects to prime agricultural soils and timber tracts. A report of consensus positions which will likely include mitigation guidance, best practices for developers, local governments and state agencies, and proposals to improve DEQ regulations with respect to small scale solar projects is expected later this fall.
BHCD announces code update schedule change
Code development stakeholders should be aware that the Board of Housing and Community Development (BHCD) committees will meet to consider all proposals submitted for the 2021 code update cycle at their meeting scheduled on October 3, 2022, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Virginia Housing Center located at 4224 Cox Road.
Note this meeting date is different from the original date on the tentative schedule.
Public comments are no longer being accepted in cdpVA, but public comments can still be emailed to email@example.com. Additionally, there will be a public comment period at the start of the meeting on Oct. 3.
Also, as a reminder, the BHCD approved a new policy to ensure that all code change proposals are submitted and vetted during the proposed regulation phase of the regulatory process.
BHDC Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-371-7150
The L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University is pleased to announce that it is accepting nominations for its 16th annual Excellence in Virginia Government Awards (EVGA) beginning September 15 and through November 1, 2022. Nominations are being accepted in seven categories: Community Enhancement, Grace E. Harris Leadership Award, Hill-Robinson Expansion of Freedom, Innovation in Government, Lifetime Achievement, Public-Private Partnerships, and Unsung Hero.
EVGA celebrates people and organizations in the public and private sectors who have made significant contributions to the practice of government and the well-being of our communities and citizens.
“These awards recognize outstanding work at all levels of government in Virginia and honor dedicated public service, innovative approaches and commitment to excellence,” said Susan T. Gooden, Ph.D., dean of the Wilder School.
More details about the Excellence in Virginia Government Awards, including criteria and past winners, are available here >.
EVGA Contact: Paula Otto, email@example.com