Saturday, November 17, 2007

16 USC 470 [National Historic Preservation Act]

Having just been invited to be on the Section 106 Review Committee for the Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road project. I am posting the relevant sections of the United States Code relating to Historic Preservation. Perhaps you too will be interested in following this process - and getting involved. I will post additional sections [16 USC 470a] as time permits.

I find Executive Order No. 11593 [Protection and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment] interesting reading in that it is the federal desire to "institute procedures to assure that Federal plans and programs contribute to the preservation and enhancement of non-federally owned sites, structures and objects of historical, architectural or archaeological significance." I question how construction of a roadway and an interchange with footprints in the eastern portion of McIntire Park will serve to preserve or enhance that property given it is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Peter Kleeman

From the U.S. Code Online via GPO Access
[wais.access.gpo.gov]
[Laws in effect as of January 3, 2005]
[Document not affected by Public Laws enacted between
January 3, 2005 and June 19, 2006]
[CITE: 16USC470]

TITLE 16--CONSERVATION
CHAPTER 1A--HISTORIC SITES, BUILDINGS, OBJECTS, AND ANTIQUITIES
SUBCHAPTER II--NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION

Sec. 470. Short title; Congressional finding and declaration of policy

(a) This subchapter may be cited as the ''National Historic Preservation Act''.

(b) The Congress finds and declares that--

(1) the spirit and direction of the Nation are founded upon and reflected in its historic heritage;

(2) the historical and cultural foundations of the Nation should be preserved as a living part of our community life and development in order to give a sense of orientation to the American people;

(3) historic properties significant to the Nation's heritage are being lost or substantially altered, often inadvertently, with increasing frequency;

(4) the preservation of this irreplaceable heritage is in the public interest so that its vital legacy of cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational, economic, and energy benefits will be maintained and enriched for future generations of Americans;

(5) in the face of ever-increasing extensions of urban centers, highways, and residential, commercial, and industrial developments, the present governmental and nongovernmental historic preservation programs and activities are inadequate to insure future generations a genuine opportunity to appreciate and enjoy the rich heritage of our Nation;

(6) the increased knowledge of our historic resources, the establishment of better means of identifying and administering them, and the encouragement of their preservation will improve the planning and execution of Federal and federally assisted projects and will assist economic growth and development; and

(7) although the major burdens of historic preservation have been borne and major efforts initiated by private agencies and individuals, and both should continue to play a vital role, it is nevertheless necessary and appropriate for the Federal Government to accelerate its historic preservation programs and activities, to give maximum encouragement to agencies and individuals undertaking preservation by private means, and to assist State and local governments and the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States to expand and accelerate their historic preservation programs and activities.

(Pub. L. 89-665, Sec. 1, Oct. 15, 1966, 80 Stat. 915; Pub. L. 96-515, title I, Sec. 101(a), Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 2987.)

Amendments

1980--Pub. L. 96-515 added subsec. (a), designated existing provision as subsec. (b), and in subsec. (b) as so designated, redesignated pars. (a) to (d) as (1), (2), (5), and (7), respectively, in par. (1) as so redesignated, substituted ''heritage'' for ''past'', and added pars. (3), (4), and (6).

Short Title of 2000 Amendments

Pub. L. 106-355, Sec. 1, Oct. 24, 2000, 114 Stat. 1385, provided that: ''This Act [enacting sections 470w-7 and 470w-8 of this title] may be cited as the 'National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000'.''

Pub. L. 106-208, Sec. 1, May 26, 2000, 114 Stat. 318, provided that: ''This Act [amending sections 470a, 470b, 470c, 470h, 470h-2, 470h-4, 470n, 470t, 470w, 470w-6, and 470x-3 of this title] may be cited as the 'National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 2000'.''

Short Title of 1992 Amendment

Pub. L. 102-575, title XL, Sec. 4001, Oct. 30, 1992, 106 Stat. 4753, provided that: ''This title [enacting sections 470h-4, 470h-5, and 470x to 470x-6 of this title, amending sections 466, 470-1, 470a, 470b, 470c, 470h, 470h-2, 470h-3, 470i, 470s, 470t, 470w, and 470w-3 of this title, enacting provisions set out as notes under section 470a of this title, and amending provisions set out as a note under section 461 of this title] may be cited as the 'National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1992'.''

Short Title of 1980 Amendment

Section 1 of Pub. L. 96-515 provided: ''That this Act [enacting sections 469c-2, 470-1 470a-1, 470a-2, 470h-2, 470h-3, 470u, 470v and 470w to 470w-6 of this title, amending this section and sections 470a, 470b, 470c, 470d, 470h to 470j, 470l, 470m, and 470r to 470t of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 470a, 470j and 470h of this title and section 874 of former Title 40, Public Buildings, Property, and Works] may be cited as the 'National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980'.''

Ex. Ord. No. 11593. Protection and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment

Ex. Ord. No. 11593, May 13, 1971, 36 F.R. 8921, provided:

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States and in furtherance of the purposes and policies of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (83 Stat. 852, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (80 Stat. 915, 16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.), the Historic Sites Act of 1935 (49 Stat. 666, 16 U.S.C. 461 et seq.), and the Antiquities Act of 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431 et seq.), it is ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. The Federal Government shall provide leadership in preserving, restoring and maintaining the historic and cultural environment of the Nation. Agencies of the executive branch of the Government (hereinafter referred to as ''Federal agencies'') shall (1) administer the cultural properties under their control in a spirit of stewardship and trusteeship for future generations, (2) initiate measures necessary to direct their policies, plans and programs in such a way that federally owned sites, structures, and objects of historical, architectural or archaeological significance are preserved, restored and maintained for the inspiration and benefit of the people, and (3), in consultation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (16 U.S.C. 470i), institute procedures to assure that Federal plans and programs contribute to the preservation and enhancement of non-federally owned sites, structures and objects of historical, architectural or archaeological significance.

Sec. 2. Responsibilities of Federal agencies. Consonant with the provisions of the acts cited in the first paragraph of this order, the heads of Federal agencies shall:

(a) no later than July 1, 1973, with the advice of the Secretary of the Interior, and in cooperation with the liaison officer for historic preservation for the State or territory involved, locate, inventory, and nominate to the Secretary of the Interior all sites, buildings, districts, and objects under their jurisdiction or control that appear to qualify for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

(b) exercise caution during the interim period until inventories and evaluations required by subsection (a) are completed to assure that any federally owned property that might qualify for nomination is not inadvertently transferred, sold, demolished or substantially altered. The agency head shall refer any questionable actions to the Secretary of the Interior for an opinion respecting the property's eligibility for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. The Secretary shall consult with the liaison officer for historic preservation for the State or territory involved in arriving at his opinion. Where, after a reasonable period in which to review and evaluate the property, the Secretary determines that the property is likely to meet the criteria prescribed for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the Federal agency head shall reconsider the proposal in light of national environmental and preservation policy. Where, after such reconsideration, the Federal agency head proposes to transfer, sell, demolish or substantially alter the property he shall not act with respect to the property until the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation shall have been provided an opportunity to comment on the proposal.

(c) initiate measures to assure that where as a result of Federal action or assistance a property listed on the National Register of Historic Places is to be substantially altered or demolished, timely steps be taken to make or have made records, including measured drawings, photographs and maps, of the property, and that copy of such records then be deposited in the Library of Congress as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey or Historic American Engineering Record for future use and reference. Agencies may call on the Department of the Interior for advice and technical assistance in the completion of the above records.

(d) initiate measures and procedures to provide for the maintenance, through preservation, rehabilitation, or restoration, of federally owned and registered sites at professional standards prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior.

(e) submit procedures required pursuant to subsection (d) to the Secretary of the Interior and to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation no later than January 1, 1972, and annually thereafter, for review and comment.

(f) cooperate with purchasers and transferees of a property listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the development of viable plans to use such property in a manner compatible with preservation objectives and which does not result in an unreasonable economic burden to public or private interests.

Sec. 3. Responsibilities of the Secretary of the Interior. The Secretary of the Interior shall:

(a) encourage State and local historic preservation officials to evaluate and survey federally owned historic properties and, where appropriate, to nominate such properties for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

(b) develop criteria and procedures to be applied by Federal agencies in the reviews and nominations required by section 2(a). Such criteria and procedures shall be developed in consultation with the affected agencies.

(c) expedite action upon nominations to the National Register of Historic Places concerning federally owned properties proposed for sale, transfer, demolition or substantial alteration.

(d) encourage State and Territorial liaison officers for historic preservation to furnish information upon request to Federal agencies regarding their properties which have been evaluated with respect to historic, architectural or archaeological significance and which as a result of such evaluations have not been found suitable for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

(e) develop and make available to Federal agencies and State and local governments information concerning professional methods and techniques for preserving, improving, restoring and maintaining historic properties.

(f) advise Federal agencies in the evaluation, identification, preservation, improvement, restoration and maintenance of historic properties.

(g) review and evaluate the plans of transferees of surplus Federal properties transferred for historic monument purposes to assure that the historic character of such properties is preserved in rehabilitation, restoration, improvement, maintenance and repair of such properties.

(h) review and comment upon Federal agency procedures submitted pursuant to section 2(e) of this order.

Richard Nixon.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Election Day is Tomorrow!!

Where has the time gone? Nov. 6 is here tomorrow with the polls opening at 6:00 am. I will be up early to distribute signs and materials to the eight Charlottesville voting locations. So, if you are up early tomorrow, perhaps you will see me. I guess it will still be dark when I have done the full circuit. Some Kleeman supporters will be handing out campaign literature at precincts on and off throughout the day. I plan to be visiting precincts in the morning, and in the mid-afternoon. Please come by and say hello if you are voting while I am at your precinct.

I hope you will not only vote for me at the polls, but invite your friends and neighbors to do the same. Now is a great time for some fresh ideas on city council, and I think I am a candidate committed to providing fresh ideas in the next council term.

Election results will be available on WINA 1070, and WCHV 1260, and should be updated on the State Board of Elections website starting shortly after the polls close at 7:00 pm. I hope to meet some friends on the downtown mall to await the results. I should be at or in the vicinity of Rapture shortly before 7:00 pm - so stop by and say hello.

I have enjoyed the campaign, meeting many new folks in Charlottesville, and being on the campaign trail with four other candidates - all of us hoping to move the city forward in our own way. I thank David Brown, Holly Edwards, Barbara Haskins, and Satyendra Huja for their open and lively discussion of the issues facing Charlottesville and for making this campaign a truly positive experience. No matter what the outcome of the voting, I look forward to continue working with city council, the city staff, and citizens willing to work toward a better Charlottesville. I especially thank those of you who supported my campaign and all you readers of this Kleeman for Council blog for exploring what I offer as a candidate and for sharing your thoughts with me through blog comments, emails and in person over the past five months or so.

Is election day really tomorrow? It does appear to be so!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Bridging the Gap (well, one of many gaps)

I am intrigued by the recent coverage of what might be called the 'Tuscany affair'. As I mentioned in a recent blog entry - I am very supportive of the Sister Cities program and there are great opportunities for us to learn from these cities. But, I personally believe we need to expand our thinking beyond just cultural exchange and promoting travel or wine sales. Perhaps we can try to close the apparent sister city interaction gap (SCIG*). As a 'pilot' in the Pilot your City effort (more formally called the Neighborhood Leadership Institute), Anne Debray - now living in France, Daya Bill - now living in New York City, and I were a project group looking into how public involvement and customer service are carried out in Charlottesville compared to how it is done in Pleven, Bulgaria - one of our sister cities. We discovered some similarities, but many differences we though worthwhile to explore as possible options for Charlottesville. We even had a one-hour meeting in March 2007 with Jenny Dimitrova who was a staff member from Pleven visiting Charlottesville. This meeting was a terrific opportunity for us to share ideas and to expand our thoughts on fostering meaningful public involvement, providing effective customer service, and other related subjects.

My recommendation to whomever winds up going to Tuscany to spend some time addressing SCIG on the trip. They could connect with sister city leaders, staff, and citizens about opportunities for information sharing as well as cultural exchange. In the current council campaign, taxation and budgeting are issues discussed at every forum and common topics in one-on-one conversations I have had with Charlottesville voters. One way to address SCIG that I have been pondering is to collect pie-charts of the city budgets from the three sister cities and explore the similarities and differences in income streams and expenditures among these three cities and Charlottesville. We might identify some exciting new ways to address our taxation and budget concerns. I am optimistic that a review of how our sister cities address common issues facing all of these cities will lead to intriguing possibilities for improving what we do in Charlottesville. I hope our delegation to Tuscany will find time to identify information sharing opportunities like this.

If I am elected to council on Tuesday, I will encourage city staff and other elected officials to explore along with interested citizen groups and individuals how we can get significant return from interactions with our sister cities. With some clear leadership in this area I am certain future city expenses associated with fostering sister city interactions will generate both good will and tangible benefits to us all and reduce SCIG.

*I couldn't resist the urge to use an acronym here. I am not a big fan of acronyms, but being a just invented term (by me) and to keep in the spirit of blogging I went with it.

Friday, November 2, 2007

A 'Thank You' that Made My Day

I was thrilled to get this 'thank you' note from the students at the Living Education Center (LEC) I spoke with on Tuesday Oct. 30 about public service and being a candidate for public office. Notes like this are one of the greatest rewards I get from being an active and involved citizen, and occasional lecturer. I am also greatly encouraged about the future of Charlottesville, Virginia, the United States, and the world to know that students like those I met at LEC might soon be taking on leadership roles in our society. I would not be surprised to see members of this group become more visible in discussing the issues of the day in the very near future. Of course, I challenged them to consider being more actively involved in the community and even to consider becoming candidates for elected office once they actually reach voting age and are eligible to be candidates.

I was also very impressed by the questions asked by the students in our 50 minute question and answer period. I am sure we could have continued for another 50 minutes if there was more time available before their next class.

Clearly, there is no shortage of young people concerned about our future and eager to learn how they can get involved and make contributions toward a better community. I hope we all do our part in nurturing this eagerness and include them and their ideas in meeting the many challenges we will face in the future.

I look forward to day when I can contribute to the campaign fund of one of these students when they announce their interest in becoming an elected official. If I am fortunate enough to be elected to Charlottesville City Council on Nov. 6, I will try to find ways to get students from all of our local schools involved in the city. Some cities in Virginia actually have student members on their local school boards. Perhaps we should consider choices like this on our school board and on other commissions and boards, too. But, if not as members of a commission or board, I will also encourage students to become involved, perhaps as interns, in working toward any of the education, housing, transportation, environmental protection, or other issues needing creative ideas and citizen participation. Based on the interest demonstrated by this group of students, I think our future will be in good hand - as long as we invite them now into the process and work together toward our common goals.

I especially thank Ernie Reed, director of LEC for inviting me to spend this time with his students. I hope this turns out to be time well spent by all involved. I suppose this blog entry is my public 'it was truly my pleasure' rejoinder to the 'thank you' note from the students at LEC.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Being a World Class City - and a Good Sister City

The article "Tuscany trip spurs scrutiny" by Barney Breen-Portnoy in today's Daily Progress got a fair bit of attention today on the morning radio talk/news shows. I read the article early this morning prior to being a guest on the Joe Thomas radio show on WCHV 1260-AM. A friend of mine said she heard this discussed on WINA 1070-AM this morning, too. I was asked about this issue on-air and my immediate thoughts are as follows:

I am a strong supporter of Charlottesville having a multifaceted sister city relationship with cities around the world. I remember when Pleven, Bulgaria was becoming a sister city several years ago and city council then refused to spend even a nickel of city money to support the time and travel of Gary O'Connell (our city manager) in his interactions with officials at Pleven. At that time, I spoke up for the city participating in providing some financial support for this effort, but to no avail. Now it appears that the city may have gone far in the opposite direction on the spending continuum.

If the primary goal of this trip is to establish a student exchange program, I personally believe it would be very useful to have perhaps one school official; one councilor; and a teacher and/or a student on the trip to have a broad range of stakeholders in the program represented. In fact, if this is to be primarily a school related issue, perhaps even the councilor could be dropped from the group.

But, if this trip is intended to be a multifaceted program exchange, some other group might be desirable. It is my impression that our sister cities in general have a desire for a broader range of exchanges than is currently the case in Charlottesville.

As a strong supporter of broad involvement in city decisions, I would recommend that future trips of this type be developed consistent with clearly stated objectives, and with all stakeholders able to help put together the best plan of action. As Joe Thomas said during our on-air conversation on this issue this morning, "Couldn't this all be arranged by email?" My hunch is that there may be more dimensions to this interaction than can be successfully handled by email, but I think the city could have presented the goals and suggested way to meet those goals to the general public earlier in this process to get feedback in a timely manner. With more people thinking about the goals and suggesting paths to reach those goals, last minute questioning of the plan would likely not happen.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Voter Information Guides Now Available

I got three City Council Voter Information guides in the last two days. It is terrific that this material is available to so many. There is an article "City Council Race: Pick 3" in the C-ville Weekly that provides candidate's answers to 10 questions (11 if you count the extra credit Sacagawea statue question). The League of Women Voters distributed their Voter Guide as an insert in the Oct. 30, 2007 Daily Progress. The Charlottesville Tomorrow Voter Guide arrived by first class mail in my mailbox this morning and is also available in an online posting.

I hope you get a chance to look at all three of these guides as well as the candidate forum videos, transcripts, and host of news articles and blog entries relating to this election. If you type in the obvious keyword into the Google (or other) search engine, you should find plenty of information to help you select the one, two, or three candidates from the five candidates in the race.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Express Your Thoughts on the Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road

This photo (from the Route 250 Interchange at McIntire Road Project website) might just give us a glimpse of what McIntire Road Extended through McIntire Park could look like if that road, the Meadow Creek Parkway, and the Interchange are constructed. This is quite a different view from the views presented in the preliminary design illustrations that show a few cars and a pedestrian or two on a path near the roadway through McIntire Park. Having 20,000 to 25,000 vehicles per day driving through the eastern portion of McIntire Park - just determined to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places is not a pretty picture. But, you have a chance to provide input to at least the interchange part of this three project scenario. The City of Charlottesville and VDOT are holding a pubic hearing on the Interchange project on Wednesday Nov. 1 at the Albemarle County Office Building from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. The hearing notice provides locations where you can view the material that is available in advance. It also states that some material will only be available at the public hearing.

I, and others, have requested that the hearing include an opportunity for a podium-style input opportunity so all stakeholders interested in the project can actually hear other stakeholder's comments as they are presented at a podium through a microphone. These requests, however, were denied. Perhaps complete disclosure of the relevant information and concerns of the public on this complex and controversial project is not desired by the project sponsors. As a believer in full public participation in projects that impact our community to the extent that this project will, I am very disappointed by this project staff and city decision.

The city's project manager, Angela Tucker, included this in her letter in response to my request for more inclusive public discussion.

"This public hearing has been organized and advertised as an open forum style hearing. In discussions with our Project Team, including VDOT, it has been determined that an open forum best meets the needs of relaying project information, answering questions, and receiving public input. While we respect your request to include an opportunity to hear public comments in a "traditional manner" (i.e. podium style), all public comments will be available for inspection soon after the 10 day comment period has expired. A transcript of the hearing, including written comments received during the comment period, will allow the entire community to share in the thoughts of the other members of the community."

Unfortunately, by the time community members get access to the information as outlined above, the comment period is closed and the opportunity to reflect on other commenter's thoughts and provide written comments after the hearing is lost.

I strongly encourage you to participate in this public hearing by stopping in at the county office building between 4:00 and 7:00 pm and provide your input on a comment form or verbally to a court reporter for inclusion in the hearing record. It is no secret that I am opposed to this project as it is currently proposed and I have posted several previous blogs about this very project you can find below. To find a variety of comments relevant to this topic, you can simply Google "kleeman route 250 bypass interchange" and find an postings you might find of interest on this blog as well as on other internet sites.

Other regional transportation alternatives can be developed that will not require sacrificing our premier parkland, further pollute our already threatened waterways, or bring thousands more vehicles into our currently congested downtown area resulting in significantly increased cut-through traffic in nearby neighborhoods. I hope you will join me in suggesting that this project is not in the best interest of our city or our region, and ask that other alternatives be pursued instead.

Your opportunity to provide input on the environmental impact assessment and the other material presented at this hearing is limited. If you cannot attend the hearing on Nov. 1, you have only until Nov. 13 to submit written comments that will be considered in evaluating the future of this project.

Inspiring the next generation of community leaders

I had the great pleasure of giving a presentation to a group of about 12 Living Education Center (LEC) students on the topic of being a candidate for City Council. Ernie Reed, the LEC director, invited me to talk about the process of becoming a candidate for office, and sharing my thoughts and experiences being a candidate for city council. I was delighted to spend about 25 minutes presenting my thoughts, and another 50 minutes in a lively question and answer period. The students were all below voting age, but seemed genuinely interested in the process and possibility of being involved in political activity in the future.

I was encouraged that several of the students had several questions relating to the talk, and about particular issues in Charlottesville including growth, transportation issues (including Meadow Creek Parkway), environmental concerns, and putting cameras on the mall. It is great to know that programs like the LEC are involving students in current affairs in the Charlottesville community. I encouraged these students to stay involved in local issues, and consider if standing for elected office might just be something they might do in the very near future. I would truly enjoy having more people in the 18-30 year old range get involved in city council elections - as campaign workers as well as candidates. I hope one or more of the students I spoke with today will get involved in the next election.

If I am elected on Nov. 6 to city council, I will try to arrange opportunities to talk with students at other schools in Charlottesville. I think part of being a community leader is developing young people to become the leaders of tomorrow. I think that this group of LEC student might just contain some future city councilors - perhaps in some other city if not in Charlottesville.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Kleeman to be on the WCHV 1260-AM Joe Thomas Show Nov. 1 at about 8:00 AM

Yes, I will have one more on-air interview with Joe Thomas on Thursday morning at 8:00 AM on WCHV 1260-AM to chat about issues in the city council campaign. I hope you will tune in. Apparently Holly Edwards (to be on Wednesday morning) and I are the only two council candidates to accept the offer to be interviewed. I was on two weeks ago, and accepted the offer to do it again. I was listening to the Joe Thomas show this morning to hear Lindsay Dorrier talk about his candidacy for supervisor for the Scottsville District - and as a bonus I called in to win a free CD with several Beatles tunes as part of an ongoing promotion. I hope winning this CD is a harbinger of victories in other contests I am in - like the city council election.

I have been enjoying hearing the interview of Albemarle County Board of Visitor candidates to hear their positions on issues that will affect both Albemarle County and Charlottesville. I have had opportunities to get to know all of the Albemarle candidates (and the current board members) and would enjoy working with any of them on joint city-county concerns. There are many issues that are clearly regional in nature that will require cooperation among both jurisdictions to identify and implement workable solutions.

Charlottesville Tomorrow's 2007 City Council Voter Guide is out

Charlottesville Tomorrow posted its "2007 City Council Voter Guide" on its website. If you have not yet made up your mind on council choices in the Nov. 6 election, check it out. It should be arriving in every registered voter's mailbox in the very near future, too. But, while you are online anyway, why not click on the link above to compare among the candidates. The voter guide presents answers condensed from interviews conducted by Charlottesville Tomorrow several weeks ago. If the edited down version is a bit difficult to read, you can go to the podcasts for each of the interviews and get the full version as recorded during the interview.

I also hope you will watch one or more of the videos online of the candidate forums on the Charlottesville Tomorrow website - or watch a rebroadcast of a forum on Charlottesville Cable TV-10. I think the forums will help any undecided voter to choose the best candidate(s) to support on Nov. 6. I recommend you check out that independent candidate named Peter Kleeman (yes, as a believer in full disclosure I must inform you that I am he and believe that I am worthy of one of your votes). Your vote could just make the difference on Nov. 6, so be sure to get out to the polls.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Positive Campaigning and the Nicole Richie body mass electability index

I enjoyed reading Lisa Provence's article entitled "Fall Fling: Charlottesville City Council Race" in the October 18, 2007 issue of the HooK. I am happy to report, however, that there is no negative campaigning that I see in this race. Provence wrote "Most of the candidates make nice about their opponents, but Kleeman takes aim at Brown's support for the proposed Meadowcreek Parkway, the long-planned road that would link downtown to Rio Road." But, pointing out the differences between views by candidates on controversial projects like the parkway is hardly what I would call 'taking aim'.

I have been before council on many over the past several years asking council to connect these projects into one project, and to do a comprehensive look into whether the combined project is consistent with our community's transportation and environmental vision for the future. I believe it is essential to combine the Albemarle County portion of the parkway project, McIntire Road Extended, and the Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road project into one project for analysis because none of the independent pieces can meet its purpose and need without the others. They are intimately linked, but are apparently being kept separate to avoid performing environmental review of impacts of the McIntire Road Extended project on McIntire Park and surrounding natural, cultural, and historic resources. It is my opinion that this artificial separation is not in compliance with prevailing federal law. Also, the most recent council action that conditionally approved granting a construction easement to VDOT in McIntire Park confirms that these projects are not separable and must be connected.

At the October 3 council candidate forum, candidates were asked where we would look first to cut funding in the city budget. I answered that I would cut spending for the McIntire Road Extended and the interchange projects and redirect a portion of those funds toward transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects in the city. Mayor Brown answered that he would cut funding from the affordable housing expenditures from the city budget. Given that this is part of the public record, I hardly think that stating these differences in response to Provence's request to identify how I differ from other candidates is anything like an accusation as presented in the Provence article. Perhaps this constitutes the 'sizzle' that I was asked to put in my Squeaky Wheel articles I wrote for the HooK prior to my becoming a council candidate. I did telephone Mayor Brown to tell him that my intention was not to attack him in any way and that the article had some extra sizzle inserted. After that was said and done, we continued to chat about some of the other fun and surprises we were both encountering on the campaign trail. I have gotten to know and enjoy interacting with all of the city council candidates and appreciate that we all seem to believe that the campaign is totally about the issues important to the residents of Charlottesville. Win or lose, I believe all five candidates will be working together in our own ways to make Charlottesville a better place in the years ahead. We are all in this effort together.

I did have to chuckle at the comment "Despite the chances of upending the Democratic machine seeming slimmer than Nicole Richie, two independents have stepped into the fray ...". I do not follow Nicole Richie's body fat index but you can decide for yourself online, but I believe that independent candidates have a very good chance of getting elected to City Council in Charlottesville. In fact I have people stopping me on the street every day thanking me for running as an independent candidate, and telling me that they will be voting for me on November 6. Maybe I will have to check if Nicole Richie has put on a few pounds lately to see if Nicole's body mass is a viable indicator of electability of independent candidates. It is a great line, and I am guessing Lisa Provence has been looking for a good place to use it. But, I don't encourage you to believe it. I encourage you to vote for me on Nov. 6 and be part of history - the election of the first independent candidate ever elected to Charlottesville city council.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

On the air with Joe Thomas on WCHV - 1260 AM

I thoroughly enjoyed spending about 30 minutes with Joe Thomas on the new WCHV -1260 AM local morning show (5 - 9 am). I was on about 7:00 am and discussed with him some of the issues in my city council campaign including affordable housing and transportation challenges and opportunities. Joe Thomas really made me feel comfortable in the studio and impressed me with the preparation he did finding out about the campaign in general and material I have posted on my kleemanforcouncil.blogspot.com website.

Although this is the very first week of this new show, the first person I ran into on the street when I was walking from home to the downtown mall after the show was former independent Charlottesville city council candidate Blair Hawkins who said he had just heard me on WCHV radio! I hope lots of folks were up and tuned in at 7:00 am to listen. I know I will listen to this show when I can in the days ahead to hear conversations with other local candidates scheduled to be on-air with Joe Thomas. This just might be a great place to connect with others in the community on local issue both before and after the upcoming Nov. 6 election. I suggest you give it a listen, too.

I found a press release entitled "Monticello Media Launches New Morning Show on NewsTalk 1260 AM WCHV" dated Oct. 14 announcing the new show online. Perhaps this paragraph from that press release will be a sufficient 'tease' for you to tune in and see what Joe Thomas is offering on his morning show.....

Thomas has long been an advocate for citizens’ activism, smaller, more responsive government, and more emphasis on local and regional authority. “I believe that ‘We the People’ is the greatest phrase man has penned in regard to governance,” Thomas says. “However, that puts a great burden on us, and that is going to be a core philosophy of the show. What can ‘We, the People,’ do to make things work?”

NAACP Candidate Forum on Cable TV 10

If you were not at city council chambers last night to participate in the NAACP council candidate forum, you can still check out what happened by watching the cable TV 10 rebroadcast in the days between now and Nov. 6 election day. I don't know what the rebroadcast schedule will be, but if you have access to cable TV 10 I hope you will try to watch one or more of the forum rebroadcasts. I have enjoyed participating in the three candidate forums - all of which are now or will be available for online viewing on the Charlottesville Tomorrow website. The November 3, 2007 candidate forum has been rebroadcast several times each week since November 3.

Last night's NAACP forum focussed on issues of education, housing, and participation of people of all backgrounds in council politics among other issues of particular interest to members of our local NAACP. I thought the discussion was lively and all of the candidates had a fair opportunity to state their ideas, goals, and strategies for addressing those challenging issues. Clearly, the five candidates all agree on the importance of meeting the challenges identified in the NAACP's questions to council candidates, but all have different ideas about how best to work toward identifying and implementing solutions. If you can spend the two hours necessary to view the rebroadcast, I believe you will be able to make a much more informed decision on which candidates would best represent you on city council. Check it out.

If you are reading this blog entry, you have likely been to other candidate websites and are somewhat familiar with the candidates and their positions on council issues - but these forums provide a terrific opportunity to see the differences and similarities among the field of candidates. I believe that I have presented myself and the priorities I will bring to city council at these forums and ask that you consider voting for me on November 6. No independent city council candidate has ever won a council seat - but your vote could help change that. And, if you are visiting this blog for the first time, I invite you to browse the many previous postings that indicate in much greater detail than possible in a candidate forum where I stand on many of the issues currently being considered by our city council. Good information is key to making good decisions. I have tried to present the best information I can about my candidacy and will be counting on your support on election day (Nov. 6).

Friday, October 12, 2007

Kleeman to be on WCHV radio (1260 AM) Thursday Oct. 18 at 7:00 AM

I am delighted to be invited (as have other council candidates) to chat about my city council campaign and issues in the city by Joe Thomas - the new Program Director at WCHV who is also hosting their morning drive-time show live from 5:00 to 7:00 am. As I understand the plan, you can call in with your questions. I am scheduled only starting at 7:00 am or actually a few minutes after 7:00 am.

I hope you will listen to 1260 AM on Thursday. It appears that Joe Thomas is keen on local issues and you might even find his show to be a great place to listen and discuss many of the issues in Charlottesville in the future. I plan to check out this 5:00 to 9:00 show (although I am not sure what day it starts).

If you are reading this blog, you are likely interested and involved in local issues. This show sounds like it just might be a valuable resource for generating some lively discussion of local issues. Check it out!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Charlottesville's Parkland - Political Footballs?


Major areas of Charlottesville parkland and natural area are under significant pressure to meet the infrastructure 'needs' of growth in our region. Charlottesville Tomorrow just reported (see "Pen Park route for Eastern Connector back on the table") that Pen Park is again being suggested by Albemarle County planning staff as a possible route for an eastern connector road - in spite of project consultants recommendations against use of Pen Park due to federal section 4(f) parkland protection for that land. Pen Park is also protected under the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act as most of Pen Park was purchased under federal funds acquired from this fund.

Every week there is news about possible 'reprogramming' of our parks for other uses. Ragged Mountain Natural Area is likely to be flooded as part of the planned reservoir system to meet growth in our water demand. More than twenty-two acres of McIntire Park is likely to be given under easement to VDOT for construction of the McIntire Road Extended project and additional acreage possibly to be leased to the YMCA for construction of a YMCA recreation facility. Bailey Park will be lost if the Route 250 Interchange at McIntire Road is constructed. Riverview Park and the Rivanna Trail are under threat from possible plans for additional roadway crossings of the Rivanna River. Is any parkland off limits?

Parkland and natural areas are essential to the health of our region and our residents. We can't continue to believe that these lands should be sacrificed to allow more (and faster) development. The Charlottesville City Council and Albemarle Board of Supervisors need to explore other alternatives than reducing our parkland and natural areas to feed growth.

Growth issues and protection of our natural area are issues in both the Albemarle Board of Supervisor and Charlottesville City Council elections on November 6. I keep up with these issues as best I can through news reports, attending public meetings, and visiting the Charlottesville Tomorrow website to read meeting transcripts, view video of meetings and public forums, and listen to Podcasts of public discussions. I hope you too will keep yourself informed of these rapidly changing projects and proposals - and be sure to make an informed choice on these issues in the voting booth on November 6.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Free Ride on the Number 7 CTS Bus

I was on the downtown mall on Monday morning and about to head over to the UVA Law School to attend a lunchtime seminar/meeting about Environmental Decisions in the most recent U. S Supreme Court session (with Environmental Law Professor Jon Cannon the speaker) and contemplated my transportation options. I had one hour to get to the Law School. I could walk (I have done this before in the snow when no buses were running, but guessed that I could likely do the trip on foot in about an hour); I could ride my bicycle (but I would have to walk home (~7 minutes to get my bicycle); I could walk home and get my car and drive there (and have to find some sort of parking at or near the law school); or I could take the bus. What should I do?

I chose the bus. I could take the trolley from the downtown mall - and switch at UVA hospital to the UVA Blue Route that goes to the Law School after circling much of main UVA grounds. That is a trip I have done many times and it would get me to the law school in about 30-40 minutes (if my memory is any good on these experiences). But, I could also take the CTS Number 7 - and it is Free CTS Fare month. So I went off to the nearest CTS stop (right in front of Second Street Gallery on Water Street) and in about 3 minutes I was heading off to Barracks Road Shopping Center on the Number 7. In about 20 minutes I was off the bus and walking the short trip along Arlington Blvd. to the Law School. I was there with thirty minutes to spare before the seminar. The trip was fast, fun, and I got to read most of the current issue of C-ville Weekly on the bus. I spent my 30 minutes of 'wait' time in the Law School Library (a favorite spot for me to do a variety of legal research tasks among other activities).

After the seminar (that was well worth the trip) I walked back to the Arlington Blvd. CTS stop and was back on the mall in about 35 minutes. I expect I will be doing this trip about one or two times each week and the free bus service makes the trip fast, convenient, and free. That is a deal that can't be beat. And, I met some very interesting folks on the bus ride home, besides.

If you are headed anywhere along a CTS route I recommend you take CTS and see how well it can work for you. The Number 7 has the shortest time between buses but with a bit of planning you can leave your car or bicycle behind and try CTS. Now is a terrific time to discover how an expanded bus system in Charlottesville, Albemarle, and beyond can improve the quality of all of our lives. Give it a try if you haven't already become familiar with CTS - and in October you can ride any CTS bus for free! And, don't hesitate to say hello if you see me on the bus. It may well be the best way between lots of places in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

City Council's Leadership Vacuum on McIntire Road Extended Evident at Council Meeting

City council again showed little in the way of leadership toward achieving our communities vision for the future in considering item 2 on the October 1, 2007 council agenda - listed as a public hearing and ordinance "Granting Construction Easement to VDOT for McIntire Road Extended (1st of 2 readings)." Although little, if any progress on the issues discussed by council in resolving parkland replacement, stormwater management, stream protection, development of an eastern connector, and other issues discussed at the July 16, 2007 council meeting (minutes of this discussion available here), the item was considered again. To my suprise, and to the surprise of many others, council actually granted this easment with a number of conditions similar to conditions already in effect as included in a council letter to VDOT dated January 18, 2006. Councilor Norris stated clearly his opposition to the McIntire Road Extended project but joined all of the other councilors in supporting the easement resolution with the added conditions. I am uncertain what the effect of this decision will have beyond adding yet more confusion to this already confusing project. I wonder if VDOT will even agree to the as-passes easement agreement with the added conditions. It appears to be more of an easement disagreement to me. [NOTE: at the council meeting this item was announced to be a resolution rather than an ordinance as advertised and that action did not require two readings. I believe this misadvertisement eliminated a significant opportunity for the public to provide input on the proposed agreement as modified by council prior to council action.]

Seth Rosen's October 2, 2007 headline article in the Daily Progress - "Council takes action on parkway" - suffered some of the same problems as the discussion by council. Due to likely last minute production issues at the Daily Progress, only the first three paragraphs and part of the fourth were printed. The online story is complete, so you will have to read it online. Like so many of the discussions about this project over its history, much relevant and essential material to the viability of the project were not available.

The McIntire Road Extended project development is not yet ready for commitment of right-of-way. Granting of a construction easement to VDOT of this type for roadway construction is not even a common practice. The VDOT project development process indicates that preliminary engineering should be complete before right-of way is acquired - and without stormwater management or workable intersection designs preliminary engineering is not complete.

I asked the city's VDOT project coordinator, and VDOT project staff if VDOT has ever stated that the McIntire Road Extended project design was declared to be a workable design that meets the stated project purpose and need and ready to move beyond preliminary engineering. I have not yet been provided any such statement and am not confident that this important conclusion could even be determined given the current missing design elements. I question the leadership of our current council in moving forward (if this action is a forward movement) a project that may not even meet its own design goals. The McIntire Road Extended project includes an at-grade intersection at route 250 bypass - a design that has been demonstrated to operate at failing level of service in all through and turning motions when the facility opens. Moving this project forward demonstrates no council leadership at all to me.

Moving this project forward in its current state is also inconsistent with our city's goal of becoming a sustainable city. We need to reprogram our McIntire Road Extended funds toward expanded transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects if we will ever expect to become a sustainably developed city. New leadership is needed, and we all need to demand it from our current and future city councilors.

I am committed to moving forward only projects consistent with our city's goals and vision for the future. I am convinced that the McIntire Road Extended project is not one of the projects that will move us in that direction.

Seth Rosen's article closes with the following: "But Morgan Perkins, owner of Sage Moon Gallery, summed up the thoughts of parkway supporters, and, apparently, the council:"

'How long can we study something before we make a decision?'

My answer would be: At least long enough to develop all of the essential designs and impacts of those designs necessary to make a responsible decision. We are clearly not there yet. Decisions need to be bases on sufficient infomration - not the passage of time.

Monday, October 1, 2007

More Questions & Answers from Sierra Club Candidate Survey

Here is the last four questions from the Sierra Club's Candidate Survey - part of the basis for candidate endorsement in the City Council election on Nov. 6. I am proud to have been endorsed by our local Sierra Club for election. I also believe that I have the strongest commitment among the five council candidates to ensuring environmental consideration in all issues that would come before the next city council.

Questions 5 - 8 from Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club's Survey of Candidates for Charlottesville City Council (with my answers)

5) Do you believe the City Council should determine an optimum sustainable population size and use this information for future planning?

Yes. Clearly population growth drives many of the environmental impact, transportation demand, and natural resource availability concerns in our community. I do not believe that population growth can be separated from the city’s sustainable development vision. Our current availability of natural resources (land, water, etc) as well as infrastructure currently in place (sewer, roads, schools, etc.) can only support some upper limit on population. As part of the comprehensive planning process, I believe population levels, investment in natural resource development, and investment in infrastructure must be considered jointly to ensure that the quality of life for all residents of the greater Charlottesville area is maintained, and improved where possible.

6) The City of Charlottesville is surrounded by Albemarle County and the environments of the two localities are deeply intertwined. Is there any environmental issue in which you believe additional City-County cooperation should be sought?

I believe that our local environmental challenges follow no recognized jurisdictional boundaries. Our watershed is clearly being heavily utilized and must be jointly managed through city-county efforts. I believe joint consideration of stream protection activities, ground water management, regional tree-cover expansion, and waste management (including material reutilization, recycling, trash disposal) all could result in greater regional benefits and a healthier regional environment.

7). As a private citizen or elected official, what do you consider to be your most significant contribution, to date, in the preservation of our local environment?

I believe that my efforts as an involved citizen in promoting sustainable transportation development in Charlottesville-Albemarle is my most significant local environmental contribution. I have promoted use of transportation planning funding opportunities to improve the range of transportation choices available to residents and visitors to our area that will reduce reliance on single occupancy vehicles, reduce air pollution emissions, reduce consumption of fossil fuels, reduce the need for additional roadway, and reduce the impact our transportation systems have on our sensitive ground and surface water systems. I have served on several transportation planning committees, served on the board of the Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation (ACCT), done independent studies on the environmental impacts of proposed highways (including the now defunct Western 29 Bypass and the Meadowcreek Parkway), reported my findings and suggestions to our Metropolitan Planning Organization, city council, and the Albemarle County board of supervisors, and provided information to a broad range of organizations working to support a healthy urban environment in Charlottesville.

8). Once elected (re-elected), what would be your top three policy priorities that focus on preserving our local environment?"

8.1 Evaluate the vehicle fleet owned by the city (it is something like 600 vehicles) to determine if city business could be adequately handled using many fewer vehicles, consuming significantly less fuel, and emitting significantly fewer greenhouse and other environmentally undesirable gases and other air pollutants.

8.2 Explore opportunities to promote increased tree cover in the city. I would work toward an aggressive tree planting program on city owned land, and promote tree planting by local residents and businesses through education programs, providing native plant materials, and generally encouraging improvement to Charlottesville’s urban tree canopy.

8.3 Explore the state of our stream system. Many of our local streams and tributaries have very poor water quality and receive pollution from a number of untreated point and area sources. I would also encourage engaging local schools, groups, and interested individuals to become involved in identifying pollution sources, identifying stream remediation opportunities, and working with the city’s environmental program coordinator to invest some city staff and financial resources toward improving the city’s ground water and surface water quality.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

More Sierra Club Survey Questions/Answers

Here are questions 2, 3, and 4 (of 8) from the Sierra Club Candidate Survey with my responses. I hope you will consider your own personal position on each of these issues - and share it with city council by email, letter, phone, or by commenting at an upcoming council meeting. Council needs to know where the community stands on these important community issues. Here is where I stand on the issues of improving local transportation, marketing locally produced foods, and promoting energy efficient building construction.

I will post the other four questions with my answers in the next several days. So, be sure to bookmark this site and visit again. Some of these issues will be addressed at the upcoming candidate forum at city hall at 7:00 pm on Oct. 3. Perhaps you can share your thoughts on some of these issues with council candidates then.

2) Do you have any proposals for the improvement of transportation in the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County and University of Virginia?

Yes. Below are several proposals I have been promoting over the past several years and will promote if I am elected to city council.

2.1 I am a strong advocate for expansion of pedestrian, bicycle, and public transportation opportunities throughout our region. I believe that the concept of an expanded trolley system connecting Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia should be explored in greater detail along with expanded bus service throughout our region.

2.2 I also have advocated for establishment of a true regional transportation authority that includes not only Charlottesville and Albemarle County as currently being proposed, but also including the surrounding counties (Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa, Nelson) that are part of our planning district. These jurisdictions contribute many vehicle trips to and from the Charlottesville and Albemarle County urbanized area that need to be considered in our regional transportation planning.

2.3 I propose expanded development of pedestrian and bicycle paths that connect residential, shopping, and employment centers in our area. Some of these types of facilities have been recently constructed and I will support continued – if not expanded – development of pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

3) The City of Charlottesville has sought to promote local marketing of locally produced foods. Are there any steps you believe the City should take to support local production and sale of healthful foods?

Yes, I believe that a permanent home for our city market needs to be established. I prefer that one market location be in the Charlottesville downtown area accessible to potential pedestrian and bicycle travelers. Additional market areas in other locations, and on different market days will also enhance marketing of local foods and provide added benefits to our environment, community health and our local economy.


4) Solar building design provides a means of reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the City. Are there any steps you would like to see the City take to further promote energy-efficient building design?

Yes. I believe that the city should promote use of solar building technology in all of its own buildings and explore use of these technologies when new buildings are designed and when building reconstruction and renovation projects are done. I also will promote establishment of energy reduction incentives to encourage private builders to use solar or other greenhouse gas reducing technologies in non-governmental buildings. These incentives could be included as guidelines for planned urban developments that require planning commission and city council approvals before necessary rezoning decisions.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sierra Club Endorses Local Candidates at City Hall This Morning

The Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club held a press conference this morning in front of Charlottesville's City Hall to encourage voters to consider supporting candidates who have demonstrated a strong commitment to environmental stewardship. I am happy to report that I was one of the candidates endorsed by the Piedmont Group. Their Endorsements of candidates in Local Races notice is posted on their website.

I have been actively involved both professionally and as an involved citizen in environmental issues since accepting a position right out of college in the National Air Pollution Control Administration in 1970 - just after the passage of the Clean Air Act of 1970. I am committed to ensuring actions taken by city council will always consider environmental sensitivity and will encourage input from the environmental community in helping the city work toward achieving its environmental sustainability vision.

To help you understand why the Piedmont Group selected me for endorsement, I will post over the next several days the eight questions with my answers in the Sierra Club's Survey of Candidates that were used as a part of the endorsement decision. The first question is of particular interest in that an item (including a public hearing) related to possibly granting a construction easement to VDOT for the McIntire Road Extended project through McIntire Park is on city council's October 1, 2007 agenda. So, here is question 1 (of 8):


1) What is your position on the Meadowcreek Parkway?

My Answer:

I am opposed to the development of the Meadowcreek Parkway (which I believe officially consists of three components: 1) the Meadow Creek Parkway project in Albemarle County; 2) the McIntire Road Extended project in Charlottesville, and the Route 250 Bypass Interchange at McIntire Road project also in Charlottesville). I have actively been involved in the community discussion about the project development process itself as well as the scope and design of this project and the impacts it will likely have on our local environment. In general, I believe that this project was designed to solve transportation problems of the 1960’s, but that this project is not a viable solution to our transportation problems of the present and future.

1.1 The Project Development Process:

McIntire Park is a public park protected under section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act that prohibits use of public parkland for highway development if federal funds are used except in very limited circumstances that do not apply in this case. I contend that the interchange and the McIntire Road Extended projects must be considered under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) as one project, and that development of this project as independent segments is not in compliance with these federal statues.

I have suggested to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the local Metropolitan Planning organization, and the city of Charlottesville that this project should be developed as one project and considered along with other alternative transit and roadway projects (such as a possible Eastern Connector between northern and eastern Albemarle County) in their ability to meet our current and future transportation needs.

1.2 Environmental Impacts of the Parkway project:

Building a highway of this type through our major parkland will have many negative impacts in the community as well as in use of the park itself. The roadway improvements will be elevated above the surrounding terrain and will generate a significant increases in traffic noise in surrounding neighborhoods and the park. My own noise analysis using FHWA noise assessment modeling tools indicates that the entire eastern portion of the park will be too noisy for quiet activities in the park. The anticipated noise levels will be only consistent with active recreation (e.g. sport activities) if the parkway is constructed as currently envisioned. Only a small portion of the eastern section of the park is currently experiencing traffic noise levels not suitable for quiet activities.

Other environmental impacts include increased stormwater and roadway runoff entering the environmentally sensitive Schenk’s Branch that is immediately adjacent to the proposed roadway, disturbance of 20 to 30 acres of parkland through regrading in the vicinity of Schenk’s Branch. No satisfactory solution for the handling of the stormwater in McIntire park resulting from this project has yet been engineered.

1.3 Traffic related impacts of the Parkway project:

As currently proposed, the project is anticipated to carry about 20,000 additional vehicles total into and out of the north downtown area of Charlottesville. McIntire Road, which is currently a heavily congested road, will carry those vehicles destined for downtown Charlottesville leading to further increased congestion. I anticipate that this congestion will lead to increased cut-through traffic in neighborhoods north of downtown and will result in congestion in other areas of Charlottesville as well.

The proponents of this project have not adequately demonstrated that this project – even if moved forward in compliance with federal regulations – provides identifiable transportation benefits consistent with the multi-million dollar cost of the project. I believe our transportation future would be far better if these resources were reprogrammed to other more beneficial transit, bicycle, pedestrian, and roadway system improvements.

* * * * *

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Passion for Policy?

The Daily Progress published a story by Seth Rosen today entitled "Ex-professor has passion for policy" based on an interview at Cafe Cubano on the downtown mall over coffee a few weeks ago. If you didn't see it in the paper, it is all available online - except for the photo (that I think is a wonderful photograph of me taken outside the Senior Center on Pepsi Drive just before the recent Senior Statesmen of Virginia Candidate Showcase). Seth Rosen does a great job covering news in Charlottesville, and I enjoyed chatting with him about my candidacy and the issues I am focusing on in the campaign. I think he has captured much of what I offer as a candidate for council and the spirit of my candidacy in the article and I hope you will take a few minutes to read through it. One of the enjoyable parts of being a council candidate is getting to know many of the print, web, radio and television journalists covering the campaign. I truly look forward to seeing these folks along the 'campaign trail'.

Fry's Springs Candidate Forum is Online

Charlottesville Tomorrow has just posted its audio podcast of the Fry's Springs Candidate Forum with all five council candidates statements and answers to the eleven questions from the audience. They also provide a brief text summary of the answers by candidates for each of the eleven questions asked to provide a quick comparison among the candidates' positions in the posting entitled City Council candidates discuss cut-through traffic, budget at Fry's Spring Forum. A video of the event will be available soon, too, but as the photo above shows, the lighting was not as bright as likely needed for crisp video. I thought the questions from the audience covered a broad range of issues - most of which are issues throughout the entire City, not just in the Fry's Springs neighborhood.

I do encourage you to attend one of the upcoming forums (Oct. 3, Oct.10, and Oct. 17 - all on Wednesday evenings) to participate in the questioning and to see the candidates in person. But, if you can't get to any of these, I strongly recommend that you visit Charlottesville Tomorrow regularly to check out their text, audio, and video postings of these events. Brian Wheeler, Sean Tubbs and Kendall Singleton (the staff at Charlottesville Tomorrow) are providing terrific coverage of the council candidate events. Their coverage provides voters with the best opportunity ever to make informed choices among the candidates on election day - November 6. I am truly impressed with the quality of their work and how quickly they make the material they produce available to the public.

NOTE: photo above linked from the Charlottesville Tomorrow Weblog.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Better Analysis Needed on YMCA Proposal

The discussion about whether Charlottesville should have swimming and other recreation services provided by the YMCA in McIntire Park, or should invest in its own facilities seems to be primarily focused on comparing the capital costs of the alternatives - but I believe it is essential to compare both the costs and benefits over the full life cycle of these facilities. I was pleased that Councilor Kendra Hamilton expressed this concern at the most recent council meeting, but I am not confident that this information will be considered - if even developed by staff - before a decision on the YMCA proposal is reached by council. One of the advantages of having a Triple-A bond rating is that large capital investments can be made with money borrowed at favorable interest rates. Spread over the life of the projects, even at higher capital costs, replacing the pools may have significantly higher recreational benefit and may well be superior to the YMCA alternative.

I am very interested to see what the cost and benefit streams would be for a twenty year (or whatever is appropriate) period under the competing alternatives. Certainly the capital cost of replacing the city pools is higher than having the YMCA provide much of the capital investment, but the city would then have the ability to provide recreation services to more people for more hours every day. Without some reasonable life cycle analysis, I don't see how the economics and recreation benefits to our community of the alternatives can be adequately compared.

If capital cost was our only consideration, we would always choose the alternative with the lowest initial investment. One doesn't need to study economics to know that this is not always the best investment strategy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fry's Springs Neighborhood Association Council Candidate Forum on Thursday, Sept. 20

The Fry's Springs Neighborhood Association is holding a City Council Candidate Forum on Thursday Sept. 20 at 7:00 pm at the Fry's Springs Beach Club. All five council candidates are planning to attend - and I hope you will consider attending, too. There will be brief statements by the candidates and an opportunity for audience members to ask questions.

Charlottesville Tomorrow has a schedule of election events posted on its website and information about all the candidates as well.

If you can't attend this or other upcoming forums, you can view the Senior Statesmen of Virginia Candidate Showcase video that is now available through Charlottesville Tomorrow. This video includes brief statements and responses to audience questions from all of the Charlottesville city council candidates and all of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisor candidates on the November 6, 2007 ballot.

Monday, September 17, 2007

On the Hot Seat - Check out the HooK story online.


In case you haven't seen the Sept. 13 issue of the HooK and seen the HOTSEAT article by Lisa Provence entitled Outspoken: Squeaky wheel runs for council, why not click here to see the story online. I do hope you are more interested in my qualifications for candidacy and ideas for city council than what is in my refrigerator or my favorite book - after all I would love for you to support my run for council, and come out on Nov. 6 to vote for me on that basis. Also, I hope you will chat with your friends about the upcoming election and who among the candidates will best move Charlottesville forward.

The photo to the left is the one posted on the web as part of the article - taken by Jen Fariello for the HooK. I thoroughly enjoyed cruising the downtown library, East Market Street and the downtown mall with Jen finding photo opportunities and chatting about a broad range of topics - including issues in the city council campaign. I am delighted that one of the shots on the mall was the featured photo because I believe the downtown mall is the heart of Charlottesville and a place I spend a great deal of my time.

I also enjoyed being on the HOTSEAT and being interviewed by Lisa Provence. I have read dozens of previous HOTSEAT articles and now I am the latest one in that series. I do hope you will read it.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Charflottesville Tomorrow's Council Candidate Interviews Now Online

Charlottesville Tomorrow recently interviewed all of the city council candidates on a broad range of topics (there were 17 questions in all) and is posting them online for all interested voters to hear as podcasts. Transcripts of the interviews are also to be posted soon. To hear my interview, link to Candidate Interview - Peter Kleeman. It runs just under one hour. Of course, you may wish to listen to the other candidate interviews as well to get a feeling for where each candidate stands on issues related to growth, water supply, transportation, responsible government, city - county - university cooperation, and related topics.

I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with Kendall Singleton and Sean Tubbs of the Charlottesville Tomorrow staff. I look forward to hearing the interviews with the other candidates myself as time permits. Some of the interview material will be included in the voter guide that Charlottesville Tomorrow will be mailing to voters before the election. So, if you don't get to hear all the podcasts, you will get a glimpse of the interview responses in the voter guide.

Will $41.1 Million Mitigate Biscuit Run Impacts

Jeremy Borden's Sept. 14, 2007 Daily Progress article "Developers ready to build: Officials glad long debate over Biscuit Run has been finalized," states that "the proffers that were accepted will likely be one of Biscuit Run’s lasting effects. What supervisors deemed worthy or unworthy for proffer credit will be a model for area developers and may serve in the near future as the policy itself."

I question if this is the right way to establish a proffer policy. Charlottesville Tomorrow has provided terrific coverage of the proffer discussion related to the Biscuit Run project and it is not clear that $41.1 Million will even cover the transportation improvements needed to accommodate the project. You can see VDOT's analysis of Biscuit Run proffers which I believe underestimates the true transportation cost impact of the project. I provided comments to that posting showing that $32 million may be needed to improve Route 20 alone as a direct result of the Biscuit Run project (because no widening of Route 20 would be needed without the project).

I believe Albemarle County supervisors should resist having the process used in 'negotiating' Biscuit Run proffers be the model for future proffer decision-making, but instead develop a project specific approach to evaluating actual needs (and the associated costs) to mitigate future project impacts.

County taxpayers will be the ones footing the bill for all of the additional infrastructure needs not adequately covered by proffers, and I believe these costs are likely to be substantial.

Charlottesville and Albemarle County staff would do well to work together and determine an objective way of analyzing impacts from these large rezoning projects to ensure that current residents are not paying more than a fair share of the very high costs of growth.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Submit Comments Without Registering

Several readers of this Kleeman for Council blog opted not to leave comments because of the need to do a one time registration as a commenter. Apparently, this is the default setting on Blogspot.Com. So, to encourage more comments from readers, I have just figured out how to allow comments from anybody without registering. I hope this works. This blogging thing is a new thing for me, so I am learning as I go. This is also true in running for office as an independent candidate - a great learning experience.

So, feel free to comment on any of my postings. I hope this works better for my readers.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club Endorses Peter Kleeman for City Council

I was delighted to get a notice from the local Sierra Club that I have been endorsed by them as a candidate for city council. Their decision to endorse candidates was "based on review and discussion of a host of factors, including past performances in public life and responses to our survey questionnaire."

I have been actively involved in a broad range of environmental issues as a federal and Commonwealth of Virginia staff member, as a faculty member at the University of Virginia, as an independent consultant, and as an involved citizen in Charlottesville. I can assure you that respect for our environment will be a concern for me in all decisions I make should I become your city councilor.

I have always enjoyed working with members of the Sierra Club and look forward to working with them in the future. The announcement has not yet appeared on the Piedmont Group Sierra Club website, but I hope you will check there later to see their announcement when it gets posted.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Candidate Showcase Happening September 12

The Senior Statesmen of Virginia will host a Candidates Showcase featuring the candidates for the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and the Charlottesville City Council. All candidates - including me - will make a brief statement and then the session will be open for questions from attendees. I hope you will attend this session and bring your questions for the candidates. This meeting is open to all interested members of the public.

Meeting Announcement:

Candidate Forum
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
The Senior Center on Pepsi Place


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sarah Hendley Takes Action to Preserve Pen Park



Here are two photos to complement my previous blog entry showing Sarah Hendley taking action in her effort to preserve Pen Park by speaking out at a recent Charlottesville- Albemarle Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Policy Board Meeting. The MPO must approve use of all federal transportation money for projects or studies in our urbanized area. These photos are provided provided courtesy of the Charlottesville Tomorrow weblog.

You can provide your thoughts on local and regional transportation planning issues to the MPO at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The MPO meeting schedule is available along with meeting agendas and background material on the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission website. Time for presentation on matters from the public are provided at the beginning and end of each MPO Policy Board meetings.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Public Involvement Does Make a Difference

I wish I had a handy picture to post of Sarah Hendley wearing her "Preserve Pen park" sandwich board roaming through the city market or other event collecting well over 1000 signatures on a petetion to keep the proposed Eastern Connector roadway out of Pen Park. Her many months of effort appear to have made a difference. Charlottesville Tommorow posted a summary of a recent Eastern Connector Steering Committee meeting entitled "Pen Park route not among Eastern Connector alternatives." Not one of the eleven proposed roadway alignments by PBS&J (the project consultants) goes through Pen Park. A Pen Park alignment was previously a favorite among promoters of the road.

Pen Park has two different protections against being used as a highway alignment under federal law. First, most of the park was developed using federal funds available through the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act signed by President Lyndon Johnson limiting use of that facility to other parkland or conservation land; and second, all public parkland is protected against use by a federally funded roadway project where other alignments are feasible and practicable under Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966.

PBS&J project leader Lewis Grimm is quoted in the Charlottesville Tomorrow posting saying "it would be hard to convince the federal government that the use of parkland would be justified. Section 4(f) of the National Environmental Policy Act requires planners to show that all other alternatives have been considered before parkland can be used." Perhaps PBS&J would have made the same recommendation without Sarah Hendley's "Preserve Pen Park" campaign, but I think she clearly raised the issue to a point where it required a clear statement like that given by Grimm. This is the first time these protections were actually cited as a reason to avoid the park to my knowledge in the development of this project.

There are other parks threatened by highway projects in our region and I hope other project consultants, steering committees, and project proponents get this clear message - that parks are very special parcels of land and are given and worthy of these protections. This is a terrific example of the difference one knowledgeable and committed individual (with a bit of help from others, too) can have on our community. But the work must continue. I am sure I will see Sarah Hendley collecting more support from local residents and I will be there to help in any way that I can. Perhaps you can get involved in working for a better future too - there is plenty of work to go around. Any chance we can get PBS&J to provide their thoughts on the Route 250 Bypass at McIntire Road Interchange project that will (along with McIntire Road Extended) use a significant part of McIntire Park for a roadway and a federally funded Interchange.

Providing opportunities for the public to participate in projects like this is one of my key themes in my city council campaign. Meaningful public input shouldn't require effort of the magnitude provided by Sarah Hendley. If elected to council, I will work to bring all responsible members of the public into the conversation from beginning to end. I believe this is essential in finding the best solutions to our community's needs.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Vote for Nobody? - I don't think so!

This is a painted sign I came across on a parking lot wall while on vacation in Guelph, Ontario with my friend Nancy Brown (who took this photo on Sept. 6, 2006). You may have seen this before on George Loper's website too. Perhaps this is what many of today's voters believe, but I am not one of them and I hope you are not one of them either. I believe all five of the candidates for city council do care about these things, and each has a desire to make Charlottesville a great place to live for all its citizens.

Several candidate forums are scheduled where you, the voter, can learn more about what each candidate will bring to city council. As an advocate for public involvement in city planning and decision making, I look forward to a lively dialog among voters and candidates about their concerns, and how we all can work toward both setting and achieving community goals.

Charlottesville Tomorrow has an Election Watch website where upcoming forums and other local campaign activities are posted. The first forum posted is the Senior Statesmen of Virginia forum to be held September 12 at 1:30 pm at the Senior Center and I hope you will attend if you can and will consider which three council candidates will best work toward a better Charlotteville for all. I think the notion of "Vote for Nobody" is not an option. In fact when you decide who you will support for city council in the November 6 election, I hope you include me in your list. A "Vote for Kleeman" is in my mind clearly much better than a "Vote for Nobody." And, there are other candidates I would be honored to serve with on council.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Here is the poster design for my campaign. I have ordered copies of these printed on water resistant 11 by 17 inch paper at one of our local Charlottesville printing companies - and I am expecting to have them in a few days. If you would like to display one of these signs where others can see it (like a door, or wall, or window) let me know by telephone - 434.296.6208 - or email - kleemanforcouncil@earthlink.net - and I will get you one.

I will be getting some actual yard signs in the next few weeks so let me know if you would like one to display on your yard. It is a bit shocking at how much it costs to get these campaign materials produced, but I am hoping to keep my campaign expenses to a modest level. But, of course, it takes many small donations from a large number of people to get my message before the public. If you haven't yet made a contribution, I hope you will consider making one now. I have received contributions ranging between $10 and $250 for my campaign, but almost all of my contributions are $100 or less. As an independent thinker and an independent candidate I prefer to maintain this independence by having many people support my campaign with modest contributions and avoid any large support from any special interest group.

To contribute your financial support, you can click on the PayPal icon in the right hand column of this blog, or send me your check to Kleeman for Council, 407 Hedge Street, Charlottesville VA 22902. There is a printable form on my campaign website you can also use if you wish to send a contribution by mail.

These posters and signs should be appearing soon around the city. I hope you will post one in your neighborhood, too.