Dr.T’s shoes, March 6, 2019
Charlottesville’s City manager, Dr. Tarron Richardson, resigned today. Will we ever know the who, what, where, why, when and how?
Sandy Hausman of WVTF asked:
Is there something particularly difficult about managing in Charlottesville. I know in general local government management tends to move around a lot, but it is a tough situation when you are reporting to both the Council and to the voters in a sense but is Charlottesville particularly challenging, is it a bunch of people who are too smart for their own good? Why would you say that we have had so much turnover? I’d like to hear from both the manager and the Mayor on that…
And so, the City Manager leaves the city in his heel dust. Leaves with a $205,000 severance check and his health insurance paid for the coming twelve months.
Garrett Street in Charlottesville, between Ridge Street and Avon, has excellent “green infrastructure”. It is a canopy street. Trees provide shade and shelter, and lower temperatures in the summer.
In 2006 the Charlottesville City Council adopted a 2025 Vision. Item five of the eight point vision was “A Green City”
The City adopted a plan in 2016 to guide the morphology of its streets. Citizens were involved in the development of the plan. People like canopy trees. Shade is a necessity in a southern city if you intend to walk in the summertime.
The Garrett Street trees have been celebrated over the years.
In the last decade development pressure has focused on this corridor. But still, in the time of COVID-19, a number of the trees remain. (construction workers maintaining distance).
This past week, seven Garrett Street corridor Pin Oaks were dispatched. 10-15,000 square feet of shade gone. Over a million leaves, gone. Carbon sequestration gone. Apex Energy is building an eight storey energy efficient structure to the south of the stumps . The landscape plan for Apex’s new corporate headquarters shows these noble oaks being replaced by pagoda dogwoods, a flowering plant, a small deciduous shrub that grows to twenty feet, with a trunk up to six inches in diameter. Token trees.
The proposed plantings will not provide the environmental services that these trees brought to our City. This canopy street destruction is deeply discouraging.
According to talk on the street, the Apex building is being designed by William McDonough + Partners, two thoughtful companies… Sometimes green is not green.
Seven years ago, Charlottesville's Dogwood Festival Parade. People watch motorcyclists spin their rear tires with front tires locked. Burnout! Particulates. Rubber stench. Fun!
Three days ago. Man alone. In the fog. In the morning. Next to the river. Birds sing. Air is sweet. A new day to make things right.