July 3, 2006
Tonight began a new era for the Charlottesville City Council as two new members took their seats. For the first time, two new democratic city councilors took their seats at City Hall, beginning their four year terms that they hope will provide big changes.
Tonight was out with the old, and in with the new. Democrats Dave Norris and Julian Taliaferro took their place amongst Charlottesville's City Council. They say they are excited to work with both their new colleagues and city citizens.
"I hope that I will hear from people because I really appreciate people's views because I think it is important that we listen to what folks in the community like and don't like," Taliaferro said.
"This is a Council that is going to work very well together and maybe move beyond some of the shenanigans of the past and get some things accomplished in a spirit of unity," Norris said.
Some of the so-called shenanigans include inward fighting between former Councilors Blake Caravati and Rob Schilling. Mayor David Brown says Council will miss both of their strong personalities.
"It may be a little duller. It will certainly be more civil I think. I think it will be less interesting for the people in the audience," he said.
What it will lack for the first time in four years is a Republican voice. Lone Republican Rob Schilling lost his seat, leaving behind a group of five Democrats. The newcomers say they strive to make that point moot.
"We're all different people. We all have different views. I don't think you will always see 5-0 votes," said Taliaferro.
"We may all have a "D" behind our name but we're five very different people and we come to this Council with different perspectives and different life experiences," said Norris.
In other changes, Councilors unanimously reappointed Mayor David Brown to another two year term while Kendra Hamilton will take over as Vice-Mayor, taking that position from Kevin Lynch.
Council's next meeting will be July 17.