Sunday, January 23, 2011

2011 Retreat Tidbits

Some points from the discussions at this weekend's Retreat of the Virginia Beach City Council:

1. A settlement on the radar issue at the Oceanfront is expected "in about 30 days."

2. Glenn Davis reported on the UFL's Virginia Destroyers. First, they will have a timetable for the city "in 4 days" (said on Saturday). Second, they are asking for an 80% rebate on the Amusement Taxes collected, with the money to be put towards Sportsplex upgrades. The City has made it perfectly clear that zero City funds will be put upfront towards the team.

3. The AA/SDEIS from the Virginia Beach Transit Extension Study is said to now be coming out in August.

4. Master Plans for the Rosemont and Lynnhaven Strategic Growth Areas will be done in 2011.

5. Harry Diezel wondered if public safety employees partially disabled in the line of duty could be transferred to "soft duty", which the law now doesn't allow. (They're required to be put on disability retirement if they can't perform the job they were hired for.) Louis Jones wanted to explore it, as it may mean cost savings for the City. However, Jim Wood cautioned that it may negatively impact the pensions of those employees to do so.

6. Will Sessoms wants to explore opening an overseas office for business recruitment to Virginia Beach.

Expect the usual suspects to whine about the proposal. (Hey, their puppet Bill DeSteph did right away.)

7. SPSA's tipping fee is highest in the country. (Were you surprised?)

8. Speaking of SPSA, our soap opera of the absurd is scheduled to close it's doors in 2017. That's why Solid Waste Management is a priority for Council. (What do we do next?)

Barbara Henley floated the idea of a new landfill in the ITA. After all, the Navy has no problem with a landfill there.

9. On November 22, the City had a meeting with our General Assembly delegation. Late that night, Councilmen got phone calls from legislators wondering why they didn't show up.

Simple: they were never told that there was a meeting. It was the Mayor and Staff meeting with the delegation.

Best joke of Saturday: Jim Spore was asked to give status of the Dome site to Council, and he said groundbreaking before the end of the year. Mayor Sessoms quipped, "I'll bet your career on that."

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