Sheridan, O’Brien re-elected to BOS Leadership

By Heather Michon

Supervisors Mike Sheridan (Columbia) and Tony O’Brien (Rivanna) will serve another year as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board of Supervisors, after each was unanimously re-elected by fellow supervisors during their first regular meeting of 2021 on Wednesday night (Jan. 6).

Members also voted to keep the meeting times and dates the same, with biweekly Wednesday meetings held at either 4 p.m. or 7 p.m. With the county courthouse still closed to meetings due to COVID-19, they will continue to meet at the Fluvanna County Public Library for the foreseeable future.


Deputy County Administrator Kelly Belanger Harris gave a progress update on the county’s list of strategic initiatives. This list of objectives focuses on improving county government functions in areas like service, communication, economic development, financial stewardship, and project management.

“The upshot is, there is very little that hasn’t been done, and so much of what was on that list has become part of normal operations now,” she said. “It’s just part of what we do.”

Supervisors revisit and revise the list of objectives during their regular leadership retreats. There was no retreat in 2020, and normally do not have one in election years like 2021. But with critical issues like statewide redistricting on the horizon, County Administrator Eric Dahl suggested they look at some sort of special meeting to discuss big-picture goals and objectives at some point in the coming weeks and months.


With Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) approaching the halfway point, Finance Director Mary Anna Twisdale gave a brief update on the state of the county’s progress on revenue collection.

The FY21 budget projected $50.8 million in revenue from local, state and federal sources. Thus far, the county has collected $22.6 million, or 44.45 percent of projected revenue, as of January 4. Twisdale said this is comparable to collected revenues at the same point in FY20.


The effort to construct a “burn building” for training Fluvanna firefighters is stretching into another year, as county staff continues to seek ways to balance first responders’ needs with  funding.

The county won a $480,000 grant to cover part of the project, but a request for bids issued last year put the cost of construction at $988,000. Last fall, supervisors voted to rewrite the proposal and put it out for a new round of bids in the hope of coming in at a lower cost.

In the interim, members of the Burn Building Committee visited a facility in Harrisonburg that cost that community about $650,000 to construct.

“It’s very different from what we originally looked at,” said Lake Monticello Water Rescue Chief John Lye, “but, quite honestly, this building would do very well for what we want.”

Supervisors agreed that the county should draw up a new project agreement around the Harrisonburg model and issue another request for bid later this year.


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