Agency Budget Review Team

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The Agency Budget Review Team (A.B.R.T. or ABRT) was established in 1991 to create an objective process for reviewing nonprofit applications for local government funding. [1]

The ABRT is a sixteen (16) member team tasked by the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County with reviewing community agency program funding requests to the City and County governments, and with providing ratings recommendations to the Charlottesville City Manager and Albemarle County Executive, whose offices make the ultimate funding recommendations to Charlottesville City Council and the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors.[2]

The Agency Budget Review Team (ABRT) reviews applications for funding from community organizations and then recommends which groups Charlottesville and Albemarle County should fund. When the City Council creates its annual budget, it holds a public work session on whether to follow the ABRT’s recommendations. [3]

Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 ABRT Team Members

  1. Pete Armetta
  2. Kendall Bills
  3. Elizabeth Breeden
  4. Kaki Dimock
  5. Kristen Fisher
  6. John Freeman
  7. Holly Hatcher
  8. Brian Hunt
  9. Barbara Hutchinson
  10. Kirby Hutto
  11. Sarah McLean
  12. Heather Meixler
  13. Mike Murphy
  14. Kelli Palmer
  15. Lindsay Terrell
  16. Maurice Walker

FY2018 Staff Members

City staff serve as the grant managers for the ABRT process, including issuing the application, facilitating orientation and ABRT trainings, providing technical assistance to applicant agencies, organizing and staffing Team meetings, and preparing[4] the annual Agency Budget Review Team Report, released in February.

Time Line

  • At a July 19, 2012 budget work session on the Agency Budget Review Team (ABRT) process, Council asked staff to provide recommendations and a policy to review requests from outside and nonprofit agencies that occur outside the regular budget review process. At the January 20, 2018 City Council meeting, Councilor Kathy Galvin asked that City Council revise some aspects of that approved policy. Under discussion were the two processes in place for funding various nonprofit and outside agencies each fiscal year:
    • The Agency Budget Review Team, or A.B.R.T., is a citizen and staff team that provides recommendations on human services, arts and culture, educational and housing agencies.
    • The Office of Budget and Performance Management has a parallel process that provides recommendations each year on those agencies who have a formal agreement, memorandum of understanding or contractual arrangements to provide services in various capacities on behalf of the City.
    • As noted in the council discussion, both processes use an extensive application and review process that takes months to complete to include in the proposed budget each March. After the annual budget has been adopted, and during the fiscal year, City Council will occasionally receive requests from nonprofit and outside agencies to fund initiatives, programs and events. Having not gone through the normal budget process, these requests must have a formal review process in place to ensure that the request is valid and the funds will be used in the best interest of the citizens of Charlottesville. The council expressed that the intent of the revised policy was to help guide Council and City staff in determining which requests should be funded outside the budget process.[5]
  • In July 2018, the City Council voted to begin a 10-month review process of the Agency Budget Review Team (ABRT) process [6] Albemarle County won’t be participating in Charlottesville’s review of how local nonprofits are funded.[7]
  • On August 8, 2018, the county’s Board of Supervisors voted to decline to partake in a review of the (ABRT)process, a joint city-county effort that was created to be an objective way to review nonprofit applications for local government funding.[8] Funding decisions are ultimately up to the Charlottesville City Council and the county Board of Supervisors. [9]

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Former ABRT Team Members

Former ABRT Staff Members