Charlottesville City Council (2022-2023)
The Charlottesville City Council (2022-2023) is the city's current legislative body under the fourth charter of the city, granted by the Legislature in 1946 (revised in 2020). The next election will be held on November 7, 2023.
The City of Charlottesville has operated under a five member council-manager form of government since 1928. The City Manager is appointed by the council and acts as chief executive officer - implementing policies established by council. The mayor and vice-mayor are chosen by the council. Council members are given a salary of $18,000 per year for councilors and $20,000 for the mayor. Their service includes two public meetings per month, and overseeing finances and ordinances in the city.
On the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month (except holidays and unless otherwise stated in public notice) council meetings are held in-person in City Council Chambers (City Hall) beginning at 6:30 p.m. Council Work Sessions are sometimes held at 4:00 p.m.
Seat A:Sena Magill (D), Title: Councilor; member January 2020 to January 11, 2023 (resigned)
On January 5, 2023, Councilor Magill announced that she will resign from office effective January 11, 2023 to attend to her family.    The seat on the city council remains vacant until appointed by the council. Rather than call for a special election, the council decided to appoint a new member to fill the vacant seat.  According to Virginia state law, the new member will serve the remainder of Magill’s un-expired term, ending on December 31, 2023. This appointment seat, along with the two expiring seats held by Snook and Payne, will be decided as part of the November 2023 general election.
Vacant City Council seat
According to the revised (2020) city charter, a vacancy on the council is to be filled by the body “in accordance with the general laws of the Commonwealth.”
According to Virginia law, in order to temporarily fill the vacated position:
- Within 15 day of the vacancy, the remaining member of the council may call for a special election to fill the vacant seat.
- The remaining member of the council may appoint a qualified voter of the city. This appointment must be made within 45 days (February 25, 2023) of the vacancy (January 11, 2023). If the appointment is not made or the remaining members cannot agree on a nominee, the judges of the circuit court will make the appointment. This appointed person may only serve until the qualified voters of the city fill the seat through a special election or, in the case of the Vacant seat scheduled to expire on December 31, 2023, no election to fill the vacancy is required to be held in the year in which the term expires.
About the City Council
The City of Charlottesville operates under a Council-Manager form of government. Charlottesville voters elect a five member Council to serve at large as the City’s legislative and governing body. The members serve four year terms, and they select one councilor to serve as mayor and one as vice-mayor for two years. Since 2007, municipal elections have been held in November in odd-numbered years. The terms of Council members are staggered so that three are elected in one year and two are elected two years later. If a vacancy occurs, Council elects a new member to serve out the unexpired term.
Mayor & Vice-mayor
The Mayor presides over meetings, may call special meetings, makes some appointments to advisory boards and serves as the ceremonial head of government. The Vice-mayor substitutes whenever the mayor is not available.
City Council appoints the City Manager, the Director of Finance, the City Assessor, the Clerk of the Council and members of major policy-making and advisory Boards and Commissions. The Clerk represents Council to the public during regular business hours, notifying citizens of Council meetings and maintaining public records of the meetings. Council makes policy in the areas of: City Planning and Finances, Human Development, Public Safety and Justice, Public Utilities, and Transportation.
Council typically adopts a schedule for its regular meetings at its first regular meeting in January each year. Regular meetings of the City Council begin at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month (or the following day if that Monday is a legal holiday).
As of March 2020, City Council Chambers have been closed to the public and meetings are being conducted virtually via a Zoom webinar. From 1969 to 2022, council meetings were held in-person in the City Council Chambers (City Hall) and open to members of the public without pre-registration requirements. Seating was on a first come, first served basis and limited to the posted occupancy/fire capacity.
On Monday April 18, 2022, Charlottesville City Council met in-person for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was held in City Council Chambers (City Hall). Only 23 spots were open for members of the public, with two spots for media members. Not all of the spots were full. People could still speak over Zoom and councilors received some presentations from virtual staff members.
According to the city's website (January 2023): "The 4:00 pm Council Work Sessions are in-person and limited to City Council members and up to 3 staff members in the gallery, with virtual access available for the public. The 6:30 pm Council Meetings are in-person in Council Chamber with up to 23 pre-registered members of the public and 2 media representatives, and up to 3 City staff members in the gallery (usually the City Manager, City Attorney and Clerk of Council)."
Salaries & Compensations
Charlottesville Council members are given a salary of $18,000 per year for councilors and $20,000 for the mayor. Their service includes two public meetings per month, and overseeing finances and ordinances in the city. Charlottesville has one of the highest average salaries for council members in Virginia. State code sets salary limits for members of city councils based on population, ranging from $11,000 to $30,000. laws of the Commonwealth.
City Council will make board appointments during the March 20, 2023 council meeting.
2023 Boards and Commissions appointment schedule
City Council is scheduled to make board appointments during council meetings, viz:
- March 20, 2023 (application deadline March 10, 2023)
- June 20, 2023 (application deadline June 9, 2023)
- September 18, 2023 (application deadline September 8, 2023)
- December 18, 2023 (application deadline December 8, 2023)
Council may approve a one-off appointment cycle and extend an application deadline as deemed necessary. Board vacancies must be advertised for a minimum of 30 days.
Candidates for vacant seat
- Kate Bennis
- Alex Bryant
- Michael Cusano
- Philip d'Oronzio
- Don Dunham, III
- Kathy Galvin
- Margaret Gardiner
- James Guidry, Sr.
- Sam Gulland
- John Hall
- Carla Manno
- Sarah Moniz
- Natalie Oschrin
- Rosia Parker
- Leah Puryear
- John Santoski
- Maynard Sipe
- Kristin Szakos
- Lisa Torres
- Christopher Valtin
- City Council
- Charlottesville City Council (History)
- List of members of Charlottesville City Council from 1928 to present
- List of Charlottesville City Council sessions
- City Government
- Web. Charlottesville City Councilor Sena Magill resigns, Dryden Quigley, News Article, NBC29, January 3, 2023, retrieved January 5, 2023.
- Web. Charlottesville City Council Member Sena Magill resigns, Alice Berry, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, January 4, 2023, retrieved January 5, 2023.
- Web. Charlottesville City Councilor Magill resigns, remaining four members will accept applications to appoint her replacement, Angilee Shah, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, January 4, 2023, retrieved January 5, 2023.
- Web. Charlottesville City Councilor Magill resigns, remaining four members will accept applications to appoint her replacement, Charlottesville Tomorrow, JANUARY 4, 2023, Updated JANUARY 9, 2023, retrieved January 15, 2023.
- Web. § 24.2-226. Election to fill vacancy., Commonwealth of Virginia, retrieved January 20, 2023.
- Web. Charlottesville City Council holds first in-person meeting since COVID-19 pandemic began, Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 10:55 PM EDT, retrieved January 15, 2023.
- Web. CITY COUNCIL: Meetings, retrieved January 15, 2023.