Liz Palmer is the Samuel Miller representative on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. Liz was elected to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors in November 2013 and was sworn into office in January 2014. She served as Board Chair in 2016.
Dr. Palmer is a veterinarian and small business owner with a long history of public and community service. After practicing veterinary medicine for nearly 30 years, she opened Charlottesville End of Life Pet Care, a veterinary practice that specializes in hospice care for companion animals.
Liz moved to Albemarle County in 1996, and her parents have lived here since 1975. She lives in Ivy with her husband, Herb Stewart, and their dog Alice. Their children Clay, Ben, Matt, and Bailey all attended Albemarle County Public Schools. Their last child graduated from high school in 2008.
On 3/29/17, Liz announced her intention to seek re-election on the steps of the Albemarle County Office Building, surrounded by supporters and introduced by her friend and former Board colleague Jane Dittmar. Please see additional photos and posts on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/lizpalmerforsupervisor. Here is the text of her remarks:
Campaign announcement 3/29/17
Thank you, Jane, for your support and for your comments. And Jane, thank you, so much for all that you have done, and are continuing to do, for our Community.
Thank you all for coming. I would truly appreciate your support. And a special “thank you” to the present and past members of the Board of Supervisors and the School Board who were able to be here today, I know their schedules are busy.
Getting down to business – I am here today to announce my intention to seek the Democratic nomination for reelection, for a second term, to the Samuel Miller District seat on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. Standing behind this podium today is both an honor and a privilege. I believe strongly in our democratic and free system of government and I recognize that good governance on the local level is essential to a healthy democracy.
My highest priority as a candidate, and as an elected official, is to listen to my constituents and let them know how I stand on their issues and their concerns.
Our current Board of Supervisors has accomplished much in the last few years. My fellow board members are committed public servants, and while we are independent thinkers and decision makers, the collective good decisions made over the last few years are a testament to a well-functioning Board. So when I talk about accomplishments, these are not just my accomplishments, but the work of the entire board of supervisors, school board and dedicated staff.
My platform in 2013 included supporting K-12 education, protecting our natural resources, insisting on government in the sunshine, and of course stopping the western bypass.
And with community support we did stop the western bypass and built a grade separated intersection at Rio and 29 along with other significant improvements to the corridor. By all accounts this was a real success – under budget, on time, and it looks great and functions well.
As for government in the sunshine. The midnight vote of 2011 for the western bypass was on the minds of many voters when I was first elected. I advocated for video streaming of board meetings, which I’m pleased to say we now have.
Much has been done in the area of natural resource protection. An intersection is something everyone can see, but some changes you don’t see lead to permanent and impressive environmental success stories. I advocated for the staffing and organizational changes that will help assure the policies our citizens have pushed for are put into effect.
Another issue that citizens have pushed for is to do something better with our trash and at the same time help our local, small businesses thrive. When I was first elected to the Board the Ivy transfer station, the only place in the county for construction and hauling businesses to bring trash, was about to close. We planned to open convenience centers which would not accommodate many of these businesses. We now have a new transfer station being designed which will be built next year. Most don’t realize it but this is critical infrastructure for those involved in construction and home repair and for small trash haulers who give more personal service, especially in the rural areas.
Infrastructure for recycling and trash disposition in our county is still woefully inadequate and contributes to a substantial illegal dumping problem. If elected for a second term I will continue to advance these solid waste initiatives and hopefully complete the county’s newly established vision for solid waste management.
I also said when running in 2013 that I would defend our growth area boundaries. It has become increasingly clear that this is not only critical for environmental and quality of life reasons, but also is very important for reducing local government’s dependence on residential real estate tax and for economic development. Yes, maintaining our development lines actually promotes sound economic development.
I support economic development in the right places. For those who remember the brewery discussion from 2015, the development lines were at stake. The development community was lobbying for an industrial-scale brewery to locate at the intersection of 29 south and I 64. This would have caused a traffic nightmare, with tractor trailer trucks pulling in and out 24/7. While the full story behind the brewery was complicated, I can say that I listened to my constituents and worked to assure it would not be built in that most dangerous and inappropriate location.
On Education… I have been a dependable vote for school funding. Our greatest assets are our children. They are our future and the environmental and economic health of our community depends on a good public education system. We are a community that highly values education, as demonstrated by the overwhelmingly positive vote last year on the school bond referendum. Let’s do what we do best and focus economic development strategies on workforce development and education. If we want good quality jobs, we need a well-educated work force to attract and retain companies that pay good wages.
We must partner with the City wherever prudent. We are geographically, historically and culturally “joined at the hip.” We must work together to solve congestion by increasing public transportation, bike and walking routes. It is vitally important for the entire City/County Community and the University of Virginia, that both the City and the County remain economically strong and vital.
For this and a number of other reasons, I believe both City and County Courts must remain downtown in Court Square. Recently our board has discussed moving the county courts out of the City. We are currently studying options but I want to be clear about my position.
We have been planning infrastructure improvements to the court complex for 20 years and now the time has come to make the improvements. The people working in the court system – the judges, lawyers, and law enforcement officers – as well as our citizens, both county and city, who use the courts deserve a safe, accessible court complex, but they must be co-located.
Our courts are used by the most vulnerable in our society. Separating them could have serious social justice consequences without significant increased funding for additional staff for the Commonwealth Attorney, Public Defender’s Office, Offender Aid and Restoration, and Sheriff’s Offices. Although the current downtown option does not satisfactorily deal with security there are downtown options that will. Involving those who work there every day can help reduce costs and improve functionality.
To finish, if reelected, I will continue to be an advocate for the residents of the Samuel Miller District and for all County residents. I will continue to insist upon, and be a strong advocate for, sound budgetary planning and for prudent expenditure of taxpayer dollars. I would appreciate your votes, and a further opportunity to serve this wonderful place. Thank you.
From Liz: To see previous newsletters and subscribe to future ones, please visit bit.ly/1IZv4XM.
Here are some additional ways to keep in touch with me and the rest of the Board of Supervisors:
- My email is email@example.com. I welcome your comments and questions.
- To send a message to all the Board of Supervisor members, please use BOS@Albemarle.org
- My FB page is facebook.com/lizpalmerforsupervisor.
- To get regular notices of meetings and events, sign up for A-Mail, the electronic newsletter from the County, at albemarle.org.
- You can listen to a live stream or podcasts of BOS meetings, and see meeting agendas, at bit.ly/1KuxGeA
- If you have a question about County policies and procedures that might best be answered by County staff, you can e-mail AskAlb@albemarle.org and your question will be answered promptly.
- The County and several of its departments, including Schools, Police and Fire/Rescue, are on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube (please see links at albemarle.org).
Again, thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve our county!
Samuel Miller District Representative
Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
Paid for and authorized by Liz Palmer for Supervisor. Not produced at public expense.