PHOTOPHILE- Challenges: New leaders talk money, community

Nothing highlights challenges and raises hopes like the start of a new year, and such was the case for the new members of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and School Board sworn in at the County Office Building near the end of last year.

Two of the themes that seem to be on the agenda for the upcoming year are finances and fraternity. BOS chair Ken Boyd sees the budget as the biggest challenge of 2008.

"We're coming up short from our projected revenues, and our board is going to have to deal with that," he says, adding that he hopes his background in finance will help with the process.

Anne Mallek, on the other hand, is focused on hopes for a new sense of community in the county.

"Many citizens feel distant, left out," says Mallek, who defeated incumbent David Wyant in November. "With lots of community meetings taking information to the citizens, we can make them feel that they're participating."

Returning school board member Brian Wheeler highlighted a techie approach to both issues, describing a virtual town hall meeting scheduled for January 16. "We'll simultaneously call 40,000 households and invite people to participate in discussions of the budget," he says.

At the Friday, December 21, swearing-in, new school board member Ron Price was also focused on the budget, but he sees other educational challenges for the community, citing the achievement gap and intergenerational learning as key issues for the upcoming year. 

The first Board of Supervisors meeting was scheduled for January 9, and the School Board begins its year the following day.

 Let the new boards know what you're hoping for in 2008!

Draped with her children Kiera, Willow, and Bair, Kate Mallek Pepperton, daughter of Anne Mallek, excitedly awaits her mother's swearing-in ceremony.

New Albemarle School Board members Brian Wheeler, Ron Price, Steve Koleszar, and Barbara Massey Mouley take the oath.

Anne Mallek: "My hope is that we'll be able to build a better sense of community in Albemarle County." 

Brian Wheeler, at-large member of the School Board: "Budget is our focus at the beginning of 2008."

Lindsay Dorrier, ready to sign

New chair Ken Boyd says, "Transportation and affordable housing are our biggest challenges."

Albemarle School Superintendent Pam Moran and new school board member Ron Price 

Jackie, Lauren, and Ron Price.