Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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It feels like Tuesday…

…but it’s Wednesday. Here are a few notes:

- If your lifelong dream has been to be a Fredericksburg Planning Comissioner, you’ve got a chance right now. Recently appointed Commissioner Deborah Pederson resigned her seat due to time constraints, and the city is seeking applicants to replace her. Click here for the info. This group meets Wednesday nights and afternoons, and puts in some long hours crafting everything from the out-of-scale houses ordinance coming up for a council vote to the downtown parking conundrum that’s still being talked about. Applications for special use permits, special exceptions and rezonings all come through this group first, which makes a recommendation on each application to the council.

- The idea of a business improvement district has been floated in the past for improving downtown Fredericksburg. Check out a piece in last week’s New Yorker about what one such district did for a stretch of Broadway in New York City. The district elected to make the following changes, which probably seem like improvements to urban-center-enthusiasts and nightmares to traffic engineers:

"From Times Square to Herald Square, the blacktop has been decreased by a third, replaced on the eastern side with a pebbly mixture of light-colored gravel and epoxy that could pass, from the upper deck of a CitySights tour bus, for a jute rug. (Think of the inevitable flattened chewing-gum spots as red-wine stains.) Tables and chairs and umbrellas will be arranged to form makeshift cafés in the middle of the street. A green bike lane separates the domesticated zones from the curb, like a moat patrolled by speeding bicycle messengers."

- The Ward 1 council member selection isn’t a popular election, but Matt Kelly has solicited some resident opinion over on his blog. As the council approaches the Sept. 8 meeting where it plans to whittle the field down to three, Kelly has posted a poll asking folks to vote for their favorite. He’s gotten 53 votes so far, but we have no way of knowing how many of those votes were cast by the candidates themselves. He’s also asked what questions (beyond the extremely bland list the candidates were asked to answer when they applied) folks want answered by the next Ward 1 representative. That post prompted this suggestion from an anonymous commenter:

"Why is council limited to those who have stepped forward. Why not do something bold and find someone out in the community that you like and respect – make him or her your new councilmember."

If you thought telemarketers were annoying, just imagine being dragged to City Hall every Tuesday night against your wishes.

- The Weekly Challenge is going Family Feud-style. Click here to participate in a survey of the tastes of Fredericksburg, then keep an eye out for a future contest that will ask you to make your best guess at what the most popular answers were.


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