Charlottesville City Council re-elects Nikuyah Walker as mayor; Sena Magill elected as vice mayor

Charlottesville City Council has elected Nikuyah Walker to serve another term as mayor. Monday was the council’s first meeting of the year and not everyone was
Updated: Jan. 6, 2020 at 10:50 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville City Council has elected Nikuyah Walker to serve another term as mayor. Monday was the council’s first meeting of the year and not everyone was on the same page about the decision.

It was an emotional and tough conversation for the group to pick a mayor and vice mayor on Monday. Overall the new council hopes to better work together to tackle some of the most pressing issues in the city.

Charlottesville city councilors voted three-to-two to re-elect Nikuyah Walker to serve as the city's mayor.

"I am in a position to make sure that work continues and I am in a position nationally and internationally to continue this conversation in 100% truth,” Walker said.

Newly elected Vice Mayor Sena Magill also supported the decision to re-elect Walker. As did fellow new council member Michael Payne.

"I understand we are in a very uncomfortable place right now. When we are uncomfortable we look at what we believe we look at ourselves and that as we continue through this uncomfortable place that we will start building again,” Magill said.

"It is my firm belief that Mayor Nikuyah Walker's leadership has been vital in changing the narrative of Charlottesville not just symbolically but through policy change,” Payne said.

However, not everyone was on the same page. Councilors Heather Hill and Lloyd Snook voted against the motion. Ultimately stating they still hope the council can learn to agree with each other when it comes to the issues in the city.

"The selection of a mayor should be about how things will be done not what will be done because they mayor is only one of five votes and none of us can do agreement and support of at least two others no matter who the mayor is,” Snook said.

"We have a lot more work do to and I believe that the five of us share many of the same goals, but to achieve those goals we have to work together,” Hill said.

Walker and Magill will serve in their roles for two years. Walker’s term on the council will be up at the end of 2021.

Charlottesville city councilors are showing support for a resolution that would give localities the authority to remove Confederate monuments.

On Monday, councilors unanimously approved a resolution to support legislation that would give the city the power to remove the statutes of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in Market Street and Court Square parks.

The legislation was proposed by Delegate-Elect Sally Hudson. The General Assembly session gets underway on Wednesday.

Affordable housing projects in Charlottesville are moving forward. On Monday, councilors approved a critical slope waiver and special-use permit for phase two of the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority's project on South First Street.

Councilors also extended the deadline for financial assistance for applicants hoping to live at the proposed “The Crossings II”. The new deadline is March 15.

Councilors also approved the conceptual design for a nearly $12 million project to improve one of the main corridors into the city.

The Fontaine Avenue streetscape includes improved pedestrian access and crosswalks, better bicycle facilities, and new energy-efficient lighting.

The improvements will run from the city limit near Stribling Avenue to the intersection of Fontaine Avenue with Maury Avenue and Jefferson Park Avenue.

Chick-fil-A will be bringing its first location to the city of Charlottesville.

On Monday, councilors voted four-to-one to approve a special use permit to open a new location with a drive-thru at the site of the current Burger King in the Barracks Road Shopping Center.

The proposed plan includes a two-lane drive-thru in hopes of reducing traffic congestion in the area.

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