Newsletter — February 2023
Wow, February flew by. Despite being the year’s shortest month, Council was busy with our annual budget retreat (pictured) on top of normal meetings. The productive last four weeks were augmented by celebrations for William & Mary’s Charter Day and an exciting announcement of federal funding, all profiled below!
- Fiscal Health — I’m happy to report the City is in strong fiscal health, rated AAA (highest possible rating) by S&P. This is due to decades of emphasis on our reserve funds, which by policy has a floor of 35% of our Operating Budget, along with restrained spending. This also allows Williamsburg to give our residents outstanding services for a very low real-estate tax rate (the lowest of any city in Virginia at $0.62/$100 of assessed value). Check out the link for our financial advisor’s 2022 Review.
- Bray School — On February 10th, we moved the historic Bray School to its new home in Colonial Williamsburg, which will allow for enhanced programing on the School’s significance in early colonial life. The Bray School is the oldest remaining structure dedicated to the education of free and enslaved African American children. I highly recommend watching this video about the structure itself and the process to move it.
- Read Across America Day — Just yesterday, I was thrilled to visit Matthew Whaley Elementary School for Read Across America Day! I’ve included a picture below of the book I read, which was Supreme Court Justice’s Sonia Sotomayor’s Just Help. The class couldn’t have been more participatory with ideas of helping their community, like picking up trash, standing up to bullying, helping people vote, and more!
- African American Heritage Trail — We were ecstatic to announce this week funding was secured for Phase 1 of our intended Heritage Trail. The link provides a visual of this self-guided tour around Williamsburg’s downtown area, highlighting places significant to our City’s story. With the $357,000 grant, we will now be able to construct a trailhead and first portion of the trail. If you are interested in contributing creatively to the Trail, please click the link for opportunities to give input!
We are headed into March at full tilt, ready for the continuance of our budget process and the beautiful weather spring provides. Thank you for staying engaged with this newsletter, as always. Please feel free to get in touch with me with any questions/comments!
*This newsletter is mine alone and does not represent the full input of Council