ASPA HR held its November luncheon on Thursday, 11/21. Our speaker was Glenn Oder, the Executive Director of the Fort Monroe Authority (FMA), who provided an enlightening update on the status of Ft. Monroe.
The FMA is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia, created to preserve, protect, and manage Fort Monroe and Old Point Comfort after the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) closure in September 2011. The Authority is governed by a 12-member appointed Board of Trustees and is charged with promoting Fort Monroe and planning the responsible stewardship of the land and landmarks through a management structure unique in Virginia.
Todd Solomon, the interim Executive Director of the Hampton Roads Center for Civic Engagement (HRCCE) spoke to our chapter on “Citizen Involvement in Regionalism: How Civic Engagement Benefits Past and Future Regional Initiatives.” As a background for those who may not be familiar with the center, it is a non-profit that was created in 2008 based on a future of Hampton Roads study group.
The center was created to increase the ability of Hampton Roads citizens, governments and institutions to work together to strengthen the region economically and to enhance our quality of life. Todd discussed several of their recent projects to include the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization (HRTPO) Urban Crescent Project, the Urban Land Institute Reality Check, and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) Envision HR Project. They are now planning a regional project on “Sea Level Rise.” They will be asking citizens to identify their issues, discuss solutions and trade-offs, prioritize the results and create and action plan to move forward. He also discussed some of the work they are doing with the Kettering Foundation and the International City Management Association.
The General Membership Luncheon Meeting was held on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at the Holiday Inn Express Norfolk Airport, 1570 North Military Highway, Norfolk.
The featured speaker was Dr. David Mudarri. Dr. Mudarri is devoted to advancing public health through indoor air quality education and the development and promulgation of state-of-the-art process and tools. His discussion concerned this year’s ASPA HR theme of sustainability and efforts to help this effort through sustainable procurement initiatives.
When the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT) opened in 1964 is was selected as one of the seven engineering wonders of the modern world. As recently as 2000, it was recognized as one of the seven structural engineering wonders of America for the 20th Century by Structural Engineer magazine. In addition to this engineering feat and the beauty of the surrounding Chesapeake Bay, the administration, maintenance and financing by the CBBT Commission is of significant interest to area public administrators.
On November 10th members of our chapter met with Jeff Holland, the Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District to discuss the history administration and future plans of the CBBT. Some of the recent construction involved a partnership with the Eastern Shore Tourism Commission that resulted in a beautiful Welcome Center at the North entrance. Some of the renovation on Island One includes the Virginia Originals Store and the Chesapeake Grill and upgrades to the Sea Gull Fishing Pier. It was interesting to note that the original CBBT and the parallel crossing, completed in 1999, were financed without local, state or federal tax monies.
Following the meeting, the group toured the tunnel’s surveillance, electrical, lighting, ventilation, and pumping systems as well as a looking into, under and above the tunnel. At the conclusion of the physical tour, the group met for dinner at the Chesapeake Grill. A few of our more observant members noted that the Virginia Originals store featured a selection of wines from every Virginia vineyard.
It was a great experience and opportunity to learn more about public administration in Hampton Roads. Thank you to Jeff Holland, Deborah Cooley, and the staff of the CBBT for hosting the chapter and to Janet Read, our treasurer, for organizing the event.