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City receives 14 applications for seats on CRB

Charlottesville has received 14 applications for spots on its Police Civilian Review Board, including two candidates who were unsuccessful in the November election.

It is unclear, however, whether the applicants will meet the criteria to establish a full panel.

Last month, the council approved the ordinance and bylaws for the police oversight panel, although some community members remained frustrated with the final proposal. The deadline to apply for the board was Friday. The board will replace an initial panel, which worked from August 2018 to July 2019, and created a draft of the bylaws eventually approved by the council.

The board’s purpose is to improve trust between the Charlottesville Police Department and the community in the aftermath of the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally.

The board will include seven voting panelists and one nonvoting member.

Three people will be appointed from a historically disadvantaged community or will live in public housing.

One member will represent a racial or social justice organization.

The person who represents a racial or social justice organization can live or work in the city. All other board members must be city residents.

The nonvoting member will be someone who has policing expertise or experience, according to board documents.

Members cannot be city employees, candidates for public office, former Charlottesville Police Department employees or immediate family members of an employee of a current law enforcement agency.

The City Council will interview candidates in a closed session prior to its Dec. 16 meeting, which will be last scheduled meeting for outgoing Councilors Mike Signer, Wes Bellamy and Kathy Galvin.

The applicants are Lucas Beane, Bellamy Brown, Nancy Carpenter, Stuart Evans, Elliott Harding, Vicki Hawes, Kevin Healy, Jaree Magee, Jehu Martin, William Mendez, John Pfaltz, Claudia Sencer, Anthony Wasch Jr. and James Watson.

Applicants used the standard application for city boards and commissions and didn’t differentiate which seat they might qualify for.

Lucas Beane. Beane has lived in the city for three years and works at the Oakhurst Inn.

He graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s in astronomy and physics in 2015 and received a master’s in data science in 2019.

He is a volunteer data analyst at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center and a Democratic campaign volunteer.

Beane wrote in his application that his background in data analysis could help the board in its mission.

Bellamy Brown. Brown, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, finished fourth in a six-way race for the City Council in November, running as an independent.

Brown grew up in the city’s Venable neighborhood and is the grandson of the late Rev. Charles H. Brown, who was a leader in the city’s African American community and at the forefront of early efforts in affordable housing.

Brown earned a master’s degree in accounting from Liberty University, a master’s in finance from the Keller Graduate School of Management and a bachelor’s in finance and political studies from James Madison University.

He has worked in finance for Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, among other companies. He is also a member of the 2019 leadership program at UVa’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.

Nancy Carpenter. Carpenter has lived in the city for four years. She has a bachelor’s in geography from James Madison University.

Carpenter has served on the city’s Human Rights Commission and Community Development Block Grant task force and is the vice president of the Rose Hill Neighborhood Association.

Carpenter works in the community to assist people who are homeless.

In her application, Carpenter wrote that the department needs “strong civilian oversight” to ensure systemic changes, increase accountability and boost transparency.

“I want to assist in changing the culture of accountability by examining policy that produces poor supervision resulting in police misconduct,” she wrote.

Stuart Evans. Evans has lived in the city for one year and four months. He received a juris doctorate from the Chicago-Kent School of Law in 2013.

He wrote that his law degree and experience as a “neutral investigator” can allow him to contribute to the CRB.

Elliott Harding. Harding, an attorney, was chairman of the Albemarle County Republican Committee in 2016 and served on the board of the Region Ten Community Services Board from 2015 to 2017.

He graduated from UVa in 2012 and law school at Washington and Lee University in 2015.

He unsuccessfully challenged Virginia Sen. R. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, in the 25th Senate District in November’s election.

Harding also was involved in the early work of The Monument Fund in its lawsuit challenging the City Council’s votes to remove the statues of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. He later withdrew from representation.

The organization won its lawsuit, but the city plans to appeal.

Vicki Hawes. Hawes is UVa’s assistant director of off-Grounds housing.

She lived in the city from 1977 to 1983, moved away for three years and then returned in 1986.

She graduated from then-Mary Baldwin College in 1973 and received a master’s in education from UVa in 2005.

Hawes has been on several neighborhood associations and served with many charitable organizations, according to her application.

In her application, she wrote that she’s disappointed in salary disparities between city officers and those at UVa and in Albemarle County. She wants to work “closely and collegially” with CPD and help improve its reputation.

Kevin Healy. Healy, who has lived in the city since fall 2017, is president and CEO of the Campbell-Hill Aviation Group, a consulting firm based in Northern Virginia.

Healy attended Spring Hill College and the University of Florida and is a member of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society.

Healy previously worked as senior vice president of marketing and planning at AirTran Airways. The company was purchased by Southwest Airlines in 2011 and incorporated into the company.

According to his biography on Campbell-Hill Aviation’s website, he has testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and provided “expert assistance” to the U.S. Department of Justice and Competition Bureau of Canada.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Healy to the Florida Commission on Tourism, where he served from 2002 to 2012. He also served on the board of directors of Visit Florida from 2002 to 2011, the board of the Orlando-Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the board of directors for the Central Florida Partnership from 2008 to 2012.

In his application, Healy said he’s spent years studying community policing and wants to be more involved in the community. He focused on expertise in strategic planning, analytics, management of metrics and accountability.

Jaree Magee. Magee has lived in the city off and on for eight years.

She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University and serves on several boards and committees, including ReadyKids and Project Link.

She has worked with the Region Ten Community Services Board and the Improving Pregnancy Outcomes program through the Virginia Department of Health.

Magee wrote that she wants to gain in-depth knowledge of “occurrences in the police department” and address issues in a “kind and loving manner.”

Jehu Martin. Martin has lived in the city for about 20 years.

He attended Cornell University and Columbia University.

Martin has served as a member of the Downtown Business Association and the National Association of Radio-TV Producers.

William Mendez Jr. Mendez has lived in the city for two years.

He graduated from Colgate University in 1972 and received a doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1976.

He is a member of the Jefferson Bridge Club and Society of Toxicology.

In his application, Mendez describes himself as a semi-retired data scientist with 35 years of experience in public policy consulting.

He wrote that he moved to Charlottesville with his wife shortly before the “extremely scary” Unite the Right rally in 2017.

Mendez wrote that he believes the board needs someone to focus on data and that his background could assist in understanding information from the police department.

John Pfaltz. A U.S. Navy veteran, Pfaltz has lived in the city for 49 years.

He graduated from Haverford College in 1956, from Syracuse University in 1962 and from the University of Maryland in 1969.

In his application, Pfaltz wrote that he wants to understand the inner workings of the police department, require all board members to attend police activities and ensure that statistics are correct and complete.

Claudia Sencer. Sencer has lived in the area for 32 years, including 24 in the city.

She graduated from Hamilton College with a bachelor’s in film and photography in 1979, from New York University with a bachelor’s in nursing in 1985 and from Georgetown University with a master’s in nursing in 1987.

Sencer described herself as a “liberal and a believer in the good will of folks” in her application and said she is “saddened by the reactivity of folks.” She wants to “balance and calm” discussions of the police.

Anthony “Tony” Wasch Jr. Wasch has lived in the city since April 2008.

He graduated from Temple University with a bachelor’s in engineering in 1969 and served in the military in Vietnam.

He is a member of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers and volunteers at election polls.

Wasch grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which is north of Philadelphia, near Allentown. In his application, he admits that he didn’t experience racism while growing up or attending Temple, but heard stories while serving in the military.

He said he heard more stories of racism after moving to Earlysville in 1982.

Wasch wrote that he believes African Americans still deal with racism in today’s society.

“I sincerely think that a retired plumbing salesman can keep an open mind, review each situation separately and judge it on its merits alone,” he wrote in his application.

James Watson. Watson, who has lived in the city for 25 years, is the owner of J.M. Watson Group Consulting. The firm works with the U.S. Department of Defense and other government agencies to manage public works programs.

In his application, Watson wrote that the nature of his work is similar to that of a city planner.

Watson, who is African American, wrote that he is worried that his sons face dangers due to the color of their skin. He believes that the majority of police officers are committed, but there have been “an abundance of cases recorded on smartphone cameras” that show unarmed civilians being shot.

“Something needs to happen to bridge the communication and comfort gap between community members and police officers,” he wrote.


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