Getting personal with Heather Hill

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Heather Hill. Photo: Eze Amos Heather Hill. Photo: Eze Amos

City Council candidate

Age: 39

Resident since: 2003 (with two years away after getting her MBA)

She describes herself as a wife and mother of three, a neighbor, an engaged community leader, an engineer, a business person and, now, a candidate for Charlottesville’s governing body. With her navy and lime-green Nikes laced up, Heather Hill is running for City Council.

“I know it has traditionally been said that campaigns are about the shoe leather,” she said at the February 21 event in the McIntire Room at the Central Library downtown to announce her candidacy. “But I am going to go on with this sneaker rubber and my name on my back with the goal of covering every possible square inch of this city.”

If not out running—Hill has completed two Ironman Triathlons and one marathon—where have you seen her? Her lengthy résumé includes an MBA from UVA’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. She’s president of the North Downtown Residents Association, a member of the Belmont Bridge Steering Committee, chair of the International School of Charlottesville’s building committee and an independent project-based consultant for startups locally and in Richmond, as well as for companies such as Tempur-Sealy.

She’s a former member of the Charlottesville Tomorrow board of directors and former marketing chair for the Charlottesville Design House benefiting the Shelter for Help in Emergency.

In her spare time, Hill is driving the “rail to trail” effort to create a multiuse pathway that connects the city’s already existing northern walking and biking trails to West Main Street.

“I have the experience to serve this city,” she says. “I am energized at the idea of making Charlottesville a better place for all who call it home. We need a city that is responsive to the needs of the community. We need a city that is efficient in how it uses its limited resources. And we need a city that establishes clear priorities and is accountable for getting them done.”

Achieving the level of progress Hill envisions starts with transparency and accountability, she said at her campaign launch: “We do not have reliable and consistent conduits for community input. With staff often being pulled in multiple directions, priorities are unclear and, in turn, there is little accountability for getting things done.”

Her plan? To listen, engage and act, in hopes of completing her first task by listening where the city is united and divided.

“Now let’s get started,” she says.

TAKE FIVE

Heather Hill lists the top issues she wants to tackle if elected to City Council.

1. Work with/support city staff to develop processes and invest in technology systems that will allow for greater transparency in government, which in turn will drive prioritization and accountability for the issues that our community values most.

2. Leverage experienced resources within our community to address our challenges with affordable housing.

3. Make the city more responsive to the needs of Charlottesville’s small business community.

4. Put priority back into safety and infrastructure through investment in our transportation systems and schools.

5.As a member of the Belmont Bridge Steering Committee and a citizen who crosses it daily (often pushing a stroller), I am committed to getting a new bridge in place that addresses the multi-modal needs of our community and in a timeline that minimizes further investment in the existing structure.

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