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HAPPY 2022 ASHLANDERS!

Welcome to the first issue of “Talk of the Town” – a new email newsletter that will feature stories and actionable information about upcoming Town initiatives, programs, public meetings, and more.

This newsletter will arrive in your inbox twice per month on the Thursday prior to every regularly scheduled Town Council meeting. The goal is to equip you with the information you need to stay informed and engaged with me, my staff, and most importantly, the issues you care about most.

Going forward, this newsletter will consist of a variety of short stories and informational blurbs about the Town.

But for this inaugural issue, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on 2021 and share my goals as your Town Manager for 2022, specifically around two areas where I hope to make progress this year: economic development and quality of life. 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Despite the pandemic, the Town made great economic development strides in 2021, including the opening of 24 new businesses.

In 2021, we also:
In 2022, we will continue to work toward developing the Holland Technology Park into a high-tech manufacturing hub, which will simultaneously bring high-paying jobs to Ashlanders and reinvest in our public infrastructure, making Ashland the best place to locate a business.

I am also hopeful that our next fiscal year budget will enable further downtown streetscape enhancements to benefit both the community and our businesses.

QUALITY OF LIFE

We also saw some improvements to quality of life for the community in 2021 including: 

In the year ahead, I am focused on creating and increasing connectivity within our community, including:

  • maintaining and enhancing our trail and sidewalk network; and,
  • improving communication with our residents, businesses, property owners, and visitors.

"We have lost too much of our ability to connect due to
COVID-19. I love the idea of creating physical connections through public infrastructure and community connections
through information sharing." 

NEW COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT MANAGER

Some of you may already be aware, but we recently hired a Community  Engagement Manager, Martha J. Miller (mmiller@ashlandva.gov), using some of our ARPA funding. She is not only responsible for this newsletter and all our communications channels, but most importantly, for helping me and my staff understand what information you want to receive and the best way to deliver it.

I hope the engagement efforts we are undertaking will help you feel welcome to participate and that the infrastructure projects we have planned in the future will make it easier to do so. 

Thank you for your interest in your local government and your care for this one-of-a-kind community at the Center of the Universe.

Sincerely,
Josh Farrar
jfarrar@ashlandva.gov

TUESDAY, JANUARY 18th l 7:00PM

Agenda Highlights:

  • Public Hearing: Haley Court Rezoning (Possible vote.)

  • FY23-FY27 Capital Improvements Program Introduction (Introductory discussion. No vote.)

  • FY22 2nd Quarter Financial Report (Presentation only.)

  • Employee Compensation Plan Update (Presentation only. Possible vote at future meeting.)

  • Monthly Reports: Planning, Finance, & Ashland Police Department

How to Participate:

CLICK HERE FOR FULL AGENDA

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

  • Thursday, Jan. 13th
    Parks & Rec Committee l 6:00pm

  • Monday, Jan. 17th
    Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Town offices closed)

  • Tuesday, Jan. 18th
    Town Council Meeting l 7:00pm

  • Thursday, Jan. 20th
    Economic Development Authority l 5:30pm

  • Thursday, Jan. 27th
    Next Issue: "Talk of the Town" 

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