Monday, July 22, 2019

Mayor Stoney announces new Commissioner of Buildings



Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced the appointment of Jason Carangelo as Commissioner of Buildings for the City of Richmond.

A registered architect and LEED accredited professional, Carangelo brings 20 years of professional experience to Richmond. In his previous position, Carangelo served as the building inspections administrator for the City of Savannah’s Development Services Department, managing a building construction investment portfolio of over $4 billion.

In his new role, Carangelo will oversee administration of the city’s Permitting and Inspections Division as well as the Division of Code Enforcement. Over the last two years, the city’s Permitting and Inspections Division has experienced a 100% increase in permit applications, illustrating the substantial development interest and investment in the city.  The new commissioner will now report directly to Sharon Ebert, DCAO for Economic and Community Development, reflecting the commitment to focus on the growing demands of the division.

“As Richmond continues its explosive growth, it’s important this department meets the challenge to ensure permitting, plan review, building and code enforcement inspections are performed in a timely and efficient manner,” said Mayor Stoney. “Jason’s experience in private and public permitting and code enforcement makes him the right person to take on this challenge.”

Carangelo obtained both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 2014, he served as the president of the Savannah Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

“I look forward to the opportunity to serve the citizens and business community of Richmond by fostering effective and efficient building and code enforcement programs,” says Carangelo.

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Mayor Stoney recognizes Richmond’s YMCA Power Scholars on Summer Learning Day


Mayor Stoney celebrated National Summer Learning Week by spotlighting the Richmond Public Schools’ first class of YMCA Power Scholars and proclaiming July 11, 2019 as Summer Learning Day in the City of Richmond.

The nationally-implemented Power Scholars Academy, provided by the YMCA of Greater Richmond with curriculum designed by BellXcel, augments traditional summer school with academic enrichment, field trips, mentorship, and family engagement activities. 

Over 2,500 students across Virginia will participate in Power Scholars Academy this summer. This summer, all RPS elementary and middle summer school sites are participating in Power Scholars Academy. Richmond’s program is the largest site in the nation with over 1,000 students currently enrolled.

“With so many of our RPS scholars enrolled, Richmond is leading the way in summer learning,” said Mayor Stoney. “We have willing and able partners in the city; this is what happens when we bring them together.” 

Mayor Stoney was joined at Broad Rock Elementary School by RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras; Dr. Lauren Gilbert, CEO of BellXcel; Tim Joyce, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Richmond; Turner Thompson, Regional Market Manager for Walmart; and Dr. Jamelle S. Wilson, Dean of the School of Professional & Continuing Studies at the University of Richmond and chair of the Community Foundation’s Board of Governors’ Community Impact Committee.

The Power Scholars Academy combines a number of best-practice elements to meaningfully engage with students and beat the “summer slump.” For at least six hours a day, five days a week, the Scholars will learn on- and off-site. The extended day model both allows parents to work later into the afternoon and provides ample time for extracurricular enrichment activities.

“The Y is committed to equity in learning in all of our communities, and the Power Scholars program is one way that we can partner with school systems to ensure our students are not experiencing summer learning loss.  We are excited to extend this partnership to the entire Richmond Public School system and continue our service to kids and families,” said YMCA CEO and President Tim Joyce.

Local partners including Art180, the Science Museum, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, the University of Richmond, and Virginia Commonwealth University have ensured that Richmond’s own Power Scholars will enjoy field trips to experience the rich offerings in the metro area.

“Our students deserve access to rigorous and exciting opportunities all year long,” said Superintendent Jason Kamras. “We are grateful for our continued partnership with YMCA and the Community Foundation, as well as our new partnership with Walmart. We also thank the Mayor for his leadership in prioritizing high-quality out-of-school time options for our students that will ignite a love of learning through the summer and beyond.”

Because summer learning loss is a significant contributor to the achievement gap, the partners sought out an evidence-based program with tested curriculum. Power Scholars Academy’s curriculum, designed by BellXcel, aligns with the Virginia Standards of Learning while incorporating social-emotional learning. Past participants have shown significant, measurable growth in literacy and math skills. The use of the BellXcel curriculum was made possible by a generous contribution from Walmart. 

"Walmart is excited to support Richmond Public Schools and the YMCA’s Power Scholars Academy program this summer for kids in our community,” said Turner Thompson, Walmart’s Richmond Market Manager. “By supporting the highly innovative and effective BellXcel curriculum, we are confident the participating students will engage in a highly productive and meaningful summer experience."

Summer learning is a component of Mayor Stoney’s out-of-school time initiative, which convenes key community partners like the YMCA, the Community Foundation, Richmond Public Schools, and the Mayor’s Office with the goal of providing high-quality activities and programming outside of the traditional school day.

“This collaboration to enrich summer school is one more step towards giving our kids the opportunities they need and deserve year-round, both in and out of school,” said Mayor Stoney. “We look forward to continuing to deepen and expand access to activities like these for all of Richmond’s children.”


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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Mayor Levar M. Stoney statement on adjournment of July 9 General Assembly Special Session



Republicans in the General Assembly proved today that they are not just spineless but flat-out cowardly. By not allowing for a single vote on legislation or a single word of debate on commonsense gun control bills, they dishonored the victims of gun violence across Virginia. They have thumbed their noses at their responsibility and at the citizens of Virginia that they were elected to represent.  

These actions may break our hearts, but they will not break our resolve. Richmond is ready to protect our children, our employees, and all our residents. In November, Virginians will have an opportunity to elect state representatives who are willing to do the same.”

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Monday, July 1, 2019

Mayor Levar M. Stoney statement on Richmond City Council passage of Ordinance 2019-165



“Tonight the City of Richmond sent a strong message to the Virginia General Assembly that it stands ready and willing to immediately implement the kind of common sense gun regulations that will enhance the safety and security of residents, employees and visitors to our city government offices and parks.

Every Richmonder has the right to feel secure and free from the fear of senseless gun violence in our city’s public spaces.

While I am disappointed this was not a unanimous vote, I applaud and thank the seven members of Richmond City Council who demonstrated leadership in their support for Ordinance 2019-165.

Now it’s time to take this momentum across the street and hold our commonwealth’s elected representatives accountable for protecting our children and families. Leaders in the City of Richmond proved tonight they have the spine to act. Now the ball is in the General Assembly’s court.”


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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Mayor Appoints Interim Chief William Smith to be next chief of Richmond Police Department


Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced the appointment of Richmond Police Department Interim Chief William C. Smith to become the next chief of the department.
Chief Smith, 51, began his law enforcement career with RPD in 1995 and has risen through the ranks of the department over a 24-year career. Since January 1, he has served as Interim Chief of Department following the retirement of former RPD Chief Alfred Durham.  Chief Smith is the 18th chief to lead the Richmond Police Department and is the first chief to be promoted internally since 1967.
“Chief Smith is thoughtful, detail-oriented, accountable, compassionate, and fair,” said Mayor Stoney, who announced the appointment at a press conference this afternoon at RPD headquarters.
“Over the last six months as interim chief, I believe he has demonstrated the dedication to duty, willingness to confront challenges head on, and commitment to serve the community that our city needs and our residents deserve. I believe he has what it takes to lead the men and women of RPD in a positive direction to protect and serve our community in the spirit of inclusivity and equity that are the foundation of One Richmond.”
After being introduced, Chief Smith said he was humbled and grateful for the support he has received from the city and the community.
“I would like to thank Mayor Levar Stoney and CAO Selena Cuffee-Glenn for their leadership of the city, their support of the Police Department and their faith in me,” said Chief Smith.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve this city in the capacity of Police Chief.  I, likewise, am overwhelmed by the support I’ve received from the community and I am dedicated to providing the best service to all of Richmond.
“We are a transparent, community policing organization committed to developing relationships within the city we serve,” Chief Smith continued. “As Mayor Stoney frequently states, we are One Richmond.
The Mayor’s appointment follows an extensive national search and recruitment process that included, for the first time in recent memory, weeks of community engagement to provide public input into the selection process.
“The chief of police is one of the most important jobs in any city government, requiring skills that go well beyond policing itself,” said Mayor Stoney. “Community engagement is one of the core functions of policing in our city, so that is why it was important that we listened to our residents and prioritized the public input we received in our process. Our search for the best candidate led us back to our own backyard.”
Chief Smith was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1998, lieutenant in 2003, captain in 2007 and major in 2016. He was promoted to deputy chief in 2018.
Chief Smith has served the department in virtually every capacity during the course of his career, from Emergency Communications (2007-2009), to commander of the Third Precinct (2009-2011), to running the Special Operations Division (2011-2016), to the Business Services Division (2016-2017) and serving as chief of staff (2018).
“Chief Smith knows this department inside and out – and he knows and respects the Richmond community he has served for nearly a quarter of a century,” the mayor said.
Says CAO Selena Cuffee-Glenn: “Accountability is critical to this community, and this is an essential quality that Chief Smith brings to the job.”

Officials, former chiefs and community leaders react
Chief Smith’s appointment garnered praise from city officials, community leaders and former chiefs of the Richmond Police Department.
City Council President Dr. Cynthia Newbille: " I have appreciated the opportunity to work with Interim Chief Smith over the past 6 months. He has proven to be committed, collaborative and community-oriented, and I look forward to continue to work with him going forward."
Community leader Melvin Jones: “Chief Will is a fair, upstanding man who knows this city. He has risen through the ranks of the police department, and the officers and community members I’ve talked to believe in his ability to lead.”
Paul Taylor, of RVA League for Safer Streets: “The fact that Mayor Stoney promoted from the inside of the Richmond Police Department shows his understanding of what the city needs. Chief Smith knows our community from his years of experience. This is inclusiveness at its best, and it is testimony to the Mayor’s commitment to building One Richmond.”
Carver Civic Association President Jerome Legions: “With Chief Smith, Richmond will have at the helm someone who doesn’t have to learn about the city, but someone who can build on enhancing communities and RPD’s efforts in building stronger community relationships. That William Smith has been appointed as the next chief of police of RPD is exciting news.”
Richmond Region Tourism President Jack Berry"I have gotten to know Chief Smith well over the past five years because of our work on the UCI bike race. Throughout that time, I've come to appreciate his organizational capacity and professionalism. He'll make a great chief for this city."
Former Richmond Police Chief Rodney Monroe said Smith knows his department and will serve the community with compassion and honor.
“Richmond has chosen a great man as its next chief of police. He’s a professional who cares deeply about all citizens of Richmond and the men and women of the department.”
Former Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham also praised Chief Smith, saying:
“Chief Smith embodies the core values and leadership attributes that are needed by both the department and community. He is a career employee who is a respected leader and has in-depth of knowledge about the operations of department. He understands the importance of relationships with his employees and local and state partners. More importantly, he understands that being connected to the community is what cultivates trust and legitimizes a police department.”
Chief Smith holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is also a graduate of the Police Executive Leadership School at the University of Richmond, as well as the Senior Management Institute for Police in Boston.
A date for a formal swearing-in ceremony will be scheduled in the near future.
For more information, please contact Chelsea Rarrick or visit http://www.richmondgov.com/Police/.
  
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Monday, June 10, 2019

Mayor Stoney Announces Director of Economic Development


Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced the appointment of Leonard Sledge as the city’s next director of Economic Development.

Sledge brings more than 13 years of experience in economic development to the position. Throughout his career, he has led construction, renovation and retention projects for universities and municipal governments.

He has served as the Director of Economic Development for the City of Hampton and for the College of William and Mary. Most recently, Sledge served as the executive director of the Henry County Development Authority, which serves the southeast portion of the Atlanta metro region.

Sledge earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Morehouse College and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from Georgia Tech. He holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix. In 2019, he was named one of North America’s top 50 economic developers by Consultant Connect.

“The City of Richmond is growing and we need to make sure we pursue development that not only expands our tax base, but is community-oriented and expands opportunity for all of our residents,” said Mayor Stoney. “Leonard’s background in local government and his record of informed, principled decision-making indicate he’s the right person for the job.”


As the Director of Economic Development, Sledge will oversee the economic growth of the city, including business retention and attraction, real estate development and redevelopment, and small business development and support. He will oversee the administration of the City’s Enterprise and Opportunity Zones, as well as several economic development loan programs. He will report directly to Sharon Ebert, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Economic and Community Development.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to work with this talented city team, civic-minded stakeholders and the community to help Richmond realize its economic development potential and move the city forward,” said Sledge.



Friday, May 31, 2019

Statement from Mayor Levar M. Stoney on Resignation of Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring


“Mike Herring has been an outstanding Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Richmond who has served the residents of our city with dedication and distinction for 13 years.

Mike’s keen and progressive legal mind, fairness and commitment to justice, both inside and outside the courtroom, has made Richmond a safer and more equitable place to live.

We will miss Commonwealth’s Attorney Herring’s steady and principled leadership in this critical law enforcement role, and I join the residents of the City of Richmond in honoring his public service and in wishing him well in the next chapter of his professional life.”