Thursday, October 15, 2009

City’s “Imagine Festival” Celebrates Community Diversity

The city of Richmond will host the 5th annual “Imagine Festival” at Broad Rock Park on Saturday, October 24, from noon to 5 p.m. Admission to this community and family event is free.

The Imagine Festival is an exciting event offering free food, dance performances, arts, crafts, vendors, and fun activities for the entire family. A unique component of this year’s festival is a softball tournament including teams from the Richmond Police Department and area community organizations.

“This is a perfect opportunity for the community to come together with city departments such as the Richmond Police Department and truly get to know each other in a fun atmosphere. The Imagine Festival helps break down the “Us – Them” barrier so that we can get to know each other and true communication, cooperation and collaboration can begin. I hope families throughout Richmond can come and enjoy this unique event,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones.

The Imagine Festival began in 2005 as a community outreach event sponsored by Richmond’s Gang Reduction and Intervention Program. Since then, the city has sponsored the festival which has grown larger with each year. This year’s partners include the United States Census 2010, La Gran D 1480 AM, Radio Poder 1380 AM, Selecta 1320 AM, the Virginia Asian Foundation, Rejoice 1540 AM and the GRIP program.

For more information about the Imagine Festival, please call the city’s Hispanic Liaison Office at 646-0145.

Contact: Michael Wallace, (804) 646-2772

City Hall Takes Proactive Approach to Combat Flu

Instituting a hands-on approach to combating flu in the work environment, Richmond City Hall conducted an on-site flu clinic designed to take an active approach to seasonal flu prevention. In partnership with the city’s health provider, Southern Health, the city of Richmond delivered a streamlined process between employer, insurance carrier and provider.

With this approach, city of Richmond employees and dependants over age 18 who are covered by Southern Health simply fill out a form, show their insurance card, and a claim that does not require a co-payment is filed for employees. Employees are then provided their flu shot on-site by Southern Health, IVNA (Instructive Visiting Nurse Association).

During the City Hall flu clinic conducted on October 12, 2009, over one third of the 450 participants had never had a flu shot before. When asked why they chose to get the shot this year when they haven’t in past years, the number one response was "because you came to us and it was affordable," closely followed by "peer pressure from co-workers to get the shot.” Clearly creating a culture of wellness at the workplace provides encouragement and resources for employees who might otherwise shy away from services.

“This is an important proactive approach that I’m encouraging other employers to model with their insurance providers,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “It just doesn’t get much easier for employees than providing an on-site flu clinic partnership setting.”

On average, flu related absenteeism can range from two to seven days per employee. Cough and fatigue can last for several weeks, causing a slow return to work. The city scheduled six flu clinics for city employees and is encouraging employees to take advantage of this program and stay healthy. Remaining dates and locations include:

DPU Operations Center
400 Jeff Davis Hwy.
October 19, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Police Training Academy
1202 West Graham Rd.
October 21, Noon to 7 p.m.

Contact: Tammy Hawley, (804) 646-3110

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mayor Comments on Norman Sales' Retirement

Mayor Dwight Jones issued the following statement on the retirement of City Attorney Norman Sales.

"The city of Richmond is losing a dedicated public servant, Norman Sales, when he retires. Norman has been a balanced and knowledgeable city attorney, and we are the better for his work here. It is with sadness that I received Norman's announcement. However, I know that he makes the move for personal reasons, and I wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Contact: Tammy Hawley, (804) 646-3110

Statement of City Attorney Norman Sales Announcing his Retirement

City Attorney Norman Sales issued the following statement today:

"It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from the city of Richmond, effective December 31, 2009.

"It has been my pleasure and privilege to serve in the City Attorney’s office for more than 20 years and over the last four years as City Attorney. It goes without saying that I have many memories, accomplishments, challenges, and successes that will be indelibly etched as part of the fabric of my life forever. I have great affection for the city of Richmond and its citizens. My work with the city will always be a source of pride and satisfaction for me.

"I want to be clear that my decision to retire at this time has no relation to any matters previously or now before Council for consideration and also has no bearing on my relationship with the current or any past administration. Indeed, I feel that my current relationship with the City Council and the Jones Administration has been a cordial and productive one. My decision to retire at this time is purely personal. For me, for my career, and for my family, the time has come for a change. While I have great affection for the city of Richmond, I am simply entering a new phase of my own life and believe this is the proper time for me to retire.

"I owe a great debt of gratitude to Council members and other city leaders with whom I have worked over the years. They have taught me a great deal. They placed a great amount of confidence in me and allowed me to grow as a professional. This time has been among the most personally and professionally rewarding experiences of my life and one that I will always treasure."

Contat: Norman Sales, (804) 646-7969

Mayor to Sign Sister City Agreement With Ségou, Mali

WHO: Mayor Dwight C. Jones
Mayor Ousmane Simaga of Ségou, Mali
City Council President Kathy Graziano
City Councilman Bruce Tyler

WHAT: Signing of Sister City Agreement between the city of Richmond and
city of Ségou of the Republic of Mali.

WHEN: Noon, Tuesday, October 13, 2009

WHERE: 900 East Broad Street
2nd Floor Large Conference Room
Richmond, VA 23219


Through the efforts of Richmond's Sister City Commission and locally based Virginia Friends of Mali, Richmond City Council passed a resolution on June 3, 2009 to pursue official sister city relationship with Ségou, Mali.

In his letter of introduction to Mayor Simaga, Mayor Jones stated, “Our cities have many things in common, from our identity as capital cities, to the rivers that flow through our vast landscape, and the history and culture that make us educational and recreational destinations.”

At noon on Tuesday, October 13, 2009, the two Mayors will meet in person for the first time to sign the Sister City Agreement.

Contact: Tammy Hawley, (804) 646-7970