Thursday, May 15, 2014

City and Anthem Partner to Sponsor Senior Health and Wellness Fair

On Tuesday, May 20, the City’s Office on Aging and Persons with Disabilities and Anthem’s CareMore Medical Centers will sponsor a Senior Health and Wellness Fair for older adults, caregivers to seniors and providers of senior services. The Senior Health and Wellness Fair is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the grounds of Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which is located at 2015 Staples Mill Road, at the corner of West Broad Street and Staples Mill Road.

This outdoor fair is designed to provide attendees with information from more than 40 vendors offering programs and services to seniors, along with health screenings, food and fitness demonstrations, makeovers, door prizes and great entertainment by Richmond’s oldies vocal group Bak N Da Day.

Event attendees will also be able to obtain information on Virginia’s new Commonwealth Coordinated Care program, which is scheduled for statewide implementation on August 1. This new program will affect all recipients of full Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

For more information regarding the health and wellness fair please call (804) 646-1082.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

More Funding in Pipeline for Schools

~ Mayor and Superintendent agree on emergency needs ~

Following a meeting between Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Dana T. Bedden, the Mayor committed to providing an additional $732,000 in emergency funding for schools’ capital projects.

Dr. Bedden issued the Emergency Funding request at the School Board’s direction on Friday, May 9, 2014. The Mayor met with Dr. Bedden today to address the emergency request.

“Our first order of business was to reach our budget agreement with City Council, which we announced on Monday,” said Mayor Jones. “I’m very pleased that the compromise with City Council led to an additional $2 million being added to the $5 million in my budget for new funding for capital needs in our schools. This represents nearly a 700% increase in capital funding. The additional $732,000 requested is to be added to those funds, and I’ve committed to identifying those funds for the schools’ use.”

Mayor Jones and Dr. Bedden agreed that there was no need to initiate a special budget amendment to capture funds in the FY2014 budget as the work cited would not begin until after the school year ends. With schools dismissing in June, the July 1 fiscal year timeframe is workable. Mayor Jones will send a budget amendment to City Council at the start of the fiscal year.

“It is important to me that we keep the school system on track with the plan they gave us,” continued Mayor Jones. “Providing the additional funds they need to attend to the items they have now identified will ensure that building needs are continuously addressed and the school system can focus on performance issues. I don’t want them to have any distractions that may take away from addressing performance needs in our schools.”

“On behalf of the students, staff and School Board of Richmond Public Schools, I want to thank the Mayor for his support of our request for additional funding to address our unplanned school facility needs,” said Dr. Bedden. “Individually, I am appreciative that the Mayor extended an opportunity for me to meet and discuss these and other school- related issues with him directly.  Our charge, which the administration eagerly accepts, will be to ensure the effective and efficient use of this investment to create a better teaching and learning environment for our students and staff.”

Regular one-on-one update meetings are expected to continue between Mayor Jones and Superintendent Bedden regarding school needs and school performance.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mayor Dwight Jones & Richmond City Council President Charles Samuels Release the Following Joint Statement

Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Richmond City Council President Charles R. Samuels issued the following joint statement today:

“We have reached an agreement to move the City’s budget forward.

This compromise adds:
    •    $2.05 million in new funding for additional capital needs for Richmond Public Schools. Added to the $5 million provided in the Mayor’s original budget, this represents a one-year increase of nearly 700% in capital funding for schools.
    •    $1.5 million for bicycle infrastructure
    •    $100,000 for the Oliver Hill Courts Building
    •    $250,000 for blighted properties

These measures will be funded by a $3.9 million reduction in capital funding for the proposed E-911 Center, while retaining funding to plan the facility.

The agreement adds $3 million in funding for the Riverfront. This will be funded by the city’s anticipated FY14 revenue surplus.

The agreement reduces the $4.5 million in capital improvements that had been proposed for individual Council districts.

The agreement restores previous cuts to the Shockoe infrastructure, to a level of $10.6 million. This is a $3 million reduction from the Mayor’s original proposal.

This agreement secures additional funding for key projects to move the City forward and avoids a Mayoral veto.”

“It’s been very encouraging to see the outpouring of support for public schools this year,” said Mayor Jones. “From my conversations with students, members of the School Board and City Council, and due to my confidence in our new School Superintendent, I’m pleased that we’ve been able to add additional funding for public schools. We’re all committed to our public schools, the riverfront, and our bicycling infrastructure. This agreement moves these projects forward.”

“I am pleased with this agreement that invests in our shared priorities to move the City forward and avoids a Mayoral veto or override,” says City Council President Charles Samuels. “Richmond City Council and the Mayor came together, negotiated in good faith, and produced a positive result for the City.”