Friday, January 9, 2015

Mayor Jones Statement Concerning Retirement of Police Chief Ray Tarasovic

Today, Mayor Dwight C. Jones issued the following statement during a joint press conference held with Richmond Police Chief Ray Tarasovic:

“I’m here to announce the decision of Ray Tarasovic to step down as police chief for the City of Richmond. Ray plans to return to a life of retirement and will officially leave the post as of February 20th.

“Chief Tarasovic and I have been in discussion for some months now about his plans. When Ray joined the City of Richmond in February of 2013, he allowed me to draw him out of what was a fifth retirement when he agreed to serve the citizens of Richmond again.  It was clear at the onset that he was here to fill a gap in leadership in our police department and that he was willing to do so for as long as necessary during my tenure.

“Ray has been an excellent police chief. I’ve appreciated all of the energy and effort that he has put into the job. He has worked with a real heart for the community of Richmond and the public that he serves and loves. When I think about my time as Mayor, I know I will always think fondly of Ray Tarasovic.

“The Richmond City Police Department has performed well under Ray’s leadership over the past two years. With his leadership, and that of his able and committed command staff, we’ve held steady on improving public safety in the city of Richmond. We have faced some challenges as all urban centers do, but there is no doubt that we have a police department that we can be proud of and that adds positively to the fabric our community.

“I want to take a moment to mention recovering officer William Turner, who was shot in the line of duty last week. I’ve remained in contact with Officer Turner’s family and our prayers and support remain with him and his loved ones. We’ll continue to do everything that we can to support all of our public safety officials and we’ll continue to work to find the necessary resources to provide increasing support.

“Concerning the leadership of the department going forward, considerations have already been underway for a replacement. We have some interviews and reviews to complete, and expect to be announcing a final decision by the end of the month.

“I offer my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Ray Tarasovic for this time that he has dedicated to the city of Richmond. We are wishing him all the best in his pending retirement.”

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mayor Jones Comments on 2015 Richmond City Council Leadership Elections

Mayor Dwight C. Jones issued the following statement today on the outcome of the City Council President and Vice President elections.

“I offer my congratulations to the new Richmond City Council President Michelle R. Mosby.  As the first African-American woman to be chosen to lead Council as well as one of the few women to ascend to the position, this is a truly historic and notable accomplishment.  I also offer congratulations to the new Richmond City Council Vice President Chris Hilbert.

“Our city has made significant steps forward and experienced tremendous progress over the past six years, to include today’s opening of the first high school built in Richmond in more than 40 years. As we enter 2015, Richmond is poised for many more great things to include the UCI Road World Cycling Championships in September! I look forward to working with the City Council president, vice president and entire council as we continue to move Richmond forward together.

“Additionally, I would like to thank outgoing City Council President Charles Samuels and Vice President Ellen Robertson for their continued dedication in helping to make Richmond a more vibrant and stronger city.”

Mayor Launches E-time Capsule with Huguenot Students

~ Richmond opens first new high school in 40 years ~

A grand opening ceremony took place at the new Huguenot High School this morning as students officially began attending classes at the first new high school to be built in the City of Richmond in 40 years. Mayor Dwight C. Jones marked the occasion by cutting a ribbon with Huguenot High School students and by participating in an official program with 4th District City Councilwoman Kathy Graziano, 4th District School Board Member Kristen Larson, Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden, and Huguenot High School Principal Jafar Barakat.

The occasion was also marked by the launch of a time capsule project called Hugh-E – a digital time capsule designed to capture the current student lifestyle as the new school opens. Hugh-E will be the current student body’s way of showing future students what life was like in 2015. Students were invited to submit photos, videos, music or any other digital submission that represents their perspective on current lifestyles. The project is expected to collect information on favorite artists, dances, fashion trends, social media trends, as well as documentation of trophies and awards and videos of performances and presentations.

“Every student needs to be a part of this project,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “This is our first foray into a time capsule project of this nature, and it may set a trend for other schools to follow. I’m very excited about using technology this way to capture what is important to this student body at this time.”

Hugh-E will be accepting submissions until April 30, 2015, and will officially close for good in September of 2015. Hugh-E will be housed in a display case in the gallery of the new Huguenot High School and will not be opened until the year 2035.

Aside from the gallery space the new 250,400 square foot school provides the student body with:

  • Sustainable design features, including extensive day lighting, rain gardens and a green roof (set to receive US Green Building Council LEED Gold certification)
  • Extensive wireless technology throughout
  • 1,000 seat auditorium with premier staging and sound production
  • State competition approved athletic facilities (Football, Track and Field, Basketball, Baseball, Softball and Tennis)
  • 3 court basketball gym
  • 3,500 seat football stadium