Wednesday, September 6, 2017

City of Richmond to use CodeRED Emergency Notification System


The City of Richmond is encouraging all residents, visitors and businesses to sign up for a new mass notification system known as CodeRED. This system will allow city officials to quickly deliver alert messages regarding emergency situations.

“Keeping our residents, visitors and businesses safe and informed at all times is important,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “CodeRED is another tool the city is providing to help citizens stay safe and informed.”

Users can sign up for emergency alerts and weather warnings, and the notifications can be sent to a cell phones, landlines or email addresses. The CodeRED system also has the ability to use Geographical Information System (GIS) technology to target specific areas based on emergency situations.

"The CodeRED system will give residents, visitors and businesses the ability to add their own phone numbers directly into a database to receive emergency alerts” continued the mayor. “If your contact information is not in the database, you may not be able to receive alerts. No one should assume his or her phone number is automatically included.”

Mayor Stoney is urging all individuals and businesses to visit the city of Richmond’s website, richmondgov.com and click the CodeRED button at the top of the page to register, or click here.

As part of the roll out, CodeRED will be making an inaugural call to help calibrate the system in the next couple weeks.

Residents, visitors and people who work but do not live in City of Richmond are encouraged to register and download the free CodeRED Mobile Alert app.

For more information, please contact Derek.Andresen@richmondgov.com or call (804) 646-6140.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Mayor Stoney Announces Department of Public Works Milestone, Repairs 20,000th Pothole in City


Today Mayor Levar M. Stoney went to Highland Park to announce a milestone in the administration’s efforts to deliver improved services to the residents of Richmond, joining a crew from the Department of Public Works (DPW) to repair the 20,000th pothole in the city since he took office January 1.


During the entirety of 2016, work crews repaired 18,000 potholes. Reaching 20,000 potholes repaired in only eight months is an indication of the significant progress the administration and DPW have made toward addressing the city’s infrastructure needs.

Early in the year, three DPW crews (including both temporary workers and full-time city employees), began completing 50 potholes per crew daily on average. Currently, there are fewer than 50 open tickets in the system thanks to the department’s diligence. 

DPW has also made progress on repairing long-neglected city alleyways. In the first eight months of the new administration, work crews under DPW Director Bobby Vincent Jr. have graded over 1,000 alleys – the equivalent of more than 70 miles of alleys across the city. The goal is to reach 1,300 alleys (86+ miles) before the end of September.

City workers have also significantly reduced the backlog for bulk and brush pickup requests. In September, 2016, there were 2,630 “open” requests and nearly half of them were more than a month old. As of the end of August, 2017, there are 265 “open” requests and 96 percent are less than two weeks old.

“This kind of progress and improvement is what we work toward every day to make life better for our residents,” said Mayor Stoney. “I commend the efforts of DPW director, Bobby Vincent, and our hard-working DPW crews, who have taken on the challenge of literally taking the bumps out of the roads we travel. We still have work to do, but we’re are on the right path to a Richmond that works better.”

The Department of Public Works has been preparing for the upcoming winter and the toll it takes on city streets. Two pothole patching machines are being purchased which are capable of filling 50 potholes per day with one operator on board.

For more information about DPW operations, please contact DPW and Sharon North at Sharon.North@Richmondgov.com or call (804) 646-5607.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Richmond Launches New Investor Relations Website




Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced Richmond has partnered with BondLink, a Boston-based financial technology company, and launched a new investor relations website to attract more investors and diversify the city’s investor base.

Now live, richmondvabonds.com will better communicate with current and potential bond investors who invest in the city’s public infrastructure projects. The website contains over 2,500 pages of data and documents and utilizes a corporate-style investor platform providing insight into the credit fundamentals behind Richmond’s AA+/Aa2/AA+ ratings.

“This is a tool to attract new investment in Richmond,” said Mayor Stoney. “At the same time, it furthers our commitment to being as transparent as possible.”

The website and new investor platform is available to citizens as well as bond investors. It now consolidates the city’s data and documents valuable to bond investors and rating agencies, providing quick and easy access to extensive financial information.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

RVA Bike Share Ready to Roll


Mayor Levar M. Stoney will launch the RVA Bike Share program on Tuesday, August 29 at 9 a.m. at Kanawha Plaza and lead cyclists on a 2-mile ride from across the Manchester Bridge to the T. Tyler Potterfield Bridge, ending at Browns Island.

“Bike sharing programs are a community transportation service and desired amenity provided by forward thinking and environmentally conscious cities,” said Mayor Stoney. “I am proud Richmond is now among those leading in this regard.”

Richmond has teamed up with Canada-based Bewegen Technologies Inc., an industry bike share leader, to supply the bicycles and docking stations. The equipment will be maintained by Corps Logistics, a Baltimore-based firm owned and operated by military veterans.

The initial phase includes 220 8-speed bikes and 20 docking stations located throughout the city. A second phase is expected to be implemented in the coming months, doubling the fleet and including electric assist PedElec bikes, making it easier to ride uphill. These hi-tech bicycles will be equipped with a color screen, live GPS and can be unlocked through a mobile app.

RVA Bike Share is a public-private initiative, and Mayor Stoney has written a letter to encourage Richmond’s corporate and business leaders to engage in sponsorship opportunities necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the program. Click here to read the mayor’s letter.

Plans for RVA Bike Share have been in the works since 2012. The city was awarded a $1,064,000 federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant in 2014 to start the program, supplementing $280,000 in capital improvement funds made available by the city.

One-way trip and daily passes will be available as well as weekly, monthly and yearly memberships. For more information about RVA Bike Share, pricing, membership and sponsorship opportunities, please visit rvabikes.com.





Monday, August 21, 2017

RVA Education Compact Passes Unanimously


Mayor Levar M. Stoney is pleased to announce the unanimous passage of resolutions by both the Richmond Public School Board and City Council establishing the RVA Education Compact.

Passage of the Compact marks the first time the RPS Board, City Council and administration have entered into a formal agreement to work together to develop collaborative solutions addressing the needs of our school children both inside and outside of the classroom.

“We took a significant step today toward improving public education in the City of Richmond,” said Mayor Stoney.

“I’d like to thank all the members of City Council and School Board for their commitment to this collaborative process, as well as the public who participated and offered their feedback and comment on previous drafts over the last several months.

“I look forward to working with the council and board on shared strategies to drive down child poverty while lifting up academic performance in our schools.”

Mayor Stoney has directed his senior policy advisor for opportunity, Dr. Thad Williamson, to work with Interim Superintendent Thomas Kranz to develop and finalize an operating plan for the Compact, including a detailed schedule of meeting dates and timeline for action. That plan will be made available to the City Council and School Board at each body’s next schedule meetings.

It is anticipated the first joint quarterly meeting between the mayor, council and board will take place in September, with the first formal meeting of the Richmond Children’s Cabinet also taking place then.
The Education Compact stakeholder team is expected to be finalized by the end of September as well, with its first meeting due to take place in October.

The mayor’s office will continue working over the next month to establish a dedicated website for the Compact to host all documents, data and relevant information.

Copies of the mayor’s remarks to the joint meeting of the City Council and School Board can be found here. Copies of the resolutions approved can be found here.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mayor Levar M. Stoney Statement on Monument Avenue


When I spoke about the monuments earlier this summer, it was from an optimism that we can take the power away from these statues by telling their true story, for the first time.

As I said in June, it is my belief that, as they currently stand without explanation, the confederate statues on Monument Avenue are a default endorsement of a shameful period in our national and city history that do not reflect the values of inclusiveness, equality and diversity we celebrate in today’s Richmond. 

I wish they had never been built. 

Still, I believed that as a first step, there was a need to set the historical record straight. That is why I asked the Monument Avenue Commission to solicit public input and to suggest a complete and truthful narrative of these statues, who built them and why they were erected. 

When it comes to these complicated questions that involve history, slavery, Jim Crow and war, we all must have the humility to admit that our answers are inherently inadequate. These are challenges so fundamental to the history of our country, commonwealth, and city that reducing them to the question of whether or not a monument should remain is, by definition, an oversimplification. 

But context is important in both historical, and present day, perspectives. While we had hoped to use this process to educate Virginians about the history behind these monuments, the events of the last week may have fundamentally changed our ability to do so by revealing their power to serve as a rallying point for division and intolerance and violence. 

These monuments should be part of our dark past and not of our bright future. I personally believe they are offensive and need to be removed. But I believe more in the importance of dialogue and transparency by pursuing a responsible process to consider the full weight of this decision. 

Effective immediately, the Monument Avenue Commission will include an examination of the removal and/or relocation of some or all of the confederate statues.

Continuing this process will provide an opportunity for the public to be heard and the full weight of this decision to be considered in a proper forum where we can have a constructive and civil dialogue.

Let me be clear: we will not tolerate allowing these statues and their history to be used as a pretext for hate and violence, or to allow our city to be threatened by white supremacists and neo-Nazi thugs. We will protect our city and keep our residents safe.

As I said a few weeks ago, our conversation about these Monuments is important. But what is more important to our future is focusing on building higher-quality schools, alternatives to our current public housing that provide dignity and safety for all, and policies to provide opportunities for all Richmonders to succeed.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Richmond to Offer Amnesty to City Taxpayers


Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced, for a limited time, Richmond will offer tax amnesty benefits to citizens owing certain back taxes. The program will begin next Tuesday, August 15 and run through October 16, 2017.

“This is the chance for citizens who owe to get right with the city,” said Mayor Stoney. “Our schools, police and other vital city services are paid for with tax revenues, and they’ve been shortchanged by millions of dollars in unpaid taxes.”

Taxpayers can benefit from this one-time opportunity to pay taxes without incurring or paying penalties and interest. Eligibility includes all individuals and businesses owing real estate taxes, business personal property taxes (excluding vehicles), business license taxes, admissions taxes, lodging taxes and meals taxes as of February 1, 2017. Vehicle personal property taxes and vehicle license taxes and fees are not eligible for this amnesty program.

“The city is owed tens of millions of dollars in back taxes,” said the city’s finance director John Wack. “The mayor has given us a mandate to collect these taxes, and we’re hoping our offer of amnesty will incentivize and compel citizens to step forward and satisfy these debts now.”

The full balance due (less penalties and interest) must either be paid in full by October 16, or a 6-month payment plan must be arranged for those deemed eligible, which include those with accounts that have been assigned to one of the city’s collection agencies.

Taxpayers must sign up in person at City Hall (900 E Broad Street) or at Southside Plaza (4100 Hull Street Rd). Extended hours will also be offered until 7 p.m. on Thursdays August 17, September 14 and October 12, and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on August 19, September 16 and October 14.

Citizens can call (804) 646-3954 with questions regarding real estate taxes. Call (804) 646-6662 for business personal property and business license tax questions. Call (804) 646-3631 to inquire about payment plans.

For more information, visit tinyurl.com/RVAtaxdeal. Questions can also be submitted via email: tax.amnesty@richmondgov.com.

Watch the Tax Amnesty video here.

To view this release in Spanish, click here. For the video with Spanish subtitles, click here.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Panattoni to Build New State-of-the-Art Distribution Center Across from Richmond Marine Terminal


Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced Newport Beach, CA-based Panattoni Development Company, Inc., one of the largest full-service development companies in the world, has acquired over 62 acres for development of a new state-of-the-art distribution center to be located along Commerce Rd., just south of the Bells Rd. / I-95 interchange and across from Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT) at the Port of Virginia.

John Reinhart, the CEO and executive director of the Port of Virginia, said Panattoni’s confidence in Virginia’s business environment “will create more supply chain capacity in Central Virginia,” among numerous other benefits.

Panattoni will proceed in two phases, with plans that include and total nearly one million square feet of cross-dock warehouses with multiple trailer drops. Phase one is expected to be completed by late summer 2018. In welcoming Panattoni to the city’s port area, Mayor Stoney said, “Richmond is happening; we’re on the move and we are growing as an epicenter of trade and commerce.”

Richmond’s 8th District Councilwoman Reva Trammell, in whose district RMT is located, cited the jobs and new employment this development will create. “This adds to the health of our economy in a myriad of ways,” said Councilwoman Trammell. “It will ultimately lower our unemployment rate and benefit us citywide.” Richmond Marine Terminal is located along the west bank of the James River, is owned by the City of Richmond and is leased by the Virginia Port Authority.

“We were influenced by the positive momentum taking place at the Port of Virginia,” said William Hudgins, Panattoni’s senior development manager for the Mid-Atlantic market. “We’re now looking forward to being an integral part of this momentum.”

Monday, July 31, 2017

Mayor Stoney Hosts Brown Bag Lunches with City Departments


Mayor Levar M. Stoney began hosting brown bag lunches with city departments and their directors last week. These lunches have been initiated as part of the process to implement recommendations from the performance review completed by VCU’s Performance Management Group earlier this year.

“I am having real dialogue with front line employees and giving them an opportunity to be heard,” said Mayor Stoney. “Their concerns, ideas and recommendations play a critical part in bringing needed changes to City Hall.”

Mayor Stoney will meet with every city department in the coming weeks, with the following already scheduled:
  • Budget
  • Community Wealth Building
  • Economic & Community Development
  • Emergency Communications
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Justice Services
  • Minority Business Development
  • Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities
  • Planning & Development Review
  • Public Utilities
  • Public Works
  • Richmond Animal Care & Control
  • Social Services

Friday, July 28, 2017

Schedule of Monument Avenue Commission Work Group Meetings


State of Confederate Memorials Group: Examine what other communities and institutions are doing around the country to address Confederate memorials and monuments.

Monday, July 31
1:30 p.m.
Department of Historic Resources
2801 Kensington Ave.

Historians Review Group: Provide additional historical background on existing monuments and information on community-proposed additions to Monument Avenue.

Tuesday, August 1
10:30 a.m.
Library of Virginia
800 E. Broad St.

New Monuments and Interpretation Group: If monuments are added, where can they best be erected and interpreted? What are our interpretive options?

Wednesday, August 2
1 p.m.
Department of Historic Resources
2801 Kensington Ave.

Community Engagement Group: Establish rules for community engagement and how the public sessions should be structured.

Wednesday, August 2
3 p.m.
Black History Museum
122 W. Leigh St.

The Monument Avenue Commission has set the following dates for public meetings:

Wednesday, August 9
6:30 p.m.
Virginia Historical Society
428 N. Boulevard

Wednesday, September 13
6:30 p.m.
Virginia Historical Society
428 N. Boulevard

For contact information and more about the Monument Avenue Commission, please click here; for more about the Virginia Historical Society, please click here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Mayor Stoney Releases Update on the RVA Education Compact


Following the successful joint City Council-School Board meeting on June 26, a resolution expressing support for the launch of the RVA Education Compact was introduced by City Council on Monday, July 17 for potential adoption on July 24. A parallel resolution will be introduced by the School Board at its meeting on August 7.

The introduced City Council resolution can be found here.

The most recent version of the draft School Board resolution can be found here.

An accompanying letter from Mayor Stoney to members of City Council and the School Board can be found here.

The RVA Education Compact is a collaborative and coordinated plan based on the fact our government, schools and community must work together to meet our challenges and ensure a brighter future for our children. Mayor Stoney is looking forward to working closely with School Board and City Council to meet the needs of children in the City of Richmond, both inside and outside the classroom.

Mayor Stoney and City’s Department of Planning & Development Review Launch Richmond 300


To watch the full video of the event, click here.

This morning Mayor Levar M. Stoney and the Department of Planning and Development Review (PDR) hosted a launch event for Richmond 300 overlooking the entire city from the Observation Deck of City Hall. Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth is the city’s Master Plan. Richmond 300 will establish a 20-year vision for the city’s growth and be developed with extensive community input. In 2037, Richmond will celebrate its 300th anniversary. What do Richmonders want the city to look like when it turns 300?

"Richmond is growing, and we all share in the responsibility of managing how we grow,” said Mayor Stoney. "This is a massive undertaking that involves aligning the myriad of City Hall efforts – overcoming the segmented approach and breaking down silos – and having one road map for the growth of our city."

Richmond 300 will be developed with extensive community engagement. As such, there will be numerous ways to participate – some more time-intensive than others. A full description of engagement opportunities can be found here, but some of the engagement opportunities include:
  • Apply for the Advisory Team. The Advisory Team is the most intense way for a citizen to be engaged in Richmond 300. The Advisory Team serves as 1) a sounding board to help shape the content of Richmond 300; and 2) liaisons to the community by helping build awareness and participating in the plan update process. Members will be selected via an open application call, selected by the director of PDR, Master Plan Project Manager, Advisory Team Co-Chairs and a Special Advisor to the Mayor before being confirmed by the City Planning Commission. If you or someone you know meets the qualifications outlined in the application and has the time to commit to the Advisory Team, please consider applying. Applications are due August 21 and can be found here.
  • Serve as a Richmond 300 Ambassador. The Richmond 300 Ambassadors are volunteers who assist in spreading the word about the Master Plan and assist at community events. Email richmond300@richmondgov.com to volunteer.
  • Serve on an Advisory Work Team. These sub-committees to the Advisory Team will be established in 2018. More information will become available as the Master Plan progresses.
  • Join the Richmond 300 email list. Email richmond300@richmondgov.com to be added to the list.
  • Follow Richmond 300 on Facebook and Instagram. Share the posts with your friends.
  • Look for many more opportunities that will become available as the process continues. These opportunities will include mobile meetings, planner’s office hours, online surveys, town halls and more.
Please submit any questions you may have to richmond300@richmondgov.com.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Monument Avenue Commission Meetings Set


The Monument Avenue Commission has set the following dates for public meetings:

Wednesday, Aug. 9
6:30 p.m.    Location:
                   Virginia Historical Society
                   428 N. Boulevard

Wednesday, Sept. 13
6:30 p.m.    Location:
                   Virginia Historical Society
                   428 N. Boulevard

For contact information and more about the Monument Avenue Commission, please click here; for more about the Virginia Historical Society, please click here.



Thursday, June 29, 2017

HUD Awards City over $2.7 Million to Protect Children and Families from Lead and Other Home Hazards


Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced Richmond and project:HOMES have been awarded a $2,710,314 Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to protect low-income children and families from lead and other home hazards.

Mayor Stoney extended his appreciation and congratulations to the city¹s Department of Economic and Community Development and their housing and neighborhood division project development manager, Dan Mouer, the Richmond City Health District staff and their program manager for the Lead-Safe and Healthy Homes Initiative, Dona Huang, the city's grant coordinator, Christopher Johnston and all those who worked with them on this grant application to secure funds to make low-income housing safer and healthier.

The over $2.7 million coming to the city is part of more than $127 million awarded by HUD to 48 state and local government agencies to keep families and their children safe from lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards.

”Richmond is working diligently to serve all our citizens,” said Mayor Stoney. ”The important work done to secure this sizable grant paid off, and the resulting investment we can now make will tangibly improve the lives of our low-income residents.”

The grants direct critical funds to cities, counties and states in thousands of privately-owned, low-income housing units. The award includes Healthy Homes supplemental funding to help Richmond and other communities mitigate multiple health hazards in high-risk housing simultaneously, in conjunction with their lead hazard control activities.

The HUD announcement caps the celebration of June’s National Healthy Homes Month. More information about HUD's Lead-Based Paint and Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Programs can be found here.


City’s Office of Community Wealth Building to Receive $1.9 Million Grant


The Office of Community Wealth Building (OCWB) recently received news it will be awarded a grant of $1.9 million from the Virginia Department of Social Services. The purpose of the grant is to support the efforts of the City of Richmond to expand workforce development efforts and the capacity of the Center for Workforce Innovation.

“This grant recognizes the hard work and dedication of our city’s Office of Community Wealth Building,” said Mayor Levar M. Stoney. “It will help further our efforts and advance our goals of bringing about change and building One Richmond."

The Commonwealth of Virginia’s FY 2018 budget established a new initiative intended to support efforts of localities engaged in community wealth building and related approaches to moving citizens and families from poverty to economic self-sufficiency.

“Receiving this grant from the Commonwealth is a major milestone. We are grateful for the acknowledgement of our work and excited about the tremendous impact this grant will make on our efforts to help individuals and families reach a new level of financial well-being and economic stability,” said Reggie Gordon, Director of the OCWB.

Many partners helped the OCWB prepare for the grant and supported the community wealth building initiatives, including Mayor Levar Stoney, CAO Selena Cuffee-Glenn, members of the Richmond City Council and Citizens Advisory Board, Virginia First Cities, intragovernmental partners, community partners, and most importantly, the people who have attended OCWB’s listening sessions and/or shared stories about their life struggles. Those stories formulated the strategy and approach used to make the grant application successful. OCWB is committed to being responsive to the needs of the people and helping to create pathways towards hope for thousands of Richmond households.

For more information about the Office of Community Wealth Building, contact Reggie Gordon at Reginald.Gordon@Richmondgov.com or call 646-6374.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

City Nets $16 Million Savings in Bond Market


Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced Richmond has taken advantage of historic low interest rates and the city’s strong credit ratings to refund $142 million in existing debt service tied to four outstanding bond issues, which will result in the city reducing its existing debt service by approximately $16 million over the next 15 years.



This incredible savings was achieved as part of the successful sale of $229 million in tax-exempt and taxable General Obligation Public Improvement and Refunding Bonds, of which $87 million was for new money projects with a cost of approximately 2.77%, near the lowest cost of funds in several decades.



The bonds were highly rated by all three national credit rating agencies - Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch (Aa2, AA+, AA+ respectively). Wells Fargo was the winning bidder for the tax-exempt bonds and Raymond James was the winning bidder for the taxable bonds.



“This is how we do more,” said Mayor Stoney. “It is part of a concerted and multifaceted strategy to find and free up more dollars for our critical needs, such as our school and public safety priorities.”

Davenport & Company LLC, the city’s financial advisors, cited the recent and highly-rated credit assessments affirmed by all three national credit rating agencies for these excellent results. “This underscores Wall Street’s confidence in the city and its financial future,” added Chief Administrative Officer Selena Cuffee-Glenn.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Mayor Stoney Speaks at Special Joint Meeting Between City Council and School Board


Mayor Stoney Speaks at Special Joint Meeting Between City Council and School Board



Richmond’s AA+ GO Bond Ratings Affirmed by S&P, Fitch and Moody’s


Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced Richmond has maintained its AA+ general obligation (GO) bond ratings from all three credit rating agencies.

“We view the city's management as very strong, with strong financial policies and practices,” stated the latest S&P RatingsDirect summary. S&P’s AA+ assessment factors also cited Richmond’s 2,445 new jobs since 2016 and $840 million in new economic investment.

Fitch upgraded the city’s operating performance factor to “aaa” for the first time and further reported, “After several years of stagnant or declining valuations, the city's taxable base has increased for the second consecutive year and the estimated 2017 valuation reflects a 3% increase.”

Likewise, Moody’s Investors Service also reaffirmed their Aa+ rating and cited Richmond’s diverse local economy, maintaining the city “is poised for continued long-term growth, as indicated by the number and scale of redevelopment projects both commercial and residential currently underway or under consideration.”

“We are working very proactively to further strengthen Richmond’s economy,” said Mayor Stoney. “I am quite pleased this is something clearly recognized and reported by the rating agencies.”

Click here for Moody's.

Click here for S&P.

Click here for Fitch.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mayor Stoney Announces Formation of the Monument Avenue Commission


Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced the formation of an ad hoc advisory group, the Monument Avenue Commission, to help the city redefine the false narrative of the Confederate statues that line Richmond’s grandest boulevard.

The commission will be tasked with soliciting public input and pooling its collective centuries of experience in history, art, government culture and community to make recommendations to the mayor’s office on how to best tell the real story of our monuments.

“It’s our time; it’s our responsibility to set the historical record straight on Monument Avenue’s confederate statuary,” Mayor Stoney said.

“Equal parts myth and deception, they were the ‘alternative facts’ of their time – a false narrative etched in stone and bronze more than 100 years ago – not only to lionize the architects and defenders of slavery – but to perpetuate the tyranny and terror of Jim Crow and reassert a new era of white supremacy. 

“It is my belief that without telling the whole story, these monuments have become a default endorsement of that shameful period – one that does a disservice to the principles of racial equality, tolerance and unity we celebrate as values in One Richmond today.”

Mayor Stoney has also charged the commission with exploring the possibility of adding new monuments to Monument Avenue.

“I think we should consider what Monument Avenue would look like with a little more diversity,” the Mayor said.

“Right now, Arthur Ashe stands alone -- and he is the only true champion on that street.”

To guide this process, the mayor has assembled a diverse and experienced team of experts – historians, artists, authors and community leaders.

The Mayor has appointed Christy Coleman, CEO of the American Civil War Museum, and Gregg Kimball, Director of Education and Outreach for the Library of Virginia, to serve as Monument Avenue Commission co-chairs.

Click here for a list of other commission members and city staff assigned to assist the commission, which will also work with David Ruth, Superintendent of Central Virginia for the National Parks Service, who will advise regarding this National Landmark Historic District.

Two public meetings will be held over the next 90 days. Dates, times and locations will be announced next week. Residents will also be able to offer suggestions on the website, monumentavenuecommission.org.

When he ran for office, Mayor Stoney said the Confederate statues required context – that is, an explanation of what they actually are: who built them, why they were built and how they came to preside over the culture of this city. Today’s commission announcement is the first step in fulfilling that promise.

“The best way to change hearts is to educate minds,” he said.

The Mayor also suggested another strategy to balancing the historical ledger in Richmond.

“These are all important projects, and important symbols that help educate and build a bridge to understanding a more complete history,” the Mayor said.

“Let’s make our next monument a new school. A new community center. An alternative to public housing that restores dignity and pride of place,” he said.

“America’s history has been written and rewritten and our struggle with race in this country persists, not because monuments rise or fall, but because, fear makes people falter,” the Mayor continued.

“What lasts, however – the legacy that will endure – are the people we build, the minds we enlighten and nurture, and the hearts we open on both sides.

“If we can do that, then we will not just have a few new monuments. We will have thousands – living monuments to understanding, inclusiveness, equality and promise,” the Mayor added. “They are the ones who will know the difference between myth and fact, embrace just causes, not lost causes, and they will write the next chapter in the history of our city.

“Setting the record straight on Monument Avenue is one very important step on the road to One Richmond.”

Background:

Richmond is unique among cities in many respects in how it has handled its complex and conflicted Civil War and Civil Rights history.

It was the capital of the Confederacy and the home of the first African-American Governor in the United States – L. Douglas Wilder, in 1989.

A statue of segregationist state senator Harry Flood Byrd sits on Capitol square less than 100 years away from the Civil Rights memorial honoring Prince Edward County student Barbara Johns, whose brave protests for equal treatment in education helped bring about school desegregation in the commonwealth.

We have expanded the conversation and understanding of history and erected the statue, “Reconciliation,” acknowledging this city’s role in the Triangle Slave Trade in Shockoe Bottom.

A statue of Abraham Lincoln and his son Tadd stands next to the American Civil War Museum, the only museum dedicated to telling the story of the Civil War from multiple perspectives: Union and Confederate, enslaved and free African Americans, soldiers and civilians.

Next month the city will dedicate a new statue of Richmond’s own Maggie Walker on Broad Street, and next year, an emancipation statue will be commemorated on Brown’s Island.

It is also moving forward developing a plan to commemorate the Devil’s Half Acre and Negro Burial Ground along Shockoe Creek.

History:

The statues on Monument Avenue were erected between 1890 and 1919, as the rights of African-Americans were being systematically removed.

In 1867, 105,832 African American men were registered to vote in Virginia, and between 1867 and 1895, nearly 100 black Virginians served in the two houses of the General Assembly or in the Constitutional Convention of 1867–1868.

But in 1876, two constitutional amendments were ratified in Virginia that instituted a poll tax, disfranchising men convicted of petty offences, and the number of registered voters plunged.

By the turn of the century, as Jim Crow took hold, there were no more black legislators in Virginia until 1968.

Click here for the full remarks as prepared for the Mayor.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Mayor Stoney Releases Draft Education Compact Resolution, Sets Joint Meeting


On behalf of the Education Compact working group, Mayor Stoney is pleased to release the current working draft of the Education Compact Resolution. This Resolution updates and revises the initial draft Education Compact documents released in February 2017.

The draft Resolution specifies the content and purpose of the Education Compact, with a focus on establishing a collaborative framework aimed at addressing the needs of schools, children and families. The attached document is in the form of a proposed School Board resolution; it is anticipated City Council will consider a parallel resolution. This document is a draft and is subject to change.

A special joint meeting of Richmond City Council and the School Board will be held on Monday, June 26 at 3 p.m. at the Library of Virginia for the purposes of discussing the draft resolution. No official action on the resolution will be taken at that meeting.

In addition to the draft Compact resolution, please also see the attached explanatory “Readers’ Guide” addressing common questions concerning the Compact.

Mayor Stoney and the Education Compact working group thank all residents who have taken time to attend one of the 12 Education Compact meetings and provide feedback on the initial Compact proposal.

Click here to view the Education Compact Draft School Board Resolution.

Click here to view the Reader's Guide to the Revised Education Compact Resolution and FAQs.




Thursday, June 8, 2017

Mayor Stoney Names Bobby Vincent, Jr. as Director of Public Works


Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced former Public Works Deputy Director of Operations, Bobby Vincent, Jr., will now serve as the Director of Public Works.

Vincent began his career at the Department of Public Utilities in 1992 as an engineer. For 14 years he served in that role, managing and planning the preventive maintenance and capital improvement projects concerning water and wastewater treatment plants, as well as the combined sewer system.

“It is an honor to be named Director of Public Works by Mayor Stoney,” said Mr. Vincent. “I am looking forward to taking on the key areas of improvement needed within DPW, as recently outlined in the VCU performance review of City Hall.”

Vincent has served in numerous leadership roles, including as Operations Manager of the Roadway Maintenance Division, Interim Director of General Services, and Chief of Construction and Inspections. Most recently, Vincent served the Department of Public Works as the Deputy Director of Operations. In this role, Vincent oversaw the Divisions of Solid Waste, Grounds Maintenance, Urban Forestry, Roadway Maintenance, Street Cleaning and CIP Paving.

In total, Vincent has served the Richmond Department of Public Works for 25 years. “We could not have a more qualified or experienced person fill this important position,” said Mayor Stoney. “I am very pleased Bobby accepted this appointment.”

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mayor Stoney Releases Education Compact Update


Richmond residents want a City in which RPS students are achieving at high levels, and in which fewer and fewer children live in poverty.  As part of his commitment to achieving that goal, Mayor Levar M. Stoney is pleased to provide the following update on the Education Compact process:

Back in January, both the City Council and School Board unanimously adopted a resolution to work with Mayor Stoney to develop a more collaborative approach to public education, known as the Education Compact.

Draft Education Compact documents were released in February.

A total of 12 public meetings, in all nine Council districts, were held between March 27 and May 17. On the basis of public input received on the Compact documents, a final resolution is now being drafted for introduction to Richmond City Council and the School Board.

The final Education Compact resolution will recommend three key collaborative actions:

  • Regular, quarterly joint meetings of City Council and the School Board, along with City of Richmond and RPS administrations.
  • Creating a Richmond Children’s Cabinet of key administrative agencies within Richmond Public Schools and agencies in the City of Richmond impacting the lives of children.
  • Establishing an Education Compact Team, comprised of representatives from School Board, City Council, RPS administration, City of Richmond administration and community stakeholders. This team will examine and make non-binding recommendations on key issues, such as long-term funding of the operating and capital needs of schools.
“This collaborative work is essential to achieving improved academic outcomes as well as significantly reducing and offsetting the impact of child poverty,” said Dr. Thad Williamson, Mayor Stoney’s Senior Policy Advisor for Opportunity.

Williamson said that as the work of the Compact progresses, detailed proposals for addressing funding issues and for articulating specific shared goals (academic and non-academic) will be developed with the input of all stakeholders and the new Superintendent of Schools.

“When Richmond Public Schools succeed, the City of Richmond succeeds,” said Mayor Levar M. Stoney. “For many children in Richmond, their RPS education is the best or even only opportunity they will have to develop their full potential and realize their dreams."

"That’s why we’re taking this important step as a community to positively impact both the quality of education in the classroom and the quality of children’s lives outside of the classroom. The unprecedented level of public input by students, parents, teachers and others invested in public education, as well as the collaboration between our School Board and Council over the last five months, has established a solid foundation for the next leader of our school system to make the transformative change RPS needs and our students deserve." 

“The Education Compact is the first step in coming together as a community and getting serious about making real change,” the Mayor said. “Our children can’t wait, and our community can’t wait, for us to get down to this important work.”


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Mayor Stoney Names Melvin D. Carter as Chief of Fire and Emergency Services


Mayor Levar M. Stoney is pleased to announce that former Deputy Fire Chief Melvin D. Carter will serve as the City of Richmond’s 21st Chief of Fire and Emergency Services.

A native Richmonder, Carter joined the Richmond Department of Fire in 1987 and rose through the ranks, serving as a company lieutenant, captain, deputy fire marshal, and battalion chief. In 2009, he was appointed deputy fire chief.

He began his career as a volunteer firefighter for the Henrico County Division of Fire starting in 1983. In 1986, he worked as a professional firefighter with the City of Petersburg Fire Department.

Carter is a member of Virginia’s National Guard leads educational sessions for local Boy Scout troops in his spare time.

“Chief Carter’s work ethic, commitment to excellence and decades of experience in our City’s fire service make him the right choice for this important position,” said Mayor Stoney. “I am confident he will serve Richmond’s residents well.”

“It is a privilege and an honor to have this opportunity to lead Richmond’s bravest in my hometown,” said Chief Carter.

Chief Carter succeeds Interim Richmond Fire Chief David I. Daniels, who joined the department in 2015 as a deputy chief and served as the city’s top firefighter for the last four months.

“I am grateful to Chief Daniels and the City of Richmond thanks him for his steady leadership and service during this important transition period for the fire department,” said the Mayor.
 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

City Performance Review Released by VCU's Wilder School


Mayor Levar M. Stoney this morning announced the release of a comprehensive performance review of City Hall.

Making good on his campaign promise, the Mayor commissioned the review shortly after taking office to provide him with an idea of what works and doesn’t work in the Richmond city government he inherited when he was sworn in Jan. 1, 2017.

The review, conducted over 100 days by the Performance Management Group (PMG) of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, examines the internal and external challenges facing City agencies, departments and their employees in the performance of their duties.  A copy of the review can be found here.

The review underscores the commitment of “many employees who are actively engaged in ways to make the city a superior place,” and “a workforce ready to step up and help the city move forward in a positive direction.” But it also paints a sobering picture of the state of city government in recent years -- a legacy of underperformance enabled by gaps in technology and training, poor communication, cumbersome processes, inconsistent policies, chronic understaffing and low morale.

“Excessive bureaucracy, micromanagement, unnecessary delays and sometimes poor leadership have led to a system that is often not as agile, responsive internally and externally, or as skillful as it should be for Richmond to become the City it could be,” the report states.

The findings support the results of public surveys conducted by the City Auditor of Richmond residents in 2008 and 2016, which revealed a stark decline in citizen satisfaction with City government, from 81% to 34%.

Specifically, the review revealed “a need for improved financial controls and reporting (Finance), better hiring processes and career development (Human Resources), streamlined procurement practices (Procurement) and upgraded and integrated technology (Information Technology).

“While all departments’ shortcoming must be improved upon, these four touch each department in major ways and are essential if all departments are to effectively deliver services and make city government as a whole healthy,” the review states.

“I am grateful to PMG’s Jim Burke and Linda Pierce and everyone involved in producing this important report,” said Mayor Stoney. “And I also want to thank the dedicated employees of our city government for their frank and honest assessments of how our government works, and in many cases, doesn’t work.

“We have some substantial challenges ahead of us to make City Hall deliver the government the citizens of Richmond deserve, and this report is an important first step in that journey,” the Mayor continued. “Moving forward, our goal with this report is not to re-litigate the past and point fingers. It’s about the fix. With the support of our employees, our City Council and our community, I am confident we will get there.”

Mayor Stoney will immediately implement the report’s recommendation to “create a cross-functional team” to prioritize the performance review report recommendations.

"The mission of the Wilder School is to serve the public interest through scholarship, teaching and direct public service. This includes service to state and local government, through which we provide expert assistance to policymakers and to public administrators," said John Accordino, Ph.D., dean of the Wilder School. "We are delighted to have had the opportunity, through this performance review, to assist the City of Richmond in its efforts to improve the quality of administration."

"It has been a pleasure working on this project to support improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of City Hall," said James M. Burke, Ph.D., director of the Wilder School's Performance Management Group, which led the review. "We know the mayor and his team will consider our recommendations as he prioritizes new initiatives alongside current ones. We are confident the improvements he and employees will bring to City Hall will be evident to the residents of Richmond in the coming years."

For more information on the performance review, please contact Brian McNeill, Public Relations Specialist University Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University (804) -827-0889, (804) 938-7558 (cell) or bwmcneill@vcu.edu.

###

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mayor Levar M. Stoney’s Statement on City of Richmond FY 2018 Budget


The following are the remarks as prepared for Mayor Levar M. Stoney regarding the City of Richmond FY 2018 Budget:

Thank you all for being here.

First, I want to thank everyone involved in organizing and supporting my budget this year.

I proposed the largest ever single year funding increase for education, and now $170 million will be allocated for Richmond Public Schools — providing needed cost of living increases for school personnel and long overdue increases in teacher salaries.

My budget increased funding for the Richmond Police and Fire Departments, and an additional $5.5 million is finally being invested in our public safety personnel.

My budget made needed improvements to core services, including our enhanced bulk and brush pickup and we reformed leaf collection.

And my budget invested an additional $500,000 for the Office of Community Wealth Building, to help move more people into the workforce and lift more families out of poverty. 

All four of my major budget priorities: public education, public safety, core services and community wealth building were all adopted and funded by City Council, and I would be remiss if I did not thank the members of City Council for recognizing these needs, and sharing in these priorities. This is a significant achievement for us all.

Somebody once told me that policy is budget and budget is policy. And on that account, I think we got it right this year and have laid the foundation for the city, for the “One Richmond” we all want to become.

But we still have a lot of work to do. And how we go about doing it is important.

There are big questions we need to answer.

Do we work together, or apart?

Do we fear that agreement makes us look weak, or fear that we will lose power if we fail to lead?

Do we have the ability to compromise even when we disagree?

Do we trust each other?

As you know I have expressed serious concerns over Council’s budget amendment, which would require Council approval, by ordinance, on many transfers of funds within departments of city government.

My concern has centered around the belief that adding this potentially weeks-long layer of bureaucracy, with the potential for 50 to 100 plus ordinances during the course of a year, would make City Hall operate even less efficiently than it does already, and leave us less responsive to the real-time needs of our residents.

I’m also concerned over the lack of transparency in how the amendment was introduced by Council without consultation with the administration – and that no other municipality in the commonwealth has chosen to follow this practice.

Let me say that I understand that in previous administrations there have been serious concerns expressed by Council over transparency and accountability of finances in City government. I appreciate Council’s concern and it is also a concern of mine. In fact, it is one of the reasons I ran for office.

But I want to make two things clear:

1.    This is not the last administration, and I do not believe it serves us to relitigate the mistakes of the past. We should be focused on the future.

2.    Going forward, our city is not served by this level of discord and distrust. It’s time for all of us to step up, and commit to working with each other, not against each other.

It is what I want. 


It is what the people want.

And that is why, after careful consideration, I have decided that I will not veto Council’s amendment.

We need to move forward with the business of the people.

The Citizens of Richmond do not want to see us fight – that is the old way. They want us to govern. They want Council to legislate and they want me to lead.

They want the City to work.

So we need to do so in a way that is responsible, follows best practices and helps us be as efficient and responsive as possible.

That is why I hope Council will work in the coming weeks to modify, and perfect this most imperfect legislation. And that, in the future, we will work together to find the path to the efficient and transparent government our residents deserve.

To do so will require trust, transparency and a willingness to compromise.

That is my pledge today, by NOT issuing this veto. I hope Council will join me and help move our city forward.

Thank you.

-->

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

City's Finance Department and Auditor Reach Agreement


~ Audit Scope Includes Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Terms to Protect Business and Taxpayer Records ~

Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced the city’s auditor and finance department have agreed to terms providing for an audit of the Assessments Unit within the Department of Finance, which will be initiated immediately. This establishes a cooperative effort to ensure the city has the proper process in place to collect outstanding tax revenues due to the city, while ensuring any special access to proprietary information relating to city businesses or taxpayers will be kept confidential.

“I commend our Director of Finance, John Wack, and our Auditor, Umesh Dalal, for their work in reaching this agreement,” said Mayor Stoney. “Working together to collect revenues owed to the city will benefit every city department and every city taxpayer.”

“I appreciate Mayor Stoney facilitating the performance of an audit with the Finance Department that will ensure accountability and transparency over city resources,” said City Auditor Dalal.

The scope of the Assessments Unit audit will include calendar years 2015 and 2016, encompassing the 24 months ending December 31, 2016. Messrs. Wack and Umesh are now finalizing an agreement for two additional audits of the city’s Revenue Administration, for the Delinquent Tax Unit and the Audit and Enforcement Unit.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Richmond Ranked Among 20 Most Vibrant Arts Communities


Richmond now ranks within the twenty most vibrant arts communities among large cities in the United States. The ranking comes from Southern Methodist University’s National Center for Arts Research and the publication of their third annual Arts Vibrancy Index, which studies and calculates the measure of arts vibrancy for over 900 communities throughout the nation.

The index measures the number of arts providers and artists, economic impact, government support and other cultural indicators. More information and the full report can be found here.

Mayor Levar M. Stoney, a strong supporter of Richmond’s arts community and advocate for the city’s cultural assets, said he is thrilled to see Richmond once again affirmed as a major creative hub in the United States. “Our arts and cultural assets define Richmond,” said Mayor Stoney, “They enrich not only our lives, but also the city’s pocketbook — all while helping to attract new employers, visitors and interest in Richmond.“



Monday, April 17, 2017

Mayor Kicks off Earth Week With New Sustainability Plan Announcement


Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced RVAgreen 2050, a new comprehensive sustainability planning initiative. It is the next step in the evolution of the city’s sustainability agenda, which builds upon the solid foundation formed by the existing RVAgreen sustainability plan adopted by City Council in 2012. Great progress has been made to date, with 10 out of 13 sustainability indicators tracking positively. The city’s renewable energy capacity has increased by over 44,000% since 2008, community-wide energy use has decreased 1.5% and community recycling rates have increased 26%. The City has achieved 20 out of 55 sustainability initiatives and is on track to complete another 14 by the end of 2017.

RVAgreen2050 will begin with a summit this summer to start the planning process to develop our Community Energy Plan, the first step in a four-part plan. This comprehensive plan will be broken down into four major areas that will help Richmond create a healthier, more vibrant, economically competitive and resilient community:
  • Community Energy Plan
  • Deep Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan
  • Climate Action Plan
  • Placemaking Strategy
The City is undertaking this new sustainability planning effort to reach the goal of reducing city government and community greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. As of Dec. 31, 2015, city government greenhouse gas emissions are down 11% and community greenhouse gas emissions are down 15%.

Please click here to visit the City's Sustainability page.



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

City to Receive $1.3 Million Interest-Free Loan From the Virginia Resources Authority


The Virginia Resources Authority announced Thurs., March 30 the State Water Control Board has authorized funding from the Virginia Water Facilities Revolving Fund to the City of Richmond. The funding consists of an interest-free loan in an amount up to approximately $1.3 million.

The loan will be used to finance a pilot program to identify the benefits and cost-effectiveness of alternatives to permeable pavement surfaces in city alleyways, and the impact of these alternatives on storm water runoff reduction.

“We sincerely appreciate this Virginia Resources Authority loan,” said Mayor Levar M. Stoney. “The pilot program this loan will fund will allow us to better understand what we can do to manage storm water runoff and control water pollution affecting our city.”

“This loan will greatly benefit DPU’s ongoing commitment to utilize green infrastructure BMPs (Best Management Practices) within the storm water utility,” s­­aid DPU Director Bob Steidel. “Ratepayers will also see a benefit as a result of the interest-free funding.”

Background:

Since 1987, the Virginia Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund has been providing low interest loan funding for water quality improvement projects throughout the Commonwealth. Funds are currently provided to local governments, public service authorities, agricultural producers, partnerships and corporations for a variety of project types. Loan repayments are circulated back into the fund to create a dedicated source of revenue available for future clean water projects.

The purpose of the Virginia Land Conservation Loan Program is to provide a long-term source of low interest financing for the conservation of land in Virginia in order to improve and/or protect the water resources of the Commonwealth. Additional benefits of the program include the protection of open space or natural values of the properties and/or the assurance of the availability of the land for agricultural, forestal, recreation or open space use. Although these other benefits are of value, the principle focus and utilization of the fund is on beneficial impacts to water quality.

 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Mayor Stoney Marks Successful First 100 Days


Watch the “Mayor’s Minute – First 100 Days” here.
 

Today, April 10, 2017, marks Mayor Stoney’s 100th day in office after being sworn in and pledging to work every day to build One Richmond – a city that works for everyone.

The Mayor has hit the ground running, making good on his promise to be engaged in the community and initiate much needed reform focused on the core priorities of improving public education, promoting public safety, creating economic opportunity and fixing City Hall.

Mayor Stoney has visited fire stations, police precincts and a third of city schools already, in addition to more than 100 public appearances in his first months in office. He has also joined council members in district walk-throughs or held community meetings in nearly every district.

In just the first few months into his administration, the Mayor has won consensus with the School Board and City Council on an Education Compact to address the needs of the whole child, helped attract hundreds of new jobs to the city and introduced a GRTC transit plan that will reduce commutes and waiting times without increasing fares.

He launched an independent and comprehensive performance review of every city department to make City Hall work again, and introduced a balanced budget that makes record investments in city schools while also increasing funding for public safety and community wealth building.

“It’s been a great 100 days,” said Mayor Stoney. “I want to thank the community for all of its support. The best is yet to come.”

Below is a list of some of the administration’s accomplishments over the first 100 days.
###

HIGHLIGHTS OF FIRST 100 DAYS:

Fix City Hall / Departmental performance:
Initiated a 100-Day performance review by the Performance Management Group to find out what works and what needs improvement in City Hall. Took swift action to change leadership of several departments.

Education Compact:
Unanimous adoption by School Board and Council to work toward multi-agency, intergovernmental compact to address needs of the whole child.

Community Engagement:

More than 100 public appearances, including schools, police and fire stations, community walks and meetings in every district.

Public Safety:
Police Department is establishing a public housing unit. Trained more than 450 residents in use of force training. Three new fire engines were commissioned.

Public Works:
Prioritized residential streets in addition to primary roads during January snow storm and plowed 80% of streets within 24 hours. More than 4,500 potholes filled since January.

Welcoming City:
Issued Mayoral Directive reaffirming policies of inclusion. Among them: police will not inquire about immigration status and will not enter into 287(g) agreements with federal Immigrations Customs Enforcement. Joined Welcoming America and list of Welcoming Cities. Signed Mayor’s Against LGBT Discrimination national pledge.

Economic Development:
Nearly 700 new jobs brought to Richmond, including fortune 500 company Owens & Minor, Inc. to downtown Richmond, and the expansion of TemperPack in South Richmond.

Regional Leadership:
The Mayor accepted the role as co-chairman of the Capital Region Collaborative and has met multiple times with leaders in Hanover, Henrico and Chesterfield.

GRTC-Transit:
Took important steps to remaking our Transit network to connect city workers to where jobs are located - and to get residents to their jobs faster - without any fare or tax increase.

Budget:
A balanced $681 million budget that does not raise taxes, including a record $6.1 million increased investment for schools, plus $1.3 million for police, $1 million for fire and $500,000 for community wealth building. One-time surplus money dedicated to finishing emergency communications system, repairing an estimated 1,300 alleys and getting a head start on grass cutting.

Finance and Administration:
The 2016 CAFR to be completed by the end of April. City is on schedule to complete the 2017 CAFR on time. Successful visit to New York bond rating agencies to preserve current rating, which produced a positive report from Fitch Ratings to affirm City is on track for AAA rating.

Richmond Animal Care & Control:
Achieved an 89% save rate in 2016 and since January has already taken in and cared for 698 animals with a 92% save rate in 2017.

 

Monday, April 3, 2017

City Celebrates Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service


Mayor Levar M. Stoney, along with Henrico County’s Deputy County Manager for Community Operations, Tim Foster, will spotlight the impact of national service in the Richmond region and thank those who serve during a 9 a.m. recognition ceremony tomorrow, Tuesday, April 4, for the fifth annual Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service. The event will be held at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, located at 1440 N. Laburnum Avenue.

More than 4,000 mayors and county officials from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico will hold public events and use both traditional and social media to highlight the value and impact of national service to the nation’s cities. This initiative is being led at the national level by the federal agency for service and volunteerism, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), along with Cities of Service and the National League of Cities. The City of Richmond has participated in the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service since its inception.

After the 9 a.m. event, sponsored by the city’s Office on Volunteerism and Neighbor-to-Neighbor (N2N) initiatives, volunteers will join in performing the following service projects around the city and region from 10:15 a.m. to 2 p.m.:

SERVICE PROJECTS:
Locations:                                                                 Description of Service Projects:
Evergreen Cemetery                                                  Remove invasive species; beautify the grounds
Eastern Henrico Recreation Center                           Create education/reading packets for elementary 
                                                                                   school children
                                                          
If you are interested in attending this event and volunteering, please sign up here. Please visit the city’s N2N page to view a list of other upcoming volunteer opportunities. If you have any questions or need assistance with registering with N2N, please call (804) 646-6528.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Fitch Reaffirms City's AA+ Credit Rating


Fitch Ratings, one of the three nationally recognized credit rating agencies for municipal governments, published their annual review of the City of Richmond following a visit to their New York office last month by Mayor Levar Stoney, City administration leaders and representatives from the City’s financial advisor, Davenport & Company LLC.

Fitch reaffirmed the City’s “AA+” credit rating, which is considered highly rated and one notch below “AAA,” the highest possible rating attainable.  According to Fitch, “The 'AA+' Issuer Default Rating reflects the city's strong operating performance and financial resilience, a solid revenue framework and a liability burden at the low end of the moderate range, all supported by a growing economic base.”

Fitch assigned their “aa factor assessment” to the City’s Revenue, Expenditure and Long-Term Liability Burden, while assigning their “aaa factor assessment” to the City’s Operating Performance, citing “The combination of revenue and expenditure flexibility, supplemented by reserve funding, should enable the maintenance of a high level of financial flexibility during cyclical economic downturns.”
          
“I was pleased Fitch has concluded our City’s economy is gaining strength from education and health services, after being dominated by the government sector,” said Mayor Stoney. “The fact our economic development efforts have contributed so strongly to our positive credit rating also emboldens us to continue with the ongoing revitalization of Richmond.”

Fitch cited Richmond as a growing metropolitan area and regional center for employment and cultural amenities.  In assessing the City’s credit profile, Fitch found, “Economic development efforts are focused upon leveraging additional growth in the life-sciences sector, enhancing a solid financial services sector and redeveloping select city neighborhoods.” Richmond’s Chief Administrative Officer Selena Cuffee-Glenn added, “Our attention to key financial best practices and growth in economic development proved to be key drivers in Fitch’s analysis.”

Davenport’s Senior Vice President and Manager of Public Finance, David Rose, concluded “Fitch was clearly impressed by the Mayor’s vision for the City and his approach to making Richmond the best it can be.  This report demonstrates Fitch’s comfort with the new mayor.” Fitch’s summary can be read here.
 


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Richmond Selected as Finalist for RWJF Culture of Health Prize


Richmond has been chosen as a finalist for the fifth annual RWJF Culture of Health Prize given by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. As a finalist, Richmond is one step closer to the national Prize which honors communities that understand health is a shared value and everyone has a role to play in driving change.

“This is truly an amazing recognition as it points to what we have set out to accomplish; a city that works for everyone,” said Mayor Levar M. Stoney. “This selection as a finalist helps reinforce we are moving in the right direction to create a healthy community for all of RVA. We have changed the way we approach public education, poverty and job creation, which enables us to better reach those who need our help the most.”

Selected from more than 200 communities across the country, Richmond joins 10 other finalist communities. Winners will be announced this fall.

“Building a culture of health in Richmond is not just about physical health, “said Richmond City Health District Director Dr. Danny Avula. “It’s about safer, greener neighborhoods, more reliable transportation, cradle to career social and educational supports, and building hope and agency in communities with high rates of poverty. Richmond has been working hard to ensure fairer access to resources for all residents and to become a healthier, more united city, and we are so pleased to advance as a RWJF Culture of Health Prize finalist community.”

The Prize is guided by the principle that every community has the potential to improve and be a healthier place to live and thrive. To earn finalist status, Richmond had to demonstrate how it excelled in the six Prize criteria:

•    Defining health in the broadest possible terms.
•    Committing to sustainable systems changes and policy-oriented long-term solutions.
•    Cultivating a shared and deeply-held belief in the importance of equal opportunity for health.
•    Harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members.
•    Securing and making the most of available resources.
•    Measuring and sharing progress and results.
    
“The RWJF Culture of Health Prize finalists continue to show what’s possible when communities make health a high priority and bring diverse partners together,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO. “Our team looks forward to visiting these communities to learn more about how they are leveraging their unique strengths to build a Culture of Health.”

If selected as a Prize winner, Richmond will be given a $25,000 cash prize and opportunities to share their story and lessons learned with the country. They will also join a national network of past winning communities.

To learn about the work of the 27 previous Prize winners, visit rwjf.org/prize.


Monday, March 6, 2017

FY 2018 Annual Fiscal Plan Transmittal Letter


Click here to view the FY 2018 Annual Fiscal Plan Transmittal Letter prepared by Mayor Stoney and submitted to City Council today. The letter contains highlights of the Mayor's proposed FY 2018 budget


Phase II of Intermediate Terminal and Riverfront Access Project beginning March 6


Demolition begins Monday, March 6 to remove the 4-foot concrete warehouse foundation for the IntermediateTerminal.and Riverfront Public Access Project. The second phase also includes grading, seeding and refurbishing the Terminal Dock. At completion the dock will be ready to receive cruise ship traffic.

Phase II is expected to be completed by June.  

Ahead of Phase III, as part of the Riverfront Master Plan, a public meeting will be scheduled in the near future to present conceptual options for the Terminal Dock and Lehigh Property. The improvements at both the Terminal Dock and Lehigh properties are expected to provide public park space and public riverfront access.

Phase I, which included structural restoration of the Terminal Dock, was completed last December.

The project budget of $2,944,318 is being funded with Capital Improvement funding.

For information on city services and schedules, please visit us on line at RichmondGov.com.