Thursday, November 30, 2017

City to Implement Steps to Improve Customer Interaction for City Permitting


Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced the city is implementing a series of steps to improve customer interaction with permitting in the City of Richmond. In a letter sent to stakeholders on November 28, the mayor addressed changes coming to the city’s permit center located in Room 110 at City Hall.

“After hearing from many relating to their experience applying for and receiving permits from Room 110, we are changing how these matters are handled here at City Hall,” said Mayor Stoney. “We are committed to making the process of getting a permit less time-consuming, and more customer-friendly and efficient, and will take full advantage of the technology we have available to make it easier to conduct business with the City of Richmond.”
 
The following steps will be implemented on December 1, 2017:

Better office hours

The Permit Center will now be open 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Monday - ­Friday), which previously operated from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. This will allow customers to come in earlier and get their business done, as well as provide city staff the needed time to have meetings and return calls. Staffing hours will not change.

Improvements to Room 110

Renovations have been approved to improve customer flow, providing better separation between those who are waiting, and those working with Permit Techs or with other city departments. At the request of Mayor Stoney, city staff have customer wait times down to an average of 30 minutes from almost an hour wait earlier in the year. The improvements made to Room 110 will help city staff to continue to provide better service.

E-mailed Permits

Permits can be sent to valid email addresses as soon as plans are approved, allowing applicants to spend less time in City Hall.

Validated Parking

The city will provide 1-hour or 2-hour validated parking for business conducted in Room 110 at the city's parking deck at 7thStreet and Marshall Street. This will help alleviate some of the challenges with parking near City Hall.

Additionally, the city is continuing to work on the EnerGov system to bring online submittal of plans and payment of fees. Additional staff has been hired to help improve plan review times and customer service. 


Mayor Stoney Begins Series of Teacher Recruitment Visits for Richmond Public Schools


Mayor Levar M. Stoney has begun a series of recruitment visits to Virginia’s colleges and universities as part of an effort to encourage students and prospective graduates to begin their careers by teaching in Richmond Public Schools.


On Tuesday, the mayor visited Virginia State University, where he spoke with more than 200 students on the benefits of a teaching career and living in Richmond. 

The Mayor’s outreach is a joint effort in collaboration with RPS to help close the teacher vacancy gap in RPS by tapping the talent of the state’s higher education system. 

“Good students are the product of good teachers, and we want the very best for our schools,” said Mayor Stoney. “Our students deserve nothing less, and our top-rated colleges and universities have the talent that can make a difference in the lives of our children and take our city to the next level.”

Over the next five months, the mayor will make recruiting visits to college campuses throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. His next scheduled visit will be this Friday, Dec. 1 to the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. RPS will also hold an internal teacher job fair in February 2018 and will visit a series of colleges for teacher job fairs between January and April.

“Teacher recruitment remains a high priority for us, so it is encouraging to have this level of support from Mayor Stoney,” said School Board Chair Dawn Page. “Recruiting and retaining highly, qualified teachers is a major benefit to the school district as well as the progression of the city. Richmond is a great city to live, work, and play which makes it the ideal place to start or continue an impactful career in public education.”

The starting salary for a Richmond Public Schools teacher with a bachelor’s degree and no experience is $44,525, plus benefits. RPS annually hires approximately 360 teachers for a new school year.
For more information on RPS teaching opportunities, please visit: www.rvaschools.net/domain/822.



Monday, November 27, 2017

Mayor Stoney Releases Update on Recommendations of the VCU Performance Review


Mayor Levar Stoney today released a detailed update on steps his Administration has taken to address the findings and recommendations of the VCU Performance Review, conducted in May 2017. 

The update is contained in the 25-page report found 
here
. The report provides a summary of the Administration’s efforts both to reform and improve the functioning of government and to build One Richmond. The report also contains summary recommendations developed by an interagency Cross Functional Team, consisting of employees from numerous different departments who examined issues concerning improving communications and processes within the organization. Finally, the report summarizes progress on key priorities of the Stoney Administration and identifies an action plan for the next three months leading into presentation of the FY 2019 and FY 2020 budget in March 2018. 

As part of that action plan, Mayor Stoney today announced his intention to create a Performance Management and Change unit based within the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer. This unit will work with the CAO to implement organizational change and to monitor timely execution of policy priorities throughout City government. The unit will also provide analytical and technical assistance to all City agencies as needed.

Mayor Stoney has assigned Senior Policy Advisor Dr. Thad Williamson to work directly with Chief Administrative Officer Selena Cuffee-Glenn to incubate and launch the Performance Management and Change unit. 

“I am committed to building a culture of success and service in City Hall, and to making this an organization in which employees are proud to serve,” said Mayor Stoney. “That means doing the little things well, but it also means improving policies and reforming outdated practices. This report provides that road map.”

Since May the Mayor has personally visited agencies and listened to employees; and he has asked directors to respond to the performance review findings while continuing to implement the first a year transition plan. He convened a Cross Functional Team that has produced detailed plans on how to improve communication and processes.

“The next step now is institutionalizing change. Our new Performance Management and Change unit will help make sure that good ideas get translated into concrete action,” added Mayor Stoney. 

“The Performance Review and the follow-up steps that have taken place in the last few months have been a fruitful and productive exercise for the organization,” stated Chief Administrative Officer Selena Cuffee-Glenn. “I look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Stoney to strengthen the organization and help build One Richmond.”