Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Richmond Receives Award for Financial Report Demonstrating Accountability and Transparency to Citizens


The City of Richmond has been recognized by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA) for publishing its first-ever Citizen Centric Report demonstrating accountability and transparency to citizens.

The AGA awarded the city with a Certificate of Excellence in Citizen-Centric Reporting for its 2017 report to citizens. The AGA encourages governments to publish the report informing citizens of fiscal priorities, performance results and future challenges. The report aims to provide citizens with a better understanding of their government by communicating financial and community information in visually appealing and understandable four-page documents. 

To achieve the Certificate of Excellence, a government must incorporate into their report the program’s high standards of content, visual appeal, readability, distribution and timeliness in reporting as outlined in the AGA’s judging guidelines.

“I am proud of the work our Department of Finance has done,” said Mayor Stoney. “This award recognizes the progress we’ve made and the Citizen Centric Report will give citizens confidence in our fiscal priorities and how we manage our public finances.”


The AGA highlighted the report’s outstanding visual appeal and positive message about the city’s demography, finances and priorities, as well as progress made in areas of concern to new and current residents.

“I commend our finance staff for preparing a report for citizens to review,” said CAO Selena Cuffee-Glenn. “It reflects both stewardship and accountability; and I hope citizens will take advantage of this publication and information it provides regarding the city’s financial health.”

Copies of this report are available online here. Citizens can also email citizencentric.report@richmondgov.com or call (804) 646-4CCR to provide suggestions for information they would like to see in future reports.

Mayor Stoney Celebrates 521 Biscuits & Waffles Ribbon Cutting


Mayor Stoney joined officials from the City’s Department of Economic and Community Development and the Office of Minority Business Development this morning to celebrate the recipients of the first loan under the City’s new Micro-Enterprise Loan Program.

The Mayor cut the ribbon at the grand opening of Biscuits & Waffles at 521 East Main Street. Iron Waffles LLC, doing business as 521 Biscuits & Waffles, is owned by Aaron Bond and his wife, Maria Jose’ Mejia Ruiz. The 521 Biscuits & Waffles is a gluten-free restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch.

“Small businesses are essential to flourishing communities and growing a prosperous city,” said Mayor Stoney. “I’m extremely proud of the work our Office of Minority Business Development is doing to support and encourage entrepreneurial growth and development, and I look forward to seeing how this micro loan program will help launch many other successful new businesses.”
“I am very excited about this important ribbon cutting event in celebration of the first Micro-Loan closing under our new initiative,” said Pat Foster, Director of Minority Business Development Office. “The good news is this is the first of many!”

The Micro-Enterprise Loan Program is a relatively new city financing initiative. This loan program has a component tied to technical assistance and is for businesses with five or fewer employees including the owner(s). The Micro-Enterprise Loan Program fills a void for small businesses that need financing in the range of $2,500 up to $50,000. This loan program is funded with federal dollars and is administered by the City of Richmond.

For more information about the Micro-Enterprise Loan Program, please contact Patricia Foster at (804) 646-7966 or
Patricia.Foster@RichmondGov.com.

New RVA311 Service Request System Launches Next Friday

Late Friday, June 15, RVA311 will launch! RVA311 is a brand new and online, cloud-based interface powered by AvePoint Citizen Services for managing citizen, business and visitor requests. This user-friendly application will have its own website URL (rva311.com) and become available as a mobile application early next month. It will work with any internet-connected device, anytime, anywhere. RVA311 is designed to improve service delivery and enhance citizen engagement for non-emergency requests. The self-service portal will enable citizens, businesspersons and visitors to submit service requests by category, and then by specific service need, and provide for images and files to be uploaded as well. 

Mayor Levar M. Stoney called this digital transformation of how the city serves citizens, businesses and visitors “a game changer,” and thanked the four-time Microsoft Partner of the Year Award winner for this technology gifted to the city. “AvePoint’s investment in Richmond and their technology powering 
RVA311 will allow us to serve citizens in a far more transparent way that will be both better and faster,” said the mayor. “I encourage Richmonders to utilize this new intelligent reporting tool and to download the mobile app as soon as it becomes available.”

RVA311 is a solution powered by AvePoint’s Citizen Services platform for government agencies. AvePoint is a global independent software vendor with a presence in Richmond since 2016. Brian Brown, AvePoint’s Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, spoke of the commitment AvePoint made to improve the city in which they now live, work and play, using technology, “The launch of RVA311, backed by AvePoint Citizen Services, symbolizes this commitment,” said Brown. “We’re invested in the city’s success and growth, and will remain supporters as it takes advantage of this cutting-edge technology.”

Several core city agencies will be utilizing 
RVA311 at launch, including the Richmond Police Department, the Departments of Public Works, Public Utilities, Social Services, Finance and the Department of Planning and Development Review. Additional agencies will come on board at a later date. RVA311 will also serve as the operating system for requests submitted by citizens calling 311 or (804) 646-7000.

Upon submission of any request, the intelligent system will automatically route it to the appropriate department for review and remedy. Users who provide an email address will receive updates and be notified when the work is completed. There will also be an option for users to create an on-line account, although it is not required for access. The 
RVA311 portal will also feature answers to 150 frequently asked questions (FAQs) to further assist users.  

RVA311
 will be managed by the new Department of Citizen Service and Response, which begins operations in July. The new department will be centered on ensuring the city remains “citizen-centric” in its service delivery efforts.

Upon the June 15 launch, See-Click-Fix will no longer be supported by the city for service requests. After June 15, the only way service requests can be submitted to the city will be through the RVA311 portal online, by phone or via the mobile application when it becomes available early next month. Residents, businesses and visitors are reminded RVA311 is for non-emergency requests only. 911 should still be called in any emergency. 
For more information about RVA311, please contact Krystal Onaitis at (804) 972-2901 or krystal.onaitis@richmondgov.com. For more information on city services, please visit richmondgov.com.