Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Community Office Hours with Mayor Stoney


Starting in June, Mayor Levar Stoney will be hosting Community Office Hours in each of the 9 districts to hear from you, the residents of RVA! Meetings will take place in city Community Centers or Libraries for an hour each.

The first meeting will be in the 1st District
June 6
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Humphrey Calder Community Center
414 N. Thompson St.
 
For a complete schedule, click here.

For more information, please call Tameka Jefferson at 804-646-7970.

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. 

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.

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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, March 27, 2017

Mayor Stoney Kicks off the “LEVEL UP! Challenge” for Incoming 6th graders


Mayor Levar M. Stoney, Richmond Public Schools and the Richmond City Health District announce “Mayor Stoney’s LEVEL UP! Challenge,” a campaign aimed at helping 5th grade students “level up” to the 6th grade by getting their required Tdap vaccination.

Mayor Stoney is encouraging Richmond parents to participate in his Level Up! Challenge and return signed permission forms to allow their fifth grader to receive a free Tdap vaccination at their current school before the beginning of summer vacation. Forms will be sent home with students.

The goal of the challenge is to promote Tdap vaccination (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), which is required by state law for all children turning age 11 and entering the 6th grade. There is no grace period for students without vaccination documentation on the first day of school. Therefore, to help prevent absenteeism that occurs each year, Mayor Stoney, Richmond Public Schools and the Richmond City Health District have teamed up to proactively build awareness of this vaccination requirement and incentivize return of parental consent forms to allow their child to receive the free Tdap vaccination and be entered into the contest.

The Level Up! Challenge contest will be held at all 25 elementary schools between March 27 and April 7, with a chance for one student at each school to win a $50 gift card. There’s also a $100 gift card prize for school supplies that goes to the top four schools with the most parent permission forms returned before the contest end date of June 2.

There are 1,105 Richmond Public Schools students who will be age 11 by the time they reach 6th grade in the next school year (Fall 2017). The goal of this challenge is to have a minimum of 80% of the consent forms returned to schools.

More information can be obtained by calling RPS elementary schools, or by visiting the websites of Richmond Public Schools and the Richmond City Health District.

To see the Mayor's promotional message in English, click here.

To see the the message with Spanish translation, click here.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mayor Stoney Participates in Cities' Day of Immigration Action


Mayor Levar M. Stoney issued an official proclamation today adding his name to the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) initiative in support of new Americans. The March 21, 2017 Cities’ Day of Immigration Action was organized by the USCM and is being led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chair of the USCM Latino Alliance, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Chair of the USCM Mayors and Police Chiefs Task Force and other mayors calling on the federal government to enact comprehensive immigration reform and to enforce national immigration laws in a humane manner that does not disrupt the lives of cities’ residents.

Please find a PDF copy of Mayor Stoney’s proclamation here.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Mayor Levar M. Stoney's Budget Proposal Speech for FY 2018.


Click here to read Mayor Levar M. Stoney's Budget Proposal Speech for FY 2018.

Click here to watch the video.

Monday, February 13, 2017

City Partnering with VCU’s Wilder School for Performance Review


Mayor Levar M. Stoney today announced VCU’s Wilder School will be assisting with the comprehensive performance review of all agencies in City Hall, which the mayor cited as his top priority among the initiatives of his first 100 days.

Mayor Stoney said, “The City is partnering with the results-inducing Performance Management Group (PMG) and Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to help us fulfill the promise I made during my campaign to bring accountability to our local government.”

Dr. James M. Burke, the director of PMG who specializes in organizational development and improving effectiveness in the workplace, will now lead the performance review with PMG and CURA. The review will continue in three phases, which include a review of previous audit reports, extensive interviews with City personnel and delivery of important recommendations that will be implemented to achieve the mayor’s objective of building a City Hall that works, and works together. “We are excited by the commitment of the City’s leadership to improving City operations and services to the public; and we are delighted to be engaged in this process,” said Dr. Burke.

Both PMG and CURA are part of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at VCU, and each have a wide range of consultation successes in assisting governmental organizations in transforming workflows and work cultures, implementing best practices and bringing about a renewed dedication and commitment among public employees to customer and public service.

The Stoney administration and VCU have also secured additional assistance with this review from numerous Richmond stakeholders, including Dr. John Accordino and Greg Wingfield from VCU's Wilder School; Robert Dortch from Robins Foundation; Dr. Bill Murray from Dominion; former Dominion Director of Corporate Philanthropy and Community Partnerships, Iris Holliday; Jim Kresge and George Ruzek from Capital One; Andrea Archer, Teri Miles, Charlie Agee and Michael Walton from Altria; Casey Lucier from McGuireWoods; former Brink’s CFO, Joe Dziedzic; local business woman Teresa Caviness; and Brian Jackson from Hirschler Fleischer and Chair of Venture Richmond, among others.

Altria Group and Dominion Resources are also contributing financially, by providing $50,000 each to match the City’s cost to fund this initiative. “We can’t do it all alone,” added the mayor, “I am grateful for the support we’re receiving to help get this completed.”