Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mayor Jones Presents FY 2012-2013 Biennial Fiscal Plan

~Proposal includes bonus for City employees, assumes no tax increases, and covers employee and retiree health care cost increases~

Mayor Dwight C. Jones today submitted his 2012-2013 Biennial Fiscal Plan and Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The two-year plan for the general fund budget totals $1.4 billion. For the first fiscal year, FY 2012, the planned spending totals $656.6 million with the remainder dedicated to the Rainy Day fund balance. For the second year, FY 2013, the planned spending totals $657.2 million with the balance falling to fund balance. One of the key goals of the Fiscal Plan is to increase the City's fund balance with an eye towards a ten percent rainy-day fund balance.


The five-year Capital Improvement Plan totals $807.1 million with FY 2012 including $193.8 million in capital improvements. The construction of the four new schools and Justice Center consume $63.1 million or 61 percent of the FY 2012 General Fund projects.

The Biennial Fiscal Plan includes no tax increases, no furloughs or layoffs.

Spending priorities include the following:

Continued commitment to K-12 education:
­ $123.8 million dedicated each year to Richmond Public Schools
­ $57.6 million recommended in capital spending to pay for the construction of four new schools and other school-related projects
­ Consolidation of grounds maintenance as our next step on ongoing efficiencies and productivity improvements;

A $1,000 bonus for all eligible full-time City employees in July 2011;

Covering health care cost increases in FY 2012 for employees and retirees so that participants pay the same next year as they do this year;

Aggressive implementation of alternatives to incarceration including:
­ increased electronic monitoring,
­ the mental health docket,
­ substance abuse services, and
­ an assessment center;

More than a 100 percent increase in Enterprise Zone Program funding as well as additional funding for the Commercial Area Revitalization Effort (CARE) loan program that support economic growth;

Investment in the Enterprise Resource Plan (ERP) system which will create efficiencies, savings, and improved business processes for administrative functions throughout the City;

Business requirements and system planning funding for a new Customer Relationship Management system to support our 311 and MPACT programs;

Funding for tourism and bicycle coordinator positions along with two positions dedicated to employee wellness and training. Even with these four new positions and the absorption of nine positions from Richmond Public Schools, the overall personnel complement has dropped from 4,028 positions in FY 2009 to 3,858 proposed in FY 2012;

For the CIP, priorities include:

Investment of FY 2012 general fund cash totaling $5.8 million for demolition and blight abatement as well as fleet replacement;

Increased funding for roadway improvements including pavements, one-way street conversions for two-way traffic, sidewalks, pedestrian and bicycle trails and paths;

Final design and construction funding for the Justice Center along with the four new schools; and

Adoption of a five-year equipment replacement strategy for needed equipment, including heavy fire apparatus, police vehicles, mobile data networks, and technology on our desktops.

Speaking about his biennial budget, Mayor Jones said, "The responsibility of preparing a fair and balanced budget during these lean economic times is no less significant today than it was when I presented my first biennial budget just two years ago at the start of this administration. The enormous costs of the country's financial crisis and lagging economy have continued to force hard choices and this Plan reflects our priorities as well as those focused efforts to become a Tier One City. Our efforts towards greater efficiencies have worked. We have not raised taxes, there have been no furloughs or layoffs, and we have not interrupted core services. Like many Richmond families, we have worked to do more with less and today's proposal allows us to attend to current day priorities while positioning us for the future."

Richmond City Council will now consider the Mayor's proposed budget over the next six weeks with a final budget vote due on May 23, 2011.

Click here to view the 2012-2013 Biennial Fiscal Plan.


# # #

VCU & Butler to Play for More Than a Trip to Championship Game

~Mayor Dwight Jones and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard discuss friendly wager on ESPN2~

Virginia Commonwealth University and Butler University will play for more than a trip to the National Championship Game when they meet on Saturday night. Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Indianapolis, IN, Mayor Greg A. Ballard wagered trips to some of their cities major attractions over the outcome of Saturday’s game.

“VCU and Butler have played extremely well to advance to this point of the tournament and I look forward to their match-up this Saturday night,” said Mayor Jones. “I hope the wager with Mayor Ballard will encourage our residents and potential visitors to discover more about what our competing cities have to offer.”

“Butler put the DAWG in underdog last year – it’s Butler’s time,” said Mayor Ballard. “I am excited by this matchup not only because of the remarkable run by these two teams, but also that one of the so-called ‘underdogs’ is guaranteed to make it to the national championship game,” said Mayor Ballard.

The two Mayors will discuss their bet live on ESPN2’s First Take program on Friday, April 1, at 10:30 a.m.

After VCU wins on Saturday night, Mayor Ballard will present two tickets to the 2011 Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and a two-night hotel stay, compliments of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association. "I have a lot of NASCAR fans in Richmond and I'm looking forward to receiving the NASCAR package from Mayor Ballard," said Mayor Jones.

In the off chance Butler wins, Mayor Jones will concede two VIP tickets to the only East Coast showing of the international Picasso exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and a two-night stay at the historic Jefferson Hotel as well as dinner for two at the award-winning Lemaire Restaurant. The Richmond package is provided compliments of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Jefferson Hotel.

# # #

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

City Hall Turns on Love Lights for Rams

Mayor Dwight C. Jones has joined in an effort to regenerate the Love Lights Spirit to show pride and support for the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams. City Hall lights, traditionally shown during the holiday season, will be reignited tonight at 6:09 p.m. - symbolic of the tip-off time for Saturday's Final Four game. The lights will then shine each night throughout the remainder of the NCAA Tournament.

"The community spirit and pride that the Rams have engendered is something we want to underscore in every way possible," said Mayor Jones. "We want Coach Shaka Smart and the team to know that Richmond is behind them all the way to the championship and shining our lights for them is just another way to show our enthusiasm. Richmond being in the national spotlight like this is something we want to fully enjoy and we welcome everyone to the Ramwagon!"

In a continued spirit of unity, the Richmond Free Press, in partnership with Venture Richmond and the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, suggested that all building owners in the downtown area that traditionally participate in the Love Lights, once again illuminate their buildings beginning tomorrow night and keep the lights on to support a Rams victory. City Hall will shine its lights today as Mayor Jones wants the building illuminated before the team departs the city.

Mayor Jones will be attending the game in Houston, Texas. Plans are being developed for a post tournament city-wide celebration to recognize both the VCU Rams as well as the University of Richmond Spiders for their amazing seasons.

# # #

Mayor's Community Garden Program Approved by City Council

Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ proposed ordinance of offering City property to non-profit organizations, civic associations, community groups, and other eligible entities to be developed into community gardens was unanimously approved by Richmond City Council last night. The new ordinance requires the creation of a permit process to enable certain parcels of City-owned real estate to be used for community gardens.

“This program allows the City to offer its residents something with immeasurable value – the opportunity to grow healthy food in their own neighborhoods,” said Mayor Jones. “This in turn creates a cycle of healthy behavior throughout the community. Neighbors will not only become healthier through the foods they eat, they will also get to know each other, strengthening community ties. Children will get to see where food comes from and be more excited about eating a healthy diet. Residents will take back vacant lots from possible criminal behavior and businesses will want to locate to these vibrant, safe, healthy neighborhoods.”

The City’s community garden program, Richmond Grows Gardens, will be administrated by a Community Garden Coordinator and all participants will be required to follow program rules and guidelines. There will also be a Community Garden Committee comprised of city personnel to develop and recommend policies and standards for community gardens.

Interested groups may apply for a community garden online by visiting www.richmondgov.com/CommunityGarden. The City will charge each organization that applies a $50 initial fee and a $25 annual fee per parcel to off-set the costs to process the application and issue the permit.

This new program will help the city decrease its operation and maintenance costs. Community gardens also provide environmental benefits to include the management of storm-water runoff by capturing and filtering water in the urban environment.

# # #

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mayor Jones Statement on VCU Advancing to the Final Four

Mayor Dwight C. Jones issued the following statement on Virginia Commonwealth University Rams' victory over the University of Kansas and advancing to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament's Final Four:

“VCU advancing to the Final Four is the stuff dreams are made of! This is a team of players who believe in each other, a coach who believes in the team, and a city that believes in dreams coming true. The city of Richmond is proud to add the Big 12 to the list of conferences that our CAA team has now competed with and proven that they have the talent and drive to win. VCU is putting Richmond on the map like never before and we'll see the nation at the Final Four."

###

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mayor Jones Statement on VCU and UR Men's Basketball Teams

Mayor Dwight C. Jones issued the following statement on the men’s basketball teams of Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond:


“The VCU Rams is the team that just keeps on giving and we heartily congratulate the players and Coach Smart on their ‘Sweet 16’ victory. Our CAA team has now competed with teams from the Pac-10, Big East, Big Ten and the ACC conferences and proved they have the talent and drive to win and advance in the tournament. The entire city of Richmond is taking a bow right now along with the team. VCU played hard for this win and we proudly take our place in the Elite Eight!


“I would also like to congratulate the University of Richmond Spiders and Coach Mooney for having an outstanding season. I look forward to recognizing the accomplishments of both teams upon their return to Richmond.”

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mayor Launches Neighbor-to-Neighbor High-Impact Service Plan

Mayor Dwight C. Jones launched the City’s Neighbor-To-Neighbor (N2N) High-Impact Service Plan yesterday, to promote a new era of collaborative service and volunteerism in the City of Richmond. The Plan is the product of an extensive three-month landscape assessment and consultation process led by the City’s Chief Service Officer, Paul A. Manning. The N2N Service Plan was launched during a kick-off event on March 24 at the Arthur Ashe Center. The creation of this innovative plan was made possible through a $200,000 Cities of Service Leadership Grant awarded to the City last June, funded jointly by the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The N2N High-Impact Service Plan seeks to match community volunteers with six key service initiatives that align with the City’s Balanced Scorecard and Anti-Poverty Initiative and address critical issues affecting the high-risk populations of youth and the elderly who reside in the City of Richmond. In the plan’s second year, additional initiatives will be launched to serve people with disabilities. Year one initiatives include:

1) Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents: In partnership with New Jubilee Family and Educational Life Center, volunteer mentors will be connected to children of incarcerated parents for at least one hour per week. The program seeks to ensure better academic preparedness of elementary school students; raise the number of middle school students transitioning to high school on time; and reduce absenteeism rates among high school students that are truant, at danger of dropping out, or who have dropped out of school.

2) Middle School Mentoring: In partnership with Communities In Schools, volunteer mentors will be recruited from local businesses to dramatically expand the number of middle school students matched with mentors.

3) Faith-Based Nurturing Parenting Collaborative: In partnership with the City of Richmond Early Childhood Development Initiative, volunteers will facilitate and support evidence-based parenting education programs that ensure better academic preparedness of elementary school students.

4) Economic and Personal Finance Education for Youth: In partnership with Junior Achievement, volunteers will be matched with a local classroom and work with age-appropriate curricula designed to teach elementary students about their roles as individuals, workers, and consumers and to prepare middle grade and high school students for key economic and workforce issues they will face.

5) Middle School Academic Enhancement and Mentoring: In partnership with Higher Achievement, volunteer mentors will be matched with middle school students to raise the number of middle school youth successfully transitioning to high-school on-time.

6) Money Management Bill Payers: In partnership with Senior Connections, volunteers will be matched to seniors who need help managing their personal finances.

Each of the six service initiatives is made possible through collaborative partnerships with City of Richmond governmental departments, non-profit, and faith-based organizations. Partnering organizations were identified based on two primary requisites: First, they have missions and/or initiatives that align with the City’s Balanced Scorecard and Mayor Jones’ anti-poverty initiative; Second, they have executive leadership who are committed to working in partnership with the City of Richmond and each other to produce deeper results as related to the systemic issues facing Richmond’s youth and elderly. As success is achieved, more initiatives with new partners will be added, including partners who serve residents with disabilities, which is the third priority population for N2N.

Mayor Jones stated that, “The City of Richmond was honored to be awarded a Cities of Service Leadership Grant. We are grateful to both Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Rockefeller Foundation for selecting Richmond and supporting our efforts related to youth, elderly and persons with disabilities. The Neighbor-To-Neighbor Service Plan that we have created – which is intentionally collaborative and community-inclusive – is enabling us to leverage the power of civic engagement and volunteerism to become a safer, healthier, and more economically vibrant city.”

Joining the Mayor for the N2N Service Plan Launch was Tom Folliard, CEO and President of Carmax. Both Mr. Folliard and his company have been exemplary models of how civic engagement and volunteerism can positively enhance the lives of others. Over the past few years, Mr. Folliard and Carmax have donated approximately $400,000 toward the renovation of the city’s Pine Camp facilities and outdoor basketball courts. Donations in excess of $40,000 are given each year to help run the city’s summer youth basketball league and a season ending awards ceremony.

Visit the Neighbor to Neighbor page here
and click on downloads to view the complete N2N High-Impact Service Plan.

About Cities of Service

Founded in New York City on September 10, 2009 by 17 mayors from cities around the nation, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors who have committed to work together to engage citizens in a multi-year effort to address pressing city needs through impact volunteerism. The coalition includes more than 100 mayors, representing more than 49 million Americans across the nation.

Cities of Service supports mayors to leverage citizen service strategies, addressing local needs and making government more effective. All Cities of Service efforts are characterized by a concept called “impact volunteering” – volunteer strategies that target community needs, use best practices, and set clear outcomes and measures to gauge progress.

About Cities of Service Leadership Grants

In June 2010, the second round of Cities of Service Leadership Grants, funded jointly by the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies, were awarded to Austin, TX; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Chula Vista, CA; Houston, TX; Little Rock, AR; Orlando, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; and Richmond, VA. As with the first round, these two-year grants enable cities to hire Chief Service Officers responsible for developing and implementing high-impact service plans.

The first round of Cities of Service Leadership Grants, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, were awarded in January 2010 to Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; Nashville, TN; Newark, NJ; Omaha, NE; Philadelphia, PA; Sacramento, CA; Savannah, GA; and Seattle, WA. These ten cities launched high-impact service plans in September 2010.

The first high-impact service plan was developed by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg when he created NYC Service and hired the nation’s first Chief Service Officer in 2009.

More information about the coalition can be found at www.citiesofservice.org.

# # #

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mayor Dwight Jones Proclaims March 25th "Sweet 16 School Spirit Day" in Richmond

Mayor Dwight Jones has issued a proclamation declaring March 25th as "Sweet 16 School Spirit Day" in the city of Richmond. The Mayor's proclamation is below:

SWEET 16 SCHOOL SPIRIT DAY

WHEREAS, both the University of Richmond (U of R) and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) have advanced to the “Sweet 16” of the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament which added Richmond to the short list of cities previously advancing two schools to this level of the tournament in the same year; and

WHEREAS, the Big East Conference, the Big 10 Conference and the South Eastern Conference each have two teams advancing to the “Sweet 16,” which is the same number of teams advancing in the tournament from the City of Richmond; and

WHEREAS, with both teams advancing, Richmond has garnered national attention as the center of the basketball universe and is being referred to as “Hoopstown, USA” in both local and national media; and

WHEREAS, Richmond residents unite in a banner of pride on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 in the center of Virginia’s Capital city, in a rally to express their support as both teams depart for Friday, March 25 games in San Antonio, Texas; and

WHEREAS, University of Richmond President, Edward Ayers and Virginia Commonwealth University President, Michael Rao have joined together with the City of Richmond in celebration of both school’s accomplishments; and

WHEREAS, in celebration of the City of Richmond’s two shining moments and U of R and VCU’s tournament advancement, Richmond residents and students are encouraged to wear the colors of their favorite Richmond “Sweet 16” team or wear the colors of both teams on Friday, March 25, 2011; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Dwight C. Jones, Mayor of the City of Richmond, Virginia, do hereby proclaim Friday, March 25, 2011, as "Sweet 16 School Spirit Day" in the City of Richmond and encourage residents to show their Richmond “Sweet 16” team spirit by dressing in U of R and VCU colors.

Click here to view the city's Sweet 16 pep rally.

# # #

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mayor to Launch Neighbor-to-Neighbor High Impact Service Plan

WHO: Mayor Dwight C. Jones
Tom Folliard, President and CEO of Carmax
Paul Manning, City’s Chief Service Officer

WHAT: Launch of the Neighbor-to-Neighbor High Impact Service Plan

WHEN: Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Arthur Ashe Athletic Center
3001 North Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23224

BACKGROUND:

Mayor Dwight C. Jones will launch the City’s Neighbor-To-Neighbor High Impact Service Plan, to promote a new era of collaborative service and volunteerism in the City of Richmond. The Neighbor-to-Neighbor Service Plan is the product of an extensive three-month long landscape assessment and consultation process led by the City’s Chief Service Officer, Paul Manning.

# # #

City to Host Sweet 16 Downtown Pep Rally for University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University

WHO: Mayor Dwight C. Jones
Dr. Edward L. Ayers, President of the University of Richmond
Dr. Michael Rao, President of Virginia Commonwealth University
Jack Berry, Executive Director of Venture Richmond

WHAT: Community Downtown Pep Rally for the NCAA Sweet 16 appearances of the
University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University

WHEN: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 5 p.m.

WHERE: Turning Basin along Richmond’s Historic Canal Walk
Between 14th and Dock Streets on Virginia Street

BACKGROUND:

The City of Richmond became the first city, since 2007, to have the men’s basketball teams of two universities within its jurisdictional limits reach the Sweet 16 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Basketball Tournament. To celebrate our universities and root our city’s home teams to victory, a community “Downtown Pep Rally” will be held at the Canal Turning Basin along the City’s historic Canal Walk, on Wednesday, March 23 at 5 p.m.

The public is strongly encouraged to attend, wear VCU and UR school colors, and help make this a city celebration. Event festivities will include music, cheerleaders, free t-shirts to the first 500 attendees, appearances by City officials and both university presidents, and a special banner to commemorate this historic achievement.

# # #

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mayor Jones Establishes Anti-Poverty Commission

Mayor's Order #2011-3

WHEREAS
by the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Richmond I do hereby create the Anti-Poverty Commission; and

WHEREAS under this authority, the Anti-Poverty Commission is hereby established
to develop strategies to address poverty that have demonstrable results for increasing employment and educational attainment, improving transportation, and enhancing healthy communities for Richmond residents; and

WHEREAS the City of Richmond seeks to identify the root causes of poverty in the
City and develop policies designed to address these causes; and

WHEREAS according to the US Census 2009 American Community Survey, 22.1%
of Richmond residents are below the poverty threshold set by the Federal government, compared to 7.2% average for the Commonwealth of Virginia; and

WHEREAS the US Census 2009 American Community Survey reports the median household income for residents of the City of Richmond as $37,735, while the median household income for the Commonwealth of Virginia is $60,301; and

WHEREAS according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, December 2010 data, the unemployment rate in the City of Richmond is 9.5%, while the rate of unemployment for the Commonwealth is 6.4%; and

WHEREAS the City of Richmond seeks to promote economic parity and social justice;

NOW THEREFORE, I, Dwight C. Jones, Mayor of the City of Richmond, do hereby set forth to develop an Anti-Poverty Commission, and do hereby order that:

The Commission will consist of the following work groups; Job Creation, Workforce Development/Education, Policy/Legislation, Healthy Communities, Research/Evaluation, and Transportation. The Commission will provide recommendations on strategies to address poverty. The Commission will identify strategies consistent with making Richmond a Tier One City, and develop a report detailing its recommendations within twelve months of the establishment of the Commission.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereto set my hand and caused the seal of the City
of Richmond to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Richmond, this eighteenth day of March, two thousand and eleven.

Anti-Poverty Commission Members:

D. Wallace Adams-Riley
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Kevin W. Allison, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Community Activities - Virginia Commonwealth University

Father Shay Auerbach
Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Elizabeth Blue

Hon. Kim Bridges
School Board Office – Richmond Public School

Katherine Busser
Executive Vice President - Capital One Financial Corp.

Rev. Benjamin P. Campbell
Richmond Hill

Hon. Betsy B Carr
Virginia House of Delegates, 69th District

Michael Cassidy
President - The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis

Peter Chapman
Deputy Chief Administrative Officer
Economic and Community Development - City of Richmond

Tom Chewning

Maxine Cholmondeley
Interim CEO - Richmond Redevelopment Housing Authority

Annette Cousins
Co-Executive Director - Neighborhood Resource Center
Greater Fulton

James (Jim) E. Eck
VP Business Development - Dominion

Lillie Estes

Hon. Dan Gecker
Chesterfield Board of Supervisors - Midlothian District

Reginald E. Gordon, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer - Virginia Capital Region- Red Cross

Carolyn N. Graham, Ph.D.
Deputy Chief Administrative Officer
Human Services - City of Richmond

Elizabeth Greenfield
Director - Richmond Association of Realtors

Matthew Grossman
Director - MeadWestvaco Corporation

Michael N. Herring, Esq.
Richmond Commonwealth Attorney

Rev. Yvonne Jones-Bibbs
Pastor - Sixth Street Baptist Church

Kelly King Horne
Executive Director - Homeward

Jack Lanier
Chief Executive Officer - Richmond Behavioral Health Authority

Melvin D. Law
President - Richmond Virginia Branch NAACP

Clovia Lawrence

Charles Layman
President - Goodwill Industries of Akron

Paul D. McWhinney
Director - VDSS- Division of Family Services

John Moeser, Ph.D.

Hon. Norma Murdoch-Kitt
School Board Office – Richmond Public School

Rev. Tyrone E. Nelson
Pastor - Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church

Gary L. Rhodes, Ph.D.
President - J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College

Hon. Ellen Robertson
City Council – 6th District

Michael O. Royster, MD, MPH
Director - Office of Minority Health and Health Equity
Virginia Department of Health

Aquanette Scott
Richmond Tenants Association

Jim Schuyler
Executive Director - Partnership for Community Action Agencies

Thomas J. Shields, Ph.D.
Director - The Center for Leadership in Education
University of Richmond

Donald Stern, MD
Director - Richmond City Health District


Candice Streett
Executive Director - Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

Hon. Frank J. Thornton
Chairman - Henrico Board of Supervisors

Thomas Wagstaff, MPA, CCAP
President - Capital Area Partnership Uplifting People (CAPUP)

Thad Williamson, Ph.D.
Jepson School of Leadership - University of Richmond

Patricia Williford
Richmond Tenants Association


###

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mayor Jones Establishes Commission on Pension Liability Assessment

Mayor's Order #2011-2

WHEREAS by the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Richmond I do hereby create a Commission on Pension Liability Assessment; and

WHEREAS there is currently a great deal of focus nationally, and within Virginia, on the pension liabilities of major public pension funds; and

WHEREAS it is paramount that the City of Richmond keep its promises to its employees in regard to their pension benefits; and

WHEREAS pension liabilities represent a significant potential liability to the City and its taxpayers, with the City contributing over $40 million per year into our retirement system – a number that will exceed $45 million by FY 2012-13; and

WHEREAS the Commission is hereby established to give my Administration and City Council advice on ways to improve and capitalize on our retirement system’s assets and challenges; and

I, Dwight C. Jones, Mayor of the City of Richmond, do hereby set forth to develop a Commission on Pension Liability Assessment, and do hereby order that:

The Pension Liability Assessment Commission will:

1. Advise the Mayor and Council on the long term nature of the pension liabilities that the Richmond Retirement System places on the City with an acute eye toward ensuring that the pension obligations to our employees and retirees is being met,

2. Provide data that assists in placing the pension liability of the City of Richmond in the proper context for policy and financial decision making,

3. Examine potential strategies and techniques for addressing pension liabilities of the City,

4. Survey “best practices” among top tier cities with regard to how they are addressing pension liabilities,

5. Review strategies for reducing future liabilities in the context of the existing benefits structure, and



6. Advise on any potential alternative strategies (including joining the Virginia Retirement System) for providing pension benefits to Richmond’s public employees so that the City can enhance its ability to attract and retain a highly qualified workforce.

In witness whereof, I have hereto set my hand and caused the seal of the City of Richmond to be affixed.

Done at the City of Richmond, this fourteenth day of March, two thousand and eleven.

###

Mayor Jones Green Government Order




Friday, March 11, 2011

Mayor Jones Announces Luck Stone Corporation As Presenting Sponsor of XTERRA East Championship

This morning Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced that Luck Stone Corporation has signed on as the presenting sponsor for this year’s XTERRA East Championship June 11-12 in Richmond, VA. Amid concerns that the XTERRA East Championship might not take place in Richmond this year without a local sponsor, Luck Stone saw an opportunity to partner with the City of Richmond to bring world-class athletes to Richmond and bring world-class athletes out of Richmonders. Luck Stone’s sponsorship of XTERRA is just the beginning of a long-term partnership with the City of Richmond and support for the local community.

Mayor Jones stated, “We are pleased that the XTERRA East Championship will again take place in Richmond, Virginia, and we are grateful to Luck Stone for making this possible. The City has shown great support for this event with the maintenance of our trails and logistical support. Now that we have a sponsor to provide XTERRA with the financial support, we finally have all the elements in place to keep this important event here."

“Today we mark another milestone in our efforts to support our city and to positively impact the lives of the people within the community where our company began. It is our hope that this will be the first step in connecting with a new generation of athletes and outdoor enthusiasts, while reaffirming our commitment to the environment and the Greater Richmond community. We know that keeping XTERRA in Richmond is important to the Mayor, City Council and downtown businesses. We’re proud to be the presenting sponsor of XTERRA which plays such a vital role in the local economy.” added Bob Grauer, Senior Vice President of Luck Stone. This will be the 13th year for XTERRA in Richmond.

The River City is widely regarded as the sport’s finest urban adventure venue. Both the off-road triathlon and trail running events feature a unique combination of natural and man-made obstacles as well as the best metropolitan trail system in the country. Indeed, the epic ride through the James River Parks System lures athletes from more than 30 states and pros from around the world to Richmond each year. Events include the XTERRA Fugitive 10k trail run, the XTERRA Richmond half-marathon trail run, free kids races, free clinics taught by pro athletes, the Paul Mitchell Cut-a-Thon to raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and two off-road triathlons, a half-distance XTERRA Sport race (perfect for newcomers) and the XTERRA East Championship.

“We can’t thank Mayor Jones, Councilman Conner, the local community and Luck Stone enough for answering our call for help,” said Dave Nicholas, the managing director of XTERRA. “Over the last 12 years thousands of athletes have experienced Richmond in a very unique way and walked away with great stories to tell about their adventures. With Luck Stone’s support we can provide that opportunity to thousands more in the coming years and continue to perpetuate Richmond’s reputation as being a remarkable city with top notch trails."

The championship, featuring a $10,500 pro purse, is comprised of three disciplines; a 1k swim across the James River followed by a 30k mountain bike trek that traverses both the South and North Bank sections of the first-rate James River Park trails, and a 10k run that leads competitors across the Floodwall, Canal Walk, James River Park, Belle Isle, and back to the finish line on Brown’s Island. With an estimated 1,500 athletes pushing themselves to the very limit of human potential in the different events, the emotions and expressions are inspiring and bring out the best in this community. The entire course is open to the public so there are literally thousands of places to watch from, but the best spot is Brown’s Island, site of the start, finish, and transition areas as well as the XTERRA Expo excitement.

"This event helps us show off all that Richmond has to offer. Our city is perfect for this kind of tourist attraction and there is significant local involvement in the event as well," said Mayor Jones. The overall economic impact for the event is estimated at just over $1 million.
Councilman Doug Conner on Luck Stone’s participation remarked, “When it became apparent that the budget would prevent the city from participating financially in this year’s XTERRA, we began looking for a company willing to agree to a multiyear sponsorship. If we could not locate funding for future years, this event would surely have moved to Charlotte. I would like to thank Luck Stone for their long-term commitment to the XTERRA event that will allow us to keep Richmond in the nation’s sports spotlight.”

About Luck Stone Corporation
Luck Stone is one of the few remaining privately held, family-owned and operated mid-size companies in our region and in surface mining industry. Commenting on the uniqueness of Luck Stone, Grauer proudly stated, “We are a values-based company whose mission is to make a positive impact on the lives of others.” Over the past eight decades Luck Stone has grown into an organization of 800 associates who support four distinct businesses with a reach into global markets.

“Our primary business of providing crushed stone products began humbly as a single quarry just up the river from here,” Grauer commented. Luck Stone started in 1923 with their first quarry in Richmond called Sunny Side Granite, not far from the locks of the canal on the James River. Luck Stone now has 17 quarries in two states (www.luckstone.com), architectural stone studios across three states in the mid-Atlantic (www.charlesluck.com), a tennis court product manufacturing facility serving an international customer base (www.leetennis.com), and a land development company that is focused on developing sustainable communities (www.lucklegacy.com).

Luck Stone shares a common goal with the City of Richmond to foster environmental stewardship and to encourage healthy outdoor activity. As a natural resources company, Luck Stone has supported many initiatives over the years to preserve open space, and manufacture products used throughout the Commonwealth on public trails and in parks. “We see our sponsorship as a means to increasing environmental awareness in our hometown, where our urban park system is one of the best downtown outdoor recreational facilities in the nation,” said Grauer.

Recently Luck Stone acquired its South Richmond quarry at Deepwater Terminal which is their first operation in the City since the closing of Sunny Side Granite. Grauer concluded by adding, “While we have always played a major philanthropic role in supporting Richmond organizations, we once again have a physical presence in the City of Richmond and are excited to be a part of the downtown community.”

"We are looking forward to our continuing partnership with Luck Stone," said Mayor Jones. "Having a corporate partner that is attentive to environmental stewardship and that supports active lifestyles lines up nicely with the city's efforts towards a more sustainable and healthy city."

About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988. It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2011 will produce nearly 200 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 15 countries worldwide. There are 40,000+ competitors from all 50 states and more than 40 countries competing in XTERRA. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence. View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraRichmond.com.


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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mayor Jones Establishes Tourism Commission

Mayor's Order #2011-1

WHEREAS by the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Richmond I do hereby create the Tourism Commission; and

WHEREAS under this authority, the Tourism Commission is hereby established to give my Administration advice on ways to improve and capitalize on the varied tourist opportunities that abound in the City of Richmond; and

WHEREAS the City has a wealth of tourist destinations, including our many unique cultural and historic attractions, indoor and outdoor activities, professional sports venues and events, and world-class museums and art galleries; and

WHEREAS the City of Richmond seeks to support the businesses that support the tourism market, including hospitality services, restaurants, hotels, motels and bed & breakfasts; and

WHEREAS there is much that the City could do to enhance Richmond as a tourist destination through targeted marketing and other efforts; and

WHEREAS the Richmond region attracts 5.75 million visitors every year, representing a multi-million dollar industry, and tourism is a mainstay of this area's economy; and

WHEREAS Richmond is a city of national historic importance - the final resting place of two U.S. Presidents (in Hollywood Cemetery); once known as the "Harlem of the South" in the early 1900s; and more Revolutionary and Confederate history than any other city can claim; and

WHEREAS the City of Richmond seeks to promote its myriad of tourist attractions, as an enhancement to the work already being done by regional efforts, through the Richmond Regional Convention and Visitors' Bureau, and the state's tourism and film agencies; therefore,

I, Dwight C. Jones, Mayor of the City of Richmond, do hereby set forth to develop a Tourism Commission, and do hereby order that:

The Tourism Commission will review the state of the City as a tourist destination and make recommendations that will aid my Administration in the creation of a Richmond City Tourism Plan that will include a marketing plan, strategic vision, and other types of support to our numerous attractions.

In WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereto set my hand and caused the seal of the City of Richmond to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Richmond, this tenth day of March, two thousand and eleven.

Tourism Commission Members:
Alex Nygeres (Co-Chair), Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Delores McQuinn (Co-Chair), Slave Trail Commission
Maureen Egan, Travel Writer
Kathy Graziano, Richmond City Council
Christy Coleman, Historic Tredegar
Jack Berry, Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau
Rita McClenney, Virginia Film Office
Stacy Burrs, Black History Museum
Bill Martin, Valentine Museum
Rich Conti, Science Museum of Virginia
Richard Parrison, Richmond CenterStage
John Bryant, CultureWorks
Jack Berry, Venture Richmond
Tom Lisk, Hospitality Industry Lobbyist
Lester Johnson, Mama J's
Nancy Thomas, Richmond Retail Merchants Association
Carytown Merchants Association
Hull Street Merchants Association
Anne Leigh Kerr, Troutman Sanders
Tim Butturini, Wachovia
Dolly Vogt, SMG
John Lugbill, Sportsbackers
Doug Fritz, Richmond International Raceway
Kelly O'Keeffe, O'Keeffe Brands
Janine Bell, Elegba Folklore Society
Todd Parnell, Richmond Flying Squirrels
Waite Rawls, Museum of the Confederacy
Charlie Diradour, To the Bottom and Back Bus
Christina Newton, Broad Street Arts District
Matt Perry, White Water Rafting Company
Senator Donald McEachin
Jerry Williams
Richmond Childrens' Museum
National Theater


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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Announcement of Presenting Sponsor for XTERRA East Championship

WHO: Mayor Dwight C. Jones
Councilman Douglas G. Conner, Jr.

WHAT: Announcement of new presenting sponsor for the XTERRA East Championship.

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 11, 2011

WHERE: Brown’s Island
(At the steps of the pedestrian bridge)

BACKGROUND:

The XTERRA East Championship has taken place in Richmond, Virginia for the past 12 years. The City of Richmond has provided the perfect venue for the off-road triathlon and the trail running events that are featured. Athletes from more than 30 states and pros from around the world visit Richmond each year for the urban adventure. Recent funding concerns had brought the event’s future into question. At this press conference, Mayor Dwight Jones and Councilman Doug Conner will announce a new presenting sponsor allowing the event to continue in the City of Richmond.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Provide Feedback on the Mayor's Budget Forums

The Mayor has kicked off a series of budget forums to discuss critical decisions regarding the City's budget for 2012 and 2013. For residents who are unable to attend, a budget survey is available here.

Please take a few moments to take the survey and let your voice be heard!

City Names Director of Public Utilities and Interim Director of Human Resources

Chief Administrative Officer Byron C. Marshall announced that Robert Steidel has been selected to serve as director of Public Utilities, effective Monday, March 07, 2011. Steidel had served as interim director for the department since Saturday, July 31, 2010, replacing Chris Beschler who had served as director of Public Utilities while serving as deputy chief administrative officer of Operations.

Steidel previously served as the deputy director for the Department of Public Utilities for more than seven years. Prior to beginning city service, he served as the environmental manager for the city of Hopewell’s Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility; industrial surveillance supervisor for the Rock River Water Reclamation District in Rockford, IL; environmental health sanitarian for Winnebago County Department of Public Health in Rockford, IL; and biologist for Winona State University, MN.

“Bob Stiedel has proven to be a valuable asset to the Department of Public Utilities and has provided excellent leadership in managing the stormwater utility,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “We look forward to his continued expertise in providing utility services to city and surrounding county residents, while protecting our region’s most treasured resource in the James River.”

Stiedel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Winona State University, MN and a Master of Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.

In a separate matter, it was announced that Dr. Tyrone Jackson will be leaving his employment with the City of Richmond effective March 11, 2011. Dr. Jackson presently serves as the director of Human Resources and will be leaving his post to accept an appointment with the District of Columbia Courts where he will serve as deputy director of the Human Resources Division.

Dr. Jackson's service with the City of Richmond began in March of 2007. He is credited with having helped usher in the automated Richmond Online Staffing System (ROSS) as well as creating the current centralized Human Resource structure. He was a key member of the team responsible for negotiating the joint health care agreement for the City of Richmond with Richmond Public Schools and has served as the United Way Chairperson for city government over the last several years.

"Dr. Jackson will be missed, but we wish him well in his new place of employment," said Mayor Jones.

Joya Hayes, senior assistant to the CAO, will serve as interim director for Human Resources while a search is conducted for a replacement.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Attend One of Mayor Jones' Four Public Budget Forums


Mayor Dwight C. Jones invites you to attend A Community Conversation on Priorities for City Spending. Come hear a brief overview of the challenges ahead and possibilities for the future. Weigh in on critical decisions regarding the City's budget for 2012 and 2013.

There will be four public forums held throughout the City. Let your voice be heard!
  • March 8 at 6 p.m.: Linwood Holton Elementary School, 1600 West Laburnum Avenue
  • March 10 at 6 p.m.: E.S.H. Greene Elementary School, 1745 Catalina Drive
  • March 15 at 6 p.m.: George Mason Elementary School, 813 North 28th Street
  • March 16 at 6 p.m.: Southampton Elementary School, 3333 Cheverly Road

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mayor Jones to Participate in Read Across America

WHO: Mayor Dwight C. Jones

WHAT: Mayor Dwight Jones will participate in Read Across America by reading to
Blackwell Elementary School children.

WHERE: Blackwell Elementary School
300 East 16th Street
Richmond VA, 23224

WHEN: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 2 p.m.

BACKGROUND:

As part of the Read Across America and in celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, Mayor Dwight Jones will share the joys of reading with Richmond Public Schools students on Wednesday, March 2 at Blackwell Elementary School.

Members of the media are welcome to photograph and video the Mayor as he participates in Read Across America. However, please be mindful not to publish any identifying images of Richmond Public Schools students without the permission of school administrators.

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