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Government

Ballot for sheriff, treasurer will include wacky roster of independents

Nichole Ona R. Armstead and Antoinette Irving won the Democratic primaries for Treasurer and Sheriff respectively earlier this month. Ned Oliver has word that each will face independent challengers this fall.

Irving will face Nicole D. Jackson and perennial ballot squatter Emmett J. Jafari. Jackson appears to be a qualified candidate, with years of experience in the Richmond sheriff’s office. Jafari has previously unsuccessfully run for the 8th district school board seat in 2000, sheriff in 2001, mayor in 2004, sheriff in 2005, and clerk of the court in 2011 and 2014.

In what is looking like magic mashup of Richmond politics past and present, Armstead (the daughter of former Richmond City Councilman Chuck Richardson) will be running against former one-term council representative and 4th-place mayoral candidate Michelle Mosby, and former council representative L. Shirley Harvey. Harvey represented the 6th District for 2 years during the mid-1990s and has lost a string of contests since then – she ran as an at-large candidate for mayor last year and 2012 and 2008, came in 3rd in the 2009 House of Delegates District 69 contest, finished a distant 2nd in the 2005 House of Delegates District 69 election, and handily lost the 2004 Richmond City City Council District 6 election. While on council Harvey earned her place in the Richmond political and 1990s history books “by leading a sunrise prayer service on City Hall’s observation deck, where she spoke in tongues and prayed against evil spirits.”

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42 comments

crd 06/29/2017 at 9:51 AM

I think Harvey also walked backwards around the observation deck, while doing all the things described above (speaking in tongues, etc.).

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Will hall 06/29/2017 at 12:09 PM

I think that Irving will do a good job if elected sheriff. A few year’s ago I remember watching her on stage leading security for Lance Watson at St Paul’s Baptist night club, oops, I meant church on Creighton road. I never seen a preacher get treated like a celebrity

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crd 06/29/2017 at 1:32 PM

@2 I agree with you, I think Irving will do fine. She’s getting my vote. Lance Watson is pretty impressive, have you ever heard him preach? I did, at St. Paul’s Episcopal downtown during a Lenten Lunch series. He’s smart and very well spoken, and had even that staid audience going, to say nothing of his own parishioners who came to hear him.

I haven’t decided if I want Chuck Richardson’s daughter or Shirley Harvey giving out hunting and fishing licenses.

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bill 06/29/2017 at 3:21 PM

crd-to some extent Harvey’s prayers were answered during the tim kaine years. with a little help from comey, lee young, joel harris and ms. Ralston soon departed. I will vote to buy my fishing license from harvey

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crd 06/29/2017 at 3:34 PM

@4 actually I probably will, too. It will be the first and only time I’ve voted for her.

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Will Hall 06/29/2017 at 5:11 PM

@crd To answer your question, yes, I’ve heard him preach. My family has been members of his church since the 80’s.We first joined in the 80’s, when I was a little boy, and he had a church in church hill that was so big, that if you wanted to see his services,and if you came in to late, you had to go into the basement, and watch him preach on a large screen. I was a member of his church when he built that large church on Creighton road back in 2000-correct me if I’m wrong. I was a member when he was given that large church on East Belt Blvd, across from Southside Plaza, and I was a member when he opened up his third church in Petersburg back in 2010. I’ve met pastor Watson in person, and he made me a leader of his Horticulture group, because he wanted to build a garden behind the church-I don’t know if it ever happened.So yes, I’ve heard him preach, and I think that he’s the best preacher, from a motivational standpoint, in Richmond. My family raised me in that church. I will put him up against anyone. I’m still a member of the church, just an inactive member. I was told that in order for me to become an active member again, then I would have to pay my tithes. Now let that sink in. Lance is a great speaker, and he has a business mind, so was Dwight Jones, our former mayor. Ever heard him preach? He’s a great preacher as well. But sometimes I think that some of these preachers don’t really care about the gospel, but are in silent competition on who has the biggest church or congregation. I called the church a club out of sarcasm, but there’s truth to my statement as well. If you don’t believe me, go check out it out for yourself.

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crd 06/29/2017 at 6:54 PM

@6 I believe you, thanks for sharing. He did endorse Irving, too.

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Eric Huffstutler 07/01/2017 at 11:33 AM

I am not quite sure what to make of the picture of Harvey above? Pretty lady, awkward picture of her and her dog (he has a “hurry up and get this picture taken so she can put me down” look). And then, trying to have a nice backdrop but with discarded tires on the ground?

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Emmett Johnson Jafari 08/15/2017 at 11:06 AM

Hello – I’m the so-called “Ballot-Squatter” you reference. As the editor of this publication you take great leeway in your descriptive liberties. Your proclivity for advancing favorable sentiments for select candidates while besmirching non-preferred candidates obviates in your style. Just to be clear, you failed to mention that Ms. Irving has been in some 3-4 sheriff campaigns herself. Nor did you mention that my last election effort, in 2014, garnered over 9000 votes. You may consider my efforts as “Ballot Squatting” but the individual citizens who have increasingly recognized my skills and commitment to the City obviously do not share your views. Your characterization of my efforts is likewise a disparagement of those who believe, trust in, and vote for me; some of whom are likely your readers. It is penmanship like your publication’s that have sent readers scrambling for alternatives to self-proclaimed press saviors like yours. Much respect for your readers but your style is certain to send many more readers scrambling for a more balanced and forthright source for learning about candidates for office. Peace. Emmett Jay. A Richmond Family Since 1820.

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John M 08/15/2017 at 12:13 PM

Mr.Jafari,

I do not wish to disparage your interest in the civic process. I applaud your unflagging willingness to run against the incumbents when no one steps up – elections are meaningless if there are no choices. For this very reason we endorsed you in 2011. (Vote Jafari, Brown on November 8).

You must recognize, though, that you are among a handful of local candidates who regularly seek which ever office is on the ballot – sheriff, mayor, clerk of the court, treasurer, et al – without success. Thus the perennial ballot squatter tag.

And yes, you lost that 2014 Clerk of the Court bid with 22% of the vote – 9,407 out of 42,590 votes. Is that your high-water mark so far? This is somewhat worth mentioning, for sure.

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Jerome Legions 10/09/2017 at 12:50 PM

I have to agree with your statement that Nicole Jackson appears to be a qualified candidate, with years of experience in the Richmond sheriff’s office. I have been paying attention to her campaign and it seems like other folks agree with you as well in particularly follow deputies, former police officer and military veterans. I just saw an endorsement from First Sgt Officer Shaun Jones and Dr. Greg Perry Chief of Police Retired on Nicole Jackson’s facebook page. John Cox and Ken Ballos are on board with this campaign to elect Nicole Jackson as the next sheriff of Richmond.

Ms. Jackson’s candidacy reminds of when an employee applies for the position that their boss is leaving. As a candidate for that position you know the strengths and weaknesses of the position therefore, you want to do the job because you know you have the knowledge and experience to be effective.

Being in service to the Richmond community as a former police officer and sheriff’s deputy I am sure has provided Nicole Jackson with a clear understanding of the unique issues facing law enforcement, community policing and inmate rehabilitation as those issues pertain to the City of Richmond. This knowledge and experience as well as receiving support from fellow law enforcement co-workers makes Nicole Jackson the clear choice for Sheriff

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ray 10/09/2017 at 5:38 PM

Antionette Irving is the most qualified candidate, is the Democratic nominee, and has done a lot of good up here in Church Hill where she’s lived for decades. She’s got my vote.

I also think Nicole Armstead is the best candidate for Treasurer. What do you think about that race, Jerome Legions?

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Michael 10/10/2017 at 10:41 AM

As a former sheriff of City of Richmond Office, I feel Jackson would be the most qualified candidate for the Richmond City Sheriff Office. With her pass background in police work, training, and prior work at the sheriff office, she would do a great job. I feel she would take the sheriff office to a higher level for the City of Richmond. As a voter, we should stop thinking about voting for a party but vote for the most qualified candidate.

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Jerome Legions 10/10/2017 at 11:43 AM

Hello Ray, The reason why I am voting and campaigning for Nichole Armstead is not because she won the democratic nomination. It is because when she decided to run she looked at the treasurer’s office and decided that it could be doing more. By enhancing the services provided by the treasurer’s office is the best way to be in service for the Citizens of Richmond. She has stayed true to her vision of improving the services provided by the treasurer’s office.

Nichole also gathered knowledgeable people around her in order to get ideas about running a political campaign. However, Nichole took that best advice and used it in order to form the best decisions about running a campaign. Hence the win.

I am not taking anything away for Antionette Irving’s skill sets nor do I doubt her qualifications. However, if she is truly the most qualified candidate she would be have beat Sheriff C.T. Woody on the first go round. My take on the voter’s decision is that people were just tired of C.T.Woody. But history will be kind to Sheriff Woody when we look back at his legacy.

In my humble opinion winning a nomination does not mean a candidate is the most qualified. President Trump won his party’s nomination and I am willing to bet that most Americans, heck or people around the world question his qualifications.

Because I see the people in Nicole Jackson’s profession coming out of retirement to canvass for her, make phone calls, provide limited resources has to say a lot about her ability to gather support and not just endorsements but true unselfish leg work support speaks volumes about Nicole Jackson’s experience. Nichole understands the policies, procedures and protocol of the Richmond Sheriff’s Department because she was there but she also knows that on case by case basis those policies, procedures and protocol must be tempered with compassion.

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Will Hall 10/10/2017 at 11:46 AM

@Ray What has Antionette Irving done for Church hill? The only placed that she’s done alot of work for is St Paul’s Baptist Church, and where she was a major for Henrico jail. The only thing that Ive seen her do in church hill was have her supporters work outside of the polling stations, during last years election, handing out flyers, persuading people to vote for her. Im an election official for these polls, and you have to stand 40 feet from these stations if your going to campaign for yourself. Somehow, her campaign got away with this, especially at my polling station at Whitcomb

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crd 10/10/2017 at 12:55 PM

There will also be a referendum question on the ballot regarding the school modernization charter change. Anyone here familiar with that?

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ray 10/10/2017 at 2:23 PM

Mr. Hall, the following link about the Foundation she established should answer you question:

http://avi-foundation.org/index.html

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Will Hall 10/10/2017 at 3:59 PM

@ray Ok that’s kind of odd, because I been in the east end for over 30 years and I haven’t heard, or even seen this organization in the community. Not saying that they haven’t done anything positive, but if this organization has done anything, it’s on a small, level. The only place that I’ve seen her active is in St Paul’s Baptist Church on Crater Road. http://www.myspbc.org She’s really helped Lance Watson build the megachurch,which, in my opinion, doesn’t look like a church inside, but a coliseum, and he even endorsed her for Sheriff. That’s where she’s been the most active. I’ve been a member of that church for years.

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crd 10/10/2017 at 4:13 PM

@17 thank you. http://putschoolsfirst.org/ is basic information.

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ray 10/10/2017 at 5:42 PM

Lanny and CRD –

I agree with Michael Paul Williams that the referendum looks like a gimmick.

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Bill 10/10/2017 at 8:51 PM

Promises from politicians over the last 30 years to fix city school buildings is the real gimmic

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Clay Street 10/10/2017 at 8:59 PM

The referendum doesn’t mean anything until and unless legislation is passed. The referendum is saying “if congress enacts legislation that could allow this to happen, then Richmond is committed to implementing it to fix up school buildings.”

The special exemption that Maggie Walker Governors School got to use historic tax credits for development and the public/private partnership involved in that could be a dynamic model for future infrastructure uplifts. The HTC model is one already embraced by developers and investors. Kaine, Warner and McEachin are saying–let’s apply it to school buildings and everyone wins.

Here is a link to a 2011 piece written by Tim Kaine pitching it. It enjoyed bipartisan support then and it does now. Maybe one of the few areas where congress could get some common ground happening.

https://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/lessons-from-maggie-walker/Content?oid=1626268

I say yes to the referendum, as we have no other plan to repair Richmond’s extremely dilapidated school buildings.

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lanny 10/11/2017 at 2:21 AM

#20 – One more thing about RPS (on this post about getting to vote for some people) – RPS and the “sunk cost trap” to the ongoing detriment of city taxpayers: “DEFINITION of ‘Sunk Cost Trap’ The tendency of people to irrationally follow through on an activity that is not meeting their expectations because of the time and/or money they have already spent on it.”

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ray 10/11/2017 at 10:04 AM

#23 Clay Street –

Here is the petition language from the site mentioned in #20. Where does it say anything about historic tax credits?

The Petition of Qualified Voters for Referendum:
Section 6.15 – FULFILLING THE PROMISE OF EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES.
(a) Preamble –
“Education is the great equalizer” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wisely taught us. In their historic Brown v Board of Education decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court said “education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments.” They concluded the opportunity for an education “is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.” The Justices further indicated the “physical condition of the school plant” could deny this fundamental right.
In 1970, Virginians by public referendum adopted a new state constitution to ensure equality of educational opportunity.
Yet national and Virginia studies show the average public school facility has been allowed to age into obsolescence. Thus while Richmond’s facilities are collectively more obsolete, our situation is not unique. Respected experts have long warned that students spending their public school lifetimes in such facilities suffer significant and permanent educational detriment.
Dr. King famously observed a right delayed is a right denied. We, the people, have therefore chosen to lead. We believe our success can set a needed example for the nation.
(b) DUTY OF THE MAYOR
Not later than six months after this section becomes law, the Mayor shall formally present to the City Council a fully-funded plan to modernize the city’s K-12 educational infrastructure consistent with national standards or inform City Council such a plan is not feasible. In fulfilling the duties herein, the Mayor shall consult with the School Board, City Council, consider cost savings available in state or federal law and further provide an opportunity for public participation.
(c)  NO NEW OR INCREASED TAXES
The fully-funded plan required in subsection (b) cannot be based on the passage of new or increased taxes for that purpose.
(d)  DUTY OF THE SCHOOL BOARD
Nothing herein shall alter powers previously given to the School Board.
(f)  DUTY OF THE CITY COUNCIL
Once the Mayor has complied with subsection (b), the City Council shall have 90 days to take such action as it deems appropriate.

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crd 10/11/2017 at 12:42 PM

Taken from the State website, here is what will be on the ballot on Nov. 7:

PROPOSITION A: Shall the Charter of the City of Richmond be amended as follows: Section 6.15 – Fulfilling the Promise of Equal Educational Opportunities. (a) Preamble “Education is the great equalizer” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wisely taught us. In their historic Brown v. Board of Education decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court said “education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments.” They concluded the opportunity for an education “is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.” The Justices further indicated the “physical condition of the school plant” could deny this fundamental right. In 1970, Virginians by public referendum adopted a new state constitution to ensure equality of educational opportunity. Yet national and Virginia studies show the average public school facility has been allowed to age into obsolescence. Thus while Richmond’s facilities are collectively more obsolete, our situation is not unique. Respected experts have long warned that students spending their public school lifetimes in such facilities suffer significant and permanent educational detriment. Dr. King famously observed a right delayed is a right denied. We, the people, have therefore chosen to lead. We believe our success can set a needed example for the nation. (b) Duty of the Mayor Not later than six months after this section becomes law, the Mayor shall formally present to the City Council a fully-funded plan to modernize the city’s K-12 educational infrastructure consistent with national standards or inform City Council such a plan is not feasible. In fulfilling the duties herein, the Mayor shall consult with the School Board, City Council, consider cost savings available in state or federal law and further provide an opportunity for public participation. (c)No New or Increased Taxes The fully-funded plan required in subsection (b) cannot be based on the passage of new or increased taxes for that purpose. (d) Duty of the School Board Nothing herein shall alter powers previously given to the School Board. (e) Duty of the City Council Once the Mayor has complied with subsection (b), the City Council shall have 90 days to take such action as it deems appropriate.

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crd 10/11/2017 at 5:06 PM

@25 Ray: it doesn’t, but that could be a big part of any plan to do school modernization construction. Both Sen. Kaine and Rep. McEachin have pending bills in congress to alter the historic preservation tax credit conditions so that schools could be renovated and tax credits used. Because Virginia also has historic tax credits, the total between the fed and state credits would be 45% of the cost – and that’s huge.

@23 Clay St., thank you for putting it so clearly! (Obviously I’m also in favor of the referendum).

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Clay Street 10/12/2017 at 7:33 AM

@Ray, you are right, I truly thought it spelled it out more clearly and it does not say that in the body of the text. Hmm. My understanding from acquaintances involved in the initiative is that it’s basically a legal way to force the schools and the mayor to consider taking advantage of the legislation that is about to go through, as soon as it happens. But you are right in that it doesn’t specifically mention it. The city (if the referendum passes) has to produce a report saying either “we can and will fix schools with no tax increase” or “that’s crazy, there’s no way.” But I will do more digging and ask some more specific questions, thanks for sharing the referendum’s text.

@26–well, I would love it if congressional legislation passed that would allow municipalities like Richmond to have partnership on uplift of dilapidated infrastructure. HTC are a powerful tool to get stuff done, the corporate world loves them and their value is an incentive.

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ray 10/12/2017 at 8:25 AM

Yes, I get it #27 crd that tax credits could be part of a plan to modernize schools. Quite frankly, that’s been obvious for quite a while which is why Kaine, McEachin and others are sponsoring this legislation in Congress.

But how does voting for this city charter change referendum, which does not even mention historic tax credits, accomplish this? You posted it yourself, read the language and tell me where it mentions historic tax credits. Clay Street could not find it, I could’nt find it, maybe you can.

Something just smells fishy with this latest Paul Goldman inspired scheme. Makes me wonder if his law partner Joe Morrissey wrote the referendum language!

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bill 10/12/2017 at 9:22 AM

a charter change if it happens would require the mayor to layout a plan to finance school modernization without relying on a tax increase.(see your post b&c)over 16,000 city voters signed on to this. are they wrong? what is your solution ?

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Clay Street 10/12/2017 at 9:28 AM

Currently using HTC for public infrastructure is not allowed, the MWGS got kind of special dispensation. How can the referendum refer to legislation that hasn’t passed yet? I think it’s a call to action to the city to put up or shut up. Either come up with a plan to fix school buildings (which are atrocious–seriously, chunks of asbestos falling on students while in class, overflowing toilets that spew sewage, etc.) OR explicitly say that they city and RPS cannot fix schools without outside help/tax increases.

What are the potential negative impacts of the referendum? It is asking for a report, and that’s it, as far as I can tell.

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crd 10/12/2017 at 10:19 AM

@31 Clay Street, there are no negative impacts. As you said, it’s asking for a report, that’s all.

As to historic tax credits being mentioned – it’s a local piece of legislation, it cannot pull in federal stuff in the language.

This is actually very simple. I think that’s why folks are looking for something more, but it is exactly what it looks like at face value.

@30, I have no argument, obviously over 16,000 people signed off on a petition to put this on the ballot, it should be on the ballot and people should vote for it. Very simple.

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ray 10/12/2017 at 11:20 AM

It will pass because it sounds good and harmless, no argument here.

But, on the surface, other than a public statement that people want something done to modernize schools, it seems to accomplish nothing other than to clutter the city charter and, I guess, make people feel better.

If people really want to put funding into modernizing schools, why not a referendum to increase local taxes for that very purpose? We can do that right here at the city level and get the money NOW, rather than waiting for this magic money that could eventually appear with the federal tax credits. This referendum, in fact, seems to take a tax increase for school off the table.

By the way, do any Richmond members of the General Assembly, other than Republican Delegate Loopassi, support this thing? How about Jennifer McClellen? I’ve read Mayor Stoney thinks it a gimmick so I’d be interested what other elected officials think.

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Clay Street 10/12/2017 at 2:13 PM

That’s a great question–Jeff Bourne has McClellan’s old delegate seat and used to be on Richmond School Board, I don’t know his position (or other delegates who represent Richmond City–Loupassi, Betsy Carr, Dolores McQuinn—the latter two are DPVA faithful). From what I can tell Richmond City Dems are in line with Mayor Stoney in not necessarily jumping up and down about it. I have little faith the education compact is going to go anywhere, frankly. School Board inner workings are a mess.

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bill 10/12/2017 at 2:14 PM

so ray #33 you want to raise taxes as a first resort? or will you rely on what the mayor/delegate thinks?

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ray 10/12/2017 at 3:25 PM

#35 bill L, if people are really serious about raising funds to modernize schools NOW, it’s the only realistic option in light of the facts that 1)Richmond’s borrowing capacity is maxed out and 2)any magic money that would come about IF Congress finally passes historic tax credits legislation — it’s nothing new, it’s been proposed and supported by certain legislators in Congress for years — wouldn’t filter down here until years in the future.

And, I’ll agree with the mayor/delegate if I think they are right and disagree with them if I think they are wrong. That said, and I don’t their positions and I’d like to hear what their views are regarding the referendum.

So, what’s your solution to raise money to modernize our schools NOW as opposed to some time in the distant future since voting for this referendum is not the answer?

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crd 10/12/2017 at 3:28 PM

@33 ray, which taxes do you want to hike? we already pay horrendous restaurant taxes, want to up those? what about real estate taxes? They are already among the highest in the state. I’m being serious here, I’m curious as to what you think should be raised as a first resort, rather than making the mayor and council actually think this thru.

Better yet – why not give this a chance first? Seems to me that a few people here are second guessing something that they, at the same time, agree with and think should/will pass.

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ray 10/12/2017 at 5:08 PM

Dreams are nice, crd, but look at this referendum REALISTCIALLY. Our kids deserve better than vague promises. We can’t afford unrealistic promises of magic money that might fall from the sky I the future. We can not afford to lose another generation.

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Clay Street 10/12/2017 at 6:23 PM

Richmond may no longer annex county land, so its physical footprint is set in stone. Rezoning needs to happen. Let’s stop endless development of rental properties that have no other resources mapped into them. Incentivize New Market Tax Credits that mean not only added jobs but they also capture the sales & use and BPOL taxes associated with mixed use and retail business. Sell off vacant properties that are not being maintained by absentee property owners. Seize tax-delinquent properties and incentivize development. The city actually has a great Economic & Community Development office, but is hamstrung by other parts of the city bureaucracy.

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Clay Street 10/12/2017 at 6:45 PM

Also: there is a 3rd district meeting with the candidates for 3rd district SB, RVAdirt is live-tweeting, questions about school referendum are being asked to Cindy Menz-Erb, Joann Henry and Kenya Gibson.

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crd 10/14/2017 at 2:14 PM

@39 Clay St., we aren’t the only city pushing for the historic tax credit change. Philadelphia recently endorsed it too. https://phila.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=3154758&GUID=A73ACB1F-4127-4761-A7B9-EA823904D79C&Options=ID%7CText%7C&Search=170734

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