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Mayor to Host Town Hall Meetings for Proposed Budget

There’s been a lot of emotions around the budget, with pros and cons and accusations and confused feelings going around social media. The Stoney administration will now host a series of community town hall meetings over the coming weeks to discuss the budget.

As a reminder, here’s what’s being presented:

  1. An investment of $18.5 million for Richmond Public Schools
  2. $16.2 million for roads and sidewalks
  3. $2.9 million for affordable housing
  4. $965,00 for increased GRTC service
  5. $485,000 for eviction diversion
  6. Real estate tax increase
  7. Cigarette tax

The meetings are below- please note our local one is the first one at Woodville Elementary School. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 19
6:30 – 8 p.m.
East End
Woodville Elementary School
2000 N. 28th St.

Thursday, March 21
7 – 8:30 p.m.
Southside Community Center
6335 Old Warwick Rd.

Wednesday, March 27
6:30 – 8 p.m.
West End
Thomas Jefferson High School
4100 W. Grace St.

Tuesday, April 2
6:30 – 8 p.m.
Northside Family YMCA
7207 Old Brook Rd.


Lauren Pleveich 03/12/2019 at 10:11 AM

Any word on whether discussion will turn into action or change in the budget? What is the expectation?

SA Chaplin 03/12/2019 at 5:13 PM

1. Spending more money will not improve education in Richmond. Richmond already spends more per student than any other school district in the area (and with worse results). Eliminate concentrated poverty and our schools will improve dramatically.

2. Roads and sidewalks – awesome! That’s a basic city function.

3. Affordable housing – Providing housing is not a proper city function. Period. That is the job of the private sector.

4. GRTC is already heavily subsidized and the use of public transit has been falling in the last decade (or so) in almost every city in the country — including Richmond. This is throwing good money after bad.

5. The NYT article on evictions in Richmond prompted this nonsense. The article was both misleading as well as inaccurate. Anyone who deals with the city courts in the realm of evictions (as I have for several decades) knows that the law already leans in favor of tenants, that the eviction procedure followed by the sheriff’s office is more than fair (they won’t even do evictions if it is anywhere near Christmas) and, if the NYT or anyone else had bothered to talk with the judges and lawyers in this field they would know that tenants’ rights are thoroughly safeguarded. Our judges bend over backwards to help tenants.

Ella E Bandy 03/12/2019 at 8:20 PM

You left out the proposed real estate tax increase and increase in utilities off your list.

Liz 03/13/2019 at 6:38 AM

I read that article yesterday in Style. Good read, Kirsten! I hope our council does the right thing and votes this down along with asking for a review of the budget to find out where our money is already going.

bill 03/13/2019 at 9:33 AM

the easiest budget cut would be to eliminate economic development. that is the group that makes bad deals and costs even more money. paying the economic development staff to stay at home would save money.

Mary Anne Conmy 03/13/2019 at 10:01 AM

SA Chaplin – There are something like 250 evictions on the docket for this week alone! That is at least 250 humans who are very likely to become homeless. That includes many families with children. If you think that is acceptable your lack of empathy is concerning. I’m going to assume you’ve never had to worry about eviction. If not, you are very fortunate to have the resources to protect you from eviction. Many families are living paycheck to paycheck. A sudden job loss or illness can easily lead to eviction. I hope you never experience a catastrophe like a deadly illness but it would probably give you a bit more compassion. At least I hope it would.

mary 03/13/2019 at 10:58 AM

“Many families are living paycheck to paycheck” and this mayor is determined to add to that number of economically stressed families by calling for an increased tax burden…something he said he would not do.

SA Chaplin 03/13/2019 at 11:40 AM

@ Mary Ann. I thank you for you comment. I am sincere in that. If and when the City musters the political will to eliminate the housing projects I hope it is done in a manner that takes into account the lack of resources these people have. I would hope that the private sector would assist by helping defray the expense of moving as well as helping with security deposits for new premises. But I believe you missed my point: there is no problem with the eviction process itself. It truly leans fairly heavily in favor of the tenant. That there are 250 rent cases on the docket (not evictions, by the way) signifies not only a lack of resources but a failure to prioritize, among other things. But no one has pointed out what the “flaw” is in the eviction process. That is because there is no flaw, just a Mayor who has failed to take even a cursory look into the facts.

Jenn GrayWolford 03/14/2019 at 7:51 AM

Not sure if it’s all emotional….its not logical. More taxes with zero results.

Mary Anne Conmy 03/14/2019 at 8:50 AM

SA Chaplain – well said & point taken. On the role of the private sector defraying costs of moving, developing affordable housing: I too would hope these things would happen but it’s very hard to count on a profit-driven sector to take people’s needs into consideration when they are ruled by the market unless there is financial inscentive to do so.

kirsten Gray 03/19/2019 at 11:17 AM

News regarding the School Budget from the RTD: Third District representative Kenya Gibson called the board’s handling of the budget — which includes cuts totaling $13 million while asking for an extra $18 million in other areas — an “embarrassment.”

“The process was lacking,” Gibson told her colleagues. “We can do better.”

read more here

Then from last night in the RTD: [School Board Member] Young quickly came out in opposition to the tax increases — a 9-cent increase to the region-high real estate rate of $1.20 per $100 of assessed value, as well as a 50-cent-per-pack cigarette tax — as did Kenya Gibson, the School Board’s 3rd District representative.

A majority of City Council members, who ultimately have the power to approve or kill Stoney’s proposal, have also said they oppose raising taxes.

Young now wants the rest of the School Board members to say whether they approve of the stance taken by Page and Doerr, something they didn’t discuss as a group before the news release was issued.

Young sent the resolution to the rest of the board Monday and said he had no intention of a vote taking place at the meeting.

Read more here


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