Construction crews are not only ones rebuilding City Hall

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — Walk through Richmond City Hall these days and you cannot miss all the reconstruction.

However, not all of it is being done by construction crews. In fact, personnel reconstruction is being done by Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones.

“It’s a power play,” Paul Goldman, a government watchdog, told CBS 6 News’ Lorenzo Hall.

Goldman said it is like the mayor is playing a good game of chess against Richmond City Council members.

“He is more skilled at the game,” said Goldman. “He doesn’t fear them at all and they’re frustrated.”

The mayor’s most recent move was an attempt to have his office control the message going out from public information offices in every city department like police, fire and public works.  That’s a move he made without informing city council.

Now city council members like Jon Baliles are looking to figure out Jones’ next move by proposing legislation that would require the mayor to notify council members within 15 days of making similar changes to city government.

“They didn’t do that and they need to do that,” said Baliles.

Since council publicly expressed its disapproval, the mayor backed off, revising his memo to instead ask public information officers to coordinate with his office to “improve the quality and consistency of city messaging,” states the memo.

“We have to make sure information is getting out to the public. You don’t want to politicize information the public needs to know,” said Baliles.

Council’s government operations committee is still reviewing the proposal before bringing it before all council members.

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for continuing coverage of this story. 

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