Richmond mayor responds to criticism over lack of riverfront budget

mayor dwight jones

RICHMOND, Va. –Last week the mayor unveiled a budget plan that received criticism from many because riverfront funding was omitted. 

Mayor Dwight C. Jones today issued the following statement regarding the City’s proposed Capital Improvement Program for FY2015-2019 and Riverfront Development:

“It is clear to me after hearing from some very good friends who are aware of my ongoing commitment to riverfront development, that the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget put forth sends the wrong signal about the city’s intentions concerning riverfront development and specifically the Brown’s Island Dam Walk. I want to be clear: we are moving forward and it is my understanding that we are well on track to complete the Dam Walk before the World Road Cycling Championships come to Richmond in 2015.

 “The city has approximately $4 million in unspent funds for this project, because of the initial funding that I included in my CIP for FY2013-2017. We are also anticipating grant funding in the amount of $2.5 million; meaning we may have as much as $6.5 million on hand. The Brown’s Island Dam Walk is a key project in this first phase of riverfront development and early conceptual plans for the Dam Walk estimated a cost of $2 million. This would indicate that we have ample funds on hand to move the project forward and is the only reason new funding was not included for the immediately approaching fiscal year. Staff has been hard at work to have this key project move forward in a timely manner and this is the information I’ve been relying on.

“Additionally, not including funding in the current CIP does not mean that more funding won’t be provided for another five years. That is not my intention. I am mindful of the fact that project refinements and technical requirements will likely push the need for resources higher. We present a five-year CIP every year and I fully expect that with the presentation of next year’s CIP, additional funding will be sought  for riverfront development and other projects in the pipeline that will create new public spaces around our beautiful riverfront.

“This plan of action should have been conveyed in our budget, and it is unfortunate that the budget advanced without appropriate mention of our ongoing Riverfront plans. I look forward to working with Richmond City Council on this aspect of the budget as well as many others.”

 

8 comments

  • Manalishi.

    This chump has received far less criticism than he has earned. When is it open season for ridicule of the dumpsters that vote for clowns like this?

    • R Moffett

      Explaining Riverfront Development should be the least of his concerns. if he were truly interested in the welfare of the City and the common good of all its resident’s. Of course, he is not.

      Why won’t he be accountable for, explain, and act to remedy any of the following? (1) The catastrophic failure of DSS that placed children in danger and the failed leader being rewarded by being allowed to retire instead of being terminated and then hired by the Sheriffi’s office. (2) A failed school system with badly deteriorated buildings suffering from years of neglect. (3) Repeatedly-reported and well-documented failures to address audit recommendations and adverse findings – some having been outstanding for a decade. (4) A Finance Department that does not pay its bills on time, cannot issue invoices timely for money legally due the city, and which, according to external auditors lacks the expertise to prepare the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Yet in the face of these glaring deficiencies he proposes to subsidize wealthy developers, Highwoods, Historic Housing, SWA and Louis Salomonsky, and the Flying Squirrels at tax payer expense even though the costs cannot be conclusively stated, there are legitimate doubts the investment of tax revenue will break even or produce any substantial net income in excess of debt service and other costs to the taxpayers, and which will likely result in very, very few new jobs paying a living wage, instead of correcting the severe deficiencies that exist in the City’s government.

      The Mayor’s lack of accountability, refusal to be transparent, behind-the-scenes deal making, and failed administration, rather than being penalized resulted in his being elected Chairman of the State’s Democratic party. As Manalishi said “all he cares about is power…” and I’d add misleading the uninformed and those suffering in poverty while pandering to the self-entitled to perpetuate himself in office and achieve higher office.

      To the extent that we Richmond voters allow this shameful mismanagement of the City to continue, we deserve the poor, ineffective, inefficient, incompetent, wasteful government under which we suffer.

      • Manalishi.

        R Moffet. I and others really enjoy an refreshing rundown of the facts. Your script is more accurate than the last months reporting of Jones and Richmond…

        Keep it coming.

    • Joe

      Sounds like you beat him to it, you may be upset because he makes more in one year than you in five. He ain’t concerned with racism just like he could give a care about the city. All he cares about is power and fake respect

  • me

    Did the shrouded City’s Master plan get lost?
    With al the various and sundary outside councils, commissions, committees, and Consortiums required to Run Richmond for Jones, everything seems to get lost in the Shuffle,
    Jones & Council MEEEE FIRST Special Interests DONORS seems to override logic of a Logical Government System. Are there still actual
    Government Offices, with the responsibility of sane Governance with legislated procedures and documentation required of an actual city,
    with actual Government Plans, Systems, Financing?

  • me

    Isn’t the Mayor all too Transparent?
    If it is not a Photo Op for Aggrandizement of Self or Legecy, he issues
    forth a “press release”, spokesperson, or a scapegoat flunky, from behind his cloistered, protected, closed doors of his hidden, secreted Government. Another Coward-Bully Democrat that has to have
    “talking points” written and provided by those that Manage Him.
    He’s AFRAID to FACE his public, constituents, residents, and Tax Payers. Security Details and Bunker/Buffer/Protection for Government Public SERVANTS that self anointed as demigods.
    .

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