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Downtowner

2016 Mayoral Election of Richmond

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I figured I would go ahead and make a thread for it. This is a live stream of the first debate for richmond mayor. What are you looking for in our next mayor? Who would you like to see take  the seat as richmond's next mayor? What issues would you like to see fixed the most? But anyways here is a live stream of ongoing debate at Virginia Union University.

http://www.nbc12.com/story/31660048/11-candidates-confirmed-to-participate-in-richmond-mayoral-forum?clienttype=generic

 

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So far I'm partial to Baliles.  I need to become more familiar with all of the candidates though.

Cycling infrastructure is pretty important to me.  Him doing a video with Bike Walk RVA certainly helped.

I've also generally liked his policies.  Many of his stances on city council have been things I agree with.

I know it's controversial, but I also agree with him a lot when it comes to the stadium.  RVA needs to focus on getting more people to live in RVA proper, not providing subsidized entertainment to those who don't live here.

Schools and public housing are two things I really need to do more digging on.  

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I have to agree I like baliles so far. Might be a couple others have to get to know more about them first and what they plan on truly doing. I agree that we really need to get more economic development going on in this city by bringing in more companies to call downtown  home. We need more companies to just have a larger presence in the city just to get more revenue going cut the fat out of the budget and prioritize whatever needs to be done the most. I really wish there was a day the schools would turn it around its sad to see the schools crumble so much. My biggest concerns for the public would be to maintain our roads and streets better and replace them long  term instead of a small little patch on the road. Also schools really need to be prioritize. I know their has to be a way to cut out certain things to prioritize the schools and roads first. I really feel the money is  their it just needs to be prioritized and cut the fat out of things that don't have much of a use. I bet the city owns a ton of land they could sell off and ways they can consolidate certain public vehicles and public equiptment that can be consolidated into one space. I just know there has to be a way that you can trim down  enough expense to get the schools going again.

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12 hours ago, Downtowner said:

I bet the city owns a ton of land they could sell off and ways they can consolidate certain public vehicles and public equiptment that can be consolidated into one space. I just know there has to be a way that you can trim down  enough expense to get the schools going again.

Thankfully the city is working on relocating and consolidating a lot of facilities, hence the push to sell off and develop city land around the Diamond as they move facilities.

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I am a firm believer that the city administration needs to be cleaned up in a very big way and $millions of dollars can come out of this effort.  If you read the auditors reports (for example, just read the last few RPS audits) it is sickening how many financial controls are broken.  From procurement to hiring to benefits just everywhere.  Money is bleeding out the doors every day.  Here are the reports:

http://www.richmondgov.com/Auditor/reports.aspx

 

Another example of what I believe to be wasteful spending of large $$s is the recent news of the snow removal contracts.    The story was the City paid an outside vendor, Tys Hauling, $97,000 for 2 days of snow removal.  I have invoices the City paid Ty's over a 6 month period ( actually just a handful of days worked) that total almost $700,000.   If you look up Ty's, and do further research on the owner, the company seems to be doing very, very well.  For the invoices, it appears that every single time we used them, they charged us for 5-12 trucks working simultaneously and every time it was a full 12 hour shift, 8:00am to 8:00pm at a rate of usually $500 per hour for each truck, every hour.  The whole thing seems ludicrous to me.   We apparently use this company a lot and feed them tons and tons of taxpayer money.  How many of these "relationships" are out there?

 

Anyway, back on point, I think we need someone to clean up the mess and bring in new tax dollars.  With those two items we will be able to substantially increase school funding and not worry about wasting money by throwing it at a corrupt, dysfunctional, organization that is bent on stealing taxpayer dollars.  That is who I want for mayor.

 

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Posted (edited)

I don't live in the city so no dog in the fight anymore so to speak – I realize this administration has been frustrating to residents as important issues that overshadow our city internally don't get dealt with and are brought to our attention in hyper focus by the RTD. (short walk to city hall) I do feel that the current administration has been very pro-development - can't really remember a more substantial period of growth and wonder what will happen when some or all of the focus is pulled back.  I don’t know if Mayor Jones should get any credit, partial credit or no credit and maybe I’m wrong in my assessment, but I feel that during Mayor Jones tenure a heck of a lot of stuff has happened – a lot of which has never happened here before and I'm not sure why it hasn’t happened before – it could be that it was just Richmond’s time.  During his tenure, for better or worse, we got to talk about a lot of topics, the topics we love – growth, development and RVA pride.  There have been brand new schools built in the city, Oak Grove E.S., Broadrock E.S, Huguenot H.S., Redskins Park, UCI cycling championship, hotels re-branded, new hotels, old buildings converted to hotels, restaurants galore, apartments and more apartments, trees planted along city streets, bike paths completed to Williamsburg, Stone brewery, booming Scott's addition, almost a downtown ball park, new business high rises and more on the way, parking decks, many more living downtown and on and on.  Is all this going on despite this administration blundering along or was any of this due to a pro-development mentality that aided in the growth? Does anyone else feel that business and growth will get better or will it cool some?  

   

Edited by hikendesign
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5 hours ago, hikendesign said:

Does anyone else feel that business and growth will get better or will it cool some?

I think that entirely depends on population growth, demographics, and timing.

If you look at the RPS student population since 2010, it really hasn't changed despite the 7k increase in populations since then.  It's very obvious that currently population growth has come from empty nesters.  I think that is what has driven the apartments, breweries, etc.  

Development will continue if the city can continue to attract more childless residents until the school systems and neighborhoods look more attractive to families.  Once the latter happens, I think you'll see an even larger spike in development.

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12 hours ago, RiverYuppy said:

I think that entirely depends on population growth, demographics, and timing.

If you look at the RPS student population since 2010, it really hasn't changed despite the 7k increase in populations since then.  It's very obvious that currently population growth has come from empty nesters.  I think that is what has driven the apartments, breweries, etc.  

Development will continue if the city can continue to attract more childless residents until the school systems and neighborhoods look more attractive to families.  Once the latter happens, I think you'll see an even larger spike in development.

Empty nesters and young professionals...both without kids usually but I see many younger folks (20s) have their first kids in my neighborhood or move in with their new kids. I see lots of new kids in my neighborhood all the time (center of the Fan) - I can count 5-6 kids that will be new to Fox Elementary within a year or two just from my surrounding blocks.  Many of my kid's friends are from other city neighborhoods (Church Hill, Westover Hills, North Side most common) and the parents dedicate to making the effort to drive their kid to different school district which is a big dedication.   But for every new kid entering the system, there is a kid (or more) moving to a suburban school after Fox/Mumford.  Fox and Mumford are unique that way - the kids are less likely to carry on in the system as the parents decide to move to the counties instead of dedicating their children to the "next phase" of City schools.  I have a bunch of kids, have lived in the fan over 20 years, and have many similarly situated friends.  

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So we just had another Mayoral Candidate forum up in Church Hill yesterday. November is coming whether we like it or not haha. 

That being said, just to poll the group, what 2 or 3 major projects would you like to see the next mayor of Richmond pursue/tackle? (lets not include the obvious city services, schools, functioning balanced budget, just big builds or "fun" projects)

my top three would be;

1. Expand the Bio Tech Research Park (about a month or two ago a company from chesterfield moved to VA Beach due to lack of available facilities in the metro area)

2. Get a new Arena going (NBA allstar game just canceled on charlotte NC, imagine if we could have gotten it, plus I'm a hockey fan and a new arena would go a long way to getting a team)

3. Accelerate or just get going on more of the River Park System (Chapel Island is a huge eye sore from I95, Manchester side of the river needs some love)

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Posted (edited)

37 minutes ago, drayrichmond said:

So we just had another Mayoral Candidate forum up in Church Hill yesterday. November is coming whether we like it or not haha. 

That being said, just to poll the group, what 2 or 3 major projects would you like to see the next mayor of Richmond pursue/tackle? (lets not include the obvious city services, schools, functioning balanced budget, just big builds or "fun" projects)

my top three would be;

1. Expand the Bio Tech Research Park (about a month or two ago a company from chesterfield moved to VA Beach due to lack of available facilities in the metro area)

2. Get a new Arena going (NBA allstar game just canceled on charlotte NC, imagine if we could have gotten it, plus I'm a hockey fan and a new arena would go a long way to getting a team)

3. Accelerate or just get going on more of the River Park System (Chapel Island is a huge eye sore from I95, Manchester side of the river needs some love)

My top 3 things would be:

1. Work to expand on The Pulse and add other means of transportation( such as light rail, street cars or commuter rail to short pump, midlothian, Ashland, etc).

2. Work to draw more companies to downtown by lowering taxes to be competitive with surrounding counties (try to get capital one to move some operations downtown)

3. I agree that city officials really need to get going on replacing the coluseum. It is over 40 years old and is falling apart (went there the other day and the concrete was cracking and the the windows were actually boarded up!). A new coluseum could help stimulate tourism in downtown Richmond but until they get the ball rolling, we will be stuck with a crumbling arena that is outdated and undersized.

Edited by blopp1234
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Posted (edited)

My top 3

  1. Schools.  Richmond is going to stagnate if we can't convince people who live here to stay here after they have kids
    More non-car transportation would be a huge want.  More bike lanes and making sure the Broad Street corridor stays conducive to using the Pulse.  That means enforcing that new construction does not have parking out front or large setbacks.  Also perhaps consider increasing street parking prices near stops to make it more expensive to drive than take the bus.
  2. Public housing.  Working with RRHA to expedite the move towards mixed-income housing, opening up more parts of Richmond to possible redevelopment.  
  3. South Richmond.  Help make South Richmond more desirable for middle-class families (which will also help schools).

Ultimately it comes down to getting the population and median income up in RVA.  More people bring more demand and businesses can handle that part on their own.

If you want places like Capital One to move downtown, make the people who can influence that decision want to live (near) downtown.

 

 

Edited by RiverYuppy
Noticed I wasn't supposed to include schools

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1 hour ago, drayrichmond said:

3. Accelerate or just get going on more of the River Park System (Chapel Island is a huge eye sore from I95, Manchester side of the river needs some love)

Hopefully the Chapel Island portion will happen sooner than later (especially since I have to look at it now from my window): http://www.richmondgov.com/planninganddevelopmentreview/riverfrontplan.aspx

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If school populations aren't growing, I find it hard to justify throwing more money that way. I feel like we already spend a pretty good amount per pupil. It's going to take a lot of internal improvements and time before parents feel comfortable keeping their middle school and up aged kids in the RPS system.

1.) Improve public services/maintenance. We don't do a good job of keeping up with what should be routine things such as mowing, mulching, street sweeping, sidewalk maintenance, and City code enforcement in regards to property upkeep... and it shows. The government needs to take pride in its City if they want residents to do the same. Along the same lines, improve the efficiency/culture of City administration.

2.) A lot of wasted potential on Commerce Street. We need to improve the infrastructure (road/sidewalks, lighting, streetscape improvements), bring in fiber, and encourage new businesses to open there and revitalize that under-utilized corridor. It may be possible to get the State to build another, much-needed exit to access that area somewhere between the Maury Street and Bell's Rd exits.

3.) I liked RiverYuppy's comment about public housing. The concentrated pockets of poverty need to be broken up. In the long-term it will save the City money by lowering crime rates and will ideally improve the chances of residents receiving better education and opportunities to get jobs.

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3 hours ago, Icetera said:

Hopefully the Chapel Island portion will happen sooner than later (especially since I have to look at it now from my window): http://www.richmondgov.com/planninganddevelopmentreview/riverfrontplan.aspx

Yeah I stare at that massive concrete block on the island from my place too.

Also guys, I was trying to say list some of the more fun/big projects around the city, that's why I said not things like schools, basic services, etc.....

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Ok, I figured I would make a list that is more fun.

1. Sell Monroe Park to VCU and have them revitalize it.  It could be an amazing park and VCU would throw over $6m at it.

2. Add a prodigious structure on Mayo Island.

3. Bike lanes.  Bike lanes everywhere.  Also a bike lift for some of those hills downtown for when I'm going to the bars and don't want to be all sweaty.  Here is an example in Norway

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1 hour ago, RiverYuppy said:

Ok, I figured I would make a list that is more fun.

1. Sell Monroe Park to VCU and have them revitalize it.  It could be an amazing park and VCU would throw over $6m at it.

2. Add a prodigious structure on Mayo Island.

3. Bike lanes.  Bike lanes everywhere.  Also a bike lift for some of those hills downtown for when I'm going to the bars and don't want to be all sweaty.  Here is an example in Norway

I did not know bike lifts were a thing, that is really cool! What kind of prodigious structure on Mayo were you thinking?

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Posted (edited)

My wishlist:

1.  Extend olive branches to Henrico and Chesterfield in the name of regional cooperation.  The future of the area depends on the various polities acting together, not as rivals.  I'm convinced that Charlotte's willingness to do this helped propel them to their current status.

2.  New arena (would love to see the ACC Tournament in RVA)

3.  Comprehensive metro-wide bicycle, trail, and blue-way network.  Make RVA a true multi modal metro area.  I'd like to see a Commonwealth wide bicycle network too.  Imagine a network, on par with the Capital Trail, crisscrossing Virginia.

Edited by Wahoo 07
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14 hours ago, RiverYuppy said:

 

3. Bike lanes.  Bike lanes everywhere.  Also a bike lift for some of those hills downtown for when I'm going to the bars and don't want to be all sweaty.  Here is an example in Norway

The bike-share bikes that are being located downtown and in the bottom are going to be battery-assist, which is probably a lot better idea.  

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Not exactly the current Mayoral election but relevant.  If the democrats win the election in November, it’s not hard to conceive that Richmond resident, ex-mayor, ex-governor & current Senator Tim Kaine as Vice President could also mean great things for Richmond.  It may easily mean the difference between continued interest and funding for high-speed rail to RVA and a host of other federal projects that continue moving Richmond in its upward trajectory. Money flows through the other side of government but feel this position has an upside for RVA.

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1 hour ago, hikendesign said:

Not exactly the current Mayoral election but relevant.  If the democrats win the election in November, it’s not hard to conceive that Richmond resident, ex-mayor, ex-governor & current Senator Tim Kaine as Vice President could also mean great things for Richmond.  It may easily mean the difference between continued interest and funding for high-speed rail to RVA and a host of other federal projects that continue moving Richmond in its upward trajectory. Money flows through the other side of government but feel this position has an upside for RVA.

 

I've thought about that too, even money and projects aside it's putting Richmond on peoples radar

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