Monday, April 10th marked Mayor Levar Stoney’s 100th day in office after being sworn in on New Year’s Eve. Just over three months later, the mayor’s office has released highlights of his accomplishments thus far.
Stoney’s time in office has contrasted with his predecessor Dwight Jones most strikingly when it comes to the number of public appearances made–almost 100, or one per day. Stoney has visited a third of Richmond Public Schools–with a pledge to visit all of them–and numerous public safety facilities. He has also participated in community walks and/or held community meetings in most of the city’s nine districts.
The mayor also launched an independent performance review of every city department in an effort to “make City Hall work again” and fired several high-ranking city leaders in an effort to bring about change, including the head of the Department of Public Works, the Fire Chief, the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of Human Services, and the Department of Human Resources director.
Still, the office’s personnel appointments haven’t been without controversy. Aide Steven Hammond, Jr., convicted of embezzling more than $240,000 in a past position, was hired by Stoney–giving him what he described as a second chance. Hammond offered his resignation in February after it was revealed he violated his probation by sending the mother of his children a series of threatening text messages.
Despite forward motion, Richmond is still dogged by problems including schools in disrepair (which Stoney’s office has pledged to address with the forthcoming budget) and a spike in recent violent crime.
Stoney’s next major effort will be finalizing a balanced city budget totaling $681 million, a draft of which is due to City Council today.
“It’s been a great 100 days,” said Mayor Stoney in a news release. “I want to thank the community for all of its support. The best is yet to come.”
City-released highlights of Stoney’s first 100 days:
- Fix City Hall / Departmental performance:
Initiated a 100-Day performance review by the Performance Management Group to find out what works and what needs improvement in City Hall. Took swift action to change leadership of several departments.
- Education Compact:
Unanimous adoption by School Board and Council to work toward multi-agency, intergovernmental compact to address needs of the whole child.
More than 100 public appearances, including schools, police and fire stations, community walks and meetings in every district.
- Public Safety:
Police Department is establishing a public housing unit. Trained more than 450 residents in use of force training. Three new fire engines were commissioned.
- Public Works:
Prioritized residential streets in addition to primary roads during January snow storm and plowed 80% of streets within 24 hours. More than 4,500 potholes filled since January.
- Welcoming City:
Issued Mayoral Directive reaffirming policies of inclusion. Among them: police will not inquire about immigration status and will not enter into 287(g) agreements with federal Immigrations Customs Enforcement. Joined Welcoming America and list of Welcoming Cities. Signed Mayor’s Against LGBT Discrimination national pledge.
- Economic Development:
Nearly 700 new jobs brought to Richmond, including fortune 500 company Owens & Minor, Inc. to downtown Richmond, and the expansion of TemperPack in South Richmond.
- Regional Leadership:
The Mayor accepted the role as co-chairman of the Capital Region Collaborative and has met multiple times with leaders in Hanover, Henrico and Chesterfield.
Took important steps to remaking our Transit network to connect city workers to where jobs are located – and to get residents to their jobs faster – without any fare or tax increase.
A balanced $681 million budget that does not raise taxes, including a record $6.1 million increased investment for schools, plus $1.3 million for police, $1 million for fire and $500,000 for community wealth building. One-time surplus money dedicated to finishing emergency communications system, repairing an estimated 1,300 alleys and getting a head start on grass cutting.
- Finance and Administration:
The 2016 CAFR to be completed by the end of April. City is on schedule to complete the 2017 CAFR on time. Successful visit to New York bond rating agencies to preserve current rating, which produced a positive report from Fitch Ratings to affirm City is on track for AAA rating.
- Richmond Animal Care & Control:
Achieved an 89% save rate in 2016 and since January has already taken in and cared for 698 animals with a 92% save rate in 2017.
Shootings on July 3rd and Early July 4th Result in a Death and Six Injuries
Two separate unrelated incidents occurred. One at City Dogs in the Fan and another near Cyber Café on Broad Street.
West Main Street Death Investigation
Sunday, July 3, at approximately 10:26 p.m., officers were called to the 1300 block of West Main Street for the report of random gunfire. RPD officers responded and located an adult male with an apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.
Anyone with information about this death investigation is asked to contact
Major Crimes Detective A. Coates at (804)-646-0729 or Crime Stoppers at
(804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.
This RVA/Reddit thread has some unconfirmed details and first-hand reports on the City Dogs shooting.
Update July 5th:
Arrest Made, Victim Identified in West Main Street Homicide and Aggravated Assaults
The Richmond Police Department has charged the suspect in yesterday’s shootings on West Main Street. Derrick Adjei, 24, of Alexandria, Virginia, was taken into custody by Virginia State Police last night at approximately 11:01 p.m. after the vehicle Adjei had been operating was involved in a single vehicle collision on northbound I-95.
RPD detectives, investigating the West Main Street shooting, have charged Adjei with malicious wounding. Other charges are pending. A booking photo of Adjei is not yet available.
Detectives have identified the victim of the shooting as Kyle Stoner, 36, of Richmond. Sunday at approximately 10:28 p.m., officers were called to the 1300 block of West Main Street for the report of a shooting. RPD officers responded and located an adult male, Stoner, on a patio of a business, down and unresponsive suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.
An adult female and an adult male were also injured during the incident and have received treatment for injuries that were not considered life threatening.
Anyone with further information about this incident is asked to contact Major Crimes Detective A. Coates at (804)-646-0729 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.
West Broad Street Shooting
At approximately 3:39 a.m., Richmond Police officers responded to the report of random gunfire in the 00 block of West Broad Street. Six people were reported shot near the Cyber Café, an after-hours club including four adult males and two adult females.
Of the six who sustained gunshot wounds, two are considered life-threatening and four non-life threatening. One man was transported by ambulance, others were self-transported to the hospital for treatment.
There is no public threat at this time.
Anyone with information about this shooting investigation is asked to call Detective Reyes at (804) 646-3874 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.
LaDiff Now Open on Southside
Sit down, we’ve got furniture news.
LaDiff the hip furniture store left Shockoe Bottom for the sweet, sweet Southside. Now after 8 months their new location is open. They’re calling it an extremely soft opening so walls are still getting painted, product being placed, and outdoor furniture won’t be available until next spring.
You can get all the details on their website.
Attention River Lovers Huguenot Flatwater Work Day on Saturday
The universal access ramp is done at Huguenot Flatwater but there is still some finishing touches that need to be made to the are.
Needs plans for your Saturday? Come help out your local park system at the JROC project! We need LOTS of hands to prep the grounds at Huguenot Flatwater for the opening of the new universal access ramp!
We’ll be digging out and painting parking blocks, clearing debris, and opening up the area around the ramp. There’s more work to be done at the Western Overlook if we have enough help.
Meet at 9:00AM this Sat. 6/18 at Huguenot Flatwater in the James River Park System.