Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Broad Rock Library to Close for Renovations

Broad Rock Branch Library located at 4820 Warwick Road is closing on Saturday, December 10, to allow for substantial renovations. The library will be closed for about seven months, with an expected reopening in July 2012.

Library patrons are encouraged to use Hull Street and Westover Hills Libraries while Broad Rock is closed. Beginning January 3, 2012, Hull Street Library will extend its hours to help accommodate Broad Rock customers. The Homework Help program and the GED classes held at Broad Rock will be moved to Hull Street Library.

Mayor Dwight C. Jones first announced the library renovations in March 2009 during his biennial budget proposal to City Council. More than $9 million, over the term of the project, has been set aside to complete renovations to all City libraries. Renovations to the North Avenue Library and Westover Hills Library were completed in 2010 and renovations to Hull Street Library and Belmont Library were completed earlier this year. Renovation funding is being provided through the “Building a Better Richmond” fund of the city’s Capital Improvement Plan.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Richmond Retirement System Receives Public Pension Standards Award

The Public Pension Coordinating Council has awarded the 2011Public Pension Standards Award For Funding and Administration to the City of Richmond Retirement System. The award is presented in recognition of the system meeting the professional standards for plan funding and administration as set forth in the Public Pension Standards. This is the second consecutive year the award has been bestowed upon the Richmond Retirement System.

“On behalf of the system’s staff, we are extremely pleased to have received this national and prominent award for the second consecutive year and will prominently display the certificate in our 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, said Richmond Retirement System Executive Director Phillip R. Langham. “The dedication of the system’s staff is relentless in its pursuit of excellence in all that we do in support of those who govern the system and the members we serve in the city’s Retirement Plans.”

The Public Pension Coordinating Council is a confederation of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems, and National Council on Teacher Retirement.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Richmond’s Mobile Website – Making City government more transparent

The City of Richmond has launched a mobile website ( to provide residents a quick and easy way to get to information and online services on smartphones . This mobile website is a condensed version of the City of Richmond website ( and is designed to display information on small screen smart phones such as iPhone, Android and Blackberry Bold.

Based on a review conducted on City’s website traffic, the most popular information and online services have been identified and this popular content has become part of the mobile website.

The mobile website offers real time information on traffic conditions in the Richmond metro area; access to latest City news and events, information regarding refuse collection, utility payment, personal property taxes, business licenses, bids and proposals and the MPACT program. Updates from the Mayor’s Office and City Council have also been included. Additionally, Richmond visitors can use the site to obtain information about cultural venues, museums, landmarks, family fun and tours.

The City plans to actively add new information to this website in order to provide residents access to valuable information and services - anywhere, any time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

City Names Director of Planning and Development Review

Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced Mark Olinger as the City’s new director of Planning and Development Review today. He will begin City service on Monday, September 12, 2011. Olinger will replace Viktoria Badger, transportation policy manager for the Department of Economic & Community Development, who has served as interim director of the department since March of this year.

Mayor Jones stated, "Mark's experiences and background align well with our focus of fostering unique, healthy and inclusive neighborhoods through strategies that encourage mixed-income housing, mixed-use development, and also facilitate creative efforts to make Richmond's communities more pedestrian-friendly. I am pleased that he has joined our team, and believe he will be an invaluable asset for this Administration and the broader city."

Olinger’s urban planning experience includes urban design, affordable housing, neighborhood and commercial district repositioning and revitalization with an emphasis on project implementation. For the past twelve years, he served as the director of planning and community and economic development and two years as the principal planner for the city of Madison, Wisconsin. As director, he oversaw the activities of 175 employees in the divisions of economic development, building inspection, planning, community development and housing operations. Olinger also served as the Executive Director of the Community Development Authority, overseeing the public housing and Section 8 programs for the city, and the city’s other redevelopment functions. Earlier in his career, he served as a senior planner in Dayton, Ohio, where he was responsible for transforming a once largely abandoned neighborhood, now known as Wright-Dunbar Village, into a model for neighborhood revitalization and rebirth, and a 2004 winner of an American Planning Association HUD Secretary Award.

Olinger earned his Bachelor of Art in Metropolitan Studies from New York University and a Master of Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati. He is a member of the American Planning Association, Technology for Urban Planning, and the Urban Land Institute.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mayor's Youth Academy Culminating Event 2011

The Mayor's Youth Academy held its 2011 Culmination Event Friday, August 12, 2011 at Dogwood Dell where more than 400 youth ages 14 to 19 participated. This is the second year of the Mayor's Youth Academy, which is a citywide program that draws upon the expertise and resources of leaders in government, business, faith-based, and non-profit sectors to develop Richmond's future workforce.

The Mayor's Youth Academy consists of four components; Summer Works Initiative, Life Stages, Youth Gardeners, and Counselors in Training. The City of Richmond wants to continue to invest in our youth to teach them to be positive citizens in the community and to strive for excellence.

View the video from the 2011 Mayor's Youth Academy Culmination Event to see all of the hard work and dedication of our future leaders.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Coordinator Named

~Action is key recommendation of Mayor's Commission~

The City of Richmond has named Jakob C. Helmboldt as its first Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Coordinator, effective Monday, August 15, 2011. The new position was a key recommendation that grew out of the Mayor's Pedestrian, Bicycling and Trails Planning Commission report. Mayor Jones established the Commission in May of 2010 to give advice on ways to incorporate bicycling and walking as viable methods of transportation in the city.

Helmboldt most recently served as Program Manager for Vanasse Hangen Brustlin of Richmond, Virginia, where he was responsible for managing bicycle and pedestrian projects ranging from development of safety materials for federal agencies, to design of facilities. He also served as the technical expert on a project for the Federal Highway Administration regarding non-motorized transportation safety. Helmboldt previously served as statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

"I'm pleased that we've been able to act on this priority recommendation of the Commission," said Mayor Jones. "We are about to launch a Healthy Richmond Campaign and Jakob's role is going to be central to much of what we do as the benefits of physical activity to reducing obesity and to increasing the health of our city are clear. Also, a well-publicized and effective system of pedestrian and bicycle trails and shared space can be a great selling point for economic and community development and tourism."

The City's new Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Trails Program has the goal of making Richmond one of the most bicycle and pedestrian-friendly cities in the country. Helmboldt's duties will include coordinating with various City departments to implement the recommendations of the Pedestrian, Bicycling and Trails Planning Commission, in complement to the City's Downtown Master Plan regarding bicycling and pedestrian improvements and programs, and with future Strategic Multimodal Transportation Plans. Helmboldt will lead a cross-functional team of individuals from the Department of Public Works, the Department of Planning and Development Review and other City departments to track the scope, design and budget for bicycle and pedestrian projects and build City staff capacity for developing the non-motorized transportation infrastructure citywide. He will also assist in securing grant funding and leveraging additional resources to accomplish City bicycle/pedestrian initiatives.

Mr. Helmboldt possesses a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning. The position reports directly to the Chief Administrative Officer and the Deputy Chief Administrative Office for Human Services.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mayor Jones Calls for Shared Sacrifice and Compromise On Federal Debt Ceiling

~Cites city poverty and economic vulnerability concerns~

Mayor Dwight C. Jones issued the following statement today:

After listening to President Obama last night, I am compelled to speak out about the need for Congress to move forward responsibly on issues of great economic impact – addressing the debt crisis and the Federal budget.

“It might be interesting to sit back and watch the partisan wars in Washington, if the stakes were not so high. And, the stakes are high – for the world economy, for the stability of the U.S. markets, and for our state and local governments. Virginia is a state with a AAA bond rating – something that the City of Richmond has been working hard to attain. Just recently, Moody’s warned that it may have to review Virginia’s rating in light of the instability in the U.S. economy. In fact, the U.S. government’s AAA bond rating could be downgraded. All of this troubles me greatly, and it has the same effect on my colleagues at both the state and local levels.

“We know we are in fragile economic times. With our focus on reducing poverty in our city, we are intently aware that a dip in the national economy could swing us downward again in the numbers of those without jobs and needing assistance.

“We cannot afford to have our leaders in Congress play “chicken” with the economic stability of our people. We cannot abide having the sword of Damocles hang over us, making people worry about their financial future. We do not need to have the threat of a harsh recession looming in our short-term future.

“At the same time, we need to make sure that Congress solves their budget problems with acceptable solutions. Middle-class people and senior citizens cannot bear all the burden of higher costs or fewer services.

“Separate from, but related to the budget crisis is the recent problem facing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). With the stalled extension of the budget authorization for the FAA, we are seeing furloughs of 4,000 employees and delays in construction projects. While air traffic control continues, the construction projects that improve our national aviation systems are held up, and the ripple effects will be felt across the country. For Richmond International Airport, this could slow down grants we are slated to receive for a $12.8 million airport parking project. This will also slow the reimbursements for $10 million of airfield electrical project and taxiway work. Congress needs to pass an FAA extension bill now.

“I echo President Obama and Governor Bob McDonnell when I encourage the Virginia delegation to take the lead in finding solutions and I applaud the bi-partisan efforts of Senator Mark Warner. I'm concerned for our city, our state, and our country. This is not a Democrat or Republican problem, this is everyone's problem.”

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mayor Jones' Breastfeeding Commission

Mayor Dwight C. Jones

Breastfeeding Commission

Stephanie Ferguson PhD | Co-Chair, Mayor’s Breastfeeding Commission

Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University

Doris Moseley, MSM | Co-Chair, Mayor’s Breastfeeding Commission

Director, Department of Social Services

Health Care

Amy Turner | Community Ed and Outreach Director, Bon Secours Virginia

Stephanie Ferguson PhD | Co-Chair, Mayor’s Breastfeeding Commission

Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University

Valerie Coleman RN | Lactation Specialist

Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems

Susie Dunton, RN | Lactation Specialist, Chippenham Hospital

Alice Freeman CNC | Healthy Heart Plus II, Inc.

Basmah Karriem | This is Your Birth, Birth Doula

Leslie Lytle | OmMamma – Yoga for Childbearing Years

Joyce Branch | Birth Doula, The Rejuvenation Space

Vernessa Holmes | WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator and Nutritionist

Richmond City Health District

Angela D. Davis | Division Director, March of Dimes

Brian Gullins | Program Coordinator, Richmond Family and Fatherhood Initiative

Richmond City Health District

Saba Masho, MD | Department of Epidemiology and Community Health

School of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University

Tracy Causey | CEO, Capital Area Health Network

Carolina Lugo | La Leche League

Adrienne Uphoff, AAPL | La Leche League, Skyline Lactation Care

Norma Ryan | Outreach Worker

CHIP of Greater Richmond, a program of Family Lifeline

Lisa H. Akers, MS | State Breastfeeding Coordinator, Virginia Department of Health

Division of WIC & Community Nutrition Services

Martina J. Smith | Post Partum Doula

Laurinda Finn-Davis, RN | Nursing Supervisor

Richmond City Health District

Carol Williams, MD | Pediatrician

Vicki Lovings, MD | Pediatrician

Karen Jefferson, MD | OB/GYN

Sulola Adekoya, MD | OB/GYN, Director of Clinical Services, Richmond City Health District

Gauri Gulati, MD | Pediatrician/Lactation Consultant, Director of Pediatric Residency

Virginia Commonwealth University Health Systems

Business Community

George Peyton | Vice President Government Relations

Retail Merchants Association of Greater Richmond

LaJune D. Fowlkes | Health Educator/Community Relations Liaison

VA Premier Health Plan, Inc.

Lynn Vogel | Program Manager Field Operations

Anthem HealthKeepers Plus

Mr. Chris Bennett | Member Services and Accounting Manager

Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce

Ms. Guenet M. Beshah | Executive Coach, Capital One

Ms. Freda Thornton | President, FWL & Sons McDonalds


Carolyn N. Graham, Med. | Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Human Services

City of Richmond

Carol Stanley, DMAS | Quality Improvement Analyst

Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Service, Division of Health Care Services

Ashley Barton, LCSW | Division of Maternal and Child Health

Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services

Theresa Sirles | System Operations Analyst I, Department of Justice Services

City of Richmond

Stormy Noland | Breastfeeding Mother, Department of Social Services

Gurdeep Bhatia | IT Manager, City of Richmond

Valena A. Dixon | Vice President, Community Relations and Marketing

Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority


Reverend Deborah Simmons | Director of Women Ministry, Baptist General Convention

Ms Cherry Peters | Interim Executive Director, Friends Association for Children

Rachel Watson | Breastfeeding Mother

Mrs. Shawna Manning

Cecilia Barbosa | Principal, cBe Consulting

Mrs. Anoa M. Marshall

Melanie Headley | Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Birth Educator

Laneka Austin | WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor

Monica Tinsley | WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor

Members at Large

Teri Brown, RN | Richmond City Health District

Kathryn Suyes, RN | Public Health Nurse, Richmond City Health District

Lydia English | Outreach Worker, Project Connect – FAMIS

Bon Secours Richmond Health System

City of Richmond Staff

Tesha Davis | Marketing & PR Manager, Parks, Recreation and Facilities Management

Rose Stith Singleton, MEd | Project Director, Richmond Healthy Start Initiative

Department of Social Services

Carol Jackson, MPA | Clinical Coordinator, Richmond Healthy Start Initiative

Carla Childs, MURP | Project Management Analyst, Department of Human Services

Sadie Johnson | Outreach Case Manager, Richmond Healthy Start Initiative

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tourism Coordinator Selected to Enhance City's Tourism Efforts

The City’s Chief Administrative Officer Byron Marshall today announced that Anedra Bourne has been selected as the Business Management Officer – Tourism Coordinator for the City’s Department of Economic and Community Development. Bourne will begin her new position on July 18, 2011.

“Along with the recent hire of new Economic Development Director Lee Downey, Anedra’s talents as tourism coordinator will bolster the Mayor’s strategy for a Richmond centric approach to marketing by creating energy for tourism in our city,” said Marshall. “She will work with a diverse group that includes civic, public, and private stakeholders to lead the implementation of recommendations that will emerge from the Mayor’s Tourism Commission.

Most recently, Bourne served as the director of marketing and public relations for the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar, where she was instrumental in the museum's grand opening in 2006 as well as the center's recent designation as the "Gateway to the Civil War." She has continued to develop industry relationships including her work with the Future of Richmond's Past, where she serves as a part-time program manager and will continue doing so while in city employment. Bourne has more than 15 years experience in the travel and tourism industry as she also served as national and international public relations manager for the Virginia Tourism Corporation as well as communications manager and public relations liaison for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau.

Jack Berry, President and CEO of Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau said, “Throughout her tenure with the Virginia Tourism Corporation and during her time with the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar, Anedra has been an enthusiastic and highly effective marketing partner. I look forward to working with her in her new capacity as Richmond's Tourism Coordinator, as we strive to attract visitors to the Region, and ensure they have a great experience while they're here.”

“The City of Richmond scored a coup in hiring Anedra Bourne as the new Tourism Coordinator,” said Alisa L. Bailey, President and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. “Anedra is a highly respected tourism professional with a talent for vision and consensus building. She will take Richmond’s tourism goals to new heights.”

“Anedra is the perfect person to coordinate the efforts of the city and attractions to enhance the visitor’s experience,” said Jack Berry, Executive Director of Venture Richmond. “Her abilities were evident in April of this year, as she aided in achieving record attendance for the Civil War and Emancipation Day. We look forward to working with her in this new capacity of increasing visitation to the city of Richmond and ensuring visitors experience all of the wonderful assets our city has to offer."

Bourne earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hampton University. Her community service and professional affiliations include the Junior League of Richmond and the Public Relations Society of America, Richmond Chapter, where she also served on the national board for the Travel and Tourism section.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mayor’s Vision to “Build A Better Richmond” Continues through Volunteerism

Mayor Dwight C. Jones created the Neighbor-to-Neighbor initiative to encourage volunteerism as a method of improving the quality of life for City of Richmond residents. Neighbor-to-Neighbor provides meaningful volunteer opportunities to help develop and strengthen the relationships between city residents. As the city continues to improve its economic development, the Mayor would like to increase the focus on collaborative-based civic engagement and volunteerism.

Neighbor-to-Neighbor is proud to work in securing volunteers for this summer Meals on Wheels Serving Central Virginia as they are seeking volunteers to serve as Meal Delivery Drivers and Community Kitchen Volunteers for their Willow Lawn distribution site and South Richmond locations.

Hours of operation are from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. Community Kitchen volunteers are needed to work mornings 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and afternoons 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Summer Feeding Program needs volunteers to help package meals for children who are out of school.

Please visit,
The Neighbor to Neighbor Initiative for more information and to register for the Meals on Wheels volunteer opportunity and view other N2N volunteer opportunities.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

City to Kickoff 55th Annual Festival of Arts on June 10

Mayor Dwight C. Jones and the City of Richmond will kick off the 55th annual Festival of the Arts on Friday, June 10, at 8 p.m. on the Dogwood Dell stage with the Upper East Side Big Band. The festival features 30 evenings of outdoor family entertainment at Dogwood Dell throughout out the summer that are free to attend.

Other highlights of the annual summer festival include a Gospel Music Fest on Sunday, July 10, from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., a Latin Jazz and Salsa Festival on Saturday, July 23, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., and a special tribute to local musician Page Wilson on Sunday, July 17, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. that will feature Terry Garland and Lil’ Ronnie, Wilson’s band Reckless Abandon, and the Janet Martin Band performing rock,

blues and Americana music.

55th Annual Festival of Arts on June 10 Full Schedule

In addition to a wide variety of musical entertainment, the festival also brings dance, movies, and theater to the Dell, as well as an entire lineup of morning and afternoon entertainment especially for young audiences on the Ha’Penny Stage, which is adjacent to the Dell.

Families are encouraged to bring picnics and blankets to performances, however no alcohol or pets are allowed. The outdoor amphitheatre is located in Byrd Park at 1300 Blanton Avenue, which is just north of the Boulevard Bridge.

For more information, call 646-DELL or visit our website.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mayor Jones Request Community Feedback for City’s Sustainability Plan

Mayor Jones is continuing his “green” efforts to help build Richmond a sustainable future. The Mayor will be hosting a community meeting, Thursday June 9, 2011, at Carillon Tower in Byrd Park, 1300 Blanton Avenue, from 6 to 8 p.m. All residents are strongly encouraged to attend.

The City of Richmond will present work done to date on the Richmond Sustainability Plan and welcomes community feedback to assist in the next steps in the development of the plan. The plan focuses on economic development, environment, energy, transportation, open space and land use.

Registration for this event begins at 5 p.m. on June 9, and light refreshments will be available.

For more information on the City’s Sustainability Plan, please click here or email:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Richmond African Burial Ground Restoration to Begin

WHO: Mayor Dwight C. Jones, City of Richmond

WHAT: Removal of the asphalt from the Richmond African Burial Ground

WHEN: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Richmond African Burial Ground at
1554 East Broad Street


Earlier this month, Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced that three contractors have joined forces to donate services to the city of Richmond for the removal of the asphalt and gravel from Richmond's African Burial Ground. The city will officially take possession of the site on Monday, May 23, 2011. This event will mark the beginning of the asphalt and gravel removal from the 3.4-acre site. The asphalt and gravel that is presently covering the Burial Ground and use of the area as a parking lot has met with much public dissension over the last several years.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mayor Jones Announces Gift to City for African Burial Ground Asphalt and Gravel Removal

Mayor Dwight C. Jones today announced that three contractors have joined forces to donate services to the City for the removal of the asphalt and gravel from Richmond's African Burial Ground.

J. E. Liesfeld Contractor, Inc., Dwight Snead Construction Company, and Ty's Hauling and Paving, Inc., have joined together to gift to the City the removal of the asphalt and gravel from the Burial Ground. The gift from the contractors represents $123,000 worth of work and is expected to commence later this month.

“It is extremely generous of these contractors to want to take this step to support the city’s effort to honor and preserve Richmond's African Burial Ground,” said Mayor Jones. “I want to thank the NAACP for its efforts and in particular Joe Liesfeld for his role in bringing these contractors together for this project and I am recommending that Richmond City Council approve the acceptance of this gift.”

The 3.4-acre parcel, currently owned by Virginia Commonwealth University, is being purchased by the state and is to be donated to the city of Richmond.

“Removal of the asphalt and gravel from Richmond's African Burial Ground is an important and long overdue step,” said King Salim Khalfani. "The NAACP is pleased to have played a part in ensuring that the City receives this property and that improvements are made.”

The Richmond Slave Trail Commission and the City in recent weeks unveiled historic markers along the route of the slave trail, which includes the Burial Ground. The trail spans from the Manchester Docks at the James River port to the notorious Lumpkin’s Slave Jail. The asphalt and gravel that is presently covering the Burial Ground and use of the area as a parking lot has met with much public dissension over the last several years.

“I really wanted to be a part of preserving this site and making it available to the public for viewing and reflection,” said Joe Liesfeld of J.E. Liesfeld Contractor, Inc. of Rockville, Virginia. "It is my privilege to offer the services of my company for this important endeavor." J.E. Liesfeld will be removing the gravel from the site.

“It’s important that Richmond reclaim this history and I’m pleased to be able to make this contribution to the effort,” said Dwight Snead, Sr., of Dwight Snead Construction Company of Richmond, Virginia. His company will be providing hauling services and helping with disposal of the gravel.

“I’m honored to make this contribution to the city and to be a part of this contracting team that is facilitating the improvement of this important historical site,” said Malcolm Thomas of Ty's Hauling and Paving, Inc, of Richmond, Virginia. Ty's Hauling and Paving will remove the asphalt and haul and dispose of the asphalt properly.

An ordinance is required to go before Richmond City Council authorizing acceptance of the gift to the City. The paper is expected to be submitted at the May 9th meeting of City Council and voted on at the May 23rd meeting.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Coliseum Study Group Provides Reports on Coliseum Study

The Coliseum Study Group has provided a report on their evaluation of the long-term options surrounding the Coliseum and the Greater Richmond area. Links to the three volume report are available below:




The Coliseum Study Group, which consists of private corporations and public sector entities, retained an experienced sports facility consulting team made up of Barrett Sports group, LLC, Populous Architects, P.C. and Weston Sports & Entertainment. The consulting team provided a report on 1) Market and Financial Feasibility; 2) Preferred Site and Arena Characteristics; and 3) Construction Cost Estimates.

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