Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mayor Jones Holds Second Town Hall Meeting on Northside

Mayor Dwight Jones' Town Hall Meeting - Oct. 29, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Vote for the Other Guy

The Richmond City Council Reporter & Telegraph is proud to announce our 2009 Candidate Selections for the November 3, 2009 Election.

For Virginia Governor: Creigh Deeds

For Virginia Lt. Governor: Jody Wagner

For Virginia Attorney General: Steve Shannon

House of Delegates

55th District, Part of Hanover: Robert Barnette

56th District, Goochland, Louisa, and Henrico: James Towey

65th District, Part of Chesterfield: Gary Reinhardt

70th District, Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield: Delores McQuinn

71st District, Richmond and Henrico: Silver Persinger

73rd District, Henrico and Richmond: Tom Shields

74th District, Charles City, Henrico, Prince George, Hopewell and Richmond: Joe Morrissey

We are supporting the above candidates though we are not truly happy with any of them. We desire better candidates, different canidates, and more candidate choices. We are simply picking among some of the available candidates running.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Scandal Rocks Richmond City Council - Marty Jewell Arrested for DUI

Less than an hour ago, from Richmond Police Department:

> Date: October 24, 2009 11:57:10 AM EDT
> Subject: 102409 Jewell Arrest DW.doc
> Attached is information about the arrest of Councilman Marty Jewell.
> Thank you for your attention.
> Dionne Waugh
> Public Affairs Unit
> Richmond Police Department.

E-mail Advisory 10/24/09

Richmond Police Department

Jewell Arrest

This morning at approximately 1:30 a.m., Richmond Police arrested Councilman Marty Jewell for Driving Under the Influence. The arrest was made near Byrd Park. Because this case will be heard in court, no details related to this incident will be disseminated to the media.

The Richmond Police Department has increased the total number of DUI arrests over the past couple of years. In 2006, there were 410 arrests for for DUI.

Last year there were 653 DUI arrests and this year to date there have been 609 DUI arrests. Along with enforcement, the Department has developed numerous awareness campaigns as well to deter drunk driving.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

WCVE 88.9 Candidate Forum - Richmond Area House of Delegates Candidates

WCVE 88.9 Candidate Forum - Oct. 22, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

Above, you can watch the entire forum.

On Thursday, October 22, 2009, WCVE hosted a live radio candidate forum. The forum was organized by League of Women Voters, Partnership for Housing Affordability, Leadership Metro Richmond, Richmond First Club, and WCVE. The forum began at 7:06 PM and lasted a little over an hour. The first five minutes of this video is an hourly news updated from NPR News, I left it in there because I thought it would be interesting to hear again in future years to give a flavor of the day's news.

Below, view select clips by individual districts.

55th District - John Cox [Republican] and Robert Barnette [Democrat]

56th District - James Towey [Democrat] and Bill Janis [Republican] - Not Present

65th District - Gary Reinhardt [Independent] and Lee Ware [Republican] - Not Present

68th District - Bill Grogan [Independent] and Manoli Loupassi [Republican] - Not Present

69th District - L. Shirley Harvey [Independent]; Betsy Carr [Democrat] - Not Present; Ernesto Sampson [Republican] - Not Present

70th District - Delores McQuinn [Democrat] and Henry Otis Brown [Independent] - Not Present

71st District - Jennifer McClellan [Democrat] and Silver Persinger [Independent]

73rd District - John O'Bannon [Republican] and Tom Shields [Democrat]

74th District - Joe Morrissey [Democrat] and Michael Gage [Republican]

Governmental Operations Committee Meeting - Oct. 22, 2009

Governmental Operations Committee - Oct. 22, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Health, Human Services & Education Committee - Oct. 21, 2009

Health, Human Services & Education Committee - Oct. 21, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

I was unable to stay for the entire meeting but a major portion of this video is a presentation from Communities in Schools, a national nonprofit organization that works in Richmond's public school to prevent students from dropping out. Presenting to the Committee were two former City Employees, Dr. Harold Fitrer [former Director of Human Resources and former Assistant/Interim Superintendent for Richmond Public Schools] and former School Board member [2nd District] Lisa Dawson, both who now work for Communities in Schools.

For more information about Communities in Schools,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Richmond Crusade for Voters Candidate Forum for the 71st District

Crusade for Voters Candidate Forum - 71st District - Oct. 20, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

The Richmond Crusade for Voters held their final candidate forum of the election season. They will be endorsing candidates at there next meeting on October 28. The forum was moderated by Crusade President Antione Green. The candidates for the House of Delegates are incumbent Jennifer McClellan, a lawyer who works for Verizon Telephone and myself, Silver Persinger. I work at the Library of Virginia with the Virginia Newspaper Program.

Slavery Museum presented to Land Use, Housing and Transportation Committee

Presentation form Slave Trail Commission on Shockoe Bottom Heritage District - Oct. 10, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

Above, Delores McQuinn presented to the Committee what the Richmond Slave Trail Commission has been working on. She and architect Burt Pinnock described a proposed Heritage District in Shockoe Bottom highlighting Richmond's history in the Slave Trade.

Below, watch the entire meeting.

Land Use, Housing, & Transportation - Oct. 20, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Prostitution and Raising Towing Rates Discussed at Public Safety Committee

Richmond City Council's Public Safety Committee held it's regular monthly meeting at the Richmond Police Academy located near Virginia Union. Councilwoman Reva Trammell called the meeting to order at 5:03 PM, Interim Councilwoman Betty Squire was present, attending her last committee meeting as a member of the Council. A new member will be elected in two weeks on November 3.

Major Keohane on Prostitution Enforcement - Oct. 19, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

Above, Major John Keohane gave a report on prostitution and arrests in "Targeted Enforcement Zones" formerly called "Prostitution Free Zones." There have been 138 arrests this year as of 9/11/09 compared with 44 in 2008.

Are Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood and Mayor (Rev.) Dwight C. Jones responsible for this renewed interest in persecuting prostitutes and johns? And did you know, if you are caught, they will post your photo on their facebook page?

Raising Towing Rates - This is How Decisions are Made - Oct. 19, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

Above, the other major topic of discussion was Ordinance 2009-186 to raise the rates on towing cars from private property from $65 to $125, instituting a $30 processing fee more cars held more than 72 hours, instituting a $30 drop fee if your car hasn't been taken away, and increasing the storage fee from $20 to $35. Council member were comfortable with the recommendations from the Towing Advisory Board. The towing companies and members of the Board spoke in favor of it and I spoke in opposition.

Watch the entire meeting.

Prostitution & Towing Rates - @ Public Safety - Oct.19, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Richmond City Council October 12, 2009

Richmond City Council - Oct. 12, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

Informal Session - October 12, 2009

Informal Session - Oct. 12, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

Below, the Council returned to the discussion of their legislative agenda after the end of their Regular Meeting.

Conclusion of the Informal Session - Oct. 12, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

* * * Hi-Lites * * *

Below, Deputy CAO for Economic and Community Development, Peter Chapman described the "work in progress" to consolidate the Dept. of Economic Development, the Dept. of Community Development, and the Dept. of Real Estate Services to form the Dept. of Planning. The reorganization must be approved by the Council.

Peter Chapman Discusses Consolidation of Departments - Oct. 12, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Henrico County NAACP Candidate Forum

Henrico County, Virginia NAACP Candidate Forum - Oct. 6, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

On October 6, 2009 the Henrico County Chapter of the NAACP held a candidate forum for Richmond, Virginia area House of Delegates candidates. More information to follow.

Watch my comments at the Forum.

Henrico County NAACP Candidate Forum - Silver Persinger excerpts from Silver Persinger.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Revealing Session with Richmond City Council - Fall Retreat '09

Richmond City Council Fall Retreat - October 5, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

Above,if there is only one two hour and twenty minute Richmond City Council meeting you watch this year, this is it.

Watch as the meeting opens briefly for 12 minutes before going into closed session as Councilman Bruce Tyler [1st District] lets it be know to his fellow Council members and the public via my video camera that he was not happy with the process for selecting the three members to the GRTC Board. Particularly since none of his three recommendations were even granted an interview. Councilman Doug Conner [9th District] explains why he withdrew Mr. Tyler's recommendations.

After the Closed Session, the meeting convened with the acceptance of the Land Use, Housing, & Transportation Committee's recommendations for appointees to the GRTC Transit Board.

The recommended appointees are Linda Broady-Myers and James Johnson, current members being reappointed to the Board, and Sheila Hill Christian -- formerly the City's Chief Administrative Officer under Mayor Doug Wilder before she quit, former transition aid to Mayor Dwight C. Jones, former director of the Virginia Lottery, former Executive Director of the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority [RRHA], former chief operating officer for the GRTC Transit System, and former Assistant City Manager under Calvin Jamison, former City Department Director, and former Chief of Staff for the City of Richmond.

The appointees were accepted by a vote of 5 to 3. Councilman Chris Hilbert [3rd District] was not present. Councilmen Tyler [1st District] and Charles Samuels [2nd District] and Ms. Reva Trammell [8th District] voted against the recommended Board appointees.

Watch as Council Chief of Staff Daisy Weaver loses Council members' attention. Watch as City Council members discuss abolishing the Open Citizen Comment Period at the beginning of meetings. Watch as they decide not to video tape their committee meetings (with the exception of President Kathy Graziano [4th District], and Councilmen Hilbert and Tyler). Watch as they discuss ways of increasing citizen participation and making City Hall more assessable.

All around a great meeting to watch to get a deeper understanding for the members of our beloved Richmond City Council.

* * Hi-Lights * *

Discussion of Doing Away with or Limiting Citizen Comment Period at the Opening of Committee Meetings

Discussion of Starting Committee Meetings Later to Encourage Citizen Attendence and Participation

Discussion of Video Recording Committee Meetings and Closed Captioning

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Post to the re: City Auditor's Policies

Here is a comment I left on an article in today's Times-Dispatch regarding their article " City Auditor’s work won’t be as publicized " about City Council devising a policy to prohibit the City Auditor from announcing the completion of audits and investigations.

My comment:

Ineptitude at City Council should hardly be surprising. Open government and transparency are best practices in the field of government. It leads to accountability. When the public can see how decisions are made, they can understand why decisions were made and WHO is accountable for the decisions made.

I asked Council members earlier in the year if they supported open government and many of them did not seem familiar with the concept, though they said they said they supported it.

Since when should our government seek to emulate the government of Chesterfield and Henrico.

Especially, when what you seek to emulate is keeping information secret. The City Auditor works for the citizens of Richmond; not the City Council or the Mayor.

The news coverage of city government is already apathetic. Press releases from the Auditor's Office help inform the public. It cost relatively nothing for the auditor's office to email press releases and even to hold a press conference to allow the City Auditor to explain the findings to the media, who need all the help they can get. City Council members should also try to attend City Auditor Press Conferences, so they will know the questions from the media and know more directly the results of Audit Reports.

This article comes on the heels of tomorrow's interviews with appointees for the GRTC Transit System Board. See the Times-Dispatch article, "GRTC board appointments a point of contention" Oct. 2, 2009,


Published: October 2, 2009

Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones wants one of the city's new administrators to help run the GRTC Transit System.

But City Councilman Bruce W. Tyler is pushing back and expressing concern over a role the city could play in a sale of GRTC's coveted headquarters property near the Fan District.

Jones wants the 6.8-acre site to go to the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority for private development guided by the city through a review of proposals.

The council is scheduled to appoint three members to the GRTC board this month. This week, the list of 13 applicants was pared to eight finalists, including Peter H. Chapman, the city's new deputy chief administrative officer for economic and community development.

Another is former Chief Administrative Officer Sheila Hill-Christian, who has worked as a consultant to the Jones administration. She previously held executive positions with GRTC and RRHA.

Tyler said he's concerned about the possible appointments.

"I don't believe it should be anybody from the administration or with close ties to the administration," he said. "That body needs to be independent and it needs to report to council."

The Jones administration sees no conflict and nothing unusual in having one of its members on the GRTC board, said Tammy D. Hawley, the mayor's press secretary.

"Our motive is to have the highest amount of experience to move the transit system forward," she said.

John M. Lewis Jr., CEO of GRTC, said residency from the appointing locality is the only requirement for the GRTC board. While directors have historically been local civic and business leaders, many public-transit agencies are governed by elected and appointed officials, he said.

Chesterfield County, which owns GRTC with the city, also is set to make its three appointments to the six-member board.

The city's other finalists for appointment are the current representatives -- Linda G. Broady-Meyers, James M. Johnson and Michael Rohde, as well as Robert P. Englander Jr., a real estate developer and principal of The CathFord Group; Mark Romer, president of James River Equipment Co.; and Grindly Johnson, chief of business and employee opportunities for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Tyler said he's bothered that candidates recommended by him -- developer Paul W. Kreckman [Editor's note: the same fellow from Highwoods Properties that was pitching the stadium in Shockoe Bottom], architect Robert C. Burns and attorney R. Webb Moore -- won't be interviewed. The council's Land Use, Housing and Transportation Standing Committee will meet Monday to conduct closed-door interviews.

Chesterfield County Administrator James J.L. Stegmaier had no comment on the city appointments or on how the GRTC property might be developed.

"We think it's important that the property be sold at fair market price and those resources be used to enhance the quality of public transportation in the region," he said.

The property, at 101 S. Davis Ave., has been appraised at more than $5 million but could require substantial environmental cleanup.

Tyler said he sees no reason for the city and RRHA to play a prominent role in the site's future. He said the city has a poor record of guiding development and cited several projects, including the city-requested and now-withdrawn proposal offered by Kreckman's firm for a ballpark in Shockoe Bottom.

Tyler said the city would be able to control whatever happens on the GRTC site because the council's approval would likely be needed for any development.

GRTC is expected to vacate the property by early December when it moves to a new operations and maintenance center on Belt Boulevard in South Richmond. Lewis said no sale offers are pending, and there's no timetable for a decision.

"That's up to my board of directors," he said.

Council has said it would be a closed door session on Monday Oct. 5, 2009 from 8 AM to 10:30 AM -- though I can't understand the grounds for closing the meeting to the public. All candidates have received the questions in advance. This is not a discussion of discipline, legal issues, or discussion about employment.

This is about appointing members to a public board that deals with the City's bus system and future development of a light rail system. The term is for one year.

What are you afraid of City Council? People deserve to know what you are doing on our behalf and in our names. You represent us and we deserve to know how and why you make decisions. This is known as Open Government.

-Silver Persinger

Below, watch the last Governmental Operations meeting of September 24, 2009 where the proposed policy was discussed.

Governmental Operations Discusses Auditor's Reporting Policies - Sept. 24, 2009 from Silver Persinger.

Below, watch the July 23, 2009 Governmental Operations meeting where the policy was first discussed.

City Auditor's Office Policies Discussed at Governmental Operations - July 23, 2009 from Silver Persinger on Vimeo.