Monday, May 14, 2012

Public Support does not Affect Council Vote on Schools' Budget

Monday's meeting lasted over 5 hours. The main topic of discussion was the City's Budget. Citizens spoke for 80 minutes in opposition to the proposed budget which does not fully fund Richmond Public Schools.

Full house because of all of the awards being given out tonight, not because of a genuine interest in the adoption of the City Budget, though there were some people here for that too (see Parts 4 - 6, below). In Part 1, you can experience the Prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, an explanation of the Evacuation Instructions in case of an emergency, and a moment of silence in honor of Councilman Chris Hilbert's mother who passed away that day. All members were present with the exception of Mr. Hilbert.

Part 2 is the Awards Period.

A majority of the people spoke in support of fully funding the public schools. Speakers in Part 4 included Thad Williamson [2:00], Angela Dews [5:32], John Reed [9:15], Thomas Hartman [12:47], Lola Van McDowell [14:46], Dave Ballard [18:42], Kirsten Gray [22:17], and Barbara Haas [26:13].

Speakers in Part 6 included Shirley L. Harvey [0:16], Vivek Jain [2:54], Chris Dorsey [7:22], Teddy Parham [11:20], Benony Tony Amekudzi [15:05], Dr. Angela Renee Jones [19:43], David Napier spoke supportively of the Council's efforts [22:09], Jill Brown? [23:12], Donny "Dirt Woman" Corker provided comic relief [26:16], and Donald Hatcher [27:43].

A few comments of support for the City Budget from interested parties [0:17] followed by Council discussion [12:43] and then a quick vote on the C.I.P. [Capital Improvement Program] Budget [48:26].

Several speakers during the Citizen Comment period spoke in support of changing the law to allow residents to keep chickens in their yards. I spoke to encourage folks to run for elected offices. At the end of the comment period Charles Samuels [2nd District] said he was bring forward an ordinance for such a thing, Marty Jewell [5th District] said he wanted to be a co-patron on the paper.

One paper was amended and continued, Ord. 2012-79 pertaining to the Landmark Theatre. On the Consent Agenda, there were just few items, mostly small Council member expenditures which were approved, followed by Approval of Minutes [4:46] and Reports and Announcements from Council members: Doug Conner, 9th District [5:42], Charles Samuels, 2nd District [6:46], Bruce Tyler, 1st District [7:13], Reva Trammell, 8th District [7:51], Cynthia Newbille, 7th District [8:43], Marty Jewell, 5th District [10:07], Ellen Robertson, 6th District [12:56], Kathy Graziano, 4th District [15:42].

The Introduction of New Papers was the last order of business [18:13], I just filmed the beginning of it because after 5 hours I was ready to go.


  1. Silver, thank you for your excellent coverage of local issues/events and for your commitment to social justice. The establishment media keeps the public uninformed about the deliberation of policymakers or about the consequences of their decisions, so what you do is valuable and appreciated.

    1. Thanks Vivek! You know the feeling is mutual. Vivek is running against Eric Cantor, check out Vivek's website,