The following ordinances and resolutions were passed, upon discussion and debate at the July 14 City Council Meeting:
Ordinance 2014-145-139 and Ordinance 2014-146-140: These two items provide law enforcement presence in public housing communities, through the appropriations of funds in the budget, and through the execution of a service agreement with the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority
At least two citizens stood up to speak on this subject, in support of reducing the crime that happens in these concentrations of poverty; one gentleman spoke of the need for prevention, the desire for better lives, and hope rather than incarceration
Ordinance 2014-144-142: Gives a 2 percent pay bonus to Police and Fire employees
Resolution 2014-R140-145: Calls on the Mayor to create an ordinance that would reduce the fees and charges of water and sewage to low-income, disabled, and elderly customers, and financial assistance to customers needing plumbing repairs; in addition, there would be education on how to reduce water and sewage use as part of larger conservation efforts
Resolution 2014-R142-146 and Resolution 2014-R143-147: Deals with the Richmond Public Schools and the Virginia Retirement System; the first approves the School Board decision to make its contribution rate of 9.07% based on the VRS certified rates, while the second requires a 5% contribution of an employee’s salary towards the Virginia Retirement System
Council received much criticism for the processes of these two resolutions; they were brought up under expedited consideration, meaning they were not previously discussed, and the Council President gave no real choice about approving the resolutions; members of Council and the audience demanded to know if the teachers knew about this, and no clear answer could be found
Ordinance 2014-143-138: Allocates $357,500 to the Richmond Public Schools Foundation for the Middle School Renaissance-2020 program, $7,500 of which will go towards a Promise Scholarship Feasibility Study to explore a program to provide universal, place-based scholarships for graduates of Richmond Public Schools, as suggested in the Mayor’s Anti-Poverty Study
Certain notable items were postponed until the Council’s September 8 Formal Meeting:
Ordinance 2014-93: A proposed Advisory Task Force for the economic revitalization of South Richmond
Ordinance 2014-94: The Camel’s proposed ordinance to become a nightclub, open until 2 a.m. rather than just 1 a.m.
Ordinance 2014-148: Sets aside additional funding for career development of Police and Fire employees and their pay periods
Check the newsfeed for a snapshot of the Citizen’s Comment Period!