The Department of Public Works has a crew of 26 employees assigned to the task. But a city spokesman, Mike Wallace, said that fully staffed, the department should have 42 people.
Jones said the Friday promise was for schools; he said he did not have information for the other 200 sites the city cuts. Link
Mayor Jones did not include a “STEP” increase for public safety employees in his proposed budget. Public safety employees filled the room to express their dissatisfaction to city council. The council indicated that it intended to find the money for the increase.
Mayor Jones later called a news conference to “announce” that a budget amendment would include a STEP increase. Mayor Jones was criticized for making the announcement with no members of council present.
In the latest issue of his newsletter Mayor Jones again takes credit for the STEP increase.
Mayor Jones Newsletter
Building the Best Richmond May 2013
May 21, 2013 Vol.5 Issue 5
City Fire & Police STEP
Despite the need to close a $31 million budget gap in the upcoming city budget year, my administration has been committed to providing pay increases for City employees for the third time in my term as Richmond’s Mayor. I submitted the upcoming fiscal year 2014 budget to Council that included a 2% increase for all qualifying City employees. Earlier this month, I held a press event to detail the STEP salary increases for our City’s Fire Department and Police Department staff. I recently proposed an amendment within that budget to provide an additional increase for sworn police and fire department employees in recognition of the fact that their STEP increases had been frozen for five years. I wanted to include this additional salary increase for our City’s first responders, as I felt it prudent to acknowledge the day-to-day dangers police and firefighters face in protecting lives and property.
City Police Chief Ray Tarasovic, CAO Byron Marshall and City Fire Chief Robert Creecy join Mayor Jones in announcing STEP increases. All City employees, including sworn members of the Police and Fire departments, who were employed as of October 1, 2012, will receive a 2% pay raise that will appear on their first full paycheck in October 2013. All eligible Sworn Police Officers and Fire Fighters, approximately 1,100 employees will also receive a STEP increase, 2% of which will be received on the first full paycheck in October 2013 and the balance of which will be received on the first full paycheck in January 2014.
The increase in January will be an additional .5% for those police officers and fire fighters in STEPs 1-11, 8% for those in STEP 12; 9% for those in STEP 13; and 10% for those in STEP 14. The cost of the step increases for police officers and fire fighters, over and above the 2%, will be an additional $1.4 million in FY2014.
After hearing City Council concerns and discussing directly with the chiefs, we found a way to make this possible. I would like to thank all members of City Council for supporting this very important budget amendment. As they too recognize the importance of acknowledging the hard work and dedication of these very important city servants.
After the panel got off to a rough start marked by personality clashes, task force co-chairman James W. Dyke Jr. slowed the meeting schedule after last November’s general election and said several times that perhaps the time had come to disband the group or find other ways for it to help. Link
Many people, including police officers, are asking why it took three days and an 8News report to get Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones to comment about two police officers who were shot over the weekend. Link
Two years later, the city still has no plan. Its tourism commission has fizzled after a handful of meetings. And some people are left wondering if the city will ever get serious about attracting more visitors to the region. Link
The loophole in city law that Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ administration used to help secure a major sponsor for the Washington Redskins training camp last fall would be closed under a proposed ordinance that cleared a City Council committee Tuesday. Link
“I believe in sunshine, and I think we will shine in the sun,” Tarasovic added, referring to transparency.
A few days before Tarasovic was named chief, the department’s structure was changed so that police spokesman Gene Lepley’s public affairs unit reports both to the chief and to Tammy D. Hawley, the mayor’s press secretary. Previously, Lepley had reported only to the chief.
Hawley said Tuesday that the change also was made across other departments within the administration as part of an effort to “centralize communications citywide.” Link