|Today I joined WRVA Richmond’s Morning Show with guest host Gary Hess. We discussed the absurdity of a recent Richmond marketing campaign that cost an estimated half-million dollars. It’s extremely unfortunate that we are spending such precious resources to attempt to improve the image of Richmond without actually addressing the issues of greatest concern to the people. How can we afford these kinds of funds for slogans when we don’t have funds to improve education or combat the dramatic increase in violent crime in our city?
The taxpayers are not fools, despite what this spending might suggest. We need to move away from sloganeering and address the inefficiencies of our leaders’ spending. We need to address this seeming cesspool of corruption and inefficiency.
Things need to get moving in the right direction..NOW. What is the status of community policing? Where has it gone? This was a priority of my administration. What does removing the statues have to do with issues of fighting and minimizing crime? The statues are gone, at highly questionable expense, now what? Who is demanding accountability of the mayor, the school superintendent, and the leadership of our city, at all levels. We need community policing to address our rising crime.
On the education front, we need the best minds we can get to serve the people. School boards should not be considered as stepping stones for higher ambitions. This is the place where the rubber should meet the road; we need transparency and accountability in roles that were created to guide and direct the education of our children.
Education and crime in our city are intimately connected – we expect cooperation from our leaders and the police, not antagonism or confrontation. It’s not a matter of funding a greater budget, but prioritizing the funds we have for the real needs that the people — all of the people — need.