A reason to read Councilman Baliles’s 1st District Newsletter

Baliles’s district newsletter is a good place to go and get a feel for how his brain works.

Here’s a tiny peek into mayoral candidate Jon Baliles’s decision-making process on tough, contested issues—in his own words!

From his 1st District Newsletter, about the mixed-use development at the Westhampton Theater (RIP):

Some have criticized me for not asking questions during the presentation on Monday. That happened because my questions had already been asked and answered during the many months being involved with this issue. The city council formal meeting on Monday was the opportunity for my colleagues on council to ask their questions. Earlier that day, I had discussed issues raised by concerned neighbors about parking, traffic flow, and line of sight with City of Richmond staff. These were the same questions later raised by some of my colleagues on Council during the 6:00 pm formal meeting.

Had major new information been presented at this meeting, a continuance would have been warranted. There wasn’t. I understand that some neighbors are disappointed about our decision. However, please remember that there has also been much support for this project from neighbors and associations.

This newsletter is as close as you’re going to get to a first-person mayoral candidate blog*, which is a thing I wish all of the candidates had.

* Levar Stoney does have a Medium, but it’s only got one post and it’s not really bloggy, more Mediumy.

Bring a full plan to the table

Will this past week’s awful events change the local political conversation?

Amy George on her Facebook:

City council members/candidates and mayoral candidates need to bring a full plan to the table.

I want to know how you’re going to actively work to make our schools less segregated, our courts and policing more just, and ensure economic growth benefits those who need it the most.

I need to know what plans are in place to ensure residents of public housing are not carelessly scattered when places like Creighton Court are redeveloped. I want to see great bus access between high poverty communities and areas with high concentrations of jobs.

And most of all, I want to know what review procedures are in place to ensure that any misconduct by the Richmond Police Department sees the full light of day.

I’m really interested to see if any of the awful events of this past week push the local political conversations beyond cutting the grass.