Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sandbox Saga Continues- Zip to Zip

'A memo to Richmond's next mayor'
Wednesday, Feb 27, 2008 - 12:08 AM


"From: Concerned region residents

To: Richmond mayoral candidates

As you take the enormous step of running for mayor of Richmond, repeat after us: "Yes We Can!" "

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"At a retreat last weekend, Richmond City Council members heard what they should already know: The region is a house divided.

The city withheld its dues to the Greater Richmond Partnership, with Mayor L. Douglas Wilder grousing that Richmond wasn't getting a return on its investment.

Henrico County officials, citing a loss of tax revenue, have set in motion the potential change-of-address of about 80,000 county residents from "Richmond, VA" to "Henrico, VA."

And the General Assembly, at the behest of a Chesterfield County delegate, ignored the $50 million debt the Richmond Metropolitan Authority owes the city and is weighing a proposal to place Henrico and Chesterfield on equal footing with Richmond on the board of the RMA, which built and operates the Downtown Expressway and the Powhite Parkway.

The city's declining population mirrors its eroding stature. Like the bully of the beach in an old Charles Atlas ad, the counties are kicking sand in the city's face."

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"Don't waste our time unless you're intent on dismantling the state political structure that is dooming Richmond to failure and the region to underachieving mediocrity. Either work to lift the annexation ban so the city can expand or change Virginia's archaic "independent cities" structure so Richmond can become a part of Henrico.

The regional poverty that has been largely funneled into the urban core must be dispersed. This will require affordable housing in the suburbs, a truly regional mass-transit system and the regionalization of public education."

Read more of this article and what is bound to be very interesting Reader Reaction from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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