Notable Quote from retired RPS Finance & Budget Chief ...

By Ralph Westbay · 

CLICK Here to listen to what Mayor Levar Stoney had to say when asked about the recent ousting of RPS Supt. Dana Bedden ... 

"slip of the tongue - "CITY HALL errrr...the SCHOOL BOARD decided..." pretty much says it all. Unfortunately, it's going to be deja vu. Another reset and in 4 more years there will be another and on and on. 

Meanwhile the kids continue to be shortchanged. 

Bold words but mere political rhetoric...yet again. Extremely disappointing. And he says "I will find a transformative..." these mayors continue to believe they run the schools instead of a state mandated school board. That is a problem in itself.  

A multi-year Academic Improvement Plan (AIP) was defined but only the first year was funded. I, also, heard him say there is no money to build new schools. Guess what? That means you have to fund the small schools you have. That's expensive. 

Look at the external budget report that was commissioned by the previous mayor. Lays it out in clear terms. There are no short-cuts. It takes extra resources to address a population with high needs. Everyone pays it lip service but the action and resources never materialize.  

City hall begrudged increasing schools funding by $9M on July 1, 2015. The former mayor and administrators cried all year long about how it crippled city departments and that they would be $9M in the hole in spending for the year. They cried all the way through March -- 9 [whole] months of crying. 

Guess what? They ended up with a $13 million dollar SURPLUS!! A $22 million dollar swing in their misestimation in a single year. 

Yet, they tried to bash the school board - Dr. Bedden in particular - for accumulating an $8 million fund surplus over 3 years. The school board is subject to malfeasance of office - and jail - if they overspend a nickel. They have a mandate to be conservative in their spending.  

Meanwhile, spending on public safety skyrockets and the dialogue continues for the same trajectory. Compare the per capita spending for ALL functions of government against other cities and you'll find a very revealing statistic. 

The strong mayor form of government in Richmond costs the taxpayers an extra $5 million a year minimum. It adds a layer of redundancy to local government in both money and bureaucracy. 

How do I know? 

I did the research and crunched the numbers from the Auditor of Public Accounts records on Comparative Reporting and reviewed other city budgets. Sad state of affairs for Richmond. Glad I'm retired."