Richmond mayoral candidates tackle city issues during forum

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Seven of the eight candidates vying for Richmond’s mayoral seat touched on many hot-button issues during a forum Monday afternoon.

The forum, put on by the Kiwanis Club of Richmond at the Virginia Historical Society, included discussions on the state of Richmond Public Schools, the PILOT tax and city spending reform.

8News also spoke with residents who attended the forum about what they want to see from Richmond’s next mayor.

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“The things I want to see changed are the recreational parks, a good educational program, and more safety in the schools,” said Richmond resident Keith Hicks, who attended the forum.

Some of the candidates vying for the city’s top job also shared their vision for the future of Richmond.

“We have to have a mayor that is going to be able to transform Richmond in a way where our economic development works, and people understand that,” candidate Michelle Mosby said to the crowd of onlookers.

capture765876876876And on the situation involving Richmond Public Schools, candidate Jack Berry told the audience, “we can’t have a situation where parents are being asked to go down to city hall and hold up red signs to save our schools because leaders aren’t doing their jobs.”

In a series of questions asked to each candidate, a majority of them said they’d keep Dr. Dana Bedden on as RPS Superintendent. Most were also against building a new stadium if the adjoining counties didn’t get involved and want to look at ways to eliminate the payment in lieu of taxes.

Bruce Tyler says if he becomes mayor, he’ll get rid of the public relations department.

“We have more money being spent in the City of Richmond telling you why you can’t get something done,” Tyler said.

Richmonder Charles Blanton says he wants the next mayor to get back to the basics.”Focus on fundamentals and less on sort of the fluff like redskins and bike races and that kind of thing. just more of the fundamentals of running a city.”, he says.

“Focus on fundamentals and less on sort of the fluff like redskins and bike races and that kind of thing,” he said. “Just more of the fundamentals of running a city.”

352435422Meanwhile, millennial voter Jasmine Douglas said, “I would like to hear a lot more from them and actually see the plans that they plan to implement in a more direct manner.”

Lawrence Williams was the only candidate not in attendance today. We have reached out to him, but have not heard back yet.

If you would like to see the full hour-long forum, visit the 8News Facebook page.

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