Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney pledges increased city hall efficiency at inauguration

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Levar Stoney made history during his inauguration as the youngest mayor in Richmond’s 274-year history. In a sweeping speech, Mayor Stoney promised a new era for the city.

“Today dysfunction and inefficiency is the expectation,” he said in his prepared remarks, “and worse, it’s been accepted. Well, I refuse to accept it.”

The new mayor laid out his vision for a high functioning city hall, beginning with a complete performance review of every city department.

From filling potholes and cutting grass to balancing the city’s books, Mayor Stoney promised to rebuild confidence in city government.

“I commit today that the city’s annual financial report will be committed on time today in November,” he said from to the at-capacity crowd inside the council chamber at Richmond City Hall.

Another priority, he said, is helping Richmonders overcome poverty. “40 percent of our children live under the poverty line,” he said emphatically. “That has to change.”

After the most violent year in a decade, Stoney committed to enhance police operations in the city. “We need a new mix of community policing, tough sentences for violent offenders, and a new resolve to keep dangerous guns off our streets.”

He also pledged to fix the city’s crumbling school buildings and keep quality teachers from leaving the district for surrounding school systems.

“Richmond parents will have an advocate and a friend, and most importantly our students will have a champion and a voice.”

Stoney formally took office on January 1, but planned his inaugural events for midway through the first month of his term.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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