‘Point me to a model where this has been successful’: Mayor Stoney reacts to approved budget

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney did not mince his words when he told 8News what he thought about the Richmond City Council voting Monday night to take away some of his budgeting power.

In addition to approving the budget during their meeting on Monday, council members also adopted an amendment that requires that all money transfers to be approved and voted on by council members, who said this is to ensure that money is being spent on what taxpayers want.

In a statement released soon after the meeting, Mayor Stoney said, ‘tonight’s vote takes micromanaging to a new level.’

“The only city, only locality in all the Commonwealth that would have such budgeting practice,” Stoney said of the City of Richmond. “I mean, I wish the City Council would point me to a model, but they’ve been unable to do that.

“Point to a model where this has been successful. This whole plan was never vetted publicly or by the help of the administration, so I think this is bad policy and it may lead to bad government.”

City Councilwoman Kristen Larson voted for the measure and she explained why she stands behind her vote.

“First, if we allocate something towards a program we want to make sure it’s being used in that program and it’s not being moved out for something else,” She said. “And secondly, if we allocate money towards a program and there’s not enough money there. Baltimore has a programmatic level budget, Seattle has a programmatic level budget; it’s going to be difficult to find other cities in the Commonwealth that do this because we’re Richmond, we have our own city charter that was written just for Richmond.”

Stoney, however, contends the new measure would just slow the city down with more red tape. The mayor has about two weeks to veto the council’s measure, althought city council did have a “super majority,” which is enough votes to override the mayor’s veto.

But according to Larson, the “super majority” could change if the mayor persuades a councilmember to change the way they voted.

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