Date: Tues., May 27, 2014 (1:11 p.m.)
The Honorable Charles R. Samuels, Councilman, Richmond City Council, Richmond North Central 2nd Voter District, and The Honorable Jonathan T. Baliles, Councilman, Richmond City Council, Richmond West End 1st Voter District, release the following joint statement regarding the Mayor’s proposed Shockoe Bottom Baseball Ordinance:
“We are disappointed that the Administration has decided in favor of yet another delay in providing details of their Shockoe ballpark plan. They introduced the latest version of their plan on May 12 with a requested public hearing date of May 27 and, to date, have not asked for a continuance. A special four hour mid-day meeting was requested only after 5:00 p.m. on Friday, without consulting Council members' schedules.
Council has followed regular procedure and bent over backwards to get more information through all of the hearings over the last six months. The plan has been vetted by multiple Richmond City Council Finance and Land Use Standing Committee meetings and Council as a whole has been continuously patient in allowing the Administration to miss deadlines that they themselves presented to Council.
Only after they were aware the vote might not go in their favor did they appeal for a special meeting. Council has never set a deadline for this plan and is simply following the Administration's date which was to have the public hearing, per their request, on Tuesday evening.
We have kept open minds with everything this Administration proposes. However, after six months with a proposal that has far more questions than answers, as site control is still in doubt and it is already over budget, this plan is not ready. After all, we are talking about $80 million of public debt. In the meantime, we have schools, roads and other issues which require our local government’s attention. We extend the olive branch to the Mayor to work and find solutions to the issues that face our City. "