City Councilman Jon Baliles joins race for Richmond mayor

The 1st District City Councilman announced his official bid for the city’s top position in a news release Monday afternoon.

First District Richmond City Councilman Jon Baliles threw his hat into an increasingly crowded ring of folks running to be Richmond’s next mayor with an official announcement Monday afternoon. In it, Baliles opined on ways to work towards solving some of the city’s most pressing issues like school funding and crime reduction, and didn’t hold back when it came to critiquing Mayor Jones’ lack of “focus.”

The statement reads, in part:

Today I have formally announced that I am running for Mayor of Richmond.

Richmond has always been my home and I love our city because it has so much going for it and unlimited potential. But it is also a city with well-known problems and issues that need to be dealt with by an experienced and focused leader. The last few years are clear evidence of that.

We need a leader to clean up the mess, be open and honest, and make Richmond work–for all of us. Someone who will be ready on day one.

We must make our schools the top priority and work with the Superintendent and School Board, not against them. Two years ago, I led Council’s effort to provide millions more in school maintenance. Last year, I voted to provide $9 million in additional funding for school operations and $18 million for facilities. This year, I’m personally working with school administration to find future solutions. As your mayor next year, I can do so much more.

Community policing has led to safer neighborhoods and steep declines in crime, especially violent crime. We cannot afford to allow that trend to reverse. One trend we must reverse is the lack of focus in recent years on delivering basic services you expect like alleys, roads, leaf collection and snow removal.

We must have a mayor with a “hands on” approach to economic development to create a myriad of jobs with companies of all sizes–not just big, shiny projects. And, we need to maintain our focus of building on our strengths–the amenities that everyone in the city and region enjoy: our river, our festivals, the arts, and improving our quality of life.

I know how to solve problems, and have done so while serving the last four years on Council and more than four years on City staff before that. Together, we can change the future of our city.

See the video below and read more on Baliles’ official campaign website.

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Trevor Dickerson

Trevor Dickerson loves all things Richmond and manages RVANews’ West of the Boulevard and West End community sites.

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