Monroe Park Board takes form

Four current/former city officials, three representatives from VCU, two lawyers, Chair of the Conservancy and a local businessman.

The Monroe Park Conservancy is preparing to lease Monroe Park from the city for $1 per year over the next 30 years. The conservancy is presenting to the City Council’s  Land Use, Housing and Transportation Committee today  at 3 PM at City Hall and full council on February 24th.

RTD has the details including who will be sitting on the board.

In an interview Monday, Massie said the group was assembled largely to establish a 501(c)(3) organization that could raise funds, but she expects the board’s membership to change as plans progress.

“We know that a third will come from the city, a third will come from VCU and a third will come from citizens,” Massie said. “That’s so there’s always a check and balance.”

The conservancy’s backers say it’s a legal vehicle that will help create a better park, but some residents have pushed back against the idea of the council relinquishing control over one of city’s most high-profile public spaces to an outside group.

“The fate of our park, belonging to the citizens of our great city, should not be decided by fiat by a cozy group of VCU and city administrators,” Oregon Hill resident Charles Pool wrote in an email to City Council members last month.

The 11-member board includes:

  • Mayor Dwight C. Jones
  • David Hicks – Mayor’s senior policy adviser David Hicks
  • Christopher L. Beschler – Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Operations
  • Suzette Denslow – Mayor’s former chief of staff who now serves as deputy chief of staff to Gov. Terry McAuliffe
  • Brian J. Ohlinger – VCU associate vice president for facilities management
  • Cathy W. Howard – VCU vice provost of community engagement
  • Thomas F. Huff – VCU vice provost for life sciences
  • Alice Massie – President of the Monroe Park Conservancy
  • Mark S. Dray  – Lawyer at Hunton & Williams, focuses on tax law and employee benefits
  • John W. Bates III  –  Lawyer at  McGuireWoods, focuses on real estate, financial and municipal law
  • R. Scott Ukrop  – Businessman


  • error

    Report an error

Richard Hayes

When Richard isn’t rounding up neighborhood news, he’s likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest craft beer.

There are 6 reader comments. Read them.