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Old 05-08-2008, 11:06 AM
CNI
 
194 posts, read 486,086 times
Reputation: 62

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJRAMAL View Post
Why not listen to the critisism and see in what areas Richmond could improve and become an attractive city?
I agree. If you go out to the "General US" forum & search Richmond you will find that many outside of Richmond do not have the highest regards for it. The masses are not always right but some Richmonder's denial regarding the need to improve is not healthy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJRAMAL View Post
I have always been critical of Richmond. I love Richmond but hate it at the same time. I love it because it is home. I love representing and talking about my hometown (who doesnt), but I hate it because it is so stagnant, slow, resistant to change, and frankly BORING!
I can relate. It's tough being connected in such a way. Richmond can be such a frequent source of disappointment but, like a relative, it will always be part of you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJRAMAL View Post
Richmond has no pulse. Nothing to define it. Nothing to say "Hey thats Richmond".
This, IMO, is a BIG part of the problem.
Richmond invests, backs, and puts it bets on people and things that are divisive and frequently benefit one faction at the expense of another.
I think Richmond would be better served by defining itself in ways that more people in this city, region, nation can find acceptable. In doing so, it will develop new institutions and traditions that the entire area and region can embrace.
Be inclusive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJRAMAL View Post
Why did we have to go out of town to satisfy our need for entertainment?
I still can't believe Richmond area residents must travel to Charlottesville to see acts and entertainment. No offense to Charlottesville but that is a sad commentary on Richmond.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJRAMAL View Post
I am frankly disapointed in my hometown for failing to move forward. Richmond's "potential" has not materialized in my 20+ years of history with it...I love you, and my city of Richmond, but the rest of the country is about progress and growth. My beloved hometown sadly lags behind in both areas.
Again, I can relate.
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:31 AM
CNI
 
194 posts, read 486,086 times
Reputation: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondpics View Post
There are many of us actively working towards making this an even better place instead of sitting around waiting for something to happen, waiting for others to act... which is the old way of thinking.
No offense, richmondpics, but I think that position overlooks quite a bit of important realities.
As I asserted previously in this thread, I think most potential residents are like potential store customers or potential real estate purchasers.
The Richmond region is like a business establishment. It must compete for customers/business.
Customer don't want to come into a dysfunctional establishment, they don't want to organize chaos, and then be expected to drop top dollar. If the Richmond region can't get its act together then at least cut the residents a break in some way. A restaurant w/ poor service & food would have to compete on price. Same with a dilapidated house that is for sale.
The cost of living in Richmond is not top dollar but it is more than comparably sized cities with more amenities.
Customers (potential residents) want those in charge of the establishment to put forth a top notch product and they want it for a reasonable "price".
It is the responsibility of Richmond area & Virginia government to do this (also, they are the ones with the granted authority to directly legislate, enact, enforce, etc.).
If this is not done then citizens such as njramal will vote with their feet...just as you would likely shop at another establishment if offered poor service and prices.
On top of all of that, many of us have lives to live, family to raise, jobs to work, etc. If I could support myself and my family by devoting large portions of my time to making the region better then great (NOTE: this is what our elected officials are supposed to do).
Otherwise, I have to work and in my spare time I'd like for my tax dollars and indirect contributions to the region to be rewarded with a quality goods and services.

On a positive note...great to hear that we may be getting a Dave and Busters.
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
1,802 posts, read 5,210,522 times
Reputation: 636
That position overlooks nothing. I agree that cities are in a very competitive environment (even on a global scale) to attract the best and the brightest, the young professionals and creative class, etc. (Dr. Florida expands on the importance of place in his writings on the Creative Class). I completely agree that we need to make sure we offer more "amenities" that can attract and retain.

As a citizen, I feel that it is my obligation to take ownership in this "business" we call Richmond. If one's business model needs improvement, it would be much better to find ways to improve it and implement changes instead of abandoning the business altogether. For many years, the expectation has been that we should just complain about the lack of accomplishment in our local governance. Today, grassroots change, pushed by a citizenry and business community that are more active than ever, is impacting this city in so many positive ways. Richmond is starting to embrace change... the old joke - How many Richmonders does it take to change a lightbulb? 4; 1 to change the bulb and 3 to stand around and say how much better the old bulb was - isn't as applicable as it used to be.

And, yes Dave and Busters will be great. I was hoping they'd open downtown, but it will be in the new West Broad Village development and is slated to open late 08/early 09 I believe...
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:45 PM
CNI
 
194 posts, read 486,086 times
Reputation: 62
Not to be argumentative but the point I'm trying to stress is that while you as a Richmond area resident may feel an obligation to take ownership in Richmond Region Inc. and be a shareholder activist many (if not most) will sell their stock, cut their losses and invest in a more profitable business (i.e., MOVE AWAY).
Some store or restaurant customers contact the BBB, contact local media, file lawsuits, etc. to gain compensation for bad goods or services. Others simply cut their losses and move on (bad-mouthing the establishment at every future opportunity). I think the later is what you are seeing with the many negative comments about Richmond.

Separately, would we be better served in the future by leaders who are more profit driven...with their compensation tied to certain performance-based accomplishments (e.g., increased transit ridership, increased high school graduation rates, etc. like Dr. Jewell-Sherman)...than by leaders who supposedly care so much and have their personal ties to the area as their motivation for seeking leadership positions (e.g., Wilder)? Of course, the candidates would also need to be qualified.
In business you get motivated to perform by compensation...no matter how undesirable the task at hand. Maybe it's time for a different approach (and our behind-the-scenes big businesses...who signed the letter for an elected school board...could provide the cash incentives to land the motivated candidates).
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
1,802 posts, read 5,210,522 times
Reputation: 636
It's a difference of opinions. My point is that there are some people that are doing more than just complaining and leaving. I'm not necessarily saying one perspective is better or worse, but if we want Richmond to be a better place, there needs to be people who make that happen... waiting on the government or complaining and leaving doesn't make change. It happens through action.

Regarding negative comments, there's also very many positive perspectives though this thread isn't exactly dedicated to those. Most people I know are generally pleased with life in Richmond and enjoy a good quality of life.

Performance-based compensation is a concept which could be considered... though if it were to result in a revolving door of leadership that lacked stability than we may not be any better off. Pegging school performance on increased graduation rates or proportion of college-bound students would be much better (IMO) than pegging it on SOL pass rates. The 26 business leaders proposed an appointed school board and while the right to vote is important, if appointments could produce better environments for learning and success for the city's children, it should be considered. The city should also further explore charter schools. In a perfect world, I'd love to see a regional school system but that is far fetched at the moment.

This thread can be much more valuable as a place to discuss negatives and how we can improve (as CNI and others have generally done) rather than merely a place for venting/bashing.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:08 AM
CNI
 
194 posts, read 486,086 times
Reputation: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondpics View Post
The 26 business leaders proposed an appointed school board...
Thanks for correcting the error in my last post...we already have elected school boards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondpics View Post
This thread can be much more valuable as a place to discuss negatives and how we can improve (as CNI and others have generally done) rather than merely a place for venting/bashing.
I agree. That's one of the main reasons I come to the Richmond forum.
I also go out on the General Forum frequently and try to defend Richmond (where there is a defense; sorry, but sometimes there is none) and have gone to other forums (e.g., Charlotte) trying to dispel myths and misinformation about our city.
Maybe other Richmond supporters could help out.

A proposal: I think Richmonders would be better served if the region could define its goals and intentions for a reasonable period of time in the future. Why doesn't Richmond flat-out provide goals/focus for the region for X number of years going forward?
If this goal is to revel in the past and be "history city" then some of us would clearly know that it's time for us to exit. I don't want to live in a Colonial Williamsburg city. If I did I'd move to Williamsburg.
If part of the goals/focus is to progress to the top 20 in various categories in which cities are measured then I'll know its probably a good idea to hang around.
Part of the problem right now is that the region sends mixed signals. Therefore some hear a signal that they think foreshadows one thing, they come or plant roots here expecting to see progress along that path, then find themselves disappointed when there are other agendas that directly conflict and contradict the goals and focus with which they approved.
The region needs a clearly defined focus.
Move to Silicone Valley and you know what you're getting.
Move to Williamsburg and you know what you're getting for the foreseeable future.
What can we expect from Richmond in the upcoming 20-30 years?
I need to know because my life and my family's lives will be significantly impacted by the answers.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:56 AM
 
13,779 posts, read 22,032,302 times
Reputation: 7358
We definitely need some fresh ideas for Richmond but much of our problem is the leadership. My husband and I joke that we could not run for city council because neither of us are under indictment.

But seriously, we do need a long term plan but the plan needs money! Bruce Tyler is our City Councilman and when I heard him talk at a meeting I was shocked to hear about the wasteful spending that goes on in our city. As residents, we hear a few things through the media outlets and feel we have a fairly good idea about what goes on, but the money and flamboyant spending is outrageous.

Many of the policies in the charter are also quite antiquated. Apparently the charter is up for review in the next 2 years or so.

Also, the atmosphere in city council has been divisive for so many years the focus seems to be more on staying afloat rather than making strides in a forward motion.

Hopefully a new school board super and a possible new police chief will help make a difference.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
1,802 posts, read 5,210,522 times
Reputation: 636
Quote:
Originally Posted by CNI View Post
A proposal: I think Richmonders would be better served if the region could define its goals and intentions for a reasonable period of time in the future. Why doesn't Richmond flat-out provide goals/focus for the region for X number of years going forward?

If part of the goals/focus is to progress to the top 20 in various categories in which cities are measured then I'll know its probably a good idea to hang around.

The region needs a clearly defined focus.
I took out some excerpts from your post above... This article appears to show that there is a growing concensus among those in power that your proposal is a good one. I'm a huge proponent of regionalism and collaborating on a regional scale to accomplish necessary tasks.

Looking ahead in our region - News - inRich.com (http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2008-05-09-0053.html - broken link)

Would you not also agree that the most recent Downtown Master Plan process is helping to set forth clear objectives for improving and reshaping our downtown?
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC via Richmond VA
80 posts, read 136,271 times
Reputation: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondpics View Post
I took out some excerpts from your post above... This article appears to show that there is a growing concensus among those in power that your proposal is a good one. I'm a huge proponent of regionalism and collaborating on a regional scale to accomplish necessary tasks.
That is good to hear. The Richmond region needs to begin to behave as a
REGION! My disappointment lies in the fact that Richmond is forever hiring "consultant firms" to look into this and look into that. but when the verdict is rendered by these consultants, that is pretty much all you hear from it! The funny thing about this article is this statement:

"The planets are aligned; the timing is right," said John E. Gordon Jr., a commission member who also is a Hanover County supervisor.

WOW! In Richmond, the flippin PLANETS have to be aligned for anything remotely productive to occur! Alot of talking and planning and paying consultants, but no action. That has been a problem for decades.
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Old 05-13-2008, 03:22 PM
CNI
 
194 posts, read 486,086 times
Reputation: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondpics View Post
Would you not also agree that the most recent Downtown Master Plan process is helping to set forth clear objectives for improving and reshaping our downtown?
Pardon the delayed reply...
Honestly, I was VERY UNDERWHELEMD and UNIMPRESSED when I saw the proposed Downtown Master Plan.
It seemed as if it was crafted by overly environmentally conscious groups and historical preservation groups with a very narrow focus/agenda. They seemed to care little for considering a wide range of what will REALLY benefit the ENTIRE downtown area and its users/inhabitants while making sure that their special interests got advanced (e.g., landscaping, cobblestones, building aesthetics, etc.)
Their proposals do not address the real important issues facing the downtown area (see What Kinds of Changes Would You Like to See in Richmond?)
Their proposals should have been weighed and meshed-out along with other special interest group's proposals to establish what was best OVERALL for the entire downtown area.
However, it appears that only a few voices are being heard (and just because groups don't show up doesn't mean that they should not be heard; some of the groups not represented are the main inhabitants and users on the downtown region...e.g., minorities, poor, office workers, college students, developers/investors, etc.)
This is not the type of focus/agenda that I was expecting to see.

By the way, you think we should start a thread on the Downtown Master Plan? It might not get much participation but a separate thread might be best.
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