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Richmond mayor-elect Levar Stoney announces 41-person transition committee

Richmond mayor-elect Levar Stoney announces 41-person transition committee

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Three university presidents. Two state delegates. A Henrico County supervisor. A former Chesterfield County administrator. Dozens of nonprofit and business leaders.

Richmond mayor-elect Levar Stoney announced a diverse, 41-person transition team Wednesday tasked with offering him guidance and advice as he prepares to take office.

“On the campaign, Levar committed to bringing the public, private and nonprofit sectors together to get things done,” said Stoney’s spokesman, Matt Corridoni.

“And you’re already seeing that happen based on the individuals he has selected to join this committee, with the different sectors they represent and their breadth and depth of experience.”

The committee is charged with helping Stoney in three areas, said Thad Williamson, a University of Richmond professor who is serving as director of the transition.

One subcommittee will focus on how Stoney will organize his office and generally prepare to take on the role of mayor, Williamson said.

A second subcommittee will examine the various campaign promises and pledges Stoney made and “translate that into an actionable plan with deadlines and targets stretching over the first 100 days and all the way out to 18 months,” Williamson said.

A third will work on the process of reviewing all the agencies of city government to determine how well they are performing and where they can be improved.

Williamson said the committee’s overall goal essentially boils down to shaping a plan to “rebuild confidence in city government and its leadership.”

The full group already met once over the weekend, Williamson said. They will likely meet one more time next month. Otherwise the work will be done in the subcommittees.

Members of the committee said their work is still very much in its infancy.

Richmond School Board Chairman Jeff Bourne is among city officials serving on the committee.

“I’ll help him get up to speed and educated on where we are and what are some of the things the mayor can do short term, medium term and long term to help move the school system forward,” Bourne said.

Chesterfield’s longtime county administrator who retired last summer, James J.L. “Jay” Stegmaier, said he’s still not sure what his role on the committee will be, but that he’s encouraged so many regional leaders are participating.

“It’s hard not to see that as an expression of openness to working with the broader Richmond community,” he said. “I feel like when any individual jurisdiction within the region becomes stronger, then the entire region benefits. So, if this is a way that I can contribute, I’m happy to do it.”

The group also reaches across political divisions, including Democratic and Republican state lawmakers.

Del. Christopher K. Peace, R-Hanover, said he had a good relationship with Stoney, a staunch Democrat, when Stoney was Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s secretary of the commonwealth, and that he will work with Stoney to improve the city’s relationship with the General Assembly.

“A lot of people in Hanover have jobs in the city, and a lot of people commute back and forth from New Kent (County) for either jobs, entertainment or health care,” Peace said.

“So we are definitely connected, and we want to make sure those opportunities increase and that jobs and economic growth come to the entire region. And I know the mayor-elect is very passionate about those areas.”

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Twitter: @nedoliver

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