The Agenda: Local government briefs for 8.30.21

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney speaks at a news conference in 2019. Last week, he named his former chief of staff Lincoln Saunders, third from right, as chief administrative officer following the retirement of Lenora Reid, second from left. (BizSense file images)

Top administrator retires, mayor names former chief of staff as replacement

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney named Lincoln Saunders as the city’s chief administrative officer upon the retirement of Lenora Reid, who had been serving as acting CAO until an unspecified medical event last December put her on medical leave. An announcement said Reid was unable to continue in the role.

Saunders, Stoney’s chief of staff, has been serving as acting CAO since then, with policy advisor Margaret Anderson serving as acting chief of staff. Saunders’ appointment, which requires City Council approval, would put him in the role on a permanent basis.

Saunders’ annual salary, at $198,000 as chief of staff and as acting CAO, is not expected to change, the mayor’s office said. Reid’s salary had been $213,711.

A William & Mary graduate, Saunders serves on the university’s board of visitors and holds a master’s degree in public administration from Indiana University. He also is a graduate of the Virginia Executive Institute and the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.

Reid had previously served as deputy CAO for finance and administration since 2015. Stoney’s announcement credited Reid for steering efforts to clear the city’s years-long backlog of annual financial reports, providing a full accounting of the city’s finances for the first time in years. Reid’s efforts were also credited with contributing to the city’s bond ratings being upgraded to “AA+” last year.

Richmond names new budget and strategic planning director

Stoney appointed Jason May to serve as director of the city’s Department of Budget and Strategic Planning. May had been serving as interim director since May and was hired as deputy director in 2019.

May has 11 years of experience in municipal budgeting and 19 years of experience in local government. He previously worked as assistant to the city manager in Kannapolis, North Carolina. He holds a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Charlotte and a master’s degree in public administration from Appalachian State University.

Chesterfield greenlights $16M to buy Spring Rock Green

The Chesterfield Economic Development Authority now has the cash in hand to buy Spring Rock Green shopping center.

Chesterfield County plans to buy Spring Rock Green shopping center for $16 million and turn it into a mixed-use development featuring apartments and a sports venue.

The county plans to spend $16 million to acquire most of the aging shopping center, which is located at the northwest corner of Midlothian Turnpike and Chippenham Parkway.

The 42-acre site would be redeveloped as a mixed-use development that would feature more than 1,000 residential units, more than 290,000 square feet of retail, office and restaurant space as well as a sports venue and hotel.

The deal is expected to close in September, and the land would have to be rezoned to set the stage for the redevelopment project.

The Spring Rock Green funds that the Board of Supervisors approved last week came as part of a larger $20 million allocation to the EDA for land acquisitions.

Large mixed-use development OK’d near Westchester Commons

Chesterfield supervisors last week approved a rezoning request tied to The Aire at Westchester, a mixed-use development that would feature more than 2,000 residential units to the west of Westchester Commons.

The HHHunt Communities project would also include up to 200,000 square feet of commercial space at the 334-acre site.

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