Richmond’s Review of Mayor Stoney & RVA’s Snow Response

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“The visibility of Mayor Stoney over the last 48 hours and the outreach via social media and the news has been incredibly strong.  I sincerely appreciate those efforts and I have heard from many folks in my district that they appreciate it too.” – Richmond Councilwoman Kristen Larson

 

Written by Brandon Jarvis 

January 1st was Levar Stoney’s first day after being sworn in as Mayor. January 3rd the work week started and it was his first official day as Mayor. January 6th at around 10 P.M. the City of Richmond braced for its first snow storm of the season. Levar Stoney was immediately thrown into the job by making sure that his city was ready for deteriorating weather and travel conditions. RVA residents did as we always do and flocked to the store for bread and milk. The ABC store is also often a high traffic area in the days leading up to a snowstorm in Richmond. Richmond’s know how to make the best out of any circumstances. We drink on bar crawls the sled at Forrest Hill park. Mayor Stoney even got to go sledding for the first time in his life.

 

The Mayor’s office of years past have been hidden behind official press releases. Levar Stoney on the other hand, has interacted with citizens on social media more in the past week than Dwight Jones did in 8 years.  We spoke with members of Richmond City Council to see what they thought of Stoney’s first snowstorm and the response.   “I think our Mayor “The Peoples Mayor” has really done a great job with this snow storm.  He wants to show all of us that he really cares and he wants all us to know he is ready to lead as the “People’s Mayor”.  -Councilwoman Reva Trammell.

I do understand however, that a social media presence will not fix problems or make any change. The presence and transparency is nice and it’s a start. I talked to some members of City Council and local members of media that specialize in RVA politics. We also scoured Twitter to see what people across the city were saying about snow removal along with Stoney’s social media presence. The overall feeling was good.

 

“After 8 years of a mayor with little to no social presence, let alone social media, Levar Stoney is kind of a treat. He’s quite good at Twitter and Facebook, as evidenced by his very public accounts of the City’s response to the recent snow storm. He’s given everyone updates on his daily activities, not just the media. It’s a welcome change. I hope he can keep up this sort of pace for 4-8 years without burn out. I’m always skeptical of any politician’s motives, but Mayor Stoney is giving me hope that he’ll bring about that  he’s been promoting this weekend.  loves a good hashtag.”  – Melissa Vaughn – RVA Dirt

 

Levar Stoney and his first time sledding.

“While experiences with the city’s snow removal varied across the city, Mayor Stoney’s communication with residents has been on point. He leveraged the power of social media to show residents what he is actively doing to work on our city’s problem in real time instead of through a press release. Tweeting or Facebooking won’t fix the city’s problems, but there is a lot to be said for accessibility and transparent communication.”  – Jessee Perry  – RVA Dirt

Certain neighborhoods felt that they were being overlooked by plows while others were extremely grateful for the quick and constant snow plows.

 

 


 


 

Other people were skeptic of him being able to keep his enthusiasm and social media presence levels up this high due to burnout. People are also wondering if he is spending too much time socializing and not enough time working.

 

 

 

As a whole, most Richmonder’s were appreciative and thankful for the cities response to the snow along with the Mayor’s presence during the first snow event of his tenure as Mayor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warning: Explicit Language in the video below

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