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Monday, June 16, 2008

Bill Pantele on the Issues

I wasn't going to do this, but there seems to be a well orchestrated campaign on behalf of Paul Goldman by certain bloggers to post PG press releases all over the Richmond Blog scene. Rather than copy and paste into other people's blogs I am going to post word for word topics from Bill Pantele's website. Believe it or not, it is not my policy to preach. Read for yourself. Make up your own mind.

If I see something from other candidates that appeal to me I will post them too.


    With the departure of Police Chief Rodney Monroe, who did a remarkable job in bringing down the city’s murder rate and inspiring citizens to work with police to make our streets safer, it is imperative that we continue our momentum in the fight against crime.

    I will bring experienced leadership on key public safety issues to the job of Mayor. In addition to continuing to support increases in funding for public safety improvements, a top priority of mine will be to focus on combating street level crime in the city—including burglary, assaults, theft and vandalism. Our citizens want a greater street-level police presence and enforcement, and I am committed to doing exactly that.

    I have been a champion for Richmond’s Fire Department, making sure that they have pay equity and the equipment and support they need. As Richmond grows and new areas are populated, I understand that fire protection and support will be critical for our future.

    Public safety professionals—police, firefighters, and EMT workers—must be adequately compensated for the difficult jobs they perform. As Mayor, I will be a proven advocate in the fight against crime who will work with our next Police Chief and all of our citizens to make the best use of our public safety resources.

    Richmond’s public schools have shown dramatic improvement in accreditation over the past several years. Nevertheless, much remains to be done to enhance student achievement, make our schools safer, and improve infrastructure.

    As a councilman, I have sought to make our schools more accountable by fighting for the first major audit of our public school finances. This audit has identified $25 million in potential savings, and the School Board has already implemented some of these recommendations. Likewise, it’s time to make the “City of the Future” capital improvements program a reality by moving beyond the turf battles and political infighting, so that we can do the right thing for our students, parents and educators—and get our schools modernized and decent.


    Now is the time to get past the “old politics” of confrontation, divisiveness and petty bickering. Progress can happen only when Richmond’s leaders and citizens agree on a common, positive vision and then work together to make it happen. I pledge to be a leader who will join with the City Council, School Board and our regional partners to implement constructive change.


    As a councilman I have consistently fought to reduce property taxes and to identify ways to cut city government waste. The City Auditor has recommended sweeping changes to current city policies; it is now time to implement those changes. As your Mayor, I will lead by example by disbanding the current nine member taxpayer-funded mayoral security detail and abolishing car allowances for top city officials, including the Mayor.


    Mass transit is a necessity if we are to promote economic development, make affordable housing more accessible, create jobs, and reduce automotive traffic and fuel consumption. I will work with our regional partners to plan for our future transportation needs while providing efficient alternatives to driving.

    The proposed Downtown Master Plan provides us with a good place to start as we move forward to preserve the James River while making our downtown a more hospitable, walkable and vibrant place. We must take action to protect our precious historic resources as an integral part of making Richmond a destination tourist attraction.


    Richmond’s civic and neighborhood associations are a valuable resource as we continue to make our neighborhoods desirable and attractive places to live. I will work to encourage a partnership between the city government, private investors and neighborhood leaders to stimulate residential and commercial improvements where they are needed the most.

    Because our citizens are so valuable in their knowledge, talents, and willingness to work hard, I will re-institute the Neighborhood Teams process and will make sure that the City government is supporting the diverse priorities and needs of our wonderful and beautiful neighborhoods.

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