The disco ball and flashing lights were a good indication that this was going to be a different type of civic meeting

Apr 11, 2024 | by

Give or take 170 people turned out for City Council 8th District representative Reva Trammell’s district meeting on Thursday night at the Satellite Restaurant & Lounge.

I got there at 5:55 pm for the 6pm meeting and the parking lot was full and the room was already standing room only. An MC was already giving the crowd the rules – please no in & out, please be quiet so you can hear the speakers, the mayoral candidates get will 3 minutes and no questions, regular speakers will get 4 questions.

This (and the disco ball and the flashing lights) were a good indication that this was going to be a different type of civic meeting.

On the way in, everyone is strongly encouraged to sign in & take a hefty information packet (28 sheets & a pamphlet on the city’s budget process & a rice krispie treat). The one thing I didn’t see was an agenda for the meeting, but I was honestly a little overwhelmed.

This write-up is going to read scattershot and a little sketched. The meeting was 100% content and moved quickly, and I may be a little out of practice. Have you ever been to a civic type meeting that got bogged down with back&forth BS or taken over by one person in the audience with an agenda? This was the exact opposite of that.

There a couple different people on the mic keeping the meeting going. It felt like a well-practiced routine, familiar to the folks in the audience, and quick moving. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a spectacle, but this room was having fun.

There was at least one person circulating with with little bottles waters, sodas, and bags of chips.

Ms.Trammell opened the meeting to applause, sharing that a number of mayoral candidates would be speaking (for 3 minutes each). A few voices in the crowd called out “Reva for Mayor”; Tramell reiterated that she is running for re-election for the 8th District City Council seat.

Andreas Addison, Dr.Danny Avula, Harrison Roday, and Maurice Neblett each spoke. Michelle Mosby was running late and spoke later in the meeting. They all laid out why you should vote for them, more on elsewhere another day. Note to candidates: get real good at a polished 3 minute speech.

Delegate Michael Jones spoke briefly about the state budget process & Governor Younkin’s historic veto rate. On the way out said “make sure y’all do one thing, re-elect Reva Trammell”.

City of Richmond Chief Administrative Officer Lincoln Saunders shared that there is $58 million going towards storm water remediation in Southside planned over the next several years.

Public Works Director Bobbie (“Mr.Bobbie”) Vincent was up briefly; I didn’t get any notes here.

Chief of Police Rick Edwards gave a broad overview of crime rates city-wide. There has been a 7% reduction in violent crime, and homicides are down from last year even with the recent violence. There was an officer involved shooting recently in Union Hill in the East End, and the body camera footage will be released in the near future.

For his Q&A bit, an older woman in the crowd spoke about homeless men that seemed to be living at the bus stop near her house & how it made her nervous. Chief Edwards began to speak of partnerships with other organizations, when someone with a relevant connection went over to speak to the woman.

Chief Edwards was also asked about the apparent discrepancy between the high number of cars that were stolen last year, the number of arrests, and a very low conviction rate. The take away is that most are of the arrestees for car theft were juveniles, which is handled differently.

Also: Q: Are you under any pressure to make report a certain way? A: NO we follow guidelines.

The engine company from Fire Station 21 from down the street reminded folks to have your smoke detectors checked.

A representative from the Sherriff’s Office spoke about Project Lifesaver, a program that “aids families and members of their families who wander and suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Autism, or similar situations” by sharing a personalized tracker allows officers to locate the patient quickly. For more details, call 804-646-4070.

Chip Decker, longtime CEO of the Richmond Ambulance Authority shared that overdoses “have dropped out of top 10”, that they are seeing a little more than 3 a day. There has been a recent uptick in breathing problems. Reminder that warm weather leads to more active pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles vs cars & trucks – be mindful of your walking and driving

(This is when Michelle Mosby got to speak. Do you think being late was on purpose so she’d stand out more? If so it worked.)

After all this, Reva comes up. She doesn’t have a whole lot to say – she’s done the thing by getting everyone here together in the room. She mentions some projects and issues, a shout out to the T.B. Smith Community Center, she says that we’re all family, and the next meeting is May 9 6-7:30 same place. And she gave out her cell number 5 or 6 times.

Oh – on the way out there were styrofoam containers of dinner to take home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *