Seriously, a city official said that. On the record. Twice.
Harry Black, the city’s chief financial officer, is now the acting chief administrative officer since the departure of Harrell. He’s interviewed in this week’s Style.
He tackles regionalism:
I mean regionalism is a good thing, where it can work and when it can work. Regionalism makes good dinner conversation. However, demographics are essential to achieving successful regionalism. Too often, the urban component of the regionalism piece, depending upon the demographics of it, may make regionalism a risky proposition.
The whole School Board funding fiasco (whether it’s legal for Wilder to withhold funds):
I don’t know whether it’s legal or illegal. A decision has been made. And we’re following through with the decision. It’ll be up for whomever [is] qualified to opine on the legality of it to do so.
And economic development:
Is it a matter of courting business or letting business exploit the city? … I think the city of Richmond has been exploited enough by a variety of different entities and factions. That’s not going to happen on our watch. We’re going to do responsible economic development, whereby the city puts up some investment, but the return eclipses that investment. No hocus-pocus, abracadabra economic development.
Also getting special mentions were the proposal to build new schools, the Miller & Rhoads Hilton project, as well as the state of the city workforce and some ambiguous statements on the benefits of the convention center and the future of the coliseum. For a non-politician, he sure can avoid a question when he wants to.
For as much as I detest the squabbling that’s taken over city government since Wilder was elected, I do appreciate their caution in economic development. Richmond shouldn’t be so giddy about new developments that they lose money on these deals, or give up too much control in the planning process. So kudos to the Wilder administration for at least this one thing.