What is the mayor’s office?
The mayor is the City’s chief executive officer, serving as the head of the government for ceremonial purposes, in times of military law, and in civil processes.
The Office of the Mayor is charged with providing vision and leadership in creating municipal policies and priorities, developing solutions to issues both long and short-term in nature. As the head of government, the mayor also leads the way in promoting the City’s relationship with the private sector, other governmental bodies, and also the citizens and communities.
The mayor is elected in an at-large election through receiving the majority of votes in at least five of the nine City Council voting districts to serve a term of four years. No one may serve as mayor for more than two consecutive full terms.
The mayor of Richmond is characterized as a strong mayor, rather than a weak mayor, based on the level of political power and administrative authority assigned to the mayor’s office. As noted by the National League of Cities, a strong mayor directs the administrative structure of city departments, has veto power, and oversees daily operations. Richmond’s charter designates these powers to its mayor, with the appointment and dismissal of department heads being a duty of the chief administrative officer, who serves at the pleasure of the mayor.
Who is the mayor?
Levar Stoney is Richmond’s youngest elected mayor. He was elected in November of 2016 and is the successor of Mayor Dwight C. Jones.
Mayor Stoney calls himself the “eternal optimist.” His goals as mayor include:
- Transforming Public Education and Strengthening Richmond’s Schools
- Promoting Public Safety
- A New Approach to Housing
- Economic Development that Prioritizes People
- Economic Inclusion
- Wealth Building
- Overcoming Poverty in Richmond
Use the following link to read a biography of Mayor Stoney, as published by the City of Richmond.
For more information on Mayor Stoney’ and his goals and priorities for the city of Richmond, follow this link to his personal website.
How does the office work?
The mayor has several key duties, as outlined by the city code:
- Attend, or be represented at, all City Council meetings in order to answer questions and make recommendations; the mayor or the representative may speak but not vote
- Advise the Council on the financial condition and future needs of the city relating to its proper administration
- Oversee the preparation and submission of an annual budget
- Perform other duties as outlined by the city charter, the general laws of the Commonwealth, or ordinances written by the Council; **NOTE: the mayor can veto any ordinance that imposes duties on him, the chief administrative officer, or any city department head, if done within two weeks of the Council’s action; Council can override a veto by a vote of six or more members of council.
Chief Administrative Officer
A key player in the mayor’s office is the chief administrative officer (CAO). The chief administrative officer is particularly powerful in the City; as the administrative head of local government, the CAO is responsible for the management of all local affairs. In many ordinances and resolutions dealing with the allocation of funds, the legislation will open by authorizing the CAO to either accept or allocate the money at hand in that particular ordinance.
On May, 2015, Selena Cuffee-Glenn became Richmond’s CAO, after being appointed by Mayor Jones and confirmed by the City Council.
The city code assigns the following duties to the chief administrative officer, most of which are also specifically outlined in the code of the Commonwealth of Virginia:
- Prepare the annual budget for the mayor to submit to Council
- Prepare a report for submission to Council the financial transactions and activities of the city government
- Present financial and activity reports of the city as requested by the Council
- Maintain cemeteries
- Attend all Council meetings, or be represented at each one, to answer questions and make recommendations on the mayor’s behalf
- Perform other duties assigned by ordinance, the city charter, or as conferred by the mayor
The work of the city government is facilitated through the work of the city departments. Richmond has 18 different administrative departments and offices. The following is a list of the departments and links to their main homepage on the city’s website:
- Animal Control
- Budget and Strategic Planning
- Economic and Community Development
- Fire and Emergency Services
- Human Resources
- Human Services
- Information Technology
- Justice Services
- Mayor’s Office
- Minority Business Development
- Office of the Chief Administrative Officer
- Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities
- Planning and Development Review
- Press Secretary
- Procurement Services
- Public Utilities
- Public Works
- Social Services