significant event occurred when the council hired someone who was not educated or trained as a local government manager to serve in that capacity.  He replaced a top pro who was contentious and cranky, but who has followed his tenure in Richmond with other top placements in the country. What has followed is a sea change in city leadership, an overhaul of the top layers of administration, and a series of embarrassments and illegalities that many believe led to the voters of Richmond last fall to pass by 80 percent a referendum asking to change their charter to allow a strong mayor as opposed to city manager/council form of government.  The legislature approved this change.  One of the persons involved in that referendum movement may very well become the next mayor of Richmond.  He is the grandson of slaves, the first African American Governor of any state in this country, and a former legislator and state legislator.  The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder is giving the Richmond political establishment a run for their money.  While this is news to Richmond politics, we cannot stress this enough:  it should resonate with local government managers
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Could the man in the middle become Richmond’s new popularly elected mayor?  If so, how could this historic election change local government in Virginia as we know it?  From (l to r), Chesterfield Board of Supervisor Dickie King, former Governor Doug Wilder, and VR Publisher Roger Habeck compared notes on the region at a recent event.
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photo / virginia review