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Dwight Clinton Jones

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Dwight Clinton Jones

Rev.
Dwight Clinton Jones
Jones in 2015
79th Mayor of Richmond, Virginia
Assumed office
January 1, 2009
Preceded by L. Douglas Wilder
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 70th district
In office
January 12, 1994 – January 1, 2009
Preceded by Lawrence D. Wilder, Jr.
Succeeded by Delores McQuinn
Personal details
Born (1948-02-03) February 3, 1948
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political party Democratic
Children Dwight, Derik, Nichole
Residence Richmond, Virginia
Alma mater Virginia Union University
United Theological Seminary
Profession Minister
Religion Baptist
Website Mayor Dwight C. Jones

Dwight Clinton Jones (born February 3, 1948) is the Mayor of Richmond, Virginia. Jones took office on January 1, 2009, and he was inaugurated for his second term on January 12, 2013. He is a member of the Democratic Party, and was elected chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia on March 15, 2014.[1] Jones was born in Philadelphia and moved to Richmond after attending Virginia Union University. He earned his Doctorate from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and his Master of Divinity and Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Baptist and currently senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of South Richmond.[2][3]

Jones' first inauguration was held on January 10, 2009. Prior to that, he was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 70th District 1994–2008.[4][5] Jones also served as a member of the Richmond City School Board in 1979 and again as chairman from 1982-1985.

During Jones’ term as Mayor of Richmond, Virginia, four new schools have been constructed; Broad Rock Elementary, Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary, Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School,[6][7] and Huguenot High School which is the first high school built in the City of Richmond in 40 years.[8][9]

A new fire station was also constructed and completed in 2012. The new Fire Station 17 was the first newly constructed fire station in the City of Richmond in 18 years. It replaces a fire station that was built in 1917 and was designed for horse-drawn equipment.[10][11]

During the Jones Administration, construction of a new Richmond City Jail occurred and opened in July 2014 under capacity.[12] The new jail replaces one that was built in the 1960s, was consistently overcrowded and had significant maintenance and safety issues.[13]

Jones has been fundraising for a possible reelection campaign, with a majority of contributions from Altria Group Inc and Dominion Resources Inc executives and employees. In 2011, Jones re-election committee received 96 donations, 46 of the donations (45% of the total cash value) from these two corporations, their executives, and employees.[14] Complaints of corporate influence and favoritism arose after Jones' 2008 election when the Mayor supported construction of a new city jail by City Central LLC. City Central LLC was a consortium of individuals and corporations which were major contributors to Jones 2008 election campaign.[15]

On February 16, 2010, City Central LLC submitted an unsolicited proposal to build a new jail. Although the city of Richmond had already begun the process of expanding the existing jail and had received 11 proposals, the City Central LLC proposal was accepted and the eleven other submissions were returned unopened.[16] Acceptance of the City Central LLC proposal was controversial and after opposition by the city council, additional proposals were requested by the city administration.[17] Mayor Jones eventually awarded the jail construction project to Tompkins/Ballard Joint Venture of Washington. City Council members questioned the award, claiming bias and the city had ignored its own procurement rules, and ordered an audit of the procurement process.[18] Despite concerns and questions raised by the audit, and after Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Operations Christopher Beschler accepted responsibility for the procurement failures, the City Council approved the selection of Tompson/Ballard. Despite the approval, some city council members were not satisfied with the process. Member Bruce Tyler stated, "The mayor chose to put politics in front of people. They rammed it down our throats instead of dealing with our questions".[19]

Jones was accused of unequal treatment of Richmond Tea Party compared to Occupy Richmond protesters. The Richmond Tea Party was required to obtain permits and licenses in order to use the city's Kanawha Park, and was required to pay for city services provided during rallies. The city had allowed Occupy Richmond to maintain a continuous encampment in Kanawha Park, and has provided portable toilets, trash removal and other services to Occupy Richmond at city expense, costing more than $17,000.[20] The Richmond Tea Party submitted an invoice to the city for reimbursement of past permitting and service fees levied on the Richmond Tea Party. Shortly after submitting the invoice, the Tea Party received an audit notice. Partly based upon Mayor Jones' comments in support of Occupy Richmond, the Tea Party claims the audit is in retaliation for publicizing bias and is considering a lawsuit.[21]

Dwight Jones, although having served on the Richmond Public School Board, has not deferred to the current elected School Board or their popular Superintendent. Jones' most recent proposed budget for the FY 2016 is roughly $25 million - or around 10% - less than the budget requested from the School Board.[22] The additional funds would go toward implementing a comprehensive schools academic improvement program that includes more teachers and more specialized programs. Additionally, the Capital Improvement Plan budget falls far short of funding the nearly $35 million of required maintenance to the city's aged buildings. Some of the repairs required date back to 30 years of deferred maintenance.[23]

Notes

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  14. ^ Jones' mayoral campaign fund raises $70,646 July 25, 2011 Richmond Times Dispatch
  15. ^ Richmond begins review process for jail proposals March 26, 2011, Richmond Times Dispatch
  16. ^ City of Richmond receives new jail proposal March 13, 2010, Richmond Times Dispatch
  17. ^ City jail questions bring fiery end to council work session July 1, 2011, Richmond Times Dispatch
  18. ^ Tensions build over Richmond jail plan Richmond Times Dispatch, July 27, 2011
  19. ^ Mistakes made in jail planning process September 12, 2011, Richmond Times Dispatch
  20. ^ Richmond Tea Party audited over taxes Nov 30 2011 Richmond Times Dispatch
  21. ^ Richmond Tea Party says city audit is harassment November 28, 2011 Democrat Herald (AP)
  22. ^ Dwight C Jones administration FY16 Budget
  23. ^ City of Richmond 2016 CIP

References

External links

  • First Baptist Church of South Richmond
  • Project Vote Smart - Representative Dwight Clinton Jones (VA) profile
  • Follow the Money - Dwight C Jones
    • 2005 2003 2001 1999 campaign contributions
  • Washington Post - Dwight C. Jones 2008 profile
Political offices
Preceded by
Doug Wilder
Mayor of Richmond
2009–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
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