Mayor proposed budget and $1,000 bonus for employees

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond's mayor says no new taxes or layoffs. Dwight Jones presented his $1.4 billion budget proposal for the next two years to the City Council this afternoon. He says had a $26 million shortfall, but managed not to cut into any services that directly effect you.

From police to firefighters, none of the city's more than 3,800 employees have had a raise in the last three years. The mayor's offering up a thousand dollar bonus in July. And he wants to create a child care center for city employees.

"We are not able to give the kind of increases that we want to give, they have not received an increase in salary since 2008. And so this is a perk, a very good perk our people have said is something that would be beneficial to them," said Jones.

He also says no layoffs or furloughs either at city hall. Mayor Jones made his focus public safety and education. He's set aside money to break ground on two more new schools this year. And budgeted money for building a new jail. He's suggested setting aside $1.7 million for renovations to Monroe park.

And he wants $2.3 million to begin the conversion of Richmond's one way streets to two.

He doesn't want a real estate tax increase and neither does city council president Kathy Graziano. "Clearly we can not go to the citizens and ask for tax increases. and to me that's why one of our major emphasis has to be economic development in the city getting jobs keeping the jobs we have here."

It is city council after all who will have the final say.

"I think we've got a good foundation that is purpose driven for a budget to make some decisions," said City Council Vice President Ellen Robertson.

Council members will pour through the proposal over the next two months. The public will get a chance to weigh in on May 2nd. City council will take a final vote May 23rd.

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