What five 'no' votes mean for baseball in Richmond - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

What five 'no' votes mean for baseball in Richmond

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

With five Richmond City Council members prepared to vote no on Tuesday night to Mayor Dwight Jones' plan to bring baseball and other development to Shockoe Bottom, the proposal appears to be dead.

Right now, the Shockoe development plan will not pass City Council. So far, there are at least five "no" votes, which is all that's needed to kill the bill. City council members say they do not anticipate any delay or continuance in the vote Tuesday night.

The mayor still has the option of withdrawing the paper at any time before the tally for any reason. That is a possibility, given he's invited council members to learn concrete details on the plan Thursday.

Council President Charles Samuels along with council members Jon Baliles, Chris Hilbert, Parker Agelasto, and Reva Trammel are definite no votes. Hilbert says he believes they need to start over.

Councilwoman Michelle Mosby said Tuesday if there is a vote, she'll abstain.

"I've always been for getting all of the information and then making a decision, so I am hoping tonight that the mayor will withdraw it," she explained.

Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille said Tuesday morning she, too, is waiting for more information before making a decision. Council Vice President Ellen Robertson met with the mayor Tuesday morning, but hasn't responded to our inquiry, nor has City from Councilwoman Kathy Graziano.

From the very beginning, discussions between the City and the Richmond Flying Squirrels included the need for a new stadium to replace the Diamond.

"From a front office standpoint we've always tried to stay positive," said Squirrels Chief Operating Officer Todd "Parney" Parnell, who deflected questions about whether the Squirrels would leave if council kills this proposal. "I think that's a question for the ownership group more so than me right now. I know that we love Richmond all of us. I know that we've been very inspired by our fan base here in Richmond and I think that we're still confident through and through that something's going to happen."

The Richmond Flying Squirrels ownership has not responded to our request for comment.

Like the Squirrels, there are still some city council members who also say they want more information.

"I would need the finances not to come back and bite," Mosby responded when asked what she would need in order to approve the plan.

Those finances, though, could remain unclear until Thursday's briefing. Samuels and Baliles, two no votes, expressed frustration on Tuesday with that invitation and call it "another delay."

The "comprehensive briefing" on "Revitalize RVA" is planned for Thursday at 1 p.m.

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