Plan to put Richmond baseball debate on a ballot postponed - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Plan to put Richmond baseball debate on a ballot postponed


There was huge disappointment from crowds of people who swarmed Richmond's City Council meeting Monday night. They came with signs in hand, prepared to speak their minds over new developments in the fight for baseball in The Bottom, but the discussion never even started.

City Councilwoman Reva Trammell was set to announce a brand new pitch in the controversial baseball dilemma, which would have given folks a chance to weigh in, but there was a strike when she abruptly announced a change of plans.

A flood of signs surrounded Richmond City Hall at a packed council meeting. Many were pushing the council to steer clear of Mayor Jones' original baseball in The Bottom proposal.

"It's pretty nonsensical," said opponent Salem Acuna.

From the beginning, Mayor Jones has suggested his plan would boost revitalization in Shockoe Bottom with the addition of a slavery heritage site. Opponents are so critical, they even brought a giant post card giving the mayor a poor rating when it comes to listening.

So City Councilwoman Reva Trammell was expected to announce a proposal that would listen to the voice of the voters by putting the question of whether to build a new stadium on a ballot. Turns out, she wasn't ready to move forward.

"Because I didn't have a chance to talk to my colleagues, I didn't think it was right to put something out there and have them vote on something that they had not seen and we had not discussed," Trammell said.

That left Tom Hanson a little frustrated. He's the engineer behind the current Diamond Stadium and came prepared to speak out. His idea --- simply upgrade the current ballpark.

"It's already there. We paid for it. It works well…Why do we need a new one? We got a good one," Hanson said.

But all of the conversations will now have to wait, causing more criticism as the council gathered for its last meeting of the summer.

"It's always unfortunate when the issues that matter to a lot of people don't get addressed," said Salem Acuna.

A Chesterfield developer has announced a proposal to build a new privately financed ballpark next to the current site and Councilman Jonathan Baliles wants the city to purchase properties in Shockoe to spur development.

Also at council, members approved a 2 % pay raise for city employees but decided to postpone talks over how that would impact incentives for first responders who get extra training. The council also voted to approve a plan to accept nearly $200,000 from the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority to assign Richmond officers to patrol the city's public housing complexes.

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