Dwight Clinton Jones

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Rev.
Dwight Clinton Jones
79th Mayor of Richmond, Virginia
Incumbent
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 Roland D. Ealey
Succeeded by Delores McQuinn
Personal details
Born (1948-02-03) February 3, 1948 (age 66)
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 Bachelors 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, three new schools have been constructed; Broad Rock Elementary, Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School.[6][7] Construction is currently underway at the new Huguenot High School with an opening date of January 2015.[8]

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. [9][10]

During the Jones Administration, construction of a new Richmond City Jail occurred and opened in July 2014 under capacity.[11] The new jail replaces one that was built in the 1960’s, was consistently overcrowded and had significant maintenance and safety issues. [12]

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.[13] 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.[14]

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.[15] Acceptance of the City Central LLC proposal was controversial and after opposition by the city council, additional proposals were requested by the city administration.[16] 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.[17] 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".[18]

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.[19] 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.[20]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Virginia Democrats elect Jones as new chairman". Richmond Times Dispatch. 2014-03-15. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "First Baptist Church South Richmond - Our Staff". First Baptist Church South Richmond. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Angel Booth. "Jones New Pastor at Richmond First Baptist Church". VCU Multimedia Journalism. 
  4. ^ "New Richmond mayor to take oath today". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2008-12-31. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  5. ^ "Virginia House of Delegates 2008; Delegate Dwight Clinton Jones". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  6. ^ "Richmond opens two new schools". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  7. ^ "New Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School opens". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2014-01-06. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  8. ^ "Construction kick-off ceremony for new Huguenot High School". WWBT NBC 12. 2012-01-26. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  9. ^ "New Richmond fire station proposed for part of Canoe Run Park". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  10. ^ "Richmond to open new fire station". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  11. ^ "New Richmond jail opens with cells to spare". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2014-07-29. Retrieved 2014-08-01. 
  12. ^ "New Richmond jail could open in mid-June". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2014-07-07. 
  13. ^ Jones' mayoral campaign fund raises $70,646 July 25, 2011 Richmond Times Dispatch
  14. ^ Richmond begins review process for jail proposals March 26, 2011, Richmond Times Dispatch
  15. ^ City of Richmond receives new jail proposal March 13, 2010, Richmond Times Dispatch
  16. ^ City jail questions bring fiery end to council work session July 1, 2011, Richmond Times Dispatch
  17. ^ Tensions build over Richmond jail plan Richmond Times Dispatch, July 27, 2011
  18. ^ Mistakes made in jail planning process September 12, 2011, Richmond Times Dispatch
  19. ^ Richmond Tea Party audited over taxes Nov 30 2011 Richmond Times Dispatch
  20. ^ Richmond Tea Party says city audit is harassment November 28, 2011 Democrat Herald (AP)

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Political offices
Preceded by
Doug Wilder
Mayor of Richmond
2009–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent