Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney formally took office on January 1, 2017. However, his inaugural events were scheduled to be midway through the first month of his term. At the age of 35, Stoney took the Oath of Office during his inauguration ceremony at Richmond City Hall on January 14. He is the 80th mayor and the youngest one Richmond has ever had during its 274-year history.

Mayor's inauguration speech

Mayor Stoney laid out his plans after promising that it will be a new era for the city. He emphasized that he refuses to accept dysfunction and inefficiency.

He listed several things he will put into place immediately. First of all, the new mayor plans to revamp city hall by demanding a complete performance review of every city department to make sure it is functioning to the highest capacity possible. He will focus on balancing the city's books, and rebuilding confidence in city government. Police operations will be enhanced, with tough sentences for violent offenders, and new plans to keep guns off Richmond streets. Additionally, he will see to it that potholes are filled on the roads.

Benefits for the city

During his speech, Mayor Stoney pledged, committed, vowed, and promised change that will benefit Richmond residents. A top priority is to help overcome poverty.

He cited that 40 percent of the children in Richmond live below the poverty line. Stoney says this will change during his term. He said he will see to it that crumbling school buildings will be fixed. He vowed to keep qualified teachers instead of having them leave to teach in other school systems.

Mayor Stoney convinced the crowd who attended his inauguration that Richmond parents will have an advocate and a friend, and most importantly, students will have a champion and a voice.

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Mayor Stoney replaces Mayor Dwight Jones, 68, who served two terms from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2016. Residents of Richmond, Virginia are happy to have Stoney as mayor, and look forward to working with him to make the city one of the best in the nation.