Last Updated: 2010-01-19

Welcome to the City of Richmond's "Ask the Mayor" page. This new page allows citizens to ask questions of Mayor Jones and view the responses. Ask a question.

I believe I have received a parking ticket in error. Is appearing in Richmond Traffic Court the only way to appeal a parking ticket in the city?

You may appeal a parking citation in one of two ways: administratively, or directly in Richmond Traffic Court.

Administrative review of a parking citation is limited to the following:

  • malfunctioning parking meter
  • fallen or misplaced permit or placard
  • missing, illegible, ambiguously worded sign
  • stolen or transferred vehicle
  • stolen or lost license plate
  • sign or other parking prohibition installed subsequent parking
  • disabled vehicle
  • medical emergency
  • owner deceased
  • restrict parking permit

You may appeal your parking citation by submitting an Administrative Review Form and proper documentation to a Parking Customer Service Specialist (PCSS). The PCSS will either schedule an appointment with you or contact you by phone, mail, fax, or e-mail, regarding your appeal.

I would like to propose a city of Richmond license plate, to show pride in the city.

One of my goals as Mayor is to restore a sense of pride in our great city. A city of Richmond license plate could be a component of this effort, and I am in process of reviewing the requirements with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. If the situation is beneficial for Richmond and its residents, we will be certain to notify our citizens with instructions of how to obtain a city of Richmond plate.

Why doesn't the Richmond Fire Department should form a volunteer firefighters program like Chesterfield, Hanover and other localities to supplement the paid city firefighters? Freeze hiring new firefighters and start placing skilled volunteers. Many retired firemen in nearby counties would enjoy volunteering for Richmond, saving taxpayers money.

Before becoming a paid municipal fire department in 1858, the city of Richmond relied upon individual volunteer fire companies located throughout the city. As the city began to grow in size and population, naturally the calls for service for the Fire Department grew as well. In setting the trend as the sixth oldest paid fire department in the country, Richmond realized that a fully staffed and trained fire department was necessary to provide its citizens with greater guarantee of adequate firefighting resources comprised of highly-trained personnel through consistent and timely response.

Today, this continues to be necessary in urban localities due to population densities, close proximity and construction of buildings, call volume and demand for various emergency services to include Emergency Medical System (EMS) services, Hazardous Materials response, Water Rescue, Heavy and Tactical Rescue, in addition to the traditional role of fire protection. Richmond is certainly no different. Some suburban departments that have moderate building and population densities, modern construction, and relatively low call volumes can supplement their career firefighting force with volunteer resources. However, nearly all urban and metropolitan fire departments have been forced to phase out volunteer programs as too costly to maintain and manage for the availability and consistent response reliability they provide over the long term. Richmond Firefighters are required to go through hundreds of hours of training during a 20-week recruit academy before being assigned to a fire station. They are then required to maintain that training on a monthly basis and recertify regularly throughout their careers.

Rather than struggle to effectively utilize traditional volunteer firefighter resources, the Richmond Fire Department embraces many programs that allow interested citizens and aspiring firefighters to learn broadly about the fire service and to get an up-close, hands-on look at what it takes to be a firefighter for the city of Richmond. These include programs aimed at young people such as our Fire Explorer Post and the Fire Cadet program at the Franklin Military through a partnership we have with Richmond Public Schools. Programs for interested adult community members include our Ride-Along Program, and annual Citizens Fire Academy. Finally, we do have opportunities to volunteer in supporting capacities through the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program, and we are currently developing additional opportunities as part of the Fire Corps in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).

Why doesn't Richmind increase the Neighborhood Assistance Officer (NAO) program of volunteers to help the Richmond Police. I was a former NAO in the 1980's and would enjoy giving back to the city. Right now, the city Emergency Management is lacking in volunteers and its CERT program has been slow. NAO's could be used more often in security of city facilities or in times of need.

Richmond's Neighborhood Assistance Officer (NAO) program is actually quite strong. There are currently 29 NAO's assisting the Richmond Police Department in areas such as traffic control, tagging abandoned vehicles, and towing cars. The program is an excellent tool to ensure that police officers are free to protect citizens rather than becoming involved in minor traffic-related duties.

If you're interested in the city's NAO program, the Richmond Police Department holds several NAO Academies each year to give citizens basic knowledge to succeed as an NAO. Contact Eva Bonaparte with the city's Community Care Group at (804)646-5334 for more information.

Unrelated to the NAO program, the city's Department of Emergency Management regularly conducts free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training on basic disaster response methods. Several classes are held throughout the year. For more information, contact the city's Office of Emergency Management for more information.

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