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Council member wants to nix lump sum severance for city worker

Posted at 7:06 PM, Mar 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-16 19:06:37-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond resident Camille Bird remembers first reading about former Mayor Dwight Jones signing off on a severance package for his appointees as he was preparing to leave office.

"Everything I was reading, it was like, 'Are you kidding me?'" Bird said.

The severance pay added up to $166,000.

"I feel like we've been left with a mess and it's not just Mayor Stoney's mess, it's all of our mess," Bird said.

A city ordinance allows for these payouts, but this has caused concern for both citizens and city leaders.

"Those individuals get a lump payment and that lump payment can really hurt our ability to hire people to replace them because it hits the same budget line as personnel," said Richmond City Councilwoman Kim Gray.

Gray has introduced an ordinance that would change the way severance pay is given out.

"The payments will be less than what is currently offered and they will happen over the time period of payroll," said Gray. "The additional benefit that folks will get is healthcare coverage."

WTVR CBS 6 a reached out to the Mayor's office about this proposed change.

Spokesman Jim Nolan sent the following statement:

"We will seriously consider any and all ordinances submitted by Council Members on this matter, in addition to reviewing best practices, to determine the best way to address this issue going forward."