City Falls Behind in Payments to Economic Agency 

The old cash management policies of Richmond's former Acting Chief Administrative Officer Harry Black are leaving the region's leading economic development agency scrambling for cash, City Council President Bill Pantele says.

The city pays the Greater Richmond Partnership $390,000 yearly, spread over quarterly installments. But it appears the Wilder administration has withheld as much as half that amount so far in fiscal year 2008, Pantele says.

The partnership arose from recommendations of consultant Jim Crupi's first report 15 years ago. "The vast majority of that [Crupi] report dealt with the need to have a regional vision," Pantele says, calling the partnership "a regional success."

Greg Wingfield, president and CEO of the partnership, says he's received no indication from the city administration that the city doesn't plan to pay, but simply has a "timing issue" with regard to cash flow.

"To us it's not a biggie," Wingfield says. "We're working with the city to make sure we get caught up on the payments."

Pantele, however, isn't satisfied: "So what sort of message does it send when the administration is not present and does not pay an assessment that [City Council has] budgeted?"

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