Lafayette: What do we need in our next mayor?

In November of this year, with the mayoral election, Richmonders will hire a new leader for our city. Between now and then, we will hear several names of potential candidates; and eventually two — possibly three, even four — will mount credible campaigns and one person will receive the voters’ approval.

In some ways, the election of a mayor is akin to a search for new, executive leadership of an organization. And all smart organizations, before they initiate a search, undergo an intentional period of discernment. Simply put, they envision their desired future and that vision helps identify the characteristics, talents, and experiences needed in the next leader.

A collective conversation about our future that informs the mayoral election is what I hope the residents of our region, especially the citizens of the city, will engage in over the next several months. While Richmond is just one jurisdiction within central Virginia, the next mayor can, will, and should have an impact regionally. To a significant extent, as goes the city, so goes our region.