Julian Hayter, a historian and assistant professor of leadership studies, comments on Richmond's strong-mayor system and the role of City Council.

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“I would argue that this is probably what a lot of skeptics were saying happens when you elect a mayor at large,” said Julian Maxwell Hayter, assistant professor of leadership studies at the University of Richmond.

“I think when pressed, City Council has acted recently to defend the citizens of the city against some of this ineptitude. I don’t know how much they can do ... to preclude something like (city financial) issues.”

Added Hayter: “I do know in recent months there’s been a concerted effort to resist the nature in which these budgets have been shaking out in recent years. But I don’t think we can divorce what City Council did from the critical mass of people who put pressure on the council to do something about this budget.”

He cited the number of Richmond Public Schools supporters bearing placards and stickers opposing school closings and budget cuts as “democracy in action. Council was responsive to the people in this particular instance.”

Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies
Modern African American History
American Civil Rights Movement
African American Politics in Richmond, Virginia
American Political Development after 1945