J.R. Pope resigns as Director of Richmond parks department

From Richmond Magazine:

J.R. Pope, director of Richmond’s parks, recreation and community facilities department, has resigned, confirms City Auditor Umesh Dalal, whose office today issued an inspector general’s report finding that two employees under Pope had improperly billed the city for overtime while building what may be the most expensive desk the city has ever purchased. A receptionist at the parks department confirmed Pope’s resignation during a call for comment from Pope.

J.R. Pope is one of the best things to happen to Richmond in a long time. I have met him on many occasions, done many stories about his work and have admired his work for years. The work of his department to improve Richmond parks and again get citizens involved in their community gathering places is worthy of praise. The cooperation in recent years between the city and groups working to build better parks was largely due to J.R. Pope’s good work. If Pope really leaves Richmond, we’ll have a tough time replacing him. Let’s not lose the momentum the Parks and Recreation Department has built up — continue to support your Richmond parks and create a better city. Great scoop by Chris Dovi and Richmond Magazine. [Comment from Phil Riggan, James River News Hub]

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6 responses to “J.R. Pope resigns as Director of Richmond parks department

  1. JR Pope had great ideas and did a wonderful job building bridges between city administration, staff and volunteers. He is a likable, approachable guy who always made you feel important by listening to what you had to say and following up on it. I hope that he stays in the area. Sounds like the city just shot itself in the foot!

  2. One more vote that hopes he stays. Only met him a few times but was impressed with the passion he showed for the parks.

  3. Pingback: North Richmond News » The $37,000 desk and J.R. Pope

  4. But almost 40k for a counter top they finished is a disgrace.

  5. JR Pope is one of the best representatives the city has ever had as a director of the Recreation and Parks department. The story, as outlined, is incredibly misleading. There seems to be a significant missing piece between the staff that attempted to build this reception desk and the person who actually approved the work to proceed. Does anyone really believe that Mr. Pope would have been aware of the details related to this work? The “buck” surely stopped someplace else.

    The headline neglects to mention that $25k of this was for an insurance claim.

    Now that Richmond has allowed this event to unfold, my next question is, what potential recruit for this now open position will be willing to take on a job that is so easily criticized and sacrificed.

    The quality of JR’s work, his leadership and the dedication that he displayed in his time here in Richmond speaks for itself and it is Richmonds loss that he will no longer be leading this group.

  6. Pingback: Richmond Parks & Recreation audit shows more trouble | James River News Hub

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