The Richmond Register

Local News

October 23, 2013

Sunset Avenue problem sparks heated exchanges

Commissioner, mayor disagree on solution



Wednesday morning, Howard met Maupin outside her house with three public works employees who he said could fix her driveway if she approved the engineer’s drawing. Barnes, King and Commissioner Jim Newby also were present, as well as Williams and planning and zoning inspector Kevin Causey.

Howard said the plan was to remove the pervious concrete at the end of Maupin’s and her neighbor’s driveways and raise them by a few inches, pouring standard concrete instead. Two large trench drains would also be added at the end of the driveways to catch runoff from the street, he said.

When Maupin said she wanted her sidewalk replaced as well, Barnes said the city couldn’t do that because if it did, other property owners on the street would want similar replacements. Maupin argued with the mayor, saying the pervious concrete wasn’t working. When she began to raise her voice, Barnes walked up to her and stood inches from her face.

“Do not raise your voice at me,” Barnes said twice before walking away.

When Maupin again said she wanted her sidewalk replaced, Barnes left the meeting. As he drove off, King pointed to his car and announced she was going to run for mayor and “beat that man.”

King raised concerns that the existing sidewalk may be too high and may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Howard said that could be looked at in the future, but the purpose of the meeting was to make plans for fixing the driveway. When Howard turned from King to speak with the public works employees, she accused him of “running away from the problem.”

“I’m not running away from a g**d***** thing,” Howard said.

He later apologized for the comment, and personally apologized to Maupin for the problems she was having. He said the city attorney authorized them to fix the driveway, but the sidewalk had not been discussed.

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