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Archive for January 11th, 2013

Guilford County’s $41 million budget deficit

Ed Cone passes along a Facebook post from Guilford County Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen:

For those who heard a giant “thud” about 2 pm followed by complete silence—it was the County manager dropping a $41 million budget deficit estimate primarily from bond debt on the Commissioners and Department Directors.

Thigpen later posts:

The new Board members have (admirably) staked themselves out not to raise taxes, but the problem is voters approved the debt to build schools, jails, parks, etc and to also raise taxes on themselves when they approved the school debt. This whole discussion needs to be packaged and presented differently. It’s putting the new Board on the hook for a responsiblity many of them didn’t create but have to respond.

Exactly—-that’s why they were elected. We can only hope they’ve learned from their initial rookie mistakes.

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W-S leaders stand behind Herbalife

Most notably Mayor Allen Joines:

Joines said he is aware of some local concern about Herbalife’s financial status, given the decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct an inquiry into its business practices and the departure of a large independent distributor.

Part of Joines’ confidence is that Herbalife must meet investment and job creation criteria before beginning to qualify for a combined $3.44 million in local incentives. The local contracts also have “claw-back” clauses, as did the Dell Inc. contracts, that require Herbalife to pay back whatever incentives it receives if it closes the plant within five years.

“We will monitor the situation, but our primary concern is the long-term viability of the company,” Joines said.

“Given the 28 year history of the company and the fact that the N.C. Attorney General did not uncover any issues, I remain positive about the project.

“However, if something substantive is reported, we will respond as appropriate.”

Local financial adviser Bowman Gray IV adds Winston-Salem’s economic development team “has worked very hard, and I don’t think they believe for a second that a company with a market cap of over $4 billion was not legitimate.”

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