Last night the Greensboro City Council voted 7-2 to pursue a November bond referendum for a proposed downtown performing arts center. But Mayor Robbie Perkins made sure to inform everyone that any council member who voted on the affirmative side could later make a motion to reconsider the vote. Perkins knows a bond referendum isn’t likely to pass, so he will do everything he can to ram this through via limited obligation bonds.
What struck me about the discussion was the way citizens who were officially in opposition to the PAC weren’t actually in opposition to idea itself. Many gave credit to PAC boosters for their hard work and complimented the center’s design. They just expressed their desire to vote on whether or not public funds should be used. What a concept.
A couple of things jumped at me when watching boosters speak in favor of the PAC. First of all, I am very, very skeptical of the millions in private funds boosters say would go toward the center. Second, they could have spared everyone their bright yellow ‘arts creates jobs’ buttons, which —as JLF president John Hood recently explained—is balderdash.
The motion to pursue a bond referendum was the last one made by council member Trudy Wade, who will depart for the state Senate. The council narrowly voted to replace Wade with local blogger Tony Wilkins. Perkins and council members Yvonne Johnson, Dianne Bellamy-Small and Nancy Hoffman voted against Wilkins, citing —as the N&R puts it — ‘bad behavior’ on his blog.
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