I’m still concerned.
Let’s go back to John Hammer’s analysis of the Greensboro City Council’s weekend retreat. The way Hammer describes it, the retreat was a total joke, right down to the 2k + expenses for a facilitator whose idea of facilitating was to let the most uncivil Dianne Bellamy-Small speak whenever she wanted for as long as she wanted.
A council elected on a conservative platform needs to cut this stuff out. Something else bothered at the end of Tuesday night’s meeting that makes me worry nothing’s gonna change with this council. City housing director Andy Scott asked to sign off on an application for fed stimulus money for various project, including —you guessed it —– the proposed hotel on the corner of S. Elm and Lee streets.
Look, I understand this is a newly elected council, I understand this is free money, and I understand this is just an application. And council members made sure that applying for the money wouldn’t tie the city to any one project. But I would have loved it if just one council member spoke up and said hell no, we don’t want stimulus money, period.
But instead the council approved the application with a 9-0 vote — what I call a ‘city council special.’
Right after that vote, City Manager Rashad Young presented the council with an item to cancel all bids for the city’s new transit maintenance facility because none of the contractors met state and fed standards when their bids. So the process starts over again, and so much for the desperately-needed jobs this project would have created. When you take fed money, you play by fed rules.
Funny thing was that council member Zack Matheny asked Young to make an effort to get the city “out of these messes.” How ironic that Matheny after he helped make a mess that won’t be cleaned up for some time — if ever.
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