Bill Bencini: High Point’s next mayor?

by Daniel Schere

Bill Bencini

We are less than 24 hours away from the deadline for candidate filings in Guilford County, and so far Bill Bencini is the only candidate who has announced they are running to be High Point’s next mayor.

Bencini currently serves as chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners. He was elected to the board in 2010 after serving on the High Point City Council for 11 years, but the General Assembly redistricted for the census, and he lost many of his constituents that were in the city.

“It always seemed to me that High Point didn’t have very strong representation at the county level,” he said. “Not being able to represent the citizens of High Point, I thought this might be a good time for me to think about coming back to elected office in the city of High Point.”

Bencini has served with members of the current council including Mayor Bernita Sims, and councilwoman Becky Smothers. He hopes the council takes a more comprehensive view of economic development, adding that creating office parks does not increase the tax base or encourage people to live in the city.

“Economic development should go far beyond offering incentives, the recruitment of businesses and the economic development should embrace the city’s mission statement,” he said.

Bencini said he is interested in the proposal put forth by the grassroots group “We Heart High Point” of dieting one section of Main Street to fewer lanes so that it becomes more pedestrian friendly.

“I think it’s an idea worth pursuing.” He said.

Bencini said a previous project on Lindsay Street cost $5.1 million, but this involved putting electric lines underground and improving storm water drains. He said the Main Street project could be less expensive since it would simply involve repainting the lines.