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Chris Phillips

by Yes Weekly Election Coverage

Residential address: Beech Street (map)

Incumbent or challenger: Challenger

Age: 45

Campaign website or blog: chrisphillips.us (link)

Occupation and employer: Sales, HH Gregg

Previous elective experience (including election campaigns):Volunteer for Theresa Yon campaign for NC House, 2010; volunteer for GuilfordCounty Republican Party

Civic and volunteer experience (including service on citycommissions and boards): Presenter, People First Spending Reform Summitsponsored by Conservatives for GuilfordCounty, May 16, 2011; author, TakeOver Liberalism in America

Education (highest degree attained and name of institution):Bachelors, UNCG

Party registration: Republican (nonpartisan contest)

Where were you born? Brooklyn, NY

When did you move to Greensboro?1991

Paid consultants working on campaign: None (as of Aug. 13)

Campaign manager: None (as of Aug. 13)

Treasurer: None (as of Aug. 13)

Do you favor oroppose reopening the White Street Landfill for household waste, beyond thesmall amount of sewer sludge currently accepted? Briefly explain your position.

I favor reopening the White Street Landfill. However, thereneeds to be certain conditions that’ should be met. The landfill must notbe a health hazard to the people that live in the community. That there is nofoul odor or smell that would disturb the community. I, as a child sufferedfrom asthma and I still struggle with it sometimes, so I don’t want anychildren in the community to be affected with this if it is a health issue.That allsides have been presented and the right decision(s) have been made thatreopening the landfill is the best one for Greensboro and this is the best way to savemoney and invest in other things that will help in creating jobs and making newenergy resources.

Where do you stand onthe “strong manager” form of city government and why?

I am in favor of the “strong manager” form of city government.I believe that the mayor of any city should be a good leader with the abilityto communicate well with his or her staff and the members of the city council.He or she should be able to make wise decisions that go for the good of all ofthe residents of that city and also be able to communicate well with the city’sresidents.

Should the city of Greensboro place more orless emphasis on maintaining a healthy water and sewer fund to plan for futuregrowth? Why or why not?

The city of Greensboroshould place more emphasis on maintaining a healthy water and sewer fund. Why?Because I believe that have good, clean water is valuable to maintain good healthfor the residents of Greensboro.People need water to drink, they use water to bathe or shower with. Bad wateris not healthy or good for anyone. We must do what we can to be sure that Greensboro’s residentshave good, safe and healthy water and sewer facilities. Good water also isnecessary to keep our trees and grass growing properly and keeping Greensboro the beautifulcity it is.

The city’s tax basehas remained flat for the past two years in a row, and the foreclosure crisiscontinues unabated. As a member of city council, how would you balance the needto fund services such as police patrol, fire protection and park maintenancethat citizens care about with the reality that the revenue picture remainsbleak?

As Mayor, I believe that my first task is to be sure that Greensboro spends moneywisely. Taxes and revenue, if spent properly, should be able to fund servicessuch as our police and fire departments and maintaining city services such asthe park that our children and grandchildren play in. So, wasteful spendingmust stop which is something that I as mayor, if elected, will heavily focuson. To bring in more revenue to our city, we have to get Greensboro’s unemployed back to work. If youwork, you have to pay taxes. Greensboro’spopulation is over 250,000 people. Its unemployment rate is over 10 percent.That means that roughly 25,000 people are not working and not paying taxes. Ifmore people are working, then more taxes are being paid. Creating jobs andeconomic growth will be my main priority if elected mayor of Greensboro.

Do you believe thatcity staff deserves council support to implement a program to spend federalgrant money to improve the energy efficiency of residences and businesses, ordoes this program warrant additional oversight from council? Briefly explainyour position.

I believe that federal grant money can be used if nostipulations are involved with it. To be honest, I really think that if thecity’s money is used wisely, then federal grant money is really not needed.However, if the issue comes up, then I believe that the mayor and the membersof the city council must be in total agreement on how the fund(s) should andwill be used.

How would you assessthe value and effectiveness of Greensboro’sRental Unit Certificate of Occupancy program, which is now prohibited by statelaw?

I believe that the Greensboro’sRental Unit Certificate of Occupancy is valuable and effective if implementedproperly. In living in a rental house myself, I know what it is like to haveproblems with things not working and having to hunt down landlords to getthings taken care of in a timely manner. I would want all Greensboro’s residents who live in rentalproperties to have the best living conditions possible. If landlords or thepeople who run these properties have any kind of violations and if they are nottaken care of in a timely manner, then they should be punished to the fulllimit of the law.

How should theimpasse over management and operation of the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market beresolved?

I believe that the farmer’s market should be managed by anonprofit organization. In reading about this issue, I would not agree to letthe Greensboro Coliseum take over the market. The market should be managed bypeople who know the ins and outs of the market. In working for many retailorganizations over the last few years, one of the main problems I see is aserious amount of micromanaging. No one should be allowed to micromanage anorganization. When this happens, you open up a chance to have disunity andbusinesses not running properly. I believe that the nonprofit was the best decisionfor the management of the farmer’s market.

What, if anything,should be done to resolve racial tensions, and to enhance professionalism,integrity and fairness within the Greensboro Police Department?

In living in East Greensboro,I see the aftermaths of crime – crime which destroys the community, especiallyblack-on-black crime. I think that to resolve racial tensions and to enhanceprofessionalism, integrity and fairness within the police department, thereshould be more community meetings with the police department so the citizenscan express their concerns. Discrimination and racism should not be toleratedby any means. If a police officer is discriminatory to any of Greensboro’s residents, then they should notbe on the force. As mayor, if elected, I will be sure that I am working withour police department to make sure that our citizens feel safe and secure andthat we have the best staff possible. I will try and be sure that our policedepartment and the citizens of Greensboro’scommunities are working together to stop crime and violence that brings ourcity down.

What would you changeabout Greensboro’sland use patterns if the decision were yours to make? Please answer thequestion in terms of places people live, work and shop, in terms of the modesof transportation people use to get from point to point and the vitality ofneighborhoods and commercial corridors?

If it were my decision to make, then I would want to makesure that the land use patterns are relative to Greensboro’s neighborhoods and that we usevacant land to lay groundwork so that companies can come here and help bringjobs here. I would want to be sure that there are good restaurants and thatthere is a good business climate in that area. Also, I would make sure that ifjobs can be created in the area where the land is, that we have proper ways ofgetting people to and from work. In riding public transportation, as I do everyday, it is hard to get around to some places in Greensboro. This needs to change in order tomake sure people can get to and from work.

What is Greensboro’s greatestasset? What is Greensboro’smost pressing problem?

I believe that Greensboro’sgreatest asset is its colleges and universities. In Greensboro,we have some of the best schools in the state and in the nation with thosebeing of NC A&T, UNCG (my alma-mater), GreensboroCollege and Bennett College.Our city has the ability to educate the best young minds in America and send them out into theworld to do great things.

Greensboro’smost pressing problem, without a doubt, is the lack of jobs and economicgrowth. I’ve lived in Greensborosince 1991. I have not had a chance to have a career type job that pays a greatincome. While I thank God for my current job, I, like many of Greensboro’s working residents have seenstagnant wages. This means that we are not growing economically. Greensboro as a city has lost more jobs than any othercity in North Carolinaover the last few years. Many of Greensboro’sresidents, especially my race of people (African-Americans), are having todepend on some kind of public assistance i.e. food stamps, Section 8 housingand utility bill assistance. We cannot continue to live like this. Our economicclimate must change in order for the citizens of Greensboro to flourish. We have to get ourpeople back to work. This is Greensboro’snumber-one priority. If elected mayor, my goal is to work with our cityleaders, and our council to make Greensborobusiness friendly and investing in our infrastructure and encourage companiesto come here. I want to help in creating an environment where our smallbusiness people can create jobs and hire good workers who are willing to work.I also, if possible, want to work with our state legislature and help lowertaxes and regulations on our business men and women so their companies cangrow. This will be my number-one goal if elected mayor of Greensboro.

Articles about this candidate:

2011 primary election endorsement & voter guide (link)’ 

Candidate profile: Chris Phillips (link)

Wade, Knight make no apologies for landfill decision (link)

10 BEST mayoral forum moments (link)

Greensboro mayoral race expands (link)

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