City Council bill includes personnel change

by Ben Holder

State Sen. Trudy Wade

State Senator Trudy Wade’s proposed bill to change Greensboro’s City council was filed yesterday. There were not many surprises and most of us knew it was coming. Trudy’s proposal changes the makeup of the council dramatically by eliminating At-Large seats and putting several current council members in the same district.One little oddity that I discovered in Wade’s proposal adds one more employee to be under the council’s supervision. Currently, the Greensboro City Council supervises the city manager and the city attorney. Wade’s bill adds the city clerk to that list as well. On page nine of Trudy’s proposed bill, the city clerk is listed as being under the council’s supervision. Why? Senator Wade? A quick search on Google shows that the exact wording for Trudy’s proposed bill apparently came from Charlotte. The exact wording and the inclusion of the city clerk from Wade’s proposed bill can be found in Charlotte’s council orientation manual.I am not sure what great change Wade thinks will come by putting the city clerk under the council’s supervision and she certainly won’t explain it. Wade has been very secretive about the proposed changes and that is a red flag. Why does Wade want to change Greensboro so much? I bet that it’s not for the betterment of Greensboro or a better democracy. That isn’t the way she operates.Wade has shown to have a petty attitude and doesn’t let democracy get in the way of what she wants. When Wade was a county commissioner, she lost her seat to John Parks in 2004 by less than 300 votes. In spoiled brat fashion, Wade denied the democratic process by appealing her loss in courts for several months. Ultimately, Wade was forced to embrace her defeat and she finally surrendered her seat to Parks.Now, Wade is attempting to reshape all of Greensboro to appease a few and it doesn’t appear to be for the better. She has been secretive about a group of business men that asked her to change Greensboro’s Council. She has hidden behind the weak idea that these business men wish to remain anonymous. Real upfront, huh?The change to add one more employee to the council’s supervision is odd and random. However, that seems to be the theme for Wade’s latest proposal. Wade may not be thinking this all the way through.Quickfacts:Wade’s proposed bill puts five members of council in the same district by cobbling together precincts. In the proposed District 4 will be: Mayor Nancy Vaughan, at-large members Mike Barber and Marikay Abuzuaiter, current District 4 member Nancy Hoffman, and District 3’s Zack Matheny. The proposed District 2 double-bunks at-large Yvonne Johnson and District 1’s Jamal Fox. Tony Wilkins and Sharon Hightower are the only current members of council not doubled up.Board of Elections officials will have to mail out new voter cards to inform residents of the changes. That cost could top $60,000.Wade’s bill splits a number of precincts, likely to ensure Republican majorities in several districts. She included census tracts in her bill, a confusing move, which is befuddling election officials as they try to analyze the proposal and its impact on local representation.