Clarence Easter

by Yes Weekly Election Coverage

Residential address: Bellevue Street (map)

Incumbent or challenger? Challenger

Age: 37

Campaign website: Facebook (link)

Occupation and employer: Teacher assistant, Guilford County Schools

Previous elective experience(including election campaigns): Candidate,student body president, NC A&T University; candidate, homecoming court, Virginia State University; volunteer for multiplepolitical campaigns, including Hillary Clinton for president (2008), BarackObama for president (2008), Kay Hagan for US Senate (2008), Elaine Marshall forUS Senate (2010), Marcus Brandon for NC House (2010), Gladys Robinson for NCSenate (2010) and Yvonne Johnson for mayor

Civic and volunteerexperience (including service on city commissions and boards): Involved with civil rights, Boy Scouts and educationalprograms

Education (highest degreeattained and name of institution): Highschool graduate, Parkview High School, South Hill, Va.

Party registration: Democratic (nonpartisan contest)

What is the city of yourbirth? Emporia, Va.

When did you move toGreensboro? 1997

Paid consultants workingon your campaign: None

Campaign manager: Brian Mayo

Treasurer: Brian Mayo and self

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 oppose thereopening of the White Street Landfill. The landfill has served its purpose andhas done its time. With time comes changes. Over the years, a lot of houseshave accumulated and a lot of families have moved in that area. They shouldhave the right to enjoy their homes. With the landfill come a lot of concerns,such as health-related issues, decliningvalue of property or homes, noise, odor and annoying animals or insects. Thecity council members and the county commissioners should collaborate and seekother alternatives for the landfill.

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

I love the strongmanager form of government. Even though it is a non-elected position, the citymanager is the “enforcer” of the city government. Having the city manager createsa check-and-balance approach among city hall. Also, it delegates or designatesspecific functions and responsibilities among the city leaders. Without thecity manager, there will be extraduties and shared responsibilities among the mayor and the members of councilin order to successfully implement or execute policies based on the needs, theconcerns, the interests and the operation of the city.

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 should placemore emphasis on maintaining a healthy water and sewer fund. As I mentioned(in a prior question), with time comes changes. The needs and interests (of thecity) will not remain the same. As time goes on, the city is going to flourish.This will lead to things such as land expansion, population increases, and theattraction of new businesses and neighborhoods. We have to keep up with time inorder to accommodate for changes and the successful operation of the city’sfuture growth.

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 a member of thecity council, I would balance the need to support city services by avoiding toraise taxes and suggesting a proposal like a reform city policy to recoup a higherpercentage of parking fines, prioritize the funding or spending of the city’sservices, increase the use of local companies to provide city services, avoid expandedand new regulations, identify significant personnel savings and the use ofintergovernmental funds or grants.

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 incollaboration and communication (among the city council and the city staff) inorder to build great working relationships in the enhancement of the best possibledecision-making solutions. Any information that is not provided or disclosed(whenever obtained) from either party do not build or establish trust. Thereshould not be a need for additional programs or additional policies as long asthere is a trustworthy relationship. New policies or new programs come intoeffect or existence when certain rights, privileges or authorities have beenabused.

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

The RUCO was aneffective policy of preventing substandard housing. It required that all rentalhouses pass inspection before being rented. It was a simple, direct way ofinforming prospective tenants that all conditions, violations or repairs havebeen met and it was safe to move in. Also, it kept the property owners and thetenants aware of certain violations or conditions (if applicable, beforebecoming worse) through random inspections.

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

If a traditional wayof conducting business is no longer effective then it should seek a newapproach, a new philosophy or a new vision in order to implement a successfuloperational policy or growth on behalf of the company.

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

Better communication,building a more trustworthy relationship among the community, the city leadersand the police staff; proper ongoing training in ethics, professionalism,application of laws and the use of certain techniques are some of the ways toresolve racial tensions and to promote fairness with in the police department.Also, more neighborhood gatherings would give the police officers a morepositive outlook. Some people, especially children, have a negative impressionabout police officers because they only witness them in times of bad ordangerous situations. I would like for them to view them as positive communityhelpers so they would not be afraid to ask for help in desperate times.

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?

I would change theland use pattern to make sure that there is enough land or space reserved formuch needed businesses in certain or designated areas. For example, there arecertain neighborhoods with the majority of the residents who do not have accessto their own vehicles. These residents either walk or are transported by cabsor buses. On the other hand, there are no businesses (in a reasonable radius)such as grocery stores, drug stores, or clinics for their convenience.Likewise, if the city keep expanding; housing units keep multiplying; and thepopulation keep increasing, there would also be a need for more schools.

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

Greensboro‘s greatest assets are the citizens and the cityemployees. Without the citizens and the city employees, there would not be aneed for a city governing body. Everyone has a choice. The citizens have achoice. The citizens have a choice either to reside in Greensboro or not. On the contrary, just likethe city employees have a choice to work for the city of Greensboro or seek toemployment opportunities elsewhere.

Right now, Greensboro’s mostpressing problem is the city council. The city council is not working togetherto promote fairness and the best representation of the decision-making policieson the behalf of the city. I encourage all voters to please examine all of thecandidates thoroughly and diligently cast your ballot accordingly so this willnot happen again. Greensboroneeds a city council that is willing to work and compromise in the bestinterest of the entire city.

Articles about thiscandidate:

2011 primary election endorsement & voter guide (link)’ 

At-large candidates in Greensboro municipal election struggle to differentiate themselves (link)’ ‘ ‘