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Council votes no to raise for Greensboro manager

by Jordan Green

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Council votes no to raise for Greensboro manager

After the Greensboro City Council returned from an evaluation of City Manager Mitchell Johnson in closed session tonight, Mayor Yvonne Johnson announced, “The decision of the majority was that the manager remain with no increase in compensation — in other words, no raise.” Both the city manager’s supporters and detractors appeared unhappy with the compromise. “A few years ago we ran into a problem with the department heads, the assistant manager and some of the attorneys bumping up very close to the salary level of the manager,” at-large Councilman Robbie Perkins said, “and we need to make sure that over the long haul we don’t get back into that same situation.” Mayor Johnson said she plans to sit down with City Manager Johnson next week and discuss each individual council member’s evaluation with him. Responding to at-large Councilwoman Mary Rakestraw, an ardent critic of the city manager, the mayor said she would put her comments in writing and distribute them to her fellow council members. Perkins revealed the level of distrust that has arisen on the polarized board. “Madame Mayor, I’ve got a concern about writing a summary of our individual responses and passing it out to council,” he said. “That would be a personnel record, and given the prior experience that we’ve had in the past month or so of floods coming out of our closed session I would hate to have to read about that in The Rhino Times.” As a compromise, the mayor suggested that she could instead share her comments with fellow council members in closed session. Earlier in the meeting, the council voted 6-3 to continue recording closed-session meetings. City Attorney Terry Wood said that such recordings could be considered a public record. For instance, in discussions about real-estate transactions, once an offer had been made and accepted, the recording would become a public record. Personnel records may not be released, unless specifically authorized by a majority vote of council. The three African-American members of council, Mayor Johnson, District 1 Councilwoman Dianne Bellamy-Small and District 2 Councilwoman Goldie Wells, voted in the minority to discontinue the practice of recording closed-session meetings.

— Jordan Green

Mitchell Johnson

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