Donnell ‘DJ’ Hardy

by Yes Weekly Election Coverage

Residential address: Ross Avenue (map)

Incumbent or challenger? Challenger

Age: 35

Campaign website or blog: (link)

Endorsements: Nettie Coad, Guilford County Community PAC, News & Record, Replacements Limited PAC, Daron Sellars and YES! Weekly

Occupation and employer: Controller, A&D Environmental

Previous electiveexperience (including election campaigns): At-large candidate for city council, 2009

Civic and volunteerexperience (including service on city commissions and boards): Treasurer, Greensboro Jaycees; deacon, member ofstrategic planning team and moderator of the Men’s Council at St. JamesPresbyterian Church; member, Greensboro Chamber of Commerce; moderator, To DoJustice Steering Committee; board member, Ole Asheboro Street NeighborhoodAssociation; member, Neighbors United Neighborhood Association

Education (highest degreeattained and name of institution): BSin business economics, Florida A&M University

Party registration: Democrat (nonpartisan race)

Where were you born? Philadelphia(hometown: Alexandria, Va.)

When did you move to Greensboro? 2000

Paid consultants workingon your campaign: None

Campaign manager: Daniel McKelvey Jr.

Treasurer: Daniel McKelvey Jr.

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 the reopening, I think the health and safety concerns are toonumerous to not give one pause. I would rather we focus on ramping up recyclingefforts and looking at forward-thinking solutions to our waste managementissues.

The current course of action proposed is short-sighted and a short-termsolution for what is a long-term problem. The proposed savings arequestionable, there are wide ranges and those ranges are all estimates. Thereare no definitive answers that have been provided. I don’t think the councilshould be making decisions that can be so divisive without having solid answersand making it part of a larger plan. We need to develop a waste managementplan.

I support moreenvironmentally friendly ways of disposing of waste that don’t threaten safetyand quality of life. It’s also a threat to economic development. If all thisland were properly developed it could generate more revenue than the potentialsavings. For an upfront savings, you would be giving up on a side of town thatcould deliver significant tax revenues when Greensboro is ready to grow, particularly inDistrict 1.

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

If we are going to have this form of government, then we should use itappropriately. This means the council should be collective visionaries and givethe manager parameters to stay within and then let him or her do their job.What’s the use of having a manager if the council is going to micro-managethem? I believe that is what’s going onnow. We don’t need 10 managers.

I think weshould explore other forms of government to assess if strong manager is indeed sufficientfor a city our size. I think any change should not be rash but should rather beincorporated into a long-term growth plan and/or vision.

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?

Are you serious? This should be one of the top priorities. Healthywater and sewer should be the beginning of any growth plan. Why should we havea growth plan where we compromise the water and sewer systems that made us anattractive option?

We should do all we can to make sure we deliver and maintain highstandards with our water and sewer systems. This is not an area that should becompromised. Furthermore, we need to increase connectivity in District 1 aspart of our commitment to making it a viable candidate for economic development.

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?

Clearly, District 1 residents don’t want to minimize the amount ofprotection provided from these services. But without an inside view of thebureaucracy, I’m not sure what all goes into providing the current servicelevels. However, I intend to take a second look to make sure that any or mostactivities are value-added and focused on meeting the needs of our citizens,neighborhoods and businesses.

We should be more aggressive in supporting community policing effortsand strengthening community watches. These are services that District 1 wantsand needs, but if there were limited money to support it, then we would need tohave citizens to volunteer to provide some of these services.

We areorganizing the national Safe Streets Now and Safe Routes to School effortslocally. These efforts have worked well in communities across the country andcould be the solution to our issues in Greensboroand I’m confident they would be effective in District 1.

Do you believe that citystaff deserves council support to implement a program to spend federal grantmoney to improve the energy efficiency of residences and businesses, or doesthis program warrant additional oversight from council? Briefly explain yourposition.

First, it depends on what is required under the grant. If the grantdoesn’t specify it, then here’s an opportunity where the council can providethe vision for the program. Then the manager, staff, and CSC can focus ondelivering the objectives of the program. The only oversight should be that themanager and staff stay within the parameters set by the council and that theprogram stays within the original intent of the grant.

District 1 can benefit greatly from this program. This could deliverenergy savings to homes and jobs to people. There should be no further delay inmaking this happen.

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

Very carefully. I think RUCO worked. However, I don’t think it’s theonly thing that’s going to rid Greensborofrom slumlords or absentee landlords; but not having something is worse thanhaving something that did have some positive impact. RUCO provided a baselinefor the city to take action and to have some level of accountability withlandlords.

We have madesignificant progress over the past few decades in this area, however, District1 still has several problem properties and our citizens and city staff shouldhave all possible means to eradicate this problem.

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

The right way to go about this is to survey thecustomers. This is a side of the market that not much is known about in thenews. What do they want? This is a market-driven enterprise, so why not usethis market-driven solution?

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

There are standards for professionalism, integrityand fairness. There should not be a continued imbalance or forgiveness whenthose standards are breached. There should be no allowance for that to continueto exist. If there are officers who choose not to follow these standards, thenthey should lose their job. Whenever they put that uniform and badge on, theyare an instrument of the law. If they approach a situation without fairness,integrity and professionalism, they are a poor reflection of our laws. If theydon’t hold to a standard, then our rule of law suffers.

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?

We need more mixed-use development, so more people can live, work andshop in close proximity city-wide and especially in District 1. This wouldallow people to reduce their use of cars to get from point to point. We alsoneed to participate in any regional and/or state efforts to create alternativemodes of transportation, such as light or high-speed rail.

I’d like to see more retail locations within walking distance (acrossthe street) of the coliseum. We need more convenient places to shop with agreater degree of variety provided in these locations. District 1 residentsdeserve these amenities and the city needs to do everything possible to attractthis sort of development.

We need to increase awareness of the Adopt a Stop program, as well asadopt 21st century methods of finding out where a bus is en route.We should also look into advertising opportunities with our bus stops, our busroute brochures and bus applications for phones.

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

The greatest asset of Greensborois its people. Yet, its pressing problem is the division, and the inability ofleaders to work together, even if they have standing or outstandingdisagreements. Only very extreme political positions seem to make it onto thecouncil. We don’t have enough moderates to find common ground so results can bedelivered to the people.

I’m ready to be the voice for District 1 that can make theuncompromising case for our concerns while also being a moderate voice on theCouncil that is desperately needed.

Articles about this candidate:

Differentiating between the District 1 candidates (link)

A&T vote inspires fiery city council campaigning (link)

2011 primary endorsement & voter guide (link)

Bellamy-Small switches from mayor’s race to District 1 (link

Candidate profile: Donnell ‘DJ’ Hardy (link)

Hardy notches endorsements from Coad and Sellars (link)