by Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond

Winston-Salem council considers raising parking fines

Parking fines in Winston-Salem could increase from $10 to $15 following a vote by the city council’s public works committee last week. The full council will get the chance to weigh in before any increase is put in the city manager’s proposed budget.

A citizens efficiency committee recommended increasing the fine to $25. The only North Carolina city with a parking fine that high is Charlotte. Greensboro charges $15; Raleigh, $20; and Durham, $10.

“I think twenty-five across the board is big-city,” Councilman Dan Besse said. “We’re medium-large…. That size of a jump cuts across our push to make our center city more shopper friendly.” The committee approved recommendations to increase fees for cemetery plots by 10 percent — translating into a rise from $700 to $770 — advancing them for consideration by the full council. Proposals to increase fees on trash collection from Dumpsters and standard curbside service, and eliminate brush collection failed to gain traction.

Mama told me when I was young… Dr. Greg Brannon, a Cary OB/GYN who has announced plans to run for US Senate on the Republican ticket, addressed Forsyth County conservatives on Monday during an event subdued by the Boston bombings that had taken place hours earlier.

“Yes, I want to be called ‘the simplistic man’ — a man with only one thing,” Brannon said. “I want to be that guy. Yes, I want to be that guy saying, ‘I love life from the moment of conception to natural passing.’ Yes, I want to be the man that understands that liberty is the freedom to do what you want to do, succeed, fail and with the opportunity with that, and the responsibility. Because I’ve failed in life more than I ever succeeded. And what is mine is mine. And I’ll decided what to do with it.”

Brannon went on to cite English philosopher John Locke’s treatise that “the only role of government is to protect one’s property” to support an argument that Obamacare is “infringing on our choice.”

Brannon is the first to declare his intentions to run for the Senate seat, although NC Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and NC House Speaker Thom Tillis are also said to be interested. The seat is currently held by Greensboro Democrat Kay Hagan, who is up for reelection next year.