Items from across the Triad and beyond
Vaughan to run for mayor, Fox for District 2 in Greensboro
At-large Greensboro City Councilwoman Nancy Vaughan announced last week that she will challenge Robbie Perkins in this fall’s mayoral race. Vaughan was first voted onto council in 1997, and served two terms before taking time off. She was elected mayor pro tem in 2009 — winning the most votes of the three at-large council members elected — and again at large in 2011.
Vaughan’s candidacy was announced not long after Mayor Perkins’ bankruptcy filing became public knowledge, but she was already considered a likely candidate by some observers (including our proverbial water-cooler talk in the office). It’s early for campaign season, given that filing is still a few months away, but someone else has made their intentions known recently as well.
Adjunct professor and former city employee Jamal Fox announced Tuesday that he will run for city council’s District 2 seat, currently held by Jim Kee. Fox, who worked as a management analyst in the Greensboro City Manager’s Office before serving as an administrative assistant working on grants for the planning department, is an adjunct professor at NC A&T State University. The 25-year-old was the 2012-13 president of the Guilford County Young Democrats and is currently the minority-affairs caucus chair for the state Young Democrats.
Fox is actively involved in other aspects of the city, from the NAACP to serving as a member of the county’s transportation advisory board. He noted his work as the city liaison to the community sustainability council during his time with the city.
As the election comes more fully into view, check out our voter guide information at triadpolitics.info and check YES!
Weekly for extensive coverage of the Greensboro City Council campaigns. — EG
Downtown Winston-Salem business owners concerned about closure of Business 40
An official with the NC Department of Transportation showed up at A/perture Cinema on Monday to answer questions from downtown business people, some of whom are concerned that they will lose customers during a temporary closure of a section of Business 40.
The department will award a designbuild contract for the project in the summer of 2016. The first phase of the project, prior to the closure of Business 40, will be replacement of the bridge and improvements to the interchange at Peters Creek Parkway so that motorists coming from the west can still get into downtown.
The highway is expected to remain closed for two years and then reopen by 2020. In the meantime, transportation planners must determine what to do with the roughly 70,000 cars per day that traverse Business 40 and figure out how to direct visitors into downtown.
“With all the investment going on downtown, we don’t want this to be a hindrance,” said Pat Ivey, Division 9 engineer with the transportation department. “We want visitors from both directions to know how to get to downtown and how to get back out.”
Vivian Joiner, owner of Sweet Potatoes on Trade Street, expressed concern that customers from out of town will stop coming to her restaurant during the closure if directions from her staff are too complicated. She expressed frustration with the lack of specific information on that point in Ivey’s presentation.
Ivey responded that planners are conducting complex traffic studies to get a sense of where people are coming from and going to, and is working with Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership to develop signage that will help people locate general downtown destinations such as Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, government buildings, restaurants and theaters, as well signage that provides more specific location. After the meeting, he clarified that motorists accustomed to entering downtown from either the Main or Cherry street exits will still be able to come into downtown through Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on the east side or Broad Street on the west side, and then turn on to 4th or 5th streets during the closure of the downtown section of Business 40. — JG