Sal Leone

by Yes Weekly Election Coverage

Residential address: Van Allen Circle (map)

Incumbent or challenger? Challenger

Age: 40

Campaign website: (link)

Occupation and employer: Police officer, city of Thomasville

Previous electiveexperience (including election campaigns): None

Civic and volunteerexperience (including service on city commissions and boards): Police officer since 1994; volunteer at NC Zoo since2005; Presidential Service Award, 2006; city of Thomasville Employee of theYear, 2005; field training officer; Basic Law Enforcement Training instructor;NC crisis intervention officer; Exceptional Police Officer, New York PoliceDepartment, 1996

Education (highest degreeattained and name of institution): Associatesin applied sciences with emphasis on criminal justice, Excelsior College

Party registration: Democrat (nonpartisan)

Where were you born? New York City

When did you move toGreensboro? 2000

Paid consultants workingon your campaign: None

Campaign manager: Self

Treasurer: Self

Do you favor or opposereopening the White Street Landfill for household waste, beyond the smallamount of sewer sludge currently accepted? Briefly explain your position.

I do not support at thistime the opening of the White Street Landfill. I remember an old saying: “Whenyou speed up, you mess up.” I think more time, community involvement andresearch need to be done.

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

The strong manager form ofgovernment takes away from council members and in turn takes away from thepeople (voters). One person should not make decisions for all.

Should the city ofGreensboro place more or less emphasis on maintaining a healthy water and sewerfund to plan for future growth? Why or why not?

The city of Greensboroshould place more emphasis on maintaining a healthy water and sewer plan. Thefuture is why we are here today. Infrastructure is vital to any city. Fix thecity cheaper today than more expensive tomorrow.

The city’s tax base has remainedflat for the past two years in a row, and the foreclosure crisis continuesunabated. As a member of city council, how would you balance the need to fundservices such as police patrol, fire protection and park maintenance thatcitizens care with the reality that the revenue picture remains bleak?

The tax base remains flat,but that does not mean it has to stay flat. There are companies that arelooking to move or grow. The city needs to offer tax breaks and otherincentives for companies to relocate to Greensboro. The city has FedEx, Honda,and these companies are a good start. The relocation of more companies meansjobs come with them. The formula is simple: People working = taxes coming in.

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.

I believe that city staffshould have the support of council to improve energy efficiency of homes andbusinesses. The council should have oversight on the program, because someoneneeds to be held accountable.

How would you assess thevalue and effectiveness of Greensboro’s Rental Unit Certificate of Occupancyprogram, which is now prohibited by state law?

The program (RUCO) was agood public safety law for the people who should be protected from dangers theydon’t know about in their own homes. The people pay rent and deserve what theypay for.

How should the impasse overmanagement and operation of the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market be resolved?

The farmers curb marketshould be run by a nonprofit, with access to grants, etc. The city does nothave to have its hand in everything.

What, if anything, should bedone to resolve racial tensions, and to enhance professionalism, integrity andfairness within the Greensboro Police Department?

The problems with the policedepartment took years to make and are not going to be solved fast. The newchief has his work cut out for him but he seems like a strong leader, andthat’s a good start. The first thing, I would like to meet with the chief anddiscuss his plans, since it is his department to run. The second course ofaction to take is to talk with officers on the street. It’s their departmentand they know what they like and what they like to have. The main goal is tosupport the police department and not kick it when it’s down.

What would you change aboutGreensboro’s land use patterns if the decision were yours to make? Pleaseanswer the question in terms of places people live, work and shop, in terms ofthe modes of transportation people use to get from point to point and thevitality of neighborhoods and commercial corridors?

I like to see Greensboro land-usepatterns be flexible, innovative and balanced. The city needs to develop itstransportation areas for easy access to commercial areas. The further growth ofhe Greensboro Natural Science Center is a must for the youths of this city’sdevelopment. The main issue to remember is land and environment need to berespected for the future. There is no need to cut down trees and ruin ourSouthern way of life for a parking lot or mall.

What is Greensboro’sgreatest asset? What is Greensboro’s most pressing problem?

The city of Greensboro’sgreatest asset is its people. The city of Greensboro’s most pressing problem iscommunication. There seems to be no trust between government and people. Thegovernment was formed by the people and for the people. The people can holdtheir elected officials accountable.

Articles about this candidate:

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

Sal Leone reverses decision and stays in race (link)

2011 primary election endorsement & voter guide (link)

Wade, Knight make no apologies for landfill decision (link)’ 

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

Candidate profile: Sal Leone (link)