PROMISES WE HOPE GREENSBORO POLITICIANS WILL KEEP
MAYOR BILL KNIGHT: PROMOTE REGIONALISM During the campaign, mayoral candidate Bill Knight said he would like Greensboro to have more of a presence at the Piedmont Triad Partnership’s meetings, and promised that as mayor he would travel to meet with Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines and High Point Mayor Becky Smothers. As a newspaper that serves the entire Triad, we hope Knight will fulill that promise. We have a vested interest in the three major cities marketing the Triad as a single entity to companies considering relocation, in integrating the talent pool to nourish more vital business activities, in having new venues like the Aquarius Music Hall in High Point succeed by tapping into a regional market and in improving transportation in and around the Triad.
MAYOR PRO TEM NANCY VAUGHAN: ALLOCATE ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR POLICE Vaughan expressed support for extra funding for the police department during the campaign, and at a city council retreat last month she said she would support the creation of a ifth patrol district. A previous council stretched the police thin by annexing the Cardinal and isolated areas near McLeansville. Greensboro taxpayers should consider anteing up to allow department to provide better patrol coverage. Conidence in public safety is a key requirement for quality of life in residential neighborhoods, maintaining viable business areas and recruiting new employers.
ROBBIE PERKINS: PURSUE A REGIONAL SOLUTION TO THE SOLID WASTE DILEMMA As a member of the previous council and an at-large candidate, Perkins consistently trumpeted the idea of long-term regional planning to address Greensboro’s solid-waste demand while others talked about reopening the White Street Landill (a move sure to undermine trust and exacerbate race relations) or loated notions about new technologies such as plasma gasiication (fantasies, for the most part). The best solution would be to persuade the elected leadership of Guilford County, Forsyth County, Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem to work together, obtain the state legislative support to create a regional
solid waste authority, cut a deal with a rural county to take the region’s garbage in exchange for a generous host fee, and get a new regional landill permitted. Any politician who could make that happen would have justiied bragging rights to a proud legacy.
DANNY THOMPSON: ACHIEVE MORE DIVER- SITY ON BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS During the campaign, at-large candidate Thompson said he would aggressively work to make the membership of the Greensboro’s volunteer boards and commissions more accurately relect the city’s diversity. “It’s unfortunate that on our boards and our commissions we do not have a more diverse face in leadership positions,” Thompson said during a candidate forum. “We do not have the deaf or the blind, the gay or the lesbian, the brown or the Asian, or the Persian American or the Indian-American or the Native American. They’re all in our community, but we are not bringing them forward with appointed positions.”
DIANNE BELLAMY-SMALL: MORE EQUITABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT The longtime District 1 rep has long advocated that east Greensboro receive more equitable capital improvement project funding (historically weighted towards northwest Greensboro) and its fair share of services. We hope she’ll continue to articulate those goals, and leverage promising developments such as the Gateway University Research Park, Gateway Gardens and the Urban Loop.
JIM KEE: CREATE CITIZEN INPUT BOARDS Kee, the new District 2 councilman hand picked by predecessor Goldie Wells, has promised to create three distinct citizen input boards to provide him with guidance. One would address economic development issues, another public safety and still another environmental safety (read: White Street Landill). We hope he will follow through with that promise, and more importantly, we hope the citizens of District 2 will volunteer to serve.
ZACK MATHENY: OUTREACH, FOCUS ON DOWNTOWN AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL By and large, the District 3 representative doesn’t make promises. He does a good job of going out to meet with constituents at neighborhood meetings; monitoring and goading economic development in downtown, which lies entirely in his district but comprises a relatively small part of his overall constituency; and studying the minutiae of budgets, zoning decisions and services. Keep it up, Zack.
MARY RAKESTRAW: ASK UNPOPULAR QUESTIONS Ever since her irst campaign for city council in 2007, Rakestraw has emphasized transparency. “I ask questions that may not be popular,” she said. “I may ask the questions that you might not like but you ultimately want to hear the answer to.” She has also made a point of saying that she always returns constituents’ phone calls. All well and good, but most of the time I can’t get her to return my phone calls. I hope she’ll apply her commitment to transparency in municipal government to her own agendas and motives.
TRUDY WADE: STRENGTHEN SOUTHWEST GREENSBORO AT NEIGHBORHOOD LEVEL Throughout her campaign and at the city council’s retreat, Wade emphasized strengthening community watches to reduce crime and installing speed bumps to slow down trafic and make neighborhoods more livable to families with children. According to her District 5 constituents, she actively pursues those goals year round, and not just at election time. That’s the deinition of good district rep.
RASHAD YOUNG: AGREE ON PRIORITIESUnfortunately for the parameters of this exercise, there are only nine council members, so to round out this list of 10 I’m giving City Manager Rashad Young a turn. Young told the council members during the retreat that he found that their priorities overlapped on jobs, economic development and tax base; crime and public safety; and, to a lesser extent, infrastructure and growth. He pointed out that these three areas of concern are highlighted in the city’s Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted by the council in 2003. He made it sound so easy for nine representatives elected by their constituents to carry out the people’s business.