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Yvonne Johnson

by Yes Weekly Election Coverage

Residential address: King Arthur Place (map)

Incumbent or challenger: Challenger

Age: 69

Campaign website: yvonnejohnson4citycouncil.com (link)

Endorsement: Dorothy Brown, Carolina Peacemaker, Greensboro Police Officers Association, Guilford County Community PAC, News & Record, Occupy Greensboro Media Group, Professional Fire Fighters of Greensboro, Replacements Limited PAC and YES! Weekly

Occupation and employer: Executive director, One Step Further

Previous elective experience:Greensboro mayor, 2007-2009; city council,1993-2009, including mayor pro tem, 2001-2007

Civic volunteer experience (including service on citycommissions and boards): Golden Leaf Foundation Board of Directors; Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors; member, MalachiHouse board of directors; helped found Summit House and helped bring DelanceyStreet to Greensboro; first president, Women’s Resource Center; chairwoman ofthe board of Trustees, Bennett College; Piedmont Triad Partnership; DowntownGreensboro Inc.; Transportation Advisory Committee; liaison, Willow Oaks andSouthside; has served on the boards of Foster Friends, Sports Dreams and theGreensboro Arts Council. ADD: member, Greensboro Urban Area MetropolitanPlanning Organization Transportation Advisory Committee

Education (highest degreeattained and name of institution): Mastersin guidance and counseling, NC A&T University

Party registration: Democrat (nonpartisan race)

What is the city and state ofyour birth? Greensboro

Paid consultants working onyour campaign: None

Your campaign manager: Alice Barbee

Campaign co-chairs: None at the time of interview (June 28)

Treasurer: Patsye Drew

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

I oppose the reopening of theWhite Street Landfill for household waste. Studying the map of Greensboro inreference to where future growth is likely to occur, District 2 has thegreatest potential for economic growth. Reopening the White Street Landfillwould negatively affect economic growth and development. It also amounts to abreach of contract to the citizens of District 2.

There is no other major city inNorth Carolina that has a landfill within its city limits. I believe this hasto do with long-range economic development planning.

Lastly, to reopen the landfillwill have a negative environmental effect on air quality and health of citizensin this area.

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

I favor the strong manager formof government for our city. It has been cost-effective and efficient for years.A strong council form of government is very costly, requiring full-timerepresentation. Many council members have full-time jobs. What is effective isfor council to set goals and objectives for the two-year period they wereelected to serve, and evaluate the city manager on how successful the goals andobjectives are accomplished.

Should the city of Greensboroplace more or less emphasis on maintaining a healthy water and sewer fund toplan for future growth? Why or why not?

The city should place a highvalue on maintaining a healthy water and sewer fund for future growth. National Analysis predicts the PiedmontTriad area is one targeted for growth. To accommodate “smart growth,” water andsewer quality and capacity, site-ready tracts, quality of life issues,satisfactory services, etc. are of key importance.

The city’s tax base hasremained flat for the past two years in a row, and the foreclosure crisiscontinues unabated. As a member ofthe city council, how would you balance the need to fund services such aspolice patrol, fire protection and park maintenance that citizens care aboutwith the reality that the revenue picture remains bleak?

There are certain services thatthe city is responsible for providing (police, fire, water, sewer, wastemanagement, libraries, parks & rec., etc.). These must be our firstpriorities. However, it is vital that we are visionary about the future and thequality of life 10 years down the road. There are calculated risks that electedofficials must weigh based on potential tax revenue, and quality of life. Wemust maintain a positive and vital spirit in Greensboro in order to attractprogress.

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.

Council support would be amotivating factor. Getting inputis always helpful. Indecision and micro-management is not beneficial.

How would you assess thevalue and effectiveness of Greensboro’s Rental Unit Certificate of Occupancyprogram, which is not prohibited by state law?

Rental Unit CertificateOccupancy was very helpful. It offered a process for renters to live in safeand healthy homes, apartments, etc. It did not necessarily rely on tenantcomplaints. I fear the few landlords who do not maintain their properties willcontinue and be worse.

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

I think the farmers market beingrun by a nonprofit is the right decision. I understand farmers, vendors,consumers and city government were involved in the process. Having this diverseparticipation in the design and process is fair.

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

There are a number of training programsthat may be beneficial. They must be mandated and the administration must adopta no-tolerance policy for behavior that is not professional, racist, bigotedand unfair.

What would you change aboutGreensboro’s land use patterns if the decision were yours to make? Please answer the question in terms ofplaces people live, work and shop, in terms of the modes of transportation peopleuse to get from point to point and the vitality of neighborhoods and commercialcorridors?

I would have a group of citizensfrom across the city evaluate where we are, tweak the plan and remove what isno longer beneficial. This must be a citizen driven process.

What is Greensboro’s greatestasset? What is Greensboro’s mostpressing problem?

Greensboro has many great assets— our quality of life, our diversity, our colleges and universities and lawschool, our facilities that are used for sports, recreation and majortournaments, but mostly, our greatest asset is our citizens who strive tocontribute their gifts and talents so that Greensboro can be the best it canbe.

Our most pressing problem inGreensboro is the need for jobs, economic development, and restoring trust tothe citizens by its elected officials.

Articles about this candidate:

YES! endorsements (link)

2011 general election voter guide (link)

Danny Thompson’s specious landfill numbers (link)

Greensboro primary: at-large analysis (link)

Mayoral challenger Perkins swamps incumbent Knight (link)

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

2011 primary election endorsement & voter guide (link)

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

Campaign trail: Jim Kee kickoff (link)

Northeast Greensboro council incumbent challenges the challengers (link)

Campaign season underway in Greensboro municipal elections (link)  

Candidate profile: Yvonne Johnson (link)

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