Downtown Direct

(Last Updated On: February 15, 2017)

by YES! Weekly staff

Downtown Direct

We can’t get to the details of the settlements for the last two presidents of Downtown Greensboro Inc. Though DGI is primarily funded with taxpayer dollars, it is actually a non-profit corporation and not subject to the state’s public records law.

We reported last week that the most recent DGI president was paid $60,000 upon his abrupt resignation, despite the fact that his contract stated he would receive no compensation if he resigned. DGI is currently in the middle of a fiscal budget year and, we believe, has spent the private funds at its disposal. That means the most recent settlement will be financed with taxpayer dollars.

The previous president sued DGI after being forced out, and won a cash settlement. He recently took an additional $12,000 from DGI after demanding to be paid for his accrued sick time.

With so much drama in the organization costing taxpayers so much money, it’s not far-fetched to wonder if the time and resources could be better spent elsewhere.

We think so. How many parklets could be built in downtown Greensboro with the money used to pay off the last two DGI presidents? Moreover, how many improvements could be made downtown if the city eliminated DGI and spent the Business Improvement District funds directly on improving the district?

Economic development is a convoluted mess in Greensboro, and city and county leaders have taken the lead at the macro level to develop a new entity to drive the process.

We think the same spirit is demanded downtown.

Surely some interested private business owners could meet around a conference table and draw up plans for improvements and then come to the city for grant funds from the BID tax pool.

It would achieve more, and in a more efficient manner, than the two-year soap opera that DGI has become. !

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