by Jordan Green

Guilford resumes substance abuse treatment

The Guilford County Substance Abuse Treatment Center in High Point reopened on Jan. 18, following a three-month hiatus. Previously operated by Bridgeway Behavioral Center, Concord-based Daymark Recovery Services is taking over the county government contract. Under the previous management, the substance abuse center had been cited for repeated violations by the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

The center will provide 24-hour, residential services including individualized therapeutic ore rehabilitative programming, according to a press release from Guilford County’s mental health department. The center is equipped with 56 residential beds, but the company said it would initially fill only 10 as staff familiarizes itself with procedures. A separate company, Addiction Recovery Care Association, is providing detoxification services.

City of Greensboro takes first pass at legislative agenda

The city of Greensboro has released its pro posed legislative agenda, which includes local and statewide items. If past history is indicative, the agenda will be subject to ample discussion and revision among council members before seeking state assistance in collecting park-it is officially submitted to the Guilford County ing fines through legislation that would turn delegation. Among the proposals are two measures to curtail the power of the city manager, includ- ing a provision to have the city attorney report directly to council and to allow the council to set a dollar-amount threshold for the manager’s authority to enter into service contracts. Members of council have been seeking such measures since at least 2008. The city of Greensboro is also seeking repeal of the Jordan Lake Rules, which stipulate reduction in nutrient inputs into the Haw River watershed. The new regulations were signed into law in 2009, over bitter opposition from affected municipalities such as Greensboro, Burlington and Durham. Greensboro is also seeking state assistance in collecting park- ing fines through legislation that would turn unpaid penalties over to the Guilford County Tax Department for collection and stipulate that the NC Department of Motor Vehicles refuse to register vehicles to any person with outstanding parking tickets. The city’s legislative agenda also includes longstanding support for maintaining municipalities’power to annex without consent fromaffected residents, along with proposals toexpunge convictions for nonviolent misdemeanorsand some felonies to give citizens withcriminal histories more ability to compete forjobs and to allow convicted felons access totrade licenses for supervised work release afterfulfilling active sentences.

The city and the Greensboro Partnership alsoopposes “any effort to put forward a constitutionalamendment that would limit the optionsof local governments to partner with privatedeveloper to redevelop and enhance the communityinfrastructure and increase the taxbase.” such a constitutional amendment wouldhinder future expansion of Piedmont TriadInternational Airport and the Federal expresssorting hub, according to city legal.The city’s legislative agenda also includes asupplemental list of goals related to healthcare,education and public safety submitted byCouncilwoman Dianne Bellamy-Small.

those tax-happy tar heels

With the state of North Carolina facing a budgetshortfall in the neighborhood of $3.5 billion,the General Assembly’s new Republican leadershiphas pledged to cut its way out of the deficitand ruled out tax increases as a means of raisingnew revenue to cover the cost of government.Proposals to reform the state’s tax code,expand the types of services subject to salestax, extend the 2009 temporary sales tax andincrease taxes on the richest North Carolinianshave been floated in progressive quartersof the state’s policymaking establishment,but are unlikely to gain much traction in theRepublican-dominated legislature.

All the same,a recent poll of 466 voters by Raleigh-basedPublic Policy Polling finds that North Carolinianssupport those initiatives by wide margins.sixty-five percent of respondents toldpollsters that if the overall sales tax rate werelowered commensurately, they would supporta proposal to subject limousine services, landscapingand accounting to the same sales taxcurrently applied to serving alcoholic drinks,repairing boats, dry cleaning and cable repair.Three-quarters of respondents said theywould support a requirement that corporationsheadquartered in other states such as Wal-Martpay state taxes for profits generated in the state.2009. And 72 percent said they would supportthe creation of a new tax bracket for top earnersthat would increase income tax by 1 percent forthose earning more than $250,000 a year