by Keith T. Barber and Jordan Green

Staff recommends elimination of some boards and commissions

A committee of city of Greensboro staff is recommending the elimination of the Community Sustainability Council, a citizen board created by former Mayor Yvonne Johnson, as part of a raft of proposed changes to streamline the city’s boards and commissions. City council voted to accept rather than adopt a Sustainability Action Plan submitted by the sustainability council.

Members of Greensboro City Council asked staff to review the number and size of boards and commissions and recommend reductions and consolidations.

Staff also recommends eliminating a Property Owners’ Review Team established last year to review development plans for downtown projects. The Commission on the Status of Women would be eliminated and folded into the Human Relations Commission. Likewise the Community Resource Board and the Advisory Commission on Trees would be eliminated and incorporated into the Planning Board. While the Human Relations Commission and the Planning Board would take on additional responsibilities, they will also be reduced in size. Likewise, staff recommendations call for reducing the size of the Zoning Commission, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Historic Preservation Committee, the Greensboro Transit Authority board and the Central Gateway Corridor Partnership.

“The team feels that before these are recom mended to city council that each of the boards/ commissions affected will have an opportunity to express their opinions either in support of or against the recommendations,” Assistant to the City Manager Nelsie L. Smith wrote in an Oct. 4 memo to her boss, City Manager Rashad Young. “The members of each of our boards/ commissions are dedicated volunteers and their continued support is needed.”

Many of the changes will require an action of city council to amend city ordinances. — JG

NC Court of Appeals upholds appeal of WSPD officers

The NC Court of Appeals reversed a decision by Superior Court Judge Richard Stone to release statements made by a dozen current and former Winston-Salem police officers to the Silk Plant Forest Citizens Review Committee in a ruling handed down last week. Appellate judges Robert N. Hunter and Donna S. Stroud stated that the transcripts of interviews with the eight police officers are part of the officers’ personnel records and are thus confidential under state law. The ruling represents a defeat for the city of Winston-Salem, which argued for the full release of the interview transcripts. One of the current police officers who was a respondent in the case is Capt. Richard E. “Ted” Best, who served as the supervisor of Donald R. Williams, the lead investigator in the 1995 Silk Plant Forest-Jill Marker assault case. — KTB