by Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond

Winston-Salem city council kills bond package

The Winston-Salem City Council voted in a split decision on Monday to not place a $90 million bond package on the ballot during the November election, Southwest Ward Councilman Dan Besse told YES! Weekly.

The aborted bond package included a $16.5 million city match to pay for the initial phase of a streetcar system, along with $34.5 million for economic development projects, including investment in the city’s research park; $14 million for public safety facility improvements; $12 million for recreation facility improvements at parks across the city; $9 million for sidewalks, greenways and bicycle facilities; and $6 million for housing and neighborhood redevelopment.

Northwest Ward Councilwoman Wanda Merschel, Northeast Ward Councilwoman Vivian Burke, West Ward Councilman Robert Clark and Southeast Ward James Taylor Jr. prevailed in the decision. Besse, South Ward Councilwoman Molly Leight and East Ward Councilman Derwin Montgomery wound up on the losing side of the vote.

“The three of us thought on balance that the investments were urgently needed and we should make the effort to explain those critical investments to the public and let the public decide this fall,” Besse said.

North Ward Councilwoman Denise D. Adams was absent from the meeting because of an illness, and Mayor Allen Joines does not vote in such decisions.

The council also voted 7-1 at the meeting to place a resolution opposing the marriage amendment on the agenda for the council’s May 7 meeting. The only dissenting vote came from Clark.

The vote will take place on the eve of the May 8 primary, when voters across the state go to the polls to decide the ballot initiative.