DJ Hardy, at-large candidate
Residential address: 1103 Ross Ave., 27406
Incumbent or challenger? Challenger
Date of birth: 33
Campaign website or blog: http://donnellhardy.org/dev/
Occupation and employer: Financial analyst, Ciba (BASF Group)
Previous elective experience (including election campaigns): None
Civic and volunteer experience (including service on city commissions and boards): Deacon, member of strategic planning team and moderator of the Men’s Council at St. James Presbyterian Church; Greensboro Jaycee; member, Greensboro Chamber of Commerce; moderator, To Do Justice Steering Committee; board member, Ole Asheboro Street Neighborhood Association; member, Neighbors United Neighborhood Association; legislative intern, Florida Chamber of Commerce (1998-99); district coordinator, Florida Rep. J. Alzo J. Reddick; chairperson, REACH Committee; Enterprise Florida; College Leadership Florida
Education (highest degree attained and name of institution): BS in business economics, Florida A&M University
Party registration: Democrat (nonpartisan race)
What is the city and state of your birth? Philadelphia (hometown: Alexandria, Va.)
If not Greensboro, what year did you move here? 2000
Paid consultants working on your campaign: None so far
Your campaign manager(s): Has not selected one yet
Your treasurer: Self
Remarks from Sept. 22 candidate forum:
Good evening. Thank you for organizing this event. Forums like these serve to inform folks who we are behind the makeup of campaign money. Thank you, folks, for taking the time to participate in this discussion tonight. As a new hometown for my two brand-new daughters, Greensboro continues to have a special place in the hearts of my family as we grow. For this privilege, I have invested eight years of my labor, both in business and also in my church and my community. When I look at our city now I see Greensboro is a place trying to hit a home run in the minors. We should be trying to play in the majors. We have that potential right here. That talent has arrived. It is within us to lift ourselves to a new plateau on a level where our performance matters more. We are only required to change our perspective, to change our approach. We must work together to bring balanced economic development, transparency and efficiency, lower taxes…. This will get us out of our present cycle to arrive together on a higher ground of prosperity.
Do you support continued funding for the Greensboro Police Department gang enforcement unit? Why or why not?
I do not support continued funding, from what I’ve seen so far. I think they need to make their case. I think it’s been made abundantly clear to everybody who’s a resident of Greensboro and has kept track of how many arrests they’ve made, but if they’re not getting prosecutions and they’re not locking people up it makes you wonder what they’re doing. And if they don’t have any success it makes you wonder if the charges are good to begin with. One thing I think we don’t need, is we don’t need people harassed. And it looks like that’s what we’re doing. So I don’t support continued funding without them making the case for why they should be around.
Members of the sitting council have recently clashed over the proper relationship between the council and the city manager. What, in your view, is the proper role of each of these important entities?
I look at the city manager in our current form of government — he is the CEO. He is the one who runs the organization. The council is there to be a board of directors, if you will, in order to provide vision and also to take in input from the citizens directly. And that’s the correct role. And it seems at times we have 10 managers. I think we need to step away from that and put council in the right role where they take information from the citizens and are there to provide the vision, step in where necessary, but where they’re not needed they need to step out. Thank you.
Would you vote the way your constituents want you to or would you vote your conscience?
I agree with [fellow at-large candidate] Julie [Lapham]: I would hope that every single time they would be in line with one another. Where they would differ — there’s certain things as a representative you’re hired to do, and I would go about doing those as a representative. One of the key things that a representative does is looks at what’s good for everybody. And sometimes that requires going outside of short-term negatives or positives, and looking at a more long-term vision so that we don’t end up in problem situations like we’ve continually been in, in this city when that horizon is moved out further. I would take the approach that if it’s short term in nature but it doesn’t have long-term down sides then I would represent folks to the extreme, but when there are long-term considerations that have negatives then I would have to go with my conscience.
Do you feel the city should have a public campaign fund so that candidates who are less wealthy and less well connected can still afford to consider public service?
As a candidate who has invested quite a bit of personal money and personal time in the campaign, I immediately would respond, yes. However, as Julie said, it’s a pretty extreme measure to make everybody abide by that. I think there should be an option for it, and I like the intent of that idea. However, I am a little bit concerned with its restrictions. And again, there would probably be some legal issues there, too. Again, I like the concept, but I think we need to look at some sort of hybrid or options to put in place. I think what we need to do is have more representation that is able to step up. If financial is preventing that, then by all means I think we should have some aspect of public financing.
The complaint review committee investigates complaints against police officers. Would you be in favor of giving this citizen panel subpoena authority to interview witnesses? Why or why not?
I think ideally it would be great if the police department were more forthcoming with information. This is a group of citizens that represent us in that process. But if they’re not forthcoming and they’re not volunteering the information, then I support having that subpoena power. That’s the right thing, if we’re going to get to the bottom of justice and provide that, then we’ve got to take whatever measures we need as a city to make sure that happens.
Would you be in favor of reopening the White Street Landfill to household waste?
Keeping things unanimous, I’m opposed to opening it also. We’ve had previous councils that have come to this issue, and have voted to keep it closed — it’s been thrown out there — and I don’t see any reason to do otherwise. I’ve heard the financial argument and I heard Robbie speak at a council meeting, and say, "You’ve got to wonder where the numbers are." One thing I’m very certain of is that if we did reopen it, the development that is out there and that we’ve allowed since, the value will drop. That impacts our tax revenue. It is not a long-term solution. I think this body right here that I’m trying to get onto, with your help, is designed to be long term in nature. And so we need to find a long-term solution, and so that’s what we need to do. We don’t need to find a short-term solution here. The poor planning that has been done in the past is what we’re paying for now. So I’d like to ensure going forward that we have a long-term vision and a long-term way to address this problem so that we don’t have to revisit this….
History, industry, education and prosperity nestled in neighborhoods bountiful with quality of life and comfort. This is what we all want, and we can all attain it: The Greensboro we deserve. This is nothing new here, but it is now time to expand that opportunity, to make that grab for greatness again. If we aim for anything less, then let us pack it in and call it a game. Regardless of the path we choose, our journey is not over. We possess potential in the midst of all our opportunities to fail. We must move forward confidently, sometimes ignorant to circumstance but wise to navigation of purpose. My plan is an attempt to lend my abilities to our quest. Balanced economic development is the key. Let us grow our city wisely and provide an opportunity for all to prosper. Let us have our corridors around the city look different in their occupants, but not in their economic impact. We have ill corridors struggling, even in good times…. I want to represent efforts toward these goals. I need your vote of confidence. Elect me as one of the nine in your starting lineup.
Stories about this candidate:
Greensboro primary election endorsements
Obama-inspired candidate runs at large from SE Greensboro
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