The Battle of Summerfield – the ongoing, nearly year-long battle over the Summerfield Town Council seat formerly held by Todd Rotruck – is about to heat up once again: Guilford County Superior Court has set a date of Monday, Feb. 11 to hear a very rare court action known as a “quo warrento” lawsuit that could remove a sitting member of the Summerfield Town Council and put Rotruck back into that seat until his appeal is heard.Read More
Author: Scott D. Yost
About Scott D. Yost
Here are my most recent posts
High Point is thinking small but that’s not a bad thing.
The city is one of six in the country that has won a technical assistance grant to help manufacturers put unused and underused buildings back in business through the use of small-scale manufacturing operations.Read More
The coming new cutting-edge mental health facility in Guilford County may not just be for Guilford County residents. It looks now as though one likely consequence of getting state funding for the project is that the facility could not limit its patient care to Guilford County residents.Read More
Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston, who has served as chairman of the Board of Commissioners five times, can now add another accomplishment to his resume: Alston has been elected as the 2019 president of the Greensboro Men’s Club, one of the oldest, most storied and most significant clubs in North Carolina.Read More
Backers of a new initiative to jointly market four megasites in central North Carolina as the “Carolina Core” said in late 2018 that efforts to propel the plan forward would ramp up big time after the start of the year – and boy have they: Carolina Core ran the table in January, being a key topic of conversation at the meeting of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority and the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance (GCEDA).Read More
Guilford County has developed a very powerful secret weapon for recruiting new aviation companies to the area – in particular to the new 800-plus acre megasite under construction at Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA).Read More
The City of High Point’s checklist for the 2019 baseball season:
Build shiny new multi-million dollar stadium. Check.
Hire staff, vendors and players. Check.
Publicize the tar out of it. Check, check and check.
The Guilford County Economic Development Alliance (GCEDA), at its first meeting of the year on Thursday, Jan. 24, adopted a budget for 2019 – providing notice of the strategies the group will use in its attempt to bring more business to the county this year.Read More
Guilford County Board of Commissioners Chairman Alan Branson knows there’s no silver bullet for the economic challenges facing the county, but this week he said there is one thing that would help a great deal.Read More
“Thinking outside of the box” is one of the most clichéd phrases of all time, but it’s still a pretty good strategy when it comes to handling many difficult situations and it certainly is the strategy that the Guilford County Board of Education and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners are considering in light of hundreds of millions of dollars in capital projects that school system officials want to see in the coming years.Read More
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents, who screen airline passengers before flights aren’t getting paychecks right now due to the partial federal government shut down; however, so far, there’s been no negative effect on operations at Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA).Read More
Greensboro’s International Civil Rights Center & Museum is planning something special in conjunction with its annual fund-raising telethon this year on Friday, Feb. 1– a reunion of the people who participated in the Sit-In protests from February 1 to July 25, 1960.Read More
The Guilford County Economic Development Alliance (GCEDA) almost never has a special guest, however, on Thursday morning, Jan. 24, the Alliance members were very eager to hear from the rare special guest who had been invited that day: Senior Director for Triad Aerospace Development Rick Reed.Read More
Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) is finally going to get the big runway makeover it’s been seeking for a long time – but it’s coming at a cost, nearly $21 million.Read More
Most people have already unwrapped their Christmas presents, but now Guilford County and its contractor have wrapped the Old Guilford County Court House in downtown Greensboro in what looks like thick gift-wrapping paper, and, if the building had a big red bow on top, it would look just like a giant present that wouldn’t fit under any tree.Read More
A rooster is on the lam in Greensboro.Read More
A lot of people know the story of Martin Luther King Jr. but they might not know the story of the City of Greensboro’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade that will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21.Read More
A panic spread across Facebook and other social media over what county officials say was merely an untrue rumor that eight healthy shelter dogs were going to be euthanized on Friday, Jan. 18 due to space issues the shelter faces during cold weather.Read More
Well, you knew it was coming sooner or later and, if you drew “sooner” in your office betting pool, then you are the winner.Read More
The ‘80s were a fun time for its Miami Vicepastel fashions and Def Leppard music, but the Guilford County Board of Commissioners has decided to move the county’s central computing system off of a legacy platform that still has computer code from the ‘80s and even some earlier than that.
The county has decided to cast off the old – a computing system from Lawson Software Inc. that the county has used for 13 years – and instead purchase a new iPhone- and iPad-friendly system expected to make the lives of county employees much easier – once they learn the new system.
Like Lawson, the new system “Munis,” from Tyler Technologies, handles almost all aspects of Guilford County government: financial records, human resources functions, talent management, supply procurement, bidding events, payroll and more.
While Guilford County purchased the existing Lawson system in 2005, it was written in COBOL – a computing language introduced in 1959.
The Guilford County Commissioners voted unanimously at a work session last week to throw out the old and bring in the new after Guilford County Chief Information Officer Hemant Desai made a compelling case why they should do so. He said Lawson simply wasn’t keeping up with the times.
“The mindset is to keep the customer in an older platform for too long, and I think that is what caused me some grief over supporting that product that was so aged,” Desai said. “It depends on technologies that are 20th century technologies. It’s actually written in COBOL. I’m not kidding. And we still have COBOL modules in 2019 running in Guilford County.”
Commissioner Jeff Phillips jumped in and said, “I was programming in COBOL in 1982,” and Commissioner Skip Alston said he was doing the same in 1976.
Commissioner Alan Perdue was the director of Guilford County Emergency Services when Lawson was implemented and Perdue said he still remembers the massive headaches.
“We tried to put a square peg in a round hole,” Perdue said.
He added that, to make county employees feel better, county management put up signs that said, “We’re going nuts over Lawson!”
“I said we need to change that to say, ‘Lawson is driving us nuts,’ he said. “It didn’t work and I think we’ve been suffering over that for quite some time.”
Perdue said that buying the new system looks like “a cost” but, really, when productivity and new opportunities are factored into the equation, it will be a cost saver.
Some of the key benefits of the new system include a modern user interface that plays well with mobile devices, enhanced reporting capabilities, more financial features and a design built from the ground up specifically for local government.
The county will pay recurring fees of $730,000 for five years and a one-time Implementation cost of $1.4 million for a total five-year cost of just over $5 million.
By making the move, Guilford County will save about $650,000 that it won’t have to shell out to upgrade its Lawson system this year.
County officials expect to benefit financially from enhanced employee productivity since the system will hopefully be faster and easier to use.
County staff say they’ve experienced major problems over the last year and a half with the current system, which they say crashes often. According to a statement from county staff, that has “negatively impacted users ability to perform their daily functions.”Read More
The evidence seems clear now that one Guilford County project is cursed by supernatural powers and, no matter how hard the Guilford County Board of Commissioners tries to get the project done, it will always be thwarted in one way or another.Read More
On Thursday, Jan. 17, after a long closed session, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners came out into open session and took an action that no one saw coming.Read More
On Thursday, Jan. 17, the question of black participation in Guilford County construction contracts dropped and exploded like a nuclear bomb on Guilford County government.Read More
If you think it’s hectic dropping off or picking up passengers at Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) on a busy air travel day right now, well, it’s going to be a lot more hectic later this year because PTIA is conducting a major renovation, repair and replacement project of the roadway and parking plaza in front of the arrival and departure gates.Read More
A Guilford County staff selection committee has decided that Greensboro-based Samet Corp. is “by far” the right company to build a new $20-million adult services mental health building to be constructed on Third Street in Maple Professional Park in Greensboro, near the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services Building on Maple Street.Read More
It’s hard to keep track of all the pieces of the giant construction puzzle going on in downtown High Point as part of the city’s rejuvenation project these days, however, on Wednesday, Jan. 16, another big piece of that puzzle was put squarely into place.Read More
Former Guilford County Commissioner Warren Dorsett passed away recently at the age of 91. Dorsett, who served on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners from 1993 to 2002, died at Hospice Home at High Point.Read More
The US Census Bureau is best known for its wildly popular population results released once every 10 years; however, census workers don’t just lay down on the job and rest on their laurels the other nine years – in fact, they are very busy bees, constantly collecting all sorts of information you might never think they would.Read More
According to reports out of multiple Guilford County departments and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners this week, the partial government shutdown isn’t having any effect on Guilford County government with one exception – some families will get their food and nutrition benefits earlier than usual.Read More
Drivers in Greensboro often complain about crazy traffic patterns and dangerous intersections around the city – and now they can put that constant griping to good use.Read More
Guilford County government is about to attempt something akin to repairing or replacing a jet engine while the jet is in flight.Read More
It’s not the Rumble in the Jungle or the Thrilla in Manila, but it might be called the Showdown in Downtown or the Battle of the Blue Room.Read More
They say “Better late than never” and, apparently, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners – after waiting nearly a half a year – will finally get the results of the $1 million school facilities study that they’ve been waiting on.Read More
Former Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes may have lost the election in November, but he certainly hasn’t lost his desire to engage in the public debate on law enforcement matters.Read More
Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers is getting rid of a lot of the old practices from the Sheriff’s Department as it was run under former longtime Sheriff BJ Barnes, but there’s one tradition he’s decided to continue and put his own unique spin on: Rogers and his new department will use the Guilford County Sheriff’s Citizen Academy as part of a broader effort to bridge the divide between the Sheriff’s Department and the county’s citizens.Read More
The expression “killing two birds with one stone” sounds negative in a way, but officials with Guilford County Schools are nothing but positive about a new program being implemented in 2019 that’s meant to do just that.Read More
At the Thursday, Jan. 10, Guilford County Animal Services Advisory Board meeting, Animal Services Director Jorge Ortega said that 2018 was a year of progress for the shelter in a number of ways.Read More
This week, the Summerfield Town Council voted 4 to 1 to retain attorney Gray Wilson, with the Winston-Salem firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, to defend the town as well as Town Councilmember Dianne Laughlin – who’s being sued by former Summerfield Town Councilmember Todd Rotruck over the seat that Rotruck lost and Laughlin now occupies.Read More
Given all the good things that happened at Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) in 2018, years from now area citizens may very well look back on the year and say it was the one when the airport finally took off. In many ways, over the past 12 months, PTIA has started to look like the Little Airport that Could. There’s no question, at least, that the airport thinks it can, thinks it can.Read More
Last week, when the NC Attorney General’s office authorized former Summerfield Town Councilmember Todd Rotruck, on behalf of the state, to sue sitting Town Councilmember Dianne Laughlin to remove her from the seat that Rotruck formerly held, there was a lot of confusion all around to say the least.Read More
The more the merrier. Apparently that even goes for juvenile detention centers.Read More
Meetings held by Guilford County commissioners and staff to set the agenda for upcoming Board of Commissioners meetings are almost always low-key affairs, however, at a Tuesday, Jan. 8 agenda meeting, Chairman Alan Branson and Commissioner Skip Alston got into a lively back and forth over the amount of work that would go to black-owned firms in a proposed contract for a $14.4-million county construction project.Read More
Guilford County and Cone Health have banged out a contract that covers exactly who’s responsible for exactly what in the coming joint effort in which the county will hire Cone to provide the county’s mental health services.Read More