The city heard back from Trader Joe’s after sending a letter signed by all nine members of the City Council and some emails have been going around among those nine.
Trader Joe’s was not impressed. They call the letter a “postcard” and the items that were sent with it “trinkets.”
What the City Council clearly needs to do is what they do with many issues – appoint a committee to study why Greensboro would run off a red hot retail store that other cities across the country are lobbying to get. The idea of running off a grocery store that is a destination people will drive to from all over the area indicates a desire for failure.
But in Greensboro we tend to think that committees are the solution to every problem, so it’s time for the City Council to appoint a “why did we insult Trader Joe’s?” committee with about 50 members. It could break out into work groups and in four or five years come up with an answer.
What do you do if you hold a meeting and nobody comes? City Manager Jim Westmoreland almost found out on Tuesday, May 30 at the public comment period on the 2017-2018 budget. When I arrived at shortly after the scheduled start at 6 p.m., there was one other person who doesn’t work for the city in the lobby of the Greensboro History Museum where the meeting was being held. Westmoreland waited for about 10 minutes and then said he would give a short presentation to the three people who were there. By the time the presentation had ended there were a total of eight people who did not work for the city present, not counting this reporter.
The city has tried these public comment periods, both in City Council districts and in central locations. The truth is that few people in Greensboro are interested enough in the budget to come hear about it first hand.
Even this year when the City Council is raising taxes by 2 cents, people are not interested enough to come to a meeting. The City Council has tried, but these meetings are a waste of time for staff and next year if none are held it’s doubtful anyone will notice.
Most of what I know about cars comes from listening to Click and Clack on Car Talk on NPR, so when the Muse and I were in Charleston last weekend, semi-lost in a deserted area near the docks and the “check engine” light came on, I didn’t panic.
But I did worry. The only way to check the oil in my car is electronically and that makes me nervous. Click and Clack are always telling people that if the check engine light bothers them they should put a piece of tape over it. Instead of tape, I drove cautiously back to our hotel and Googled “check engine light.” I discovered that one of the most common reasons for the check engine light to suddenly come on is that the gas cap is loose. I’m not good with cars but I can check a gas cap, so I did and it was loose. The last person to put gas in the car (me) hadn’t put the gas cap back on properly. I made sure the cap was tight and the next day I didn’t need any tape because the check engine light went off all on its own.`
City Manager Westmoreland made an announcement at the City Council budget work session on Wednesday that he described as “bittersweet.” He said Parks and Recreation Director Wade Walcutt was leaving to accept the position as parks and recreation director for Cincinnati, Ohio. Walcutt said that it was a tough decision because he loved his job and Greensboro, but both he and his wife are from Ohio and this move puts them much closer to their families.
Walcutt has done a great job at parks and rec and we wish him all the best in his new job. And next January, when he is experiencing the Ohio winter, we hope he thinks fondly of Greensboro.