The Rhino Times Only Schmoozefest of Summer is Thursday, June 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Kickback Jack’s at 1600 Battleground Ave.
The Schmoozefest is taking a well deserved summer vacation, so this will be the last Schmoozefest until September.
Those who sign in and wear a name tag are welcome to enjoy free hors d’oeuvres and beer and wine (while supplies last).
It wasn’t much of a surprise, but Mayor Nancy Vaughan announced on Twitter that she would be running for reelection to her third term as mayor this fall.
Vaughan was first elected in 2013 and followed three mayors who had served for one term each and were then defeated when they ran for reelection.
City Councilmember Yvonne Johnson was elected mayor in 2007 and was defeated by Bill Knight in 2009, who was defeated by Robbie Perkins in 2011, and then Vaughan defeated Perkins in 2013. Vaughan won reelection in 2015 with 88 percent of the vote.
John Brown, a newcomer to politics, has announced his intention of running for mayor and there are a number of other names floating around out there who reportedly are considering getting into the race. Filing for the City Council election opens Friday, July 7 and closes Friday, July 21 at noon.
The North Carolina General Assembly is passing the $23 billion state budget this week. The law requires both the Senate and the House to pass the budget twice, on votes taken on separate days. The Republican leadership has agreed on the budget, so the question is not whether it will pass – it will. The question is whether Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, will veto it or not. If Cooper does then the budget will have to be voted on again to override his veto, but the votes are there so it’s a foregone conclusion.
The budget has all kinds of stuff added to it, and here is a little known item in the budget: The Piedmont Triad International Airport will not have to build the storm water retention ponds that would normally be required. The reason is that retention ponds attract geese and geese and jets don’t get along very well. It’s a needed change in state law, but how in the world did it get in the budget.
It appears that 6th District Congressman Mark Walker is following in the footsteps of his predecessor Congressman Howard Coble when it comes to constituent services. For nine months I had been planning to renew my passport, but somehow I never quite managed to fill out the forms and mail it in until I was approaching the deadline.
Walker’s office said they could expedite it for me, but it would cost more. I paid my fee for procrastination on Friday when I dropped all the paperwork at Walker’s office off Green Valley Road, and Tuesday morning UPS delivered my new passport to my house. That’s good service.
Although Walker’s office is about a mile from my house, I live in the 13th District, not the 6th District, which means that Congressman Ted Budd is my representative. But Budd only has two district offices – one in Apex and one in High Point. It looks bad for Greensboro, but imagine the folks in the southwest portion of his district, like Mooresville or Statesville. Both of Budd’s offices are in the northeastern portion of his district, and it’s a ways to go to High Point or Advance.
This is a correction to the constant misinformation about the Greensboro and Guilford County budgets in the mainstream media. The Greensboro City Council approved a 2.1-cent tax increase in its budget and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners kept the county tax flat.
The flat rate for Greensboro was 61.14 because of property revaluation in 2016. The flat or revenue-neutral rate for Guilford County for 2017 is 73.05, which is exactly where the commissioners set the rate. What Greensboro, with the help of the mainstream media, is trying to do is increase taxes without taking a hit for increasing taxes, but the City Council did increase taxes by 2.1 cents and the county commissioners didn’t reduce taxes.
North Carolina, to prevent local governments from stealth tax increases like Greensboro’s, requires that the revenue-neutral rate be published after every property revaluation. Some reporters don’t appear to understand the concept of a revenue-neutral tax rate and continually report that the county commissioners lowered taxes (I wish they had) and the City Council kept the tax flat.