It appears the District 3 Greensboro City Council race is going to be a hot one.
Chip Roth has officially announced he is running for the District 3 City Council race, and the word on the street is that Downtown Greensboro Inc. President and former District 3 City Councilmember Zack Matheny is going to run for his old seat.
It’s more than just a rumor. Although Matheny has made no official announcement, he has sent out a fundraising letter.
You might say Matheny’s in the on-deck circle, but Matheny hasn’t stepped up to the plate. And yet the fundraising letter resulted in a blistering press release from Roth stating that Matheny would have a major conflict of interest if he served on the City Council.
As Roth notes in the press release, Matheny resigned from the City Council in order to accept the position as president of DGI in 2015 to avoid a conflict of interest.
Roth states in the email, “The obvious conflicts of interest with Matheny launching a political campaign to serve on the City Council while running DGI are extensive and alarming.”
However, there are two current city councilmembers with similar situations.
At-large City Councilmember Michelle Kennedy is the executive director of the Interactive Resource Center that, like DGI, is an independent nonprofit that receives funding from the city.
Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson, while a member of the City Council, spoke in favor of One Step Further (where she is the executive director) receiving the contract for the Cure Violence program. In the past year, One Step Further has been awarded nearly $900,000 in funding for the Cure Violence program. Johnson was recused from voting on the contract but not recused from the discussions about it.
Roth said he saw those situations as different from Matheny at DGI because DGI had once been part of the city and would not exist without city funding.