Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston is going to be elected by his fellow commissioners to that lofty position once again on Thursday, Dec. 7, so he’s already making plans for 2024.
This week, Alston told the Rhino Times where his focus will be in the New Year.
Spoiler Alert: Many of his priorities are the same ones he had for 2023 but that ran into roadblocks. For instance, he said that the effort to address homelessness in the county hasn’t moved nearly as fast as he had hoped, so that will remain his number one priority for 2024.
“We made some progress on helping the homeless, but I want to address all the shortcomings next year,” the chairman said.
Early in 2023, Alston said he wanted there to be enough beds for the homeless – before the weather turned cold this winter – to keep every homeless person in Guilford County warm. The weather has turned cold and there is clearly still a whole lot of work to be done before that goal is met.
Alston also said that he’ll see to it that the Sheriff’s Department’s new administrative building project gets the attention it deserves. The department has been seeking a new headquarters in downtown Greensboro for over a decade and the county’s first attempt to build one got blown out of the water in early 2023 when Guilford County and Samet Corp. had an intense contract dispute over the $20 million-plus project.
The county is now working with a new Construction Manager At Risk on the job and Alston wants the board to see that project along.
Alston added that there are other large capital projects in Guilford County that will need attention from the board in the coming year.
Alston said another priority for the Guilford County Board of Commissioners in 2024 will be overseeing the expenditure of the money from the $1.7 billion school bond referendum that voters approved.
He noted that the Guilford County Board of Education is the board that will be spending that money. However, he said, the Board of Commissioners needs to work hard to make sure those funds are spent wisely. The school board must come to the commissioners and justify each project before the commissioners vote to turn the bond money over to the schools.