The Greensboro City Council spent most of the Tuesday, June 2 meeting discussing the protests, vandalism and looting that took place mainly in downtown Greensboro Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31.
Monday, June 1, Mayor Nancy Vaughan invoked a citywide curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Vaughan said that there was a large protest planned for Sunday, June 7, so she thought the curfew would remain in place until Monday or Tuesday.
She said that the curfew was “not to preserve property but really to preserve life. The property damage was horrific but buildings can be rebuilt.”
She said that after two nights of violence, “I had to put the health and safety of the community first.”
Councilmember Nancy Hoffmann made a motion that the city assume the financial responsibility for the damage to downtown buildings on Saturday and Sunday. She said the details could be worked out to figure out how much of the cost the city could assume.
Councilmember Yvonne Johnson said, “I like the idea but some of these business people have insurance.”
Hoffmann noted that most insurance policies have limitations and deductibles, so one of the items that would have to be worked out is what the out-of-pocket expenses were for the businesses.
Vaughan noted that while most of the damage was downtown, it was not limited to the downtown.
Councilmember Sharon Hightower said, “The whole idea of me even supporting the curfew is that we were not supporting property over people.”
Councilmember Justin Outling said that he saw the motion as “focused on those businesses who have a need and would not be able to make those repairs without our support.”
Councilmember Goldie Wells said, “We can’t have a downtown that is all boarded up.”
Councilmember Michelle Kennedy suggested that money from the downtown Business Improvement District (BID) that is used to fund Downtown Greensboro Inc. (DGI) be used to help the businesses. She said, “It falls right in line with why you have a BID in the first place.”
Councilmember Tammi Thurm offered an amendment that the City Council direct City Manager David Parrish to come up with a plan that would come back to the City Council for approval.
Hoffmann agreed with the amendment and the motion to direct the city manager to come up with a plan to pay for the damage to downtown and other businesses that suffered damage from vandalism and looting on Saturday and Sunday passed on a 9-0 vote.
Vaughan said that the number she had heard to pay for the damages was around $250,000 and she would like to see them stay close to that number.