The work product of the all day City Council retreat is a set of long term goals.
The City Council met from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24 in the ACC Hall of Champions at the Greensboro Coliseum for its annual retreat.
By the end of the day, during which they spent most of their time working in three groups of three under the direction of strategic consultant Meredith Powell, the City Council came to agreement on five long term goals that are supposed to form the basis of what they try to accomplish in the next couple of years.
The long term goals are:
1) Raise per capita household income by 15 percent by 2025.
2) Form partnerships to increase committed affordable housing of 0 to 30 and 30 to 60 area median income by 1,000 units by 2022.
3) Reduce violent crime overall by 20 percent end of 2022.
4) Bring the fund balance to 15 percent of our annual budget by 2023.
5) Increase by 20 percent the number of people that can reach their place of employment without the use of their personal vehicle by 2023.
The City Council did not discuss in any detail the cost of completing these goals but mainly discussed whether they were achievable or not.
For example, at the urging of Councilmember Michelle Kennedy, at one point the affordable housing goal was to build 1,000 affordable housing units by 2022.
Kennedy also said that they needed to target the lower income level for affordable housing, the 0 percent to 30 percent range and the 30 percent to 60 percent range of the area median income.
Councilmember Justin Outling said, “The city as a general matter doesn’t create housing.”
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “We have to find partners. We aren’t going to build housing.”
The “what” never changes. It’s the “how” this council has never been able to come up with. Of course, the “how” conflicts with some of the agendas that dominate the council.
I am so glad I live in High Point! The City of Greensboro City Council is the least productive large local government body in the area. Hopefully the citizens of Greensboro will wake up and elect people with business backgrounds that understand how the real world works and can get things done. I have lived in this area 64 years and the depth of incompetence shown by this group has not been surpassed in my lifetime.
The SW corner of S Elm and Lee St was the location for proposed affordable housing. What happened to that plan? Violent crime will be reduced when the city officials and residents stand behind the police and when we put police in problem areas. People like their cars too much to ride a bike or bus to work. Ask City Council members if they would. Justin might take a bike but no one else. Don’t know what the fund is. Raising household incomes is too complicated for our council to tackle. Set reasonable goals. Did they reach last year’s goals? Need some balance politically to get anything creative done.
The city needs to put more funding into affordable housing, not partner with more developers. The city has great experienced developers including at least one non profit with a strong reputation of developing high quality affordable housing (and it isn’t GHA!). Giving (actually loaning at 0% interest) a developer $600M to $1MM when these developments cost $10MM or more is not going to permit more housing to be built. If developers have to get loans at banks the rents can’t be 0% to 60% affordable with any hopes of the property breaking even and being properly maintained. In order to build quality affordable housing, and keep the rents low, the owner can’t carry a heavy debt burden. Why hasn’t the city initiated talks with the 3 or 4 developers in the city that always have tax credit applications in the works and asked them how to generate more affordable housing? Geez, Council members, you’ve got a great resource in these development professionals – why don’t you use it wisely?