The Greensboro City Council met from 4 to after 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19 and all the votes were unanimous.
Actually, the first hour and 40 minutes of that meeting was in closed session, so it is possible that some councilmember voted no on something in closed session. But during the open portion of the meeting over 20 votes were taken and they were all 9-0.
It is rare at a City Council meeting to have all nine members agree 100 percent on everything. Councilmember Sharon Hightower often casts the lone no vote on contracts if the Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise (MWBE) percentages don’t meet her personal quotas, regardless of whether or not they meet the goals set by the MWBE goal setting committee.
It was also unusual in that the consent agenda, which is supposed to be made up of noncontroversial housekeeping type items and is passed with a single vote, didn’t hold up the meeting. Usually Hightower asks questions and often interrogates staff about items on the consent agenda. And at most meetings Councilmember Justin Outling, who is a partner in the Brooks Pierce law firm, will have an item or two from which he asked to be recused because one of his colleagues in the law firm is involved.
But at the Oct. 19 meeting, Hightower didn’t ask questions and Outling didn’t ask to be recused.
A potentially controversial item, approving a loan of over $3 million to Partnership Homes Inc. to purchase the Regency Inn and Suites motel at 2701 N. OHenry Blvd. so it could be used as a winter homeless shelter, was continued to the Nov. 1 meeting.
The long term plan for the property is to spend about $13 million to rehabilitate the old motel for permanent supportive housing.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said that after the Rhino Times ran an article about the city’s plans for the site, the city received a number of calls and the decision was made to do more “outreach” before approving the loan.
All nine members of the City Council agreed on every other item on the agenda.