The Greensboro City Council talks about being the policy making board for the city, much like the board of directors for a corporation, but watching its actions on Friday, Feb. 3 during the final hours of the retreat, some might question that depiction.
The City Council was tasked with coming up with a city vision statement and a list of priorities. It came up with six priorities, and then decided it needed seven because City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba noted that there was nothing about housing in the list. Councilmember Sharon Hightower said that seven was the “number of completion” and Councilmember Goldie Wells agreed.
The City Council spent time “wordsmithing” its priorities. The city has a Communications and Marketing Department full of professional writers who know how to write. No one on the City Council has experience as a professional writer. But when Jaiyeoba suggested that the city staff take the ideas for the priorities and work on them, he got a quick rebuke from the City Council, which insisted on coming up with each and every word itself.
Then, after too many iterations of the seven priorities to count, the City Council read the vision statement and the seven priorities aloud, led by Councilmember Goldie Wells. Wells had some problems getting her fellow councilmembers started and had to correct them several times to get them all to recite in unison, like students do in elementary school.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan attempted to jump the gun by reciting the priorities before reciting the city vision statement, but eventually Wells got all seven members of the City Council who were present in line.
After reading the city vision statement in unison, Wells called out the number and the members of the City Council recited the seven priorities, just like they had learned to do so many years ago.