The Greensboro City Council is meeting with the Guilford County Legislative Delegation Friday, Feb. 15 at 10 a.m. in the ACC Hall of Champions at the Greensboro Coliseum.

It’s a public meeting and although it is set up to be a discussion between the state legislative delegation and the City Council, at times the public has been allowed time to speak.

This legislative delegation is markedly different from the Guilford delegation for the 2017 long session of the legislature.  Former Republican state Sen. Trudy Wade lost in November to Democratic state Sen. Michael Garrett and former Republican state Rep. John Blust did not run for reelection and was replaced by Democratic state Rep. Ashton Clemmons who defeated Guilford County Republican Party Chair Troy Lawson.

Because of redistricting President Pro Tem of the state Senate Phil Berger who is arguably the most powerful elected official in Raleigh no longer represents Guilford County.

But also because of redistricting Republican state Sens. Rick Gun and Jerry Tillman both joined the Guilford delegation.  The only state senator from 2017 still on the Guilford delegation is Democratic state Sen. Gladys Robinson.

In the state House along with Clemmons Guilford County has Democratic Reps. Amos Quick, Pricey Harrison and Cecil Brockman and Republican Reps. Jon Hardister and John Faircloth and

Of course the City Council has changed also since the long session in 2017 Tony Wilkins and Mike Barber were both city councilmembers and they have been replaced by City Councilmembers Tammi Thurm and Michelle Kennedy.

Also City Councilmember Goldie Wells was appointed to finish the term of former councilmember Jamal Fox when he resigned in July 2017.  Wells was then elected to a four year term in November, 2017.

There isn’t a single Republican on the Greensboro City Council and although they lost their veto proof majorities in the House and Senate, the Republicans still control both chambers. Those who don’t have business in Raleigh, don’t realize just how partisan it is.  The City Council doesn’t like to admit it, but it often depended on Wade who is a former city councilmember to push Greensboro bills through the legislature.

Greensboro as usual wants a lot from the legislature in the way of special legislation and money. The fact that the Greensboro City Council is outspoken in its opposition to much of the legislation passed by the Republican controlled legislature, won’t help matters.

But it doesn’t hurt to ask and Greensboro is asking for:

  • The police body worn camera video law to be amended to make it easier for a City Council to view the videos.
  • $1 million to connect to Winston-Salem and Burlington with a fiber optic network.
  • An additional $500,000 in state transportation funding.
  • A special statute to allow Greensboro to establish a Small Business Enterprise program.
  • A special statute to allow Greensboro to adopt a non-residential building code.
  • Help from the Department of Motor Vehicles in collecting parking tickets.
  • Presumptive disability for firefighters recognizing that a series of exposures to harmful toxins can have a cumulative effect on their health.
  • Healthcare benefits for Greensboro City Councilmembers after they leave the Council.
  • $2.3 million in search and rescue funds for all local governments to share.
  • $1 million in additional funding for tornado relief for Greensboro.
  • And a medical detox facility for Guilford County.

Four members of the City Council have indicated they don’t plan to run for reelection in 2021, so the healthcare for former city councilmembers may be near and dear to their hearts.

It is rare for anything to be resolved at these meetings because the legislators can only promise to introduce bills, not to get them passed, but at times the discussions are lively.