The Greensboro City Council unanimously passed the $620 million 2021-2022 budget on Tuesday, June 15.
City Manager David Parrish had presented his recommended $617 million budget on Tuesday, May 18. So in a month the City Council managed to add over $3 million in spending. The way the City Council was adding dollars in another week it likely would have been a $621 million or $622 million budget. Fortunately the council ran out of time.
The good news is that although City Council raised spending by more than $3 million, it did not result in a tax increase. The tax rate for fiscal year 2021-2022 will remain at 66.25 cents. However, residents of Greensboro were not so fortunate when it comes to water and sewer rates, which will increase by 4.5 percent for customers both inside and outside the city.
This was officially a “hybrid” meeting, which means the public participated virtually, and while all nine councilmembers were present, they didn’t have to be and could have participated from the comfort of their own homes. But because it was a hybrid meeting all votes had to be by roll call.
So it actually took 19 separate roll call votes to pass the $620 million budget and once Mayor Nancy Vaughan realized that there would be no discussion and all the votes would be unanimous, she started trying to get through the votes as fast as possible. After a few rounds the councilmembers joined in trying to make the motion as soon as it was read to move the vote along.
Councilmember Yvonne Johnson voted “no” on the last item and said, “I’m tired of saying yes.”
Johnson then changed her vote to yes. It would have been the only vote against any of the 19 budget items.
After everything was passed, Councilmember Sharon Hightower said, “I know we are not telling the amount but I don’t know the amount of the budget we passed.”
Parrish said, “$619,744,308 for the total budget.”