There’s been a lot of great economic news for Guilford County recently – think Toyota battery factory and Boom Supersonic – and, now, there could be more good news on the way.
Maybe, maybe not – but county leaders and economic development officials are being tight mouthed about a closed session held last week to discuss an economic development issue.
The closed session item was added at the very last-minute to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners agenda for the board’s Thursday, April 7 meeting. The agenda only called for the board to meet “for the purpose of consulting with the county attorney.” However, when it came time at the end of the open meeting to hold the closed session, Guilford County Chief Deputy Attorney Matt Turcola added the item.
“Mr. Chairman, if I may,” Turcola said to Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston, “We need to add to that motion for the purpose ‘to discuss potential economic development, expansion, retention or relocation.’”
At that moment, sitting outside the meeting room in the foyer was Greensboro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Brent Christensen. When Christensen was asked why the closed session on economic development had been added and why he was there, Christensen declined to comment.
Usually, when Christensen comes to the county commissioners closed sessions, it’s to discuss proposed economic incentives for prospective companies considering locating in Guilford County.
A real conspiracy fanatic would note that the mystery economic development closed session was being held right before President Joe Biden makes an appearance in Guilford County to discuss job creation.
Could it be that the county is getting a new employer so huge that the president of the United States is coming in to announce it? Almost certainly not, but something’s going on – and this region has proven popular among big employers lately.
Christiansen, who is perhaps the world’s biggest Duke basketball fan, attended the closed session after a 14-hour drive back from New Orleans where he went hoping to see his Blue Devils whip up on hated rival Carolina in the Final Four – only to wish later that he had never even watched the game. Even so, Thursday night he seemed to be in good spirits before heading into the closed session.