It’s rare that the Guilford County Board of Commissioners calls off a scheduled work session and it is extremely rare for the board to do so at the last minute.
However, that’s what happened on Thursday, Nov. 4 with a late afternoon work session meant to assess the status and needs of the county’s facilities and planned county construction projects.
The meeting was set to be held at 4 p.m. both virtually and in a conference room on the third floor of the county-owned BB&T building in downtown Greensboro.
The work session was scheduled to take place right before the board’s regular 5:30 p.m. meeting. The board generally meets on the first and third Thursday of every month.
The notice from the Guilford County Clerk to the Board’s Office came out just after 2 p.m. on Thursday. By law, Guilford County must publicly announce county commissioners meetings at least 48 hours ahead of time – however, the county can cancel meetings anytime it wants.
According to the cancellation notice, the meeting was called off “due to multiple scheduling conflicts.”
The reason that virtually never happens for the board is that, before work sessions or other meetings are set, the commissioners check their schedules and, if someone has a conflict, he or she speaks up and either the meeting is set for another date or it’s understood that that commissioner will not be able to attend.
Also, Guilford County commissioners – even before they’re elected – know that Thursdays are heavily devoted to commissionering. Most county meetings and work sessions are scheduled on Thursdays, and, sometimes, before a budget is adopted in June, the board meets on several Thursdays from early in the day until late at night.
These days, when commissioners often attend the meetings by phone or by Zoom, they can attend even if they’re out of town or have other business that day.
The commissioners have admittedly been working pretty hard recently due to COVID-19 and a need to redistrict the county – however, it’s interesting to note that they voted themselves a 50 percent raise this year, with each commissioner now being paid $31,200 annually in taxpayer money and the chair and vice-chair getting thousands more.
The board has a lot on its current plate when it comes to capital projects and needs. The county has completed the construction of a new mental health center, a new Emergency Services maintenance facility and a new animal shelter and now the county is turning its attention toward projects like a promised new Sheriff’s Department’s headquarters as well as a $1.7 billion request from school officials who say Guilford County Schools need at least that amount.