Finally, there are some public documents about the proposed Cure Violence program.
The Cure Violence program designed to treat violent crime and murders like a disease which the Greensboro City Council and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners have been discussing in private for months, is finally going to be discussed in public and the contracts they are slated to discuss are public documents.
The Greensboro City Council and the Guilford County Commissioners are scheduled to hold a joint meeting on Tuesday, May 7 at 3:30 p.m. in the Guilford County BB&T Building at 201 W. Market St.
The two contracts they are to discuss will have to be approved by both elected bodies for the Cure Violence program to move forward. One contract is with One Step Further whose executive director is City Councilmember Yvonne Johnson. According to Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan, Johnson will attend the joint meeting not as a city councilmember, but in her roll as executive director of One Step Further, a nonprofit organization.
It is worth noting that the joint meeting will be discussing the contract with One Step Further, even though neither elected body has voted to pursue a contract with One Step Further. Also, there has been no request for proposals or even an advertisement informing other nonprofits that this contract worth over $400,000 might be available.
Vaughan said that several nonprofit organizations were considered and Cone Health expressed interest in the program, but not in running the program. Vaughan said that One Step Further because of its work with the criminal justice system appeared to be the best fit.
Vaughan said that, according to the legal direction the city has received, as long as Johnson does not vote on the contract there is no conflict of interest. But it appears that the contract would establish a relationship between One Step Further headed by Johnson, and City Manager David Parrish a direct employee of the City Council where Parrish is charged with monitoring and supervising Johnson.
This is not a contract that would simply grant money to One Step Further to run a program, the city and county would maintain far more “oversight and monitoring” of One Step Further and the Cure Violence program, which if this passes will be named the Gate City Coalition of Guilford County (GCCGC), than is usually the case.
One Step Further will be required to have quarterly meetings with the city and county managers or their designees on the program. Budget transfers of more than $1,000 will have to be approved by both the city and county managers. The city and the county will receive monthly expenditure reports.
The Greensboro Police Department will be required to provide GCCGC with “pertinent data” including “information about shootings as soon as possible after their occurrence.” But there is nothing in the contract about GCCGC providing any information to the police. In fact the Cure Violence representatives that spoke to the City Council said that they had a policy of not providing the police with information.
Representatives from both the City of Greensboro and Guilford County will participate in the hiring process for the GCCGC staff.
According to the contract both Greensboro and Guilford County will pay One Step Further $203,402 per year for the program.
Greensboro and Guilford County in a separate contract each agree to pay Cure Violence $50,000 for training and material. Greensboro and Guilford County, not One Step Further, will be responsible for monitoring the training process.
So it appears that total cost of the program will be about $500,000 not $600,000 as previously reported.
One more interesting note from the contracts, the Greensboro City Council has made raising the minimum wage for all city employees to $15 an hour a top priority. But in this city funded and city monitored program two of the seven employees will be paid over $15 an hour and five will be paid $14.18 an hour. Some city councilmembers may have to tone down their heated rhetoric about those who pay employees less than $15 an hour if these contracts are approved.