The Greensboro City Council finally balked at a request from Housing and Neighborhood Development Department Director Michelle Kennedy.

Before accepting the position with the city, Kennedy was an at-large city councilmember, and since resigning her seat on the City Council to accept employment with the city, Kennedy has generally received whatever she has asked for from the City Council.

However, at the Tuesday, May 16 City Council meeting, the City Council appeared to attempt to hold Kennedy to some of the same standards as other city department directors.

The request from Kennedy was that the City Council pass a resolution authorizing the city to enter into a contract with Step Up on Second Inc. to operate the Regency Inn as a permanent supportive housing for homeless people.

Councilmember Zack Matheny questioned the terms of the resolution the council was being asked to approve, which was not included in the agenda packet but was provided to councilmembers shortly before the meeting.

City staff offered to explain what the resolution should say, and Matheny said, “You can verbalize it, but we’re not voting on what you tell us.  We’re voting on what she [Mayor Nancy Vaughan] just read.”

Matheny continued, “First of all, the whole process is kind of screwed up.  We always talk about going to RFP [request for proposal], but the statement was made, ‘We chose Step Up.’”

City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba said something that was not picked up by the microphone.

Matheny continued, “Mr. Manager, so you’re saying that it’s OK that we bypassed the RFP. We chose Step Up, so was there an RFP.”

Kennedy said, “There was not an RFP.”

Councilmember Sharon Hightower complained that the councilmembers had not received the resolution in time to go over it in detail before they were asked to vote to approve it.

Greensboro Housing Authority CEO James Cox said that the resolution sounded like there was a commitment from the Greensboro Housing Authority and that, before a commitment could be made, he would need to consult with his attorney and be provided with more information.

The City Council voted unanimously to continue the item to the Tuesday, May 23 meeting.