City councilmembers made some bizarre statements in justifying their votes for the largest tax increase in the history of Greensboro and an enormous 2022-2023 budget that increases city spending by over 10 percent.

At the Tuesday, June 21 City Council meeting, where the City Council passed by a 7-2 vote the $688 million budget that included an 8.69-cent tax increase, those voting for the budget took great liberties with the facts in an effort to explain their votes.

District 5 City Councilmember Tammi Thurm went into a lengthy tirade about how underpaid city employees were and had been for years.

She said, “I worked with staff and council on this budget where we are paying for a decade of not doing the right thing with our staff.”

She added, “We have been underpaying staff for a long, long time.”

However, that is the opposite of what Greensboro Human Resources Director Jamiah Waterman told the City Council in the work session on city employee compensation.  According to that report, “89 of 124 benchmark jobs are at or above market.

“24 of 124 benchmark jobs are less than 10 percent below market (3 of 24 are in Police)

“10 of 124 benchmark jobs are more than 10% below market (7 of 10 are in Fire)”

According to that report, the vast majority of city employees are being paid the same or more than their peers in other cities, but Greensboro is underpaying the employees in the public safety sector which should be no surprise.

The report from the city’s own Human Resources Department refutes what Thurm said about compensation for city employees.

District 4 City Councilmember Nancy Hoffmann said that the City Council had to consider the budget “in its totality.  We can’t pick and choose.”

But at the meeting, the City Council made five amendments to the budget. The City Council voted to add funding for three additional nonprofits.  The council also voted to remove the funding for Cure Violence from the budget and then voted to add it back to the budget.

The City Council has the power to add or subtract anything it wants from the budget and it proved that by doing it at the very meeting that Hoffmann said couldn’t be done.