When Guilford County Manager Mike Halford presented his $832-million budget proposal to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners on Thursday, May 18, he had something much more important on his mind than the budget.
So much so that, during the manager’s budget message – one of the most important moments each year for Guilford County government – Halford choked up and even shed a few tears in the middle of the presentation.
He was talking about Emergency Services response times when it happened.
“It’s important …” he said of response times. “On a personal note here …”
Then he went silent for a moment with all eyes focused on him.
As he began to regain his composure, he said very quietly, “Sorry.”
He then explained his emotion in a shaky voice that made it clear he’d had something else on his mind that day.
“My youngest daughter was in a car accident about 3:30 today and I got a frantic call from her,” he said, adding that the car was totaled. “But I knew, I knew she was OK because they said EMS was there.”
An emotional Halford went on to praise the county’s emergency response staff and he even used the harrowing experience to make the point of why it was so important to the well-being of county residents to adequately fund the department to keep response times down.
Halford’s budget message and proposal for the 2023-2024 fiscal budget was the most interesting manager’s budget proposal so far this century – but not just because of that moment.
Halford began the presentation by saying, “This is going to be a little non-traditional. I want you to close your eyes for a minute and when you open them, look at your screens”
He said, “Think about today at 5:45 a.m. when you get up.”
He went on to talk about “a day in the life of the county budget.”
For instance, he spoke about driving to work and getting behind a school bus and he used that to speak about the importance of the school system.
As he went through the day, he brought in various county services and show how those services touch residents all day long.
The presentation was also interesting in that it revealed that Halford seemed to think most people get up at 5:45 a.m.
Several commissioners told the Rhino Times they thought Halford did a great job by making interesting what, over the years, has usually been a very dry presentation.
In the coming weeks, as the commissioners begin making changes to the budget recommendation before adopting a final budget, everyone will get to see what the commissioners think of the actual content of the budget that Halford proposed.
Maybe this could be a learning point for the Greensboro City Council. You never know when YOU might need the POLICE.
So sorry about your daughter and glad she is ok. As for the drama, flush it. This is business and should be treated as such. You are playing with citizen’s money. I am not sure you are aware or even care but many folks have an extremely tight budget and others are struggling to make it thru each day. Get rid of your pixie dust and think of the hardship you are causing and creating. I can assure you that Greensboro city council does not give a rip about their citizens. Watch how and what you spend as it is not your money.
I’ve known Mike for a number of years, and he’s not only intelligent, but his character is what’s made him a success. I only wish the elected officials were like him.
Please prayer for the healing of his daughter.
yea, not city council………. Guilford County Board of Commissioners.
Interesting . . .I posted the first comment, and the Rhino deleted it. But it was a praise for Halford, so wonder how and why they did that?
It’s interesting that the Rhino seems to delete posts that don’t contain any kind of objectional language or comments, but perhaps are too truthful or give out too much truthful information about how the system really works, especially when it comes to Emergency Services.
Interesting that I was the first to post, then didn;t see my post after others had posted, but it now appears. Wonder what explanation they have for that?