Guilford County Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston has made it clear that attacking homelessness is the county’s number one goal in 2023.
However – based on county positions added, money spent and discussion time – increasing the county’s use of women- and minority-owned businesses in county contracts and services is right up there as a top board priority as well.
In early January, the Board of Commissioners received a presentation on the results of a $300,000 disparity study, and this week the board is scheduled to codify those findings and recommendations into county purchasing and vendor contract practices by adopting a policy and procedural manual regarding the treatment of MWBE companies.
Last month, immediately after hearing the disparity report, the commissioners took the astonishing step of adding five positions to the MWBE Department that only had three positions at the time. Thus, the commissioners nearly tripled the department overnight.
This week, the motion before the board, which is expected to pass easily at a Thursday, March 2 commissioners’ meeting, is to “Adopt the MWBE Policy and authorize the County Manager to implement the MWBE Administrative manual.”
The purpose of the disparity study was to see if a disparity existed between the number of MWBE firms available to perform county contracts and how many of those firms Guilford County ended up using for providing county services and working on county projects.
The firm of Griffin & Strong, the same firm that does the disparity studies for the City of Greensboro, conducted the study and found that “evidence exists to support the County’s use of race-conscious and gender-conscious measures and the continuation of the County’s MWBE Program.”
One recommendation of the study was to draft an official program policy with a procedure manual – the step the board will take this week.
Together, the Guilford County MWBE Department and the Guilford County Attorney’s Office drew up the draft of the county’s first official MWBE policy and administrative document meant for adoption by the Board of Commissioners.
The commissioners may adopt it as is or may tweak it before doing so.
This is one of several recent major steps in the effort to shore up the county’s MWBE efforts. The county will do things like set contract by contract goals for MWBE participation, review bonding requirements (which MWBE firms often cannot meet because they tend to be smaller firms) and invest in broader more targeted outreach programs for minority- and women-owned firms. The county is also investing in new purchasing tracking software that will provide a great deal of data as to the ways in which the county is and isn’t meeting its MWBE goals.
Everyone should be glad their property values are increasing and the county and the city are landing major companies and growing instead of shrinking like most of our boarder counties. But their not they complain because the thing that is making us great they hate diversity in thought and culture which makes great cities. They want stokesdale low taxes horrible schools no growth.
Waa Waa Waa cry me a river or start humming “Dixie”
Your wasted tax dollars at work. Seems rather racists. Can these firms not stand on their own merit?
Griffin & Strong appear to be adept at politik-speak. You can pay me a lot less and get a lot more.
Another step in institutionalizing racism in the purchasing procedures of the county.
“And the beat goes on…”
Free market is the only way to insure that the public is served by the contract acquisition process. Minority set asides are inherently discriminatory and should never be set in stone. There is nothing wrong with having goals, but as anyone in the construction industry knows, we can try our best and still run short of percentages that are required in order to obtain a contract. You can add 100 people to the MWBE program and little will change.
Serious question. I am building a new home and so are my parents. Almost all of the subcontractors are Hispanic owned and staffed. Doesn’t that count as minority owned businesses?
Either way it’s all a bunch of baloney. No one deserves preferential treatment based on race or sex. I don’t care what their ancestors or mine did or didn’t do, who bought or sold who, who slept with who, or even who gave a tinker’s damn back then. Frankly, I think I speak for many when I say I’m tired of hearing about it. History cannot be changed, only the future can. You owe no one anything for being who you are nor who your ancestors were, and likewise, no one owes you anything because of who you are or who you descended from.
I only care who the lowest responsible bidder is today and if they can do the job. This is a vivid picture of what waste looks like in government spending. Creating a problem that doesn’t exist so Guilford County can hire eight people to solve it. What a GD disaster!
I could have not said it any better. This foolishness continues because of weak kneed politicians who want to feather their nests. People who are out of touch with reality.
So black people aren’t smart enough or have the desire to create businesses that can stand on their own?
Think of it this way William…if you have the power to give someone $1M dollars and the choices are your child and my child, who do you give the $1M dollars to? If your predicable answer is your child…that basically is how society (those with the power: banks, large construction firms, etc). responds when confronted with these situations. Blacks and other racial minorities (and sometimes women), are usually excluded because of these typical preferences.
If this was a color blind society and there was real parity, such programs would not be needed. Don’t hate the player, hate the game!
This is a huge step forward for a country that was literally build on stolen land with stolen labor (capital). There is no such thing as equal rights without taking into account those disparities. Take off your hoods and stop burning crosses and you might learn something about progress. Do get caught on the wrong side of history.
Anything giving preference to “minority and women owned businesses” is simply racist and sexist. It always has been and always will be. It’s exclusionary by nature, but because it’s mostly excluding white men, it’s OK .
The only way to move past racism is to stop perpetuating it by all these special interest programs. Yes, many white Americans used to own slaves way back when, but many black Americans did, too. Slavery is still strong and rampant in other parts of the world today, but we’re the only culture still punishing ourselves for something our ancestors did 200 years ago.
Wake up, America!!
So, are we supposed to ensure that everything we do, or think, should be in terms of parity to others who are different from us in education, incomes, etc.? The same thing can be said about equity. Should everything (salaries, jobs, education, neighborhoods) in this world be equal, regardless of intelligence, race, education, etc.
Most people who are on the disparity or unequal bandwagon have never taken a course in Economics 101, the law of supply and demand. If you have a 4-year college degree, that does not automatically qualify you for any job.