The budget presentation by City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba at the Tuesday, May 16 City Council meeting was decidedly different from the recommended budgets by past city managers.

Jaiyeoba’s recommended budget, unlike past budgets, has a name, “Moving Forward Together.” In the past the recommended budgets presented by the city budget were simply called “Recommended Budget 2020-2021,” for example.

It is worth noting that “Moving Forward Together” is the moniker of the “Recommended Budget 2023-2024,” and until the City Council approves a budget, whether or not the “Adopted Budget 2023-2024” will have the same catchy name, a different name or, like the past budgets, no name at all, is unknown.  Perhaps the City Council during the work sessions on the recommended $749 million budget will spend time discussing possible names for the adopted 2023-2024 budget.

Jaiyeoba also began his presentation with a lot of pats on the back for himself for the 2022-2023 budget, which included the equivalent of an 8.69-cent property tax increase – the largest tax increase in the history of Greensboro.

Jaiyeoba listed the accomplishments of that budget, and according to Jaiyeoba number one was, “Provide support for our employees.”

Number two was, “Provided tuition assistance not just reimbursement for employees.”

Number three was, “Down payment assistance program for first time homebuyers. Many of them are employees.”

Number four was, “Created more than 60 positions to create efficiency in the delivery of services.”

So according to Jaiyeoba, the top accomplishments of the 2022-2023 budget, which does not have a cute name, have to do with city employees, not the residents and taxpayers of Greensboro.

The budget message delivered by Jaiyeoba was done with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation.  In the past, this PowerPoint would be an attachment in the agenda packet, but the budget PowerPoint presentation is not. It is a public record and available to anyone who requests it, but not including the presentation in the agenda packet is another example of how the current city administration lacks transparency.

Jaiyeoba said that due to current economic conditions, including inflation, low unemployment and supply chain issues, “We can no longer do business as usual as a city. We can no longer approach development in a business as usual mindset. We have to keep supporting our employees while we continue to invest in our growth.”

In keeping with that emphasis on employees, Jaiyeoba noted that the 2022-2023 budget added 61 employees while “Moving Forward Together” adds 44.5 city employees. However, since “Moving Forward Together” also cuts 30 officers from the Greensboro Police Department, the net increase will only be 14.5 new positions.