The Greensboro City Council public hearing on the 2023-2024 fiscal year budget, aka “Moving Forward Together,” recommended by City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba, is Tuesday, June 6 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

People may sign up to speak in person or via Zoom.  Those choosing to speak via Zoom had to sign up by 5 p.m. on Monday, June 5.  Those who want to speak in person are asked to sign up at the Qminder kiosk outside the Katie Dorsett Council Chamber by 6 p.m. the day of the meeting.  However, Mayor Nancy Vaughan usually asks if there is anyone in the chamber who wishes to speak after all those who have signed up have spoken.

The $749 million budget recommended by Jaiyeoba represents an increase of $130 million from the $619 million fiscal year 2021-2022 budget recommended by former City Manager David Parrish.

Jaiyeoba’s first Greensboro city budget, the fiscal year 2022-2023 budget, passed last June, raised spending to $688 million and included a tax increase equivalent to 8.69 cents.

The manager’s recommended budget for 2023-2024 raises that to $749 million and includes a 4-cent tax increase, which will increase the property tax rate to 67.25 cents.

In 2022, when the City Council balked at the recommended tax increase equivalent to 11.69 cents, Jaiyeoba lowered the increase to 8.69 cents and at the same time increased the spending from $680 million to $688 million.

Despite the massive increase in spending, the 2023-2024 manager’s recommended budget does not increase the starting salaries for police officers to $57,000.  The majority of the City Council voted to raise the starting salaries of police officers to $57,000, but the manager’s recommended budget only increases the starting salary to $52,400.

The Police Department, according to the city, has 120 vacancies in sworn officers. The normal attrition rate for police officers is about 60 per year, mostly due to retirement, which means about 60 new police officers need to be sworn in every year.  There are two Greensboro Police Academy classes each year, so to stay even about 30 officers need to graduate from each class and then complete field training.

At a budget work session, Police Chief John Thompson said that, from the latest class to graduate from the Police Academy, there were 10 officers in field training.

If the number of cadets in each Greensboro Police Academy class does not increase dramatically, the number of vacancies in the Police Department will continue to increase.