Fans of the movie “Groundhog Day” should really enjoy the City Council work session on Tuesday, Jan. 5 when the City Council went over the proposed legislative agenda for 2021.
The Greensboro City Council legislative agenda is made up of the items the City Council would like to see the North Carolina legislature pass. City Attorney Chuck Watts presented the list of proposed legislative agenda items to the City Council for discussion.
For some reason, the City Council spends a lot of time every two years going over the legislative agenda, as if the North Carolina legislature were going to do what the Greensboro City Council wanted.
When you consider that the state legislature has a strong Republican majority and the Greensboro City Council is made up of eight Democrats and Councilmember Michelle Kennedy, who calls herself a progressive, you might be able to see the problem.
Then the Greensboro City Council also has a bad habit of passing resolutions against whatever the state legislature is doing. The resolutions have no power to do anything, but they do annoy the legislature.
City councilmembers also have a habit of getting out and supporting their fellow Democrats running for office against Republicans.
Finally, the Greensboro City Council has never figured out that bills introduced by Democrats in the legislature generally are sent to the rules committee where they stay until the legislature adjourns. So bills for many of the items on the legislative agenda will be introduced, and the local daily newspaper often makes a big deal out of these bills being introduced, but down in Raleigh they are sent to the rules committee and never see the light of day again.
The result is that the same items stay on Greensboro’s legislative agenda year after year after year.
City Councilmember Justin Outling suggested that the City Council cull the legislative agenda and only keep the items that the City Council determined were most important and concentrate on trying to get those passed.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said that the city’s list wasn’t that long but that the City Council endorsed the legislative agendas of the League of Municipalities and the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, which made it appear longer.
It is also worth noting that the City Council was discussing a numbered list of proposed legislative items, which they often discussed by number. Since the public was not provided with the list, it was an extremely difficult discussion to follow.