District 3 City Councilmember Zack Matheny emailed a motion for the Tuesday, Dec. 20 City Council meeting to his fellow councilmembers.

Matheny said that he would not be in attendance at the meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 20, but he hoped that his motion would get a second and be passed unanimously.

Matheny has been the most outspoken councilmember in opposition to the location of 30 Pallet shelters on the Pomona Park ball field, the only ball field in Greensboro for special needs children.

The City Council allocated $535,000 for the purchase of 40 Pallet shelters at a special meeting on Oct. 10.  At the Nov. 15 City Council meeting, when the council was considering allocating an additional $200,000 for management and security for the Pallet shelter village, City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba refused to divulge to Matheny where the city staff planned to locate the Pallet shelter village.

When there was still no official announcement of the site, Mayor Nancy Vaughan said that the Pallet shelter village and the Safe Parking initiative would both be at Pomona Park at 3910 Clifton Road in City Council District 4.  On Dec. 13, the Rhino Times published this information.

On Friday, Dec. 16, after the cat was out of the bag, the city finally posted information about the site of the Pallet village on the city website.

In his email, Matheny lists eight reasons why the Pallet shelters should not be placed in the outfield of the Pomona Park ball field and states, “Therefore, I make a motion to direct city staff to find an alternative and more appropriate location for the pallet homes.”

The eight reasons Matheny lists for not locating the Pallet shelter village on the field at Pomona Park built for use by handicapped children are:

“1. The manufacturer states they do NOT recommend placing these on grass. Asphalt, gravel or hard surface is recommended.

“2. The location is a special field built for handicapped accessibility.  The homes and the people, in particular with rain, snow, or sleet WILL damage the field, not out of anger, or a criminal mode, but, simple daily wear and tear.

“3. The infield will be utilized by residents which could damage the $200,000 gifted private field built specifically for the handicapped.

“4. This location is pitting two sets of disadvantaged groups against each other, something which we should NEVER do.

“5. It has been stated the city will fund to rebuild the field surface.  Folks, this was not part of the budget when presented to us and could cost north of an additional $50,000 to flatten and resod the area.

“6. If the homes can be used past the winter, why would we not prepare to utilize them instead of ‘kicking people back out on the street’, thus utilizing them further than mid March?

“7. How could we have voted on something we didn’t even know how to discuss valued at over $500,000?

“8. We are sitting on more empty property and apartments that the city owns, we should put money into that for permanent housing versus temporary.”