Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan in July was elected to another four-year term.
Well, not really a four-year term but more like a three-year-and-four-month term because the November 2021 City Council election wasn’t held until July 26, 2022, and the newly elected City Council, which was scheduled to be sworn in on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, wasn’t sworn in until Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022.
Vaughan was first elected mayor in 2013, and with the July win under her belt, has been elected to serve until December 2025, which will be 12 years as mayor, no matter how the terms are divided up.
Vaughan said that when you consider all that happened during the past four-year-and-eight-month term, including a devastating tornado, civil unrest and a pandemic, “We made a lot of progress despite everything.”
Vaughan said that priorities for the new term would be housing, particularly affordable housing and public safety.
Two big wins for Greensboro during the last term were the announcements that Toyota would be building an electric vehicle battery plant at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite and that Boom Supersonic would be building its facility to manufacture supersonic passenger jets at the Piedmont Triad International Airport.
The two combined are expected to employ over 3,500 people.
Vaughan said, “Now we have to make sure our residents in Greensboro and Guilford County are qualified to fill those new jobs. “
Vaughan said Greensboro Workforce Development was already in the process of training people for the jobs at Toyota and Zoom.
This summer the North Carolina legislature passed a bill to provide economic incentives for expansion of the Toyota site to include a vehicle manufacturing facility in addition to the battery plant, but Vaughan would not comment on the current status of that potential economic development project, except to say, “I hope we continue to see good economic development announcements.”
Vaughan said that for each job created by Toyota and Boom, there would be five jobs created in supply chain businesses that could locate anywhere within an hour’s drive of the plants. She said that to ensure Greensboro got its share of those companies, “We have to make sure our permitting is truly business friendly.”
Vaughan said that it would be a challenge to make sure the process in Greensboro was as streamlined as possible and that there was data indicating that this is an area where Greensboro needs to improve.