With the statewide and City Council primary just over a month away, we are in what many people refer to as “the crazy season.”
Issues are brought up that in a normal year would fly under the radar but, because of the election, become news, and mayoral candidate Eric Robert – in an email to Mayor Nancy Vaughan, and copied to large number of people – raised just such an issue.
Vaughan is running for reelection and, along with Robert, District 3 City Councilmember Justin Outling and Mark Timothy Cummings, will be on the May 17 mayoral primary ballot.
Robert, in the email to Vaughan, claims that Andy Zimmerman’s term on the Downtown Greensboro Incorporated (DGI) board of directors has expired and he should no longer be allowed to serve.
Robert states in previous emails on the same issue that the state statute governing Business Improvement Districts (BID) such as DGI sets a six-year limit for serving on the BID board of directors.
The state statute doesn’t set a limit, but the DGI bylaws do set a six-year limit, with the caveat that if a board member is serving as an executive officer they can serve an additional three-year term. Zimmerman, who was appointed to the DGI board in 2015, is on the executive board, which means according to the bylaws he is eligible to serve until 2024.
Zimmerman is also an appointment of the Greensboro City Council to the DGI board and is eligible to serve until a replacement is appointed. It is a common practice for the City Council to make allowances for officers on a board to serve longer than the six-year limit that exists for most boards and commissions.
Robert also accuses DGI President and CEO Zack Matheny and DGI board Chair Tracy Myers of “falsifying” the record of Zimmerman’s appointment to the DGI board. In a response to a request from Robert, Myers listed Zimmerman’s appointment date as Jan. 1, 2017, while Robert, relying on articles in the Triad Business Journal and the News & Record, said Zimmerman was appointed in May 2015, which is correct.
In an email to Vaughan and the eight members of the City Council regarding the error made in Zimmerman’s appointment date, Robert states, “This is very serious issue as I contend that a law was broken and reports falsified to allow a DGI board member to remain on the board passed it [sic] tenure.”
Robert, in the email to Vaughan, asked that Myers be removed as chair and Matheny as president for making this error on the appointment date of a board member.
Both Myers and Matheny acknowledged that there was an error in the appointment date of Zimmerman in a chart of the appointment dates of DGI board members that was sent to Robert. Myers, in an email to Robert, notes that under the bylaws Zimmerman is still eligible to serve on the DGI board despite the error in listing his appointment date.
It is worth noting that John Lomax was also appointed to the DGI board in May 2015 and Robert in these emails has not challenged his right to continue to serve.
Roberto, why don’t you just fitch a pissy hit? I want you to be my man….anywhere but here.
All I can say is WOW Mr. Roberts your picture reminds me of what Ozzie Osborne used to look like. Do you like snakes
Well, you know that this is just a screen grab taken from some Zoom meeting, not one of his headshots. I’m sure someone could nab a picture of any of us not in our best light. This screen grab was obviously taken and used to that end. Since when do neutral reporters use “tizzy” in their headline anyway? Especially when all Robert did was point out some missed deadlines. That does not seem to qualify as a tizzy to me.
Carroll owns the Rhino and has a vested interest in who gets elected as well as who is part of DGI. Because of that conflict of interest, I doubt you will see much neutral reporting on topics that impact Carroll directly, even if it is subtle, like using a crazy looking screen grab or a disparaging title in an article. That seems to be the case here.
excerpts from the “tizzy”
It is my understanding that the terms limits are clearly stipulated in the DGI bylaws of which I am sure you have a copy since you are a DGI board member….
…Ms. Myers’ response, while predictable, tells us that she is either misinformed, or simply lying/covering ….. I must wonder, is Mr. Zimmerman really that generous for most of you to repeatedly ignore the well being of thousands of you constituents for the benefit of the 1 guy…
…Another concern, is the basic fact that Ms. Meyers seems so eager and willing to disseminate false information all while being the DGI board chair and the Vice President of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce. I can only hope that Mr. Christensen (Chamber CEO) understands that this does not represent our city well. I really hope he does, or we may have, yet, another problem on our hands.
…The ongoing going incestuous business relationship between Mr.Zimmerman, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, DGI and the City of Greensboro clearly illustrates what I am convinced IS wrong with our city. This goes well above and beyond the cronyism we have gotten accustomed to…even by Greensboro’s standards.
Allow me to recap for you:
Mr. Zimmerman currently makes money off of:
– THE GREENSBORO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (as a landlord and a board member)
– DGI (as a landlord and a board member)
– THE CITY OF GREENSBORO through multiple grants, loans , free constructed parking and misc. rental payments. (As a DGI board Member and a Chamber board member)
– MAYOR VAUGHAN, (As a landlord and campaign contributor)
No wonder he wants to stay on, “the getting’s good” a the tax payer’s trough.
Madame Mayor, Council Members, the issue here is much bigger than just term limits scribed in legislations and bylaws.
The issue here is that I am a property owner within the BID and:
1- I have asked basic information and public records from the organization that I contribute to through additional taxes, and my repeated requests were ignored.
2- Once I obtained the records, the data was falsified as It is a FACT that Andy Zimmerman started on Thursday May 28th 2015 and not 01/01/2017, the 2 following articles will support such facts:
3- Once caught, the DGI chair, Ms.Meyers, responded in a predictable defensive manner, ignoring the basic facts, opting instead to “circle the wagons”…I almost understand such desperate act as this one is a doozie for sure .
Here are a few pros for terms limits. (Paraphrased from best practices found online)
Promotes genuine diversity (not currently embraced by DGI)… A McDonald Millionaire and a County Commissioner hardly represent the true diverse make up of Downtown Greensboro. There is no one on the board from the surrounding predominantly black neighborhoods. There is no one on the board that could remotely aspire to creative thinking…No college students, no creativity, no youth, no free thinkers… If there had been, the whole back room attempt to torpedo the LIDL deal would simply not have happened…
Prevents perpetual concentration of power within a small group of people and the intimidation of community members…
Now, I ask you, Madame Mayor and Council Members , that pending a thorough investigation by an independent entity, to immediately remove Mr. Matheny and Ms. Meyers from the respective President/CEO and Board chair positions of DGI as neither can be trusted.
Finally, I have included Former Representative Wade and Representative Hardister in this email in an attempt to make them aware of the ongoing city sponsored malevolence currently taking place under DGI’s oppressive and one sided reign.
Some Downtown Greensboro small business owners are literally afraid of DGI sponsored retributions. This is simply not healthy , this does not promote community, this IS NOT Greensboro…WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS!!!
I am hopeful that the NC legislature can close all loopholes that allow such deceptive practices and technicalities. DGI is supposed to have the constituents backs, not to repeatedly stab at them.
I hope the Legislature will go through the original intent to allow for reluctant and I unrepresented tax paying contributors to remove themselves from the MSD know as the Downtown Greensboro BID….without having to go through City Council, as it is obvious, there are some conflicts here.
This is the perfect example of taxation without representation …or is it taxation with retribution.
Thank You for your time!
Thank you for attracting attention to this important issue John.
The falsifying of documents by Mr Zack Matheny, as President and CEO of DGI is indeed concerning to say the least. The covering of such fraudulent behavior by Tracy Myers of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and our very own Mayor is also alarming.
Finally, thank you John for highlighting Mr Matheny ‘s stellar performance costing taxpayers over $250,000 to pay a city contractor to not work as stated in the attached link.
Your publisher must be proud!
Hey Mr. Robert-can you confirm or do you have information that Zack called the fire marshall (reference the elevator) on the Miller Furniture building on S. Elm in an effort to hold up the sale of the building? That’s the rumor on the street.
Do you not see the shell game and cabal the council runs with entities such as DGI? Soft landing for DWI Zack. And now he wants back in the council so he can self deal like Other council’s members do and have done in the past. Why should people be on city boards for years and years? Boards and council needs new ideas and new people. But that wouldn’t fit the racket that is running. Vote people!
And I wish more people would call the city leadership out on their nonsense and be in a “tizzy.”
Dude looks like a bum to me. Don’t know him but his looks like he has no self respect to me.
This is a fine man.. what about yourlooks.your looks.. are you perfect??
You have some valid points and have obviously done your homework, and if elected may be able to chase some rats out of the heavily infested barn. However. The voters of Greensboro are very visual in nature. Most don’t listen, just look then judge. Hint: Dress for the job you want ‘Stache is ok, but let’s get some new glasses, and unless you are the lead in a headbanger garage band, a trip to the barber, and lose the bandito mask around the neck. Masking is no longer a fashion or political statement; it is just over. If you worry you will lose the grunge identity you nurtured and carried around since your teens, (or since the beginning of covid) well, too immature for mayorville then. Maybe make a stab at city council and stir things up there? They are immature too.
Cheryl, thank you for the much needed humor and advice on the “makeover”. John sure picked a flattering photo of me. Ozzy, bum etc…all accurate and really funny.
But, please don’t let my “good looks” distract you from the fact that a tax-payer funded non profit is falsifying public records to deceive the very people it is supposed to represent and that ,current council members and city attorney are ignoring it.
PS: it wasn’t a mask, I have never been a great fan of them…it is a birthmark. You see when you are born in France you come out with a scarf around your neck.
Robert – excellent research and facts to back you up!
-can you look into “ cure for violence “ and the 900K dollars the council GAVE councilwoman Johnson? Cure for violence does not have to be accountable to the citizens of Greensboro? One must wonder what donations, if any each may receive for our tax dollars so freely given?
Glenn, “The cure the violence” program is obviously curing nothing as our increasing crime rate clearly demonstrates. As far as accountability, this was done on purpose to evade public records laws and circumvent public scrutiny and oversight.
That is the exact reason, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce is not part of the city government, even though we pay for it. This is why the Greensboro Coliseum has a separate commission even though we pay for its staff and expensive leader (Matt Brown). This is why DGI exists as it doesn’t perform anything that could not be done with existing city staff. I could go on but you get the picture.
The biggest issue of all, is that , somehow, the “very talented” city attorney (who reports directly to the city council) seems to think that it is ok to be on city council and run a separate non profit which receives city/public funds and tax payers monies. A recusal does not mean that they can’t lobby and influence colleagues behind closed doors…
Nancy Vaughan did it with Guilford Green, Yvonne is doing it with One Step Further, Barber did it with First Tee, Kennedy did it with the IRC and now Matheny is hoping to get away with it with DGI… This is the part where I would say “ excuse my French” but this is …….
All i can say is that the elections are coming up in 9 weeks.
Agreed! I look forward to the upcoming election to rid the city council and mayor. We need a new direction, accountability, honesty, responsibility and public trust. To many “ friends of the council” being provided our tax dollars with NO accountability.
Vive la France! Even if they just beat Wales in the rugby….
j’ai oublie la pluspart de ma Francais, malheureusement.
Austin, not sure if John will let me post about Rugby, but France has an amazing team (so does Wales)…. I look forward to England next week. We will witness a memorable match for sure…can’t wait
Would you rather him look like the well dressed snakes that are taking your tax money?
Eric Robert, with respect, Who are You?
All of a sudden to Me, You are running for the Greensboro Mayor Position.
I am interested in how You as The next Greensboro Mayor will address my complaint about the entire current
Greensboro City Council?
Old connections not allowing New Growth.
Address Citizens Complaints. Let Truth Speak.
I have no problem with helping You become the next Greensboro Mayor, that’s a no brainer for Me.
I need You… to Expose The Truth that for whatever stupid reason Nancy Vaughan is trying to cover up.