Former Greensboro City Councilmember and former Chair of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Mike Barber is not quite ready to commit to running for City Council in 2022.
But he’s almost there.
And in conversation with Barber at the Wyndham Championship last weekend it was obvious he had put a lot of thought into running. Barber was elected to the City Council in 2013, won reelection in 2015, and in 2017 he finished fourth in the at-large race – 102 votes behind City Councilmember Michelle Kennedy. In the at-large City Council race the top three win seats on the City Council. It’s a strange race where coming in third is winning.
Barber has been keeping his cards close to his vest on his participation in the upcoming election, but this week he said, “I’m considering a run for the City Council, most likely in the at-large race.”
Barber said, “My focus will be on doing things that I believe the city needs to get done.”
He said, “I believe we need the best and most well paid police force and fire department in the state. Let’s stop trying to be average. We want to be able to claim to be the safest mid-sized city in America.”
Barber said, “Right now we have the best road system of any mid-sized city in America. We want to be the cleanest, greenest, safest city in the country.”
He said that currently the city appears to celebrate when an industry chooses to locate in a nearby city or town. He said, “We don’t want jobs and industry in other cities close by. We need jobs and industry in our own city. We don’t want to become a bedroom community.”
Barber said, “Durham, Charlotte, Raleigh, Asheville, they are all knocking the top out of it while we are trying to determine our opinion on social issues.”
He added, “If people want more talk on social issues, I’m not their guy.”
Barber noted that the average salary in Greensboro is $5,000 lower than Winston-Salem. He said that the key to solving the affordable housing issue was in attracting more better paying jobs to Greensboro, not building more affordable housing.
Barber is president of First Tee of Central Carolina, which promotes golf as a way for youth to learn life skills, and is also on Wyndham Championship Tournament Committee, which means he was a little busier than usual last week.
Barber said that after the Wyndham and after he’d had the opportunity to take his wife, Mitzi, out for a really nice dinner, he’d be making an announcement about his (their) decision on running for City Council.