The Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) program is on the agenda for the City Council work session at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 30.
The City Council discusses the MWBE program far more than any other topic and this is the follow-up to a work session on MWBE held at the end of April.
The cost of the MWBE program to the city is often listed as the cost of operating the MWBE office, which has risen from $297,000 in the 2020-2021 budget to $898,000 in the 2022-2023 budget.
But at the June 21 meeting the City Council voted 9-0 to approve a contract that demonstrates the actual cost of the MWBE program to the city is far more than simply the cost of operating the MWBE office.
At that meeting the City Council approved a contract to construct the Sandy Creek Sewer Lift Station for the Greensboro Randolph Megasite with State Utility Contractors Inc. for $8.9 million.
The MWBE office had determined that State Utility Contractors was the lowest responsible bidder after the low bidder was eliminated for not meeting the MWBE goals and failing to make a “good faith effort.”
The low bidder that was eliminated by the MWBE office was Haren Construction Co. Inc. with a bid of $7.1 million. According to the agenda documents the MWBE goal for the project was 16.5 percent with that divided into 7.1 percent for minority business enterprises (MBE) and 9.4 percent for women’s business enterprise (WBE).
Haren had an MBE of 16.15 percent and a WBE of 0.35 percent.
It appears from the agenda documents that Haren met the overall MWBE goal of 16.5 percent and well exceeded the MBE goal of 7.1 percent but failed to meet the WBE goal of 9.4 percent.
Haren appealed the MWBE ruling to the city manager’s office and the ruling of the MWBE office was upheld.
Upholding the MWBE decision and awarding the contract to State Utility Contractors cost the City of Greensboro $1.8 million, or over 20 percent of the cost of the contract.
City Councilmember Sharon Hightower, who is the chief proponent of the MWBE program on the City Council, has often stated at meetings that she doesn’t care about the WBE percentages but only the MBE percentages. However, for this contract the city would have had much higher MBE participation and saved the city $1.8 million if it had gone with the low bidder.
How can the MWBE office cost nearly $900,000.00? The budget for my entire company is a quarter of that and we generate nearly $1,000,000 in fees each year. This is a travesty. How can you deny Haren a contract. These are “goals” not requirements. Get rid of this stupid program. Hire the contractor with the lowest bid and get on with it. Greensboro has become a city that is run by the minorities on the council. We wonder how costs are so out of line and inflation is rampant? l Just take a real look at this debacle. Vote these idiots out!
Racism at its finest!!!
It’s actually majorities for Greensboro standards and good job this isn’t ash county if you like their politics move.
I do not understand your point. The city of Greensboro is in serious trouble and will continue down this path until a competent leader is elected. A leader who is willing to make choices that benefit all residents. The city now has an opportunity to vote for someone who is competent, write-in candidate, Chris Meadows. He is a businessman, unlike unemployed Nancy Vaughn who has too much time on her hands to meddle.
By the way Ash County is spelled Ashe County. It is beautiful.
Nobody has any idea how to run anything or even ask the proper people. They can spend and waste money faster then s*** thru a goose. No one to blame but the liberal idiots that keep voting them in. Even if it is a democrate but knows how to balance a budget and hire the correct companies to do the work , I would hold my nose and vote for them. Common sense or this city will fail. And fire the incompetent city manager that Charlotte was getting ready to do.
You can vote for a competent candidate running for mayor, and you do not have to hold your nose, write-in candidate, Chris Meadows. If you do not vote for write-in candidate, Chris Meadows, you have only yourself to blame. The July election presents Greensboro residents a unique opportunity to make their vote count for the city and everyone living in Greensboro.
More tax dollars wasted for votes…
Why not just call it what it is a hand out to black businesses. Do the black business owners have to have a percentage of WHITE workers and if not then why not
Because your not a minority.
Hey little town you have no idea what I am. Not all black people buy into this horse crap
It is not only Back businesses but woman-owned businesses. The woman can be any skin color, including White. That is why Hightower prefers MWBE over WBE. It is always about skin color with her.
Why not give back to Black Businesses? Can we at least own that? Their ancestors worked and died under this type of thinking for hundreds of years. Get over it!!! This is a different day.
These set-asides are clever schemes. Greensboro should be focusing on abilities and cost. It is so unfortunate that the focus is not on doing a job well, but on a person’s skin color, and sex. There is no reasoning with the likes of Sharon Hightower. Her constituents must agree with her one-sided way of thinking, they keep electing her.
She is a true leader!!! We support you, Mrs. Hightower!!! MGGA (Making Greensboro Great Again), I love it!!!
A fine example of why we are having the LARGEST property tax in history. Contracts will now be overpaid to prove that we totally and fully WOKE. So we paid an additional 25% of hard-earned taxpayer money for a relatively small percentage increase in WBE-owned business participation. Did anyone check to see if the MBE or WBE were getting the extra money or were the non-MBE and non-WBE contractors getting a bonus so the city can be WOKE ??
Once again, the City puts us taxpayers at the bottom. There ought to be an uprising amoung all property owners in Greensboro telling the countil enough is enough. Playing games with numbers, and some members aligning with favored groups, is essentially telling the general public to shove it where the sun doesn’t shine.
If you’re mad about how the council is run, capitulating to east Greensboro, vote them out this year.
If Greensboro residents want to revolt, consider not paying your property tax. Do not shop in Greensboro. Shop in another county, thereby denying the city and Guilford revenue from sales tax. Withhold the source of the city’s income. The city cannot spend money it does not have.
If the Greensboro residents want to revolt, vote for the only candidate that is competent and able to get Greensboro back on the right track, write-in candidate, Chris Meadows. It takes a little more effort to vote for a write-in candidate, but the effort will be worth it.
So the cost of the City’s MWBE Office has not doubled, but TRIPLED in 2 years??? And that’s just the cost of the bureaucrats….
The liberal democrat fifedom!
Being an ADOS business owner I find that wmbe initiatives, more often than not, are abysmal disappointments and seem to be lead by people who have no idea on how to effectively accomplish thier so called goal.
Who set the goals? Goals are set to be achieved.
As a black business owner, I seek, nor receive any special privileges for my company based on my skin color. My skin color does not cause me to suffer from any “brain deficiencies” to where I would need extra help securing a government contract. Further, I do not hire based on skin color. I hire based on the BEST applicant for the job…… PERIOD! (I think much wiser decisions would be made if it was actually their money they were spending).
I don’t believe in these programs. Further, when it comes to government contracts, legally, a company should be awarded the contract when it’s the lowest qualified and responsive bidder!
We are ALL equal and should be treated as such in every aspect.
Well said, Ed!
Awe the readership of the Rhino is upset. Lol. People are just playing the games that others on the city and county have played for years. Aint no fun when the rabbit has the gun.
Here’s a news flash. Greensboro is a minority majority city. Most of the city and county leadership is black or a woman. If you’re looking for the traditional white male leadership u might wanna move .
This is only the beginning
Damn bennie I think you and little town
(big city) should move in together. I’ll bet neither of you own property or pay taxes. Enjoy your taxpayer life.
“Big City” and “BENJAMIN” are one and the same, I’m willing to bet. Their sentiments are identical, and the racism and chip on the shoulder are also evident in both postings. It’s one guy. One black guy.
Own two small business and own a home that I bought when I was 29 in southeast Greensboro, one of the best places in the city. The city provides a lot you/me should help pay for it.
Is that a threat?
So, you are saying that the majority minority will not vote for a White man? A White man running for mayor as a write-in candidate that is far more qualified than Vaughn or Outling? Because he is White, the majority minority will not vote for him? You do realize that this is a racist, asinine, self-defeating approach to voting.
As far as the rabbit having the gun, the rabbit hides in holes and bushes and never confronts the real issues facing it, including how to use the gun to further its existence.
Vote for write-in candidate, Chris Meadows.
The real cost of the MWBE program is higher than you realize. Even Haren’s low bid would have been inflated to get the MWBE percentages that they did because MWBE suppliers and subcontractors know they do not have to offer competitive prices. Further, the city just sent a message to Haren and the second bidder that they are wasting their time bidding in Greensboro. Five years ago we would have five bidders, today we had three, tomorrow we will have one!
I watch this 1st hand within another government entity who seems destined to take us all with them to the crapper. Just like Bud said: The more legitimate companies that get the cold shoulder due to these racist policies, the fewer than come to the table the next time around. Vote4Pedro, Greensboro deserves better!
Totally agree. The extra money they spent here is just part of the cost.
Vote these people out!!!!
Make your voices heard July 26 ( or by early voting July 7-23).
WRITE IN: Chris Meadows for mayor
and vote Katie Rossabi City Council at large , Tony Wilkins District 5 and Thurston Reeder district 4
If everyone would spread this far & wide and help at the polls (or before) it could make a huge difference. We can not sit back and continue to let this happen.
Totally agree with write-in candidate, Chris Meadows.
You gotta move the needle to the right or this will continue to happen. The tax payer to the present council is just a money tree for woke policies. Time for a change: Chris Meadows write in for mayor, Katie Rossabi for at large, Tony Wilkins dist 5, Thurston Reeder dist 4. And from the Yvonne Johnson playbook only vote for Katie on at large and she may get enough votes to be Mayor Pro Tem.
Where I work, we call this the ARC Committee. (Another Racist Contract)
That’s all it is. It’s common knowledge that we’re pretty much wasting our time bidding anyplace that has such wonderful programs.
That’s so sad. America has been reduced to this petty “Pay Back Racism”, as if two wrongs make a right.
Black people in America have been historically wronged, but not any more. The answer is not to punish white people. That just leads to the partisan divisiveness and hatred that exists in Northern Ireland. It invariably devolves into “Us v. Them”.
MLK had it right, not the militant racists of BLM ( and their fellow travelers in the Federal Govt.).