Former District 3 City Councilmember Justin Outling often complained about the lack of information provided to the City Council during his tenure on the City Council.
At the Tuesday, Sept. 6 meeting, District 3 City Councilmember Zack Matheny voiced a similar complaint.
The City Council was being asked to accept a lower lien position for two affordable housing projects. Housing and Neighborhood Development Assistant Director Cynthia Blue explained that because of the increased cost of construction, the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency was putting more money into the project and would be at a higher lending level than the City of Greensboro.
Blue said that those with the highest dollar amounts invested are usually in the highest lien positions.
Greensboro was being asked to move from the second position to the third position for the Lofts at Elmsley project and from the third position to the fourth position for Yanceyville Place project.
Matheny said, “This is not enough information for me. There are no addresses of the property. Are these being built new?”
He said, “I don’t know how many homes we are building.”
Matheny said that the city was committing $2.5 million and being asked to move from the third lien position to the fourth, which was a concern for him.
Matheny said that he was not opposed to the projects but didn’t have enough information to make a decision. He said, “I can’t find the name of the developer.”
He said, “The issue I have is a lack of information.”
Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson, who was presiding at the meeting, asked Matheny if he wanted to table the item so that he could get more information.
Matheny said that if the rest of the City Council was comfortable voting for it, he didn’t want to hold things up.
The motion to approve the change in lien positions passed on a 7-1 vote with Matheny voting no. Mayor Nancy Vaughan was at a conference in Utah and did not participate in the meeting.
Would Utah consider keeping our Mayor?
He should have tabled it. I appreciate his need to know more information on things like this, but, for crying out loud, he knew how the vote was going to go.
The fact that council members are willing to vote on something like this with NO information, is incredible.
Zach – if you’re going to do the right thing, by all means, stick to your guns and do it. All you accomplished was pointing out the fact that the rest of the council is in a hurry to spend taxpayer money on things they know nothing about, and you did nothing to stop it.
Poor old Matheny is fighting an uphill battle. Doesn’t he know better than to question city staff. If he wants to continue funding for his pet project then he will need to fall in line and just vote yes on whatever is brought up by the council. If he keeps messing around he will end up just being a council member that is left out of all decisions that are made before council meets.
Typical and can’t expect much from this bunch of clowns.
Are any of these clowns in the construction, contracting, architecture, or banking business?
I back Zack as much as it pains me.
If he had tabled it, he probably would have faced retribution in a future vote and still lost this one.
Just bend over and take it Zack. That’s how it is going to be for the next four years for you.
Zach Matheny, your representation of District 3’s interests are not reflecting well on your ability to make changes in the City Council. You should have requested to table this vote to get more information, if for nothing more than as a step forward in making the next request to the council be more informative so a reasonable decision could be made. You have to start somewhere and this was a very good opportunity. We are relying on you to make the city manager and staff tow the line toward making their requests and recommendations justifiable with adequate documentation.
On the other hand, this is affordable housing. It already has construction cost increases and likely no opportunity for rental increases to offset the additional investment for a reasonable return. Anyone with any mortgage knowledge knows that to be in a third or fourth position on a project like this is the same as gifting the money (our tax dollars) away.