As expected, questions about Greensboro’s new city manager, Tai Jaiyeoba, are already being raised.
Tuesday, Dec. 21, the Greensboro City Council voted unanimously to hire Jaiyeoba as the new city manager beginning on Feb. 1, 2022, at a salary of $280,000 a year.
Charlotte City Manager Marcus Jones, where Jaiyeoba is currently an assistant city manager and director of the Planning, Design and Development Department, described Jaiyeoba’s leaving as “bitter sweet,” but not everyone in Charlotte is sad to see Jaiyeoba go.
In June of this year Charlotte City Councilmember Tariq Bokhari, in a Tweet, called for Jaiyeoba to be fired. Jaiyeoba, of course, wasn’t fired, but the 2040 Comprehensive Plan he proposed passed on a 6-5 vote, a clear indication that Bokhari wasn’t the only councilmember who didn’t support it.
According to an article in Axios Charlotte, the most controversial part of that plan was the elimination of residential single-family-only zoning, and there was also opposition to placing affordable housing developments in suburban neighborhoods.
And that brings up another question being raised about Jaiyeoba as city manager. His background appears to be exclusively in planning and transit. As assistant city manager in Charlotte and planning director, those are his two areas of responsibility. He is over the planning, transportation and Charlotte Area Transit Services departments, which fits in well with his work experience.
Before coming to Charlotte, Jaiyeoba was the director of the Sacramento Regional Transit District and before that the director of planning and development in Grand Rapids, MI.
Jaiyeoba’s experience in planning and transportation appears to be extensive, but it does not appear he has been involved in many of the other aspects of city government, such as public safety, water resources, parks and recreation, entertainment, garbage and recycling collection, budget and finance or libraries.
Greensboro, like many cities, is experiencing an upsurge in violent crime and it appears the City Council has hired a new city manager who has no discernible experience in handling police issues.