According to the “2024 State of the City Address” by Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan last week, Greensboro is doing great.

Maybe it should have been billed as “2024 State of the City through Rose Colored Glasses.”

How could a speech on the state of the city in 2024 not mention that the city manager had unexpectedly resigned under suspicious circumstances 15 days earlier.

Which is more important to the “state of the city,” the fact that the city manager suddenly stopped coming to work and then resigned, or the fact that Greensboro is now home to a professional bull riding team?  According to Vaughan, the bull riding team is worth talking about when considering the state of the city, but the sudden resignation of the city manager after slightly more than two years on the job is not worth mentioning.

The city has an experienced and capable interim city manager in Deputy City Manager Chris Wilson, and the resignation of former City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba is by many not considered bad news, but whether people see it as good news or bad news, it has more effect on the state of the city than temporarily having a free bus painted to look like a trolley in the downtown area, which Vaughan also highlighted.

If instead of calling the speech the “state of the city” it had been called a pep rally for Greensboro, then Vaughan’s speech would have made more sense.

How can a mayor talk about “great strides in public safety” and not mention that in 2023 the city set an all-time record for homicides with 74?  The average number of homicides per year in Greensboro is 48, and the previous record was 62.  How does making great strides in public safety result in a record number of homicides?

How can Greensboro hope to solve some of the issues that it has – like a severe lack of housing and anemic growth when compared to similar cities in North Carolina – if Greensboro’s leaders don’t recognize that Greensboro is not a Southern version of Lake Wobegon, “Where all the women are strong all the men are good looking and all the children are above average.”