City Councilmember Sharon Hightower rails against discrimination at nearly every City Council meeting.
At the Tuesday, Jan. 3 City Council meeting, Hightower herself was discriminated against when a legitimate motion she made was ignored.
Hightower opposed allocating $1.5 million in money freed up by American Rescue Plan funds to Habitat for Humanity. Hightower said that because Habitat was just about to receive major funding from Bank of America she thought that $1 million would be enough and the $500,000 could go to “minority builders.”
Councilmembers Goldie Wells and Yvonne Johnson both expressed support for this funding split.
City Councilmember Tammi Thurm made a motion to allocate the full $1.5 million to Habitat and it was seconded by Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter.
So, with a motion on the floor, Hightower made a substitute motion, also called a motion to amend. This is a normal parliamentary procedure. Hightower had the floor and had every right to make a substitute motion or a motion to amend. Her substitute motion was seconded by Councilmember Goldie Wells.
What should have happened, according to Robert’s Rules of Order, is that the substitute motion made by Hightower and seconded by Wells should have taken precedence over the main motion and have been voted on first. Hightower’s motion should have been discussed and voted up or down. If it passed then the main motion made by Thurm would have been voted on as amended. If it failed then the main motion would be voted on as it was made by Thurm.
However, Mayor Nancy Vaughan said that Thurm would have to accept the amendment to the motion and asked City Attorney Chuck Watts how to proceed. Watts advised Vaughan that the amendment would have to be accepted by Thurm.
Thurm did not accept the amendment and, although Hightower had made a legitimate substitute motion and received a second, her motion was ignored.
Thurm’s motion to allocate $1.5 milliion to Habitat passed by a 5-4 vote.
The vote broke down along racial lines. The five white members of the City Council, Vaughan and Councilmembers Thurm, Abuzuaiter, Zack Matheny and Nancy Hoffmann all voted in favor. The black councilmembers, Hightower, Johnson, Goldie Wells and Hugh Holston all voted against the motion.
The City Council moved on to the next item on the agenda without ever giving Hightower’s substitute motion the discussion and vote that it deserved.
Considering the vote on this issue broke down along racial lines, it’s worth noting that before the 2022 election the City Council had a majority of black councilmembers.
However, with Matheny replacing former District 3 Councilmember Justin Outling, the City Council now has a white majority.
One thing for certain, this motion was NOT racially motivated but the substitute motion was.
Discrimination is a painful teacher and she works both sides of the argument.
A council divided? Will ALL of Greensboro will be treated equally now?
Glenn are you kidding? Look at the (loud) mouthpiece….
First of all this council just loves to waste tax payer money. Too bad about everything that Hightower speaks about is along racial lines, to many, she is the racist because if it ain’t black then it does not deserve her time. The vote should have been 4 to 4 because Nancy Hoffman lives at Well Springs which is a non-profit where she pays no city or county taxes, she should not be allowed to vote on how money is spend in GSO.
As usual in Greensboro…always racial…guess East Greensboro is PO’d on this one.
Sounds to me that since Thurm did not accept the amendment, the amendment was dead in the water.
If that is correct, what is the issue?
If Thurm had accepted the amendment then the Council would not have to vote on it. That’s called a friendly amendment. However, Thurm didn’t accept it which means the Council should have voted on it. If Hightower’s motion had passed the Council would have then voted on the motion as amended. If it failed the Council would have voted on the motion as Thurm made it.
Thanks for clearing that up.
Can hardly wait to hear what Hightower,wells,johnson and holstein have to say about this he he he
Man-oh-man, this Council is giving money away right and left. I need to get in line. But I suspect he money is going mostly left. 🙂
… and on the flipside, it’s a badly held secret that a lot of “minority builders” in the area are just some enterprising folks who set up an LLC or other corp with a minority “leader” and then subcontract the work out to some other company. City Council gets to see a black or brown face at the start, however, so it’s all good.
Former House Speaker Tip O’Neill used to say that all politics is local.
He was wrong. All politics is racial.
it is now
I make a motion we do this more often. When Hightower opens her mouth there’s usually some racist fertilizer that falls out. When she starts supporting the whole human race, I’ll listen to what she has to say.
yep you just hit the nail…. right on the head…
I second the that motion.
City Attorney terrible at procedural rules and recognition of direct conflicts of interest…….exactly what Mandate Mayor requires to keep the grift machine moving.
Hightower is the one who is prejudiced on the council, first, foremost, and always. It’s not about the best for the city, but only for her district or others who can benefit her district, not the entire city.
Why don’t you all on the city council grow up and act like ADULTS. I guess that will not happen because all members are DEMOCRATS and they only know how to lie and call everyone Racist.
I guess the first thing that should happen is to go to government school and get training on the way voting’s are carried out in this type setting.
There again the people of Greensboro are the culprits because they keep electing the same group of Democrats,are there any Republicans Greensboro?
Kind of like the $500k the city spent on homeless shelters that 15 people spent the night in below freezing temps.
If we were in such need, why are they not all full!! spend spend spend the city way.
It’s called doing something to tamp down the negativity of public ire.