There is sure to be a lot of bobbing and weaving at the Greensboro City Council work session at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26 in the Plaza Level Conference Room.
One of the two topics on the agenda is a report from the city’s hired lobbyists, McGuireWoods LLC, on the 2023 North Carolina legislative session, which is coming to a close.
Greensboro didn’t have many successes in this legislative session, and did have one major failure, so the session is likely to consist of a lot of spinning bad news enough for it to look almost like good news.
The big failure was that the state legislature amended the charter of the City of Greensboro to create a civil services review board. Not only was this done over the strenuous objection of the City Council, but the City Council wasn’t even informed that the bill was coming up for a vote in the state House until it had already passed.
It was noted in the state House that Greensboro must be OK with the bill because there was no one there to oppose it.
Greensboro did have one big win in supporting the legalization of civilian traffic accident investigators. The City of Greensboro requested this for Greensboro, but a statewide bill passed making civilian traffic investigators legal across the state – so no local bill for Greensboro was needed.
Greensboro also received some funding for the remediation of Bingham Park and some downtown sites.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “I’m not happy with what McGuireWoods has produced over the past few years. I don’t see that they have been real impactful.”
Vaughan said that she believed the city did need a lobbyist in Raleigh, but she added, “I think we need an effective lobbyist. When you look at what other cities have gotten in this session, we fall short.”
Vaughan said, “Look at Winston-Salem and the great success they’ve had in getting money from the legislature.”
Vaughan added that Greensboro has received a lot of support from the state for economic development. She said, “While those items weren’t on the legislative agenda, the legislature helped close those deals for us and we are grateful to have received that support from the legislature.”