Former City Councilmember and President of Downtown Greensboro Inc. Zack Matheny made it official on Tuesday, March 9 that he is running for City Council.
Matheny announced he will be running for the District 3 City Council seat he held from 2007 to 2015. In June 2015, Matheny resigned from the City Council in order to accept the position as president of Downtown Greensboro Inc. (DGI).
At the time, Matheny was advised by the city attorney that he could not serve on the City Council and as president of a nonprofit organization that received funding from the city. However, the current City Council has two at-large councilmembers, Michelle Kennedy and Yvonne Johnson, whose nonprofits receive funding from the City of Greensboro.
Kennedy is executive director of the Interactive Resource Center, a daytime homeless shelter that receives city funding. Johnson is executive director of One Step Further, and runs the Cure Violence program for the city through that organization at a cost of about $900,000 over the past two years.
In the press release officially announcing his candidacy, Matheny said, “Now more than ever, District 3 needs an experienced voice to represent them on City Council. I’ve lived in this District for 21 years, and I, like all of you, have a vested interest in not just the growth of my District, but the entire City of Greensboro.”
When he was on the City Council, Matheny was known for pushing hard for more economic development and he said, “Since 2015, Downtown Greensboro has experienced tremendous growth with over $500 million in development, including numerous new restaurants and shops, as well as new residential and commercial development. Imagine this growth and more occurring throughout the city. What a tremendous opportunity for all of our citizens.”
When Matheny resigned from the City Council in 2015, City Councilmember Justin Outling was appointed to replace him. Outling then won election to a two-year term in 2015 and a four-year term in 2017. Outling has announced he is running for mayor, leaving the District 3 seat open.
Chip Roth has announced he is running for the District 3 seat, and when it was rumored that Matheny was going to run for his old seat, Roth sent out a press release attacking Matheny for having a conflict of interest as the head of DGI.
It should be an interesting race.