by Sam Hieb
The whole issue came up shortly after the shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14. Vaughan posted a piece on her Facebook page that got tremendous response. Vaughan’s first idea was to ban the sale of assault weapons at the gun show in August.
A response to that idea from City Attorney Tom Carruthers informed the City Council that it would be in violation of state law to regulate the types of guns that could be sold at a gun show. But that email to councilmembers left open the possibility of canceling the gun show all together.
This seemed to be the path the City Council was taking and – despite the fact that the City Council has not discussed the gun show at all at either of its two regular meetings on Feb. 20 and March 6 or its work session on March 6 – the five votes had been lined up to cancel the gun show.
On March 8, Carruthers sent the City Council a second email going into more detail about the law concerning municipalities regulating gun sales and the Coliseum and said that the City Council would be in violation of state law if it cancelled the gun show.
According to the city charter, the city manager not the City Council has the sole right and authority to book shows at the Coliseum and, in 1994, the city manager delegated that authority to Coliseum Director Matt Brown.
The City Council cannot revise its own charter. The charter is granted by the North Carolina General Assembly and can only be revised by the General Assembly.
I’ve made much of the fact that Matt Brown is the city of Greensboro’s highest-paid employee. I guess it’s issues like this —-created by politicians like Mayor Nancy Vaughan—that force Brown to really earn his salary. Hammer notes in the opening paragraph that the City council has plenty on its plate as it is. I’ll add that Brown has plenty to do as well, not the least of which is getting some concrete laid on the empty downtown lot where the Tanger Center for the Performing Arts will sit—someday.