JLF research director Michael Sanera has an intriguing proposal to deal with situations like the one Greensboro finds itself in with the taxpayer-financed downtown hotel:

(A)ny time a city council or county commission considers a proposal that creates competition with the private sector, those in the private sector who will be harmed should be able to file a formal complaint. This complaint would trigger a requirement that the proposal must be passed by a three-fourths super majority of the body. This would mean that when the Raleigh City Council gave a $1 million subsidy to the Mint restaurant, it would require a vote of six of the eight council members.

Sanera wishes other North Carolina mayors would follow the lead of Benson Mayor William Massengill in expressing “a clear vision of the separation of the public and private sectors.” I certainly hope our own Mayor Bill Knight would follow that lead.