by Sam Hieb
N&R editorial page editor Allen Johnson asks questions about proposed G’boro downtown performing arts center project manager Ross Harris’ salary, since Community Foundation President Walker Sanders isn’t saying:
A couple of council members said they were under the impression the task force was an entirely volunteer effort, until it came to light during last week’s council debate about whether to give the task force more money to research the center. The issue became a sticking point with some opponents — especially considering the fact that Harris is the mayor’s former campaign manager.
To be clear, the city isn’t paying for her marketing and communications company, Harris Partners, to work on the performing arts center project. The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro is picking up the tab on that.
All the same, opponents argued that if the city is kicking in more than $300,000 for the effort, residents deserve to know what Harris earns.
Good for Johnson to be asking questions. Yet Sunday’s N&R Ideas section is basically a PR piece for the PAC, in the form of praise for Durham’s performing arts center.
From Johnson’s column:
Is it me, or does Durham seem to get at least one national accolade a week?
Only a few days ago came word that the shiny apple of envious eyes in Greensboro, the Durham Performing Arts Center, had capped yet another record-setting year with more than 417,00o tickets sold, 11,000 subscribers and $4.5 million in net income, $1.8 of which went to the city.
….Whether or not the new arts center materializes in Greensboro, one of the clearest lessons from from Durham is that the battle to revive a city is not waged on one front.
And while Herald-Sun editor Bob Ashley’s column on Durham’s downtown revitalization doesn’t focus on DPAC, it is strategically placed above the jump to Johnson’s column.