by Sam Hieb
Presidential election years are prime for municipal bond votes given that more uninformed voters and more younger voters–mostly college students who don’t have to pay city taxes—show up at the polls eager to do society some good, at least as they see it.
Needless to say in this crazy presidential election, bond votes have run somewhat under the radar. Greensboro has four bonds on the ballot:
bond funds will be used to buy, build, improve or otherwise equip multi-family and single-family homes for people with low or moderate incomes. Projects may include housing or neighborhood revitalization programs or providing loans and grants to individuals, developers or other organizations.
bond funds will be used to buy, build, improve or otherwise equip urban renewal and community development projects. The programs funded are meant to induce redevelopment, increase employment and economic development, prevent crime, and preserve older neighborhoods.
$7 million to complete Phase 4 of the Downtown Greenway and create a bike share program and $7 million to extend the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway by approximately two miles (just the highlights).
$18 million to repave City streets.
$5 million for new sidewalks and bike lanes, and intersection improvements.
$4.5 million for new electric buses.
$300,000 to renovate the Douglas Galyon Depot.
$200,000 for new bus shelters.
As you can probably imagine, Rhino Times editor John Hammer says the bonds do not deserve Greensboro citizens’ vote. Lots of “4 Bonds signs” out there, but apparently there are some anti-bond signs out there—I just haven’t seen them. N&R ed page editor Allen Johnson got to the bottom of that— what kind of nut could possibly be against bonds? High-powered Gboro developer Roy Carroll, that’s who:
It’s surprising that none of the bonds got Carroll’s support, not even bonds for safe and affordable housing, which is in dangerously short supply in Greensboro.
Carroll also has told me often of his concerns for the less-fortunate and his charitable activities.
Yet Carroll supports the new performing arts center but not housing?
If he has allies, they’ve been quiet.
There hasn’t really been any organized opposition to the bonds, but Carroll, who did not respond to requests for an interview, has the bankroll of a PAC.
And he’s entitled to his own opinion.
But I am surprised. And more than a little disappointed.
Boy to suffer Allen Johnson’s surprise and disappointment sure will cause a man to rethink his position.