by Sam Hieb
Lots going here in the ongoing dispute between the Greensboro City Council and Downtown Greensboro Inc.
The Rhino’s John Hammer analyzes the alleged threat from council member Mike Barber to interim CEO Cyndy Hayworth to hire fellow council member Zack Matheny or else — and in government “or else” means cutting off the money spigot.
It’s a “he said, she said” controversy, because Barber says that is not all what he said in his conversation with Hayworth about the future of DGI. Hayworth did not return phone calls to comment on the issue.
(N&R reporter Joe) Killian left out a couple of key facts in his article. One of those is that Hayworth has nothing to do with hiring the new president to replace Jason Cannon, who resigned in February. Perhaps more importantly, the conversation that Barber and Hayworth had took place before the City Council meeting on April 7. According to the article, Hayworth was “furious” and went to the News & Record to express her displeasure with being threatened by Barber, a city councilmember who also happens to be an old friend. She was evidently so furious at being threatened that she rushed right down to the News & Record office to complain, 10 days later, on April 17. Really, does that pass the smell test? Usually when someone is furious they act, they don’t wait 10 days. And if what Hayworth says Barber said was true, the funding would have already been pulled.
Interesting because the N&R claims in yesterday’s editorial Hayworth did not run to them—” we sought her out after hearing rumors of the Barber call. Only then did she and DGI board Chairman Gary Brame meet with the News & Record.”
Look all this ‘he said-she said’ obscures the real problem — the City Council is showing no confidence in the organization charged with taxpayers’ money to keep Gboro’s downtown thriving —unless it hires a fellow council member to run it. Note Mayor Nancy Vaughan, who on one hand says DGI’s current structure “obviously isn’t working” and “they are going to be hard pressed to say what they have accomplished” while adding she doesn’t think “there is anyone who knows the downtown better” than Matheny.
I know there are people out there who don’t want to see Zack Matheny get a dogcatcher’s job wit the city. I also believe the City Council doesn’t have the political will to defund DGI. Here’s my solution —DGI signs Matheny to a one-year contract—contingent upon his resignation from the City Council, of course. At the end of that year the council reviews DGI’s progress –or lack thereof –and if they’re not satisfied then they cut off funding once and for all.