by Sam Hieb
It’s that time of year again when the Rhino times publishes its lists of local government salaries. This week it’s the City of Greensboro and the highest-paid employee is—once again—Greensboro Coliseum director Matt Brown, with a salary of $324,500–a mere 130,000 more than new City Manager David Parrish.
We know Brown is earning his salary these days with concrete actually rising on the downtown Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, which he is overseeing. But Brown earns his salary in more subtle ways:
The first one requested by the Greensboro City Council could be titled, “How not to get a bill passed by the state legislature,” and the second, requested by Greensboro Coliseum Director Matt Brown, “How to get a bill passed.”
Instead of paying a lobbyist $5,000 a month, the next time the City Council wants to get a bill through the legislature, somebody should call Brown and he can explain how to get it done.
….The Greensboro Coliseum ran into a bizarre problem, recently. Some of the signage for beer sales inside the Coliseum can reportedly be seen through the windows by people outside the Coliseum. A state Alcohol Law Enforcement agent informed the Coliseum management that because the signage could be seen through the windows that the Coliseum was violating the ban on outdoor advertising of alcohol sales. The fact that the signage was indoors rather than outdoors and that the only people who could partake of the alcohol were people who had bought tickets to an event evidently didn’t matter.
It would cost the Coliseum tens of thousands of dollars to move the signage because plumbing would also have to be moved. So Wade added a section to House Bill 573 “Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee Substitute” with the short title “Business/Regulatory Changes.” Wade is co-chairman of the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee.
The portion dealing with the Coliseum is titled, “Direct ABC Commission to allow indoor advertisements at sports and entertainment venues that are visible from the outside.” The bill passed the state Senate unanimously and was sent back to the state House.
What Wade did was find a bill before her committee that she could add this legislation to and then had it passed by the committee and the full Senate.
Wade’s bill wasn’t sent to the rules committee, and now that it has passed the Senate there is no reason to think that it won’t pass the House.
In the future, if the Greensboro City Council wants a bill passed, at least one councilmember is going to have to take a deep breath and ask for help from a Republican.
Meanwhile, Mayor Nancy Vaughan and the liberal City Council can’t figure out why their proposed bill get stalled in legislative committees, even with —as Rhino editor John Hammer puts it—their “bad habit of passing meaningless resolutions against actions taken by the state, and if they don’t pass resolutions they make uncalled for comments about state legislators.”