by Sam Hieb
WFDD interviews former Greensboro City Council member and new Downtown Greensboro Inc. president Zack Matheny:
Matheny is concerned that a recent bill redistricting the city has been divisive. In fact, the city has filed a lawsuit over HB 263, which restructured city government. But Matheny says right now he is more worried about HB 97. The bill sponsored by Sen. Trudy Wade would make it easier for municipalities to abolish certain local self-imposed taxes.
“Senator Wade and I had a conversation on my first day on the job at DGI. She was very nice and she said she’s pulling for me and she can’t wait to work with me to help downtown Greensboro,” says Matheny.
He adds his response was also polite and respectful:
“Then please don’t take my budget away.”
As it stands now, Wade’s bill provides for an initiative and referendum process for residents of special service districts. Imagine this –the N&R is skeptical, noting the bill “plainly states it applies to ‘any service district,’ not just historic districts, as Wade claims.
Keep in mind DGI has been under fire for a couple of years now as has been its method of funding—as Eric Robert pointed out that BID tax funding for “clean and green services downtown” is “far too much to spend on ‘getting gum off of the sidewalk.'”
Does Matheny’s plea to Wade to “please don’t take my budget away” mean he knows how it would go down should a referendum on the BID be held?