by Sam Hieb
The lame duck Greensboro City Council delayed a vote to approve funding for two downtown parking decks priced at $28 million each. The Rhino Times reports the issue will be taken up by the new council at its Dec. 19th meeting.
The vote was delayed because negotiations with a downtown business owner whose property would be affected by the parking deck and the hotel it would service are not complete. As a result, the political timing for such an expenditure for parking decks has been thrown off, given that the incoming council is more liberal than the previous council:
One reason the City Council had these items concerning the parking decks on the agenda was that the meeting was the last business meeting of this City Council, which has consistently supported downtown development and has approved memorandums of understanding for both parking decks as well as the $4 million for the design.
Democracy Greensboro, another one of Nelson Johnson’s many organizations, had three speakers at the City Council meeting to speak against the parking decks.
District 5 Councilmember-elect Tammi Thurm received a perfect score of 5 from Democracy Greensboro, and At-large Councilmember-elect Michelle Kennedy wasn’t far behind at 4.9. It doesn’t mean that they will follow the anti-growth and development position of Democracy Greensboro, but it doesn’t mean they won’t either.
The items come up before the new City Council on Dec. 19 and the new councilmembers will have to vote either for or against downtown growth and development. Candidates can say whatever they want during the campaign, but once they are elected they have to take action.
I think the incoming council will have the votes the pull this off, but it will be close. Stay tuned.