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« Correlation and causality | Main | Tony Stark »

Aug 25, 2011


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Gerry Alfano

I rarely agree with John Hammer's assessment of anything, but I do agree about Bill Knight and his lack of leadership. I can't tell what Mayor Knight's position on anything is until the council votes. He looks either pained or disinterested when there are speakers from the community. Didn't he get a job description?


Why is Perkins' relationship with DH Griffin not a cause to recuse him from voting on this issue? Seems to me his conflict is as apparent, if not more so, than Mrs. Vaughn's supposed vicarious conflict via her husband's business relationship?


I didnt know anybody had been recused from voting for mayor.


Meno, Robbie's special.


Brother Mick: Are you responding to my comment? If so, sorry for the confusion. I meant why has Perkins been allowed to vote on the landfill issue. I mean, if corporations are people, then Robbie has a relationship with a person that has a direct relationship with another person who stands to benefit financially from decisions made and votes cast by Robbie.


I know. Just pokin fun!

greensboro transplant

"Meno, Robbie's special."



Plus, Robbie is a principle, more than just an employee.

Billy Jones

"On a divisive issue like the landfill, the mayor needs to get out in front and lead. Explain the vision and the long-range plan."

Problem is, other than myself, no one is touting a long term plan. And I'm not running.


Thanks, Mick!


There are a number of candidates who seem to be shrugging away a web presence this election.

john hayes

If a tree falls in the forest, and it's not on the web, did it really fall?

Ed Cone

I actually was less focused on the dormant site itself than the sadly poetic content that is on the front page:

Bill Knight for mayor of Greensboro

Not Found. Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here.

David Wharton

That error message proves that there is a God, and He has a wicked sense of humor.


"Why is Perkins' relationship with DH Griffin not a cause to recuse him from voting on this issue?"

How was Trudy able to vote when her FIRST cousin is president of one of the waste companies?

Abner Doon

"Why is Perkins' relationship with DH Griffin not a cause to recuse him from voting on this issue?"

Robbie just got $2,500 from DH Griffin Sr.

Why would Griffin Sr. cut him a check
if he is so against the landfill
unless Perkins really isn't?

How is this not about votes for mayor from east greensboro


Geez, Hammer needs an editor. A very aggressive one.


If Waste Management is selected, Nancy won't be able to vote but Matheny will be allowed to vote once Gate City is out of the picture. My gut tells me he would support keeping White Street closed. I say this because i'm pretty sure Zack has ambitions to become mayor one day. Pissing off east Greensboro and others across the city would kill his chances. People don't forget.


My problem is that I dont like the way business was handled "back in the day" with Perkins and Phillips. But, Knight had underperformed. It will be one of those three for me but which one is less worserer.


Well we didn't have this circus during the Perkins/Phillips days. Yes there were disagreements but nothing like this. Its pretty safe to say that Bill Knight will not be our mayor this time next year. Danny Thompson needs to be carefully because he is an at-large council person. All it takes is a few big angry districts and he loses his seat. Remember Yvonne Johnson is running and her popularity crosses districts and race. Rakestraw is vulnerable. Don't forget she almost lost last time around and she tried to unsuccessfully remove the part of her district that voted against her. So people are angry with here about Marymandering and she insulted the intelligence of Greensboro citizens by saying a redistricting plan showed up in front of her door. Throw in the landfill fiasco and in a close election she could end up losing her seat. Trudy Wade is likely the safest of the four and I'm betting she'll get re-elected.


"Well we didn't have this circus during the Perkins/Phillips days"

Thats because much was decided in backrooms and in mini-meetings prior to the PUBLIC meetings. I didnt and dont like that.

Margaret Banks

Mick, as someone who covered the council during those days, I can say you are correct. It's far from ideal when things get hashed out in private. I wanted to see the sausage getting made to better inform our readers.

But Perkins and Phillips at least explained the rationale for their decisions to the public, either directly or by giving an interview to someone like me. In fact, I can't remember a time when one of them failed to return a call - even if it was just to tell me my story was stupid. Mayors Allen, Holliday and Johnson (the other mayors during my 16 years at the paper) also regularly returned calls and explained their decisions to the public.

I wish we could explain Mayor Knight's thinking about the landfill to our readers.

Ed Cone

This is the point where Tony Wilkins logs in to say the mini-majority has explained the process and vision thoroughly, and then I ask him to point me to such detailed explanations, and he doesn't reply.


Mick, I disagree with Margaret. This Council has a gang of four runnIng the City. And, the Mayor's not in charge. Once those four decide their agenda and they strong arm a fifth vote, it's over. No public discussions, no spirit of working together, and no compromise. It's their way or no way. They are only interested in 5 to 4 votes. They dont care about working towards real consensus. It's ramrod politics. Districts 1 and 2 dont have a chance.

Joe Guarino

Margaret, Bill Knight spoke at some length at the last council meeting regarding the landfill, and shared his thoughts about that. I would encourage those at the N&R who are interested to review the recording, summarize it, and present it to their readers since everyone seems to be unaware of it.

But when elected officials fail to return phone calls, it can be a fairly serious indictment. It can indicate that trust has diminished severely because of perceived media bias. On the liberal/progressive side, you have one who does that-- TDBS. On the conservative side, you now have three or four. That suggests to me it is time for self-examination at the paper.

And Ed, beside Knight's explanation at the meeting, which some might or might not regard as satisfactory (but I did), Danny Thompson went to east Greensboro to explain his thinking. And there was apparently lots of media there when he spoke.

I think what is going on is that various folks do not agree with them. It is not that they have failed to explain or dialogue. Those on the left and at the N&R just disagree with them.


I read Hammer's account of Knight's behavior at this week's City Council briefing. Obviously, not a pretty sight. After 18 months, if one still hasn't learned to run a meeting, one should not be elected for another term - and he won't be. It ain't 'rocket science.'

Preston Earle

sensei wrote: "After 18 months, if one still hasn't learned to run a meeting, one should not be elected for another term - and he won't be. It ain't 'rocket science.'"

If properly running a meeting was a requirement for being mayor, Mayor Johnson could never have served. I will grant that sometimes Mayor Knight isn't the smoothest meeting leader, but this council is much better lead and much more business-like than the previous one.

The question of opening the landfill is a hot one for many folks in town, but my feeling is that they are a very vocal minority of the citizenry. If the question were put to a referendum, I'm guessing re-opening would pass 60:40. It will be interesting to see if this passes thru to the city council elections this fall. I know it will strongly influence my vote.


"re-opening would pass 60:40." My finger in the wind points in a different direction. The process smelled and the voters got a whiff.

Andrew Brod

Preston thinks 60% of Greensboro residents support reopening White Street. HJ thinks a majority oppose it. Without an actual scientific survey, both sides can claim public support with confidence, or more to the point with impunity.

It's surprised me that no one (I'm looking at you, N&R) has commissioned a survey to settle this ancillary question. A well-done survey isn't free but it doesn't have to be hugely expensive. Still, I presume cost is the problem, because otherwise, why wouldn't someone have done this already?

Normally, I'd feel compelled to tout UNCG's ability to do such a poll (and we could), but there's an established survey outfit around the corner. Maybe they'd do it for a reasonable cost.

I'm still looking at you, N&R.

Preston Earle

Andrew wrote: "Without an actual scientific survey, both sides can claim public support with confidence, or more to the point with impunity.
You are right that without a proper survey folks opinions don't mean much. But why not commission the ultimate survey, an election. Couldn't it happen at the October city council primary election October 11 (if both sides wanted it to happen) or the November general election? I'm not sure that the landfill opponents wouldn't rather count on their political influence rather than submit to the will of the majority of voters.

Tony Wilkins

Just an fyi:

Ed Cone

Tony, what are we supposed to glean from that clip? That White Street is the long-term plan?

Tony Wilkins

I think your complaint was that council members were not looking for a long term solution. Correct me if my memory is in error. If you don't like the #2 RFP then so be it. But it dilutes one of your complaints.

If you'll point me to the post which listed your other concerns I'll try to get answers for you.

Ed Cone

Still looking for some clarity on what the long term plan actually might be, Tony.

Are you suggesting that it's White Street?

Or saying that the concept of a long-term plan was mentioned in that RFP, and that counts as having one?

One argument I've heard is that using up White Street's capacity without having a long-term plan takes away one of our key bargaining chips. Any thoughts there?

Tony Wilkins

Correct me if I'm wrong Ed, but I believe the council sought the advice of waste management professionals for a long term solution that could have included White Street or other solutions to the "long term" need. I don't think, although I'm not certain, the request was limited to White Street.

Regardless, you can not say (and maybe you never did) that the council did not seek long term plans. I'm sure that's not what you want to hear and I plan on asking further questions today to clarify my interpretation above.

Ed Cone

Tony, the disconnect is between seeking (or at least talking about) a long-range plan, and having a long-range plan.

I'm much more interested in the latter. Can you tell me what it is, and how White Street fits into it?

If not, can you explain the rush to reopen White Street without a plan in place?

Abner Doon

I believe many of those who know have not told some basic truths
about future tax increases for both Greensboro and Guilford County
caused by falling revenues at the local, state and federal levels
as well as coming compliance with Lake Jordan
but most importantly about next year's real estate revaluations.

I believe many on city council and the board of commissioners
don't want the public to recognize some serious financial mismanagement by many elected officials.

Billy Jones

Ed: "...can you explain the rush to reopen White Street without a plan in place?"

Space will be needed for whatever long term solution is put in place and Buffalo Lake will not meet EPA nor NCDNR requirements.

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