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« Truthiness | Main | Stalks and tentacles »

Dec 10, 2012


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Ed - I've been wrestling with the same sentiments. The discussion at the last Council meeting was bizarre. I want to know one thing from each Council member: Are you for a downtown PAC or not. Period. If you are for it, then work together to make it happen. Put aside egos and stop hedging your political futures on which way you think the wind is blowing with regards to the PAC. Show some leadership and show some collaboration that is reflective of the same expectations you have asked of a massive civic volunteer force. Stop airing petty grievances - valid or not - during the Council meetings. If the Mayor isn't leading, then someone else step up and lead and get all those in favor on the same page. Now.


And, if you are going to do those things, register as a referendum committee. Yes, you'll have to show us where the money is coming from, (which you should be doing anyway on that, eh-hem, $20 million, if you want to win our trust), but it's better than the inevitable embarrassment if you don't.

All referendum committees that raise contributions in order to support or oppose the passage of any referendum on the ballot
must file this form. In addition to the Statement of Organization, referendum committees must complete an Organizational
Report within 10 days of organizing the committee.

Ed Cone

My guess is that the donor name flap was a misunderstanding, and that releasing the names of donors has always been the plan. Not only do I doubt that the planners are unsophisticated enough to think "trust us" would fly, but the Maimonidean path is pretty rare in our culture -- donors like to be recognized.

There may be some steps to take in formalizing pledges before going public with them, not sure why they can't just come out and say so.


Yeah, it's weird.


"not sure why they can't just come out and say so."

It's likely the "pledges" only exist as a Robbie Perkins' wish list, as discussed when he was sitting on Santa's lap.

Andrew Brod

Maybe the thought, poorly communicated as it was, was to keep the donors' identities secret until a certain fundraising threshold was reached. Isn't it fairly common to kick off such campaigns with a quiet phase?

Ed Cone

AB: Yes, very common, but why not just say the names will be forthcoming at a given moment? Fumble.


Since this seems to be Robbie's pet project, it would interesting to find how much he has personally pledged for this project. He could really get a lot more credibility if he came out publicly with a huge pledge himself. You know, put your money where your mouth is.

Andrew Brod

I don't disagree, Ed. As I said, if that's what was going on, it was communicated poorly.


Here is where I think council stands. The clear supporters of the PAC are:

Robbie Perkins
Nancy Hoffman
Yvonne Johnson
Jim Kee

Then there are those who are wishy washy or they support it but they don't want to be seen in public as supporters of the PAC for fear of a political backlash.

- Nancy Vaughan (she started out as a clear supporter but she seemed wishy washy last council meeting)

- Marikay Abuzuaiter (she claims she supports the PAC but doesn't think it's the right time for public funding)

- Zack Matheny (This guy never seems to take a stand and avoids revealing what he does or doesn't support when it comes to controversial projects like the landfill and GPAC. In the end I believe he supports GPAC being that it would be built in his district and he is a big downtown booster.)

Then there are the clear opponents

- Trudy Wade (she claims that its a good idea for GPAC but opposes ANY public funding. However my belief is that she would oppose it no matter what. She is now gone but her conservative replacement will likely share her views.)

- Dianne Bellamy Small (her opposition to GPAC is obvious. Its not that she is against a PAC or public funding, she just wants it built at the coliseum because its in her district. Matt Brown is also her good buddy. Dianne its not going to be built at the coliseum, let it rest)

Whether they are for it or against it, they should say so. And for those council members who say they support the PAC but not the public funding (cough Marikay Abuzuaiter cough) stop complaining and standing in the way of progress and try to come up with a solution to build this thing without tax dollars. This is why we elected you..to be our leaders, not just a vote on city council.


I agree with Brian, stake your position and tell us where you stand.

I am not sure if Jim Kee is a supporter or not based on my observations. I am not sure Jim ever knows what his position is.......

MKA seems against and not wishy washy. She wants you to think otherwise.

Nancy V. is the key as she is one of the most open and honest Council Members out there.

Zack is just Zack. You can depend on him until you can't.


Triad Stage

Community Theater of Greensboro

Carolina Theater

Cultural Arts Center


If DPAC is the model, all the on street parking will be taken first, then the decks will absorb the overflow.

I believe this proposal could seriously hurt downtown businesses within about 1/3 of a mile from the site.

Want appears to have trumped need.

What some want here looks like it could seriously harm downtown Greensboro.

Where are the patrons of all the other businesses going to park?

The consultants seem to have found that a GPAC could be financially sustainable, but there doesn't look like much thought was directed to the effects on the surrounding privately owned businesses and other local government supported facilities.

There are 40,000 college students within 5 miles of downtown, and the GPAC could eliminate their relatively safe playground.

A select few appear to have made emotional decisions without paying attention to what collateral damage to others may occur as a consequence.

Proponents seem like they want to bend the world to conform to what they want, instead of figuring out the best way to achieve their goal within an atmosphere of homeostasisness.

Andrew Brod

Bringing more people downtown will be bad for downtown businesses?

That's a novel argument.

Ed Cone

Yeah, bringing a lot of people downtown on a regular basis is going to be terrible for downtown restaurants and nightspots. Let's put it back at the Coliseum, because vast aprons of parking lot are what we want here in 1955 America.


"The parking deck nearby is $5...

My biggest suggestion is to leave the show early (as in, during the actor bowing) -- to avoid the parking deck traffic build-up you will be stuck in, if you leave when everyone else does...."

..."Some of the things I don't like:

"Parking!! Especially if it's raining. There is no way of getting into this place without getting drenched."

"The only note for those who haven't attended any events at the DPAC - the first time my wife and I went to the DPAC, we parked in the adjacent parking garage. That was the only time we did that...the departure from the adjacent parking garage was more hassle than necessary. Our following visits focused on parking in other parking garages a short walking distance from the DPAC.

"This area gets crazy when there's a showing going on, so plan on arriving early. Parking is not so great, there is a VIP lot right across the street, minimal street parking and a parking deck next door, with plenty of levels but only ONE ramp. It takes a really long time to get out if you get stuck on one of the upper levels. Even being on level four for Chicago, I had to wait quite a while. Parking in the deck is $5 vs $15 for the VIP lot, and honestly unless you get in the deck early the extra $10 may be worth it."


Ed Cone

Leaving a crowded parking garage after a big event is a pain. As is leaving the Coliseum parking lot after a big event.

True for a game at the Dean Dome, unless you take the park and ride bus, in which case you have to park, and ride a bus, for which there is a line.

It's part of going to a big event. People handle it in different ways. In a downtown environment, many of them might come early or stay late, using their parking space to patronize nearby restaurants etc.

Andrew Brod

In fact, that's an important difference between sports and the arts. Sports stadiums are designed, in effect, to minimize spillovers to restaurants and bars, as they offer food and drinks within. Theaters and other cultural amenities generally do much less of that, and therefore they're quite good for nearby restaurants, bars, etc.


The first item of business for the committee and reporters is to quit saying there is 10 million dollars of hotel money available cause that is not a fact and the guilford county commissioners have to approve that money and they haven't even talked about it one bit.

There might be other people in guilford county who might also want that money for example Furniture Market Authority. To add the hotel money to the bottom line is false and should not be a part of the financing.



All I am saying is parking and effect on the area was supposed to be quantified by the consultant, and I have seen nothing about the collateral effects are.

There must be empirical data somewhere.

I believe Greensboro would be better off with an understanding of what will most likely happen to surrounding facilities, venues and night time operated businesses if all the on street parking disappears.

The only piece of data is a 10 out of 10 on the table Andrew pointed out. The 10 out of 10 doesn't say anything about what happens to all the other places that are not the GPAC.

The Central Library and Center City Park may become functionally unusable before, during and after shows.

How much is parking going to cost where?

How many restaurants are within 1/4 of DPAC compared to where GPAC may go?

Why not make good decisions based on good data?

Andrew Brod

Hasn't city staff addressed this? Even if they haven't, you could pose your questions to them rather than into the ether.


"At its worst, cultural planning at the state and local level becomes captive of particular real estate interests, cultural industries, and cultural elites, and thus fruitful ground for consultants who promise great plans that often turn out to be windowdressing."

"...A city’s cultural districts proposal, for instance, should articulate the expected economic, neighborhood, and cultural goals in terms of job creation, property valuation and occupancy rates, small business revenues, visual character of the neighborhood, and enhancement in cultural experiences and values of multiple constituencies as well as possible negative effects on other groups and neighborhoods.

The equity norm demands that the city be explicit about who will benefit from its proposals and how any groups harmed..."

"...Minneapolis has invested in and owns four historic theaters downtown, now cheek-by-jowl with its troubled Block E entertainment complex of multiplex cinemas, the Hard Rock Café, and other chains. The city markets this remade downtown corridor as a regional and tourist destination. Along the Mississippi River, the new Mill City Museum, an historic preservation project, is adjacent to the new GuthrieTheater; both are destination venues surrounded by new high-end condos and municipal
spec-built parking garages that the city is losing money on and now trying to privatize.

This concentrate of recent new investments in downtown districts reflects the weakness of broad participation in cultural planning, the priority that the elites of the city place on fine arts, and the interests of large-scale urban developers."

..."As with convention centers, ballparks, and spec-built prisons, communities may over-invest in cultural facilities, with long-term negative consequences for the public purse. Often, the expected patronage simply does not materialize, so that nonprofit arts organizations are faced with painful decisions to cut losses, and city governments must pay off bonds for facilities that don't generate the expected revenues. Resources that might have been spent on participatory, decentralized, and neighborhood-anchored arts and cultural spaces are locked up for long periods of time."


Ed Cone

I agree that impact on local business, including parking, should be assessed.

Also agree that the $10 million hotel/motel/Holiday Inn money will be credible only when that deal is signed. I hear this is perhaps more possible than it seems, but, see previous sentence.


Civil Rights Museum

Art Quest


Greene Street Club

Greensboro Ballet

Greensboro Symphony Orchestra/Carolina POPS


One17 Sofa Bar

Syn Select Sky Nightclub


Some may do well before a show, and then all the parking spots are taken until after the show...

Very few regulars will want to fight for spots on a show night, which are mostly weekends.

Once the show starts at 7:30 to 8, there will probably be little parking for anyone else.

If you're thinking of going downtown to eat, and don't know whether there is a show or not, you may just go elsewhere.

Is that why so few night time businesses are around the Coliseum?

The restaurants on High Point Road are far enough away from the Coliseum that traffic interrupts locals less.

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