The Winston-Salem City Council Merry-Go-Round: June 4, 2018

Monday’s city council meeting was brief. In just over an hour the Winston-Salem City Council meeting ended. That’s the Allen Joines’ machine at work. Little debate, no contentious arguments, and no public comment-except where prescribed by law! That’s what rule by the rich looks like in Winston!

The principal topic before the council Monday was a zoning petition in Ardmore. A developer wanted to convert a former goat farm on the corner of Ebert and Silas Creek into a townhome/office … Read the rest

The W-S City Council Flip-Flops, Awards Marketing Contract To Wildfire

Monday night’s city council meeting witnessed a flip-flop that won’t soon be forgotten. Over the last few months, the Winston-Salem City Council has turned the relatively routine matter of partnering with a local ad agency to market the Dixie Classic Fair into a soap opera.

To be fair Wildfire deserves its share of the credit for the controversy. Wildfire is a local ad agency on Liberty Street that has worked with some big corporate/non-profit clients. None of Wildfire’s 32 current … Read the rest

Subsidies Go From Main Street Winston-Salem To Wall Street

Monday night the city council was happy to approve $147,834 in subsidies to The Clearing House over 5 years. Earlier in the month, the Forsyth County Commissioners approved  $179,038 in subsidies to TCH. State subsidies are yet to be determined. But if The Clearing House expands in Winston it will clear a sizable check from local taxpayers.

Monday’s Winston-Salem City Council meeting was more of a sprint than a marathon. The council’s agenda was short and the city council members … Read the rest

Trump Protesters Shouldn’t Give Allen Joines A Free Pass

Thousands of protestors from around the Triad gathered at Corpening Plaza Saturday to denounce Donald Trump and the politics of hate. It was nice protesting an ugly president on such a beautiful day.

Donald Trump has made life dramatically worse for women, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, workers, minorities, and the environment upon which we all depend. (By contrast, Trump has delivered for the billionaire class that elected him)

Indivisible Piedmont NC did a great job of bringing thousands of women … Read the rest

Break Up The Allen Joines Machine!

On Tuesday municipal elections were held in Guilford County. There were some interesting developments in the  Greensboro and High Point races.

This is a non-election year in Winston. But it wouldn’t matter that much if Winston had its municipal elections on Tuesday. Winston’s City Council elections aren’t very competitive.

All the incumbent members of the W-S City Council that sought re-election in 2016, won in 2016, most without any credible opposition. Our councilmembers have their wards locked down.

Mayor Joines … Read the rest

Resentment Over Downtown Incentives Led To Contentious Trans-AID Debate

Monday’s marathon city council meeting was eventful. In a little under 3 hours, the Winston-Salem City Council passed its $482.4 million 2017-2018 budget by the thinnest of margins, 4-3 (Council Member Adams was absent). The highlights of the budget include; a marginal tax increase and higher pay for police and firefighters as well as other city employees.

Winston pays its police and fire department and other government workers less than comparable cities in North Carolina. It had no choice but … Read the rest

Winston-Salem City Council Meeting Notes-May, 1, 2017

 

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City-Wide Poverty Solutions Can’t Be Implemented By The Dozen

It’s been a week now since Mayor Joines’ anti-poverty Thought Force released their final report. I hope local activists and concerned citizens have by now taken the time to read it. The 56-page report contains some excellent information. I found the first two sections to be especially valuable. They provide a helpful overview and analysis of poverty in Winston-Salem. But I found the conclusions, recommendations and suggested next steps of the anti-poverty Thought Force a little disappointing. Instead of … Read the rest

Apparently Poverty Can Wait In Winston-Salem

It’s finally done. Or perhaps it’s just beginning to unfold. Mayor Allen Joines’ Poverty Thought Force finally released its findings on Monday. It’s been a long wait. Mayor Joines first mentioned his intention of creating a Thought Force in December of 2013. Triad City Beat’s Jordan Green’s article, A city divided: The resurgent downtown and the abandoned urban core-my favorite article of 2016, has the timeline. It took two more years and a few national studies casting Winston in … Read the rest

CAT Cuts Jobs At Winston-Salem Plant

Incentives are a losing bet, anyone who tells you otherwise is either ill-informed or they aren’t being completely honest. Dell was wooed to Winston in 2004 with generous state and local incentives. The plant opened with much fanfare in 2005, but just 5 years later Dell closed the plant down. When Dell relocated to Winston just a year later we were told that Caterpillar wasn’t Dell.

But just a few years after they opened a plant in the southeast corner … Read the rest