Winston-Salem City Council Meeting Merry-Go-Round: Front Street Capital And Industry Hill Move Forward, Purple Crow Gets $200,000

Monday’s meeting of the Winston-Salem City Council was a good example of how our City Council serves Winston’s wealthiest, well-connected few. All of the items on the City Council’s agenda were approved unanimously, without any dissenting votes. Think about that; not a single dissenting vote was cast in a meeting that lasted well over an hour. One could argue that the mayor and councilmembers were simply agreeing on zoning measures and a relatively modest incentive deal with a local manufacturer. But Allen Joines and his compliant councilmembers were rubber-stamping developer’s prerogatives, while largely ignoring the concerns of the working class.

Budgetary Shenanigans Are No Substitute For Police Reform

It’s official if you trust our local media, Winston-Salem is part of a nationwide defund (or abolish) the police debate ignited by the murder of George Floyd and so many Black victims before him. But if last Monday’s Public Safety meeting was any indication, our Council isn’t prepared to address how the WSPD polices Black communities in Winston or institute actual community control of the WSPD. And defunding and or abolishing the police is not even on the Winston-Salem City Council’s radar. The Journal’s front-page headline last Tuesday read, “City may pull $1M from the police.” But that headline gives the wrong impression.

COVID-19 Update: Bus Riders Will Get Fare-Free Service, The Homeless Might Get Hotel Rooms…

Mayor and Winston-Salem Alliance leader, Allen Joines, just announced that he will extend his Emergency Stay At Home Order for three additional weeks. The previous emergency order ran through Thursday, April 16. The new emergency order runs until May 7. Joines also announced that some federal funds were beginning to trickle down to the city. Specifically, $1.3 million in Community Block Grants and $660,00 to help the homeless “in a temporary situation.”

Winston-Salem Braces For COVID19

The City of Winston-Salem recently announced that it was closing public facilities and suspending meetings in an effort to address the looming Coronavirus/COVID19 crisis. All recreation centers will be closed until further notice. All public assembly facilities including the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds, the Benton Convention Center, BB&T Ballpark and Bowman Gray Stadium are closed. City Hall and the Bryce A. Stuart Municipal Building will operate under normal business hours for critical city business only that cannot be done online or over the phone. Previously planned City of Winston-Salem meetings and events have been canceled.

“The City Is A Business, A Big Business.”

“With this vote, the four hard-working members of the Finance Committee just saved the City $11 million. That’s about three million each. That’s pretty good for a day’s work.” Those were Finance Committee chairman Robert Clark’s comments on refinancing water and sewer revenue bonds. Total debt load, water and sewer revenue bonds outstanding are about $400 million.

City Funds New Walkertown Road Project

Last night a two-vehicle accident occurred at the intersection of Cameron Ave and E. 14th St. One vehicle hit the side of Titanic Food Mart but didn’t appear to do much damage. On the other side of that building, there is an impressive mural honoring East Winston’s history. I don’t know what possessed anyone to change the 14th Street Discount Store to Titanic Food Mart. A building that reads Titanic on one side and displays a mural of East Winston’s history on the other side, sends the message that East Winston is a sinking ship.

The People’s Business: February 17, 2020

Monday

Winston-Salem City Council meeting, 7:00 p.m. City Hall, Room 230, 101 N. Main Street.  

Thursday

Forsyth County Commissioners meeting, 2:00 p.m., Commissioners’ Meeting Room, located on the 5th Floor, Forsyth County Government Center, 201 North Chestnut Street. The Activist Agenda

Tuesday

Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods’ organizing circle, featuring Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough. 12-2 p.m., at the Jordan/Malloy East Winston Library. https://nbncommunity.org/events

State behavioral health officials town hall.

Three Years After It’s Final Report Was Issued, The Poverty Thought Force’s Recommendations Have Not Been Implemented

Thursday, Mayor and Winston-Salem Alliance President Allen Joines held a press conference announcing a new privately-funded initiative. Educators, business people, and a member of the clergy, all praised Joines’ new workforce development and internship program for high school juniors and seniors who qualify. This new internship program is in addition to the Winston-Salem College Guarantee program that was announced late last year. Thursday was an important day. It was the beginning of early voting in our state.

Crystal Towers Residents Want The City To Address The Sixth Street Freeway In Front Of Their Building

There wasn’t a lot on the Public Safety Committee’s agenda last night. After going through a list of routine items, there was time available for the residents of Crystal Towers to speak. Three residents of Crystal Towers took to the people’s microphone last night and asked the City to address unsafe intersections at and around Crystal Towers. Shockingly, there aren’t adequate safety measures in place at Sixth and Polar,  in front of Crystal Towers. The 200-unit, 100 percent disability building, should have one of the safest intersections in the city at its doorstep.

Replacing Dixie Is A Conundrum For Winston-Salem’s City Council

At next Monday’s City Council meeting, the council will finally decide what the new name for the Dixie Classic Fair will be. Tuesday, the General Government Committee failed to reach consensus. They were split. Some council members preferred Carolina Classic Fair while others supported the Piedmont Classic Fair. Both names lack originality.