A mandate for moderation

From what I’m hearing about mayor-elect Bill Knight’s preparations for taking over the reigns of running the City Council meetings, one of the things he is doing is preparing a seating chart for the dais.  He is also getting briefed by city management as to the stark differences between public and private financing and accounting.

One Council member I spoke with yesterday has the impression that Knight will be initially operating as if he has received an electoral mandate to change the Council world.

As this Council member imparted, “… a 900 vote margin is hardly a mandate…  and I can assure you that if, for some reason, there was to be a tie-breaker election held today, Yvonne Johnson would win by 5,000 votes.”

Good point.  Knight will need to keep in mind that he is only one vote and only has a short 1 1/2 years until he faces an East Greensboro electorate that will not sleep through the next Council election as they did last week.  With that reality looming, Mayor Knight is going  have to reach across the the proverbial isle if he has any designs on winning a second term, much less accomplishing anything of substance during his first.

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  1. Mad Dog
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink


    I agree that 900 votes is not a mandate. However, 9 or 900, Knight still won. And several other new faces were added to the council. What that tells me is that enough voters were disenchanted with council and voted to replace some of them. I know I was and I did.

    The tie breaker remark sounds like sour grapes to me.


  2. Mick and Ben
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    A seating chart? Are they gonna rotate bringing snacks and drinks too?

  3. Brandon Burgess
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    “I can assure you that if, for some reason, there was to be a tie-breaker election held today, Yvonne Johnson would win by 5,000 votes.”

    –Right, because those 5000 did NOT turn out last week because they wanted Johnson to win again.

  4. Posted November 10, 2009 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    I think most everyone agrees that much of Johnson’s historical constituency stayed home due to complacency. The council person’s comments suggested that that simply won’t happen again in 2011. Especially if our mayor-elect doesn’t reach across the great East/West Greensboro divide quickly and sincerely.

    My point – in case you missed it – is that Bill K. will have to serve the interests of a wider cross-section of Greensboro than supported him this election in order get important things done during this term AND to get re-elected in two years’ time.

    I think he can do it if he turns out to be an effective wheeler-dealer. But he, alone – or as a part of a solid 3 or 4 vote block – can’t do squat.

  5. Posted November 16, 2009 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Had just TWO precincts in East Greensboro had half the turnout that they did in 2008 the entire election would have been different. Look at Precinct G03 and G04. They had a turnout of only approx 16%; in 2008 it was an 84% turnout. Had these two precincts voted at half the turnout of 2008 the election the results would have been reversed. Here are the numbers. In G03 there are 1860 registered Democrats with 109 Republicans, and in G04 there are 1694 Democrats vs. 149 Republicans. Look at the slim margin of victory by Mr. Knight and you will see that this hyposthesis is correct. Facts are such nasty things.

  6. Posted November 16, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    David, you have a history of quoting anonymous people who don’t know what they’re talking about.
    Reference the Wade -Carmany race.

  7. Jon Firebaugh
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Yvonne Johnson is a nice person, was a good council memberwho represented her constiuents well, and a terrible mayor. Did Yvonne Johnson appeal to a wider constituency as you state that Knight must do? No she didn’t. She did in fact fail to control the very meetings that she presided over, and acted as if she were still a council member instead of the mayor. I’ve been in the Triad since 1980, and YJ accomplished less good than any mayor in memory, and left the city amid a wash of lawsuits and divisiveness that is shameful. The landfill debacle, the police department, the slap on the wrist to Mitch Johnson all came on her watch. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission accomplished nothing of value. Dredging up a shameful chapter from 30 years ago did nothing to move the city forward. As for vote margins, they are essentially meaningless after the fact. And Gee Dave, what are the stark differences between private and public financing and accounting? I bet they never tried to brief Yvonne on those subjects as she was in their pocket from the get go. Mayor Knight may have to reach to a broader audience to get re-elected, but I don’t think he needs to do that to accomplish good things. Just bringing a tone of fiscal resonsibility and ethical behavior will garner him more votes the next time around.