Who’s in charge?

So it’s not just me who has has been noticing the trend towards the lessening of citizen involvement in Greensboro’s governing processes.  This morning’s N&R asks some good questions about how accountable our elected local government is.


Question: How much City Council oversight and control actually exists in the day-to-day operation of Greensboro City government.  Answer: Not much.


Question: How concerned is our City Council about this lack of oversight and control.  Answer: Not very


The answer to the second question alarms me more than the first.


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In the article , Councilwoman Florence Gatton cited both the problem and the solution by lamenting, “I wish I had more time to give to the issues,”  I couldn’t agree more and have suggested that we get what we pay for from our City Council.   My take is this: “Although our Members of Council are well-intentioned and highly informed citizens, with an annual stipend of only $9,500, they simply can’t afford to take the time required to get the information they need to make well-informed and independently arrived-at decisions.” 


Other cities recognize that their elected officials work full time at what is supposed to be a part-time position.  Back in August during my bid for City Council, I looked into how Greensboro’s Council and Mayor salaries stack up.  The positions are long overdue for a raise because it hasn’t been changed since we adopted the district system for elections back in the late 1970′s.


Since those sitting on Council might consider it to be political suicide to bring the subject up I will do it for them.  We need to offer more money to our elected officials so they can afford to spend the time needed to properly oversee Greensboro government.  Even with a City Manager as capable as Ed Kitchen, we need elected eyes watching over city operations.

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