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Rhino Times - 2017-07-20
Magazines / Newspapers | Government 2017-07-20 00:00:00
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    Vol. V No. 29 Greensboro, North Carolina www.rhinotimes.com Thursday, July 20, 2017 County Sued For Something It Didn’t Do John Hammer Council Loses Fox, Gains Wells plus Under The Hammer, Uncle Orson Reviews Everything AND MORE

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    2 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, July 20, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com The Weekly Hammer THE WEEKLY Hammer County Sued For by John Hammer Guilford County tried to be nice to the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) in 2015 when it found itself being sued over a law it had nothing to do with, but playing nice didn’t work. Guilford County is now being sued by the SCSJ for about $600,000 in legal bills from the case where the SCSJ and Greensboro sued the Guilford County Board of Elections over the Greensboro redistricting passed by the state legislature in 2015. If you think that sentence didn’t make any sense, it’s because it doesn’t, but it’s still accurate. Because of a weird court ruling, when the Greensboro City Council and the SCSJ didn’t agree with the way the North Carolina General Assembly had revised the Greensboro City Council Losing Lawsuit districts and form of government, they sued the Guilford County Board of Elections, which had absolutely nothing to do with the new law. But due to a federal court ruling, because the Guilford County Board of Elections would administer the elections held under the new law, it could be sued and was. Greensboro and SCSJ won the lawsuit, which was hardly a surprise because Guilford County didn’t put up any defense. Imagine a basketball game where one team, in protest over a bad schedule, decides not to put a team on the court. The team is there, sitting on the bench, but when the referee blows the whistle for the jump ball at the beginning of the game, no one goes out on the floor. Which team do you think would win? Certainly not the one sitting on the bench. This is essentially what Guilford County did when it discovered it was being sued. Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne was in the courtroom but didn’t say much other than he didn’t think Guilford County was the party that should be sued. It’s a reasonable opinion but the reality that is now coming home to roost is that Guilford County was the party being sued. Since Guilford County didn’t mount any defense, it had no chance to win the case and avoid being sued for legal fees. At the end of the trial, Payne asked that Guilford County not be held liable for the SCSJ legal fees. Federal District Court Judge Catherine Eagles said she would make that determination at a later time. So now the SCSJ is suing Guilford County again, this time for the $600,000 in legal expenses it incurred in the first lawsuit. Some people say that it didn’t matter what Guilford County did, that once the case was placed in front of Eagles – who was appointed by President Barack Obama – the case was decided. They say that Eagles was going to rule in favor of the liberal SCSJ and the Greensboro City Council made up of eight Democrats and one Republican over the Republican-led state legislature if there was any legal avenue to do so. Eagles indicated how she was going to rule on the case before she heard it, by granting a temporary restraining order requiring that the Greensboro 2015 elections be held according to the five-district, three at-large and mayor elected at large system instead of the new system passed by the legislature based on a bill sponsored by state Sen. Trudy Wade, with eight districts and the mayor elected at large. But Guilford County could have defended itself. Evidently there was some belief that if Guilford County didn’t defend itself that the SCSJ wouldn’t come after Guilford County for legal expenses, but that turned out not to be true. Then again, if Guilford County had mounted a defense, it might have won because, although the case had a lot of flash, there wasn’t much substance. One of the key points of the case appeared to be that, of the eight districts, there was one that could not have been drawn randomly. When has a legislative district in North Carolina ever been drawn randomly? The law doesn’t require that districts be drawn randomly. In fact, the law requires that race be a consideration in drawing districts, and race was a consideration. It was the same argument that has been used against other districts drawn by Republicans, that too many black voters were placed in minoritymajority districts, and the courts keep ruling that districts have to be redrawn. One group, Citizens for Fair Elections, led by Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston and former Greensboro City Councilmember and (continued on page 31) RHINO TIMES BUSINESS AND SERVICE DIRECTORY For information to advertise in our Directory call (336) 763-4170 Have Medicare questions? I have answers. Bruce Bailer Licensed Sales Representative 425 Spring Garden Street Greensboro, NC 27401 336-275-2651, TTY 711 www.MyUHCagent.com/ bruce.bailer

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, July 20, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 3

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    4 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, July 20, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com RHINOSHORTS by John Hammer Just a reminder to our loyal cadre of schmoozers. The Schmoozefest is taking a well-deserved summer vacation. So there is no Schmoozefest on Thursday, July 27 or on Thursday, August 24. The Schmoozefest has promised to be back from the beach in time for the September event. On Thursday, the News & Record ran a feel-good story about a bill the state legislature passed that fixed a problem with teacher bonuses. Third grade teachers get a bonus, but if the principal moves them to fourth grade they have to give up their bonus. The legislature fixed it so teachers who are moved by the administration, and not because they requested it, still get their bonus. But what the N&R didn’t report is that the entire bill came about because the principal at Peck Elementary School sent an email to state Sen. Trudy Wade asking if something could be done about the problem. Wade, President Pro Tem of the Senate Phil Berger, who also represents Guilford County in the state legislature, and Sen. Kathy Harrington from Gaston County sponsored a bill to fix the problem. The bill passed and the problem, pointed out by a Guilford County Schools principal, was fixed with the help of two state senators from Guilford County. Doesn’t it seem like mentioning the people who were responsible for fixing the problem, since two of the three sponsors were from Guilford County would be a part of the story? Former Greensboro Police Chief David Wray dropped his slander lawsuit against Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan and City Attorney Tom Carruthers. Both had said that Wray’s legal fees weren’t being paid by the city because his activity as police chief was considered “malicious.” Vaughan said she was simply quoting Carruthers and Carruthers said that he was trying to summarize the policy that allowed the city not to pay the legal fees for an employee who is sued for actions that are work related and didn’t do a good job of it. What the article doesn’t mention is the reason given for not paying Wray’s legal fees was never “malicious” activity but because, according to then City Manager Mitch Johnson, what Wray was being sued for was outside the scope of his job. It appears to be a concept that is hard to understand since the city paid the legal fees for other city employees who were sued in the same lawsuit and the city ruled that it was within the scope of the job of the other city employees. What appeared to have happened was that the city decided not to pay Wray’s legal fees about 10 years ago, and the city had forgotten why it wasn’t paying Wray’s legal fees. The city so far has spent over $500,000 to not pay Wray a little more than $200,000 in legal fees. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t appear to be a good use of taxpayer dollars. Sunday, the News & Record gave the people of Greensboro a look at the future. There wasn’t a single news story about Greensboro in the paper, including in the “In Brief” section. There was a feature story on the frontpage about a school summer program, but it was a feature, not news. The main front-page story was once again about Rockingham County. But it does seem like in the biggest newspaper of the week, the staff at the N&R could have found one news story to run with a Greensboro dateline. I believe this is what N&R readers can expect – less and less news about Greensboro. It’s only a matter of time before the whole operation is moved to Winston-Salem and all that will be left in Greensboro is a news bureau where a couple of reporters can hang their hats. Or maybe not. To the folks in Omaha, Greensboro and Winston- Salem are one large metropolitan area. Why should they have two offices at all? What is baffling about all of this is the obsession with Rockingham County. I understand having more Winston-Salem and Forsyth County stories in the paper but why are the editors at the N&R so set on publishing every smidgen of news in Rockingham County? It’s bizarre to say the least. Hyper-Sudoku Speed Bump by Dave Coverly The New York Times

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, July 20, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 5 table of CONTENTS 2 WEEKLY HAMMER BY JOHN HAMMER 6 COUNTY SUED FOR $600K IN LEGAL FEES FOR SOMETHING IT DIDN’T DO BY SCOTT D. YOST 8 CITY COUNCIL LOSES FOX, GAINS WELLS BY JOHN HAMMER 10 IT MAY TAKE A VILLAGE TO UNTANGLE ANIMAL SHELTER LAND DEAL BY SCOTT D. YOST 12 NEW CITY RESIDENT JOINS MAYOR’S RACE BY JOHN HAMMER 35 UNDER THE HAMMER BY JOHN HAMMER 4 RHINO SHORTS 4 SUDOKU 14 RHINOS AROUND WORLD 17 REAL ESTATE 18 NYT CROSSWORD 19 CHILDREN’S SCHEDULE 21 SOUND OF THE BEEP 28 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 34 PUZZLE ANSWERS 15 UNCLE ORSON BY ORSON SCOTT CARD 23 YOST COLUMN BY SCOTT D. YOST 25 ASK CAROLYN BY CAROLYN WOODRUFF 30 Cover: District 2 City Councilmember Goldie Wells being sworn in Tuesday night after being appointed to replace Jamal Fox, who resigned earlier in the meeting. Photo by John Hammer PUBLISHER Roy Carroll EDITOR-IN-CHIEF John Hammer managing editor ELAINE HAMMER county editor SCOTT D. YOST contributing editor ORSON SCOTT CARD GENERAL MANAGER Joann Zollo creative director ANTHONY COUNCIL advertising consultants DONNA GOODWIN 216 West Market Street, Greensboro NC 27401 P.O. Box 9023, Greensboro NC 27429 | (336) 763-4170 (336) 763-2585 fax | sales@rhinotimes.com | www.rhinotimes.com

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    6 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, July 20, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com Guilford County Sued For $600K in Legal Fees for Something it Didn’t Do by Scott D. Yost The Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) has filed a lawsuit against the Guilford County Board of Elections. The suit is to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees that the SCSJ incurred in a 2015 case brought against the Guilford County Board of Elections that overturned the State of North Carolina’s redistricting of the City of Greensboro. The lawsuit filed on Friday, July 14 by the SCSJ has outraged some Guilford County officials who are calling the move “nuts,” “morally reprehensible” and “slimy” – along with other choice descriptors. In the 2015 redistricting move that this new lawsuit stems from, the state changed the number of Greensboro City Council districts from five to eight and eliminated the at-large council seats – a move that would have made the Greensboro City Council similar to that of the City of Winston-Salem. Guilford County could have asked the state to step in and defend the lawsuit but, instead, the county chose to mount no defense. This type of redistricting the state enacted isn’t unusual historically: In the ’90s, the Democratic state legislature redistricted Guilford County so it would have a Democratically controlled board, which it had from 1998 until 2012, when a redistricting by Republican legislatures helped give that board a Republican majority once again. Guilford County Board of Elections officials and Guilford County commissioners are perturbed, to say the least, because the case – which Guilford County wanted no part of in the first place – was brought against the county’s Board of Elections in response to an attempt by the North Carolina General Assembly two years ago to reshape Greensboro City Council districts. Proponents of the move say the redistricting would have simplified the council’s confusing at-large structure and improved it in other ways as well. Guilford County lost that case and, if it loses this one, the county could now be handing a great deal of taxpayer money to the SCSJ. Those who were paying attention saw the move coming. Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne made notice of the possibility of the county being on the hook for legal fees at the time of the 2015 court battle, and another group – Greensboro Citizens for Fair Elections – pulled out of its defense of the state redistricting, presumably because that group didn’t want to face the same legal liability that the county faces now. The Citizens for Fair Elections was (continued on next page)

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, July 20, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 7 $600K (continued from previous page) headed up by longtime area black political leaders Earl Jones and Skip Alston, and, since then, Alston as retaken his seat on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, which has put him in the interesting position of being a commissioner for the county that is on the receiving end of that lawsuit – despite Alston’s attempt to dodge that bullet for his fair elections group. SCSJ Executive Director Anita Earls said her coalition is entitled to be reimbursed for the legal fees incurred in the case. Earls is requesting $550 per hour for her work on the case. That seems like a lot for a nonprofit attorney, but Earls argues in the suit that “this reflects the usual and customary rate for an attorney of my years of experience and specialized skill.” The amount of total fees requested in the lawsuit is $562,252. With additional expenses, the requested amount comes to over $600,000. Earls said her organization is submitting documentation to the court for hours worked and other expenses her group incurred, and that information, she added, will be audited by the court to verify that amount should the coalition prevail. “Ultimately the judge will make that determination,” Earls said of the exact amount. Earls is a civil rights attorney who founded the Durham-based nonprofit in 2007 with a stated mission of fighting against voter discrimination and other types of injustice. The SCSJ joined with the City of Greensboro to fight the legal battle when the city sued the Guilford County Board of Elections over the matter. In the case, the City of Greensboro et al. v. Guilford County Board of Elections, Greensboro and the coalition challenged the state legislation that redrew the Greensboro districts and made changes to the Greensboro mayor’s powers. Greensboro city councilmembers were irate about the move and decided to fight it in court after attempts to defeat the bill in the legislature failed. In April of this year, in US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, District Court Judge Catherine Eagles found in favor of Greensboro and the coalition. The redistricting came from state legislators. The Guilford County Board of Elections, as well as the county as a whole, maintained a neutral position on the matter, but the Board of Elections found itself the defendant in the lawsuit since that is the body that conducts elections in Guilford County. The City of Greensboro agreed not to go after Guilford County to recoup legal fees but the SCSJ is seeking reimbursement in the new lawsuit. That move is drawing very strong reaction from some Guilford County leaders who say it was ridiculous for Guilford County to have been the target in the court case in the first place. Guilford County Commissioner Hank Henning said the coalition is showing its true colors by making what he says is an utterly ridiculous and indefensible move. “It’s morally reprehensible,” Henning said. “It’s slimy. They are trying to soak the taxpayers – the completely innocent people of Guilford County. Give me a break. This is just greed.” According to Henning, if the center does win the lawsuit, it will be taking money away from people and from the county programs that the citizens rely on. He said that, if that group wants to bill itself as one that fights for social justice, it needs to do so with its own money rather than by trying to gouge innocent people in Guilford County. “It’s nothing but greed and hypocrisy,” Henning said. Earls said the coalition does understand that the North Carolina General Assembly was the party responsible for the redistricting, but she said her coalition mounted a costly lawsuit with attorneys and experts and said that legally the proper place to seek reimbursement for those costs was from the Guilford County Board of Elections, the defendant in the case. Sources say that, before the lawsuit was filed, Payne, in closed sessions, had already alerted Board of Elections and the Board of Commissioners that the SCSJ was likely to attempt to collect reimbursements for attorney’s fees and other expenses from the highly publicized case. At the Tuesday, June 20 Board of Elections meeting, the board went into a closed session to discuss “pending litigation involving the Guilford County Board of Elections.” In an email to the Rhino Times, Payne wrote, “The City of Greensboro has explicitly stated they will not seek attorneys fees. The individual plaintiffs, represented by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, haven’t taken the same position.” Payne added, “It also should be noted that the SCSJ did file such a motion against the Wake County Board of Elections in a similar matter.” The Guilford County Board of Elections wanted no part of the 2015 lawsuit in which the City of Greensboro and the SCSJ, and county officials say this new lawsuit adds insults to injury. Kathryn Lindley, who chairs the Guilford County Board of Elections, said Board of Elections members were unified in the belief that the county has zero culpability for the coalition’s legal bills. “As a board, we oppose paying any fee,” she said. Lindley said this is especially disconcerting given that the Guilford County Board of Elections wasn’t the party responsible for the change and didn’t ask to be involved and didn’t have a dog in this fight. “It was not brought by this board,” she said. “They chose to sue us. It was truly political.” Lindley said the coalition is trying to hurt the people it claims it wants to protect. “They said they are representing the citizens of Guilford County – so if that’s the case why should they punish those people now?” Lindley asked. Lindley said it was her understanding that the Board of Election members do not face any personal financial liability from the action. She said that, given the unique circumstances, the coalition should think seriously about its action and ask what else the Board of Elections could have done in this case. One source in on the lawsuit discussions said it’s expected that Guilford County will hire outside legal counsel to defend the elections board in this case, since this type of lawsuit involves a level of specialization county attorneys aren’t typically equipped to handle. Guilford County Board of Elections Member Don Wendelken said it’s absurd that his board should be held responsible in the aftermath of a lawsuit it wasn’t responsible for. “This whole thing is nuts,” he said. He said Guilford County was just “abiding by the law” and did nothing wrong. “We’re agents of the government overseeing election law,” Wendelken said. “We did what we were told to do by the state.”

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    8 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, July 20, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com City Council Loses Fox, Gains Wells by John Hammer The Greensboro City Council met on Tuesday, July 18, the first time since June 20, and the councilmembers paid for their long break with a sevenhour meeting in which they covered a lot of territory. It was the final meeting for District 2 City Councilmember Jamal Fox and the first meeting for his replacement, former and now current District 2 City Councilmember Goldie Wells. Fox resigned shortly before the meeting ended at 11 p.m., and Wells was the only person nominated by the City Council to replace him. She won the seat with an 8-to-0 vote. Jim Kee, a former District 2 city councilmember and a current candidate for the District 2 seat, spoke at the beginning of the meeting in favor of appointing Wells to serve out Fox’s term. District 2 City Council candidate Tim Vincent, who put his name up to be appointed to replace Fox, said he would have liked the appointment but understood why the City Council would want to select Wells since she has experience. Mebane Ham had also put her name in the mix for the appointment to the District 2 seat and spoke at the meeting. She said that she had lived in the district for 25 years and would like to serve. The two other candidates who nominated themselves to replace Fox until the new City Council takes office in December, Sherry Walker and C.J. Brinson, who is also a candidate for the District 2 seat, didn’t show up to speak to the City Council. Wells has not filed to run for the District 2 seat, which she left in 2009, but filing is open until Friday, July 21 at noon, so there is still time. After sitting at the council dais for the final 10 minutes of the meeting, Wells might have caught the bug and decided that she would like to be a councilmember for more than a couple of months. When he was elected in 2013, Fox was the youngest person ever elected to the City Council in Greensboro. Fox first announced this summer that he was not going to run for reelection but planned to finish out his term. Then, on June 28, Fox announced he would be resigning from the City Council at the July 18 meeting. Fox is getting married next month and his fiancee lives in Portland Oregon. This week Fox announced that he was moving to Portland to accept a job with the City of Portland as the property and business development manager. Fox has been an active member of the City Council and a lot of changes have come to District 2 during his tenure. A couple of items he mentioned in his final speech as a councilmember were Revolution Mill on Yanceyville Street, the Renaissance Community Coop grocery store in the Renaissance Shops on Phillips Avenue, raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour and the Guilford Cup athletic contest between Greensboro and Guilford County. City Councilmember Justin Outling said that a lot of people talk about problems but “Jamal has ideas for solving problems.” Several councilmembers said, “Greensboro’s loss is Portland’s gain. Councilmember Yvonne Johnson said, “You’re going to soar. You soared here and you’re going to soar there.” Councilmember Mike Barber described Fox as the “strongest advocate for city employees.” The City Council voted 7 to 2 to annex and zone land on Lake Brandt Road at the Trosper Road intersection for a mixed-use development. The same rezoning request had passed the Zoning Commission with a unanimous vote, and a 7-to-2 vote on this City Council is as close as it is possible to come to unanimous for a contested rezoning case. City Councilmembers Marikay Abuzuaiter and Sharon Hightower voted against the rezoning, but they vote against virtually every contested rezoning, so that was simply par for the course. The fact that developers start out two votes down makes development in Greensboro tougher than it should be. Mayor Nancy Vaughan noted that with construction picking up, City Council is going to be facing more rezoning cases, and if the city is to grow then property has to be rezoned. Vaughan added that because of the current annexation laws, the council could expect to see more infill development requests in the coming term and that infill development requests tend to be contentious. In this case, the main reason given Photo by John Hammer During the month-long hiatus from City Council meetings, the Council Chambers received some cosmetic changes, including removing outdated shades that hid floor to ceiling windows. for opposition was traffic concerns. The idea that a 7,000-square-foot restaurant and/or coffee shop is going to generate enough traffic to make a major difference on Lake Brandt Road is an argument the City Council didn’t buy. City Councilmember Nancy Hoffmann noted that this was the kind of development that the city was promoting, where people in neighborhoods would have places they could go to eat or shop that didn’t require getting in a car and driving somewhere. It didn’t help that most of the people opposing the rezoning request live outside the city limits and can’t vote in the City Council elections. A request to rezone the same piece of property for commercial and office was withdrawn last fall in the face of overwhelming opposition. This request, which was for Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning, is mostly for townhomes with a 7,000-square-foot commercial building and a 20,000-square-foot office building. The townhomes will wrap (continued on next page)

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, July 20, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 9 council (continued from previous page) around the commercial development, providing a buffer between it and the single-family residential neighborhood. Marc Isaacson, who represented the developer, Sun Capital owned by Ken Miller, said that they would like to see a medical office in the 20,000-squarefoot building but that they did not have a tenant. Several opponents said that commercial development, particularly a restaurant that might serve alcohol, should not be across the street from Jesse Wharton Elementary School. Barber noted that his children went to St. Pius X Catholic School, which is surrounded by commercial development, and it never seemed to be a problem. In what was a first for a City Council rezoning hearing, the opposition showed a video shot from a drone traveling down Lake Brandt Road. The City Council also voted to cancel the construction manager at risk (CMAR) contract for the construction of the Tanger Center for the Performing Arts. That passed 7 to 2 with Hightower and Abuzuaiter voting no. Hightower said she was voting no because the contract had already been canceled. She also said that without the CMAR contract she thought the level of minority contractor participation would go down, which is Hightower’s main concern. Abuzuaiter votes against everything that has to do with The Tanger. At the work session at 4 p.m., before the regular meeting at 5:30 p.m., Coliseum Manager Matt Brown, who is in charge of building The Tanger, said that after the experience with the grading contract where the CMAR, Skanska Rentenbach, bid $2.2 million, and when it was rebid, D.H. Griffin bid the project at $1.2 million, he realized the CMAR was not going to work. The good news is that D.H. Griffin started the Phase 1 work last week, which consists of grading and putting in utilities, so the construction process is finally underway. Brown said the deadline for completion of Phase 1 was Oct. 31. After a request for proposal (RFP) process, a consultant hired by the city, and the city staff, recommended that the city’s health insurance policy be taken away from United Healthcare, which has had the contract for over 20 years, and awarded to Cigna. After hearing from numerous speakers from Cigna and United (continued on page 13) Photo by John Hammer Jamal Fox admiring his official City Council portrait that he received as a going away present after resigning from his position as District 2 city councilmember on Tuesday night. Fox is moving to Portland, Oregon.

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    10 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, July 20, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com It May Take a Village to Untangle Animal Shelter Land Deal Jumble Photo by Elaine Hammer In the foreground is the entrance to the Guilford County Animal Shelter on Wendover Avenue. The building in the background is the Humane Society of the Piedmont. The county would like to sell this property after relocating the shelter but it’s complicated. by Scott D. Yost The most complicated thing about building a new Guilford County Animal Shelter might be selling the old shelter property. Ever since the Guilford County Board of Commissioners decided to relocate the county’s animal shelter and sell off the existing shelter property, county legal staff and facilities staff have been trying to untangle the complex string of deals, deeds and contracts that have been strung together in the 60- year period since the county bought the three connected lots on West Wendover Avenue as a home for a county animal shelter. Some of that property is owned jointly with two other local governments; part is on loan to the Humane Society of the Piedmont, and there’s been a great deal of confusion over who gets the shelter’s large parking lot when the county leaves. Some Guilford County commissioners said it was their understanding that the Humane Society would get a large slice of that parking lot, but old county records suggest otherwise. The three lots became a center of attention for staff when the Guilford County Board of Commissioners decided to move the Animal Shelter to a nearby undisclosed 12-acre site that’s closer to High Point than the current shelter. The commissioners, who are likely to take a formal vote on that move in August, plan on selling the old property once the new shelter is built; however, that could be a complicated affair given the contractual entanglements with two cities and a nonprofit organization. The most valuable part of the property – the frontage on West Wendover Avenue – is owned by the county but is now occupied by the Humane Society of the Piedmont. According to the contract, Guilford County signed with the Humane Society in 1985, the organization can continue using the land – and the building the society built there – as long as it continues to provide animal services from that location. The Humane Society has no plans of moving and the group has a legal right to stay on the property. That’s just one issue with the land. There’s a sharp drop off at the back of the property and other topological issues that could give potential buyers some pause, and that back lot is partially owned by the cities of Greensboro and High Point. Former Guilford County Property Manager David Grantham, who retired in 2011, said the Animal Shelter property is unquestionably prime real estate in one of the most desirable locations in Guilford County. He said that, when he was the property manager, many, many times – even when there was no talk of the shelter moving – buyers approached Guilford County to try to purchase that land. “That corridor was prized for a reason – that was the major road to High Point,” Grantham said. He said it makes a huge difference in the sale price of the land whether the Humane Society lot is included or not. “The back two lots aren’t going to bring in much without that frontage,” Grantham said. “But if you had that frontage, you could name your price. Wendover is so hot right now.” Grantham said he isn’t sure how the county came to the current state of owning the property with two cities and the Humane Society. “It’s kind of a bastard agreement,” Grantham said. The Humane Society runs a low-cost spay and neuter clinic and provides a variety of other animal services. For instance, it offers a pet food pantry program for pet owners who have fallen on hard times and the group helps raise community awareness for animal welfare issues. The society primarily raises money through individual donors and it doesn’t get (continued on next page)

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