RHINO TIMES | Thursday, October 5, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com
2017 City Council Primary Endorsements
by John Hammer
Early voting for the Greensboro
City Council primary ends on
Saturday, Oct. 7 and the primary
is Tuesday, Oct. 10.
The Rhino Times is endorsing
candidates in all the Greensboro City
Council races. Regardless of where
you live in Greensboro, you can vote in
your district race, for three candidates
in the at-large race and in the mayor’s
There are 38 candidates on the
ballot, but five candidates in district
races dropped out too late to have their
names removed from the ballot, so their
names are on the ballot but they aren’t
In District 4, this means that there
are three candidates on the ballot, but
since Andrew Belford dropped out, City
Councilmember Nancy Hoffmann and
Gary Kenton will face off in the general
election regardless of the primary
All 15 candidates who filed to run for
the three at-large seats are still in the
The endorsement is based on
far more extensive research than is
mentioned in the article, but we did try
to give you some pertinent information
about each candidate in the race.
If you want more information,
most candidates have websites, and
the League of Women Voters has
a pamphlet available about all the
The City Council races are
nonpartisan, which means in the
districts and the mayor’s races the top
two vote-getters regardless of political
party will face each other in the general
election on Nov 7. In the at-large race –
where you can vote for three candidates
– the top six finishers regardless of
party will be on the November ballot.
Democracy Greensboro is mentioned
throughout these endorsements. It is
a political action committee that was
formed by Nelson Johnson and others
as a response to the 2016 election.
The group came up with a platform for
candidates, and at a candidates’ forum
in September it graded the candidates
on how well they complied with that
Democracy Greensboro is a far-left
organization and its platform calls for
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much more spending by the city on
social programs such as housing, food
and daycare. It also promotes civilian
oversight of the Police Department with
subpoena power, which is more power
than the Greensboro City Council has.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan in her
second term has had some problems.
She allowed protestors to disrupt far too
many meetings without consequences,
and once allowed them to take over
the Council Chambers after
the City Council, led by
Vaughan, left the dais.
struggled with how to handle
protestors who insisted on
disrupting meetings, but
since the infamous taking
over of the chambers she
has had several people
removed from the chambers
and has controlled the
meetings much better. It’s
just one of those things,
however: If the mayor loses control of
the meeting it’s news, but if she controls
the meeting it isn’t.
The City Council met secretly on the
$126 million bond package for months
so that the public meetings were
cursory. But evidently the public wasn’t
bothered by that because the bonds
The City Council too many times has
jabbed at the North Carolina legislature
and that has cost Greensboro state
funding and state support. Economic
development flows through the state
and Greensboro hasn’t received much;
to think the two aren’t connected would
be naive. But Vaughan of late has
been against passing meaningless
resolutions that do nothing but make
the relationship with the state legislature
With a City Council made up of eight
Democrats and one Republican and a
state legislature that is overwhelmingly
Republican, there is bound to be some
tension, but having won their case in
federal court over the redistricting of
Greensboro, Vaughan and the majority
on the City Council seem more willing
to try and work with the state rather than
fight the state.
Vaughan recently said in an interview,
“I do think I am more qualified than the
other two candidates.”
And Vaughan is right. This is an easy
call. Vaughan is far and away the only
candidate in the race who voters should
consider electing mayor.
Vaughan has had accomplishments.
Greensboro was the first city in the
state to equip all of its police officers
with body-worn cameras and the first
to have a policy on releasing bodyworn
camera videos. The policy
was overridden by a state policy, but
taking the initiative to pass it was an
The City Council has kept the tax rate
flat; although the revaluation meant that
people paid more taxes, at least the rate
itself was not increased.
Through bonds and increased fees,
the city has provided funding to get the
streets and roads back in an
The Steven Tanger
Center for the Performing
Arts is moving forward with
a unique funding method
that includes over $38
million in private funds and
no revenue from the city’s
Vaughan said she would
like to serve one more term
to finish fome of the projects
she has started and the
voters should giver her that opportunity.
Diane Moffett has many of the
qualities people look for in a mayor. She
is intelligent, a good public speaker,
funny and successful.
But she has one huge drawback:
She doesn’t live in Greensboro.
I know that Moffett is registered to
vote in Greensboro; she changed her
registration on the same day she filed
to run for mayor – as if she didn’t want
to officially live in Greensboro one day
longer than absolutely necessary.
She and her husband, Mondre
Moffett, both work in Greensboro. She
is the senior pastor at Saint James
Presbyterian Church and he teaches
at NC A&T State University. But
when it came time for them to invest
in Greensboro and buy a home, they
didn’t. They invested and bought a
$400,000 house in Jamestown.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with
living in Jamestown, unless you want to
be the mayor of Greensboro. Property
taxes are lower in Jamestown and crime
is much lower. There are a lot of good
arguments for living in Jamestown, but if
you want to run for mayor of Greensboro
it seems you should be willing to invest
Moffett has no experience in
Greensboro government. She has
never served on a board or commission
for the City of Greensboro because, as
a resident of Jamestown, she has not
been eligible to serve.
It is also worth noting that Moffett has
not voted in the past two Jamestown
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