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**Abner Doon**W.E. Heasley**Billy Jones**

Billy Jones For Mayor Of Greensboro

Friday, May 27, 2016

If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro: Part 5

This is part of an ongoing series of posts that begins with If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro and is linked in succession back to here. If you haven't already I recommend you read them all.

If I were Mayor of Greensboro I'd do what no other Mayor of Greensboro has ever done before. I'd listen to Greensboro's blue collar working class.

Not only would I listen but I'd go out and find them.

There wouldn't be staged events like Mayor Vaughan does on WFMY TV2 where they take questions on Facebook, delete the embarrassing questions and then let the Mayor decide which questions she wants to answer on TV.

I'd go live and I'd go real.

During my working years I spent 4 years as a classroom instructor for MTA Tractor-Trailer Driving School. I began every class by telling them I would honestly answer every question they could come up with before their class graduated. There were times when my students stumped me but before graduation day I learned the answers to every question and passed it along.

Other instructors tried to bullshit their students, not bothering to take the time to find out or ashamed to admit they didn't have all the answers. But it was my students that consistently had the highest test scores of all the students in over 40 MTA truck schools nation wide.

And it made me a better teacher and truck driver.

Politicians want you to think they're smarter than all the rest of us. They're not. Never have been. The average skill set of the average politician is so limited they would literally starve to death if forced into the blue collar, working class environment most of us live in. And that includes our current Mayor.

If I were Mayor of Greensboro I'd schedule 1 day a week to show up where Greensboro's working classes are already at, be in your work places, restaurants, the community bar, a street corner or anywhere else Greensboro's working class happens to be. And instead of making speeches and telling you all the things I want you to think I'm doing for you I'd listen to what you have to say and answer your questions.

When I didn't have the answer at my disposal right away I'd see to it you got the answer. Every time. Because that would make me a better mayor.

I'd invite the media, bloggers and anyone else to show up, bring cameras and record each and every event. No more he said, she said, everyone would know what I said because it would be posted online right here at EzGreensboro.com and anywhere else anyone wants to put it.

Nor would I bring the Greensboro Police Department to intimidate you. I'm not scared of Greensboro's working classes because I've done nothing to anger Greensboro's working classes. Nor will I.

Yes, there will be times when I have to make the tough decisions and not all of those decisions will make everyone happy, but working class people have to make the tough decisions every day. I'm no better than the rest of you, having drove trucks, worked construction, worked in a cotton mill, done mechanic work, construction, etc... And not just summer jobs, all my life since graduating from Greensboro's James B Dudley Sr High School in 1974.

Please come back and read If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro: Part 6 and please share all these posts with everyone you know.

How Much Are Heritage House Owners Being Paid?

Remember back less than 2 years ago when the City of Greensboro took possession of Heritage House Condominiums, kicked the residents out and sent everyone packing under the guise that the building was unsafe and crime was simply out of control there?

Well despite my having made public documents proving the City of Greensboro deliberately failed to provide reasonable and adequate police protection and grossly overstated the number of calls to Guilford County 911 the City never changed their story.

Despite the fact that I made public documents showing that City of Greensboro Building Inspections had inspected the building and every unit ever year since it opened in 2004 and never found any of the building to be structurally deficient the City stuck to their story that the building was crumbling to the ground-- a determination that wasn't made until after the fact.

And despite the fact that I produced copies of checks written by Mayor Nancy Vaughan's business partner to the City of Greensboro to pay the Heritage House Water Bill (the 3rd excuse the City used) our local media never reported this connection to our mayor.

Well thanks to the remarkable work of people who care about exposing the truth I can now disclose the final insult.

When Heritage House Homeowners bought their new homes in 2004 they paid from $35,000 to $60,000 per unit to move in. Keep that in mind as you click on this link and see what they are being offered today.

I have little doubt you will believe as I have said all along, this was a land grab orchestrated by the Greensboro City Council..

"Police Department; City of Greensboro; May 24, 2016; SUBJECT: Recommendation to Withdraw From RNC"

"In October of 2015, the Greensboro Police Department received a request from the Cleveland Ohio Police department requesting assistance to secure the Republican National Convention, which will take place July 18-21, 2016. Shortly after this request, we responded and indicated that we were willing to assist. Since that time, personnel with the Special Operations Division have been the primary point of contact with the Cleveland PD Staff. Our plan has been to
provide fifty (50) officers from our Civil Emergency Unit (CEU) comprised of officers from various divisions within the department. Since that time, several factors have developed which I encourage you to consider prior to our participation in this event.

I was made aware a short time ago that the city of Cleveland will not provide Worker’s Compensation Insurance for our officers should they suffer an injury during this event. In 2012, we assisted the City of Charlotte, N.C. with the Democratic National Convention and Worker’s Compensation Insurance was provided to our officers working this event. This will cause the City of Greensboro to assume responsibility for any reported injuries of our officers serving in their normal capacity but outside of our jurisdiction.

Last week we were made aware that everyone participating in this event must have a full medical physical prior to going to Cleveland. This is something that will not be provided by City Medical Services and would be incumbent upon each officer to complete. Although it is encouraged that employees have a physical each year, we have not made it a job requirement after their initial employment. Also, we have no mechanism in place to reimburse these officers
should they make a request.

We are currently experiencing challenges in staffing and are holding over thirty (30) vacancies in our Patrol Division. In addition, many of our CEU officers that are scheduled to assist in Cleveland are assigned to Patrol. With this in mind, I have significant concerns about staffing during a time of year that has historically been our most active regarding calls for service.

In recently weeks, I have spoken with Police Administrators who have experience in planning for an event of this magnitude and they express a lack of confidence in the City of Cleveland and their preparedness for the RNC. Due to this reason, they declined to send officers from their jurisdictions. While we always make a concerted effort to assist our law enforcement partners,  we have a responsibility to ensure that we are sending our officers to an event that is well
planned and that we do not leave ourselves in a vulnerable situation here at home while we send our officers to assist in another jurisdiction. After considering these factors, my recommendation is that we withdraw our offer to assist the Cleveland Police Department. If it is ultimately decided that the GPD will assist, we will continue with our efforts to prepare and as always will perform to the best of our ability. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Brian L. James
Deputy Chief of Police
Support Bureau"

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2843825/RNC-Recommendation-052416.pdf

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hillary Clinton should not be President of the United States of America. She should be arrested.

"Clinton’s Email Deceptions; The State [Department] IG finds she knew the security risks she was taking.

Hillary Clinton has said for more than a year that her use of a private email server as Secretary of State violated no federal rules and posed no security risk. ...now everyone has proof of her deceptions in a scathing report from State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.

What Greensboro pols 
are going to or have Hillary Clinton signs in their yards?

...the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee broke federal record-keeping rules, never received permission for her off-grid server, ignored security concerns raised by other officials, and employed a staff that flouted the rules with the same disdain she did.

So who in Greensboro's political elite are okay with Clinton's actions 
and will sit in silence and vote for her?

“Secretary Clinton should have preserved any Federal records she created and received on her personal account...

Supporting Clinton is supporting a un-indicted felon

“At a minimum, Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”

State still has never received emails from her private account for the first six weeks after she became Secretary, and the IG notes that it found (by other means) business-related emails that Mrs. Clinton did not include among the emails she has turned over.

If David Petraeus pleaded guilty of mishandling classified information, 
so should Hillary Clinton

The report says she has also stonewalled requests to obtain her server. And “through her counsel, Secretary Clinton declined [the IG’s] request for an interview.” Former Secretaries Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and current Secretary John Kerry all sat for interviews.

Hillary put our country in more harm than less

Mrs. Clinton’s staff abetted her bad practices. The report says the IG “learned of extensive use of personal email accounts by four immediate staff members (none of whom responded to the questionnaire)...

She may have been responsible for lost lives

...Mrs. Clinton neither sought nor received permission for her private communications. The former Secretary also understood the security risks this posed because she was warned several times.

In March 2011 the Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security sent Mrs. Clinton a memorandum that warned of a “dramatic increase” in attempts by “cyber actors to compromise the private home e-mail accounts of senior Department officials,” with an eye toward “technical surveillance and possible blackmail.”

Following that memo, security staff twice briefed Mrs. Clinton’s immediate staff on this threat. ...Mrs. Clinton and her staff ignored her own warnings.

And the News and Record will endorse her

One official suggested State set up a stand-alone computer for Mrs. Clinton in her office to check the Internet and private email. That never happened. A different official suggested she have two mobile devices—one for personal use and one with a “State Department email account” that would “be subject to [Freedom of Information Act] requests.” Her team said no.

Are her contributors going to ask for their money back?

As for Mrs. Clinton’s claim that her private account was secure, the report cites several instances of techies shutting down her server due to hacking concerns. “Notification is required when a user suspects compromise of, among other things, a personally owned device containing personally identifiable information,” says the report. But the IG says it found “no evidence” that Mrs. Clinton or her staff filed such reports."

http://www.wsj.com/articles/clintons-email-deceptions-1464219303

This sets a terrible precedent for our country

So far, a citizen running for president broke the law, 
and has not been held to account

Bernie Sanders should be the Democratic nominee

"Most of the $106 million in the proposed bond package is slated for east Greensboro"

"...The second largest category of bonds is $34 million for affordable housing.  Much of it is to repair both owner-occupied and rental housing.  Vaughan said, “Where do you find housing in disrepair.  You find it primarily in Districts 1 and 2.”

"owner-occupied and rental housing" = buying votes in East Greensboro
with everyone else's tax money 

Hightower agreed saying, “It is more of an east Greensboro, District 1 and District 2, problem.”

The $34 million would be used to build and repair about 580 homes, according to city estimates, for about $60,000 a home.

Who's homes?

...Outling said that 580 housing units was just a drop in the bucket compared to what Greensboro needed.

...Hightower said she didn’t think they needed to put $200,000 in bond money into bus shelters.

Unbelievable

...If the voters approve the $106 million in bonds it is estimated it will raise taxes about 3 cents.  Hightower said that she was OK with raising taxes 3 cents all at once.

When the City Council found that council salaries were lower than other comparable cities in the state it immediately gave itself a big raise, but the fact that Greensboro has the highest property tax rate of comparable cities did not result in the City Council deciding to cut taxes, but instead to raise taxes so we can be certain of keeping our position at the top of the property tax rate heap.

Industries looking for new sites consider all the costs of doing business in that location.  The property tax rate is part of the cost.  It puts Greensboro at a competitive disadvantage to have higher tax rates than comparable cities in the state, but that doesn’t bother the current City Council."

http://www.rhinotimes.com/Content/Default/City/Article/It-s-Good-To-Be-A-Councilmember/-3/18/1235

On Megasites; "60,000 workers culled from just one factory as China’s struggling electronics hub turns to artificial intelligence"

"...600 companies look to trim their headcount

Thirty-five Taiwanese companies, including Apple’s supplier Foxconn, spent a total of 4 billion yuan (HK$4.74 billion) on artificial intelligence last year, according to the Kunshan government’s publicity department.

“The Foxconn factory has reduced its employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000, thanks to the introduction of robots. It has tasted success in reduction of labour costs,” said the department’s head Xu Yulian.

If a new manufacturing plant comes to North Carolina, 
it's probably going to be automated to the point where increased employment
for the locals will be relatively negligible

“More companies are likely to follow suit.”

...The job cuts do not augur well for Kunshan, which had a population of more than 2.5 million at the end of 2014, two-thirds of whom were migrant workers.

To build a new facility from scratch doesn't make economic sense
without severely limiting the number of necessary employees.

...At its peak, Kunshan manufactured 120 million laptops a year, but output had fallen to only 51 million because of falling demand, said local officials..."

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/economy/article/1949918/rise-robots-60000-workers-culled-just-one-factory-chinas

But we are not in a recession

If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro: Part 4

This is part of an ongoing series of posts that begins with If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro and is linked in succession back to here. If you haven't already I recommend you read them all.

In 1982 Greensboro, North Carolina was rated as the #1 best place to live in America. In 2016 Greensboro remains a part of the #1 Hungriest Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States

In 2016 Greensboro still leads the State of North Carolina in unemployment.

In 2016, 33% of Greensboro's residents live in food deserts.

Greensboro Ranks bottom 10 in Equality of Opportunity Harvard Study.

While every city in the Southeast continues to see double digit growth rates, Greensboro's growth rate is less than 3%. And according to UNCG Professor Andrew Brod, most of Greensboro's growth is due not to people moving here, but to annexation.

Want to know how bad things really are? Then read  Billy's Big List Of Documented Reasons Why Greensboro Sucks and continue to check back for updates as I keep adding more all the time.

You see, I'm a man who deals in documented facts and not political rhetoric.

So what happened to Greensboro?

Our Greensboro leaders have long told us the reason for our grand city's demise was the failure of the textile and tobacco industries that made Greensboro great.

Well here's a reality check:

Layoffs in the tobacco industry have only just begun here in Greensboro. RJ Reynolds left Greensboro before Lorillard Tobacco Company came here in 1956-- the year I was born. The old RJ Reynolds building still stands on East Market Street across the street from the Lorillard building and there hasn't been any tobacco there since I was a baby almost 60 years ago. During the years that Lorillard Tobacco Company was laying off, the layoffs were because the jobs were being moved to Greensboro from other states. Lorillard was hiring in Greensboro. Fact is: RJ Reynolds' only presence in Greensboro at any time in its history has been the use of a few warehouses and warehouses don't employ a lot of people. And RJ Reynolds bought Lorillard in 2014 and only recently announced Greensboro layoffs.

The second problem with the excuse Greensboro's leaders use is that the loss of the textile industry impacted almost every city and town in the Southeastern United States. When I was growing up here in Greensboro, almost every city and town in the Southeast had some sort of textile mill that was responsible for keeping the majority of the town running. Now how is it that the entire Southeastern United States seems to be recovering but a few cities like Greensboro just can't seem to get past something that took place 30 years ago?

I'm thinking the problem has to begin with those people who are elected to run our city.

So what would I do differently? What would I do if I were Mayor of Greensboro?

It was in the office of Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan while discussing, among other things, the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, that the problem came to light. Not to the Mayor-- she remains clueless-- but I figured it out.

Of course I'm opposed to the megasite because I don't believe it will bring the jobs Mayor Vaughan and others are promising. That's a pretty safe bet when you consider that Vaughan, as a board member of the Piedmont Triad International Airport, was a major backer of the $120 Million taxpayer dollars that went into FedEx promising 1,500 jobs and delivering ZERO jobs.

But Vaughan made light of that and wanted to talk about how extending Greensboro water and sewer to the megasite would open up the US 421 corridor to development, annexation and more revenue for the City of Greensboro.

You see, with Vaughan and the rest, revenue-- the bottom line-- is the only thing that's on their minds. Got to make that money first and foremost. And the world views Greensboro as a bunch of greedy pigs.

But what if we concentrated on making Greensboro the kind of city where people come first?

What if our priorities were communities, jobs, food, safe affordable housing owned by those who live in them? What if our priorities were helping those in need? What if our priorities were putting people to work? What if the last thing Greensboro worried about was increasing the bottom line?

Do you not believe that would change the way people everywhere perceive Greensboro? Isn't that what your preachers, priests, monks, rabbis, and teachers of every faith tell you to do?

Sure, we still have to have bean counters but even Jesus chased the money changers from the temple. Maybe it's time we did the same and put people first.

I'm thinking that if Greensboro were to become known as the kind of city that puts people first then Greensboro would begin to attract the best kinds of people. And the people who are already here would become better people because of their influence.

And in a city filled with good people the bottom line would quite likely take care of itself.

That's what I'd want to do if I were mayor of Greensboro.

Stay tuned for Part 5 of If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"theological malpractice that borders on heresy”

http://www.greensboro.com/blogs/allen-johnson-black-ministers-argue-for-bragging-rights-over-suffering/article_e627fa10-25c8-54d1-ad8a-45dfeb9a63b8.html

How much economic impact has this cost our state?

How many jobs have been lost?

How many others not from here think less of North Carolina now?

This should have been done differently on both sides.

We have made an amazing ass of ourselves.

It will cost our children.

The adults in the room have caused harm.

Still no reports from our press as to who has paid how much to whom to back the legislation.

Lies of omission as misinformation exponentially rises through the news cycle, while anyone who looks like they may not sell enough tickets to be profitable cancels in mediocre defiance splattered across the pages, increasing name recognition and followings.

Can you blame them?

Self inflicted wound this is, while the News and Record won't say how much the folks who wrote a letter backing DGI have received from City taxpayers, how much they have contributed to City Council members, that David Parish is on the selection committee and a Zack reference, that DGI hasn't publicly come up with where they are going to get the 'other' money, and won't release information requests concerning the subject for over a half a year.

Margaret Moffett and Steven Doyle won't report the news.

Jeff Sykes reported the David Parish connection and more information than our paper of record, and now some of the folks who enjoy skimming money from hired legislators aren't going to be publicly identified after a publicized letter in support of more corruption.

That means the press is either not read enough in Yes Weekly's case, or just as corrupt as the gentlemen on the take who are lobbying for their boy toy.
.
.
DGI's revised proposal appears to be an attempted fraud on Greensboro's taxpayers

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2016/05/dgis-revised-proposal-appear-to-be.html

Greensboro's News and Record's Margaret Moffett misleads readers for Mike Barber and Nancy Vaughan

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2016/05/greensboros-news-and-records-margaret.html

News and Record's Margaret Moffett; "Council halts discussion on downtown contract amid allegation"

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2016/05/news-and-records-margaret-moffett.html

"Key downtown property owners [who have received a great deal of Greensboro taxpayer money] back DGI for contract" [for their lobbyist, Zack Matheny]

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2016/05/key-downtown-property-owners-who-have.html

Tony Wilkins is going to have lunch with David Parrish and Zack Matheny before he votes for DGI's contract on the 7th

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2016/05/tony-wilkins-is-going-to-have-lunch_24.html

DGI Contract Scandal Goes Full Retard, Corrupt and Reprehensible

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2016/05/dgi-contract-scandal-goes-full-retard.html

As Mike Barber's First Tee of the Triad receives money and benefits from both the City of Greensboro and Jim Melvin's Bryan Foundation, Mr. Barber needs to recuse himself from the DGI mess

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2016/05/as-mike-barbers-first-tee-of-triad.html

On DGI at this evening's Greensboro City Council Meeting; This is what non-transparency looks like

http://greensboroperformingarts.blogspot.com/2016/05/on-dgi-at-this-evenings-greensboro-city.html

If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro: Part 3

I Wouldn't Be Afraid Of Making The Tough Decisions, I Never Have Been.

If you haven't read Part 1 of  If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro, then I recommend you do and follow the links back to here before continuing.

One of the things that has crippled Greensboro for decades and most recently the Vaughan Administration, has been the inability on the part of our local leaders, both elected and City staff, to make the tough decisions and tough it out.

It's not uncommon at all to hear Council members say, "We can always revisit this issue later." You know, after the damage has been done. When in fact, had they had the courage to stand up and make the right decision in the first place the problem could have been quickly solved.

Take for instance when they voted to give that so called, television network money to film a sitcom here in Greensboro then came back weeks later and changed their minds only to end up in court in yet another of many unnecessary lawsuits. Regardless of the outcome of the court decision or who was right or wrong a great deal of taxpayer dollars and voter confidence was forever lost.

You see, when a governing body makes a decision it needs to be a done deal, dammit! Otherwise your name is mud.

Another such decision that has been long in the making is what to do with Downtown Greensboro.

In the course of my 60 years here in Greensboro I've lived through 3 failed rounds of Downtown renovation and here we are in our 4th round hinging on a downtown performing arts center which, after all these years, is suspect at best. Despite everything they have said and done, the millions upon millions spent we have nothing but an artificial forest in the middle of  Downtown where the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts is supposed to go.

Talk about morons putting the cart before the horse, almost every one of those trees will be run over by trucks and construction equipment before the building is finished.

No one is making the tough calls. No one has in a very long time.

The long standing problem with downtown Greensboro has been that our leaders think our tiny downtown can be everything for everybody. It can't. Downtown Burlington is bigger. Downtown Asheboro is bigger. Downtown High Point is far bigger. All of them smaller cities and yet none of them strive to be everything to everyone. Why? Because it doesn't work.

99 blocks is not big enough for a wild entertainment district, starving artists, hipsters, high end residential filled with rich old people, Fortune 500 corporate headquarters, retail shops, restaurants, performing arts centers and all the other things people want to see co-exist in downtown. And anyone with half a brain knows it.

But year after year our City Council continues to do back-flips for one group after the other, always afraid to make up their minds as to what downtown should be, always afraid to make the tough calls. What's wrong with downtown Greensboro? The City Council-- that's what.

So what would I do if I were Mayor of Greensboro?

I'd put City Council through the long grinding process of citizen input to find out just what is possible for downtown and what Greensboro wants for downtown. And as hard and  messy as it may be we'd come to a tough decision and make it.

And no, not everyone would like it. Perhaps not even me.

I wouldn't be afraid of making the tough decisions and I'd not be afraid of living with the consequences good, bad or ugly.

Stay tuned for, If I Were Mayor of Greensboro: Part 4.