Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Trouble Haunts Greensboro City Council

On Friday I wrote

"Speaking of digging things up, what's this I hear about a certain well known local blogger having been arrested 34 times but getting away with it because he's a confidential informant? And something else about the same blogger getting a contract with the City of Greensboro-- any truth to that Councilman Barber?"

On Monday I followed up with:

"A certain well known Greensboro blogger has again hidden his blog from public viewing, allowing only invited readers to read what was previously available for anyone to read. Could that have anything to do with what I posted on Friday?

Councilman Barber, is there anything you'd like to add? "

And today,  Whitney Kenerly of Yes Yeekly! writes:

"Local blogger Ben Holder, a former City Council candidate, has been contracted by the City of Greensboro to perform code enforcement services to assist with neighborhood improvement efforts."

Looks like I was right again. Ms Kenerly continues:

"Councilwoman Marikay Abuzaiter felt it was an insult to Council for the City Manager’s office to hire someone who has been known to publicly berate council members during meetings and on his blog. Holder’s blog,, is currently set to private."

Set to private? What has Ben Holder got to hide? The article also mentioned something about payment in advance, oh, here it is:

"At the meeting, Abuzaiter also said that she had gone to the City Manager personally on July 2 and asked him to suspend Holder’s application.

“This has certainly gone behind council’s back with someone who has stood here and screamed at almost every person on this council,” said Abuzuaiter. “I’m not sure what is going on here, but it does not smell pretty.”

The terms of the contract were also curious to Hightower and Abuzuaiter. Holder is being paid $2,000 upfront for his services, and then $45 an hour over the course of 20 weeks.

“I’ve never heard in the history of contracts of a case where there has ever been prepayment for a person’s services,” said Abuzuaiter.

Abuzuaiter then asked the City Manager Jim Westmoreland to publicly confirm that he had asked council to refrain from discussing the matter with the public for the present time. Westmoreland acknowledged that he had requested that council members bring all concerns directly to his office."

And of course Mike Barber doesn't want to talk about it in public. Why is that, Councilman Barber?

Now who has credibility, Billy Jones or Ben Holder?  I think we all know the answer now. You see, Benny boy, when you take down your blog to appease the City Manager and get yourself a gig you show everyone you can be bought even if it's only for 20 weeks.