Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Yes Weekly on Greensboro Redistricting

"Last week’s press conference to discuss a state senator’s desire to reshape the Greensboro city council to suit her whims had it all.

A councilman bellowing at a councilwoman, lurching in her direction with a pointed finger. A reporter repeatedly talking over the mayor.  That same reporter lecturing the city attorney on the nature of the law.  A discourse on the fundamental question burning in the heart of every resident of the city: just who is Greensboro’s daddy?

...Wade dropped her plan on Feb. 4 after about two months of build up in a local conservative weekly. Council members, except for conservative Tony Wilkins of District 5, denounced the plan as an usurpation of the city’s right to govern itself.

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan, possibly the target of retribution according to one of the theories floating around the city, said the council decided to call a hastily arranged press conference the next day in order to address the large volume of calls and messages flowing in from concerned residents.

...“Obviously then this plan was devised to really gerrymander existing council members out of their (current) district so that new people could be elected,” Vaughan said.

...Observers speculated that Matheny, a pro-business Republican, was targeted because he ran against Republican state Senator Phil Berger’s son in a hotly contested Congressional race last year.

Berger was quoted in previous media reports as saying that Wade’s plan was “a step in the right direction.”

Wade receives significant financial backing from David Griffin, of DH Griffin fame, and others have observed that the limited mayoral powers could be payback against Vaughan for her vote not to reopen the White Street Landfill, for which DH Griffin had sought the contract.

...[Tony] Wilkins said the council majority had been fiscally irresponsible by passing budgets with the highest tax rates among the state’s largest cities. He likened the city to a spoiled teenager who had been given a credit card.

...Wilkins said the cluster of five council members living in a two-mile circle on the northwest outskirts of downtown needed to be broken up. Such a cluster was responsible for $300 million in projects downtown while other areas had to wait years to get such amenities as parks and road maintenance.

“Look at the distribution of representation,” Wilkins said in response to a reporter’s question. “Instead of having everything right here in one little circle. How can you have five council members right here in a two-mile circle? When you do that, you see how the money is distributed.”

...Wade’s bill passed a first reading in the state senate on Feb. 5 and is, for better or for worse, currently before the senate’s Committee on Redistricting."
...We can’t see any acceptable rationale to support Trudy Wade’s plan to reshape the Greensboro City Council.

District 5 representative Tony Wilkins tried his best to sell the plan in the face of overwhelming opposition at a press conference last week, and he may have scored some points when he mentioned the $300 million in projects downtown versus folks in the suburbs having to wait a decade for a park.

...the sound and the fury are emblematic of the problems Greensboro faces. It’s a house divided against itself.
Trudy Wade's District 4 = 26% of those who voted in Greensboro's 2013 election

Registered Voter Percent of Trudy Wade Redistricting Plan Districts Who Voted in 2013

An analysis of who would win, based on who actually voted in 2013 in Trudy Wade's 7 Districts