Monday, June 15, 2015

How Much Power Does The Mayor Of Greensboro Actually Have?

It's often said in describing strong city manager type governments such as is in place in Greensboro, that the mayor has very little power. The fact that our mayor only has one vote and no power over other city council members seems to back up that premise.

But is that really true?

Take for instance the City of Greensboro Housing Authority. While GHA is mostly funded with Federal Dollars the mayor of Greensboro appoints GHA board members:

"Mayor-elect Nancy Vaughan, who’s slated to make three board appointments during her coming two-year term, said Brown’s salary surprised her, but she isn’t in a position to say whether it’s too high."

Ms Brown earns $242,000 a year and while not herself a GHA Board member, answers to a board appointed by Greensboro Mayors.

Our mayor is also a director of the Greensboro Housing Development Partnership:

"The Greensboro Housing Development Partnership Inc. (GHDP) is a joint endeavor of the City of Greensboro and the Greensboro Housing Authority. Its purpose is to help accomplish specific affordable housing program activities. The partnership is under the direction of a Board of Directors"

So if, in-fact, the Greensboro Housing Authority were to again decide to privitize assets like it did when GHA sold Heritage Greene-- later known as Heritage House-- our mayor could have a hand in that decision. 

Of course it has long been known that Greensboro's mayor be in Nancy Barakat Vaughan or anyone else, has a seat on the executive committee of the board of Downtown Greensboro Inc. So does Jim Westmoreland who works for Nancy. The Greensboro Mayor also appoints non governmental members to the DGI board. Looks like our mayor has several votes there.

And let's not forget that Mayor Vaughan has a seat on the board of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum along with the Greensboro City Manager who works for the Mayor. 2 more votes our mayor controls.

She also has a seat on the NC League of Municipalities, a powerful state wide organization of 540 cities and towns in North Carolina.

Mayor Vaughan was also a recent speaker at CEOs For Cities. The ability to address large audiences of wealthy people is one of the hallmarks of power. Did I mention that Nancy Vaughan, her husband Don Vaughan and Nancy's friends Roy Carroll, Walker Sanders, Cecilia Thompson, Laura Way and Councilwoman Nancy Hoffman are all attendees there along with Assistant City Manager Mary Vigue?

Don't tell me this woman isn't powerful. After all, she is married to Don Vaughan.

You should have never double crossed me, Nancy.

And from our mayor's election website:

About Nancy
Greensboro City Council (1997 – 2001)
Piedmont Triad International Airport Authority Board Member (2003 – 2009)
Operations Manager, Talley Machinery (1989 – 2006)
Greensboro Housing Development Partnership (2002- 2008)
Honorary Chair, 18th Annual Signature Chef’s Auction for the March of Dimes (2009)
Greensboro Day School, Board of Trustees (2009 – present)
Girl Scout Brownie Leader (2008 – present)
Greensboro Beautiful Board Member (2005-2008)
Domestic Violence Task Force co-chair (2002 – 2004)
The Junior League of Greensboro (2000 – 2004)
Moved to Greensboro in 1988
Married to Don Vaughan
Three children (John Mincello, Michael Mincello and Catherine Vaughan)
Attended Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT
Attends Westminster Presbyterian Church

Again, Nancy and our city manager both have seats of the Greensboro Partnership which controls Action Greensboro, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, SynerG, City Center Park, Newbridge Bank Park, Friends of City Center Park, Downtown Greenway and so much more.

Did I mention Nancy is on the board of directors of Reading Connections?

Is the Greensboro mayor on the board of the downtown Greensboro Tanger Performing Arts Center?

Mayor Vaughan also spoke at the NC A&T Founders Day Program 
and the UNCG Union Square groundbreaking. More influential audiences make one even more powerful.

The North Piedmont Chapter of ASHRAE lists our mayor's accomplishments:

"She was   appointed to the Board of Directors of the Piedmont Triad International Airport.  While serving on the Board the Federal Express Mid-Atlantic hub was under construction and Honda Jet established their World Headquarters and Production Facility on the airport property.
 Her civic involvement includes: 
·         Greensboro Economic Development Alliance Board
·         Downtown Greensboro Board
·         Greensboro Housing Development Partnership (GHDP) Board Member
·         Greensboro Day School, Board of Trustees, Diversity Liaison & Parent’s Association
 Board Member
·         Court Watch, Board Member
·         Greensboro Beautiful, Board Member
·         Junior League Domestic Violence Task Force, Co-chair
·         Swim for Cancer, Chair
·         Brownie Leader
·         Westminster Presbyterian Church, Sunday School Teacher
 She is married to attorney and law professor  Don Vaughan and she has three children:  John (31), Michael (29) and Catherine (12).  Nancy and Don also have three dogs: one is a yellow lab champion hunting retriever."

That's right Don is not only a lawyer but he teaches law at UNCG. Correction: Elon Law, which was built, in part, with funding from the City of Greensboro.

So what is ASHRAE?

"This web site describes the activities of the North Piedmont Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE). It does not present official positions of the Society nor reflect Society policy. ASHRAE is not responsible for this site's content."

 Our mayor was a table host at TEDxGreensboro.

Who decides who wins the SC2 Challenge? It's not our mayor but if you scroll to the bottom of the page you'll find people who work for the mayor along with folks from organizations on which she has seats. People like Cecelia Thompson (Action Greensboro) Phil Barnhill (East Market Street Development Corporation) Pat Danahy (Greensboro Partnership) Mark Hale (Greensboro Day School) David Parrish (City of Greensboro) and others. All of these people and more must answer to the Mayor of Greensboro.

Frankly I've lost count on the number of votes the Greensboro Mayor has over how $Millions in tax dollars gets spent by organizations all over Greensboro and beyond but to say our mayor only has 1 vote and little power? When you control who gets and who keeps their jobs you control everything.

"My bologna has a first name..." it's N-A-N-C-Y...