GGRWC GSO City Council Updates

Read this blog post to see the latest updates from the Greensboro City Council.

GGRWC GSO City Council Updates 

  1. Search is on for a new City Manager.  Council has mix of skin colors as a top priority for candidate pool,  and even the talent search firm was asked about color/race diversity.   
  2. City employee survey, Merit based compensation versus change to a STEP plan, 
    • Overwhelming (2+ to 1) preference for Merit based plan.   The initial response rate was ~30%, quite good, but this was not the answer Council wanted.   Council pushed City Staff to increase survey response rate, which only reenforced 2+ to 1 preference for Merit based system over STEP.  
    • Still Council voted 5-4 to move this group of employees to a STEP plan anyway. Vaughn, Abuzuaiter, Hoffman, Outling dissented.  
    • The Council-members think they know what employees want better than the employee.  STEP is the only way to remove subjectivity, and ensure fairness and equity. 
  3. A Sidewalk Repair project turned into folly over MWBE goals. 
    • A long winded rant (SH) over the contract’s MWBE goal, went unchallenged by Council.  The rant was filled with accusations of discrimination, and disenfranchisement of minority businesses.  
    • City Staff set an overall MWBE subcontracting goal for this one contract.  It’s unusual but Staff’s decision was unanimous, and based on the work to be done.  It’s a sidewalk.  The work does not require multiple subcontractors to complete, therefore setting separate MBE & WBE goals did not make sense to Staff.
    • The City’s MWBE plan requires consideration of “project-specific characteristics” in goal setting.  City staff made well reasoned, practical goal setting decision.   Most on Council agreed it was a good decision. 
    • In the name of “process” JO zeroed in on Staff’s use of the word “limited” when describing the sidewalk work, the subcontracting needs.  Staff used their knowledge and past experience to determine that -  it does not make any sense to break up the work pouring the sidewalks for this project - thus there are “limited subcontracting” opportunities.  As a remedy, it’s proposed to add specific criteria defining such decision making … because use of knowledge and experience is “subjective” and it could be used to evade or subvert the purpose of the MWBE Plan.
  4. Council action and behaviors are fundamentally changing the City - 
    • Given Council’s response to the Sidewalk MWBE goal setting decision, will Staff make another well reasoned decision, or share their knowledge and opinion if it is not what they think Council wants to hear?  Would you subject yourself to this type attack?
    • The next step in the MWBE sidewalk kerfuffle will include a Council work session with City’s outside consultants, Griffin & Strong - the “Disparity Study” experts.
    • Employee Training - implicit bias training through out city, including police & fire, GPD strategic plan calls for leadership to attend REI (Racial Equity Institute) training, …
    • New City Manager has a lot of authority … upcoming selection will shape the city’s path
  5. MK suddenly resigns from Council.  Reason unknown, City Manager candidate??  

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  • Amanda Mercer
    published this page in Blog 2021-08-18 19:54:21 -0400