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Welcome to Greensboro, You Poor Bastard

July 19, 2011

I’m sorry, but it took me until about 9:00 to get dinner cleared away and turn on tonight’s City Council meeting. In the apparent absence of Jordan Green live blogging it for YES! Weekly, here’s the agenda.

When I finally got around to watching TWC Channel 13, The Evil Jeff Hyde of C4GC was chatting with John Hammer of The Rhino Times. They spoke for at least a half hour and, unsurprisingly, seemed quite chummy. Of course, with so many black folks in the audience, they probably had no one else to talk to.

Reconvening the meeting, council considered Agenda Number 29 and despite protests from TDBS and Kee, the motion to hire Tom Pollard as City Attorney passed. Good luck, you poor bastard.

Next up is the vote to issue another RFP to open the White Street Landfill. Robbie Perkins is currently issuing his problems with it. The objections seem pretty devastating to me, but we all know this train wreck ain’t gonna stop until the election.

TDBS is making a substitute motion to postpone the vote. Mayor Knight has deferred to the city attorney. Apparently, after speakers from the floor and council statements, Roberts Rules of Order requires action on the substitute motion prior to the RFP issuance vote.

As advertised, Abdel Nuriddin of the Human Relations Commission is speaking first. His statement against re-opening the landfill, which focuses on the effects of carcinogen exposure to the residents, is extremely compelling. To his credit, Knight has allowed the speaker extra time to finish the statement.

Next up is a Nancy Cavanaugh representing the Brightwood community is opposition to re-opening the landfill. She takes a swipe at Thompson‘s recent comment that lawsuits are simply the cost of doing business.

Wayne Abraham is speaking in opposition to re-opening the landfill.

The Evil Jim Lewis of C4GC is speaking. He’s giving a history of the landfill, focusing on homes being built while it was in use. Predictably, he says the gang of four have been “unfairly vilified” and the rest of council have brought “chaos” to the issue.

Leon Nutez in on about the Four Horsemen. No, he’s kicking dead horses.

Hugh Latham is the owner and developer of Nealtown Estates. Ten homes on twenty eight lots. When the discussion of the landfill came up again, people just stopped coming. The bank says the lots are worth 57% less than what the city says. The city will be responsible for a tipping point where area property values plummet.

John Rich from District 4 can’t find anybody who wants to re-open the landfill. Where there’s garbage, there are tons of rats. This is a major dissing of the black community. He’s amazed we’re putting a beltway around a dump. Shred the RFP. Take a regional approach. Look at the technology.

Dr. Goldie Wells is back. Have a heart. Think of someone other than yourselves. (Gorgeous dress.) Why is everything moving so fast – five days for vendors to respond? Everything has to happen before November 1st. We will remember in November. (There’s your bumper sticker.) It will be more honorable to change your mind.

Michael Franklin owns a Nealtown Estates home. It’s a sad situation. If it was your neighborhood, you wouldn’t want a landfill either. Put it in your neighborhood. We don’t want it.

Vanessa Martin can’t let her children outside to play. She hates she moved to Greensboro.

Christina Hardy thanks the City Mgr for releasing docs concerning research in the area. She support the Human Relation Commission studies. Higher incidence of pancreatic cancer is clear. There are problems other than cancer – upper respiratory – not addressed.

Councilman Jim Kee is speaking. Our #1 duty is to establish policies that favor all the citizens. I didn’t think there was a divide, but the division is being imposed upon the citizens. Nine out of ten he has spoken to are against re-opening the landfill. For such a small amount of money, we are causing this great division. Health concerns continue to be an issue. Elevated number of cancer-related deaths around the landfill. There has to be a correlation. DNR tightened the regs due to health risk. It is a dangerous sit, even economically. Once we’ve filled Phase III, we have to go to the open market when we have no bargaining chips. Waste-to-energy is going to be implemented. A Utah Co. is willing to invest $50-70M to build a site. Also $50-60M energy grants are available to partner with NCA&T. Randolph County is anticipating permitting its landfill in a couple of years. Continue doing what we’re doing with Republic and consider these other alternatives.

TDBS is speaking. She’s after The Evil Jim Lewis. Now, she’s referencing SAG building homes in east Greensboro. The streets were paved last and they’re still waiting on sidewalks. She laments a lack of retail (although the Super Walmart at East Cone is doing well.) Once the loop was completed, SE GSO began to thrive. The same thing will happen if the NCDOT can finish the northern loop. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot by our behavior. The stench of the landfill is going beyond those backyards. Who will go to Keely park when they can’t breathe? I know this council is not going to hear me or Mr. Kee. We serve all of the citizens. We have supported things for other parts of town. We need to also support what is good for east GSO. Please don’t do this.

The vote to accept the substitute motion is up. The gang of four prevails.

The vote to issue the RFP is up. The gang of four prevails again.

Someone yells “We will remember in November!” and is removed.

Thompson makes a motion to generate a study of alternative sites, as explained by Rashad Young. This is obviously to adhere to NC statutes.

TDBS is amused we engaging in a good faith effort toward expanding the landfill.

Perkins recalls that staff was instructed to study transportation costs related to re-opening the landfill. Young responds the analysis occurred and were issued in a previous FYI of $12-15M. Nealtown connector was two years out. Perkins makes the distinction that expansion requires another set of public hearings. Perkins also makes the point that transportation costs have not been considered. This RFP is just the beginning of a process which will tear this city apart.

I’m going to bed.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 19, 2011 10:56 pm

    Landfill residents claim an elevated cancer rate in the area is a result of the landfill but no mention of an elevated cancer rate for landfill workers whose exposure must be many times higher than residents?

    The transportation costs are near $13 Million per year and rising.

    “Also $50-60M energy grants are available to partner with NCA&T. Randolph County is anticipating permitting its landfill in a couple of years. Continue doing what we’re doing with Republic and consider these other alternatives.”

    Better yet, reopen the landfill and build the W2E on the same site. Oh wait, Perkins can’t sell the landfill property but he no doubt has a property lines up and waiting on which a W2E plant could be built.

    Sweet dreams.

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