Battle lines drawn for Guilford County Commissioner races

Three Guilford County commissioners were elected today. No, it’s not election day. But it is the end of the candidate filing period. Three races were decided when the filing period ended with only one declared candidate. Barring drastic changes, District Seven  incumbent Carolyn Coleman will return to the board without facing an opponent in the fall. Newcomers include Alan Perdue in District 2, who replaces Chairman Bill Bencini who decided not to seek reelection. Justin Conrad will join the board when new members are sworn in following November’s general election. Conrad replaces the retiring Linda Shaw in District 3.

At-large incumbent Kay Cashion faces former Commissioner Kirk Perkins in a Democratic primary in May. The winner will face Republican challenger Larry Proctor in the general election.

For a full list of federal, state and judicial candidates click here.

Winston-Salem Helps Minorities and Women Get to Business

If you are a woman or a minority and you are interested in starting a business or need help maintaining your business, please contact the Winston-Salem M/WBE.

You must be HUB certified in order to receive help from the M/WBE, but certification is free of charge, and it is valid for four years. Certification must be done through the state of North Carolina; it is not done locally.

Once certified, the M/WBE can assist your business by sending weekly e-mails notifying you of all City bids. They will also send monthly calendars of events and business opportunities in an effort to help your business reach its full potential.

By working with other City departments, the M/WBE spreads awareness of HUB certified businesses that can be used for goods and services.

For more information on this opportunity, please visit the M/WBE website:

Berger announces campaign staff

GOP candidate for the Sixth Congressional district Phil Berger Jr. today announced his campaign staff. Veteran political operative Matt Mercer was named political director. A Madison native, Mercer has worked on campaigns across the state since graduating from UNCC. Scott Miller, a recent graduate of High Point University, and Julie Tesh, a graduate of UNC Greensboro in Political Science and Communication, were named field directors.

Berger, the Rockingham County District Attorney, faces a slew of opponents in the race to replace retiring Congressional icon Howard Coble.

Winston-Salem Urban League Welcomes New President

Don Williams takes on the title of president and CEO of the WSUL starting today, Feb 27 2014.

Williams is a former Chair on the Board of Directors of the WSUL and a former corporative executive. He has extensive experience in many aspects of business including human resources and management. He graduated from Greensboro College with a B.S. degree in business management and business administration, and he also graduated from the Department of Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute.

Williams was an active board member of Hospice of Wilkes, Wilkes Library, YMCA and is currently a board member for the ADAP and Wells Fargo Advisory Boards.

Williams replaces Keith Grandberry who resigned last month due to an undisclosed matter.

While the WSUL still remains quiet about Grandberry’s departure, they are excited for their new president.

Evelyn Acree, Chair of the Board of Directors of WSUL boasts that their new president “brings a lifetime of corporate experience that will be so valuable as we begin to shape the future of the Urban League.”

Let’s Be Brief: 2/27 Commissioner’s Briefing

On Thursday afternoon, the Forsyth County commissioners met for a weekly briefing. The agenda, which will be further discussed at the March 10 meeting, was short.

There will be further discussion surrounding UDO-244 text amendment about building more transmission towers in Forsyth County. On March 10, the commissioners ask to know how many towers are planning to be built and what the locations of the towers will be.

Also to be talked about in future meetings: Plans for Central Library and the old sheriff’s building.

The Board of Commissioners will not meet on March 3 because of the NACo Legislative Conference in Washington D.C.

Their next briefing will be held March 6 at 2:00pm on the 5th floor of the Forsyth County Government Center. The next meeting will be held March 10 at 6:00pm, also on the 5th floor of the Forsyth County Government Center.

Both are open to the public.

On GPAC; To whom it may concern…

On GPAC; To whom it may concern, please confirm, criticize, question or deny the following before Monday, March 3, 2014’s Yes Weekly’s 10am deadline for next Wednesday’s Hartzman column;

Greensboro’s taxpayers will be liable for shortfalls of donor commitments.

Greensboro’s taxpayers may pay more than the $30 million City Council authorized for the performing arts center.

If the City of Greensboro doesn’t cover shortfalls of the private sector pledges with more than the $30 million the City has already committed, the lender or lenders can foreclose on and acquire the performing arts center.

The City of Greensboro is not in possession of legally binding donor commitments on about $35,448,920 of privately pledged assets.

The City of Greensboro doesn’t know where the $35,448,920 is actually located.

The City of Greensboro doesn’t know what the $35,448,920 is invested in.

The City of Greensboro doesn’t have a detailed time line showing how much of the $35,448,920 is supposed to appear when over a 10 year time span.

The City of Greensboro doesn’t know what would happen to the $35,448,920 if financial markets fall 20%, or 30% within the five years following the project’s approval.

The City of Greensboro doesn’t know what would happen to the $35,448,920 if interest rates rise even more from their historically relatively very low levels within the five years following the project’s approval.

The City of Greensboro is unaware of the statistical likelihood that the $35,448,920 in pledges will or won’t appear.

At the Council work session on Tuesday, February 25th, the Greensboro Community Foundation’s (CFGG) Walker Sanders’ said that less than $5 million of the pledged assets are currently within the foundation’s control and is ready to be allocated to the project.

The CFGG and City of Greensboro’s financing mechanism attaches what would be a jointly owned GPAC between the City and a non profit without assets other than the property which would be used as collateral to obtain a loan to pay for construction costs before the pledges actually appear.

The CFGG will have no financial commitment to the project, yet stands to aquire the entire project without risk or taxes as detailed in item G4 of the Memorandum of Understanding At the Council work session on Tuesday, February 25th.

The City of Greensboro does not know how the CFGG is going to supply the loan interest payments for the financing.

The City of Greensboro’s finance department has not underwritten, reviewed or signed off on the legally binding donor commitments, the potential taxpayer liability above the $30 million City Council authorized for the performing arts center, the private sector lending agreement, a time line of how much of the $35,448,920 is supposed to appear and when, the statistical likelihood of how much of the $35,448,920 in pledges may or may not appear or hypothetical asset return projections concerning the $35,448,920 in private pledges.

If I don’t hear back, I will assume all of the above is correct.


George Hartzman
The preceding was sent to Rick Lusk, Nancy Vaughan, David Parish, Jamal Fox, Jim Westmorland, Thomas Carruthers, Larry Davis, Walker Sanders, Kathy Manning, Mike Barber, Mary Vigue, Zack Matheny, Sarah Healy, Marikay Abuzuaiter, Nancy Hoffmann, Tony Wilkins, Sharon Hightower and Yvonne Johnson.

Cross posted from

Water service disruptions in Winston-Salem tonight

Water service to Winston-Salem residents in Sunnyside and Washington Park neighborhoods will be shut off overnight while city crews replace two water valves and repair a section of a water main.

The affected streets will be:

Acadia St. from Sunnyside Avenue to Hollyrood Street

·   Banner Avenue

·   100 block of Cascade Avenue

·   2000 block of Main Street

·   2100 block of Rawson Street

·   Violet Street

·   2000-2400 blocks of Broad Street

·   1800-2100 blocks of Sunnyside Avenue

Residents are advised to take the following precautions:

·   Store an adequate supply for cooking and drinking.

·   Turn water heater circuit breaker to the off position. (Residents with gas water heaters should contact their gas company if they have any questions.)

·   Avoid opening any faucets or flushing any toilets during this time. This will help minimize air in your pipes.

When service is restored it is recommended that users flush their system by running discolored water through the bathtub.