Okay folks, you have a little less than a year to make a decision. No, not you, the majority of the 11.5% that keeps voting this same weak city council back into office. I'm talking to the 88.5% that for whatever reason stays home during city elections. I know, city elections are inconveniently held in odd numbered years when no one else votes. My belief is that it is designed that way because of that very reason. Notice the bond issues are on the ballot this year? Are you going to vote to give this bunch more taxpayer dollars to blow? Can you as an individual citizen of Greensboro actually define "participatory budgeting" or just who receives and spends that money? How about on what?
However, I'll leave the local economy, the horrible economic numbers and the lack of solutions this bunch possesses for a later time. The more pressing issue at the moment is the absolute supporting and enabling of attacks on our public safety workers by city council and their agitating pals that have been never-ending over the past 2 years. The main culprits have been documented here. Nancy Vaughn and her bosom buddy Nelson Johnson are running rampant and out of control at the moment. They do not support our Police Department no matter what Vaughn says. Johnson hasn't supported anything but his personal message of hate for the past 50+ years and yet our Mayor has allowed him unprecedented access and influence over city matters. This Mayor has allowed social issues to far exceed the actual business and day to day running of the city and created a downward slide for which she has no answer. Nelson Johnson could care less about the financial and economic health of Greensboro. He simply wants to call the shots, continue to see his name in the headlines and ensure he is in prime position to heavily influence or maybe even name the next Chief of Police himself. He and his new partner in crime Lewis Pitts have been allowed unlimited access to disrupt council meetings with the Mayor providing absolutely zero consequences for their "out of order behavior". Yet this past week, she dares lecture Councilman Tony Wilkins on council decorum when he correctly requested Councilman Jamal Fox to identify the elected officials he was accusing of being intolerant of Muslims. Even Councilperson Sharon Hightower, the epitome of council disruption, chimed in to scold Mr. Wilkins.
We all know who Fox was referring to because whether the council believes it or not, we can count; that would be 8 Democrats to 1 Republican. Gee, I wonder who Jamal was targeting? This is the same bunch who would also have you believe that there is no gang problem in Greensboro. "Nope, doesn't exist" they say. Dismantle that gang unit, we don't need them. Just the very suggestion that we have gangs in Greensboro is somehow "politically incorrect". No sir, not here; we are progressive and we love and tolerate everybody. Gang problem in Greensboro; noooooo!
POPPYCOCK! (I can't say horseshit because my Mom reads my blog)
My last 8 years I worked as a School Resource Officer at Grimsley High School. I saw first hand the existence of gangs. I also observed the lack of organization in gangs that occurred when the gang unit of the Greensboro Police Department identified and certified gang members and assisted in removing their leaders from the streets. Proactive pursuit of these gangs resulted in a reduction of activity and membership. The disbanding of this unit has allowed new leaders to emerge and a full-fledged recruiting effort to rise. They are once again becoming more organized. These recruiting efforts include gang initiation acts of violence and criminal acts. Proactive policing allows you to stay on top of these problems. Ignoring that they exist or proclaiming the problem "solved" is simply displaying ignorance of the "real world". The council should be listening and deferring to law enforcement expertise, not trying to dictate how the department performs its' job based on an agitator's opinion and agenda.
This council in general and this Mayor in particular have gone out of their way to enable and appease the agitators in this city. Nelson Johnson doesn't represent a fraction of the African American community in Greensboro. He is not a trusted leader. Yet there he is, disrupting and interrupting formal council meetings and making veiled threats about "Greensboro getting ready to explode". Why hasn't anyone on that council and specifically the Mayor not ask him to explain that comment? If he believes (and he apparently does) that he can make such bold statements then get him on record as to what "explode" consists of? He makes the public statement, call him out and get the public explanation. Is he threatening violence? He certainly has a history of threatening and committing violent acts. There is a difference in a constitutionally guaranteed right to assemble and a violation of NC General Statutes regarding inciting a riot. This is a guy that stood by Jorge Cornell, a leader of one of those gangs that "don't exist" in Greensboro. You may have forgotten about him because he has been away in Federal prison for crimes he committed in relation to that gang city council says "doesn't exist" here.
Why am I talking about gangs and the political future of Greensboro? Here is the reason. This past week we have had an unusually high number of shootings here. A security guard gunned down by a 16 year old while working at one of the only grocery stores serving east Greensboro. Motive? No argument. No confrontation. The shooter was participating in a gang initiation and believed he was shooting a uniformed Greensboro Police Officer. How about a paramedic, one who saves lives no matter who they are, who steps outside to take a quick smoke break only to have a gun stuck in her face by a male displaying the red flag of the Bloods gang. Why; to verbally threaten her that she and all other paramedics had better "watch their backs" insinuating that shootings and killings are imminent. These gangs are actively recruiting, holding initiations and now are boldly accosting and attacking emergency service workers simply for wearing a uniform. Police Officers, Firefighters and Paramedics all understand that the job sometimes puts their lives in harms way. However, contrary to popular belief they are not required to lay down their life for yours. And they certainly should not be in fear of random violence simply because we have a City Council and Mayor whose actions and policies cater to the festering of such actions.
Nelson Johnson has publicly denounced the hiring of Wayne Scott over his preferred candidates beginning with Chief Scott's opening press conference. Wayne has been operating behind the 8 ball his entire term with zero support from the council. Johnson has constantly made reference to other violent riots and situations such as Ferguson, Missouri when speaking out against the police and Chief Scott. The City Council has gone out of its' way to appease Johnson with the effect being only to embolden him to speak more rhetoric against police and push for more and more control. He and Pitts consistently ignore decorum and requests to stop disrupting meetings yet the Mayor like an enabling parent continues to draw lines only to move them. Mayor Vaughn, are you in with them or scared of them?
In the past year we have seen knee jerk reactions to nonsense that attack our Police Officers. For instance a partially investigated news report on vehicle stops that when researched further was proven false. The article was written by that bastion of journalistic integrity the New York Times and based on incomplete information provided by a local left wing journalist here in Greensboro, When proven false by a study completed by a university (an African American researcher) the results were proven inaccurate and the article research incomplete at best. Yet, council members who were "shocked and appalled" never walked that "jumped to" conclusion back nearly as publicly or loudly, allowing the perception that those problems were rampant. As a result, policies limiting traffic stops, types of laws enforced and even officer discretion were implemented in an effort to "even up the numbers". Officers have been unfairly punished and their reputations smeared in an effort to further appease Johnson. The results of limiting and in some cases eliminating proactive police practices have led to a rise in the violent crime rate (25%) and attrition of our police force. It has been reported through sources within the department that we are currently approximately 50 positions short. The current recruit class started with only 22. With High Point and Winston-Salem needing officers and offering competitive salaries and benefits, Greensboro is in danger of losing large numbers of officers. Why would they stay? It is obvious to them and anyone paying attention that the Mayor and the vast majority of City Council intend to continue to support and enable Nelson Johnson and all the other civil agitators with left wing extremist agendas instead of the men and women who do put their lives in harms way to protect us.
Even thousands of tax payer dollars have been given out to criminals based on the threats of "civil unrest" and approved by "someone" in city government. Why do I say "someone"? Because when I filed a PIRT request for documents pertaining to a lawsuit, confirmation of payment and the person with the city that signed off on the authorization of payment, I was provided a copy of the lawsuit and confirmation. I was told in writing that the information on the authorization was unavailable. When I pressed further I was told in writing that there was no name attached to the check or file. In other words, they would have us believe that we paid $10,000 to settle a lawsuit but no one authorized it. This lawsuit was paid to a member of Johnson's Beloved Community Center and in the lawsuit he admits to violating the law he claims he was falsely arrested for. We even told 2 officers that they had somehow done wrong when a judicial official said otherwise. The case never was tried and justice was interrupted to appease.
We paid 2 brothers $50,000 at the insistence of Johnson that a judicial official found probable cause to charge without them even bothering to sue. Again, we didn't wait and see if they were convicted in court instead cowering to Johnson and his threats and demands. An officer was smeared after having been originally cleared of wrongdoing in an administrative investigation.
Now we have Mr. Yourse. Mayor Vaughn publicly apologized to a convicted habitual felon who has a vast criminal history of committing felonious crimes of deception (frauds, false pretenses, etc) She apologized for not allowing Mr. Yourse to break into his mother's house AGAIN and steal from her. Mayor Vaughn and her council once again jumped to a conclusion that seems to fit her narrative and agenda. I wonder how much tax payer dollars we will pay Mr. Yourse. Once again, a judicial official found probable cause and once again the case will not be tried in court. Once again, Nelson Johnson is involved. When was it that the laws of the land were changed to allow political figures to take on the role of judges and prosecutors and determine when officers have made improper arrests?
Yet, this is the climate that Nancy Vaughn and her council has created; police officers are wrong and the poor criminals need to be paid. Disrupt a meeting as an agitator or supporter of Nelson Johnson; no problem, Raise your voice to a condescending councilman that is accusing you of being an "elected official" that discriminates against Muslims and gutlessly refusing to say it out loud; then we have a "decorum issue". I would pose the question "Mayor Vaughn, whose side are you on; law and order and public peace and prosperity or supporting progressive mayhem and chaos"? No need; your actions have answered that question for us.
Greensboro is and has been a "blue" city. This is no longer about Democrats and Republicans. We are now having trouble recruiting new officers. We are now having to take extra precautions to protect emergency service workers that do not carry weapons to protect themselves. The void of any confidence in our city government and administration by police officers is already leading to an increasing rate of attrition. Morale is at the bottom. Confidence in an undermined police administration is non-existent. Fear that Nelson Johnson will get his way in naming the next Chief of Police is very real. Leaks in confidential information by subversives within the police department to council members such as Sharon Hightower are becoming the norm. Quite frankly, one could surmise that a conspiracy may be taking place.
Are you listening Greensboro? All is not well. New businesses already do not come here. We have a "food desert" situation on east Greensboro in part to the lack of ability to secure and protect businesses. Your police department is being attacked by subversive entities that are being allowed and enabled to operate by a lack of strength and leadership in our local governing body. You have less than a year before you the voting citizen can correct it. We need redistricting to occur. We need new and talented citizens to step forward and lead. We need citizens to stop believing media reports that support the nonsense that is going on downtown and speak up in support of your emergency service workers. We are losing the fight against agendist with absolutely no regard for the welfare of anyone but themselves. We have to take this next city election seriously. 4 more years of this and you will not have a police department to protect you.