Opinion

Another power grab

From an editorial Friday in the (Greensboro) News & Record:

It looks like the state legislature might meddle with another local governing body.

State Sen. Trudy Wade, R-Guilford, is considering a bill that would shrink the size of the Greensboro City Council from nine members to seven.

Wade said earlier this week she didn’t have a plan yet. Political insiders said the options include eliminating two at-large seats or dividing the city into seven districts and having the mayor picked by the council members.

Another idea being considered: Expand council terms from two years to four – a token, perhaps, to make current council members less likely to fight if the N.C. General Assembly restructures their government.

The current council breakdown has served the city well for more than three decades.

Residents get to vote for one district representative, three at-large members and the mayor.

It means every citizen has five direct representatives on the council.

And every two years, residents get to tell those five council members whether they’re doing a good job or not.

It holds leaders accountable for their actions.

In 1982, when the City Council adopted this government structure, local leaders spent months debating what would be an appropriate system.

So far, Wade hasn’t explained the need for the council change, other than that unnamed “business owners” requested it.

Greensboro deserves better.

Don’t decide this behind closed doors in Raleigh. Let the Greensboro voters decide.

If Wade’s got a better plan for the Greensboro City Council, the legislature should put it up for a referendum. Greensboro voters should decide how they will be governed.

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