May 11, 2008

Mark Binker from N&R Highlights Protest Petitions in Short Session Article

Mark Binker of the Greensboro News and Record wrote a front page article called "Governor sets priorities for short session", click here .

Below is what was said about bringing back Protest Petitions to Greensboro.

Outside the budget, local legislators say they're bracing for a fast-paced session that could be over by mid-July. Although such predictions are perennially proved overly optimistic, they affect the types of bills legislators are willing to tackle.
For example, Rep. Pricey Harrison, a Greensboro Democrat, was preparing to run a bill that would have banned a certain flame-retardant chemical. But that legislation has been deemed too complex and controversial to handle in the next eight weeks.
Harrison said she was still eager to take up a bill that would give Greensboro residents the right to use protest petitions in land-use cases. If they were available, such petitions would force the City Council to approve changes to a property's legal designation by a 7-2 margin or better.
The tool is available in all other North Carolina cities but was taken away from Greensboro in 1971.
"Most of the people I talked to seem to think we need to do it," said Rep. Alma Adams, a Greensboro Democrat.
The legislation would be a local bill, a designation that usually means the rest of the General Assembly will defer to the judgment of the legislators who represent the area if there is unanimous agreement.
"Normally, with a local bill, you get a resolution from the local government that they're asking for it," said Sen. Phil Berger, a Rockingham County Republican who represents parts of Guilford County.
The council has not passed such a resolution.
"I don't want to say I would stand in the way, I'm just thinking in broad terms about how this would typically move forward," Berger said. "I would like to hear how the city feels about it."
Rep. Maggie Jeffus, a Greensboro Democrat, leads the 10-member Guilford County delegation. Jeffus said she hoped to call a meeting of the delegation this week to resolve the protest petition question and other items.

Bringing back Protest Petitions in a short session of the state legislature is tough to do but can be achievable. Hopefully there will be a bill drafted in the short session and a bill passed. If not then the long session starts in 2009 , and maybe the citizens of Greensboro can finally have the same right as everyone else has who lives in a city in the state of North Carolina.

Now is the time to let your Guilford County Legislators know that you want Protest Petitions sooner rather than later.In this blog there is a place to e mail your representatives. the first post in February is where you can contact the legislators.