Greensboro

Greensboro City Council meeting discusses public dissatisfaction with police, Family Dollar construction controversy

Mike Mozart_Flickr

Mike Mozart/Flickr

Jamie Howell
   Staff Writer

The Greensboro City Council held a meeting on Tuesday, April 19, focusing on dissatisfaction with police and the construction of a Family Dollar.

The majority of the meeting was dominated by public dissatisfaction with recent Greensboro police actions.

Tawana Sampson spoke on her abuse while in prison for a traffic violation. Sampson brought up the issue of releasing police footage, stating that it took three years for her to get the footage of the attack, which left her with severe brain damage.

The issue of releasing police footage was brought up again by Lewis Pitts, who demanded the release of the March 2014 Vo shooting footage. The Council voted to review the footage in closed session.

Another item which was discussed was the Greensboro City Grant, which according to the resolution document, is a part of the Ole Asheboro Redevelopment Plan. It will be given to Durban Acquisitions for the construction of a Family Dollar 601-605 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

The first speaker on the resolution, Sandra Iseling, was a resident of the community where the Family Dollar is being built. Iseling voiced her opposition to the construction, stating that she thinks a community center for their children would be better-suited for the area.

Iseling also stated that she doesn’t think a white-owned business should be put in a historically black community.

Tiffany Parron, fellow resident, voiced agreement. She stated that a community center would be more beneficial for the growth of the area, giving children a place to be and providing jobs.

Iseling and Parron both stated that they didn’t think the community was being appropriately informed about events regarding the Family Dollar’s construction.

“The city of Greensboro did not choose to put that store there,” said Yvonne Johnson, mayor pro tem.

Johnson agreed that a community center would be very beneficial, but the community would have to come together to decide what to do, not rely on the city to build one.

Councilwoman Sharon Hightower of District 1 stated that she doesn’t want a Family Dollar there either.

“I don’t want the city of Greensboro to become a dollar alley,” Hightower said.

Hightower also stated that she attended meetings in the community before the decision to build was made, and community members decided during those meetings that they wanted the Family Dollar built.

“We have to be more proactive about what we want to see,” Hightower said.

According to Carl Brower, chairman of the Ole Asheboro Neighborhood Association Planning Committee, the neighborhood voted to approve the building of the Family Dollar.

“This lot has been vacant for 20 years,” Brower said.

Brower stated that the Family Dollar will be beneficial by providing a nearby place for people with limited mobility to get certain goods. The area is a food desert, and the presence of a Family Dollar aims to help.

Jason Mathis, Durban Acquisitions representative, stated that his company had been working with Family Dollar for a long time period, and he was surprised that some residents have recently learned of construction.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Mathis said. “We hope and feel that it would be a benefit to the neighborhood.”

Mathis stated that the presence of the store would bring goods and services, along with a limited number of jobs.

The first portion of the meeting was dedicated to commemorating the late Representative Ralph C. Johnson, recognizing the accomplishments of VF Corporation, and the designation of May as Bike Month.

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