City reports no major tax increases, less crime at East Ward town hall meeting

City reports no major tax increases, less crime at East Ward town hall meeting
May 21
00:00 2015

Attendees listen to presentation at New Jerusalem Baptist Church during a town hall meeting.
(Photos By Todd Luck The Chronicle)

Several other topics were discussed during last week’s East Ward town hall meeting.

City Manager Lee Garrity talked about the city budget that would be released today (May 21). It’s a balanced budget, as city budgets are required to be by state law. It continues to compensate for $7 million in state funding that is being cut over four year, but contains no reduction in services or tax increases beyond the property tax hikes approved by voters as part of the bonds. He said it was a relatively “calm” budget.

Winston-Salem Police Department Chief Barry Roundtree said that overall crime was down in the city relative to last year. He also responded to a viral Youtube video posted in April showing a 2 a.m. downtown group street brawl near the intersection of Fourth and Cherry streets.

“Our downtown is safe, this community is safe,” he said. “Our crime in downtown is down 19.4 percent from last year. That fight was an isolated incident. “

Rountree responded to a question on what the WSPD is doing as far as community outreach and preventing police abuse. He said there were 340 body cameras in use by the police currently. He also said that officers recently went through additional training on racial and cultural biases administered by two Winston-Salem State University professors. He said the police have numerous trust talks with the community, local clergy and college students and will hold a Youth Police Academy in July.

Captain Chris Lowder added that the WSPD also participated in Talk and Walk last week, where city officials went door to door in a neighborhood off of Kernersville Road so residents could tell them what’s going on in their neighborhood.
Also discussed was the proposed rezoning of a property on Cleveland Avenue that would let the Salvation Army transform it into a homeless shelter for women and families. Several voiced opposition to it based on concern that the shelter doesn’t fit into the Cleveland Avenue Initiative Master plan to develop the area.

The City’s incentives for Herbalife moving one of its facilities from California to Winston-Salem were also discussed.
The facility would have 300 jobs at an average salary of $61,000 with an estimated 70 percent of them being local hires. City Council Member Derwin Montgomery assured constituents that if Herbalife failed to deliver the promised jobs, it would have to pay the City back, just like Dell did when it closed its local plant.

About Author

Todd Luck

Todd Luck

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors