Contract Controversy: Council-members Question City's Current Policies

GREENSBORO, N.C. – A Greensboro man infamous for criticizing city council has been awarded a contract, and has the potential to make $23,400 by December 31.

Ben Holder was selected to work with the city's Neighborhood Development Department after applying to a Request for Proposal (RFP) for code enforcement services. As a part of this contract, Holder will inspect boarded up properties, and help review current inspection policies to find areas the need improvement, according to Barbara Harris. Harris is the Director of the Neighborhood Development Department.

According to the contract, Holder will be paid $45.00 per hour but can make no more than $23,400.

READ:City Issues RFP For Code Enforcement Services

The RFP required a local business license and liability insurance but at the time Holder applied and was hired, he had neither.

This contract has some council members questioning the city's current policies and the need for these types of contracts.

"I'm really very concerned that our contract process is not consistent in how we do things and I think that this particular episode has really kind of brought that to light," explained Councilwoman Sharon Hightower, Greensboro, District 1. "The quickness of it, the lack of advertisement, is the things that we really need to sit down as a council and discuss, and be fair about."

Councilman Zack Matheny says he's "more concerned about how contracts are laid out as a whole than one particular person."

"Why are we hiring contract employees, what are we justifying their employment, are they bringing some sort of expert employment or are we filling a much needed gap?," asked Matheny.

Council members will meet on August 4th to review the city's current contract policies.


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