08/07/12 — An odd start: Why does city council need to go to 'black and white' again?

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An odd start: Why does city council need to go to 'black and white' again?

Since he has been in office, officially, for only a few hours, it is too early to determine the intentions of one of the newest Goldsboro City Council members, William Goodman.

But his first act as a new city council member suggests that perhaps there might be a few battles ahead.

Goodman asked the council to pass a rule that the mayor pro tem position be alternated between black and white members -- as was done during part of the time he served previously on the board.

An odd request -- and an odd precedent to set as you restart your career of working as a board member for the benefit of all citizens.

The mayor pro tem position is chosen by members of the council. Should you wish to hold the position, all you have to do is be nominated and elected into the spot. If you have the votes, you are elected.

It is not a black, white thing. It is a vote thing. Perhaps it was the former, in the past, when Goodman served, but it has not been in recent years -- and it should not be.

City Council stopped the practice because it was no longer necessary. At the time, it was implemented, city government was changing, and the decision was a safeguard against some potential concerns of unfair representation.

Not so anymore. There are plenty of strong, vocal black voices on the council and the mayor is also black.

And it should not be about that anyway. This is about serving the needs of all Goldsboro residents fairly.

If you want to rotate mayor pro tem, fine, rotate it around ALL the council members. That would be fair for all.

We will have to wait and see if this really is about fairness.

Published in Editorials on August 7, 2012 12:12 PM