Typically, the best stuff is found in the consent agenda, which is approved without discussion unless a member of council pulls the item for discussion. That's certainly the case with a request from the Winston-Salem Chronicle for a $100,000 loan to finance the hiring of three new sales associates in support of the newspaper's "For Seniors Only!" publication.
The item was recommended by the finance committee last week without no discussion. Back story here.
Documents here, here and here.
Not everyone in the community is on board.
Chad Nance, editor of Camel City Dispatch (a friend and occasional partner of YES! Weekly) writes in a letter to the mayor and members of council:
"There are obvious ethical questions of having the very government that journalists are Constitutionally charged to watch having their hands on the chain. The fact that The Chronicle is beholden to the city of Winston-Salem will remove any credibility they ever had as an honest broker of news and information. It raises the question about someone with a media platform like [publisher] Mr. [Ernie] Pitt — a platform that would have the ability to damage political careers with a swipe of the pen — asking those very politicians for a handout."
UPDATE: City council voted unanimously to approve the loan to The Chronicle.
The council also voted in a split decision to approve an additional $400,000 loan for the Ogburn Station Shopping Center through the Revitalizing Urban Commercial Areas program even though previous loans have run into trouble related to a dispute between shopping center owner Danny Kim and tenant Bernetta Oakes.