"Roth said the architect selection committee did – which raised more questions than it answered.
The architect selection committee had 17 members, only four of whom were members of the City Council: Councilmembers Nancy Hoffmann, Zack Matheny and Nancy Vaughan and then Mayor Robbie Perkins.
...The other members of the architect selection committee are Roth, Sanders, Greensboro Coliseum Manager Matt Brown, Joe [Jim Melvin] Bryan Jr., Vanessa [Roy who stands to make millions] Carroll, Frankie Jones,
Tobee [who stands to make millions]Kaplan,
Kathy [who stands to make millions] Manning, Ken Mayer, Ron Milstein, Elizabeth Phillips, Susan [Cone money] Schwartz and Steven Tanger.
...Wilkins asked, “Is this the way things are going to continue to be done in the future – that these individuals are going to make the decisions?”
...Wilkins asked how the architect selection committee was given authority to hire H3 Architects.
“Who authorized that?” he asked. “We’re going to be asked how this group made the decision without the council voting on it.”
Councilmembers present said that Perkins appointed councilmembers to the architect selection committee.
“And, Tony, I remember you being asked,” Matheny said. “I’ve got a full record of Tony Wilkins being invited to every meeting we go to.”
Perkins, when asked who appointed the councilmembers to the architect selection committee, said, “Me.” He said he chose himself, Vaughan, Hoffmann and Matheny. He said, “It was the ones that had been very active in putting the project together.”
Perkins said he wouldn’t have appointed councilmembers to the architect selection committee who were opposed to the program.
City Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter said the same handful of councilmembers had been involved in every decision on the GPAC.
“I believe that’s the crux of the angst,” Abuzuaiter said. “That there are five or six people in the City of Greensboro making the decision without community input.”
Hoffmann said that the only decisions that had been made were to buy the land and to hire the architect. She said, “I don’t think there have been that many decisions made.”
Abuzuaiter replied, “Maybe there’s no reason to feel that way, but that’s the perception.”
Wilkins continued to question the decision to hire H3 Architects, apparently increasingly annoying Matheny.
“That’s not a decision?” Wilkins said. “Choosing an architect? That’s a big decision in which this council had no say-so.”
Matheny said the decision hadn’t been made by four people in a back room. He said that Wilkins and anyone else could ask questions, but that he didn’t like them just bashing the GPAC.
“I don’t think we’re trying to bash anything,” Abuzuaiter replied. “And my recollection is that Robbie appointed people.”
City Councilmember Sharon Hightower told Matheny, “I don’t like that tone.”
...“I’ve got a lot of constituents who don’t really appreciate this or want it,” Hightower said. “So if it’s going to be here, we need to have a lot of answers.”
Later in the day, Sanders said ...the agreement is being drafted by Lee Lloyd, an attorney at Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP... [Partner with George, Wyndham Hotel, House]
Perkins said the Community Foundation chose Lloyd.
Abuzuaiter said she ...didn’t remember public involvement in selecting H3 Architects.
“The architect committee, no,” she said. “I don’t know how that worked. It was selected from the task force meeting. As for it being an open process, I don’t agree with that. [directly contradicting Zack Matheny] Not to my knowledge was it an open process. I’m not trying to bash it but I don’t think it was particularly open. It’s the same people.”
Abuzuaiter said that if Wilkins was invited to architect selection committee meetings, she didn’t think it was an invitation extended to other councilmembers. She said, “If they invited all the councilmembers to the architectural committee, I don’t recall that.”
Sanders said donors have signed pledge forms committing $30 million to the project so far.
He said the pledge forms are binding contracts.