GREENSBORO — T. Dianne Bellamy-Small will run for her former seat on the Greensboro City Council, she announced Tuesday.
Just don’t call it a comeback.
“It isn’t a fresh start, so to speak. I have 10 years of experience,” she said. “But I hope that people will look at me with different eyes from what other people have said about me.”
Bellamy-Small, a Democrat, served on the council from 2003 to 2013, when she lost her District 1 re-election bid to Sharon Hightower by 12 votes.
The candidate filing period for this year’s elections will begin Monday. Election Day is Nov. 3.
In her 10 years on the council, Bellamy-Small helped bring the Hayes-Taylor YMCA to Barber Park, spearheaded a study for economic development in east Greensboro and compiled an annual report for District 1. She frequently attended neighborhood gatherings in her district, preferring to speak directly to voters.
She also courted controversy.
She survived a recall election in 2007 sparked by a petition from residents in her district, garnering 937 votes to her challenger’s 670.
Her council colleagues accused her of leaking a report on the Greensboro Police Department to the News & Record, an allegation that Bellamy-Small repeatedly denied.
She argued with council members over office space assignments and complained to police leaders after a young officer gave her a warning for speeding. He was rude, she said.
People had also alleged that Bellamy-Small refused to work with other council members, an allegation she shot down Tuesday, saying her voting record would show she voted with the board the majority of the time.
“You don’t just do that,” she said.
There’s no one issue that motivated her to run for office again. Bellamy-Small declined to highlight any specific votes by Hightower that spurred her into the race, saying only that she felt she could do a better job representing District 1.
“I’m running because I believe I could give a better quality of service,” she said. “I love serving the people.”
She said she plans to focus her campaign on job creation, infrastructure development, collaborative partnerships and an emphasis on responding consistently to constituents, which she said she did throughout her previous council tenure.
“I am a very direct person, and I would hope my constituents would want that kind of directness,” she said. “When I tell you I will respect you and I will get back to you ... it will happen, and you can hold me accountable.”
Bellamy-Small announced her plans Tuesday at Libby Hill Seafood in Greensboro before a small crowd that included former Mayor Robbie Perkins, who called her the “most improved” council member during his tenure. Other supporters said they miss having a council representative who attends neighborhood gatherings to hear feedback and ideas.
“I see her as a fighter,” said Debi McClendon. “She’s going to fight for my community. I would love to see her back in the seat.”