State Sen. Trudy Wade talks reducing Greensboro City Council size

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Hundreds of residents filled city hall Thursday night against State Sen. Trudy Wade's bill that would change the makeup of the city council.

Residents were only given an hour and a half to speak during a public hearing before Wade and other state lawmakers.

"I feel like our city is being hijacked," said one resident who doesn't believe Raleigh lawmakers should be trying to control Greensboro local government.

"Reducing the number of city council is a step back and takes away our voice," said another resident who called the bill nothing more than big government.

Many residents called on Wade to withdraw the bill and allow local residents to vote on their city council structure, not Raleigh lawmakers. "I support people coming out and giving me all their ideas," said Wade when asked about a local referendum. "There's a lot of other ideas that I've received too."

A few residents, including former Mayor Bill Knight, spoke in favor of the bill. Some speakers called the actions of Wade, a former city council member herself, a slap in the face of democracy.

"This is democracy," said Wade after the public hearing. "This is how democracy works. State government has been involved in local government for years."

Wade said she does not plan to withdraw the bill.