Two major items are on the agenda for the Tuesday, May 18 Greensboro City Council meeting.
The regular City Council meetings traditionally begin at 5.30 p.m. However, this meeting will start at 4:30 p.m.
This is also a “hybrid” meeting, which means the City Council and city staff will be meeting in the council chambers, however, public participation will be virtual. For the first time since April 2020, the City Council will also allow a limited number of representatives of the media in the room.
Item 35 on the agenda is the presentation of the city manager’s proposed budget to the City Council. Since City Manager David Parrish has announced he is resigning effective June 30, this will be his last budget presentation.
The City Council held a work session on a preliminary proposed budget on May 11 and, according to Assistant City Manager Larry Davis, the city manager’s proposed budget will be extremely similar to that preliminary budget. The preliminary budget kept the property tax rate flat at 66.25 cents and uses $4.4 million of the $56.6 million in American Rescue Plan funds to balance the budget.
The preliminary budget includes an additional $1.4 million for new police officers, $1 million for increased compensation for the Police Department and $315,00 for a psychological evaluation program and mental wellness counseling program for police.
The preliminary budget did not include additional funding to provide police officers with take home patrol cars.
Item 36 is a “Resolution to Publish a Notice of Election for the November 2, 2021 Election.”
Passing this resolution will effectively end any debate about when to hold the 2021 election, which has never before been a matter of debate.
There was discussion of delaying the 2021 election until 2022 because the data from the 2020 US Census will not be available in time for the City Council to redistrict before the 2021 election. However, preliminary data indicates that the City Council will not be required to redistrict once the official Census numbers are released. Redistricting is only required if the difference between the largest and smallest districts is 10 percent or greater.
According to preliminary data, unlike some cities in North Carolina that have experienced explosive growth, Greensboro during the past 10 years has grown at a rate of less than 1 percent a year. That data is an indication that even when the official Census numbers are released the City Council will not be required to redistrict.