This week is a busy one for the Greensboro City Council, with two scheduled meetings.
The regular first meeting of the month, which is mainly to hold a public comment period, is Tuesday, July 13 beginning at 5 pm., with a “hybrid” closed session. However, there is no closed session on the agenda for the July 13 meeting. An agenda notice states that the closed session is to discuss an “Economic Development Incentive” and that “The regular City Council meeting should begin at 5:30 p.m.”
Since City Council closed sessions tend to run over, when the open portion of the meeting will actually start is not known.
The July 13 meeting will be the first where speakers at the public comment period will be allowed to speak in the council chamber. However, speakers are being requested to speak virtually and according to the agenda will only be allowed in the council chamber to speak and will then be asked to leave.
The second meeting of the week is a work session on Thursday, July 15 beginning at 2 p.m., and although the City Council has been meeting in the council chamber since April, this is a virtual meeting.
In keeping with the practice of keeping information from the public until the last moment, the agenda for the July 15 meeting has been released, but the background information on the agenda items is extremely limited.
For example, under “Presentations” “B.1 2021-94 City Manager Recruitment,” the attachment, which one would suspect would contain additional information about the plan to hire a new city manager, reads in its entirety: “2021-94 City Manager Recruitment.”
Former City Manager David Parrish resigned effective June 30 and Assistant City Manager Chris Wilson is serving as interim city manager.
The other items on the agenda is, “B.2 2021-96 Police Calls for Service Cohort Review/Report
“B.3 2021-95 Emergency Service Weather Preparedness
“B.4 2021-97 Employee Step Plan”
All also have attachments that restate the agenda item and offer no additional information.
If the City Council follows its usual policy, the attachments with the reports will be in an amended agenda that will be released hours before, or sometimes less than an hour before, the actual meeting.
For some meetings members of the City Council receive the reports before they are released to the public, but not always, and councilmembers have complained that because they received the reports the same day as the meeting they have not had time to do more than skim them and are not prepared for a discussion.
It is also worth noting that while the agenda states that this will be a “virtual” meeting, which means no one is in the council chamber and all members of the council access the meeting remotely. The same agenda states, “Notice is hereby given that all Regular or Special Meetings and/or Work Sessions for the Greensboro City Council will be conducted as Hybrid meetings with only City Council and Staff meeting inside Council Chamber.”
Whether the meeting is “virtual” or “hybrid,” people can view it at https://greensboro.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx .