The Greensboro City Council will hold its second meeting under the new format on Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber.

Although this is the second meeting under the format where the City Council actually does the city’s business at the first meeting of the month, it will be the first one with Mayor Nancy Vaughan presiding.

Vaughan missed the first meeting on Jan. 7 because she had been in Uganda and didn’t make it back in time. Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson presided.

Vaughan did preside at the Jan. 21 City Council business meeting and had three people removed for yelling and chanting.

The new format for the first meeting of the month calls for the meeting to begin with 30 minutes of public comment, with each speaker being allowed three minutes to speak. After the City Council takes care of a short agenda, and in this case a very short agenda, any speakers who did not have the opportunity to speak at the beginning of the meeting are allowed three minutes each for as long as it takes.

This is a radical departure from the way the City Council has conducted its first meeting of the month for the past two years where that meeting was devoted to the public comment period and resolutions. Speakers were also allowed to address the City Council for five minutes, and from July 2019 through November 2019, the meetings were held offsite, one in each of the five City Council districts.

The agenda for the Feb. 3 meeting has a short consent agenda, where the items are not supposed to be discussed and are passed with one vote. Councilmember Sharon Hightower almost always tries to discuss Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise (MWBE) issues on at least one item. Sometimes Hightower is allowed to do so and sometimes Vaughan follows the policy of the City Council and removes the item from the consent agenda and has it placed on the general business agenda for discussion at the next meeting.

Under the old format this policy often caused problems because that meant a delay of a month before the item could be heard. But under the current format the delay would only be for two weeks.

The only general business item on the agenda is setting a public hearing for the annexation of property on Fairystone Drive.