The Tuesday, March 1 Greensboro City Council meeting was almost like a pre-COVID meeting, but not quite.
The plexiglass panels that separated everyone from everyone else were all down except one to separate city staff from the public. All the plexiglass panels on the council dais had been removed. When the plexiglass panels were in place when two councilmembers wanted to converse during the meeting, they had to slide their chairs back and put their heads together. It defeated the purpose of the plexiglass panels, but councilmembers did not stop talking one on one.
Also, masks were not required at the March 1 meeting. Most city staff members and members of the audience did not wear masks, but for some unknown reason most city councilmembers did. Mayor Nancy Vaughan didn’t wear a mask and Councilmember Hugh Holston took his off shortly after the meeting started. Councilmember Sharon Hightower started off wearing her mask while speaking, but then took it off to speak, which as usual was much of the meeting.
Councilmember Nancy Hoffmann participated in the meeting remotely and Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter was absent.
Councilmembers Goldie Wells, Yvonne Johnson, Justin Outling and Tammi Thurm generally wore masks except when they were speaking, despite the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Vaughan said that she expected the City Council to continue to allow councilmembers and the public to participate in the meetings either in person or via Zoom. She said that in her opinion it allowed more public participation.
Vaughan also said that she intended for the City Council work sessions to continue to be held virtually. Work sessions are more informal meetings of the City Council that before COVID were held in the Plaza Level Conference Room. Votes are rarely taken at work sessions, but items are moved forward by a consensus of council.