The Tuesday, Dec. 7 meeting of the Greensboro City Council as the first regular meeting of the month was primarily devoted to the once-a-month public forum.

Previous City Councils have held public forums, also known as speakers from the floor, at every regular City Council meeting.  However, the current City Council decided to devote the first meeting of the month primarily to the public forum and not hold a public forum at the second meeting of the month.

During the height of the pandemic, when City Council meetings were held virtually, the City Council went months without holding any public forums.

However, at the Dec. 7 meeting there were 20 speakers from the floor on a variety of topics.  There were six speakers on the Hiatt Street trailer park issue, asking the City Council to take action so that the residents of 18 mobile homes in the Hiatt Street mobile home park would not be displaced by a developer who has had the property rezoned for an apartment complex.  None of the six speakers were residents of the mobile home park.

Most speakers at public forums are residents of Greensboro, but Tuesday night four speakers were residents of Pittsboro requesting that Greensboro clean up the water it discharges that makes its way into the Haw River. The particular concern was over two recent discharges of 1,4-Dioxane, which, according to the Greensboro Water Resources Department website, is “an emerging contaminant that has been classified by the US Environmental Protection Agency as ‘likely to be carcinogenic.’”

 Assistant City Manager Kim Sowell said the city was investigating the source of this contaminant but so far had been unable to find the industry that was releasing it into the Greensboro wastewater system.

There were six speakers at the public forum on the death of Marcus Deon Smith on Sept. 8, 2018, and the Smith family wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Greensboro.

Local artist Phillip Marsh spoke about the problems working with the city staff to get street art projects finalized.

There was one speaker against the income tax deduction for mortgage interest, one speaker about parking issues in Southside, one speaker who read a prayer, and Ron Tuck spoke about the need for highspeed rail.