The first City Council meeting of the month is reserved for resolutions and the public forum, also called speakers from the floor.
The Tuesday, April 5 City Council meeting agenda originally had no public hearing or general business items. However, the budget ordinance making the adjustments necessary to allocate $1 million to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum (ICRCM) was removed from the consent agenda and placed on the general business agenda before the meeting.
There was no discussion on the budget ordinance that financed the $1 million appropriation to the Civil Rights Museum that was approved by the City Council at its annual retreat on Wednesday, March 23 and paid to the Civil Rights Museum on Thursday, March 31. According to the budget ordinance, the $1 million was from the “ABC Profit Distribution” fund.
The vote to approve the budget ordinance was 8-1 with Councilmember Nancy Hoffmann voting no. Hoffmann also cast the only vote against making the allocation to the Civil Rights Museum.
The consent agenda passed with a 9-0 vote. However, Councilmember Sharon Hightower asked that the resolution authorizing a contract of $960,000 to Westat Inc. to conduct a household travel survey for the City of Greensboro be removed from the consent agenda so she could vote no.
Hightower said that the contract had no Minority/Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) participation. The memo from the MWBE office notes that because the project is paid for with funds from the US Department of Transportation, it is exempt from the city’s M/WBE program, but that M/WBE firms were given the opportunity to submit a bid.
The resolution passed on a 7-2 vote with Councilmembers Hightower and Yvonne Johnson voting no.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said that 16 people had signed up to speak at the meeting, but only 13 spoke and no one spoke virtually for the first time since the City Council starting allowing speakers again at its public meetings.
Zero virtual speakers verses 12 real in life speakers? I guess Mandate Mayors disenfranchisment of the public not being allowed to address her highness in person is now evident.