The Greensboro City Council town hall meeting on Tuesday, May 7 in the Council Chambers may prove that enforcing the rules actually works.
At the last City Council meeting on April 16, Mayor Nancy Vaughan had security remove three people for chanting, yelling at the City Council and disrupting the meeting as they had been doing for months with no repercussions.
At Tuesday’s meeting there was no chanting or yelling. There were some loud murmurs when Peter Boykin spoke about the March for Trump to be held in June 15 at the Governmental Plaza in downtown Greensboro. The last time Boykin spoke at a City Council meeting about Trump he was shouted down repeatedly by small but vocal group in the audience.
The people who have been disrupting meetings were fairly well behaved and they all got to stay for as much of the meeting as they wanted.
Perhaps the purpose of the town hall to give people the opportunity to speak to the City Council about issues will be regained. For months it’s been the same group of less than ten people who come to the meetings, make the same speeches, and shout down anyone they disagree with.
A couple of people did speak about their confusion over the Greensboro Transit Advisory Commission (GTAC) that replaced the Greensboro Transit Authority (GTA). It’s reasonable that they were confused by the City Council action on April 16 because the City Council was confused.
The Council abolished the GTA and created the GTAC to replace it, but failed to appoint any members to the GTAC. The meeting that was scheduled as a meeting of the GTA, but would have actually been a meeting of the GTAC was canceled at the last minute when city staff realized the GTAC existed on paper but didn’t have any members. It was confusing.
However, later in the meeting the City Council fixed the problem by appointing all the old members of the GTA to the GTAC. The members will serve the terms to which they had originally been appointed to the GTA. It’s what the City Council intended to do in April, but somehow the appointment portion fell through the cracks.
Also Miss Greensboro 2019, Carlie Spencer spoke to the City Council about what she would like to do this year as Miss Greensboro.
But largely it was the same old crowd haranguing the City Council about the death of Marcus Deon Smith on Sept. 8, 2018 and demanding that the City Council fire Police Chief Wayne Scott because they don’t agree with the terms he used to describe the incident that resulted in Smith’s death.
The parents of Marcus Smith have filed a lawsuit against the city in federal court.
It’s possible that the usually raucous group was subdued because the meeting began on a somber note with a resolution honoring Greensboro Police Officer Jared Franks who died in a traffic accident in the line of duty on Nov. 10, 2018. Jared Franks was the son of Police Captain Jonathan Franks and nearly 100 police officers and supporters filled the chamber to honor him and for a resolution recognizing the week of May 12 through May 18 as Peace Officers Memorial Week.