The Tuesday, April 4 meeting of the Greensboro City Council will follow a different agenda from previous meetings.
City Manager Tai Jaijeoba, unlike all previous Greensboro city managers, is not willing to wait to the end of the meeting to make his comments.
Up until now, after the City Council has completed the business items on the agenda that require votes, the next item is, “Matters to be discussed by the Mayor and members of the Council (If time permits).” Each councilmember is then given as much time as they want to talk about all the wonderful things they have done since the last meeting. Councilmembers also bring up issues of particular concern that they have not been able to get on the agenda.
After “Council Comments” is “Matters to be presented by the City Manager.”
At the March 21 meeting, Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “We are going to have a new item on our agenda, but in the future it will be at the beginning of the agenda and that will be the city manager’s report.”
Jaiyeoba said, “The reason for that is that there are some items that need to come before you but they don’t fall into a project particularly, but just need some presentation from members of the community or even from staff.”
The result is that Jaiyeoba has had his personal portion of the meetin,g where he can bring up the topic of his choosing, moved from after the city councilmembers at the end of the meeting to the beginning of the meeting.
It appears that “Matters to be presented by City Attorney” will continue to be the last item on the agenda before adjournment.
It is also worth noting that Jaiyeoba has reserved half of the seats facing the City Council in the Katie Dorsett Council Chamber for city staff. Before Jaiyeoba took over as city manager, the city staff sat in the seats to the City Council’s left. In an auditorium where people purchase seats, these would be the cheap seats, more or less like sitting in the end zone in a football stadium. However, since city staff usually leaves after their agenda item is heard and generally are not that interested in other agenda items, it seemed to make sense.
Under Jaiyeoba’s seating arrangement, the city staff takes precedence over the people of the city attending a City Council meeting and, according to the new agenda arrangement, Jaiyeoba takes precedence over the City Council.