On Thursday, June 4, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners decided not to allow any in-person speakers at a meeting that night, and also decided to move the meeting. The location of the meeting, which was scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m., was not set by 2 p.m. on Thursday.
The June 4 Board of Commissioners meeting was supposed to be held in the Old Guilford County Court House in Downtown Greensboro – a downtown that’s been the scene of protests and riots for days. That was one consideration in moving the meeting.
Guilford County Clerk to the Board Robin Keller explained the changes in a message to media outlets earlier in the day.
“We anticipate ongoing peaceful protests this evening and, out of respect for the planned events, we do not wish to disturb the protests with staff traffic entering and exiting the area during the protests,” Keller wrote. “We are working to find a better location to hold the meeting now. We are also encouraging many of our board members to participate virtually.”
Thirty speakers from the public were expected to be allowed to come in and make their case in-person to the commissioners as to what they would or wouldn’t like to see included in the new 2020-2021 county budget that the board is expected to approve later this month. Those speakers who were signed up have been given instructions as to how to speak at the meeting virtually – though, even when that’s been done at the regular meeting room in the Old Guilford County Court House, the process still has had major glitches. So the Rhino Times is predicting that, with a make-shift system set up at a new location just hours before the meeting, that part of the meeting will not go well at all.
The public can watch the meeting at the GoToWebinar platform on a computer, tablet or smartphone at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6639044030221124110.
The county also cited an 8 p.m. curfew put in place for the cities of Greensboro and High Point after the protests and rioting of the past week over the death of George Floyd. The June 4 email from the Keller states: “I have discussed with the Manager and the Chairman options for canceling the meeting; however, we had previously noticed the public hearing on the budget and canceling would require an additional 10-day notice window before we can hold another public hearing pushing our budget adoption schedule further back.”
Keller went on to ask the media to please inform the public that they can submit their comments for the public hearing in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.