It’s difficult to follow what’s going on at a Greensboro City Council meeting and it’s even more difficult when the City Council doesn’t follow its own rules.
The Tuesday, Jan. 2 meeting had two controversial items on the agenda and also was the monthly public forum where the public is invited to speak on non-agenda items.
People are free to speak on agenda items at any City Council meeting, but the first meeting of the month the public is invited to speak about items not on the agenda.
The two controversial items were a resolution calling for an end to the “conflict” in Gaza and the financing of buying yard waste carts in order to end loose leaf collection.
The speakers about the conflict in Gaza all spoke during the public forum even though almost all of them referred to the resolution that at that point the City Council had already passed.
According to council policy and common sense, the City Council should have heard from those opposed to and in favor of the “Resolution For Peace And Support” before voting on the resolution. The fact that the speakers were only invited to speak after the City Council had considered and passed the resolution certainly sends the message loud and clear that the City Council doesn’t care what its constituents have to say about this issue.
The other controversial topic was ending loose leaf collection. Most of the speakers opposing loose leaf collection spoke long before the issue came up on the agenda, during speakers from the floor on non-agenda items, even though the item was on the agenda.
However, some speakers on ending loose leaf collection actually spoke during the discussion on loose leaf collection. Notably Isa Abuzuaiter, the husband of City Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter, who spoke in favor of ending loose leaf collection spoke during this time.
Candidates in the March 5 primary should be lined up to give campaign speeches at the Tuesday, Feb. 6 meeting. In the past candidates have not been allowed to give campaign speeches at City Council public forums, but at the Jan. 2 a candidate for District Court judge did just that.