The last meeting of the Greensboro City Council on Monday, April 1 was loud.
The next meeting on Tuesday, April 16 is going to be long, but hopefully not as loud.
With 72 items on the agenda, even if the City Council flies through the meeting, it’s going to take some time to handle everything.
It does appear that what had the potential to be the most contentious item on the agenda, a request for an independent review of the Marcus Deon Smith incident will likely be removed from the agenda.
Marcus Smith’s parents have filed suit against the city which should take the idea of launching another investigation off the table. When asked about that agenda item City Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter said, “There have been two investigations and one review of the officers’ actions in this incident. I don’t really feel I can speak on anything else since the lawsuit has been filed.”
But even if the investigation is removed from the agenda, it still leaves 71 items. Having 32 items on the consent agenda should speed things up somewhat. Items on the consent agenda are not supposed to be discussed and all are voted on with one vote. Usually Councilmember Sharon Hightower finds a way to ask a number of questions about one or two consent agenda items. The rule is that if a councilmember has questions about a consent agenda item then that item is removed from the agenda and placed on the regular agenda for the next meeting. However, the rules are different for Hightower who does pretty much what she wants and she almost always wants to ask questions about consent agenda items.
But what is most likely going to slow things down are the rezoning requests. There are eight on the agenda and five of those also involve annexation. When people request that their property be annexed by Greensboro it is usually because they want city water and sewer. Under the current city policy a property has to be annexed before the city will provide it with city water and sewer.
One other item that has not attracted much attention but could result in some discussion is one that calls for the abolishment of the Greensboro Transit Authority and the creation of the Greensboro Transit Advisory Commission.
An authority has a lot more power than an advisory commission. The GTA has been operating as more of an advisory commission than an authority for years, but it is odd that there has not been more publicity about dissolving the GTA.