The Greensboro City Council’s eyes are definitely bigger than its plate when it comes to work sessions.
Since this City Council went without work sessions for months, there is a huge backlog of items that need to be discussed and that is causing scheduling problems.
The work session held at 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2 began with a report from Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau President Henri Fourrier and Greensboro Coliseum Manager Matt Brown, because they had been on the agenda for the Oct. 20 work session and the council ran out of time before they could give their presentations.
On Monday, the meeting began with City Manager David Parrish suggesting the Council plan to eliminate the “Behavioral Health Update” from the agenda because the City Council wouldn’t have time. By eliminating it in the beginning, at least those giving the report didn’t have to wait through the meeting only to find that their report had been continued.
Parrish was correct. The work session adjourned to a closed session at 5 p.m. and the regular City Council meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. didn’t start until 6 p.m.
There are numerous solutions to the work session not being completed and still running over and the regular City Council meeting starting late. One would be for the City Council to meet more than two days a month, as previous City Councils have, holding the work session on any day of the month when there isn’t a regular City Council meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m.
If the City Council can’t possibly meet more than two days a month, then the work sessions could be scheduled earlier in the day, to allow enough time to complete them before the regular meeting. Or the work session agenda could be reduced to a number of items that could be completed in the time allotted, which means the City Council will never work through the backlog.
Having all the work sessions be so rushed defeats the purpose of the work session, which traditionally has been for the City Council to get information and discuss topics in more detail than at a regular City Council meeting.
It should be a time when councilmembers can ask all the questions they have and have time to get those questions answered without delaying the regular meeting.