The Greensboro City Council will hold its once a month business meeting on Tuesday, July 20 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

This will be the second meeting where a limited number of people are allowed to attend for a limited amount of time.  According to the agenda, people who wish to speak on an agenda item will be ushered into the room to speak and then ushered out again.

Also, according to the agenda, everyone in the council chamber is required to wear a mask and those who don’t are subject to arrest.  Except the regulation that requires everyone to wear a mask doesn’t apply to the members of the City Council or to the interim city manager, assistant city managers, city attorney or police chief.

Why the mask mandate doesn’t apply uniformly has not been explained, although Mayor Nancy Vaughan did say at the July 13 meeting that she hoped no one had to be arrested.

The first phase in converting the compensation system for city employees from a merit based system to a step system is, as Interim City Manager Chris Wilson promised, on the agenda for a final decision by the City Council.

Making this conversion from a plan where employees get raises based on their evaluations to one where all employees at the same step get the same raise regardless of performance has never been requested by the City Council.

Councilmember Sharon Hightower has repeatedly requested that the city make the change and the funding to start making the change was included in the Manager’s Recommended Budget for 2021-2022.  During a budget work session, the council appeared to be split 4-4 on whether to approve a step plan. 

City Councilmember Yvonne Johnson was absent from that meeting, so it would appear that Johnson will have the deciding vote.  However, Councilmember Tammi Thurm has spoken both for and against the step plan, so because Thurm spoke in favor of it in June won’t necessarily result in a yes vote in July.

In the employee survey conducted by the Human Resources Department, 56 percent of employees said they were in favor of the current merit system and 22 percent said they were in favor of the step plan. 

The City Council talks a lot about the importance of stakeholder input, but in this case the stakeholders are overwhelmingly opposed to the step plan and the City Council may implement it anyway.