Stray dogs were the first topic of discussion at the town hall meeting held by District 5 City Councilmember Tammi Thurm at the Griffin Recreation Center on Hilltop Road Monday evening, Oct. 21, which seven people attended.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan and At-large Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter also attended.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, Greensboro doesn’t handle stray dogs – that comes under the jurisdiction of Guilford County, which is in the process of building a new animal shelter.

If Greensboro ever decided it wanted to take it over animal control issues, it’s a given that there would not be any objection from the Guilford County Board of Commissioners.

Two men evidently attended the meeting for the purpose of getting something done about a couple of pairs of stray dogs that have been terrorizing their neighborhood off Eagle Road.

Thrum said that she would call Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston and she suggested that they call Alston also because animal control is a county not a city function.

It appeared everyone came with something to say. Thurm talked about trying to get bus service out in that area of the city and said, “I’ve asked about bus routes out this way and I don’t see that in the near future because it’s so expensive.”

An employee of the Adams Farm Community Association said, “We have 1,584 homes, 1,000 apartments and over 6,000 residents and I have never had anyone call about a bus route in Adam’s Farm. I’ve never heard anyone ask about it.”

There was also a discussion of panhandlers. A man asked if something could be done about the panhandlers standing in the median because it was so dangerous, and also if the city could do something about the trash the panhandlers leave behind.

Vaughan said, “They are not supposed to stand in the median because that is a safety issue.” She added that police were supposed to get panhandlers to move to shoulders, but right now police are spread a little thin.

Abuzuaiter said that she would like to see the city bring back the licenses for panhandlers. She said having the panhandlers come down to city hall to get their free license would at least give the city an opportunity to let them know about services that are available.

There was also a discussion of affordable housing. Chuck McQueary asked about the definition of affordable housing and said the name was confusing.

The newly funded Cure Violence program was discussed briefly. Vaughan said the two neighborhoods that would be covered by the program were Smith Homes and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Thurm noted that those two neighborhoods had the most violent crime, but if they expanded the program to three neighborhoods the area with the third highest violent crime rate in the city was in District 5.

One correction: The town hall meeting at Elizabeth’s Pizza mentioned in an earlier article was held by At-large City Councilmember Michelle Kennedy. Thurm was present and answered a number of questions, since the meeting was held in her district, but it wasn’t her meeting.