The first City Council meeting that ordinary residents of Greensboro were allowed to attend was uneventful almost until the end.
At the very end of the meeting, during the council comment period where each member of the City Council is afforded the opportunity to talk about anything they want, Councilmember Goldie Wells said, “I would like to see what could be done about renaming this chamber to honor Katie Dorsett. She passed away about a year ago now, and she served on this council and then she served as a county commissioner and then she went on to serve in the North Carolina Senate. I would really like for you to look into how we could change the name of just this chamber in her honor.”
Interim City Manager Chris Wilson said that the staff could prepare a resolution or if the City Council wanted to do it, Wells could make a motion and they could vote.
Wells then made the motion to name the Council Chamber for Katie Dorsett and it passed by an 8-0 vote. Councilmember Michelle Kennedy was absent from the meeting.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said they had discussed doing a little more than just changing the name of the council chamber and suggested a picture.
Wilson said that he would bring back something for the City Council to review.
In 1983, Dorsett became the first African-American woman elected to the Greensboro City Council and she served until 1986. Dorsett was elected to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners in 1990 and served until 1992, when she was appointed secretary of the North Carolina Department of Administration by Gov. Jim Hunt, making her the first African-American woman to hold a North Carolina cabinet post. Dorsett then served in the North Carolina state Senate from 2002 to 2010.
Dorsett died on July 7, 2020.
The one item on the agenda that had the potential for some discussion was the condemnation of small parcels of The Carroll Companies properties on North Eugene Street and Bellemeade Street for the Eugene and Bellemeade streetscape project.
After the motion to approve the consent agenda had already been made, Vaughan said that staff had asked that items two, three and four be removed from the consent agenda. The motion was amended to approve the consent agenda minus those items and it passed 8-0.
There was no discussion or explanation about why the condemnations of The Carroll Companies properties were being removed from the consent agenda.
After the meeting, City Attorney Chuck Watts said that the city was working with The Carroll Companies on the streetscape project and the condemnations had been placed on the consent agenda in error.
The Carroll Companies owns this publication.