The Greensboro City Council is scheduled to hold a virtual meeting on Monday, August 3 at 5:30 p.m.

The meeting is on Monday, August 3 and not Tuesday, August 4 because traditionally National Night Out is held on the first Tuesday in August. This year National Night Out has been postponed to Tuesday, Oct. 6, but the City Council did not reschedule its meeting to the usual meeting day.

The first meeting of the month is primarily for public comment. City councils are required by the state to hold one public comment period a month. For years the City Council held a public comment period at the beginning of every meeting, but the public comment periods had become so raucous that the decision was made to dedicate one meeting to public comment and one to business.

That didn’t work either and the public comment periods were no less raucous than they had been, and only having one business meeting a month made that business meeting exceedingly long.

So now the City Council agenda for the first meeting has a few items that are either time sensitive or considered noncontroversial

The raucous public comment period issue has been solved by the virtual meeting format due to the coronavirus.   Written public comments may be submitted, but at the meeting they are not read or summarized. Mayor Nancy Vaughan usually notes how many comments have been received with a word or two about the topic. The comments are available for city councilmembers or anyone else to read.

The public is not allowed to comment virtually during the public comment period, although people are allowed to participate virtually when the council holds a virtual public hearing.

There are two contracts on the agenda for approval. Councilmember Sharon Hightower initiates a discussion on the Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise (MWBE) goals and percentages for many if not most of the contracts that come to the City Council. Both of these contractors met the MWBE goals, so there doesn’t appear there would be a lot to discuss, but in the past, even when the goals were met, Hightower has complained that the goals were not high enough. So the fact that the goals were met doesn’t mean the contracts won’t be discussed.

The virtual meeting will be broadcast live on the Greensboro Television Network, which can be accessed through the city’s website.