The Tuesday, June 7 Greensboro City Council meeting was not long, but it had its moments.
It is the first meeting in years in which security had to remove someone from the chamber. The young man who was asked to leave the meeting had been talking loudly and gesturing at the City Council but did not disrupt the meeting nearly as much as people have in the past who were allowed to stay.
He didn’t leave quietly and kept trying to give his three minutes of speaking time away as he was led out of the Katie Dorsett Council Chambers.
Another man shouted out “bull—-” during the explanation on the release of the body worn camera footage for the fatal shooting of Joseph Lopez on Nov. 20, 2021, and Mayor Nancy Vaughan said one more outburst and he would be asked to leave.
The complete body worn camera videos of the 10 Greensboro police officers who were on site during the incident are being released. But those who were asking for the release of the videos were talking so much amongst themselves, they were apparently unable to hear what City Attorney Chuck Watts was saying. Watts had to keep repeating that the court order was releasing all 10 body worn camera videos, plus a compilation of those videos prepared by the Greensboro Police Department.
Then At-large City Councilmember Yvonne Johnson, who wore a mask on her chin during the meeting, said that she had to leave the meeting but she wanted her vote recorded as yes on items I.7 authorizing $450,000 to The Servant Center and I.8 Authorizing $60,000 for the Juneteenth Festival.
Watts said that Johnson could not vote on items before the motion was made.
However, Mayor Nancy Vaughan suggested that the City Council not excuse Johnson from the meeting and then she would be recorded as voting yes on every item on the agenda.
Johnson agreed with that solution and was not excused from the meeting when she left.
But perhaps the most unusual occurrence at the meeting was that District 1 City Councilmember Sharon Hightower was not allowed to discuss a Consent Agenda item as she does at nearly every meeting.
According to City Council policy, items on the Consent Agenda cannot be discussed and if a councilmember has questions about a Consent Agenda item, that item is removed from the Consent Agenda and placed on the General Business Agenda at the next meeting.
The practice of the City Council during the past four years is that Hightower is exempt from this policy and allowed to ask questions and discuss Consent Agenda items as much as she wants.
But at the June 7 meeting, Vaughan adhered to the City Council policy and removed item G.2 extending the maturity date of a city loan to Wynnefield Lincoln Grove Limited Partnership to the Tuesday, June 21 City Council meeting.