Tuesday, Dec. 20 is the final scheduled meeting for the Greensboro City Council in 2022, and it’s a doozy.
For the City Council, the afternoon begins at 4 p.m. with a work session in the Plaza Level Conference Room. These work sessions are purportedly available online but the sound and video quality is so poor that it is difficult to determine who is speaking or what is being said. As usual the agenda for the work session does not include attachments. The two work session agenda items are an update on American Rescue Plan funds and a closed session. No additional information is available.
The regular City Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Katie Dorsett Council Chambers, but when a closed session is scheduled before the meeting the open session often starts late.
The council has a long agenda to cover with 33 items on the consent agenda, which according to City Council policy is not discussed and all items are passed with one vote. However, in reality City Councilmember Sharon Hightower usually has several consent agenda items that she wants to discuss and is allowed to do so. The other seven councilmembers can have an item removed for discussion at the next City Council meeting, but Hightower gets to ask questions and discuss consent agenda items as she sees fit.
The agenda also includes 14 public hearing items. The public hearing items include three rezoning requests and five annexation and original zoning requests. The requests for annexation and original zoning are considered together.
For each rezoning, annexation and original zoning case, proponents and opponents are allowed a total of 20 minutes each to present their cases to the City Council and that does not include time for council discussion. Rezoning and original zoning requests without opposition are often approved as quickly as the City Council can vote, but even one opponent may cause an item to take over an hour to resolve.
The agenda also includes 12 general business Items. Anyone is allowed to speak for three minutes on general business items. However, at the one business meeting held each month there is no public forum where people are allowed to speak to the City Council on the topic of their choosing.
And the accomplishments are……nothing!