The second Greensboro City Council offsite town hall meeting held Monday, Aug 5 at the Union Square campus on Gate City Boulevard wasn’t as successful as the first with less than 30 people other than city staff in attendance.
Many of the speakers were the same crowd that have been coming to the town hall meetings for over a year, saying pretty much the same things every month.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan participated by phone and City Councilmembers Yvonne Johnson and Sharon Hightower were absent. City Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter chaired the meeting.
According to the current plan, which was never discussed publicly by the City Council, one town hall meeting will be held in each of the five City Council districts. This was the District 2 meeting. Other than a brief run down of what the city is doing in District 2 given by City Manager David Parrish, and the declaration by one speaker that he was going to run against District 2 City Councilmember Goldie Wells, there wasn’t much mention of District 2 during the meeting.
Maurice Warren said he was tired of the city “spending money for nothing” and the police department not enforcing the laws. He said, “The ex-leaders that we have sitting at this table don’t really give a damn about us.”
He spoke about how mad he was at the way the city was being run and finished up his tirade by saying, “I’m thinking about running for Goldie’s seat.”
When it was her turn to speak, Wells said that Warren had already announced he was going to run against her, so that wasn’t news.
She added, “I was elected by folks and as long as I’m here I’m going to do my best.”
Many of the speakers Monday night spoke against a fare increase for SCAT, which provides transportation for disabled individuals. There was a SCAT fare increase in the budget but the City Council voted to delay it.
The city manager said at the July 16 City Council meeting that the staff was going to study the SCAT service and come back with a recommendation before the end of the year.
So it was a little odd that the speakers were speaking against a fare increase that for now has been taken off the table. One person who was at the July meeting of the Greensboro Transit Advisory Commission said that Councilmember Hightower, who is the City Council liaison for that board, announced at the meeting that there would be a SCAT fare increase in January.
Other councilmembers when asked said that they understood the decision had been put on hold, and that the City Council had made no decision on increasing fares for SCAT.