District 3 City Councilmember Justin Outling held the monthly “Java with Justin” meeting at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16, but not at the previously disclosed location.

It turned out that the Dolce Aroma coffee shop was closed, so Outling moved the meeting down the street to Cheesecakes by Alex.

Walking south on Elm to the new location, Outling saw several folks who seemed surprised to see him headed away from the meeting instead of toward it, until he told them of the change in location.

It all worked out pretty well with an even dozen people at the meeting with a wide variety of concerns from the proliferation of cell phone towers to bail bonds.

Outling is one of the better informed members of the City Council but he admitted to not knowing much about how cell towers were sited. However, he promised to either find out or find someone who knew.

David Sevier, chair of the Criminal Justice Advisory Commission, asked about an effort to revise the bail bond procedure, which is not actually a City Council issue, but Outling agreed that the practice of keeping people in jail, not because they committed a crime but because they were financially unable to post bail, was wrong and needed to be fixed.

Outling noted that the contract to haul Greensboro’s garbage from the transfer station to the Randolph County landfill was being awarded to Hillco Transport Co. because it was the only bidder that had a Minority and Women Business Enterprise subcontractor.

What makes this interesting is that this is a sole source contract, so there was no requirement that the companies that submitted proposals make a good faith effort to have MWBE subcontractors, because they had no subcontractors.

According to Outling this is an example of how contracts will be awarded under the new MWBE plan where all contracts will go through the MWBE process.

When asked about recruiting a new police chief, Outling said that he hoped they could find someone as good as Police Chief Wayne Scott who is retiring in January 2020.

Outling said, “He’s not a good chief. He’s a great chief.”

And he added, “Working with him I got to see just how exceptional he was.”

Outling was also asked about the rezoning at 1302 New Garden Road, which is on the agenda for the Tuesday, Aug. 20 City Council meeting.

Outling said that while he had not made up his mind and would not do so until he heard the presentations at the City Council meeting and heard what his fellow councilmembers had to say, at this point, “I don’t see a good basis for the rezoning.”

Some other traffic concerns were mentioned and also the ongoing controversy among the groups that provide services to the homeless population in Greensboro.