The Greensboro City Council is scheduled to hold its yearly two-day retreat this week, virtually.
The retreat is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11 and Friday, Feb. 12 and presumably can be viewed by going to the city website and to the City Council calendar page at greensboro.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx and clicking on the video for the date. When the video is streaming the link will say, “In Progress.”
The primary purpose of the retreat is to set the council goals to direct City Manager David Parrish and staff on developing the budget. For the 2020 retreat, the city hired a facilitator to help the City Council establish long term goals and then they were supposed to set short term steps to achieve those goals.
The City Council could do that again this year with a virtual facilitator, but no information has been released about the retreat other than the times they will held on Thursday and Friday.
There is no agenda available to the public. The information that is available is that the meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11 and 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, Feb. 12.
City Councilmember Justin Outling has delayed “Java with Justin” from noon on Friday, Feb. 12 to 2 p.m. This is Outling’s monthly meeting with constituents, which because of the coronavirus is currently held virtually at www.Facebook.com/JOutling. If you don’t have time or the inclination to spend over 10 hours virtually with the City Council, Outling will no doubt include a brief summary of the retreat at his meeting.
One might assume that because of the effect the coronavirus restrictions have had on revenue, that the City Council would spend a good amount of time discussing the 2021-2022 budget, which it will approve sometime in June.
Having the budget projections and recommendations before the meeting would be helpful to any Greensboro resident interested in the topic, but they are not currently available.
With 2020 setting a record for homicides, 61, along with an increase in both aggravated assaults and assaults with a firearm, one might also assume that the City Council would discuss crime and the Police Department and perhaps the Cure Violence program run by City Councilmember Yvonne Johnson. The purpose of Cure Violence is to reduce violent crime and in particular homicides, and so far has cost the city about $900,000.