The Greensboro City Council virtual work session that had been scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, has been rescheduled for Friday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.

City Council meetings on Fridays are as rare as hens’ teeth.  The City Council can go decades without ever finding the need to meet on a Friday, so this is rare event indeed.

According to the agenda the meeting will both be in the Katie Dorsett Council Chamber and be held virtually.  Since the City Council decided in August that all meetings will be held virtually until further notice, the virtual part is no surprise.

What should be a surprise is that Mayor Nancy Vaughan and a number of councilmembers attended the first show at the Tanger Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 2, where over 3,000 people sat in one room to hear Rhiannon Giddens and Friends.  So, according to City Council practice, it’s safe for people to attend entertainment events indoors, but not safe for them to attend a City Council meeting where there is plenty of room for social distancing. 

Masks were required of those attending the City Council meetings in July when actual meetings in the Katie Dorsett Council Chamber were held.  Or to be more precise masks were required of those attending the meeting, but not of the members of the City Council or senior city staff.  Back in April the City Council went to “hybrid” meetings where the City Council and city staff were in the Council Chambers, but people speaking at the meeting did so virtually.  But in August the City Council skipped over the hybrid meeting and went all the way back to fully virtual meetings.

On the agenda for the work session on Friday is another American Rescue Plan update. Evidently when the city is handed $59.4 million by the federal government, it takes a lot of meetings to discuss how to spend that unexpected largess.  The city used $4.8 million to balance the 2021-2022 budget, but the remainder of the money is available.

The City Council will also get a transportation update.

In keeping with an unwritten council policy there is no further information about the American Rescue Plan update.  However, in another unusual move, the city has already posted the transportation update report.  The practice has been to post the reports for work sessions hours, not days, prior to the meeting. 

The transportation update report will cover:

“The MPO [Metropolitan Planning Organization] and Transportation Planning”

“Traffic Impact Analysis”

“Neighborhood Traffic Management Options”

“Transit Service Contract”