A 14-year-old with a smart phone can record just about any event and have it posted on the Internet in minutes, with good definition and excellent sound quality.

Which makes it baffling that the City of Greensboro, with a budget of nearly $700 million, is unable to record and broadcast a work session of the Greensboro City Council so that the people participating in the meeting can be seen and heard.

The City Council work session in Plaza Level Conference Room on Thursday, Feb. 16 was the worst yet in terms of sound quality.  It sounds as if the city found some old microphone that was left outside during Hurricane Hazel in 1954 and have been put back together with duct tape and paperclips.

Mayor Nancy Vaughan was on vacation and missed the meeting.  Presumably, Vaughan will attempt to watch the meeting and discover that, while the meetings technically are recorded and available for public viewing, in reality understanding what is being said during the meeting is extremely difficult.

However, while it was difficult to understand every word said by city staff and city councilmembers, the graphics in the presentations could be seen.

City Councilmember Goldie Wells complimented City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba on the excellent graphics and said that she particularly liked the colors used.

But the graphic at the top of this article should be disturbing to the residents of Greensboro and the City Council.

According to this graphic, the “City Staff” is positioned between the “Community” and the “Council,” which the community elected to represent them.  Nobody voted for a single member of city staff to represent them.

One councilmember had issues with this graphic and spoke up about them.

City Councilmember Tammi Thurm said, “I have one other point or an issue with the info-graphic that has the public and the council and the city staff in the middle.  I think it separates too much the council from the people, and being reactive and responsive to the community.  And I’d like us to reimagine this graphic so that its more of a circle with arrows that shows all [garbled] … communication.  Because I think there is so much more than this and I think this is somewhat misleading.”

The info-graphic may “misleading” as Thurm suggested, but it is also informative.  According to the graphic, Jaiyeoba sees his job as standing between the people of Greensboro and their elected officials.