Greensboro City Council members met with the public — following a closed session — in the Council Chamber on Sept. 1 for the first meeting of the month.
Agenda topics ranged from ordinance codes to budgetary issues to deciding what the month of September should sponsor (sickle cell awareness and hunger relief).
Open floor public comments during the council meeting began with Greensboro Police Department Chief Wayne Scott recounting a fatal shooting that happened downtown recently. This retelling prefaced Scott’s emphasis on increasing police visibility through new LED lights placed on patrol cars and more city cameras.
“To increase safety is to increase visibility,” Scott said.
Also during the public comment period, a community member criticized the city’s plan to increase the living wage of Greensboro employees over a five-year period.
“People can’t gradually pay their bills…people need a fair and living wage, or family wage, immediately,” she said.
Following this period, the council passed the consent agenda unanimously and moved on to public hearing matters.
These topics focused on ordinances concerning nuisances and minimum housing requirements. The latter refers to the minimum state residences of Greensboro must maintain in order to be fit for human habitation.
Much of the discussion about the minimum housing ordinance was about defining terms within the ordinance and adding guidelines to assure citizens of parity when inspected.
“I’d like to see more specificity,” Councilman Mike Barber said about the language in the ordinances.
“I think it’s an excellent point…[about] city council’s concerns [of] transparency and accountability,” Councilman Justin Outling, the District 3 council member who represents College Hill and nearby areas, said.
After reviewing the city codes, the council members heard general business matters.
Most of the business agenda revolved around agreeing on contracts with NGOs to stimulate workforce development in Greensboro and to improve city utilities like water lines.
The city of Greensboro posts their agendas online, and videos of city council meetings are also available.