This morning I sat through a Greensboro City Council Briefing Session that lasted almost 4 hours. The Council did make a few decisions, but most of the meeting was wasted with presentations that didn't include much information that the council members did not know already.
The council members discussed appointing alternates to the boards and commissions because there are so many absences at the meetings. They decided that the only board that needs alternate members is the Board of Adjustments. Because the findings made by the Board of Adjustments are final unless there is a legal appeal within 30 days of the ruling, the council felt that there should always be enough members present to make a ruling. The alternate members will be asked to attend every meeting, but will only be able to vote when replacing an absent member.
Representatives from Action Greensboro and Downtown Greensboro Inc. gave their usual "We're doing a wonderful job" reports and estimates of how much the Center City Park will cost. DGI will get some money because of the extra tax the City Council passed last year on property owners in the Central Business District. Because the taxing authority (in this case, I guess it is DGI) gets a percentage of the taxes collected in their area from Guilford County Sales Tax revenue. I think that Ray Gibbs said that the extra money, which will be around $100,000, will be used for park maintenance. I think the city council agreed to spend $200,000 toward park maintenance. At last month's briefing, I thought the city agreed to pay up to $450,000 for park maintenance. Of course, nobody knows what the cost of the park will be and Action Greensboro asked for a five year trial period to figure out what will happen.
Adam Fischer from GDOT started to give an impressive presentation about why the city is adding those annoying medians on so many streets. The council members would have no part of that. They interupted so many times during the presentation that I'm not sure the presentation was ever completed. A lively discussion ended with GDOT winning, as usual, and very little accomplished.
After that, it was time for a presentation about proposed changes to the city's noise ordinance. By that time, several of the members had left and those who were still there were looking at their watches. There seemed to be lots of concern about how street noise could hurt the outside eating and drinking businesses on Elm Street. The biggest problem is that nobody knows how loud is too loud, and most don't understand noise/decibels?
The presentation was confusing and it was decided to bring it up later after the council had time to test noise by using a decibel meter. We were told that these meters cost around $3,000 each and that the city will probably purchase 5 as soon as possible and add more until every officer has one.