Board of Commissioners Special Meeting – Budget Review June 1, 2020

Meeting Agenda

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The Board of Commissioners will hold a remote meeting using the Zoom remote meeting platform on Monday, June 1, 2020 starting at 6:00 pm for:

  1. A workshop on the Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget
  2. To consider the establishment of a citizen steering committee on the Locally Preferred Alternative for the Lynx Silver Line and appointments to the committee
  3. Consider the use of parklets in public parking areas for temporary restaurant seating

0:00:07 |

Open meeting

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Hazen Blodgett – Town Manager

Presentation of budget information

Annual Operation Budget – Fiscal Year 2020 – 2021

0:01:25 |

Jeff Miller – Commissioner

Comments on rethinking expenditures and allocation of funds

Police / Fire / Public Works Budget Overview

0:02:08 |

Presentation of Public works budget

0:04:00 |

Presentation of Fire and EMS budget

0:05:38 |

Presentation of Police budget

0:00:00 |

Questions and Comments:

0:05:43 |

Larry Whitley – Commissioner

Comments about how Fire department went from a part time to full time department justifying expenditure

0:08:01 |

Renee Garner – Mayor Pro Tem

Comments on the budget for the Fire department is not excessive for a town our size or compared to other comparable towns

0:09:09 |

Jeff Miller – Resumes comments about Public Works being underfunded

0:11:20 |

John Higdon – Mayor

Asks for overview from C.J. O’Neill – Director of Public Works of budget for his department
Hazen Blodgett and C.J. O’Neill reply

0:14:15 |

Jeff Miller – Comments on why he feels Public Works is underfunded

0:15:23 |

Renee Garner – Questions about planters in downtown

Answered by C.J. O’Neill and Hazen Blodgett
An open discussion followed about tax rate and the fire and police departments

0:20:50 |

Jeff Miller – Additional comments about tax rate and fire department expenditures

0:22:13 |

Ken McCool – Commissioner

Questions about fire station on Purser Halsey park land

0:23:26 |

Renee Garner – Questioning chief of police about training curriculum, specifically de-escalation and bias training.

Answered by Chief Pennington

0:34:35 |

Larry Whitley – Speaks about the personal experience of being black and how blacks are treated by society and the police

0:41:12 |

Renee Garner – Questions to Hazen Blodgett if money can be found for bias and diversity training

0:44:46 |

Becky Hawke – Assistant Town Manager – Clarifying that all employees have taken a diversity training course in 2019, not 2016

0:46:04 |

Larry Whitley – Questions to town staff about status of monies to improve the Crestdale area

0:49:50 |

John Urban – Commissioner – Commenting about issuing bonds

Supporting comments from Mayor Higdon

0:52:20 |

Renee Garner – Wanted to discuss the software for the human resources department that has been raised in past budget sessions

0:56:40 |

Larry Whitely – Additional comments about racial equality then makes specific request from town management to provide a list of all persons on the town staff that make more than $80,000 per year and indicate their race.

0:59:02 |

Renee Garner – Requests an agenda for the October budget mini-conference

1:00:18 |


Discussing selection of 11 members for the citizens group to provide input on the Silver Line light rail through Matthews

John Higdon – Opening comments

Silver Line Advisory Committee Members and Proposal

1:06:26 |

Jeff Miller – Commenting that the list does not include key stakeholders, such as Novant, Family Dollars, Entertainment district, etc.

1:07:45 |

John Higdon – Comments on justification for the size and content of the current list

Renne Garner – Comments that Novant and Dollar Tree have been part of the process, but this panel is concentrating on resident concerns

Jeff Miller – Why doesn’t the board of commissioners have a chance to interview them before selecting as members of the committee

1:11:18 |

Larry Whitley – Comments that the committee selection was ad hoc and was put together for expediency

1:13:24 |

Renee Garner – Questions to a Public Works staff member about past meetings regarding the Sliver Line with Novant and Family Dollar (Dollar Tree)

1:15:18 |

John Urban – Commissioner

Comments about the names on the list and the lack of stakeholders, as mentioned by Jeff Miller

1:17:18 |

Renee Garner – Disagrees with John Urban on a few points

Dialogue between Renne Garner and John Urban

1:19:00 |

Ken McCool – Questions if there was an application process to select the names on the list and states this is the first he has seen the list

John Higdon – Responds to Ken McCool’s concerns

1:21:00 |

Larry Whitley – Agrees that the list was put together for expediency. We should approve the list then add or remove names at a later date

1:22:07 |

Renee Garner – Speaks in defense of the list selection process and names on the list

1:23:37 |

Jeff Miller – Questions the need to rush through the list since the commissioners received the 2030 plan only a few days ago
Larry Whitley – Wants to move forward and vote on the list

1:25:54 |

Larry Whitely – Moves to vote on the list – Votes Yes
Renee Garner – Second – Votes Yes
Ken McCool – No
Jeff Miller – No
John Urban – Yes
Dave Bland – Yes
John Higdon – Yes

John Higdon – Closing comments after the vote
Hazen Blodgett – Closing comments after the vote

1:29:03 |

Jeff Miller – Concerned important land owner stakeholders are not being represented
Renee Garner – States that land owner stakeholders have had meetings with CATS

1:30:54 |


Consider the use of parklets in public parking areas for temporary restaurant seating

Jay Camp – Director of Planning gives presentation

Topics – Parklets, street dining, parking lot dining

Proposal to use Parklets and Public Parking

1:38:00 |


1:38:40 |

Jeff Miller – Supports the concept

1:40:18 |

Renee Garner – Questions who pays for this reconfiguration, the town, business or shared expense
Jay Camp – Responds
Jeff Miller – Can tourism funds be used
Jeff Miller – Can traffic barriers be used in the parklets
Chief Pennington – Responds to Jeff Miller
John Higdon – Asks if public parks can be used
Renee Garner – What are other cities doing like this and what are their guidelines
Dave Bland – Gives examples of street parking in other cities

1:50:50 |

Agree to discuss this further in the June 8, 2020 Meeting

1:52:10 |

John Higdon – Closing remarks

1:53:05 |

Hazen Blodgett – Reminds the board about the mobility study

1:58:58 |