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Friday, July 18, 2014

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of July 15, 2014

I began video recording the City Council in 2012, because of my desire that the City do it on their own as any modern 21st century community began doing long ago. I had people tell me that they couldn't make it to the meetings, but they would like to see what is going on. I was also told by some council members that my summaries did not truly reflect the record, so having a video/audio recording cannot be misinterpreted.

So below is the City Council meeting. With each agenda item, you can click on the links and it will take you to that specific point in the meeting. You can always drag the marker on the video display to the point in the broadcast that you are interested in seeing.

Agenda about the City Council meeting of July 15, 2014

Thoughts about the Hickory City Council meeting - July 15, 2014

Invocation by Rev. Bill Garrard, Retired United Methodist Pastor

Special Presentations
A. Proclamation for National Federation of the Blind of Catawba County Day to Mr. Dawson Hart 
B. Recognition of the Hickory Crawdads Staff and Connie Kincaid for Crawdad’s All-Star Bash, June 16, 2014
C. Presentation of Retiring Members of Volunteer Boards and Commissions

Persons Requesting to Be Heard
A. Mr. Jeff Hines regarding Horseford Cove and the Glenn Hilton Park Area - (per Hickory Inc.) - addressed Council on concerns of debris, pollution and sediment in the Horseford Cove area. He discussed measures that had been taken in the past to correct some of the problems in this area.
B. James Thomas Shell - (per Hickory Inc.) - discussed the ten reasons why Hickory is not attracting and keeping young adults in the area.
C. Meredith Ross - (per Hickory Inc.) - spoke to Council regarding the Old Lenoir Road Business Association. She presented photos of businesses located in the area.
D. J.D. Ross - (per Hickory Inc.) -  addressed Council also on the Old Lenoir Road Business Association. He discussed the difficulty of maneuvering on the streets in Hickory. He would like to see Welcome signs from Old Lenoir Road directing people to downtown Hickory.
E. Larry Pope - (per Hickory Inc.) - discussed an application that he had submitted for the Citizens Advisory Board. He also discussed the issuance of Community Development Block Grant funds and representation in Ward 4... also he has called his Ward representative four times and has not had a phone call returned.
F. Tami Abernathy - (per Hickory Inc.)  - Ms. Tami Abernathy spoke to Council regarding needs that should be addressed in the Ridgeview Community... Only has seen her ward representative Hank Guess at the Ridgeview Reunion - none besides that.

Hound Note: Check out the tone of the Mayor towards everyone else and then the tone towards Larry. The Mayor isn't going to comment on what I said, because he knows I get to rebut it publicly, and with near immediacy, in this forum, but I encourage him to address what I have said. I certainly am cursing the darkness, and will continue to do so, as I shine my light into that darkness.

Mr. Hines issue needs to be remediated. We're going to allow that garbage to build up in that major cove. while we study the issue? That seems unheathy.

Meredith and J.D. had a positive message about the Old Highway 70 association of businesses and corridor and they came before the council without a hand out. We don't often see that. They shouldn't expect anything from the council until they can provide a photo-op. This council has already chosen how they want to confiscate and disburse the eggs.

Larry Pope has a legitimate gripe, I have seen the mayor basically respond with some quip every time Larry speaks. I have witnessed it time and time again. If you get up and support the Council or are an insider, then the Mayor and this Council have a completely different manner in which they will treat you as opposed to when you say something that they judge as critical, especially when there is a history. Some of that can be dismissed as Human Nature, but as a governmental body, these people shouldn't be so overt in how they expressly support some cause and summarily dismiss and tune out others. This Council has the rest of the meeting. This Persons requesting to be Heard is supposed to be for the public to express themselves. Why does the Mayor feel it is incumbent upon himself to take over this part of the meeting, especially when he refuses to allow a back and forth dialogue with people he doesn't agree with? 

Larry Pope also has a legitimate issue with the same non-profits always get the money and Hickory Inc. doesn't audit them. That is part of the 21st Century Platform - #8. But, this is an issue of control. No one is getting any money out of the Hickory Inc. treasury, unless Hickory Inc. in some way, shape, or form has its tentacles embedded into that organization, not as a method of accountability, but in the manner of quid pro quo. Ms. Abernathy made valid points about how Ridgeview has been ignored by Hank Guess and the Council. The Mayor tried to softly dismiss her. Larry's point about calling Hank is not new. It has been going on since Hank took that seat. Old Hickory will say, "Hell yeah, Ridgeview ain't gittin nuthin," as they chuckle with their ole South Drawl... and others choose to stick their head in the sand (or somewhere else) and pretend that no issue exists. Everyone knows that this council doesn't do **** for the south side of the tracks. Some endorse it and some choose to ignore it. The mayor shouldn't lie about it.


Consent Agenda

New Business - Public Hearings
1. Consideration of Text Amendment (TA) 14-02 to the City’s Land Development Code. - Planning Director Brian Frazier presentation
- this item was tabled until the second meeting in September. It was directed to be sent back to the Planning Commission to be reworked regarding modifying temporary and seasonal sales. They want to discourage "fly by night" businesses. (Council Debate of the issue)

2. Request to Amend Vacant Building Grant Agreement from Jack Sipe Construction Company.  - Dave Leonetti presentation- Council passed unanimously

3. State Honors 38 Utilities for Meeting Stringent Voluntary Goals.  -Kevin Greer - An honor for water quality from the Federal EPA standards - Enhanced monitoring and Standards have been put in place to assure that water quality will maintain these standards.

General Comments - per Hickory Inc.
Mr. Berry recognized interns in attendance, Ms. Camille Hill and Ms. Meghan Williford, from Elon School of Law. They are clerking with Deputy City Attorney Arnita Dula for the next several weeks.

Mayor Wright commented on his vacation in Alaska, where they spent several days in Anchorage. They have a beautiful, and one of the most extensive, bikeway and parkway systems in the United States. They encountered two moose while on it, and where told that there was a black bear right around the corner, but when they got there it was gone. We don’t have those kinds of natural resources to share, but what a beautiful thing that they have, we probably would never be able to duplicate that because of the timing and the way our streets fall. It would be an admirable goal to try to have some bikeways, and walkways.

The Hickory Inc. Key to Success

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