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.
Thoughts about the Hickory City Council meeting - September 2, 2014
Agenda about the City Council meeting of September 2, 2014
The Hound's Notes: Please utilize the Agenda and Thoughts links to get further details about this meeting. The Agenda link is a detailed program that comes out before the meeting. It is directly related to the Hickory Inc.'s Agenda that is put out at their website on the Friday before the meeting and I try to include notes about items of interest. I put out Thoughts about the meeting as soon as possible following the meeting. There you will get a general summation of what happened during the meeting and some commentary. Of course, the longer the duration of the meeting, the longer it takes to collect the information and thoughts. I'm not going to haphazardly throw the info out there.
Like a friend pointed out yesterday. People look at what I do on the Hound and think, 'anybody can do that'... 'I can do that'... and over the subsequent 6 years, people and groups have come and they have gone, because this is work. I'm not doing this for fun. This isn't an endeavor of a lazy person or something that can be done at an arms length or with half-hearted interest. One might say that I am misguided, but I am doing this because I care.
A typical week with a Hickory City Council meeting means that I get home from work after a busy Friday evening and download Hickory Inc.'s Agenda, which comes out in PDF form. Cut, Paste, and Edit takes a couple hours and I try to read and assimilate the information while doing all of that. Total processing time is 2 to 3 hours depending on the length of the Agenda. Then on Tuesday night I go to the meeting. I've talked to people to get their thoughts about the Agenda and all that entails before attending the meeting. I leave home between 6 and 6:30pm to be there for the 7pm meeting.
A meeting lasts on average about 1 1/2 hours, but vary greatly. I've been to a meeting that lasted 30 minutes and I've been to a meeting that lasted 3 hours. On a bell curve, I'd say that 90% last between 1hr15min and 1hr45min.
When the meeting is over, I speak to some of the people who have attended to get their thoughts and see if they match what I have witnessed. I pretty much don't have relations with the Council these days. They treat me as a pariah, but they've pretty much turned me off with what I've seen over time anyway. They like to co-opt people and I was never able to be co-opted, so you get an opinion that isn't tainted by feeling that you have to tip toe around your friends. That doesn't mean I'm out to get this Council or the Hickory Bureaucracy. It means that I am observing what goes on, giving my opinion on the matters, and relaying that to you.
So, I get home after 9pm and try to de-tune. I might make a phone call or two and then I try to put the information down in thoughts. I go back and watch the video and/or listen to the audio. It takes a few hours to put all that down. This week we had an 1 1/2 hour meeting. I was home around 9:15pm. I couldn't really de-tune and I did talk to someone about the meeting. I started putting the info down and I couldn't get in the mood. I went to the store. I came back and still couldn't do it, so I started the next day and worked on and off through other obligations, so I presented the Thoughts the next evening.
Then, there is the matter of the video presentation. I worked with a group to try to get Hickory Inc. to put video out on Charter Cable and the Internet. We got the Internet, but we never got the Cable. Mr. Burton and others have received the benefit of that work, that has brought accountability to the process. He also was able to speak at the beginning of the meeting. Again, he can thank the people I worked with, who helped to make that happen... and thank you Alder Jill Patton and former Alder Sally Fox for their cooperation. See how good things happen when we work together for the good of the community, instead of the 'my way or the highway' mindset we have seen so often.
People can actually see the proceedings. I appreciate Hickory Inc. finally seeing the light, but I can't rest until it is done right. Not 'My way or the Highway.' The information belongs to the public, why hide behind the curtain.
(To be continued)
Invocation by Danny Seaver
Special Presentation of Recognition of Sherman Stinson, Public Services for the Herman Drake Award - Moved to a later date.
Persons Requesting to be Heard
Bill Burton, President of Sipe Construction, addressed the Council about the rejection of the Vacant Building Occupancy grant that was voted againt 6 to 1 at the previous City Council meeting. He asked for reconsideration. After further information, and a discussion during Matters not on the Agenda, the Council voted to approve the grant unanimously.
A. Report of Mayor Wright’s travel to North Carolina League of Municipalities General Government Legislative Action Committee Meeting
New Business - Public Hearings
1. Resolution and Order for Petition of BHM Holdings, LLC to Close an Unopened Portion of 4th Street NE.
2. Resolution and Order for Petition of William H. Rogers, and wife Linda Rogers; and Terah L. Harris and wife, Karen P. Harris to Close an Unopened Portion of 20th Avenue NE.
3. Consideration of the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report.
4. Review and Presentation of the Financing Concept for the Hickory Metro Convention Center Parking Deck.
New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Approve the Construction Contract with Matthews Construction Company, in the amount of $2,576,000 to construct the Parking Deck Structure and Associated Improvements for the Hickory Metro Convention Center Parking Deck.
2. Lyerly Mill Redevelopment Update
3. Award Construction Contract to Dane Construction, Inc., for the Replacement of the 46th Avenue NE Bridge in the amount of $942,202.05.
4. (a) Approve Interlocal Agreement between the City of Hickory and Catawba County for the Development of Business Park 1764.
(b) Approve an Agreement between the City of Hickory, Catawba County, and the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) regarding 1764 Park Project.
5. Approve an Amendment to the Vacant Building Revitalization and Demolition Grant Agreement with Shuford Mills, LLC
6. Approval of a Vacant Building Revitalization and Demolition Grant with The Block 108, LLC for Property Located at 108 South Center Street.
Alderman Seaver requested that the citizens of Hickory keep thoughts and prayers for the families that were impacted by the terrible tragedy on Sunday evening.
Alderman Lail moved, seconded by Alderman Seaver to observe a moment of silence for the families involved in this tragedy. The motion carried unanimously.
Alderman Guess advised that the ceremony planned for the 9/11 Remembrance was shown as 9:00 a.m. in the City Snippets and in fact it had been changed to 6:00 p.m.
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