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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of September 16, 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.

Thoughts about the Hickory City Council meeting - September 16, 2014 

Agenda about the City Council meeting of September 16, 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.

(OK, I'm continuing my discussion to relate what this site and this Newsletter is all about. You can read the beginning in the Newsletter from September 2nd.)

The city erases their version of the meetings posted on Youtube, as soon as a new, successive meeting is posted on Youtube. They say the official minutes of the meeting are the ones transcribes by the clerk. We disagree. We believe that those recordings are official documents and there is no reason to take them down other than to make it harder for the public to assess what happened during meetings. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then audio and video with a 30 frame per second framerate is worth 1,800,000 words a minute and 108 million words an hour. In the name of real transparency, they should not be taking these meetings down.

People say what's the point. According to the numbers we see, not that many people are watching. I have found that and View count mechanisms are flawed and don't count the total number of people viewing the material. I have also found that people go back and watch the older videos later. The try and follow the thread of the events and the consistency related to the issue of interest they are researching. It is a lot easier to do that than to read a transcipt and easier to get a sense of what has taken place in relation to the issue.

As I've gotten older, I have learned to accept walking into a Lion's Den. There have been a lot of things that I haven't wanted to do over the years, but there was a calling to be there. I've gotten the evil eye more times than many of you have seen in a lifetime. Do you think I like it? No. But no one is going to tell me where I can and can't go when I have a right to be there. That's the way you should feel also.

 (To be continued)

Invocation by Rev. Whit Malone, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church

Special Presentations
A. Proclamation for National Rehabilitation Month to Maureen McMahon, Administrative - Director of Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, Frye Regional Medical Center

Persons Requesting to Be Heard - No persons requested to be heard

Consent Agenda - No items were removed from the Consent Agenda 

New Business - Public Hearings:
1. Consideration of Text Amendment (TA) 14-02 to the City’s Land Development Code. Hound notes related to this subject are in the Thoughts link provided above.

New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Acceptance of Funds from the State of North Carolina for a Building Reuse Grant on Behalf of OHM Holdings for the Transportation Insight project at Lyerly Mill.

2. Approval of New Scoring Criteria for Considering Grant Proposal under the City’s Community Appearance and Landscape Grant Programs.

Hound Notes: I think that Hickory Inc. has taken note of what I and others have said about the same people always receiving grants and they have seen where the system has been gamed. They have helped the system be gamed by creating the atmosphere where they use these grants as chips in a political poker game. As we have said all along, these grants should be promoted more and spread around better and towards people and projects that truly need the assistance. Let's hope this system moves us forward.

3. Adoption of a Resolution Approving the City of Hickory’s financing Terms for the Hickory Metro Convention Center Parking Deck.

General Comments - (From the Council)

Alderwoman Patton commented that Southern Desk would be demolished in the next few weeks, and the building at First Baptist is in the process of demolition. She commended Code Enforcement and other staff for the work that they had done over the years with Southern Desk. That is going to be a real boost to clean up that area.

Mayor Wright commented now we can talk about the progress all the way from Lenoir-Rhyne all the way to Longview. We are indeed making progress.

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