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Friday, October 24, 2014

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of October 21, 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 October 21, 2014

Thoughts about the Hickory City Council meeting of October 21, 2014 


Hound Notes: We see that Land Design is heavily involved in Inspiring Spaces, the Linear Park, the "Friends" Playground at Union Square, bond referendums, and city officials personal lives. Wow! How Neat!

Council Members Meisner and Patton were not in attendance

Invocation by Alderman Danny Seaver

Special Presentations
A. Friends of Hickory - (17 minute presentation) about a proposed park that will be built/located to the west of Union Square behind the Community One Bank. (Per Hickory Inc.) - Ms. Beth Watts Rogers, Ms. Allison Holtzman, and Mr. Adrian Holtzman presented to City Council a concept for a playscape to be located in the downtown area, and requested Council’s approval to move forward with their planning. The project is being developed by Land Design and Kompan.

Alderman Guess asks about the concerns about loss of parking behind Community One bank.
Alderman Guess asks about people crossing over the Thoroughfare Crosswalk to get from Union Square to the park.. and about other possibilities for this park's location.
Mrs. Rogers talks about asking for the Council's approval and coming back to go through a process with City Staff, Parks and Rec, the Council about Design, and then coming back with hard dollars.
Mayor Wright and City manager Berry talk about freeing up (parking) spots with the joint City-Transportation Insight parking lot.
City Manager Berry about Parking Perception issue Downtown.

(From) -- Newsletter about the City Council meeting of March 18, 2014

A. Roger Young - Friends of Hickory, Specific Space for the Downtown Park - (from Hickory Inc.) -  presented to Council plans for a playground and park in the downtown area. He showed photos from three companies that they are currently working with on ideas for the playground. The estimated cost will be between $300,000 - $400,000, and they are planning fund raisers to come up with the money for the project. He requested Council’s permission to continue moving forward with this project on this location.

Persons Requesting to Be Heard
A. Mr. Jim Bright, Tarheel Challenge Academy - (7 minute presentation) - (Per Hickory Inc.) - Mr. Jim Bright informed City Council of the Tarheel Challenge Academy located in Salemburg, North Carolina. The Academy is a quasi-military program for high school dropouts, or expellees. Mr. Bright discussed details of the program which has a 90 percent success rate.

B. Larry Pope -  (Per Hickory Inc.) addressed City Council on his concern of utilizing parking revenues for the parking lot that the City is going to enter into that was discussed at the last Council meeting. Mr. Pope expressed concerns of City Council’s use of funds that were designated for other projects. Mr. Pope also discussed the upcoming bond referendum and his concern of what the funds would be used for. He advised Council that he would be encouraging citizens to vote no in the upcoming referendum.
Mayor Wright's response to Larry Pope's address

Consent Agenda:

New Business - Departmental Reports:
1. Audit Report - Presentation by Tonya Marshall of Martin-Starnes - Unmodified (clean) opinion was given. The highest level that can be received. Compliant with State and Federal regulations. Report was prepared by City Staff. General Fund unassigned balance increased by $442,282. Revenues were $44.6 million and Expenditures were $41.2 million. Total General Fund is $34.3 million with unassigned of $13.5 million. (You can watch the video to see the rest of the presented numbers.)

2. Financial Report - Presentation Warren Wood- Warren Reiterated the info presented from Ms. Marshall. General Fund Balance percentage is 29.22%. City's total net assets increase by $744,274 to $206,607,874. There was no increase in the property tax base - $4.7 billion.
Link to 25% of the year summary.

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