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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Newsletter about the City Council meeting of May 5, 2015

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 May 5, 2015
Hound Notes: This meeting lasted nearly an hour and a half. I have notes below related to what happened during the meeting. It was more interesting than I thought it would be. You can see for yourself. The Links to the direct points of the meeting are below.

Invocation by Paul Robinson of Viewmont Baptist Church

Special Presentations
A. Proclamation for National Police Week 2015. - Captain Reed Baer accepted the proclamation.
B. Proclamation for Building Safety Month, May 2015. - Bobby Baker of Code Enforcement accepted the proclamation.

Person requesting to be Heard
Larry Pope - (Per Hickory Inc.) - Mr.  Larry  Pope  discussed  North  Carolina  House  Bill  193  with  Council,  and  requested Councils support of the Bill.

Hound Notes: There was a back and forth between the Mayor and Mr. Pope after the Mayor began commenting on what Mr. Pope had commented on during his time at the podium after Mr. Pope had left the podium. This is not the first, second, or third time that this has happened. I can assure you that the Mayor and the Council generally don't address what someone has said during their time at the podium and 99% of the time they do not have a back and forth discussion with the person at the podium, unless the address has been of an overly friendly/supportive nature.

House Bill 193 text

We haven't seen much of a discussion here in Hickory about the proposed House Bill 193, but here is a link to a segment on WTVD Durham news regarding this proposed House Bill.

I personally don't think this proposed bill does enough. The Police forces in our communities are not really the problem. The problem is the government in general. The government, as it stands now, is not accountable. The government no longer represents the people. It represents itself. We have lost our checks and balances against the government. One thing you can rest assured about, the government will always protect the government, unless something so egregious occurs that the safety/validity of the government gets called into question and/or a majority of the governmental forces just decide they want to throw someone under the bus. It is no different than any other corporation, other than they are legally sanctioned to enforce their rules with the guns, armor, and the machinery of warfare.

One other note: Check out how the Mayor, the City Manager, and Alderman Meisner dismiss Mr. Pope outright. They don't say they will look into the matter and I didn't witness any objectivity related to the issue. A message was sent that they were there to shut Mr. Pope down outright. There was no statesmanship displayed by any of these men on this particular occasion. Why do we see this action on this occasion or have we seen it on other occasions?

And in my opinion here is what we need to see
Platform for a 21st Century Hickory - New Rules on Conflicts of Interest

Consent Agenda:
Item C was removed from the Consent agenda by Alderman Lail. The issue was briefly discussed before being  unanimously agreed to by the council. The rest of the Agenda was passed unanimously.

C. Approval of an Agreement for Consulting Services with McGill Associates in the amount of $61,450 for the Geitner Basin Outfall Replacement Project. -  The Geitner basin outfall is a section of a larger diameter sanitary sewer line that runs from Highway 70 SW at Southgate to approximately the Highway 321 and I-40 interchange, and serves the area of Hickory from 4th Street SW to Highway 321 and Highway 70 SW to Main Avenue SW. It was discovered that a large amount of debris has been disposed of over top of the outfall and is causing problems with crushing and blockages. This section of outfall has immediate danger of failure and requires replacement/relocation. McGill Associates is familiar with the area through the Geitner basin area evaluation and is the optimum firm to complete this sewer outfall line replacement project due to this knowledge. The project will be funded from the Water and Sewer General Capital Reserves. Staff recommends Council approval of the agreement for professional services with McGill Associates for Geitner basin outfall replacement project in the amount of $61,450.

Alderman Lail stated that the reason why he wanted to remove the item was because of the size of the project. Why is the whole outfall line being replaced. Kevin Greer answered that the line is 5,000 feet. There is a lot of debris and infill. There is difficulty. There are design and construction administration service costs budgeted into the $61,245. It can't be replaced in place. It is cheaper to flip sides of the creek and lay the pipes there.

New Business - Public Hearings
1. Consideration of the Community Development Block Grant 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan.
Mr. Larry Pope spoke against the plan because of his concerns about the inclusion of Exodus homes.
Martha Gantt associated with ALFA spoke in favor of the Block Grant proposal.
Angela Hurd director of City of Refuge spoke in favor of the plan.

Mayor Wright asked the City Manager about having to approve the plan exactly the way it was presented. Manager Berry stated that they could make changes. The Mayor stated that he would like Exodus Homes to come in and explain their side of the allegations that Mr. pope had made. The plan has to be submitted to HUD by May 15, which is before the next City Council meeting. Dave Leonetti stated that there can be (later) amendments to the plan. Alder Patton stated in the future, that she has always said that she thought groups receiving funding should be at these meetings to answer any questions there may be. Alderman Meisner asked Manager Berry if they should approve the plan? The City Manager suggested that they approve the plan. Alderman Lail made the motion to approve the plan, seconded by Meisner and it was approved.. The Mayor continued that he wanted Exodus Homes to come in and answer Mr. Pope's allegations. Manager Berry stated he would rather the Mayor not put it in that context. The agencies will come in and address Council on what they do with said funding.

Hound Note: Why are elected officials constantly asking the City Manager what they should do and how they should vote? Nothing against Mick on this issue, but that blows my mind.

New Business - Departmental Reports
1. Code Enforcement Update
2. Resolution – Cancellation of July 7, 2015 City Council Meeting and Rescheduling July 21, 2015 City Council Meeting to July 14, 2015.

+++ Council reconvened after closed session +++
Council convened to closed session and reconvened to open session to discuss a Resolution. Council approved an “Authorizing Resolution the Rural Economic Development Division North Carolina Department of Commerce Building Reuse Program Project 'Blue' Building Reuse Application”.
There is no video recording of the previous item. 

The Dwindling US Economy — Paul Craig Roberts - April 29, 2015
Major U.S. Retailers Are Closing More Than 6,000 Stores - The Economic Collapse Blog - Michael Snyder - May 1st, 2015

Tyler Durden's picture
US Factory Orders Drop YoY For 5th Consecutive Month - Zero Hedge -  Tyler Durden - May 4, 2015

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