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after nursing a fever all weekend, i’ve opted to watch tonight’s city council meeting from my bed. it’s a hell of a lot more comfortable than those ancient chairs anyway.

ok what’s with the ladies in lime green?
maybe the green team is here about the climate
it's that time of year again! you can give the city your recommendations for next year's budget here:
(i defunded the police, which allowed me to give a ton more money to housing & schoolcharlottesville.abalancingact.com/city-of-charlo…Is4n
wes says he's happy with how everyone conducted themselves at the last meeting... i don't entirely remember what happened last time to warrant an announcement like this.
it's 6 years ago today that sage smith's family last heard from her. mayor walker asks for a moment of silence.
oh, mayor walker will replace mike signer as the representative to the thomas jefferson planning district board. interesting to see after his petulant response to the daily progress last week about his repeated absences.
signer now addressing the "misleading" article in the progress last week about him missing 3 consecutive meetings.
he says it's the ONLY board that meets at 7pm on a weekday...
"there's a lot of personal stuff that's hard to talk about about why it's hard" he complains.
he's telling very long, detailed stories about why he missed individual meetings. this is very pathetic.
i should note that the CRB meets are 6:30 every other week.
consent agenda passes unanimously
mike murphy begins by addressing a comment at the last meeting about trash removal on the downtown mall -- apparently those cans are emptied 2-3 times per day & there ARE 2 dog waste bag dispensers downtoCZ21
re: nancy's comment about emergency assistance funds, he says roughy 3x the current amount is needed to meet need.
kathy galvin had asked about undergrounding utilities - the city is not eligible for cost sharing from dominion for this except in certain locations.
the current plan for the lewis & clark statue is to move it a mere 24 feet as part of the redesign of the intersection... mayor walker would like to see it moved a little further than tS9dB
the quality of the powerpoint viewed via the livestream is just abysmal. i hate to miss a powerpoint.
this one is in response to public comments at the last meeting about bullying in local schools.
the guy giving the presentation about bullying sounds terrified. i can't see him (the stream shows only the powerpoint during presentations), but it sounds like he's SHAKING.
kathy galvin asks to be walked through the process for handling a report of bullying. speaker says it depends where it occurred, nature of the complaint.
"strategies are put into place to ensure" students involve don't come into contact, but students may come into contact outside school (as was the case in the incident we heard about from a student's grandmother at a recent city school board meeting).
wes asks if they have numbers on the number of bullying incidents.

the male speaker says the number has gone down in recent years and they have recorded 9 (but doesn't say over what timeframe - i assume this current school year?)
seems artificially low...
dr rosa atkins adds that ANY time a child is injured, it is a serious matter. "when we have conflicts to that level, it's not going to be resolved just by the strategies happening in schools - it's going to take wraparound strategies."
"our children belong to all of us," dr atkins says in agreement with wes who reminded listeners that children spend more time OUT of school than in it -- schools cannot provide all necessary intervention to kids.
oh good, more powerpoints, this time from police chief brackney.
extremely high quality powerpointing from and extremely high quality police force.
(these numbers are both illegible and racially biased)
wow did you know literally everyone is either black or white?
she said she COULD explain the difference between a pat-down and a "warrantless search" but did not actually explain it.
she also explains the NA on the chart about patdowns under "vehicle" is "because you cannot pat down a vehicle."
this data shows that there are three white male officers who made 2 or more investigatory detentions last month... but does not indicate the demographics of the people those men stopped.
mike signer says the city passed an open data policy last year that requires data to be machine readable. brackey says she created these charts herself in powerpoint (they're not PDFs/embedded images).
"are we taking people to jail who just need help?" nikuyah asks about alcohol-related arrests. she says the community used to have something called the mohr center where they could take people to get help instead of jail.
brackney says "you should do some research" on the matter
nikuyah also asks if the department is internally keeping track of which officers may be overrepresented in this data month to month.
after some hand wringing about not wanting to discourage officers from "proactively engaging," she says yes, they are tracking that.
matters by the public up now -- almost entirely about a single issue tonight. first speaker is a richmond resident from the interfaith alliance for climate justice.
"inaction will sentence hundreds of millions of people around the world" to climate disaster. we're doomed. this topic really bums me out.
this speaker points out that the city is limited by the dillon rule -- instead of regulating use, they have to deeply engage businesses & residents on the issue of energy use
who on the dais is typing furiously while this poor woman is talking? it's coming through as loud as her voice.
climate justice is racial justice is economic justice. people with disabilities, people who are poor, and people of color are more likely to be impacted by climate change related disasters.
this speaker notes the city's climate goals do not mention race at all.
oh damn here come the green grannies. all dressed in lime green, big floppy green hats, they have some kind of instrument...
she seems very sweet & friendly but she sure did just tell us we're all going to be annihilated.
(she isn't wrong)
oh there's a tamborine! guys, tune in now for a song.
kathy, please stop laughing. yeah it's a little silly but if you're actually listening this is a pretty serious message. we're all going to die.
the grandmother who has addressed both the school board and city council before about the bullying her granddaughter has experienced is back. during last week's meeting, her granddaughter as going speak, but she had a panic attack and 911 had to be called.
next to the grandmother at the podium is another woman - she says she mentioned this woman's daughter during her past remarks, which she has apologized for in a mediation session. the other woman's daughter was NOT involved in the bullying incident.
mayor walker's new commitment to strictly enforcing the time limit on speakers is... not being as rigidly enforced as she indicated it would be. i don't mind this, as long as it's applied this leniently across the board.
"we need to go beyond what we think is possible. anything less is a form of climate change denial."
ayneCville is right, of course.
"it's going to affect the working class first & it's going to affect the working class the most."
"what does climate change look like in charlottesville right now?"
it means a basement getting flooded when it didn't used to be in a flood zone & you don't have renter's insurance. it means public housing getting damaged in storms more often.
someone PLEASE tell mike signer that he doesn't HAVE to pay attention, but it's really easy to PRETEND you're paying attention.
STOP TYPING. close your laptop and just look at your constituents when they speak.
a mother says she does so many things every day to keep her children safe... buckle them into carseats, cut their grapes in half... but "their dreams will never be realized" because of what we are doing to the earth.
kathy is glad to hear "the fusing together of sustainability and equity" & says it's long overdue. she says in the past they've not only been on different sides of the fence, but "taking potshots at one another."
quentin, whose last name i missed, from new hill development says he is a 2 time college dropout who graduated as an adult & that he has "lost everything because of my lack of financial literacy"
he says new hill will "right some generational wrongs"
he says he was surprised by some of the reactions to the city's appropriation of $500,000 to the project, but calls it "an opportunity to practice grace."
community bikes used to give away 6-8 bikes/wk, but are now providing 20-40 per week, in recognition of the growing threat of climate change.
(can someone teach me how to ride a bike?)
some dork got up there just to say "you guys do a lot of work that doesn't get appreciated" and thanked them.
the grandmother of the bullied middle schooler is back up. she thanks them for taking her concern seriously, but says there is a lot more than can be done.
she says the schools should have a designated "bullying coordinator" and cites a 2004 law that requires teachers to report bullying.
she says her family has decided buford is no longer safe for her granddaughter.
melvin is a board member at new hill development corp & says he thinks the councilmembers are 'visionaries.'
he says new hill is going to uplift & empower people of color
"we keep throwing money at 'low income,' it seems like we want to keep this status in place."
nikuyah says "i'm gonna comment, because i'm the only person who didn't vote for new hill."
"i have been clear about my ask for the commitment to fiscal responsibility from the city."
"i want you to be clear about how you're spending taxpayer money."
"this could be amazing. but the public was left out of it. it actually created more scrutiny than it needed to."
"i am not one to keep people asking for handouts, but if you intent to help the community," the community needs to be a part of it - there needs to be trust.
nikuyah on new hill: there are questions about alignment with the small area plan. she also has questions about the budget submitted & cites similar concerns she'd had about other developers' projects in the past. "i've been asking everybody how money is going to be spent."
"i hope what you all intend to do happens," she says about the new hill development.
kathy galvin wants to respond to mary carey's previous comment accusing kathy of misspeaking. public comment is over & kathy is NOT responding to a comment made tonight -- technically, she is out of order.
"i did not misspeak," she says & tells a long boring story no one cares about.
"if i am guilty of anything, it is because i am in full throttle support of new hill."
shut up kathy.
someone toss her a copy of roberts rules.
on the subject of tax credits, she says "we give over $100,000 a year to tech start ups"
wow, maybe we shouldn't be doing that. not sure what the point was of mentioning that here, kathy.
someone please call kathy to order. this has been going on for several minutes. this is not on the agenda, it is not a response to the most recent public comment. she is just giving a rambling monologue.
kathy, the election isn't for another entire year. also, if you want to campaign, i think you need to do it somewhere other than the dais.
mary carey, to whom kathy was allegedly responding, asks if she can speak. honestly, given what kathy just did, they should let her. this is ridiculous.
they're gonna make her wait until the public comment at the END of the meeting (in several hours)

brief recess now.
the mics are off during recess, but i can see mary carey & kathy galvin having an animated conversation in the aisle.
nikuyah & don gathers incoming to break iGBoJFo5Z
if you're following along at home like i am tonight, part 2 of the livestream is here. should be starting back up any second now -- just missing wes & mike murphy on the dais3zZa
first up is the 2019 legislative agenda!
you can read the whole thing if you want, it starts on p. 89 of the agenda background for tonight's meeting
goddamn, it looks like i missed a spicy one. read the next couple tweets in the thread embedded here for a look at what we missed during recess 🌶🌶

kill the dillon rule
"driving without a license" is one of the many nonviolent crimes members of our community end up charged with before the local jail calls ICE. this could samMd6xDuOQw
tear that shit down
they've voted unanimously to adopt the legislative packet but mike signer has to add on the record that he doesn't support the speed cameras, out of concern for the "automation of law enforcemLOTJUPBCh9
kathy notes that the legislative packet only asks the legislature to give the AUTHORITY to do any of these things. they'll still have to pass ordinances.

they voted separately, but again unanimously, for the proposed specific bills. nikuyah, too, is opposed to the speed cameras.
city attorney john blair prefaces discussion of the city charter with a few caveats about outdated, incorrect language -- gendered terms, incorrect codes cited, etc. he says his office will present a cleaned up version sometime next year.
now onto proposed changes to the city charter. these start on p. 98 of tonight's agenda background
heather points out, reasonably, that it's a difficult time to make a fundamental change to our city council/mayoral electoral process -- the next election is a year away, but folks are already starting the process of getting themselves on the ballot.
kathy galvin asks wes "why is this something you thought was important to do?" (re: direct election of the mayor. charlottesville currently elects 5 city councilors who then amongst themselves select one councilor to be mayor)
wes says the current system is outdated, but kathy says (correctly) that the mayor has no additional power, they only chair the meetings. she says this would give people the illusion of electing a leader, but wouldn't really change anything.
(i HATE agreeing with kathy)
nearly choked laughing at mike implying the way they engaged with the public on renaming the parks was some kind of effective model of community engagement.
jesus christ.
mike has floated before the idea of directly electing the city manager. this is difficult -- we're recruiting nationwide right now. if it were elected, the city manager would already have to live here.
nikuyah wants to have a public hearing at the next meeting to hear what the public has to say about it. heather wants it to be "a more robust conversation" about other issues, such as the ward system, "all the options."
"i hear the caution... but let's not be so reluctant to change," says wes. he's clearly a little irritated at all the hand wringing & his colleagues acting like this has been sprung on them.
kathy wants to have a work session on the matter "in the early spring." she "doesn't understand the rush."
wes starts to ask, "if we had these issues, why didn't anybody..." but is quickly interrupted by both kathy & heather.
heather's biggest concern is how this would affect anyone running in the next election cycle. we wouldn't hear back from the general assembly for several months.
charter bills require a 2/3 vote in both chambers, wouldn't take effect until july. if they wanted it to take effect IMMEDIATELY, it would need a 4/5 vote in both chambers & that would still not be until february or so.
"who is likely to be elected in an elected mayor situation? we'll likely end up in the same place," says nikuyah. "the mayor will be white again," she told an angry facebook commenter earlier today. "this is not about me - i'm gonna be strong in any position i'm in."
wes makes a motion to have a public hearing on dec. 3 - kathy asks if he means on this specific proposal for directly electing the mayor or on the general topic of changing the structure of city government. he says "what would make you more comfortable?"
"i'm one who likes change," says wes with some resignation.
"i LOVE change!" says heather, frantically. i laughed so hard it gave me a coughing fit and woke up my dogs.
wes & nikuyah vote yes, but the motion for the public hearing fails with kathy, mike, and heather voting against it.
the next charter amendment would allow the city council to increase their salary to 1/5 of the city manager's salary, with the mayor making 20% more than the other councilors.
it would (by state law) not take effect for the current council.
city councilors in charlottesville currently make $18,000/year and the mayor makes $20,000.
this makes city council inaccessible to most working class people.
kathy seems to be arguing in favor of hiring new staff to do her job for her rather than for adequate compensation for doing her own job.
"we live in an area with a lot of citizen engagement. you all are speculating that that's gonna change?" nikuyah asks kathy.

nikuyah has a full time day job, she works 40 hours per week at the city parks dept & full time as the mayor.
oh shut uppppppp mike signer.
mike signer says "you want to make it so you can live off the government salary." to which nikuyah says "this is not even living"
he snaps at her not to interrupt.
living wage in charlottesville for one adult with a child is $56,347. the proposed mayoral salary would be $45,960 -- nearly $13,000 below a living wage for our current mayor.
galvin is concerned about pegging it to the city manager's salary, as that is determined by council and is done in closed session, so there would be no transparency on how they were essentially setting their own salaries (this is reasonable, honestly)
"the amount of work we put into being on council is nowhere near what we're being compensated for," says wes.
wes points out that mike's history lesson is exactly WHY WE NEED A CHANGE - virginia's legislature was all affluent white men when these rules were established.
"how can you afford to take care of your family and serve your city? i don't think it should be an either or," says wes. just because other cities in virginia do it that way doesn't mean we have to.
mike says "this proposal doesn't solve that problem"
heather says she wishes there were a way to make this work, to open the door to more people, "to be more nimble," but she isn't sure they have the flexibility to do what needs to be done.
heather says all boards & commissions are completely voluntary, they don't get paid anything -- who was it who was telling me the other day that the planning commission receives some kind of payment (albeit a relatively small one)?
kathy wants more research done on whether they could use "other indicators," like perhaps population, to connect the salary to.
kathy makes the motion to include this charter change request in the legislative packet - city attorney john blair says this requires a public hearing, which would be december 3.
nikuyah is concerned this doesn't set a CAP - future councils could set it to anything.
i wonder if pinning it to a percentage of the local AMI would make more sense?
john blair says they could amend it with language about not allowing any given council to increase the salary by more than a certain percent.
mike signer is blustering - "this is not best practice." "this doesn't feel right. it doesn't feel ready."
john blair adds that they can add in language about a cap based on the outcome of the public hearing on dec 3.
mike murphy now reading the portion of alexandria, VA's city charter re: setting councilors' salaries.
interesting to note that the current council salary of $18,000 just went into effect... and signer voted against it. (i believe the previous salary was $14,000)
the motion for the public hearing on the charter amendment to increase council salaries carries 4-1, with signer dissenting.
there is something particularly gross about a white male lawyer voting against putting money in a working class black woman's pocket. then again, i guess he does that with many of this votes. as do most of our legislators.
oh we're getting an update from DBAC about that $75,000 handout they got for no reason earlier this year!
they've made a website. this woman up now saying "we've knocked on 300 doors" -- "we had to find out who we all were," they had to survey all the downtown businesses. seems like they should've existed as a cohesive body BEFORE demanding funds from the city?
the nice thing about being too sick to attend in person tonight is that i can wander way from my computer & get a snack when the capitalist trash becomes unbearable.
OH PERMIT PATTY UP IN HERE talking about how the COMMUNITY EVENTS calendar on their website doesn't have "protests" that WOULDN'T BE IN THE SPIRIT of their organization.
hey maybe you're only getting tourists and not locals because not only can we not afford to shop downtown but when we protest the injustices that are killing us y'all hand out flyers complaining about the noise.
"we all say things and we get flustered," the DBAC rep says, trying to brush off a mistake about the website
nikuyah pushes back firmly -- if you've used this money to hire someone, you need to make sure they have the capacity to do that work.
cool, more powerpoints. this time about the global compact of mayors.
one negative thing about being at home watching online vs in person is that kathy's mic REAAALLY picks up all of her active listening mouth noises during presentations.
she says it could take two years to come up with a plan to meet the goal and a draft of the goal wouldn't be ready for a few months.
the whole earth will be on fire by then.
so we'll see a draft by april & a more formal document in june about what the city's climate goals should be.
5 minute recess, then two more agenda items and final matters by the public. i'm gonna take the dogs out one last time so we can go straight to bed when this is over.
update on the lighting study of the downtown mall. the current situation is that lighting has been added incrementally over the years with no particular plan.
sorry, the lighting study included both the downtown area & the area near the corner at UVA. (areas A & B from the agenda packet, p. 1charlottesville.org/home/showdocum…qImyNiixV
the high estimate if they lit the entire study area would be nearly $60mil... looking at only the top ten priority locations & assuming a wider pole spacing, they're recommending a little over $3mil in improvements.
kathy asks if UVA would be participating in the capital improvement proposed here -- they did participate in the study & study area B is heavily student-populated. the presenter says that conversation hasn't occurred.
mike echoes the idea that UVA would be interested in seeing this project completed, citing a public comment from a while back from a UVA student concerned about lighting on grady
some questions here about the methodology of the study... it appears to be anecdotal and observational. the studies that exist on the impact of lighting on crime aren't exactly convincing...
mike murphy asks if the crime data they used was limited to non-daylight hours or just the general whole data set... and it's the latter. murphy suggests it would be more accurate to limit it to crimes committed during non-daylight hours.
nikuyah wants to know more about how they arrived at the color coding on the map for the high/medium/low priority areas. he's not able to answer that. she says she'll think more about it & drive around a bit.
(p. 140-1charlottesville.org/home/showdocum…N6tUY
wes has had some meeting with local housing groups about the actual dollar amount it will take to meet the need (4000 affordable units) and wants to have this conversation on an upcoming agenda.
final public comment. nancy is curious about the statistical probability of our random lottery system selecting 7 consecutive comments on the same topic. it certainly did look intentional. folks are saying mary carey was on the list but got bumped for this group.
communications director brian wheeler says “nothing was changed about the process,” that he & city atty john blair reviewed all the requests earlier today and most of them were about climate change.
(why are they “reviewed” by two high ranking city employees if they are random?)
pretty sure it was the guy who’s always going up to talk about how heckling is a hate crime or whatever, but some dork just walked up to the mic AFTER MIDNIGHT to make a public comment just wishing the councilors a happy thanksgiving. fuck thanksgiving. meeting adjourned.
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