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Danville City Council – LIVE! (1/19/16)

SouthsideCentral was LIVE! at Tuesday’s January 19th Danville City Council meeting. We’ve added some bonus content and photos, so enjoy the most comprehensive recap of the meeting that you’ll find from any media source. We’ll clean this article up in the editing process. Let’s get started!

We’re underway! Larry Campbell leads the prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Tonight’s first presentation comes from Danville School Superintendent Stan Jones and his “State of the School District” presentation.

Welcome to “The Stan Jones Show”!

The new video monitors in Council chambers really work nicely.

The new computer and big screen setup is very nice and everyone in the audience can see Jones’ presentation.

The left side of the gallery looks at the presentation monitors.

And here’s the other side of the gallery.

Jones says that the school system’s capital improvement plan focus will be on Johnson Elementary. That’s interesting because I was under the impression that Forest Hills & Gibson were next on the list.

Comment time. Fred Shanks asks questions about the school ratings. He also gives Jones his highest support. Buddy Rawley says principals are the key to making the learning environment. Rawley also says he understands that the problems won’t be fixed overnight. Jones says that Langston now has 100 students up from 44 last semester and has “room to grow”.

I’m making a quick break to the water fountain to refill my bottles. Here’s where Mark Aron produces the River City TV broadcast.

Mark Aron has no idea that I took this photo. Heh. All other council members show strong support for Jones. Whew. 58 minutes.

Next, Nicole Crews from the Virginia Department of Veterans Services explain what her agency does and the agency’s goals.

Nicole Crews, HELLO!

Alonzo Jones asks what other localities do to recognize veterans, and Crews says Martinsville does a veteran of the year award. Alonzo then surprises Sherman Saunders & John Gilstrap with awards for them.

Public comment section is next. Nobody wants to speak. Well phooey. We move to regular business.

Old business is final approval on putting $400K in as matching funds for the Patton St. drainage project.We have two committee and board appointments. Cynthia Rhodes takes the unexpired term of Karen White on the Southern Area Agency on Aging, and Brandi Williamson takes the unexpired term of Wesson Felder on the Social Services Advisory Board.

New business consists of no-controversy rezonings, grants, and resolutions of support for pending General Assembly legislation. Everything passes 9-0 except the authorization for Danville Utilities to create a Large Industrial electric rate where the biggest customers can buy their electricity at the market rate. Larry Campbell & Gary Miller abstain from this vote because they’re on the hospital’s board of directors. That vote ends up 7-0-2.

Around the horn time. James Buckner reminds people of possible inclement weather. Larry Campbell talks about the MLK day activities and the Capstone program. John Gilstrap thanks everyone for his award and talks about last week’s joint school board / city council meeting.

We move to the work session. There’s only two things up tonight, the monthly financial reports and a discussion about how long people get to speak in public hearings. Finance director Mike Adkins goes over all of the money numbers quickly and he’s outta here! The discussion over who gets how many minutes to speak and who controls the time turns into a bunch of petulant back-and-forth with Sherman Saunders getting pissy every time that the other eight members want to get a say-so on how meetings get conducted. Some members seem to be getting tired of the chairman making “who has the floor” decisions at times.

Well, that’s their own damned fault for not challenging the chair with a Point or Order if they think they’re being treated unfairly. Any of the members are also able to make a motion the Suspend the Rules at any time, but nobody’s tried it yet.

Feh. Nothing comes out of this and everybody grudgingly agrees that they’ll deal with this in the next work section.

After the last around-the-horn section, we’re done. Thanks for reading the most comprehensive recap of this meeting. We’ll have more coming up on SouthsideCentral!

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