City Council Meeting, July 14, Citizen Comments
During Citizen Comment Period, where members of the public may speak about any matter not on the agenda, Richmonders raised the following concerns:
Bus Transfer Station
Two ladies spoke about the GRTC’s Temporary Transfer plaza. They raised concerns with the lack of seating and good shelter for GRTC riders. They pointed out that people, particularly the elderly were sitting on concrete, largely without shade. In the summer months it gets very hot, and then what happens in the event of inclement weather? As one woman pointed out, they were moved off Broad Street where there was adequate shelter. However, other stops have good seating; riders from the Counties do not even stop at the transfer plaza either. They expressed concern about the racial issue at play here, where the white riders were still being catered to, and black riders felt put “on the back of the bus” once again. In response to these statements, Mr. Agelasto addressed the need to begin working with GRTC to work on a plan for a more permanent solution, as only then is a temporary plan actually temporary.
A Style Weekly article from July 8, “Transfer Hell,” also addresses these issues.
Shockoe Historic Redevelopment
The editor for the Virginia Defender brought forth a plan that does not build a stadium in Shockoe Bottom, but instead creates a real historic district for the City. He brought up the point that when the bike race is in Richmond in 2015 on the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, does the City want international news outlets reporting that the former capitol of the Confederacy built a baseball stadium on such hallowed ground?
To read more about the Schockoe Bottom development plan from the Virginia Defender, see their Summer 2014 Issue
You can also read a response to this sort of criticism in "Shockoe Standoff," Style Weekly.
Utility Bill problems
A resident of Church Hill spoke about how his block was misnumbered on the City’s maps, and he had been paying the wrong storm water runoff bill. This is something for everyone to pay attention to, in order to make sure that the City has its records correct in the future.
Public Comment Period
During this time, Richmonders have the chance to address items on the Consent Agenda.
Police Officers in Public Housing Developments
In reference to Ordinance Number 2014-146-140, which would assign police officers to public housing communities, many residents spoke in favor citing a great need. One man carried a bag of shell casings to show before council, while another woman stated she wouldn’t even allow her animals to be in such awful conditions. However, another man raised the point that people need to come together more on this issue and provide hope for the people that live in these areas in the form of jobs, economic opportunities to open businesses, and for more economic freedom and independence. Comments on this item ended with, “offer hope instead of incarceration.”