If there was any concern about the Albemarle city council’s attention to detail, their extensive combing of last meeting’s minutes laid those doubts to rest.
“Where it’s talking about the boarding kennel–it says boarding kennels are currently ‘now allowed’ in downtown,” Councilmember Chris Whitley read from the draft minutes. “Are they ‘now allowed’ or ‘not allowed’?”
“It should be ‘not allowed,'” replied city manager Michael Ferris.
Whitley nodded. He added, somewhat apologetically, “I promise I’m not going to nitpick in these things–”
“One other little correction,” interjected Councilmember Dexter Townsend. “Although I do concur with her comments, I think it was Councilmember Hall that congratulated Colleen Conroy on her win for ‘Dancing With the Stars’ instead of me.”
“And while you’re doing that,” Mayor Pro Tem Martha Sue Hall jumped into the fray of picked nits, “I congratulated Lisa on the play at Central School. It doesn’t make any difference to me but….” She trailed off, suggesting that it really would be nice to credit her for the item after all.
Mayor G.R. “Ronnie” Michael glanced down at the public comment list. He called the name of the only man signed up, who slowly approached the podium.
“I believe you have pictures before you concerning the condition of trees on Richardson Street,” he began. “I’m scared to walk down through there. I don’t need a rainforest and that’s what it looks like to me.”
“Looking at this first picture,” the mayor interjected, “there’s a utility pole–
“Yeah, there is,” muttered Mayor Pro Tem Hall.
“–there’s a wire going across from right to left. Y’all have been fortunate not to have some ‘other’ things occur.”
The city manager attempted to reassure everyone that a live electrical wire was not booby trapping Richardson Street. “I’d bet that’s not a primary electric line or else you’d have outages,” he speculated.
“We wanna clean the street up but we don’t wanna put our lives in jeopardy either,” the man shrugged.
“Did they ever pick up the mattresses down there?” Councilmember Townsend wondered.
“That’s another problem,” sighed the commenter. “With all that overgrowth, people feel like they’re at the city dump.”
Council members nodded, thanked him for coming, and promised that someone would do something about the rainforest and mattress repository.
Mayor Michael flipped the page to an agreement with Pfeiffer University. “Council, we have a section in our agreement with them that talks about reversion. The request is we approve allowing staff to remove the reversion agreement.”
Councilmember Chris Bramlett gave his best shot at making that motion. “I move that we assign our whoever-it-is to remove whatever-it-is.”
Other council members snickered as the mayor patiently reworded the statement into something more proper.
“Allow staff to work with the economic development attorney that drew the agreement to remove the reversion,” he elaborated.
It wasn’t the last clarification he would have to make. Minutes later, Mayor Pro Tem Hall asked if she could table the business park design contract until their next meeting.
“Council, do you have any problem with tabling it?” Mayor Michael asked, receiving no reply. “Okay, we’ll table it.”
“Is there a reason?” Bramlett exclaimed, holding his hands palm-up in an exaggerated shrug.
“Council usually gives a gentleman’s agreement to allow a council member to ask for a continuance,” the mayor revealed.
Bramlett flashed a gentlemanly thumbs up and a smile. “Still learning!”