Latest in a series of posts responding to the George Floyd killing
Quick overview. Gadfly will return with highlights later.
The center of attention last night at the long City Council meeting was the “Resolution urging the creation of a Community Engagement Initiative in the City of Bethlehem” put forth by Council persons Reynolds and Crampsie Smith.
That resolution was amended twice and passed 7-0.
Public comment on the resolution was vigorous.
There were 10 or so phone callers and a half-dozen or so in-person commenters as the Council meeting opened to the public for the first time since the shutdown — attendees wearing masks and observing social distancing.
Councilman Reynolds attended in person.
The in-person commenters were local activists.
Since public comment precedes presentation and discussion of resolutions on the agenda, this resolution was hammered pretty good from the get-go.
When their turn came, however, Council persons Reynolds and Crampsie Smith showed empathy with the activists and provided cogent rationales for the nature and timing of their resolution.
Councilwoman Negron had problems with the resolution and the two amendments responded to her concerns.
Substantial time was given to explaining and discussing the COVID-19 logistical reasons that a Public Safety Committee meeting — anticipating a large audience — has not occurred yet.
As you know, your Gadfly was in a bit of distress about the nature of the resolution prior to the meeting but was much relieved after the various explanations.
In related news, the Mayor and the NAACP have advanced their collaboration on a community-engagement-type endeavor.
This was a good meeting. Video link at the top of this post.