We're going through some perfunctory consent agenda items now.
1:09: The light rail letter of support is on the agenda only so that it can be moved to the General Business Agenda on Oct. 5. This is after Go Triangle's Oct. 1 public hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
1:24: Related to the Mayor's Poverty Health Task Force, we've learned that fewer Durham landlords are accepting Section 8 vouchers (also known as Housing Choice). Several years ago, 900 landlords accepted them; that number has decreased to 700. L'Tanya Gilchrist of the task force is discussing a woman, a Type 2 diabetic, who has a voucher, but can't find a property owner to accept it. If she can't find a landlord, she will have to surrender her voucher.
Councilman Steve Schewel: This is an emerging problem in Durham. There's especially a shortage of 1-bedrooms.
[This issue came up at last night's Durham Housing Authority meeting.]
1:35 Bob Klaus of the Durham Performing Arts Center is giving a report:
DPAC set an attendance record in the past year: 448,998
Wicked sold out 24 shows
Half of all DPAC shows (112) sold out, including three performances by Dave Chapelle
Two-thirds of all attendees come from outside Durham County
2:10 Deputy City Manager Bo Ferguson is speaking about the special events process in regards to street closures. This has been in the works for two years, he says.
BF: "We have a process failure, not a failure of the people running the process. As our city and our events have become more complex, we haven't given the people the process."
Today's discussion: What went wrong? How to improve it? What direction do we need from Council?
BF: Two years ago, an event came through town that stakeholders downtown deemed as unsuccessful. How did it get it approved? Why?"
"We had very little in city ordinances or administrative policy to give District 5 police personnel criteria they needed. There weren't criteria for trash cans and restrooms, for example. Our stakeholders, especially downtown and for road races, have a higher expectation for communication."
"There was a wide variance in event organizers. Some knew our process very well. Others knew nothing and tried to have an event without telling us. We are proposing to manage special events within existing personnel."
How to improve: