Jan. 31, 2017
It began as an Open Forum. But Sarah Stevenson had asked Willie Ratchford to bring a police official to discuss a recent officer-involved fatal shooting on Albemarle Road. So Ratchford addressed some of the issues that have already emerged, including the position taken by some young people that the police department should be defunded.
Perhaps it was mention of defunding that morphed the discussion into a sharp debate over how public officials agree to spend money for projects like soccer stadiums, but not to spend money on training public employees how be reconcilers of the racial tensions threatening the community. Commissioners Chairman Ella Scarborough defended the county board’s soccer decision on the grounds that a stadium’s tax revenues were necessary to address the community’s other needs.
The Forum ended, as is often the case in such discussions, on a note that to change community priorities is not rocket science: It requires that voters make different choices.
Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon was recognized at minute 13:44-14:00.
Ratchford’s presentation begins at minute 14:30. The Q&A begins at 28:13.
Sen. Joel Ford, at minute 53:25, asked commissioners to discuss their decision to support a soccer stadium and Commissioners Chairman Ella Scarborough responded.
Announcements begin at 1:18:55.