The Greenville, North Carolina, City Council met on the evening of Jan. 10 to discuss city staff appointments and item numbers which included but did not limit a street preservation project and a construction engineering contract award for the next meeting on Jan. 13 at 6 p.m.
At the Greenville City Clerk’s Center and the meeting place of the city council, protesters lined the block in front of the building an hour before council members met. Protesters held signs that read, “We say no to Crypto!” They said the City Council will meet on Jan. 13 to discuss and vote on whether or not the City of Greenville will host a new crypto mining facility.
The council did not discuss the new cryptocurrency. Bobby Weatherly, a protester and resident of Greenville, tried to speak in opposition to the facility because of the lack of information put out by the city. He was unable to voice all of his concerns due to the regulation of the public comment period.
“I’m Bobby Weatherly, resident of Greenville. My concern with the process of the zoning that is being considered is a lack of transparency,” Weatherly said.
Upon hearing Weatherly’s introduction, Greenville Mayor PJ Connelly asked him if his comments were related to the crypto mining vote that would be held at the Jan. 13 meeting.
Connelly’s reasoning for not allowing Weatherly to speak during the public comment period was due to the topic being a violation of the public comment period policy because the topic was not on the agenda, Connelly said.
Weatherly said his comments were related to the cryptocurrency vote before he thanked the council for their time and returned to his seat.
“Unfortunately you’re (members of the public) not able to speak during the public comment period because it would be a violation of our public comment period, but you are more than welcome to come back on Thursday night. You’ll have an adequate amount of time to talk during the public hearing if you are in opposition or if you’re in support of it (cryptocurrency),” Connelly said.
The City Council discussed a number of city boards and commissions that were in need of a new appointee such as the Firefighters Relief Fund Committee. The council members used the time after the public comment period to determine the items that would be on the next meeting agenda.
As the council neared adjournment, council member Monica Daniels spoke to recognize Jan. 9 Law Enforcement Appreciation Day and to thank the Greenville Police Department for their service.
“Yesterday was Law Enforcement Appreciation Day and I just want to say thank you to the men and women of our Greenville Police Department for all their hard work and dedication each day,” Daniels said. “You are appreciated.”
Mayor Connelly followed Daniels' comments of praise of his own for the Greenville City Police Department.
The last statement of the meeting before the council adjourned was made by Connelly regarding the gratitude the city council has for its service men and women.
“I would like to echo the same thing that Council Member Daniels said. Yesterday was Law Enforcement and Officer Appreciation Day. Thank you all for all you guys do, we (Greenville City Council) don’t thank you enough for all the hard work and dedication that you put into keeping our community safe,” Connelly said.