On Aug. 24, 2020, the Waynesboro City Council held a meeting. As a new resident, I was pleased to watch the event on the council's YouTube channel. I was impressed with the orderly proceedings and the intelligent discussion, including the framing of the CARES Act funding issues by deputy city manager Jim Shaw.
The main part of the meeting was about determining what to do with CARES Act funds. Some money was to be given to the Economic Development Authority to support COVID-affected local business. Councilman Terry Short proposed doubling the amount since ample funds are available and the deadline for spending the funds is fast approaching.
With hundreds of thousands of dollars left to be spent, I suggest that the council members quickly gather as much citizen input as possible. Who are the citizens with the greatest needs in Waynesboro? Business owners? The Black or Latinx communities? Those who are unhoused? Renters? The recently unemployed? The council could use the input of their constituents.
Perhaps the council can hold a forum, both virtually and in-person. The meeting would have to be held in a location larger than the council chambers, which can only safely hold 14 participants. Perhaps the high school or the Constitution Park pavilion would be a great place to get citizen input.