Such as it is, this is Dred’s Discussion, your look at municipal government from street level. The HPPD has been conducting a PR campaign by recently raiding area drug houses, giving credit to concerned citizens’ call-ins. This writer submits HPPD has known about these houses all along and used these raids to solidify good public relations with the help of the HP Enterprise. Gov. Roy Cooper mandated the wearing of masks in public and statements from the NC Department of Health and Human Services our Mayor remains silent in the face of rising Corona virus numbers. The only city agency to make a statement is HPPD to say no arrests have been made for violation of the mandate. City leaders are in the process of implementing a new set of initiatives aimed at beefing up HP’As labeled the initiative will do little to help Blacks in the city. The city has a long history of nepotism in city hiring and overlooking local qualified Blacks when filling department heads positions unless they happen to be HPU graduates. City Councilman Chris Williams spoke in support of the Hayden Harman Foundation grant request for six hand-washing stations and two portable toilets to assist the homeless during the pandemic. No dollar amount has been set for the project but the city would have oversight of the spending of funds. I believe it would have been more productive for the city to implement this program using grant money to fund it. But we have seen how the Jay Wagner led City Council listens to its citizens. Jay Wagner is leading a push to give free money to subsidize rent assistance, capital improvements to buildings and job creation for new office construction or major renovations to a property within a defined district. “It’s designed to help us recruit office jobs in the stadium area,” Wagner said. Apparently the city is only interested in drawing office workers to downtown. The city hired a consultant in June 2018 to rewrite local sign laws for the first time since 1992. Once a draft is complete, it will undergo another round of legal review to ensure compliance with recent court decisions and then go out for public review. Again we know the history of public review by the council. Major Travis Stroud was named interim chief of HPPD by Interim City Manager Randy McCaslin. No mention of community input was announced. The HP Enterprise appears to have a select list of persons whose letters to the OPINIO column are published, are large number of which reside in other cities. I’m sure HP residents write to the Enterprise but we see few of those letters. Perhaps the Enterprise’s role in promoting Council’s agenda mandates not viewing HP resident’s opinions. Such as it is, this is Dred’s Discussion.
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