Scooters and bow hunting were on the agenda for the Public Safety Committee, but residents wanted to talk about the Confederate statue.

City officials announced immediate
plans to remove the Confederate monument at the end of January, and yet it was
still standing when members of Hate Out of Winston appeared before the Public
Safety Committee of Winston-Salem City Council on Monday night.

“You have written us a check that we
cannot cash,” Miranda Jones told members of the committee as 10 members of the
group stood behind her. “We are here and plan to stay here.”

After the meeting, Assistant City
Manager Damon Dequenne declined to comment on the status of the initiative,
other than to confirm that the city was still trying to work out logistics and
that the removal of the statue could take place at any time within the next few
weeks. City Attorney Angela Carmon said a judge denied a request for a hearing
in response to a second motion by the United Daughters of the Confederacy for a
temporary restraining order.

During Jones’ comments, supporters
repeated a chorus of, “Tear it down!”

While city officials are using
public safety concerns as a legal justification for removing the statue, Jones
argued, “The real public safety issue is a system of white supremacy that erected
the statue.” She said white supremacy manifests itself today in investment on the
west side of the city while unsafe school buildings remain on the east side, in
underfunding of affordable housing and transit, and in a recent ICE raid at an
apartment complex off Motor Road. She also alluded to a recent letter by the city
attorney alleging that neo-Confederate activists brought guns to a rally
attended by antiracists.

“You say this is a public safety
issue when we have risked our very lives confronting a group that brought armed
security to keep the statue up; we brought nothing but our voices,” Jones said.
“Today, we bring nothing but our voices. But we’re not an echo; we’re a strong
vibration. We ask: Can we cash the check?”

Three monument supporters, including
Yadkin County resident Howard Snow of the neo-Confederate group Heirs to the
Confederacy, also attended the meeting, but left before Chairman James Taylor
opened it up to public comment.

***

Members of the Public Safety
Committee also discussed proposed regulations for Bird scooters. The committee
voted to temporarily ban Bird scooters in November until the city can develop
workable regulations. Assistant City Manager Marilena Guthold said staff needs
another month to work on the proposal, particularly to develop “a more robust provision
regarding data breaches” so that users’ personal information is protected.

But it’s certain that the regulations
will include time and age restrictions. Council members expressed no
disagreement when Guthold reported that staff was looking to set 16 as a minimum
age, and that the draft proposal includes a measure to prohibit use between 9
p.m. and 6 a.m.

The draft regulations also call for
service providers “to maintain a 24-hour hotline and a local office open during
business hours.”

Council members disagreed about what
level of management should be expected of service providers.

“The idea that hours of operation,
we’re asking for a storefront or a physical place and a person who is
responsible for a program and licensing — I’m curious if the hours of operation
do not correspond to the hours of operation for the rental of that equipment,
and allowing them to start renting at 6 o’clock in the morning and run until 10
at night when most businesses run from 8 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon,”
Councilman John Larson said. “And I have a problem with that because most of
our problems are going to happen at 8 o’clock at night or 7 o’clock at night.”

In contrast, Councilman Jeff
MacIntosh said he doesn’t see a need to have a person on location for every
hour when the scooters are in service.

The current draft regulations give the service provider 72 hours to collect abandoned scooters. But Mayor Pro Tem Vivian Burke said the city should put them on a tighter leash, expressing concern that school children and other pedestrians will have to step over scooters on the sidewalks.

The city of Greensboro has already implemented new rules governing the use of scooters.

***

Committee members also discussed a proposal to allow bow hunting inside the city limits.

“We’ve had ample discussion of this in
committee,” said Councilman James Taylor, who chairs the Public Safety
Committee. “I think over all, there were members of the council and committee
who spoke in favor of this ordinance because it creates jobs, maybe impacting
processing the venison. And it provides a healthy source of food for children
and families. And lastly, it could help feed the homeless and some of the
residents in this city who may be living in poverty.”

Last month, Councilwoman DD Adams
spoke enthusiastically about the proposal.

“I believe we can do something good
here, provide protein for families that can’t afford to go get — whether it’s
steak or Angus or whatever it is,” she said. “I also believe we can help feed
the homeless in this way, to go give protein.

“I definitely plan to get me some
bow lessons, because I’m going for it,” she added.

While Taylor and Adams highlighted the economic and food security benefits of hunting, Assistant City Manager Damon Dequenne framed the purpose of the program in terms of wildlife management.

“The
whole idea is to reduce nuisances,” he said. “Apparently, deer are a nuisance.
They can get into your garden. They can cause traffic accidents. And the intent
is to reduce the urban deer population and prevent those things.”

Dequenne said 61 other North Carolina
municipalities allow bow-hunting, including Kannapolis, Concord and
Huntersville, but Winston-Salem would be the largest.

“When we spoke to the other cities
that have this, it’s not as widely used as they thought it would be,” he said. “They
get a handful of hunters.”

Last month, Dequenne said, “Their experience
is there’s been no citations for breaking the rules, no complaints about
hunters. They were shocked at the limited number of hunters that were actually
taking the opportunity.”

The ordinance would allow people to
hunt with bows and arrows and crossbows during during the months of January and
February.

The proposed ordinance would
generally allow people to hunt on lots that are at least two acres, with the
exception of historic districts. And hunting would be prohibited on, adjacent
to or across from public property.

Larson said he would prefer that the
minimum lot size be increased to three acres — a change that Taylor said he
could support.

“Don’t anybody leave here morbidly
afraid they’re going to be shooting arrows through your backyard,” Taylor said.
“It’s not the case.”

purpose of the ordinance is alleviate hunger by allowing the people the opportunity to hunt deer.

The proposed ordinance would
generally allow people to hunt on lots that are at least two acres, with the
exception of historic districts, institutional zoning and schools. Larson said
he would prefer that the minimum lot size be increased to three acres — a
change that Taylor said he could support.

Taylor said the ordinance would only
allow hunting from raised platforms so that the arrows are fired downward.

“Don’t anybody leave here morbidly
afraid they’re going to be shooting arrows into your backyard,” Taylor said.

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