FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) – In a unanimous vote, the Fayetteville City Council decided to keep tomorrow night`s city council meeting at City Hall.
The meeting is expected to draw a large crowd, after the council proposed creating a Civil Rights Administrator position, which would help protect citizens from discrimination.
However, many in the community are opposed, saying it could violate local business, and church, 1st amendment rights.
“We in Fayetteville tackle big issues, we just do that,” said Adella Gray, a Fayetteville City Council member.
The position would be used to uphold rules, barring local businesses from discriminating against potential customers.
“It’s an issue a lot of people are concerned about,” Gray said.
Since the idea was first proposed, many in the community have spoken out, with others fully supporting.
“I think it is an important issue. It is controversial, people are passionate about it,” said Paul Phaneuf, a local man.
With so many people interested in the topic, the city had to contemplate spending $2,000 to change the venue from City Hall to the Town Center in order to capitalize on more seating.
“Just the maximum space. So everyone can be in the room at all times, listening” Gray said.
One of the main concerns for Phaneuf was overflow seating.
“If they overflow, they will be in the street,” Phaneuf said. “I’m concerned with how people will be impacted by that. Specifically people with disabilities.”
Ultimately, the decision was made to keep it in city hall due to safety concerns with the crowd, and technology limitations.
“There was a long list of reasons for having it here. It could not be televised, the recording would be much more difficult, the amplification not as good,” Gray said.
City council members, and fire marshalls, said they will have to enforce an occupancy restriction. That meaning once capacity is met, someone will have to leave in order for someone else to enter to speak.
Therefore, the meeting will start at 5:30 PM, with doors opening at 4:30 PM.
“City hall business should be held at city hall,” Gray said.