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Salisbury City Council to discuss role of committee in updating free speech aspects of ordinance

SALISBURY — At its Oct. 4 meeting, the Salisbury City Council voted against an update the city’s special-events ordinance until more attention had been paid to free-speech provisions.

But after the vote, the council did not determine the next step for the committee assigned to update those components.

At tonight’s City Council meeting, Councilmen Brian Miller and David Post, who are in charge of the committee, will ask the council to clarify what the committee should do moving forward.

Miller said at the Oct. 4 meeting that when they were assigned to head the committee nearly a year ago, they were not told to focus on updating the free-speech part of the ordinance.

The committee met multiple times over the course of 10 months with residents, event organizers and city officials to discuss and refine what changes needed to be made to the special-events ordinance.

The ordinance has not been updated in nearly 30 years.

Kelly Baker, the assistant to the city manager, said in an email that the committee is hoping to determine whether it can move forward and study the parts of the ordinance that deal with free speech.

“Otherwise, we just have something that has been left on the table,” Baker said.

Other items on tonight’s agenda include:

• The council will consider a second reading about establishing a conditional district overlay that would allow for the construction of Fire Station 3.

Preston Mitchell, the development and code services manager for the city, said there have been no changes to the proposal since the first reading.

• The council will recognize international students from Livingstone College.

The council meeting will be at 5 p.m. today at City Hall, 217 S. Main St.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.

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