At least part of the commotion in Germantown stemmed from a recorded phone call Wednesday that alerted people about the meeting. The message said Mayor Nutter and Councilwoman Cindy Bass had "invited" people to attend, said Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald, who was there.
Many residents took this to mean that the officials would be there, and they were frustrated to show up and find no elected officials. Some started chanting, "Cindy Bass, she's an a--!"
Bass spokesman Joe Corrigan said the councilwoman had already committed to attending the high-profile School Reform Commission meeting Thursday - during which several schools in her district were ordered closed - when the administration alerted her of the AVI meeting with just one day's notice.
"She was advocating to save Germantown High School, keep Fulham open, keep Kinsey open," Corrigan said.
McDonald said Council members were not invited because the point of the meeting was to help residents with individual problems, rather than have officials answer broad questions about AVI. He said the city had helped hundreds of people at both events to file appeals of their new assessments and apply for a homestead exemption, a tax break for people who live in their own home.
People who want a "town-hall" event for general questions on AVI can contact the Office of Property Assessment, McDonald said, to set up a community meeting. OPA has held more than 40 since last fall, he said.
McDonald also said more staffers woudl be assigned to future events. The next session is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Ss. John Neumann and Marie Goretti Catholic High School at 10th and Moore streets.
On Twitter: @SeanWalshDN