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Council Recap - The Finale

I have been contemplating how to make this post since I decided not to run for re-election. How do you sum up 16 years of service to the amazing Stone Mountain Village Community? I started doing these council recaps because too often during council meetings I would look out and see that only a handful of people were in attendance. The recaps were my way of engaging with the citizens and making them aware of what we were doing in all these meetings. In the last couple of years the need for these posts have dwindled because the citizen engagement has grown exponentially! I am so very excited for this and pray that it will continue. The citizens elect the council as their representative and need to ensure that their voices are being heard and reflected in the actions of the council.


This Finale will be a little different - this will be a look back on some of the highpoints over the last 4 terms! I have learned so much through the years and as many of you know I am working to continue my public service on a higher level. As sad as I am to see this chapter come to an end I am equally excited to see what the future holds!


A big thank you for your support!





Infrastructure

  • Completed streetscape project along Main Street

  • Repaved a large portion of Ridge Avenue with SPLOST funds - $308,159

  • Completed phase 2 of the Train Depot renovations – allowing the Visitor Center to move into the larger space

  • Completed the East Mountain Sidewalk project

  • Completed multiple drainage projects in the Rockborough Subdivision

  • 2017 - Road Project on Churchill Court, Central Drive, and Ferndale - $28,316

  • 2018 – Repaved Zachary Drive - $176,985

  • Supported petitions for new traffic calming measures on Cloud Street and 2nd Street between JBR and E. Mountain Street.

  • 2021 – repaved Mountain Village Court

  • 2022 – Sexton Drive Drainage project

  • 2022 - Supported the Kaboom Playground rebuild at McCurdy Park

  • 2023 - Supported the Kaboom Playground build at Leila Mason Park



Economic Development

  • Served on the Downtown Development Authority Board from 2006 to 2008 and 2010 to 2023 - acted as Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary at various times

  • More than 10 new businesses have opened or expanded in the last 5 years

  • Approved new construction at Hearthstone Subdivision, 35 new homes built and occupied – only new subdivision in the city

  • Major supporter of the Tunes by the Tracks Concert series

  • Funded the Stone Mountain Farmer’s Market

  • Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund support for 2 projects

  • The DDA sold 965 Main Street allowing for the rehab of the building and Stoned Pizza Kitchen to open

  • The DDA sold 5325 Manor Drive to Georgia Military College Foundation – providing the college the opportunity to expand

  • The DDA purchased 5379 E. Mountain Street, completed minor renovations to the building, sold the building to a thriving coffee roasting business

  • 2023 – completed the first mural project

  • Supported COVID Relief funding for small businesses in the City

Finances

  • Removed critical findings on the annual audit report

  • Increased budget reserves which eliminated the need for a yearly finance loan (i.e. in 2016 we borrowed $825,000; 2017 borrowed $713,000; 2018 borrowed $357,000 and paid it back with interest)

  • Decreased the millage rate yearly from 22.27 mills in 2017 to the current millage rate of 16.00 in 2023

  • Repaid City’s General Fund obligation to the Storm Water Fund

Communication

  • Started the Government 101 information series

  • City started on online newsletter

  • City dreated a new outreach Facebook page

  • Created City Council Recap Blog



Police

  • FY2019 – Increased the pay of each non-administrative officer by an entire grade

  • FY2019 – covered 100% of employee insurance premium

  • 2016 – provided tasers

  • 2015 - Body cameras

  • Provided take home vehicles for officers

  • Installed GPS units in vehicles

  • Implemented a 12 hour work shift to improve the quality of life of the officers

  • 2022 – raised the starting pay for officers to $50k

  • 2022 promoted Lt. Westerfield to the position of Chief

General Government

  • Heard the complaints from the Citizens and changed our sanitation provider to DeKalb County for an increased level of service

  • Adopted the resolution for the Fair Treatment of All Citizens

  • Heard the complaints from business owners on the slow process of having the County provide fire inspections – opted to take control of that process and increased the level of service, provide building inspections, fire marshal and permitting services)

  • Created the Parks and Recreation Committee

  • Completed the Comprehensive Plan Update in 2016

  • 2019 – appointed a new Chief Municipal Court Judge, added additional court days/times

  • Continual support of the Stone Mountain Community Garden

  • Created an ordinance to allow for the construction of a Tiny Home / Accessory Dwelling unit

  • Re-certified as a City of Ethics 2018 and 2023

  • Approved proclamation to establish the City as a Purple Heart City – 2018

  • Adopted a revised animal ordinance 2018-2019

  • Completed a Park Study through a grant with the Atlanta Regional Commission

  • 2022 – Provided an 18% pay raise for all employees

  • 2020 - Provided COVID rent / mortgage assistance program for citizens

  • 2020 - Celebrated the FIRST Juneteenth Holiday / Event in the City of Stone Mountain



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