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Work Session Recap November 17, 2020


Happy Thursday!

I hope everyone has had a good week and are gearing up to have a healthy and safe Thanksgiving next week. As COVID numbers continue to rise please wear a mask, limit your exposure and keep physically distant to help slow the spread.


Tuesday night we had a Public Hearing on the FY2021 Budget, a Special Called Meeting, and the Work Session. So let's jump into it.


Public Hearing

A public hearing was held to receive public comment on the FY2021 Proposed Budget. No comments were made. You can review the proposed budget on the City's website.


Special Called Meeting

A. Bid Award and Contract Execution was approved for Ridge Avenue Road Maintenance Project Bid # CIP 2020-002 for H.E.H. Paving, Inc. for $192,533.56. Paving limits include Ridge Avenue from Shepherd Rd to the end of Medlock Park and from Ridge Forest to Rockborough. The plan is to have the paving complete by the end of the year. Signs will be posted prior to the start of the work.


B. Approval of the Comcast Enterprise Services Order for City Hall and Welcome Center Ethernet/Internet Upgrades - $2,441.50/month for a 24 month term. This will allow for better connection and upload speeds which has become necessary with hosting virtual meetings due to COVID.


Work Session

Committee Discussion Items

A. Planning Commission - the newly appointed members, council and staff will be provided training on December 10th.

B. Historic Preservation Commission - the newly appointed members will be provided training on December 8th.


Staff Reports

A. Tourism Manager - It was announced that due to the increased spread of COVID the fireworks display and Christmas Parade has been cancelled. The City is hoping to instead hold an event in the spring of 2021 if conditions are improved.


City Managers Report - Congratulations to City Manager Thornton for again being asked to serve on the Georgia Municipal Association's Federal Policy Committee. This is a state wide committee and we are proud to have her represent us.


Unfinished Business

A. COVID Relief Programming - Small Business Relief Program. City Manager Thornton met with representatives of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to discuss utilizing their services to administer a program for the city. LISC would handle the administration and award. Our subcommittee (myself, councilmembers Hollis and Monroe) will be working on the application form, recommendations for business types, etc. The recommendation is to allocate $250k to the program plus the 15% administration fee. An update was also given on the mortgage relief program which should be rolling out within the next few weeks.


B. Council Policy Discussion Topics - Graffiti, alcohol legislation changes and parking; Administration is working on formulating the proposed ordinances for these items and will present them at future meetings.


New Business

A. Consent Agenda - City Attorney Strickland is in the process of reviewing the annual contracts and agreements and it is anticipated that approval will be given at a special called meeting to be held December 15th.

  1. Annual Appointments by Council

  2. City Auditor - James Whitaker, PC

  3. City Engineers - Clark, Patterson lee

  4. City Attorney - Jeff Strickland

  5. Assistant City Attorney - Solicitor Kenneth O'Rourke

  6. Legal Organ - The Champion Newspaper

  7. Contractor for Services Renewal - City of Stone Mountain and A.R.T. Station, Inc. - questions were asked on how the programs were advertised and how contract compliance could be achieved during COVID.

  8. Contract of Services Renewal - City of Stone Mountain and Professional Probation Services, Inc.

  9. Visitor's Center Agreement Renewal - City and Stone Mountain Memorial Association

  10. Lease Agreement - VFW Community Garden

  11. Renewal Agreement - Property Registration Champions, LLC

  12. Contract for Services with Stone Mountain Historic Society, LLC - Councilmember Cox strongly disagreed with the idea of creating an exhibit on the history of Shermantown to be housed at the Visitor Center which is a part of the annual contract. I suggested this item could be revisited but the intent was to create a permanent exhibit on the historic community similar to the one at the DeKalb History Center on the Flat Rock Community.

  13. Contract for Services and annual appointment for Chief Judge, L'Erin Wiggins

  14. Contract for Services and annual appointment for Associate Judge Warren Hoffman

  15. Contract for Services and annual appointment for Associate Judge Mark Gaffney

  16. Contract for Services Attorney Kenneth O'Rourke

  17. Contract for Services Attorney Otanya Clarke

B. City of Stone Mountain Pay and Compensation Plan. The proposed FY2021 budget accounts for a cost of living adjustment of 1.03% therefore the plan needed to be updated to accommodate this.


New Ordinances and Resolutions

A. First Read was made for Ordinance 2020-12 Budget for Fiscal Year 2021. The Second Read and adoption of the budget is scheduled for December 1, 2020.


B. Resolution 2020-24 Setting the Official Holiday Schedule for 2021. Only change is the addition of the unpaid holiday for Juneteenth, June 19th 2021. Mayor did also express interest in hosting an event for this date.


C. Resolution 2020-25 Appointment of Prosecuting and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Jeff Strickland and Kenneth O'Rourke respectively. In addition to the annual appointments we are required to do the resolution and provide it to the Prosecuting Attorney's Council of the State of Georgia.


Announcements

Councilmember Bryant and City Manager Thornton gave an update on the planning of an event to provide baskets to City Seniors. Tentatively scheduled for December 12th. Look out for more information to come.


Disclaimer: This City Council Recap is taken from my personal notes and memories of the meeting. For the official minutes of the meetings please visit the City web page.



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First off, thank you to everyone who has reached out. The support is appreciated more than I can express! So, it was another 4 hour meeting of Council. Bear with me as I try to explain some of what oc