From the Desk of Stonecrest City Councilman George Turner, District 4
Thank you to the 50 plus dedicated citizens who braved the heavy rainstorm and came out to support and participate in our first town hall meeting for District 4 on June 15. There was an extremely heavy rainstorm from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. causing loss of power and several downed trees.
Greetings and Welcome 7:07 p.m.
Prayer Rotary Club Chaplin, Willie Hinton
Acknowledgement of elected officials Mayor Jason Lary, Councilman Jimmy Clanton, Judge Ronald Ramsey.
We also acknowledged two of the architects of the cityhood movement, Mr. Joel Thibodeaux and Ms. Michelle Emanuel. City Manager Michael Harris was on hand to answer several questions and officer Adams of Code Enforcement made himself available.
We offered a background of the South Lithonia Neighborhood Coalition, Inc. (SLNC). For the last 15 years, it has been a source of neighborhood involvement for a great part of what is now District 4. It was strictly voluntary and now that we are a city, we finally have elected local representation at the neighborhood level, which has been so important to the coalition. The SLNC intends to continue its work.
We explained the various layers of representation for City Council District 4:
- 4th District City Council of Stonecrest, George Turner
- 4Th District, federal level, Congressman Hank Johnson
- 4th District for the GA Department of Transportation, Robert Brown
- 5th District for DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, Mereda Davis Johnson
- 5th District for DeKalb County School Board, Vicki Turner
- 7th District for DeKalb County Board of Commissioners (Super District) Gregory Adams
- 90th District State House, Georgia General Assembly, Pamela Stephenson
- 10th District Georgia State Senate, Emanuel Jones
- 43rd District Georgia State Senate, Tonya Anderson
- Your local Homeowner Associations
All attendees were reminded of the function of the Governor’s Commission for transition to Cityhood for Stonecrest. Now that the inauguration has taken place, the commission is officially dissolved. However, the commission put together an extension report with specific recommendations that are still awaiting action. As future action will take place on all committees, the attendees were encouraged to sign up and volunteer on the following committees, which can be set by City Council;
Governor’s Commission 7 original committees:
Code Enforcement & Beautification
Community Affairs- Education
Community Affairs- Public Safety
Parks & Recreation
Planning & Zoning
General service (new)
We discussed accomplishments by the City Council since inauguration. We discussed the process of deliberation on resolutions and ordinances. After the minutes from City Council meetings are adopted at the subsequent meeting, then the minutes are entered into public records and are available for all to see. The public was invited to attend all work sessions and City Council meetings as the schedule is published and by law, all meetings are open to the public with very few exceptions. For the sake of time, we only read one week’s summary. We committed to send the other weeks via email or you can find a copy online at the City’s Website. The City Clerk is responsible for keeping all copies of minutes.
First 45 days of City Council Activity
Historic inauguration of the Stonecrest City Council, May 1, 7 p.m., The Mall at Stonecrest
First City Council meeting, May 8, 9 a.m., Stonecrest Library
1st action item: election of Mayor Pro Tempore
- Acting City Clerk (Carolyn Andrews)
- Acting City Attorney (Thompson Kurrie
- Acting Assistant Attorney Steven Fincher and Winston Denmark
- Resolution to formally adopted the City Charter
- Resolution to adopt Meeting policies and procedures
- Resolution to notify DeKalb County Regarding intent to transfer Planning and Zoning to the city of Stonecrest
- Meeting schedule adopted
- Moratorium on Zoning and Land Development permits
- Established a two-year transition period
Second City Council meeting, May 15, 10 a.m.
- Approved interim tenant representative regarding City Hall space with T. Dallas Smith Co.
- Approved a third party contractor for city operation: CH2M
- Approved the purchase of operation Equipment for the mayor and council
- Approved the authorization of insurance for public officials of Stonecrest
- Moved to amend the regular meeting schedule of the calendar year (withdrew)
- Moved to pass an ordinance to establish Council Committees (withdrew)
- Passed ordinance to establish position of City Clerk of Municipal Court
- Passed ordinance clarifying the intent of the Zoning Moratorium in regards to alcohol licensing
- Passed a resolution to appoint City Attorney and assistant attorneys, Coleman Talley and Fincher Denmark, Assistant Attorneys.
- Passed a resolution to appoint Michael Harris as Acting City Manager
- Passed a Resolution to appoint Brenda James as Acting City Clerk
Third City Council meeting, June 5, 10 a.m.
- Passed a resolution to approve expenditures by CH2M and reimbursement for costs
- Passed a resolution to amend the regular City Council meeting schedule for calendar year 2017
- The council acknowledged the receipt of the Governor’s Commission report
- Approved letter of agreement with T. Dallas Smith
- Approved the legal services agreement
- First read for Ordinance for the adoption of Calendar Year as Fiscal Year
- First read for ordinance to establish district council committees
- Resolution to engage DeKalb County Board of Elections for all municipal elections
- Resolution for Stonecrest to take part in DeKalb County Community Development Agreement CDBG/Home program
Fourth City Council meeting, June 12, 10 a.m.
**Minutes not yet approved (should be available after June 19.)
Some of the questions asked by the audience included:
- What is going on with code enforcement during the transition? Is DeKalb still responsible?
- Why did the city choose a third party vender to provide city services (CH2M)?
- How much will it cost to contract CH2M?
- Financing source issues were discussed.
- How can the Education Committee get more involved in the City’s development?
- What is the projected budget to finish this fiscal year and what is the annual cost?
- There was a question about social media gossip vs. getting facts from the source.
- Traffic control issues at Salem and Evans Mill.
- Deer hunters (crossbow) requesting access to homeowner’s backyards?
- There were concerns about the local shopping center taking on a party atmosphere on specific weekends.
- Why is there an unusually high number of DeKalb PD road checks in the Klondike Road area?
- What impact will the new Atlanta Sports City complex have on the infrastructure of the City?
- What impact will the DeKalb county SPLOST have on the city?
- What about the millage rate hearings and adoption?