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City of Clarkston - Georgia - where possibilities grow


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Council Minutes Tuesday November 1, 2016

Tuesday November 1, 2016 
Officials Present
Mayor: Ted Terry
Council: Dean Moore, Mario Williams, Ahmed Hassan, Awet Eyasu, Beverley Burks, 
City Manager: Keith Barker 
City Clerk: Tracy Ashby 
City Attorney: Stephen Quinn
Mayor Ted Terry called the meeting to order at 7:30pm.
Roll Call: Mayor Terry, Dean Moore, Mario Williams, Awet Eyasu, Ahmed Hassan, Beverley Burks
Robert Hogan resigned council seat.
Pledge of Allegiance
C1)  Approve Council Minutes for 10/4/16 Council Meeting
Ahmed Hassan made a motion to approve the Council minutes from the 10/4/16 Council Meeting. Awet Eyasu seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0).
Emanuel Ransom encouraged the Council to consider a property purchase at the corner of E Ponce de Leon Ave and Market Street for future development. 
Kitty Murray addressed the Refuge Coffee efforts to seek crowd funding to raise money to purchase the property at E Ponce de Leon and Market Street. They hope if they are successful in the purchase, they can partner with other groups in Clarkston to provide retail or food shops.  
E1)  Declare vacancy in the office of the City Council
Mayor Terry reported that Councilman Robert Hogan notified the Mayor and City Council of his intent to vacant his seat at the October 4, 2016 Council Meeting. The City Council voted at the October 4 Council meeting to table the vacancy resolution vote until November 1, to allow full council participation in the discussion and vote. Clarkston City Charter Sec. 2.05 (a) states that, “Such vacancy shall be declared by the Mayor unless it shall be the office of the Mayor which is vacant, and in such case by the vice-mayor. Such declaration shall be made in a regular meeting of the City Council and shall be affirmed by a majority vote of the City Council.” Given that the Council vacancy will occur on November 1, 2016, the next regular municipal election will occur more than twelve (12) months from the date of the declaration of the vacancy. Therefore a special election shall occur in order to fill the vacancy. Pursuant to state law (O.C.G.A. § 21-2-540(c)), the special election to fill the vacancy in the office of the Clarkston City Council shall occur on March 21, 2017. The successful candidate will fill the remainder of the unexpired term of office which concludes on December 31, 2017.
Mario Williams made a motion to declare the vacant the seat of Councilman Robert Hogan.  Beverly Burks seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion passed (5, 0). 
E2)  Adopt Ordinance to Regulate Pawnbrokers
Mario Williams detailed that the Council is concerned about the proliferation of pawn shops in a smaller city.  They have drafted the ordinance to address those concerns and the ordinance provides for a $3,5000 regulatory fee, the permitted hours of operation are 9a-5p Monday to Saturday,  and there are numerous regulatory controls provided in the ordinance. 
Mario Williams made a motion to adopt the ordinance to regulate pawnbrokers with the clarification that section 11-115 with the clarification that pawnshop employees must apply for a license, undergo a criminal background check to determine if they have been convicted of a felony of the crime of moral turpitude in the past 5 years and pay a fee of $300 and the city attorney will adjust the ordinance accordingly and present it to the Mayor for signature Awet Eyasu seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0).  
E3)  Adopt Ordinance by the City of Clarkston to Amend the City Charter to be Consistent with the City Manager Form of Government and with State General Law
The City Manager advised that at the Council retreat, the City Manager and City Attorney were asked to review and update the Charter to be consistent with the City Manager/Council form of government.  Councilman Williams stated there are some possible changes the council would like to include in the ordinance.  Awet Eyasu made a motion to deny the ordinance by the city Council to amend the City Charter to be Consistent with the City Council/ Manager Form of Government and with State General Law. Mario Williams seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0). 
E4) Adopt Occupational Tax Ordinance Amendment
Mr. Barker reported that this item includes updates to the Occupational Tax ordinance and at the October Council meeting the Council expressed concerns with the financial impact on smaller businesses.  Staff requests additional time to compare alternative financial models and confirm there are no inequities on the small businesses. 
Mario Williams made a motion to table the Occupational Tax ordinance amendment until the December 6 Council Meeting. Beverly Burks seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0). 
F1)  Discuss Indoor Clean Air Ordinance 
Councilman Williams stated that after the adoption of the Clean Indoor Air ordinance some local businesses advised they were greatly impacted due to the loss of hookah allowed in their restaurant business.  The Council has worked with these businesses to reach a compromise that the businesses would only be open to patrons 21 years and older to hold a grandfather status until December 31, 2018. 
Awet Eyasu made a motion to amend  Chapter 10, the Clean Indoor Air Ordinance, to allow temporary grandfather at certain restaurants for that allow patron 21 years and older. Mario Williams seconded the motion.  Discussion:  Councilman Moore stated that the strict enforcement of the 21 year and older compliance was essential to those businesses retaining the grandfather status. Mayor Terry advised that the 30 foot buffer had not been changed under this amendment.  A vote was called and the motion carried (4- Yes Awet Eyasu, Mario Williams, Ahmed Hassan, Beverly Burks, 1-Abstain, Dean Moore)
F2)  Adopt Ban the Box Ordinance
Councilman Williams detailed that this ordinance is intended to decrease marginalization by removing the criminal history inquiry from employment applications.   He further detailed the extended functions of the ordinance as it would apply to potential contract vendors engaged with the City of Clarkston. 
Awet Eyasu made a motion to adopt the Ban the Box Ordinance.  Beverly Burks seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0). 
F3)  Adopt Resolution/Policy for Family Parenting Leave 
Councilwoman Burks detailed the Family and Medical Leave Act, which was passed in 1993, only guarantees that qualifying workers can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in one year to care for seriously ill family members, their dire health needs, or newborns, without loss of employment upon return.  The United States is the only industrialized nation that doesn't provide universal leave to accommodate new parents and those with ill family members who temporarily leave jobs to become caregivers. Providing workers with paid time off to attend to the health and needs of their new family members will ensure a healthier and more productive personnel in Clarkston. This policy will have a positive effect on the public health of the City of Clarkston Employees by increasing employee retention and better recruitment of candidates for City positions. The proposed resolution would allow Clarkston employees to take 8 weeks of partial paid leave. Mario Williams made a motion to approve the resolution to adopt a Paid Family/Parenting Leave Policy to Provide Paid Leave For Certain Qualified Employees. Ahmed Hassan seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0). 
F4)  Reclassification of Patrol Officer Position to Training/Certification Manager
Mr. Barker reported that staff is requesting the reclassification of a Patrol Officer position to a Training/Certification Manager.  This position will serve as the department’s accreditation and state certification manager; will draft and modify policies and procedures; will maintain accreditation files; draft new written directives; and will review and provide recommendations covering a wide variety of complex and technical issues related to law enforcement.  The positon will also serve as the department training officer to insure all personnel meet P.O.S.T certification requirements.  The position will be tasked to assist with obtaining state certification and eventually national CALEA certification. 
Awet Eyasu made a motion to reclassify one Patrol Officer Position to Training/Certification Manager.  Mario Williams seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0). 
F5)  Approve Consulting/Lobbying Agreement
Mayor Terry stated the City of Clarkston determined at the Council retreat that it will be seeking legislation to allow for an annexation Referendum and creation of a Clarkston Development Authority during the 2017 Georgia Legislative Session. In order to facilitate the development and ultimate approval of this legislation, the City proposes to enter into a professional services agreement with Doug Stoner of LD Squared, Inc. 
Ahmed Hassan made a motion to approve the contract with LD Squared, Inc.  Dean Moore seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0). 
F6)  Adopt Resolution of Support for Starnes Senior Living
Mr. Barker detailed that the Beverly J. Searles Foundation, Inc. is pursuing the development of approximately 125 elderly-resident independent living units located near the intersection of Montreal Rd. and Clarkston Industrial Blvd. Low income housing tax credits would be an integral part of the financing package. The Searles Foundation is seeking Project Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) from HUD through the Atlanta Housing Authority. The PBRA application is due before December 30, 2016. The Searles Foundation has requested a Resolution of support from the City Council which is a PBRA application requirement. The proposed Resolution will serve to satisfy that requirement. 
Beverly Burks made a motion to adopt the Resolution of support for Starnes Senior Living for ages 62 or better. Mario Williams seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0). 
1) Planning & Zoning Report
Shawanna Qawiy reported the October Planning & Zoning Board had one sign application for 4606 E Ponce de Leon Ave. Discussion on gas line pressure tests noted on staff weekly reports. 
2)  City Manager’s Report
Mr. Barker provided the Year to Date Financial report thru October 31, 2016 to the council. He advised the Insurance Premium annual revenue payment exceeded the budgeted amount by $200K due to the annexation. The City has made application to the DeKalb County Community Block Grant program for sidewalks and crossing enhancements. Mr. Barker provided an update on the off-ramp enhancement and monument sign at I-285.  The City will continue the arrangement with Trees Atlanta for tree planting of an additional 40 trees per year for the next three years. The Tree Lighting is scheduled for early December either the 2nd or 3rd. 
3)  City Attorney’s Report
Stephen Quinn stated he had received communication from the DeKalb County Law dept. preparing an agreement for the transfer of 40 Oaks Nature Preserve.  This item has not yet been approved by the Commissioners but it is anticipated to be considered soon. 
4)  Council Remarks
Beverly Burks reported that October 12th the Coffees with Charities was successful with excellent information provided by Dr. Morris from Fulton DeKalb Hospital.  She commended the staff for the October 8th Food Truck Festival.  
Ahmed Hassan stated he filed a complaint with Councilman Eyasu regarding the Office State Senator Henson and Congressman Hank Johnson regarding a lack of effective communication between the immigrant children and the schools in Clarkston. 
Awet Eyasu thanked Councilman Hassan for including him in the meeting and he felt it was well attended and very productive. He thanked Mr. Barker for inviting him to attend the ARC State of the Region Breakfast. 
Dean Moore thanked the staff for the Food Truck Festival. He appreciated being in attendance of the State of the Region Breakfast and being able to hear Ambassador Andrew Young speak. 
5)  Mayor’s Report- 
Mayor Terry reported on his extensive meetings and activities during the prior month.   Mayor Terry spoke at Morehouse College to a class in the Psychology Department on a variety of subjects including the refugees in Clarkston, criminal justice reforms and Ban the Box.  Georgia Tech Architecture and Planning School want to do a design studio in Clarkston.  The process includes the Master students pick an area and create their own design for a project. 
Awet Eyasu made a motion to go into Executive Session to discuss a legal and real estate matter.  Dean Moore seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0).
Executive Session
Dean Moore made a motion to close the executive session and go into open session.  Mario Williams seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0).
Open Meeting
Beverly Burks made a motion to adjourn the Council Meeting.  Dean Moore seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0). 
Meeting adjourned 9:51pm. 
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