What happened at the May Commission meeting?

Here’s what happened at the Mayor and Commission meeting in Athens, Georgia on May 7, 2019:

1. Public art for Firestation #2 and Cooperative Extension
2. West Broad pedestrian improvements delayed
3. Expanded Vehicle Program for ACCPD
4. Pocket neighborhood on Clover Street
5. Another executive session?
6. FY 2020 Budget meeting


Hi everyone! Here’s what happened at the Mayor and Commission meeting on May 7th. We’ll go through these one at a time, really quickly. Ready? Here goes!

The commission approved public art for Firestation #2 on and for the Cooperative Extension building. It was paid for with SPLOST 2011 dollars.

They considered pedestrian improvements for West Broad, which would include potential sidewalks for Magnolia, Waddell and Paris streets. Some people living there expressed concern that the sidewalks could take away large portions of their already small yards.

This sidewalk will take out our hedges, a tree, flower beds and part of my garden, but also I don’t think it’s the fix for making our neighborhood safer. We need speedbumps, and we need streetlights, and we need stop signs.

These sidewalks were delayed for at least a month to discuss other options,which makes sense to me. A potential roundabout at Broad and Hancock was also put on hold due to public opposition.

FYI – I wrote a blog about roundabouts and why one is badly needed at that intersection, which you can read on my website.

ACCPD has had a long-standing program allowing officers to take their police cars home with them. This was done to incentivize them to live within the community they serve.

Well, I think there’s theory, and what we’ve experienced. The police officers who lived outside the county felt like they were just as dedicated as those inside. It doesn’t seem to have appreciably incentivized folks to move here.

Over the years, it seems it hasn’t really improved the number of officers living in Athens, but what it has done is chip away at the morale of officers who don’t. They want the same perks, and the commission agreed to allow it and extend the program to all officers.

A small area off of Clover street in Normaltown was rezoned to allow for a high-density pocket neighborhood.

Alright, I would accept a motion to move out of public session and into executive session.

So moved.

After the meeting, the commission went into another executive session. And I have never seen them have so many meetings. It’s at least double what I’m used to seeing. Whatever differences you or I may have with the commission, it’s pretty clear that this is a hard-working and extremely dedicated bunch. If the meetings continue like this, in all sincerity, they may need to get a raise.

So many meetings! The next day, they had another meeting, this time to discuss the fy2020 budget. At the meeting, Commissioners Thornton and Hamby proposed a $4 million prosperity package to help combat poverty.

Because we do have a fund balance of $22 million dollars. All I’m saying is, we can invest $4 million of that $22 million dollars into human infrastructure that builds prosperity for people that aren’t experiencing it and that way it builds our economy and makes our economy even stronger.

I find this idea very intriguing and I’m interested to learn more.

Okay, I’m going to do another video where I analyze the budget, so be on the lookout for that in early June. Hey, if you like this video, be sure to subscribe to my channel and hit that like button! Thanks for watching!

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