Clarkston welcomes new economic development coordinator, still seeking city clerk

Clarkston City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Clarkston, GA — The City of Clarkston is still seeking a new city clerk, following the retirement of Tracy Ashby who served as City Clerk for 23 years. Karen Sessoms, who had temporarily filled the position, has resigned for personal reasons.

Dineta O’Hara is replacing Shawanna Qawiy as Economic Development Coordinator. Qawiy is serving as Interim City Manager after the resignation of Robin Gomez in September.

The city adopted a proclamation of November 11 as Veteran’s Day, along with a resolution urging the state legislature to follow fair and transparent practices in the redistricting process. The resolution was supported by the Georgia Redistricting Alliance and Women Watch Afrika, Inc.

The city council tabled an application presented by Fresh Harvest for a grant of $65,000 to be used for the purchase of a new food truck. The money would be available through Clarkston’s Temporary Business Assistance Program, which is intended to assist Clarkston businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act.

The food truck would be used to expand Fresh Harvest’s Share the Harvest charitable program, which provides fresh vegetables to low-income areas in Clarkston.

The city approved a municipal excise tax ordinance for a 3% tax on all lodging in the city of Clarkston. The tax will apply to all types of lodging, including “marketplace innkeepers” as defined by state law. Companies like AirBnB are considered marketplace innkeepers. The city also approved a change to licensing fees for insurers operating in the city of Clarkston, from $50 per year to $75.

The city also approved a change order for the Market Street Resurfacing and Sidewalks Project to add painted metal guardrails instead of wooden guardrails. The consulting engineer on the project confirmed that there was no safety requirement for a guardrail. This change would reduce the cost from $48,195 to $18,695.

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