Clarkston City Council considers changes to agenda process, approves budget

Clarkston City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Clarkston, GA — The Clarkston City Council is considering changes to the rules for adding items to the agenda for city council meetings. Vice Mayor Awet Eyasu suggested the change, which will require three or more city council members, inclusive of the mayor, to agree to place an item on the agenda for city council meetings, no less than 48 hours before the meeting.

“This is to codify our existing process and also to make our process more collaborative,” said Vice Mayor Awet Eyasu. He added that he believed it would make agenda items move more quickly and encourage discussion at the committee level to build consensus. Currently, items can be added by the mayor and two city council members, or two city council members alone.

Council member Debra Johnson suggested postponing the changes until the new city council meets for the first time in February. The council agreed to postpone the decision.

In other business:

– During public comment, Clarkston resident Amy Medford suggested that translations of city council meeting agendas be provided to increase public access and participation.

– The City Council approved the Fiscal Year 2022 budget for the city, anticipating total expenditure and revenue for all funds of $12,973.624. Both expenditure and revenue estimates represent a 13% increase over FY2021.

– The council approved allocating $40,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding towards the purchase of a Fresh Harvest food truck, in a 3/3 tie broken by the mayor’s aye vote. The partnership is intended to result in $130,000 in food donations for Clarkston residents, and Fresh Harvest will not be allowed to use the truck outside the 30021 ZIP code until that amount is reached.

The council allocated an additional $15,000 in ARPA funding for food distribution and also approved allocating ARPA funds not to exceed $25,000 for outdoor calisthenic equipment at city parks, $13,000 to add new equipment and the remainder to upgrade existing park equipment.

– The council approved a resolution presenting recommendations to the Community Development and Economic Development Standing Advisory Committees to draft a comprehensive workforce development plan for the city of Clarkston. The council also approved a resolution for the creation of a Downtown Development Authority. During public comment resident Roberta Malavenda suggested that the city develop and fund a community engagement plan as well.

– The council is asking the House Standing Advisory Committee to review existing ordinances regarding housing inspections and tenant-landlord relations, engage subject-matter experts, and make recommendations to improve city housing policy.

– The council approved a series of items associated with SPLOST projects, including the SPLOST 04 Rowland Road Diet closure option with a one way car lane and bike lane, Georgia Power facilities relocation, and storm line, plus SPLOST 08 Market Street sidewalks and resurfacing.

– The council also approved erecting a plaque to commemorate the sitting mayor and council members who have worked with the streetscapes project.

– Additionally, the council approved a Georgia Department of Transportation Local Maintenance Improvement Grant in the amount of $91,600.45.

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