Stone Mountain City Council holds retreat, lists top priorities

City of Stone Mountain seal on the historic railroad depot. Photo by Dean Hesse.

By Alex Brown, contributor 

Stone Mountain, GA – At the Stone Mountain City Council’s retreat held in February, the Georgia Municipal Association asked council members to list their top five priorities for the city. There was no specific time frame set for these goals. Here were the themes across members’ proposals.

Infrastructure fixes

In alignment with many recent public comments from residents, several council members said they wanted to prioritize street maintenance, such as repairing potholes and other structural issues. Stormwater drainage has also been a significant issue for the city, and some council members mentioned wanting to prioritize this.

Park facilities

Many council members want to prioritize improving the city’s parks, including adding benches, renovating restrooms and other existing facilities (something that is in motion for several of Stone Mountain’s parks), adding features like an ampitheatre or a splash pad, and adding biking and walking paths. Council members noted that some amount of funding for these projects could come from SPLOST and ARPA funds.

Internal communications

Several council members felt that improving their methods of internal communication could help the council lead more efficiently. A few council members mentioned also improving external communications, including updating the website and creating a citizen engagement plan.

Sustainability

Many council members listed energy-conscious initiatives in their top priorities, including replacing more high-pressure sodium streetlights with LEDs, using solar power for some lighting, creating a recycling program, and setting up electric vehicle charging stations. Adding more landscaping in the downtown area was also mentioned, which would provide more greenery in the city.

Community wellbeing

Placing emergency call boxes in public places, exploring more healthcare opportunities for residents, creating a program to address domestic violence, improving elementary schools’ library collections, enhancing programs for youth and seniors, and creating broadband internet access for residents were among the suggestions for improving the well-being of the community.

City legacy

As Stone Mountain moves forward as a city and its new leadership reckons with the community’s past, some council members want to make progressive moves, such as renaming streets that currently honor Confederate soldiers or slave owners. In a recent interview with Tucker Observer, Mayor Beverly Jones emphasized that Stone Mountain Park is owned by the state, not the city, and that she is not “the mayor of the mountain.”

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