Clarkston approves municipal court amnesty program

Clarkston City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Clarkston, GA — The Clarkston city council approved a municipal court amnesty program at their regular meeting on Sept. 6. The program will run from Sept. 19 to Nov. 30 of this year and will apply to all misdemeanor state charges and city ordinance violations for which the individual was cited or arrested before Jan. 1, 2022.

Defendants will be required to pay any fines or fees associated with the original charge, but will not be arrested or punished for contempt of court. Previously issued bench warrants will be canceled for those who comply with the amnesty program. The municipal court will attempt to contact all defendants with outstanding citations and warrants, and the municipal court clerk will publish details including hours when the defendants can appear to take advantage of the program.

Vice Mayor Awet Eyasu praised the program and said he looked forward to seeing it set in motion.

The council approved a resolution to impose a temporary moratorium on development of new car wash facilities. The moratorium is similar to the one placed on storage companies, gas stations, and small box variety stores in August. The decision is meant to pause approval of new car wash businesses while the city conducts the revision of zoning ordinances.

The council amended the 2022 Operating and Enterprise Fund Budget to reflect additional revenue from MARTA advertising in the amount of $56,000. City’s Finance Director Dan Defnall stated that MARTA was in the process of paying the city money that it owed from 2021, and that more would be forthcoming.

The city council also resolved to create an Equity and Community Empowerment Department for the city. The need to hire a director, and what the duties of that director would be, were briefly discussed.

In other news, the council issued proclamations of September as Healthy Seniors Month and also African Immigrant Heritage Month.

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