City Council Meeting 12-8-2020

MINUTES
CLARKSTON CITY COUNCIL
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Via Zoom
Officials Present by Teleconference
Mayor:        Beverly H. Burks
Council:    Jamie Carroll, Awet Eyasu, Laura Hopkins
Debra Johnson
City Manager:    Robin I. Gomez 
City Clerk:    Tracy Ashby 
City Attorney:    Stephen Quinn


A.    CALL TO ORDER 

B.    ROLL CALL/ PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE   
Present: Awet Eyasu, Jamie Carroll, Laura Hopkins, Debra Johnson
Arrived later: Ahmed Hassan

C.    ADMINISTRATIVE BUSINESS/ PRESENTATION
C1) Approve Minutes: Council Meeting 11-5-2020 and Special Call 12-1-2020
    Debra Johnson made a motion to approve the minutes for the Council Meeting 11-5-2020 and Special Call 12-1-2020.  Awet Eyasu seconded the motion. Vote was called and the motion carried (4, 0).


D.    REPORTS:  
1)  Planning & Zoning Report
Shawanna Qawiy provided an update of the annual applications processed and the status of ongoing projects in the city. She advised that the City received three (3) proposals for the Zoning Ordinance rewrite and that item will come to the January 2021 Council Meeting. The Clarkston 2040 update will be occurring in 2021 and that is also slated to begin by February 2021. 

2)  City Manager’s Report
Mr. Gomez discussed the status of Revenues/Expenditures and he provided a budget to actual report through November 30, 2020t.  Notification that Friendship Forest is now open to the public.  He provided the status of City operations and projects as well as community operations during continued Covid issues.

    3)  City Attorney’s Report 
No report

4) Council Remarks
Awet Eyasu thanked the City residents for their participation in the November election and he encouraged they also vote in the run-off election. 

    Ahmed Hassan wished everyone a Happy Holidays.

    Jamie Carroll thanked the staff and Council for the hard work during want has been a difficult year and he wished everyone a Happy Holidays.  
    Laura Hopkins wished everyone a Happy Holidays and she thanked the staff, Council and newly Elected Mayor for helping her to acclimatize during her first year on council.  

    Debra Johnson wished everyone a happy Holidays and she remarked on her first attendance as a council member of a Mayors swearing in ceremony.  She expressed appreciation to the City Manager, staff and residents for assisting her in marking her first year as a council member.


    5)  Mayor’s Report
    Mayor Beverly H. Burks thanked everyone for participating with 53% in the election. She thanked the Vice Mayor for Chairing the meetings and she thanked City staff as the greatest asset of the City during this difficult time. She encouraged participation by the residents in city committees and local non-profits to stay active in the community. 

E.    PUBLIC COMMENTS 
Any member of the public may address the Council, during the time allotted for public comment. Each attendee will be allowed 3 minutes for comments at the discretion of the Presiding Officer. The public comment period will be limited to 40 minutes and it is not a time for dialogue. If your public comment contains a series of questions, please submit those to the City Clerk in writing. This will facilitate follow-up by the council or staff. The City Council desires to allow an opportunity for public comment; however, the business of the City must proceed in an orderly, timely manner.

Mayor Beverly H. Burks read the public comment policy.

Speakers who signed up for public comments were recognized:
Brian Medford welcomed Beverly Burks as the new Mayor and expressed excitement that three applicants
had submitted for the  Zoning rewrite and he encouraged that process move forward. 

F.    OLD BUSINESS
       None

G.    NEW BUSINESS
G1) 2021 Budget Adoption 
    1) 2021 Budget Presentation – City Manager 
    Mr. Gomez provided a detailed presentation on the 2021 Proposed Operating & Enterprise Fund Budget.

    2) Public Hearing – To take public comment on the 2021 Proposed Operating & Enterprise Fund Budget 
No speakers pre-registered to speak but Mayor Burks opened the floor for anyone on the virtual meeting that would like to comment.  No public comments. Mayor Burks closed the public hearing.

           3) Council Adopt 2021Operating & Enterprise Budget Ordinance
Jamie Carroll made a motion to adopt the 2021Operating & Enterprise Budget Ordinance.  Laura Hopkins  seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried ( 5,0). 


G2) Public Hearing: Ordinance to Re-Adopt the City’s Sign Ordinance and to Prohibit Billboards along Interstate 285
Shawanna Qawiy detailed the purpose of the item to solicit input on the re-adoption of the current sign ordinance and there will be no changes to the ordinance. 

Mayor Burks opened the public hearing:
No speakers in support or opposed to the ordinance.
Mayor Burks closed  the public hearing.

 Awet Eyasu made a motion Re-Adopt the City’s Sign Ordinance and to Prohibit Billboards along Interstate 285, Debra Johnson seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0).

G3) Public Hearing: Ordinance to Confirm Zoning Designations for Every Parcel in the City
Shawanna Qawiy detailed the purpose of the item to solicit input to Confirm the Zoning Designations of every parcel in the city. 

Mayor Burks opened the public hearing:
Brian Medford spoke in support of the ordinance
No speakers opposed to the ordinance.
Mayor Burks closed the public hearing.

Awet Eyasu made a motion to approve the Ordinance to Confirm Zoning Designations for Every Parcel in the City, Jamie Carroll seconded the motion. A Vote was called and the motion carried (5,0). 

G4)  Public Hearing: Ordinance by the City of Clarkston to Adopt A New City Zoning Map
Shawanna Qawiy explained the purpose to adopt the City Zoning Map.  

Mayor Burks opened the public hearing:
Public Hearing no speakers in support or opposition
Mayor Burks closed the public hearing.

Awet Eyasu made a motion to approve the Ordinance by the City of Clarkston to Adopt A New City Zoning Map. Debra Johnson seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (5,0). 

G5) Public Hearing: Ordinance to Amend the Text of the Zoning Ordinance to Create the New Zoning Designation “Railroad Open Space”
Shawanna Qawiy explained the purpose to create a new zoning district of “Railroad Open Space”

Mayor Burks opened the public hearing:
Public Hearing no speakers in support or opposition
Mayor Burks closed the public hearing.

Ahmed Hassan made a motion to adopt the Ordinance to Amend the Text of the Zoning Ordinance to Create the New Zoning Designation “Railroad Open Space.  Awet Eyasu Seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5,0). 

G6)  Public Hearing: Ordinance to Zone the CSX Railroad Right of Way “Railroad Open Space”
Mayor Burks stated the purpose is for the City to zone the CSX railroad right of way as Railroad Open Space.

Mayor Burks opened the public hearing:
Public Hearing no speakers in support or opposition
Mayor Burks closed the public hearing.

Debra Johnson made a motion to approve the Ordinance to Zone the CSX Railroad Right of Way “Railroad Open Space. Ahmed Hassan seconded the emotion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0). 

G7)  Public Hearing: Ordinance to Re-Adopt the Procedures for Conducting Public Hearings Required by the Zoning Procedures Act
Awet Eyasu stated that he was opposed to this item when it was approved previously.  

Stephen Quinn reported that State Law requires the City’s to adopt procedures for conducting public hearings and the details were filled in by the council members at that time.  He stated that if the city had not adopted a policy, then the city could be challenged on applications in the future. The only change is that  the adopted procedures will placed in the zoning code to make it easier for applicants to access. 

Mayor Burks opened the public hearing:
Public Hearing no speakers in support or opposition
Mayor Burks closed the public hearing.

Ahmed Hassan made a motion to approve the Ordinance to Re-Adopt the Procedures for Conducting Public Hearings Required by the Zoning Procedures Act.  Jamie Carroll seconded the motion. Discussion: Awet Eyasu stated he understood the procedures needed to be codified, but that he did not agree with persons having to register in advance. Laura Hopkins agreed that people should not be required to provide in advance if they support or oppose an item on a public hearing. Stephen Quinn reported that the State Law requires at a minimum, that the city specify the allotted time for speakers in support and opposition.  The pre-registering allows the Council to equitably calculate the speaking time for both sides, based on the number of pre-registered speakers. Discussion on creating a third category of speakers who are neutral.  Recommendation to adopt, at this point, the proposed policy and then the Council can revisit and update the procedures at a future meeting. 

A vote was called and the motion carried (3 Yes: Debra Johnson, Laura Hopkins, Jamie Carroll, 2- No: Awet Eyasu, Ahmed Hassan). 

G8) Development of Local Comprehensive Plan Agreement with the Atlanta Regional Commission to prepare the comprehensive plan update for the City of Clarkston.
Shawanna Qawiy detailed the purpose of the item for the City to enter into an agreement with the ARC to
delineate the roles and responsibilities of the comprehensive plan update. The sections that the City is required to update include: Needs and Opportunities, Community Work Plan (CWP), Report of Accomplishments (ROA), Broadband Element, Land Use Element. There is no cost to the city for this technical assistance.  The next steps are for the city to send a stake holders list to form the stakeholder committee.  

Ahmed Hassan made a motion to Development of Local Comprehensive Plan Agreement with the Atlanta Regional Commission to prepare the comprehensive plan update for the City of Clarkston. Jamie Carroll seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5,0)

G9) Award Weekly Curbside Recycling Collections Services to the lower bidder – Latham Home Sanitation
Mr. Gomez stated the City is ready to award curbside recycling to the low bidder and to resume weekly recycling curbside service for single family homes, with a monthly rate of $5.25.  Latham is ready to begin service immediately with the execution of the 3 year agreement which includes two, one year extensions. Materials to be recycled will be: aluminum and steel cans, plastics 1 & 2, paper and cardboard.  Educational materials will be created and provided for the residents to ensure success of the program. Mr. Gomez detailed the mechanism for how the contract can be terminated if the city decided in the future.

Laura Hopkins made a motion to Award Weekly Curbside Recycling Collections Services to the lower bidder – Latham Home Sanitation.  Debra Johnson seconded the motion.  A vote was called and motion carried (5,0). 

G10) Approve GDOT Local Maintenance Improvement Grant 2021 Application in the amount of $103,740, for various road/street milling and resurfacing projects.  
Mr. Gomez detail the city’s is submitting a Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant (LMIG) application for2021 year to help fund the cost of the milling and resurfacing of the following City streets: Clarkston Industrial Blvd, Vaughan St, Carroll Park Dr, and Rogers St (Market to NIC).

Awet Eyasu made a motion to Approve GDOT Local Maintenance Improvement Grant 2021 Application in the amount of $103,740, for various road/street milling and resurfacing projects.  Debra Johnson seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5,0). 

G11)  Approve Allocating any and all CARES Act Funds that will not otherwise be spent by December 20, 2020, Rental, Mortgage, and Utilities’ Payment Assistance Relief to avoid returning Un-spent Funds to DeKalb County. 
Mr. Gomez detailed that the funds are expected to be fully spent and he provided updates on various types of expenditures. 

Jamie Carroll made a motion to approve the resolution to continue allocating any and all CARES Act Funds that will not otherwise be spent by December 20, 2020 to Rental, Mortgage, and Utilities’ Payment Assistance Relief to avoid returning Un-spent Funds to DeKalb County. Laura Hopkins seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0). 

G12) Approve allocating CARES Act Funds for an additional 5% hazard/COVID-19 pay for all Police and Public Works employees back to March 16 through at least December 20, 2020.
Mr. Gomez stated that when considering increasing from 5% to 10% and to include all staff, this would be approximately $118,600.  Discussion that the 10% would apply for all staff when they were physically on-site or in the office. 

Laura Hopkins made a motion to approve an additional 5% hazard/COVID-19 pay for all city employees that are in contact with the public or in their workspace back to March 13, 2020. Debra Johnson seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0). 
  
G13)   Approve allocating CARES Act Funds to upgrade City facilities to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Mr. Gomez discussed upgrades that have bene made to city facilities in response to covid such as automated doors, faucets and hand sanitizers as well as speaker systems. 

Awet Eyasu made a motion to approve allocating CARES Act Funds to upgrade City facilities to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Jamie Carroll seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0). 

G14)  Discuss the City of Clarkston registering to become: An affiliate member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Livable Communities.
Mayor Burks stated this item is for the city to become an affiliate member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Livable Communities.  This will ensure that Clarkston is an age friendly city for youngster thru seniors and accessible to all intergenerational partners.  

Debra Johnson made a motion to approve the City of Clarkston registering to become An affiliate member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Livable Communities. Laura Hopkins seconded the motion.  A Vote was called and the motion carried (5,0).

G15) Discuss/Review Proposed FY 2021 City Calendars for Holidays and Council Work sessions and Meetings.
Mr. Gomez detailed the proposed city meeting calendars and holidays with one update that the March council meeting will not need to be moved.  Discussion on Juneteenth Day being named Juneteenth Celebration.  

Laura Hopkins made a motion to approve Proposed FY 2021 City Calendars for Holidays and Council Work sessions and Meetings. with the adjustment of moving the March meeting back to the 2nd and change Juneteenth day to Juneteenth Celebration. Awet Eyasu seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (5, 0). 

G16) Discuss/Review Proposed FY 2021 City Council and City Senior Staff Strategic Retreat.
Mr. Gomez stated the Council and City staff historically hold a council retreat to discuss city operations, review various infrastructure and related capital/construction projects, and establish priorities
and goals for the upcoming year.  He anticipated this year’s retreat would be held in virtual format.  The Mayor stated she personally wanted this to be held as a webinar so the public can have the opportunity to view and if the Council retreat is held on Friday, February 12 in a webinar a link to the webinar be included with meeting posting.  

Debra Johnson made a motion to approve the Proposed FY 2021 City Council and City Senior Staff Strategic Retreat. Laura Hopkins seconded the motion. A vote was called and the motion carried (5,0). 

H.    EXECUTIVE SESSION
An executive session to Discuss a Personnel matter - Executive Sessions are not open to the public.
Jamie Carroll made a motion to go into executive session to discuss a personal matter and a legal update. Awet Eyasu seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried ( 5,0). 
    
Jamie Carroll made a motion to close the executive session and go into open session. Awet Eyasu seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried ( 5,0).

I.     ADJOURNMENT
Jamie Carroll made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Awet Eyasu seconded the motion.  A vote was called and the motion carried (4, 0).