by Robin Kemp

Here are some of the stories we’re working on for you and some big events you need to know about–plus a couple of examples of how to make public information more public. Share this story with friends!

  • Today is the LAST day to register to vote if you want to cast your ballot in the Nov. 3 Presidential election. Check our voter registration guide for things you’ll need, ways you can register, and get it done early! Every vote counts. Especially yours. Registration ends at 5 p.m.
  • Today is also the LAST day to fill out the U.S. Census. You won’t get another chance until 2030–and the Census count affects who you can vote for and what government services you can get. It takes 5 minutes or less: https://2020census.gov/en.html
  • The Clayton County Sheriff’s race has two candidates. You can vote for Sheriff Victor Hill, whose name appears on the ballot, or you can write in Dwayne Fabian, who qualified as a write-in candidate for the runoff. Look up all qualified candidates at the Secretary of State’s website.
  • At 9 a.m., the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce holds its annual Golf Classic networking-fest at Eagles Landing Country Club in Stockbridge, attracting business owners and politicos.
  • The Forest Park City Council meets via Zoom tonight. The agenda no longer contains a note stating that the meeting is open to the public, following The Clayton Crescent’s ejection from the last council meeting. The city is still preventing the public from attending meetings in person, citing COVID-19 “guidelines,” and has had ongoing issues with streaming the meetings. As a result, the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, UGA’s First Amendment Law Clinic, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr’s office, and others are closely tracking Forest Park’s handling of Georgia’s sunshine laws. The council will consider changes to the city’s noise ordinance, last updated in 1959, as well as a Fire and EMS Explorer post, confirmation of the new city clerk, the budget meeting, and Hispanic Heritage Month. Residents who want to comment must do so in advance–before 12 noon today–on www.slido.com by entering the code 100520 and then writing your comment or question. The city says the meeting will be livestreamed via its new YouTube channel and gives a Zoom link and dial-in numbers.
  • The Locust Grove City Council also meets tonight at 6 p.m. with a hefty agenda packet covering the possible closure of the Norfolk Southern rail crossing, a photo speed enforcement contract with Blue Line Solutions, a sanitation contract with Advanced Disposal, zoning changes to allow conditional use permits for senior housing, and rezoning and conditional use for a 21.9-acre property at 162 Indian Creek Road.
  • The Jonesboro City Council is holding a public hearing tonight at 6 p.m. on the millage rate for FY 2021. This is your chance to let city officials know what you think about any possible tax increase. The council also will hold a work session on numerous changes to post-construction stormwater runoff regulations. The changes would apply to any new development or redevelopment with 5,000 square feet or more of impervious surface area, or any development that disturbs at least one acre of land. The changes are meant to “protect, maintain and enhance the public health, safety, environment and general welfare” by setting requirements “to control the adverse effects of increased post-construction stormwater runoff and nonpoint source pollution associated with new development and redevelopment.” Floodplain management and flood prevention code changes are also on the agenda, such as the definition of “repetitive loss.” The changes are meant to bring the city in line with state, federal, and Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District requirements.
  • Also Monday, Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m. is the Clayton County Zoning Advisory Group Public Hearing. You can attend in person at 112 Smith St., Jonesboro or, if you register in advance, via Zoom.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 6 is the regular meeting of the Clayton County Board of Commissioners. The BOC also is taking up the stormwater issue as well as a lot of COVID-19-related grant money and a couple of low-income housing developments: The Flats at Mt. Zion and a senior community, the Villas at Mt. Zion. Instead of paying taxes, the Housing Authority of Clayton County will issue a ground lease to the developers, and the building owners will pay HACC and the Clayton County School Board. The BOC also will consider opening the Virginia Burton Gray Recreation Center, Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center, South Clayton Recreation Center, Lee Headquarters Library, and Lake Spivey Recreation Center for voting in the Presidential election and any runoffs. Various local nonprofits also will get county funding.
  • On Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 4:30 p.m., the Jonesboro Design Review Commission meets via Zoom (meeting ID: 214 823 7355) to consider proposed signage for 8274 Tara Blvd., 157 N. Main St., 104 N. Main St., and 809 Flint River Rd., as well as a vinyl fence and driveway repairs for New Dawn Court.
  • The Clayton County Board of Election and Registration meets Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 4:30 p.m. via Zoom. The historic nature of this election will make for an interesting meeting.
  • The Dekalb County Department of Planning and Sustainability meets Thursday, Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. via Zoom to discuss proposed changes to the Bouldercrest-Cedar Grove-Moreland Overlay District. East Conley residents are watching this closely because the proposed changes would affect heavy and industrial uses like trucking, truck repair, bus and rail stations, and “day spas.”

Now for some cybertips:

You can get to Forest Park’s YouTube page directly or via https://bit.ly/2EZgyqm, Once there, click on “Subscribe” and click the little bell to get notifications sent directly to you whenever a new video is added.
An example of “locked” information. The machine-generated Zoom link above can’t be cut and pasted from the locked city agenda PDF and can easily fall prey to typos due to its length. It has to be typed out, not left as the above image, for visually impaired people who use screen readers. One solution is to use a URL shortener like bit.ly to make the link easier for the public to share.

We are ecstatic to report that Gmaya Adams was found on Saturday just before volunteers were set to flyer Jonesboro.

Finally, The Clayton Crescent has had some issues with the main computer (crashed after an operating-system software update), which has delayed podcasts with Paul Libri of Bikers Against Abuse International and CCFES Chief Landry Merkison. We apologize for the delays but they were unavoidable. We hope to restore the podcast this week and continue publishing on whatever raggedy backup machine serves best at any given moment. Thanks for your continued support!

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