by Robin Kemp

UPDATE 6 p.m.: ADDS Elections and Registration Board agenda

Good Monday post-(morning)! Here’s what’s coming up in Clayton County this week:

  • Members of the Clayton County Legislative Delegation are warning voters about several pieces of legislation they say are aimed at scaling back voter access. We’ll have a more detailed look at this story soon. State Rep. Rhonda Burnough said last Thursday’s special Elections Committee meeting “didn’t go well” and that the 10 Republican members (who outnumber the 4 Democrats on the committee) “came right away with a bill and voted it right out. They had said they were going to listen to what people had to say, hear their opinions.” Burnough said the plan is to stop sending out absentee ballots 10 days before the elections: “That means we’ll be going back to long lines. Right now, instead of increasing days to vote, they’re decreasing them.”
  • Rep. Sandra Scott and Rep. Kim Schofield are asking anyone who got an incorrect 1099 from the Georgia Department of Labor to e-mail the legislators with details. The delegation has been leading the charge against the seemingly-impenetrable agency, which has left many unemployed county residents without any checks during the COVID-19 layoffs and has not been responsive to citizens seeking information.
  • The Jonesboro City Council meets tonight, Monday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. You can attend in person or via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2148237355 using meeting ID 214 823 7355, or dial in using “one-tap mobile” at +19292056099,,2148237355# (or just dial 929-205-6099 and enter the meeting ID when prompted). On the agenda:
    • pinning ceremony for Jonesboro Police Lt. Christopher Cato
    • introduction of Assistant Police Chief Richard Godfrey, Lt. Godreque Newsom, and Ofc. Darryl Triplett
    • a public hearing for a conditional use permit for a dance studio at 272 North Main Street (public comments limited to 3 minutes)
    • approval of items including a new police sergeant exam, police corporal badges and die cast, new firearms for JPD, and music licensing fees for the city’s use of music by SESAC artists
    • a proposal for Georgia Power to convert Battleground Park’s lights to LEDs
    • appointing Assistant Chief Richard Godfrey to replace Sgt. Upole on the Accident Review Committee through December 31
    • an executive session to discuss “the conveyance of real estate”
  • The Riverdale City Council meets tonight, Monday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m. for its work session and meeting at City Hall, 7200 Church Street, in chambers on the first floor. No agenda was available online as of press time.
  • Also Monday, Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m., the Clayton County Board of Ethics is meeting virtually. Visit https://bit.ly/3rE6pCl to register for access to the Zoom meeting. No agenda was available online at press time.
  • On Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 4:30 p.m., the Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration holds its regular meeting. Sign up for the Zoom meeting at https://bit.ly/2Nc4l5G/. On the agenda:
    • Adoption of the Jan. 12, 2021 Special Called and Regular Board Meeting minutes
    • Public comment (3 minutes per person, 30 minutes max)
    • “Board Directives, as necessary”
    • Director’s Report and 2021 Election Update
    • Hearing to remove felons from elector’s list
    • Removal of deceased from elector’s list
    • Executive session for personnel and/or litigation as necessary
  • The City of Forest Park now has a new way to submit public comment. Visit https://bit.ly/3cScOFV and fill out the form. You’ll also be able to submit a request to make comments until 4 p.m. the day of the meeting–which is four more hours than the old 12 noon deadline. You will have up to three minutes to speak during the meeting, with up to 7 speakers allowed. City Clerk Sharee Stead told The Clayton Crescent, “Yes, you will be allow to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting. I will send an e-mail confirmation to all who submit a request, which will contain the time frame, the Zoom link information, and the rules of procedure and decorum.”
  • If you live in Ward 3 of Forest Park, the city wants your input on a makeover for the pocket park. Ward 3 residents can fill out a survey at https://bit.ly/2YUHxJY.
  • On Tuesday, Feb. 9, the Clayton County Board of Commissioners holds its work session.
  • Also on Tuesday, Feb. 9, the Morrow City Council holds its 7:30 p.m. meeting, bookended by its 6:30 p.m. and post-meeting work session. During the meeting, attorney Jenny Nguyen will be sworn in as associate judge. Nguyen is the wife and law partner of Ethan Pham, Morrow’s first Vietnamese-American judge. She will be Morrow’s first female Vietnamese-American judge and Georgia’s third female Vietnamese-American judge. Morrow has one of the nation’s largest per-capita Vietnamese populations. Also on the agenda: six members of the Morrow Police Department will be honored. Lt. Richard Beard, Sgt. David Jackson, and Ofc. Christopher Glover will receive the Award for Meritorious Service. Detective Sgt. Eli Skelton, Detective Mitchell Tate, and Detective Xavier Todd will receive the Investigator Award. The city will consider approving:
    • a five-year memorandum of understanding between the Morrow Police Department and Flock Group, Inc., an Atlanta-based company that stores license plate reader information in the cloud on Amazon Web Services
    • joint legal representation and an agreement between the city and the direct marketing organiation (DMO), Morrow Convention and Tourism Association, under which the city received a letter from City Attorney Lajuana C. Ransaw explaining the legal intricacies of representing both the DMO (headed by Mayor John Lampl as president and Tim Hendricks as chairman) and the City of Morrow (represented by Mayor Pro Tem Van Tran) and notifying them that, “(s)hould a conflict of interest arise, the DMO agrees to promptly notify me in writing and allow me to continue representation so long as [that] does not violate the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct.” We’ll have more on the story separately.
    • an agreement with the Clayton County Tax Commissioner to bill and collect taxes on behalf of the city
    • a 5% match ($1,699) for an Assistance to Firefighters Grant for a $9,894 turnout gear washer and a $24,077 equipment decontamination washer. Fire Chief Roger Swint notes the application closes Feb. 12 and that the washers “will assist us in removing carcinogens and other toxins from our turnout gear. Cancer is one of the leasing causes of death in our industry.”
    • a staff recommendation to accept a $78,488 bid from Clean Air Concepts for a vehicle exhaust removal system. Chief Swint wrote that the company “met 100% of our specifications” using 100% American-made components and that offers “an excellent parts and labor warranty.” The systems would be installed at Stations 31 and 32.
    • an $84,346.26 proposal from 2001 Arts Studio for Morrow welcome signs at interchange exits, which would include 4′ x 8′ color digital display monitors. The company had estimated a cost of $98,050 per unit for a total cost of $196,100.
    • an $80,850 proposal from Andy Hannah of Palmetto, GA for a community garden. The proposal does not include garden soil or landscaping but does include:
      • 45 garden boxes (4′ x 12′)
      • buried water supply lines for the boxes
      • about 700′ of 8′-tall chain-link fence
      • tear down and remove the existing shed at the old church and build a new one (15’x20′)
      • stain the slab under the pavilion and the patio (80’x80′)
      • add outdoor lighting and electrical outlets
      • paint pavilion posts and gables
    • a resolution to invest city funds in Georgia Fund One (City Manager Sylvia Redic and Finance Director Christopher Pike would be authorized to make deposits and withdrawals on the city’s behalf), while the city is removing Angela Hudson’s authorization. Hudson recently came on board as Finance Director and had held a similar position for the City of Tybee. The State of Georgia offers this fund to municipalities but “deposits are not guaranteed or insured by any bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve Board, the State of Georgia or any other agency.”
  • On Thursday, Feb. 11, the Clayton County Pension Board will hold its regular meeting at 8:30 a.m. Sign up for the Zoom meeting at https://bit.ly/2MP1v6u.

Did we miss something? Got an update? A nuance? Don’t be shy! Let us know at KempWrites@gmail.com and we will add it promptly!