URA set to approve deal 10 am Friday, April 9

City did not include livestream link, agenda in public notice, meetings pages; video incomplete

by Robin Kemp

The Forest Park City Council held a special called meeting at 4 p.m. without placing the agenda, the 88-page agenda packet, or link to the meeting’s livestream on its webpages.

The city said it had posted the agenda outside the doors of City Hall and that the meeting was physically open to the public, actions that are in accordance with the Georgia Open Meetings Act. No citizens were visibly present at the meeting itself, as the left side of the recorded livestream shows:

After The Clayton Crescent notified the city that the livestream information for the April 8, 4 p.m. special called meeting had not been made available online, City Clerk Sharee Stead said the information showed on the Meetings page on her end. This is what The Clayton Crescent saw on the public-facing website–the April 5, 2021 7 p.m. City Council regular session and the April 9, 2021 10 a.m. URA Special Called meeting (the city also had added the 10:15 a.m. Downtown Development Authority Special Called Meeting):

After several minutes, the information was added to the public notice on the city’s webpage, along with a link to the meeting video on YouTube. The recording does not include the full meeting, nor does it include the motion on which the council voted.On the agenda was Resolution 2021-17, “Authorizing an Intergovernmental Agreement and Related Documents to Finance the City’s Capital Projects.”

Watch here:

Read the 88-page agenda packet, which includes the paperwork for the pending $44.11 million in bonds the city wants to issue to fund the new combined City Hall-police-fire administration building–and which includes the Zoom, call-in, and YouTube information:

Mayor Angelyne Butler disbanded the previous URA after it had refused to approve $21 million because no drawings or estimates had been provided for the project. (That $21 million was to have included Starr Park and other improvements, as well.) During an all-day special called meeting the Saturday before Christmas, city officials announced that they had already lined up contractors for six capital projects.

The next steps in the process of approving the bond are essentially rubber-stamping the deal at 10 a.m. Friday, April 9. Join by Zoom at https://bit.ly/31VqvND or call in at (312) 626-6799. The meeting ID is 947-2839-9462 and the passcode is 599229.

Immediately following at 10:15 a.m., the Downtown Development Authority will hold a special called meeting to consider a “promotional program” for the related capital improvement projects. Join by Zoom at https://bit.ly/3fW4ztQ or call in at (312) 626 6799. The meeting ID is 947-2839-9462 and the passcode is 599229.

Both meetings are being held online only for the public, despite City Hall having been reopened to the public. Although both meetings include a public comment period, it’s not clear whether the city is requiring people to submit comments online, will take them live during the meeting, or both. The city had instituted a policy of taking public comments no later than 4 p.m. on meeting day. To submit a written comment, visit https://bit.ly/3muCT0t.