by Robin Kemp

MONDAY, MAY 10

  • 6 p.m.: The Riverdale City Council meets to discuss the appointment of Mary Granison as the new councilmember for Ward One. If approved, Granison will replace Cynthia Stamps-Jones, who resigned during an Ethics Board hearing. Stamps-Jones says that the unemployment payments relate to the downturn in her COVID-19 counseling business and that she was run out by Ward Four Councilman Kenny Ruffin for political reasons. Ruffin alleges that Stamps-Jones received unemployment insurance that documents show the city had paid to her while she also collected her part-time City Council paycheck. Stamps-Jones has served the city with an ante litem notice seeking $15 million from the city, Ruffin, and Ethics Board Chair Mary LaSonde seeking $15 million. “I did in fact exercise my options and a Georgia citizen and at no time did I attempt to collect ant benefits from the City of Riverdale, Georgia and according to the Georgia Department of Labor I do in fact qualify for unemployment benefits,” Stamps-Jones wrote on December 11, 2020. “Mr. Ruffin’s use of my personal and private filing for Georgia unemployment benefits as a basis for filing the above mentioned bogus ethics charges against me coupled with this continued harassment and the fact that the City of Riverdale has endorsed Mr. Ruffin’s unqualified position as a legal opinion, gives me the right to initiate a federal lawsuit against both The City of Riverdale and Mr. Ruffin.” On January 14, the Ethics Board ruled that Stamps-Jones “violated Section 3-4 of the Ethics Code because her conduct might adversely impact the public’s confidence in its public officials and its government.” LaSonde wrote in the board’s ruling, “This apparent effort by a public official to double dip into public funds falls squarely within the reach of the Ethics Code and is the type of conduct that the Code was designed to deter.” The board recommended Stamps-Jones be impeached and the matter referred to “relevant state law enforcement agencies.” Other items on the agenda include discussion and consideration of the Livable Cities Initiative, as well as public hearings, discussion, and consideration of the following zoning matters:
    • Oak Street Health wants a special land use permit to establish a private medical center (SLUP2021-003)
    • Arial Properties also wants a special land use permit to establish a private medical center (SLUP2021-004)
    • Marcia Miller wants a special land use permit for an adult day care home at 6896 Cedar Drive (SLUP2021-0002)
  • 6 p.m.: The Jonesboro City Council holds its regular meeting in the 2nd floor courtroom at the police station. On the agenda: a presentation on the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Georgia Commute Options initiative, followed by public hearings on several zoning requests discussed last week; a memorandum of understanding on the Clayton County Fuel Center (which will sit right next to the Clayton County Jail); resurfacing for Cloud Street, Mercer Court, Mercer Drive, North Lake Drive, and West Avenue; a Police Department request for $3,850.54 training and duty ammunition from Precision Delta Corporation of Ruleville, MS; an intergovernmental agreement between Jonesboro Firehouse LLC and Nouveau Bar and Grill LLC of McDonough (owned by Ebony Austin); a fee waiver for the CASA 5K Fitness Walk/Run to use Lee Street Park on August 21; and an application for a Wind Down Wednesday concert in Lee Street Park for Clayton County Public School teachers and staff on May 26.

TUESDAY, MAY 11

  • 4:30 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration meets via Zoom due to COVID-19 restrictions. You can submit a public comment in advance from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday by using the online form at https://bit.ly/3uBfkGx. To join the meeting online, register at https://bit.ly/3bfvD49
  • 6 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Commissioners holds its work session to discuss a request to buy PSDN (Public Safety Digital Network) radios from Motorola Solutions. Preliminary items for the next BOC meeting were not listed on the agenda as of press time.
  • 6 p.m.: The Hampton City Council holds a public hearing on whether to grant a variance at 38 E. Main Street (parcel H06-03003001), which JPZ, LLC wants to split into two lots, neither of which would meet existing requirements for impermeable surfaces, minimum lot width, or minimum lot area. The regular meeting follows at 6:30 p.m. at the Train Depot, 20 E. Main Street South, and will include several presentations and updates from the Youth Council. The city manager will discuss the 2020 audit by Fulton and Kozak; Finance Director Lenox Forsythe and Finance Consultant Ed Wall will discuss the city’s finances; and City Manager Alex Cohilas will give an update. The Council is set to vote on approving the 2020 CIE Annual Update (Resolution 2021-07), changes to closing times at local parks (Ordinance 2021-543) and the reporting structure of the city clerk (Ordinance 2021-544), and changes to the text of the Community Development Department Ordinance 20-521 “for text correction and removal of reference to water and sewer impact fees.” New business includes
    • a vote on JPZ, Inc.’s zoning variance request
    • entering a Project Improvements and Escrow Agreement with Oaks Southampton LLC (Cottages at Southampton, Jim Chapman Communities) “in accordance with Ordinance 512”
    • entering a Development Agreement with Hampton Floyd, LLC (Gates at South Hampton, “formerly Doug Adams”) “in accordance with Ordinances 508 A and B and 510”
    • adopting Resolution 2021-12, which provides for appointment of Hampton Development Authority members
    • consideration and action to revise the city clerk’s contract
    • consideration and action approving “the new city manager’s contract” (Cohilas confirms this means a new contract for him, not a replacement of him.)
  • 6:30 p.m.: The Morrow City Council holds its work session, which bookends the 7:30 p.m. council meeting. A long list of economic development and public works items are on the agenda, along with progress reports on those projects, and a public hearing on a mixed-use moratorium for the city. The council also is looking at hiring grantwriter Amanda Day for $75 per hour. Among the items on the Public Works progress report is a note about “Sprinklers Letters for Red, Green, and Napier houses – Fire Marshal Piper is preparing letters for his assessment on each house.” In 2017, Mayor John Lampl pleaded no contest to five counts of falsifying fire reports, related to the installation of residential instead of commercial fire sprinklers, in the Olde Towne Morrow project while he was city manager. Three more serious charges, including lying under oath to a special called grand jury, making false statements, and conspiracy in restraint of free and open competition, were dismissed. Lampl was sentenced to six months’ probation and ordered to pay $12,000 in fines and restitution. Since taking office as mayor, Lampl has made a crusade of reviving Olde Towne Morrow and rebranding it as The District, and has held several seasonal festivals there.
  • 6:30 p.m.: Lake City City Council holds its monthly work session, followed by the monthly council meeting at 7 p.m. On the agenda are discussions of Utility Management Services, Inc. and an audit update. The regular meeting will cover an elections update, Waste Management, recognition of Police Week May 9-15, a memorandum of understanding with Clayton County for Fire Station 15, and the police report.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 12

  • 11 a.m.: Clayton County District 4 holds its Community Town Hall meeting.
  • 6 p.m.: Forest Park holds its Neighborhood Watch meeting in the courtroom at Forest Park Police Headquarters, 320 Cash Memorial Blvd.

THURSDAY, MAY 13

  • 8:30 a.m.: The Clayton County Pension Board holds its meeting via Zoom. Visit the Pension Board’s webpage for updates on how to register in advance (the link was down as of press time).

FRIDAY, MAY 14

  • 11:30 a.m.: The Clayton County Chamber of Commerce holds its annual “Women in Business” luncheon and panel discussion at The Plaza on Broad Street in Jonesboro. Registration has closed and tickets are required, but we thought you should be aware of the event. Transparency note: The Clayton Crescent, Inc. is a member of the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce.

SATURDAY, MAY 15

  • 11 a.m.: Forest Park High School’s Class of 2021 holds its graduation caravan through the streets of the city. The public is invited to wish the grads well by sporting wine and gold.

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