by Robin Kemp

2:30 PM CORRECTION: Jonesboro early voting is at City Hall, while Election Day voting Nov. 2 is at Lee Street Elementary.

With a little over a week before the November 2 municipal elections, we’re putting together candidate profiles. We’re also taking note of who’s endorsing whom. The most frightening thing this Halloween season is the low voter engagement that pretty much defines Clayton County municipal elections. (We’ve included bits of Fulton and Henry county elections because College Park and Hampton are special cases.) If you want to ensure that the majority of any city is not represented, you’re down with low turnout, which makes it easier for campaigns that don’t have popular support to win seats. Democracy is about self-governance. Govern yourselves accordingly.

Here’s what’s happening in local government this week:

Monday, Oct. 25

7 a.m.-7 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Hampton Nov. 2 municipal election at four locations:

  • Merle Manders Conference Center, 111 Davis Road, Stockbridge
  • Election and Voter Registration Office, 40 Atlanta Street, McDonough
  • Fortson (Hampton) Library, 61 McDonough St., Hampton
  • Locust Grove Library, 115 MLK Jr. Blvd., Locust Grove

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Hampton COUNTY-ONLY voting takes place in two locations:

  • J.P. Moseley Park, 1041 Millers Mill Road, Stockbridge
  • Fairview Recreation Center, 35 Austin Road, Stockbridge

8 a.m.-7 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Morrow Nov. 2 municipal election at both the Historic Courthouse, 121 S. McDonough Street in Jonesboro (at the Elections and Registration office) and at Morrow City Hall, 1500 Morrow Road (in the community room next to the playground).

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Jonesboro Nov. 2 municipal election at City Hall, 124 North Ave. However, Election Day voting will take place Nov. 2 at Lee Street Elementary, 178 Lee Street.

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Forest Park Nov. 2 municipal election at the Mary Ann Connelly Senior Center, 5087 Park Ave. From 8 a.m. -4:30 p.m., you also can use an advance ballot drop box at 803 Elaine Corley Recreation Center in the multipurpose room.

9 a.m.-6 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the College Park Nov. 2 municipal election. Check your voting location in Clayton County or Fulton County.

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Riverdale Nov. 2 municipal election at the Town Center Multipurpose Room, 7210 Church Street.

6 p.m.: The Riverdale City Council has cancelled its regular meeting. The city has issued a request for proposals for a mass notification system and will count the Nov. 2 election returns at the Riverdale Town Center’s Multipurpose Room, 7210 Church Street, starting at 7 p.m. when the polls close. The public is invited to attend.

6 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Education holds its work session. You can read detailed information on each agenda item by going to eBoard, clicking on the date of the meeting, scrolling down the agenda items on the left side. Click on each item and look for a gray paper clip. When you click on the paper clip, you’ll see PDF files related to that item. Click on the PDF files to read them. You might need to download and install a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader if you don’t already have it. Confused? Do this:

Tuesday, Oct. 26

7 a.m.-7 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Hampton Nov. 2 municipal election at four locations:

  • Merle Manders Conference Center, 111 Davis Road, Stockbridge
  • Election and Voter Registration Office, 40 Atlanta Street, McDonough
  • Fortson (Hampton) Library, 61 McDonough St., Hampton
  • Locust Grove Library, 115 MLK Jr. Blvd., Locust Grove

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Hampton COUNTY-ONLY voting takes place in two locations:

  • J.P. Moseley Park, 1041 Millers Mill Road, Stockbridge
  • Fairview Recreation Center, 35 Austin Road, Stockbridge

8 a.m.-7 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Morrow Nov. 2 municipal election at both the Historic Courthouse, 121 S. McDonough Street in Jonesboro (at the Elections and Registration office) and at Morrow City Hall, 1500 Morrow Road (in the community room next to the playground).

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Jonesboro Nov. 2 municipal election at City Hall, 124 North Ave. However, Election Day voting will take place Nov. 2 at Lee Street Elementary, 178 Lee Street.

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Forest Park Nov. 2 municipal election at the Mary Ann Connelly Senior Center, 5087 Park Ave. From 8 a.m. -4:30 p.m., you also can use an advance ballot drop box at 803 Elaine Corley Recreation Center in the multipurpose room.

9 a.m.-6 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the College Park Nov. 2 municipal election. Check your voting location in Clayton County or Fulton County.

2 p.m.: The Clayton County Library is holding an informational session via Zoom on how to expunge criminal records. The program does not constitute legal advice. Visit https://bit.ly/3vGEVPA with meeting ID 837-4102-9862 and passcode 157322.

5 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Commissioners holds its work session–and it’s going to be a big one. The BOC has promised a presentation on its plans to tear down the Jonesboro Library building as part of its headquarters expansion project on Smith Street. Community members should be aware that the last BOC meeting had an overflow crowd for zoning matters due to limited COVID-19 seating. Several other major items are also on the agenda, including:

6:30 p.m.: The Morrow City Council holds its work session, followed by the regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. The regular meeting will take up:

  • first reading of an ordinance (2020-10) amending the FY 2021 Budget, which Finance Director Chris Pike said is mainly procedural to account for any overages or shortages with different line items. However, he wants the council to approve the ordinance so that he can get the budget audit in by November 1, by approving an “Appendix A” detailing the changes that would not be approved before the ordinance is adopted on Nov. 9: “Because we are nearing the final stages of the FY21 audit and my goal is to have it complete in November, I would like to have the ordinance approved at our first meeting in November. That means, as a formality, the first read needs to occur at the prior meeting (October 26, 2021) even though the final budget numbers won’t be ready until the second meeting. Prior to the November 9th adoption, the “Exhibit A” will be populated to include the amended figures recommended.”
  • approval of the October 12 minutes
  • $6,400 in SPLOST 2014 funds for Cornerstone Design Services to build out “an existing two-story building to be remodeled into an approximately 3,100 square foot restaurant with interior/exterior dining on the second floor with the kitchen and interior/exterior dining on the first floor as well as three single stall restrooms.” The location: “Southlake Retail Venture Lot #5, Morrow, GA, Land lot 144.” Carlos J. Ostrej is the project architect. Project engineer James Nygaard had quoted Lakesia Battle of Southern Peach BBQ and Soul Food, a Maryland corporation and the apparent prospective business, a total of $8,200 for services, with the $6,400 only covering mechanical, engineering, and plumbing drawings–not any additional site visits, in-ground grease trap, or site lighting and photometric plan that could be deemed necessary, according to the agenda packet). No Georgia business license came up for Southern Peach BBQ and Soul Food in the Secretary of State’s online lookup. In 2009, the Baltimore Sun reported, Battle was the subject of controversy when the nonprofit group Homes For Our Troops withdrew an offer of a donated home for her and her husband, a triple-amputee Iraq veteran, because the Battles later invested $100,000 in two Clayton County homes. The restaurant’s business address on the letter is the same as the couple’s home address in Fayetteville, according to Fayette County tax records. Clayton County tax records show the couple sold a Riverdale home for $170,000 on July 26 and own a second house in Riverdale; the tax bill shows a Bowie, MD mailing address.
  • $43,672 in SPLOST 2020 funds for a Ford F450 ladder truck, since the bucket truck the council approved last time was sold before the city could buy it

The work session will touch on these action items, as well as:

  • the Morrow Center, which (despite having hosted both City Council candidate’s campaigns) showed a $4,738.18 loss in September’s net income
  • an update on a grant program from Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Moss

Wednesday, Oct. 27

7 a.m.-7 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Hampton Nov. 2 municipal election at four locations:

  • Merle Manders Conference Center, 111 Davis Road, Stockbridge
  • Election and Voter Registration Office, 40 Atlanta Street, McDonough
  • Fortson (Hampton) Library, 61 McDonough St., Hampton
  • Locust Grove Library, 115 MLK Jr. Blvd., Locust Grove

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Hampton COUNTY-ONLY voting takes place in two locations:

  • J.P. Moseley Park, 1041 Millers Mill Road, Stockbridge
  • Fairview Recreation Center, 35 Austin Road, Stockbridge

8 a.m.-7 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Morrow Nov. 2 municipal election at both the Historic Courthouse, 121 S. McDonough Street in Jonesboro (at the Elections and Registration office) and at Morrow City Hall, 1500 Morrow Road (in the community room next to the playground).

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Jonesboro Nov. 2 municipal election at City Hall, 124 North Ave. However, Election Day voting will take place Nov. 2 at Lee Street Elementary, 178 Lee Street.

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Forest Park Nov. 2 municipal election at the Mary Ann Connelly Senior Center, 5087 Park Ave. From 8 a.m. -4:30 p.m., you also can use an advance ballot drop box at 803 Elaine Corley Recreation Center in the multipurpose room.

9 a.m.-6 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the College Park Nov. 2 municipal election. Check your voting location in Clayton County or Fulton County.

5:30 p.m.: The Forest Park Development Authority meets. The September 29 minutes offer some insights as to why Main Street revitalization is taking so long, including some issues with the Zaxby’s building and drive-thru access, as well as the ground being too soft in an area where a deck is planned. In addition, Economic Development Director Bruce Abraham said, when asked by Felicia Davis, that renewable energy projects were not feasible at Gillem due to “the lay of the land there.” The DA also approved approaching Haddow and Company about an RFP to bring potential Main Street developers to look at the decrepit theater on Main Street, as well as an existing house and parking lot (the quote was $20,000 for those services). Abraham also suggested some kind of event to mark the renovated small retail strip across from the old theater. Attorney Kirby Glaze said the intergovernmental agreement was unenforecable, and that he wanted to meet with City Attorney Mike Williams about a binding agreement that he’s supposed to bring before the board at this Wednesday’s meeting. There had been some previous discussion about intergovernmental agreements defining the responsibilities of the appointed boards. Draft bylaws outline the requirements for notifying board members of meetings but don’t include statutory provisions from Georgia’s Open Meetings Act.

Thursday, Oct. 28

7 a.m.-7 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Hampton Nov. 2 municipal election at four locations:

  • Merle Manders Conference Center, 111 Davis Road, Stockbridge
  • Election and Voter Registration Office, 40 Atlanta Street, McDonough
  • Fortson (Hampton) Library, 61 McDonough St., Hampton
  • Locust Grove Library, 115 MLK Jr. Blvd., Locust Grove

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Hampton COUNTY-ONLY voting takes place in two locations:

  • J.P. Moseley Park, 1041 Millers Mill Road, Stockbridge
  • Fairview Recreation Center, 35 Austin Road, Stockbridge

8 a.m.-7 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Morrow Nov. 2 municipal election at both the Historic Courthouse, 121 S. McDonough Street in Jonesboro (at the Elections and Registration office) and at Morrow City Hall, 1500 Morrow Road (in the community room next to the playground).

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Jonesboro Nov. 2 municipal election at City Hall, 124 North Ave. However, Election Day voting will take place Nov. 2 at Lee Street Elementary, 178 Lee Street.

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Forest Park Nov. 2 municipal election at the Mary Ann Connelly Senior Center, 5087 Park Ave. From 8 a.m. -4:30 p.m., you also can use an advance ballot drop box at 803 Elaine Corley Recreation Center in the multipurpose room.

9 a.m.-6 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the College Park Nov. 2 municipal election. Check your voting location in Clayton County or Fulton County.

5:30 p.m.: The Forest Park Downtown Development Authority meets. No agenda was posted as of press time.

6 p.m.: The Forest Park Urban Redevelopment Authority meets. No agenda was posted as of press time.

6:30 p.m.: The Hampton Historic Preservation Commission meets at City Hall, 17 Main Street South.

Friday, Oct. 29

7 a.m.-7 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Hampton Nov. 2 municipal election at four locations:

  • Merle Manders Conference Center, 111 Davis Road, Stockbridge
  • Election and Voter Registration Office, 40 Atlanta Street, McDonough
  • Fortson (Hampton) Library, 61 McDonough St., Hampton
  • Locust Grove Library, 115 MLK Jr. Blvd., Locust Grove

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Hampton COUNTY-ONLY voting takes place in two locations:

  • J.P. Moseley Park, 1041 Millers Mill Road, Stockbridge
  • Fairview Recreation Center, 35 Austin Road, Stockbridge

8 a.m.-7 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Morrow Nov. 2 municipal election at both the Historic Courthouse, 121 S. McDonough Street in Jonesboro (at the Elections and Registration office) and at Morrow City Hall, 1500 Morrow Road (in the community room next to the playground).

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Jonesboro Nov. 2 municipal election at City Hall, 124 North Ave. However, Election Day voting will take place Nov. 2 at Lee Street Elementary, 178 Lee Street.

9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the Forest Park Nov. 2 municipal election at the Mary Ann Connelly Senior Center, 5087 Park Ave. From 8 a.m. -4:30 p.m., you also can use an advance ballot drop box at 803 Elaine Corley Recreation Center in the multipurpose room.

9 a.m.-6 p.m.: Advance voting continues for the College Park Nov. 2 municipal election. Check your voting location in Clayton County or Fulton County.

As always, we appreciate a heads-up if you know of an important event we might have missed in our lookahead.

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