laptop computer open on desk

by Robin Kemp

It’s back to work for elected bodies in Clayton County. We’re also working hard on what election planning looks like for 2022 and we’ll update the roundup later this week with election-related information as time permits:

MONDAY, Jan. 3

6 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Education holds its work session and meeting at CCPS Administrative Complex, 1058 Fifth Ave., Jonesboro. The board will elect a vice-chair and is scheduled to approve tent Nov. 29 work session and Dec. 6 meeting minutes. The financial report notes sales and use tax collections are up 20.4% and that CCPS spent $4.4 million to acquire the old Sears space at Southlake Mall for a graduation and events center. The FY22 budget projected $514 million in revenues and $520 million in spending, a difference of $6 million in spending. Year-to-date actual revenues total $136 million, while actual spending is $154 million, a difference of $18 million in spending. From October through December, CCPS paid out $11,917,346 in incentives. Chief Financial Officer Emma Benton noted in the SPLOST Revenue Report that, “(b) ased on current budgeted projects, cashflow projections as well as the recent $4.4 million purchase at Southlake Mall, the district will need a TAN [tax anticipation note] for capital projects for 2022.” A tax anticipation note is a short-term note, usually for one year, that lets a government agency pay for a project on credit until taxes are collected. Last year, SPLOST VI revenues brought in a rolling average of $4.56 million. The school system just paid off a $20 million TAN on Dec. 31.

6 p.m.: The Forest Park City Council holds its work session at 6 p.m. at City Hall council chambers, 745 Forest Parkway. Updates on the work session agenda include City Manager Dr. Marc-Antonie Cooper and EMS Coordinator Andrew Gelmini on COVID-19.

7 p.m.: The Forest Park City Council holds its business meeting at City Hall council chambers, 745 Forest Parkway.  The business session includes swearing-in ceremonies for Mayor Angelyne Butler, Ward 1 Councilwoman Kimberly James, and Ward 2 Councilman Dabouze Antoine. The council also is slated to pass a resolution appointing a mayor pro tempore, who serves when the mayor is not available, and to approve the December 6 minutes. An executive session is possible. Whenever the council adjourns to an executive session, they have to reconvene and either say whether they are taking no action as a result of the executive session or state in public what they are about to vote on, then take the vote. Only then can the council vote to adjourn the council meeting. The December 6 minutes state that a vote was taken after that meeting’s executive session but do not indicate the substance of whatever the vote was.

TUESDAY, Jan. 4

6:30 p.m.: The Board of Commissioners holds its regular business meeting at 112 Smith Street. The board will mark Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month.

The Correctional Institute is asking for a name change on the county’s Solid Waste Services Annual Contract (ITB 19-200) from Georgia Waste Systems, Inc, to Georgia Waste Systems, LLC. On June 29, 2021, the Houston-based corporation converted to an LLC, according to online Georgia corporate filings signed by Advanced Disposal Services, Inc. Vice-President Courtney A. Tippy. (Georgia Waste Systems, Inc.’s last annual filing on March 8, 2021 listed Tracey A. Shrader as CEO, Leslie K. Nagy as CFO, and Tippy as secretary, with offices at 1001 Fannin Street, Houston, TX changing to 800 Capitol Street, Suite 3000, Houston.) On July 2, the Georgia Secretary of State’s office approved a merger of Advanced Disposal Services Atlanta, LLC and Advanced Disposal Services Augusta, LLC, both foreign (out-of-state) non-qualifying entities, into the surviving entity Georgia Waste Systems, LLC, a domestic limited liability company, with offices at 800 Capitol Street, Houston, TX. The president and sole member of all three companies is Mark A. Lockett. 

Resolution 2022-6 would authorize a letter from Clayton County in support of Georgia Department of Transportation adding two “reduced conflict U-turns” (RCUTs) on Tara Boulevard, one at Flicker Road and another at Cardinal Road. The resolution also would identify funding sources for the project.

Fire and Emergency Services is asking the BOC to extend a contract with Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions, Inc. of Durham, NC “to allow time for Georgia Emergency Management (GEMA) to submit the draft plan to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

The agenda is full of requests for additional staffing at the courthouse, district attorney’s office, and public defender’s office as a result of COVID-19:

  • Juvenile Court is asking for a staff attorney at $105,434 and a court officer at $54,116 and would cut the part-time budget by $45,000 to help pay for the additional staff, which would require $114,500 from the county.
  • The Solicitor General’s office is asking to restructure classifications.
  • Magistrate Court, which is by far the county’s busiest court, wants to add two associate judges at $137,221 each, as well as a legal assistant at $53,544. Most of the cost, $300,000 would be covered by ARPA funds, with the county allocating $27,986 from the general fund.
  • The Public Defender’s office is asking to hire two attorneys, Linda Day of Decatur and Roneta Walker of Atlanta, at $80,000 each, using ARPA funds.
  • The Chief Staff Attorney is asking to hire a senior paralegal at $68,683, also using ARPA funds, to get Code Enforcement’s case backlog moving.
  • The District Attorney’s office is asking to accept funding for the 2022 Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program and from  the 2022 Victims of Crime Act Compensation Grant. The CESF is a federal grant of $70,000 with a match waiver of $23,333. The VOCA is also a federal grant worth $97,378. Both grants are administered through the CJCC.
  • The Clayton County Police Department is asking to add a Police Ambassador.

Fire Chief Landry Merkison is asking for passage of a resolution to partner with Piedmont Healthcare to set up a healthcare education program, similar to the firefighter training program.

Another resolution, 2022-12, would let the county apply for a $45,000 grant to equip police officers with Naloxone kits, which can reverse opioid overdoses.

Elections and Registration will ask the BOC to approve 2022 qualifying fees for candidates running for elected office.

Other routine annual tasks on the agenda include:

  • Appointing a vice-chair to serve when the chair cannot
  • Resolution 2022-1, which declares the banks where county funds will be held
  • Resolution 2022-2, which authorized Chief Financial Officer Ramona Bivins to deposit and withdraw funds for the Local Government Investment Pool
  • Resolution 2022-3, stating who can sign checks drawn on the Witness Transportation Arrangements account
  • Resolution 2022-4, authorizing Chairman Jeff Turner, the vice-chair, and CFO Bivins “to sign checks, drafts, or other orders” on BOC-controlled bank accounts

CCPD is asking for permission to accept four vehicles seized by the Narcotics Unit (a 2009 Lincoln MKS, a 2014 Cadillac ATS, a 2015 Nissan Altima, and a 2006 Infiniti M45). The county also looks to gain 21 cellphones under a Superior Court order (Resolution 2022-11).

District 2 Commissioner Gail Hambrick has an appointment to the Board of Ethics. The empty seat was most recently held by Ashley Wright. The single appointment rotates among commissioners each year, meaning that District 3 gets to pick the next appointee in 2023.

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 5: The City of Jonesboro Design Review Commission holds its regular meeting at City Hall, 124 North Avenue. No agenda had been published as of press time.

THURSDAY, Jan. 5

TBA

FRIDAY, Jan. 6

TBA

The Clayton Crescent and our Board of Trust extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who donated as part of NewsMatch 2021. You more than doubled our $15,000 goal! We’re still finalizing the matching fund numbers (these come from several different foundations) and will update when we have those official figures. 

Our new office is at 6656 Morning Dove Place, Suite A, which is in Jonesboro in unincorporated Clayton County, just off Tara Boulevard.

We also have a new post office box, which we recommend for confidential documents and hot news tips: P.O. Box 1865, Jonesboro, GA 30237.

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