Entrance toMarriott Evergreen Resort, Stone Mountain, GA

The City of Forest Park’s three development boards and the City Council will be in Stone Mountain this weekend for an economic development retreat.

The board members are scheduled to complete mandatory state training.

The retreat will take place at the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort, 4021 Lakeview Drive—30 miles from City Hall and the Hartsfield Community Center, which cost much less for the city to book. Under Georgia law, all retreats are open to the public. However, members of the public wishing to observe these meetings in person must pay $20 to enter Stone Mountain Park.

A special called meeting by the Urban Redevelopment Authority will be held at 11 a.m. Friday via Zoom.

Schedule

Friday, May 13, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Development Authority, Downtown Development Authority, and Urban Redevelopment Authority will attend training sponsored by the Carl Vinson Institute.

Friday, May 13, 11 a.m.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority will hold a special called meeting via Zoom.

Join via https://bit.ly/39c78GO
Meeting ID: 869 2974 5240
Passcode: 551491
Dial In: (929)-205-6099

On the published agenda: a discussion of the URA’s budget, a spending threshold for the chair (Councilwoman Kimberly James), and whether to renew the contract with Michael Monteleone of Oasis Consulting. Monteleone handles environmental testing and regulatory matters related to Fort Gillem land transfers to the city via the URA.

Saturday, May 14, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Development Authority, Downtown Development Authority, and Urban Redevelopment Authority will hold a joint meeting.

Who serves on these boards?

Development boards are corporations that handle business development and real estate transactions at arm’s length for a government. This puts them in a position to deal directly with companies that want to build big projects, like the various warehouses at the former Fort Gillem or new businesses on Main Street, without the city itself getting into legal entanglements.

The members in Forest Park are a combination of elected officials and handpicked political appointees. Several are themselves developers with vested interests in various projects around town and/or who gave money to Mayor Angelyne Butler’s reelection campaign. Some also appear in promotional videos on the city’s website.

For many years, Forest Park’s development boards had interlocking members. Today, they are a combination of wealthy developers and political novices, run by Butler, Billy Freeman of Technique Concrete, and Ward 1 Councilwoman Kimberly James. Longtime members Lois Wright and Eliot Lawrence continue to serve but no longer on the same boards or in an interlocking capacity.

The city does not publish resumes or experience and qualifications for serving on the boards, which handle multimillion-dollar planning. The City Council ultimately must vote to approve or deny the boards’ actions.

Development Authority

Billy Freeman, Jr., Chairman (through January 18, 2026)
Alvin Patton, Vice Chairman (through August 30, 2022)
Felicia Davis (through July 21, 2025) 
Hector Gutierrez (through December 31, 2023)
Bennett Joiner (through January 18, 2026)  
Lois Wright (through August 30, 2022)
Rhonda Wright (through January 18, 2026) 

Downtown Development Authority

Angelyne Butler, Chairwoman (through December 2025)
Nachae Jones, Vice Chairwoman (through December 19, 2024)
Jacklyn Faith (through September 23, 2025)
Tre Holland (through March 21, 2026)
Nancy Howard (through September 23, 2025)
Dhaval Shah (through March 21, 2026)
Eric Stallings (through April 30, 2024)

Urban Redevelopment Authority

Kimberly James, Chairwoman (through December 31, 2025)
Eliot Lawrence, Vice Chairman (through March 21, 2026)
Debra Patrick (through March 21, 2026)
Marisol Sconiers (through March 21, 2026)
Avery Wilson (through March 21, 2026)

Robin Kemp

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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