A weekend retreat for members of Forest Park’s three development boards to take mandatory state training cost $19,096.94, according to documents The Clayton Crescent obtained through an Open Records Request.
A city purchase order shows the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Development Authoritu, and Downtown Development Authority each paid $6,365.66 (a total of $19,096.94) to Marriott Hotel Services, DBA Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Hotel. Each check was signed by Mayor Angelyne Butler and Darquita Williams.
Those who were booked for rooms included:
- Economic Development Director Bruce Abraham (2 nights, May 13-15)
- Mayor and DDA Chairwoman Angelyne Butler (2 night, May 13-15)
- City Staff and DA/DDA/URA Secretary Charise Clay (2 nights, May 13-15)
- City Staff and URA/DDA Executive Director Dr. Marc-Antonie Cooper (2 nights, May 13-15)
- URA Chairwoman and Ward 1 Councilmember Kimberly James (2 nights, May 13-15)
- Carl Vinson trainer Kirby Glaze (1 night, May 13-14)
- Carl Vinson trainer Kathryn Lookofsky (1 night, May 13-14)
- Development Authority Members:
- Felicia Davis (2 nights, May 13-15)
- Councilman Hector Gutierrez (2 nights, May 13-15)
- Alvin Patton (2 nights, May 13-15)
- Lois Wright (2 nights, May 13-15)
- Rhonda Wright (2 nights, May 13-15)
- Downtown Development Authority Members:
- Jacklyn Faith (2 nights, May 13-15)
- Tre Holland III (2 nights, May 13-15)
- Nancy Howard (2 nights, May 13-15)
- Nachae’ Jones (2 nights, May 13-15)
- Urban Redevelopment Authority Members:
- Eliot Lawrence (1 night, May 13-14)
- Debra Patrick (2 nights, May 13-15)
- Marisol Sconiers (2 nights, May 13-15)
- Avery Wilson (2 nights, May 13-15)
The package included:
- Meals: $7,087.50 (includes a $1,312.50 service charge and $525 for sales tax)
- Gate fees: $200 (at $4 per person)
- Audiovisual: $3,061.80
- Equipment rental: $2,268
- Setup charges: $472.50
- 25% service charge: $567
- 8% sales tax: $226.80
- Room rental (2 days): $675
- Room: $500
- 25% service charge: $125
- 8% sales tax: $50
- Hotel Rooms: $8,072.64
- 20 double rooms at $189 each, Friday, May 13: $3,780
- 16 standard rooms at $189 each, Saturday, May 14: $3,024
- 16% sales tax: $1,088.64
- $5 per room per night motel/hotel fee: $180
On Thursday, May 12, The Clayton Crescent asked City Manager Dr. Marc-Antonie Cooper these questions, but had received no answer as of press time:
- Who besides development board members will be at the Marriott Evergreen this weekend?
- Why was the Marriott Evergreen chosen, 30 miles from Forest Park and behind a $20 entrance fee? Why not use the city’s own facilities, such as council chambers, the Hartsfield Community Center, the Senior Center, or the gym to accommodate the required training, instead of spending thousands at a resort?
- Are taxpayers footing the bill?
- Are contractors, such as Michael Monteleone of Oasis Consulting (whose contract is up for consideration this weekend) or others who do or may do business with the city, also attending this weekend’s retreat?