The Fourth of July holiday Monday bumped some local government meetings to Tuesday. Here’s a quick roundup of what’s happening this week:

Tuesday, June 5

  • 6 p.m.: The Forest Park City Council holds its work session, followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m.
    • The work session will revisit a recent request from Police Chief Nathaniel Clark to approve five positions for a Gang Task Force. The council had approved his request, but Mayor Angelyne Butler later vetoed it, saying FPPD’s budget line should go to filling current vacancies first and that it should take the money for those five task force positions from one of its forfeiture accounts: “The City of Forest Park Police Department has multiple accounts for cash taken from people who have been targeted in criminal investigations. Once taken through the forfeiture process, if the department is allowed to keep these funds they may be used as supplements to the department’s budget.” According to the mayor’s office, an outside auditor found on April 15, 2021 that, “year over year, there is a significant amount of unspent funds.” On November 1, 2021, Clark filed a suit against the city and Councilwoman Latresa Akins-Wells that alleged the city had improperly handled several funds, including those of federal and state law enforcement agencies. Clark said that, in August 2021, he has asked City Finance Director Darquita Williams to conduct an audit, then contacted the U.S. Department of Justice, who also said an audit should take place at once. The city says that, “(a)s of June 3, 2022, there is approximately $1.2 million dollars in combined funds that can be used by police for training and equipment.” That case (2021CV03928   10) is still pending in Clayton County Superior Court before Judge Shana Rooks Malone. All this comes amid FPPD’s recruiting campaign, which includes two wrapped SUVs and billboards on Old Dixie Road and Jonesboro Road at the I-75 overpass.
    • The council will consider creating a temporary volunteer seven-member arts committee to work with a mural artist for 60 to 90 days, “approve the complete concept to be forward[ed] to Mayor and City Council” to approve and commission.
    • Public Works is asking the council to approve the HVAC maintenance contract, for all departments, with ABM as of August 1.
    • The Public Information Office wants the council to approve participation in a “a no-cost community showcase video program, which is an initiative supported by both the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.” According to the agenda, company called CGI Communications approached the city about taking part. Last fall, the city paid for several videos touting the city, each featuring a large donor to Mayor Angelyne Butler’s reelection campaign. This program would be a three-year agreement to “develop more video content for social media exposure and publicity at no cost.” CGI would work with “city staff…for script writing, video content consultation and filming dates.” Those videos would “showcase a welcome from the mayor and council, ongoing public safety recruitment efforts and diversity throughout the community.”
  • 6:30 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Commissioners holds its regular meeting. Separate story is forthcoming.

Wednesday, June 6

  • 4:30 p.m.: The Jonesboro Design Review Committee considers recommendations for several new items:
    • Smile Pro Dental Gallery, 301 North Main Street (13209C C009) wants to add a ground sign; the city has agreed to letting them use the existing posts.
    • B’Mari Events Center, 106-112 North McDonough Street (13241B F009) in the Historic District wants to paint the beige stucco white and paint the trim black.
    • Obiorah Fields, LLC, 157 South McDonough Street (13241D H003) in the Historic District also wants to paint its exterior a new color.
    • 207 West Mill Street (13241C B003), a proposed residence in the Historic Residential overlay, wants to revise the exterior design.
    • Xolos Restaurant, 108 South Main Street (13241D C004), a new restaurant in the Historic District, wants to revise its exterior and signage.
Proposed exterior design for new house at 207 West Mill Street, Jonesboro

Thursday, June 7

  • Nothing yet

Friday, June 8

  • Nothing yet

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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