Today is May Day, which marks the contributions of working people worldwide. We’re back at work while the people who write the movies and TV shows you like consider going out on strike for better pay from studios. That could impact movie production companies in the area, which in turn may have some effects on other local businesses like catering services and prop warehouses.
Over the weekend, we received another allegation of a pretrial detainee being denied medical care while held at the Clayton County Jail. The man’s family told The Clayton Crescent he has Stage Four cancer, has been in the jail for two months, and has yet to receive his meds. We are investigating and will have more in a separate story.
Here’s what your elected officials are doing with your tax dollars this week:
Monday, May 1
- Forest Park homeowners will pay more for Waste Management on their annual property tax bill. The $269.04 annual fee has gone up to $321.67—an increase of $52.63 or 19.56% for garbage pickup and curbside recycling. Renters are likely to see the increased cost passed on in the form of higher rents. Businesses should check their rates. Forest Park’s median annual household income (calculated between 2017 and 2021) is $37,370. Also, the city will no longer allow residents to drop off recycling at 327 Lamar Drive, but residents can still use curbside recycling. The city promises quarterly Clean Sweep events, with locations to be announced. According to Rocket Mortgage, Forest Park remains a strong seller’s market. Zillow shows Forest Park home prices remain about half of what comparable homes in other parts of metro Atlanta are bringing.
- 6 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Education holds its board meeting. School ends Wednesday, May 24. The last day for seniors is Friday May 12. Monday, May 22 at noon and Tuesday, May 23 at noon will be early dismissal for high school students. Wednesday, May 24 is the last day of school: high schoolers will get out at 12 noon, elementary school students at 1:15 p.m., and middle schoolers at 2:15 p.m. (We’ll get into the details of high school graduations in a separate story.)
- 6 p.m.: The City of Jonesboro holds a work session. Discussions on the agenda include:
- naming the park at 102 North McDonough Street at the corner of Courthouse Way
- financing Motorola Radios
- the landscaping contract and maintenance agreement for Jonesboro City Center grounds
- Acquiring trash bins
- Review “special election cost”
- A fee waiver for Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta—Clayton County’s Bridging Ceremony on May 6 at Lee Street Park
- A discussion on amending the city records management ordinance, specifically Chapter 2 (Administration). Article I (In General), Section 2-1 Records Management
- A conditional use permit application (23-CU-007) for a private motorcycle club meeting space, by Hernan Santamaria, property owner, and Cedric Mack, applicant, at 258 South Main Street (Parcel No. 05241D B001), Suite D
- A conditional use permit application (23-CU-008) for a dance studio, by Patricia Okwuosa, property owner, and Vanessa B. Gibson, applicant, at 242 Stockbridge Road (Parcel No. 12017D B003)
- A minor subdivision plat for 100 Pine Circle, 23-SUB-002
- Establishing a Jonesboro Youth City Government
- Executive session on personnel matters
- 6 p.m.: The Forest Park City Council holds its work session at 6 p.m. followed by the 7 p.m. regular meeting. Ward 2 Councilman Dabouze Antoine wants to discuss the Sister Cities controversy again, specifically as it relates to his desire to ship a decommissioned fire truck and camel to his native country of Haiti. The council had voted to donate the equipment but told Antoine he needed to figure out how to pay for shipping the items. Antoine said he doesn’t think Forest Park needs to spend money on trips to more Sister Cities when the donated items are sitting unused at Gillem Logistics Center. The council also will consider a request from BRTU Construction, Inc. for another $61,122.50 for redesigned drainage, tree and existing fence removal, and ornamental fencing at an unspecified location on Main Street. Other agenda items include requests from Public Works to surplus vehicles and buy new tables and chairs, appointing Ward 3 Councilman Héctor Gutierrez to represent the city on a stakeholders’ committee to work with the Atlanta Regional Commission on updating the city’s comprehensive plan. We’ve asked Mayor Angelyne Butler who else has been named to the committee and by whom. The council also will discuss splitting the positions of City Clerk and Executive Assistant. Mauldin and Jenkins had recommended the city do so. The Executive Assistant would report directly to the mayor and handle administrative tasks. The City Clerk is responsible for maintaining city records.
Tuesday, May 2
- 5:30 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Commissioners holds a pre-agenda meeting. As of press time, the published agenda lacked specific details about agenda items. A good rule of thumb: The less information a public agenda contains, the higher the likelihood of a surprise last-minute addition.
- 6:30 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Commissioner holds its regular meeting. Some highlights from the full agenda:
- Resolution 2023-89 would authorize a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Area in Need Missionary House, Inc. and Clayton County Fire & Emergency Services, “in an effort to increase access to appropriate healthcare, without misusing or overusing local hospitals.” One big problem for Southern Regional (as for other hospitals) is when people who don’t have access to preventive healthcare get sick and use the emergency room as a walk-in clinic, or when their ongoing medical issues spiral out of control for lack of treatment. SRMC has had to pick up the slack after Atlanta Medical Center was shut down, and Clayton County has a high percentage of residents who lack affordable healthcare.
- Resolution 2023-90 would authorize the adoption of the PY2023 – PY2027 Clayton County Consolidated Plan and the PY2013 Annual Action Plan, as well as CDBG Program Amendments to the Clayton County PY2021 and PY2022 Annual Action Plans to recapture $27,507.50 from Rainbow House and reallocate it to Parks and Recreation for outdoor modular restrooms. The resolution also would move $25,000 from Communities and Schools to the Clayton County Department of Youth Services’ Coding Bootcamp.
- Resolution 2023-91 would allow Parks and Recreation Department to accept up to $40,584.00 from the Estate of Mary Lucy Cline Huie for the Clayton County Greenspace Program Land Trust.
Wednesday, May 3
Thursday, May 4
- TBA. May the Fourth Be With You. No word yet on any “concessions” to Aaron Booterbaugh in his First Amendment case against the city:
Friday, May 5
Next week promises to be busier in terms of government body meetings (the second week of the month is always hopping). And on May 15, unless a federal judge decides otherwise, former Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill is under orders to report to the federal pen at Forrest City, AR to begin serving his 18-month sentence for violating pretrial detainees’ civil rights while the detainees were in his custody at the Clayton County Jail. Reminder: You don’t lose your civil or human rights just because you’ve been accused of a crime and taken into custody. If you or your loved one’s rights have been violated, groups like the Southern Center for Human Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, New Order National Human Rights Organization, and the NAACP can help you. So can your attorney, who should always be your first stop.
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