City Council Minutes October 21, 2019 Work Session

PRESENT: Jerry D. Roseberry, Mayor; Council members: Jeff Wearing, Sarah Davis, George Holt, Mike Ready and Jim Windham; Staff members present: City Manager Matt Pepper, Deputy City Clerk Stacey Mullen, Utility Superintendent Jody Reid, Police Chief Dave Harvey and City Attorney David Strickland.

OTHERS PRESENT: Linda Allen, Judy Greer, Peggy Madden, Art & Laurie Vinson, Nick Cole, Melissa Hage, David Eady, Mike McQuaide and Lynn Bohanan.

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jerry D. Roseberry.

1. Mayors Announcements

Mayor Roseberry began the meeting by informing Council that he would be updating them on items of importance as his tenure draws to a close.  Mayor Roseberry gave a brief description of some of those items that he requested Council continue to be involved in.  These matters include but are not limited to: the Service Delivery Strategy, Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, Newton County Tomorrow and benefits of outreach. Attachment A

2. Landscape Maintenance Contract for Asbury Street Park

Matt Pepper discussed the details of the landscaping contract for Asbury Street Park.  Matt Pepper, along with a few Council members, met with the representatives of Great Estates to discuss some concerns regarding contract costs and sustainability.  Great Estates was informed of the city’s new focus on the implementation of sustainability practices, and they were asked to provide the city with non-toxic alternatives for pesticides, herbicides, etc. Attachment B

3. Residential Parking Discussion

Matt Pepper advised Council that the draft was pending for an amendment to the city ordinance to address concerns with residences that have a high volume of vehicles parked at a single residential lot.  Chief Harvey previously presented a proposed ordinance to Council that allowed for a waiver, with approval from Mayor and Council.  Since the idea of a waiver raised concerns, Matt Pepper requested the guidance of the Mayor and Council with the completion of the draft amendment.  Mayor Roseberry suggested the city develop a clear and concise ordinance, detailing the rules without the option of granting a waiver, as waivers may cause challenges.  Councilmember Holt proposed if a waiver was granted, that it included a chart, detailing specific conditions for approval. The matter will be further discussed at a future work session.

4. Amendment to Section 34-26- Vehicle Gross Weight

Councilmember Wearing addressed his concern for the amendment to the ordinance prohibiting through vehicles with weight in excess of 10,000 pounds.  His concern is that some pickup trucks (e.g. Ford F-350/450) exceeds the 10,000-pound proposed weight limit, which would prohibit such drivers from traveling through city limits.  Councilmember Wearing suggested that the weight limit be reconsidered, as the current proposed weight may be considered unfair to both residents and those passing through city limits.  Mayor Roseberry requested Chief Harvey look further into the matter.

5. Environmental Study Committee Report

Councilmember Windham reviewed the committee’s recommendations on implementing environmental sustainability practices within the city. Councilmember Holt suggested prioritizing the list to ensure Council would agree and that all items were completed satisfactorily. Mayor Roseberry suggested that Councilmembers Windham and Holt prioritize the list of practices and present it to the Council for approval.  This matter will be further discussed at a future work session.

6. Shared Active Transportation Devices Discussion

Mayor Roseberry advised that Matt Pepper has researched ordinances on the use of shared active transportation devices (e-scooters) within the city limits.  Mayor Roseberry suggested the city have an ordinance in place to regulate the use of the said devices for safety purposes.  The matter will be discussed further at a future work session.

7. Planning Commission

Matt Pepper explained that the Planning Commission discussed the proposed quorum requirements and submitted some changes on items 9 and 10. He further noted the Planning Commission agreed to keeping quorum requirements as-is.  In addition, the Planning Commission had no concerns w/ requiring each member to attend at least 2/3 of the meetings, with failure to do so resulting in recommendation for removal by Mayor and Council. Attachment C

8. 107 W. Clark Street Renovation Project

Councilmember Wearing shared that the ad hoc Yarbrough House Renovation Committee recommended the Yarbrough House be used as a community center, with a welcome center and historical area included within the structure.  This matter will be further discussed later.

Work Session was adjourned at 6:35 pm


Special Called Meeting was called to order at 6:40 pm by the Honorable Jerry D. Roseberry

Motion to enter Executive Session at 6:40pm Wearing- Second- Ready, approved unanimous 6/0.

David Strickland updated Council on the ongoing litigation.

Motion to adjourn Executive Session at 6:45 pm Windham- Second- Ready, approved unanimous 6/0.

Motion to adjourn the Special Called Meeting at 6:45 pm Windham- Second- Wearing, approved unanimous 6/0.


Respectfully submitted;

Stacey Mullen, CMC

Deputy City Clerk