City Council Minutes November 4, 2019 Regular Session



MONDAY, November 4, 2019 – 7:00 PM



PRESENT: Jerry D. Roseberry, Mayor; Council members: George Holt; Jim Windham; Mike Ready; Jeff Wearing. Sarah Davis was not present.  Staff members present: City Manager Matt Pepper, City Clerk Marcia Brooks, Deputy City Clerk Stacey Mullen, Utility Superintendent Jody Reid, Police Chief Dave Harvey, City Attorney David Strickland.


OTHERS PRESENT: Laura Gafnea of Oxford College, Peggy Madden, Patsy Burke, Cheryl Ready, Theresa Eady, Judy Greer, Juanita Carson, Nicholas Cole, Sherry Jackson, Mike McQuaide, Lynn Bohanan, Erik Oliver, Gwendolyn Green, and Laura McCanless.



1. The meeting was called to order by the Hon. Jerry D. Roseberry, Mayor
2. Invocation was delivered by Chief Dave Harvey
3. Pledge of Allegiance

4. Motion was made to accept the Agenda for November 4, 2019 – Holt- Second - Wearing, Approved unanimous 5/0. Appendix A

5. Consent Agenda - Approved unanimous 5/0.   Appendix B


6. Mayors Report   

a)    Mayor Roseberry announced that Newton County is under Level 1 Drought Conditions as designated by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD).  Information is available on the city’s website.  With some exceptions, outdoor water use in Newton County is restricted to the hours of 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. 

b)    Mayor Roseberry announced that Newton County and all cities are in compliance with the Service Delivery Strategy of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA).  All 22 items have been negotiated.  However, one item regarding water issues will expire next June unless an agreement is reached before then.  There are several items we will be negotiating within the next two to three years.  One is the LOST distribution formula which all the cities will meet with Newton County to discuss.  Newton County’s Comprehensive Plan will trigger another Service Delivery Strategy review in 2023.

c)    On October 25, 2019, representatives from the Newton County Water & Service Authority met with city officials in all jurisdictions to discuss the financial report from the Newton County Water Fund.  Many questions were posed, and another meeting will be held on November 8, 2019 to continue the discussion. 

d)    The annual Employees’ Appreciation Dinner will be held on December 12, 2019 at the Dean’s Dining Hall at Oxford College.

7. Planning Commission Recommendations/Petitions


8. Citizen Concerns

a)    Nicholas Cole, 1104 Emory Street, suggested that the Council appoint someone to fill the vacated seat on the Council when the newly elected mayor takes office rather than making a decision tonight (Agenda item #13).  Mayor Roseberry indicated that a citizen asked to be considered for the open position, and it is the Council’s decision.

b)    Gwendolyn Green, Godfrey Street, posed several questions to the Council:

1)    Update on property on West Soule Street with slope where water stands.  Ms. Green came to the Council several months ago about installing a retention pond.  Councilman Holt indicated this area has been a marsh area for a long time and is a nuisance due to mosquito infestations.

2)    What are the plans for the Yarbrough House (107 W. Clark Street)?  Mayor Roseberry indicated this is on tonight’s agenda.  Ms. Green suggested the City apply for a grant to put a community center on the empty lot behind it.

3)    Are there plans to install signs on Georgia Hwy. 81 near the playground?  Mayor Roseberry indicated that the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) would need to be contacted.  There are plans to install a crosswalk on this highway in the future.

9.    Appointment of Marcia Brooks to position of City Clerk

Mayor Roseberry welcomed Marcia Brooks as the new City Clerk of Oxford effective November 1, 2019.  She comes to Oxford after working for the State of Georgia, and lives in Rutledge.

10. Resolution for Minor Amendment to the City’s Short-Term Work Program  Appendix C

Matt Pepper recommended that the Council approve an amendment to Oxford’s Short-Term Work Program (STWP) of the Oxford Comprehensive Plan to add the project to upgrade the water main located along Clark Street, Hull Street, Oxford Road, and other streets.  The city is required to keep this information updated as part of the Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) process.  Motion was made by Holt – Seconded – Windham to approve the resolution amending the City’s Short-Term Work Program, approved unanimous 5/0.


11. Second Reading to Provide Ordinance for Regulation of Small Cell Technology  Appendix D

Matt Pepper discussed the need to have a city ordinance for regulation of small cell technology within the city right-of-way.  The Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) and Electric Cities of Georgia (ECG) provided this model ordinance that they recommend all cities adopt as this technology becomes more prevalent.  This is the second reading of the proposed ordinance.  The first reading occurred during the October regular Council meeting.  Motion was made by Ready – Seconded – Holt to adopt the proposed ordinance for regulation of small cell technology, approved unanimous 5/0.


12. Second Reading to Adopt Restated Pension Plan Agreement  Appendix E

Matt Pepper explained that the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System (GMEBS) has restated the city’s pension plan and received a favorable determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Consequently, the IRS requires that all GMEBS member employers adopt the restated plan documents. GMEBS requires that we codify the Adoption Agreement. This is the second reading of the restated pension plan agreement.  Motion was made by Holt – Seconded – Wearing to adopt the restated pension plan agreement, approved unanimous 5/0.


13. Discussion and Consideration of Filling the Open Seat on the City Council (Post 4)

Mayor Roseberry stated that a citizen, Rev. Dr. Avis Williams, had contacted him asking to be considered for the open seat for Post 4 on the Oxford City Council.  The City Council has the authority to appoint a person to a vacated seat, and the Council does not want to discourage participation in government activities. Motion was made by Windham – Seconded – Holt to approve Rev. Dr, Avis Williams to fill the open seat for Post 4 on the Oxford City Council, approved unanimous 5/0.


14. 107 W. Clark Street Renovation Project

Jeff Wearing reported on the progress of Yarbrough House on behalf of the ad hoc Renovation Committee. In the October meeting it was agreed that this facility would house a welcome center/community/historical facility.  They are in the final stages of design with the architect, and the next step will be to find a builder.  The City Council will decide what will done with the back part of the property and has not finalized any plans at this time for that part.

15. Whatcoat Street Committee Appointments

The Council had a committee previously to discuss improvements to Whatcoat Street but their work was put on hold until Oxford College could complete their renovations on Pierce Street.  These renovations were completed in August 2018.  Mayor Roseberry appointed Council Members Sarah Davis, Jim Windham, and Mike Ready (Chairman) to an ad hoc committee to recommend improvements to Whatcoat Street.  Mayor Roseberry would like an interim report from the committee at the Council’s work session on November 18, 2019.

16. Invoice Approval

Motion by Holt to approve October invoices - second Windham, approved unanimous 5/0.


17. Executive Session


18. Motion to adjourn Regular Session at 7:20 pm – Windham – Second Wearing Approved unanimous 5/0.


Respectfully Submitted,

Marcia Brooks
City Clerk