Downtown Development Authority Meeting March 2, 2017

MEMBERS: Dr. Melvin Baker, Mr. Brian Barnard, Mr. Jonathan Eady, Ms. Kendra Mayfield, Mr. Mark McGiboney, Ms. Martha Molyneux, and Ms. Loren Roberts.

STAFF:  Bob Schwartz, city manager and zoning administrator.

GUESTS: Mayor Jerry Roseberry, councilmembers David Eady and Mike Ready, Laura McCanless, Kristi Thomas, and Sheena Thomas.

OPENING:  At 5:00 PM, Mr. Schwartz called the meeting to order.  He congratulated everyone for being at the first meeting of the Downtown Development Authority of the City of Oxford.  He asked each member to introduce themselves and tell a little about their background.

MAYOR ROSEBERRY: Mayor Jerry Roseberry made a presentation of the accomplishments, progress, and changes the City had made in the last ten years or so.  [A copy of Mayor Roseberry’s notes for this presentation are attached to these minutes.]  Mayor Roseberry emphasized the Downtown Development Authority was the latest in a long series of improvements.

COUNCILMEMBER READY: Councilmember Mike Ready discussed how we got to where we are today.  It started with a series of charrettes held at the old City Hall on Whatcoat Street.  Several sets of plans have been prepared by design students from the University of Georgia.  One of the ideas from the charrettes was for a Town Center.  About ten years ago the revised zoning ordinance included a zone for a Town Center.  Things sat still until in 2014 when City Council discussed the possibility of forming a DDA. 

In May 2016 Mayor Roseberry appointed an ad hoc DDA study committee composed of Mr. Ready, Mr. Eady, and Mr. Windham.  The committee met several months in open session and went back and forth about what a DDA can do compared to what a city can do in relation to development.  The committee presented the possibility of a DDA to City Council focusing on the possibility of developing land the city had purchased on East Clark Street.  In August 2016, Mr. Ready presented the possibility of creating a DDA to the Planning Commission. On September 19th he presented on behalf of the ad hoc committee to City Council.  In November we had a chance lunch with a restaurant owner who might be interested in moving his restaurant to Oxford. The pace of economic development has picked up in Newton County. 

The City asked Randy Vinson to see what was viable on the property on East Clark and along Emory.  Mr. Vinson presented his plans to a committee of city council and then to a city council work session.  No further action has been taken on his proposal. 

In February 2017, city council approved the DDA and the ad hoc committee helped select the members.  We started with 52 and narrowed it down to 7 and that’s how you are here.

MEETING TIMES:  After some discussion, the DDA members agreed to meet on the third Wednesday of each month at 7 PM.  This will begin Wednesday, April 19th.  [a list of all the meeting dates for 2017 is attached to these minutes.]  The DDA members also determined to schedule the required state training for all new DDA members on Saturday, April 22nd.  Mr. Schwartz will check the schedule with Monica Callahan of Madison who is the trainer.  We will also invite city council members and the members of the Planning Commission to join the DDA for this training.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS: The members discussed the various officers.

Upon motion of Ms. Molyneux, seconded by Mr. Eady, the offices of Secretary and Treasurer were combined into the one office of Secretary/Treasurer.

Upon motion of Ms. Mayfield, seconded by Ms. Molyneux, Mr. McGiboney was elected Chair.

Upon motion of Ms. Mayfield, seconded by Ms. Molyneux, Ms. Roberts was elected Vice-Chair.

Upon motion of Ms. Molyneux, seconded by Dr. Baker, Bob Schwartz was elected as Secretary/Treasurer.

TOPICS FOR NEXT MEETING: Several subjects were suggested for our next meeting: the selection of an attorney, discussion of an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City, and consideration of By-Laws for the DDA.  Bob Schwartz is to provide a draft of the By-Laws for consideration before the next meeting. 

ADJOURNMENT: Mr. Schwartz adjourned the meeting at 6:06 PM.

Approved by:

Bob Schwartz, Secretary/Treasurer