AUGUST 30, 2016

7:30 PM

Call to order

Mayor Melanie Hammet called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.  Present were Mayor Pro Tem Megan Pulsts, Council Members Jean Bordeaux, Augusta Woods, Brandy Hall and Tonja Holder.  Also present City Attorney Laurel Henderson, City Administrator Valerie Caldwell and Chief Sarai Y’Hudah Green.

Pledge of Allegiance


  • Mayor Hammet communicated that she was pleased to have a full council seated and thanked all of the members for attending the renaming of the post office on August 27th in honor of slain Officer Francis Ortega.
  • Mayor Pro Tem Pulsts communicated that DeKalb County Planning had an open workshop on August 20th regarding the overlay design from Hambrick Road. The next prism meeting will be on September 8th at St. Timothy Methodist Church on Memorial Drive.
  • Caldwell communicated that she attended the 11th Annual Environmental Conference and gave an update on the classes that she took.
  • Woods communicated that she attended the Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery Class on August 27th with Chief Green and the police department. She stated that Atlanta was No. 1 in the world for human trafficking and sex slavery and that it is very prevalent. Woods recommended additional training for the police department and community for awareness and education.
  • The Mayor stated that she and Holder attended a meeting with the group that is doing the design work for the Rockbridge Road expansion and that they have requested more consideration for pedestrian crossing at the post office site. Holder said that there will not be an official crosswalk but there will be a small median with a gap for crossing due to the steep hill and a crosswalk will not be safe. Holder said that they suggested that the planners do a better job and recommended signage for the crossing area. The construction is due for completion in 2018 and will be a 9-12month project.
  • Hammet communicated that she, Holder and Woods would be attending a collective meeting at the City of Lithonia with Stone Mountain, Avondale, Clarkston to discuss how the five smaller cities of the county can work together better and support each other. There was discussion for economic development.
  • Mayor Hammet communicated to Chief Green, the Police Department and the Ortega Family on how special the ceremony was for the renaming of the post office and that she was glad to be there especially to have met slain Officer Ortega’s son.
  • The Mayor communicated that she attended the DeKalb County Association Policy meeting and the subject was the detoriation of the sewer system and that the meetings are on Mondays at 11:00 am and that elected officials are welcome to attend
  • Mayor Hammet met with Diane Durant, Municipal Arts Panel and they discussed end of year goals. Cheryl Hubbard, Events & Facilities Coordinator; Eva Sotus, Resident and Durant met and the goals are:
    • to analyze the acoustic challenges of the two rental facilities and to establish a budget for solutions
    • To produce a short video of the art and artist of the community for marketing
  • Bordeaux communicated that the Kickoff for IT in A Box which is the new website hosting company for the city will be at the Club House on September 8th with the priority list consisting of the website and new council email addresses that reflect the city. Attending the meeting will be Bordeaux, Woods and Caldwell.

Adoption of Agenda  

Holder requested to amend the agenda by adding the discussion of Purchasing a New Police Vehicle and removing the Storage Space at the Beach House from the agenda. Holder moved to adopt the amended agenda; seconded by Bordeaux and was approved 5-0.

Public Comments

Shirley Kinsey 579 Spruce Drive commented that she had good and bad news and that a crew from DeKalb County Roads came and paved a portion of Spruce Drive and the south side of the lake.  She stated she was glad for the paving, however; that the road crew had dumped debris and dirt that needs to be removed because it could be harmful to the wetlands and the wildlife with the pollution. Kinsey said that she would be writing the CEO and Public Works Director and asked for support from the city to clean the areas. Green and Caldwell will also follow up on this matter.

Kathie deNobriga 4641 Ridge Drive thanked the Mayor and Holder for their persistence with DOT as a victory.  She also asked the city to work with PLAIN and Lakefest with the Labor Day Picnic on September 5th at the beach.  deNobriga commented on her request for access of the city’s SAM’S Wholesale Club membership card and got pushback and asked for consideration because the city has tax exemption status on purchases and said that in the past had taken responsibility for it and asked for cooperation from the city on this matter.  Holder and Kinsey offered the use of their personal SAM’S card.

DeNobriga said that in principal it is a very poor practice and reflection of the trust and relationship between various citizen’s efforts.  Mayor Hammet stated for the point of clarity the picnic was never a line item in the 2016 budget and that it was cut from the 2015 budget.

Review of Street Closing Policy

There was discussion on this item with no action taken and the policy will be placed on the September 12th council meeting agenda.

Review of Policy for Free use of Public Space

There was discussion with revisions. Holder will revise policy and will be placed on the September 12th council meeting agenda. The Mayor stated that Hubbard is doing an excellent job keeping the facilities rented and that her goal for rentals is $22, 000 for 2016.

Review of Amendment to Policy Regarding Review of Advertising

Holder will add the revised and correct language to contract and forward to be added to existing agreement. 

Consideration of Town Hall Meeting for September

Scheduled for September 20th at the Beach House at 7:00 p.m. Topics of discussion will be Free Use of Public Space Application, Code Enforcement “The New Normal” and catching up on current issues. Mayor Hammet said that she and Susan Edwards, Resident are working together on a Town Hall for Kids meeting and the date and time is to be determined.

Storage of Space at the Beach House

This item was removed from the agenda.

Purchase of New Police Vehicle

This item was discussed with approval of a purchase of a new police vehicle versing a lease because the department is down to one vehicle.  The vendor is to be determined at a later date.

Report of Projected Expenses for Summer Beach/Lake Use

Caldwell reported the expenses was $8,304.64. This total included weekly lake testing, porta john rental, ring and rope for the beach monitor, materials for chair and umbrella, to part time beach monitor salaries and the projection for Jenkins to end the season.

Public Comments

David Brachman 4588 Park Drive Complimented Mayor and Council for the work that they have done and said that he was amazed with the progress over the past six months.  He also commented on the use of city equipment and borrowing the SAM’S membership card and recommended that the same rules need to apply across the board for everyone that it is not allowed.

Kathie deNobriga talked about the upcoming referendum for the November 8th ballot and that attention was needed. She also spoke on the advertising policy, the deposits for rental facilities and the revision of the street closing policy and that it is open ended. She recommended a monetary amount be placed in the policy.

Mayor Comment

There was not any at this time.

Council Comments

Holder thanked deNobriga for the deposit note and that it would be added to the agreement.  She also talked about street closings for events and payments which will be in the contract. Holder and Pulsts offered deNobriga the use of their personal Costco Club Card. Holder also talked about the wages for the police for events which will be known prior to a contract.


Bordeaux moved to adjourn at 8:57 pm; seconded by Hall and approved 5-0.


Missye Varner, Administrative Assistant