In this issue:  2017 Committee Assignments, Street Abandonment, Monroe Dr / Boulevard Complete Street Update, Government Transparency, 'Bring One for the Chipper' Holiday Recycling and more...
Happy New Year and welcome to the January 2017 edition of the Atlanta City Council District 6 eNewsletter. Below you will find some helpful information about issues in our District and City.

As an FYI, Council President Ceasar Mitchell announced our new committee assignments at our December meeting. For 2017 I am serving on the following committees: 
  • City Utilities Committee – Chair
  • Finance Executive Committee
  • Zoning Committee
I look forward to working closely as a member of these committees on issues and concerns on behalf of our District. Please let me hear from you if there are specific initiatives and/or legislative items I can champion for our neighborhoods as part of the work of these committees.

As always, I encourage your feedback and comments. Please contact me at (404) 330-6049 or if I can be of assistance. I appreciate the opportunity to be your voice in our city government.

In This Issue

Street Abandonment Vote

In December, City Council voted to abandon two streets as a part of the proposed project to redevelop Underground Atlanta. (The city had previously turned the properties over to Invest Atlanta, the city’s redevelopment authority, which subsequently sought proposals for the property and is conducting the sale.) I was one of the “No” votes cast on the legislation.

I completely agree with the city’s addressing a real estate asset that has long been a financial drain on the city’s resources. However, I objected to the legislation’s inclusion of a clause that waived the city’s code section requiring public notification as a part of a street abandonment process. That process specifically includes circulating the legislation to the impacted Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU), the city’s system for public input. In my opinion, the rationale offered as to the need to waive the public notice – the rush to close the sale transaction – was not sufficient.

While I recognize that the NPU provides only recommendations to the city, I think it is critical that we respect and honor that process, particularly when it is required by city code when disposing of public assets. Nevertheless, the legislation passed 11-4. I will continue to follow this project as it progresses.

Monroe Drive / Boulevard Complete Street Update

Monroe Dr / Boulevard Complete Street MapOriginally scheduled for January 2017, the second Community Engagement Meeting for the Monroe Drive / Boulevard Complete Street Project has been rescheduled due to a scheduling conflict with the Midtown Neighbors Association Annual Meeting and Dinner. The new date, time and location are as follows. Mark your calendar.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Ebenezer Baptist Church
101 Jackson St NE
Atlanta, GA 30312

The Monroe Dr / Boulevard corridor, which is actually split into two separate projects (Piedmont Cir to 10th St and 10th St to Woodward Ave, near I-20), represents two of the 16 Complete Street projects under the Renew Atlanta Infrastructure Bond Program. Complete Streets are streets for everyone. They are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work.

The first Community Engagement Meeting was held on August 23, 2016 at Henry W. Grady High School. A copy of the presentation materials can be found here.

Community Engagement Meeting August 2016

Community Engagement Meeting #1 – August 23, 2016

As additional details become available, they will be shared in future isses of this District 6 Newsletter. For information on the Renew Atlanta Infrastructure Bond Program, please visit the Renew Atlanta Infrastructure Bond website.

My Position on Government Transparency

Council is currently deliberating legislation that would implement an online system to provide public access to transaction-level detail of expenditures at both the city and city council levels. Fiscal transparency remains a fundamental tenet of mine, as I have striven to demonstrate through my votes and my service on council. Consequently, I fully support efforts to provide you, as tax and rate payers, as much information on the city’s finances as possible.

That said, I write this article to explain a recent instance around this proposal that is unfortunately being distorted against me and some of my colleagues. During a December Finance Executive Committee meeting, a motion was made to approve the online system providing access to the city’s transactions. Because the motion did not receive a second, procedurally a vote could not be conducted, and the legislation remains held in committee for further deliberation.

While I can’t speak for the other committee members, the reason I was not ready to move forward was because such critical information as project cost (software, hardware, and programming) and implementation plan (to insure we have appropriate capacity given the city’s scheduled Oracle upgrade) were not presented. I support the project in concept, but I am unwilling to commit the city – and your tax dollars – to an undetermined financial obligation.

It is now being represented inaccurately that (a) I voted against the paper and, consequently, (b) I do not support transparency in government. Both are completely untrue, and I wanted you, as my constituents, to have the full story.

I hope that the sponsors of the legislation will compile my requested data points, along with answers that other committee members were seeking. With that information, I look forward to a more thorough deliberation of the proposal and to supporting it at a future meeting.

'Bring One for the Chipper' Holiday Recycling

Atlanta's Center for Hard to Recycle Material (CHaRM) is your one-stop location for holiday recycling! Bring your old electronics, styrofoam, cardboard boxes, old Christmas lights to CHaRM for proper disposal. CHaRM is also a 'Bring One for the Chipper' site, so don't forget that Christmas tree!

CHaRM is located at 1110 Hill St SE Atlanta, GA 30315 just south of Grant Park. Its hours of operation are:

  • Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturdays 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Inclement weather is expected on Saturday, January 7th. Please check their Facebook page or website for any potential closings.

CHaRM is a LiveThrive Atlanta initiative. For a complete list of items accepted, click here.

Solid Waste Reminder for MLK Jr. Day

City offices are closed on Monday, January 16, 2017 in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The Office of Solid Waste Services will provide collection services postponed by one day after the holiday for the remainder of the week as follows:

  • M collections will occur on Tu
  • Tu collections will occur on  W
  • W collections will occur on Th
  • Th collections will occur on F

Please call 311 or visit for questions about Solid Waste Services.

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