City Council meeting, Aug. 11, 2014–new member standalone


Barry Smith, selected to fill the Ward 4, Place 1 unexpired council term of Jenifer Champ Wallis

Barry Smith, selected to fill the Ward 4, Place 1 unexpired council term of Jenifer Champ Wallis

The highlight of this 50-minute meeting was the selection of Ms. Barry Smith among 11 total candidates to fill the unexpired term of Ward 4, Place 1 representative Jenifer Champ Wallis. Link to a thumbnail sketch of Ms. Smith’s experience, and to her resume and application letters. The council also approved recommendations to put portions of Valley Avenue on a “Road Diet,” i.e., reduce the corridor from 4 lanes to 2 lanes with a dedicated center turning lane.  Click here to read the details of the consultant’s recommendations, presented at a pre-council work session. However, a mayor’s request to solve a parking problem near the failed “community garden” site in Ward 3 also failed the unanimous consent test for immediate passage. See below. It will be presented for a vote at the next meeting.

Members present: Michael Hallman, Britt Thames, Vance Moody, Fred Hawkins, Patrick McClusky, Walter Jones, Heather Reid, Peter Wright, and council president Bruce Limbaugh. Also present was Mayor Scott McBrayer.

Members absent: Richard Laws

Staff present: J.J. Bischoff, Mayor’s chief of staff, Greg Cobb, Building, Engineering and Zoning Department, Linda Cook, city clerk, and Mike Kendrick, city attorney.

Audience attendance: approximately 25 to start.

All votes were unanimous unless otherwise noted.

Approved minutes of the June 9, 2014, meeting.

Denied unanimous consent to establish parking spaces on “short” Saulter: A mayor’s request made weeks ago in committee to relieve evening parking congestion on Carr Avenue for GianMarco’s restaurant by establishing parallel parking spots along short Saulter was postponed by the single no vote of Patrick McClusky. Ordinances must receive “unanimous consent” of those present in order to pass on a first reading. McClusky’s no vote and position in the roll call meant the measure failed upon his vote, and by default will be presented again at the next session, where only a simple majority is required for passage. Mr. McClusky and Mr. Jones, who sits next on the roll call, represent Ward 3, where the parking situation is an issue and where residents no doubt still remember the council’s very unpopular denial to establish a community garden or green space on property along short Saulter.

Voting no: Mr. McClusky. Mr. McClusky explains that although he agrees with the plan 100%, he felt the council owed further information and details to neighbors, some of whom appeared at a committee meeting last week. The information, he said, will be delivered to those neighbors before the vote.

Approved removal of bamboo: The council agreed to remove a stand of invasive bamboo near the Creative Montessori School.

The city may spend up to $75,000 repairing sections of the channelized Griffin Creek that collapsed during recent heavy rains.

The city may spend up to $75,000 repairing sections of the channelized Griffin Creek that collapsed during recent heavy rains.

Approved a settlement to make creek repairs: The council approved a $16,990 settlement, no explanation given, to repair two sites where the Griffin Creek channel collapsed during spring flooding. The city will obtain a general release from all but one property owner.  Resolution No. 14-78 approved the $16,990 total settlement.  The Resolution passed on the Finance Committee’s motion and a second from Mr. Thames.

Postponed the following public nuisance hearings: Action on properties cited for overgrown conditions at 2831 16th Place South and 2827 16th Place South, presented in public hearings in July, were continued to the Aug. 25, 2014, meeting.

Approved recommendations to put Valley Avenue on a “Road Diet:” Click here for details presented at the earlier work session.

Approved support of a state ABC licenses to allow beer/wine sales at Seeds Cafe:  Paperwork for the license was completed by Seeds’ parent entity, the nonprofit faith-based Common Thread Company, which operates the cafe at 174 Oxmoor Road.

Referred these items to various committees, as follows:

To Finance – Request to vacate an alley off of Kensington Road; a request for amendments to the current city budget; a request to allow the mayor to enter into a contract to sell Ladder 4 to Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus; and to allow the mayor to enter a cell phone contract with Verizon.

To Public Safety: A request to consider support of a state ABC retail liquor license application for J. P. Partners, Inc. doing business as Oak Hill Bar & Grill, at 2835 18th Street South; and a request to consider traffic concerns on Valley View Circle.

Dropped:  A request to fence the perimeter and board up windows of the lower two floors of a motel at 260 Oxmoor Road, forced to close recently by a council denial of business license, was dropped.

Approved closing Brookwood Lane for a concert series: The road will be closed from 1-10 p.m. on Sept. 4, Sept. 11, Sept. 18 and Sept. 25 for a live concert series.

Paid the bills:  Invoices for the period July 28-Aug. 8, were paid.
The meeting adjourned at 6:47 pm.


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