City Commission Meeting December 19, 2023
Published 12:12 pm Tuesday, December 19, 2023
By Sarah Brown – Managing Editor
The Cordele City Commission met on Tuesday December 19, 2023 at 9am at the Cordele City Hall Courtroom with Commissioner Vest Beal Shepard, Commissioner Isaac H. Owens, Commissioner Royce Reeves, Sr., Commissioner Wesley Rainey and City attorney, Tommy Coleman in attendance. Chairman Joshua Deriso was absent.
The meeting started with an agenda item for consideration; Discussion – Appointment of the Chairman and Vice Chairman by the Governing Body and the Creation of an At-Large Ward. This item was moved to the agenda to discuss. The commission discussed this item and it would mean that the choice of Chairman would be up to the commission rather than be an elected official. This would not come into place until 2025. There are many steps that would need to take place before this change could be made such as going to General Assembly and changed legal documents within in the city.
We then heard from the Department heads with their goals and accomplishments. The Cordele Fire Chief, Todd Alligood went over their goals for the entire year and what they achieved. Some of these goals included, working on professional appearance, increased training, involvement with community such as schools, downtown and the hospital. They also worked on repairing their facilities, they conducted their first pinning ceremony and push in ceremony with their new ladder truck. Overall they had a very successful 2023. We then heard from the Police department and Codes regarding their goals and accomplishments. Starting with codes, they are continuing to go street by street and address any complaints they receive. They are trying to not give out many citations although their has been an issue with illegal trash dumping. They have also started their Facebook page along with continued training in the New Year. The Police Department goals and accomplishments, they have many officers who are currently in training, one new bilingual officer going to academy and, one recent graduate, Corey Watson who received high recognition in his class. Shop with a Cop and Adopt and Angel went well and they will be doing them again next year. They also hosted their first annual Christmas party.
We then moved onto agenda items; Agenda item number one was the proclamation for Parrish Lamar Preston conducted by Commissioner Isaac Owens.
Agenda item number two was to consider and approve a resolution to authorize the preparation and submittal of a community HOME investment Program (CHIP) grant application to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
Agenda item number three was to consider and approve resolution: RC administration FY 2024. That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
Agenda item number four was to consider and approve a resolution to authorize the City of Cordele CHIP application fee FY 2024. That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
Agenda item number five was to consider and approve an agreement with Bridging the Gap Educational Services, Inc. for use of the facility located at 212 N 2nd Street and standard field. That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
Agenda item number six was to consider and approve heating and cooling service agreement with RHC Heating and Cooling. That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
Agenda item number seven was to consider and approve the reappointment boards:
Animal Control Board – 5 year term; Curtis Lucas, Todd Helms, Amy Stokes.
Cordele Building Code Board of Adjustments and Appeals – 3 year term; Wilburn Stanford, David Conner.
Cordele Electrical Code Board of Adjustments and Appeals – 3 year term; Willie Patrick.
Cordele Fire Code Board of Adjustments and Appeals – 3 year term; Arthur Jackson.
Cordele Housing Code Board of Adjustments and Appeals – 3 year term; Danny Ross, Bob McCadams.
Cordele Plubming Code Board of Adjustments and Appeals – 3 year term; Rob Underwood, Joann Phillips, Pastor Johnny Dean.
Cordele Tree Board – 3 year term; Willie Patrick, Commissioner Isaac Owens, Commissioner Vest Beal Shephard.
Cordele/Crisp Industrial Development Authority; Steve Bridges, Bob Evans.
Juvenile Crime & Community Safety Committee; Pastor Terrance Walker, Summer Murray, Dr. Ruby Jackson, Courtney Oliver, Mario Kellogg.
That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
Agenda item number eight was the new appointment needed to the following City Board.
Cordele Building Code Board of Adjustments and Appeals – 3 year term; one board member.
Cordele Electrical Code Board of Adjustments and Appeals – 3 year term; one board member.
Cordele Mechanical Board of Adjustments and Appeals – 3 year term; three board members.
Cordele Tree Board – 3 year term; two board members.
Downtown Development Authority of Cordele – 4 year term; two board members.
This item was tabled for further discussion on people to fill the position.
Agenda item number nine was to consider and approve alcohol license renewal. With no exception noted. Police Chief Heard had reviewed the applications.
Beer only consumed off premises; Sunoco, Railhouse Tavern, Savage Quick Shop, Green Pantry.
Beer & Wine only consumed on premises; 16 East.
Liquor by the drink; 16 East, Railhouse Tavern.
Beer & Wine consumed off premises; Wal-Mart Supercenter, Joe’s, Railhouse Tavern.
That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
We then heard the City Manager report, she introduced Rick Smarr as the new social media and marketing coordinator for the city. She discussed the transition to Express Disposal which brought up some on going concerns. Doug Dean of the law firm of Dean Thaxton, LLC was present and spoke in regards to the communities concerns, along with conflict with current city ordinance in regards to trash being picked up on the curb. The new goals for the city in 2024 are employee pay, revenue recovery, protecting city assets and neighborhood sustainability. Redding also had some action items to put forward to the commission for approval, one of which was a 2.5% pay increase for employees who complete a certification or degree specific to their job. That was properly moved, seconded, and approved unanimously. They also passed that the probation period for new employees will be changed from 12 months to 6 months starting January 1st, 2024. They have also continued to have an issue with food trucks in the city and discussed raising the fee from $100 to $200 and limiting the amount of days a food truck can park over a 12 month period within the designated areas in the city. This was pushed forward for further discussion.
The meeting was adjourned after a brief executive session at 11:00am.