1st City Commission Meeting of 2024

Published 1:56 pm Tuesday, January 2, 2024

By Sarah Brown – Managing Editor

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The Cordele City Commission met on Tuesday May 16, 2023 at 9am at the Cordele City Hall Courtroom with Chairman Joshua Deriso, Commissioner Vest Beal Shepard, Commissioner Isaac H. Owens, Commissioner Royce Reeves, Sr., Commissioner Wesley Rainey and City attorney, Tommy Coleman in attendance. The meeting started with an Organizational Meeting swearing in Vesta Beal-Shephard as Commissioner of Ward 1 and J. Wesley Rainey as Commissioner of Ward 4. City Attorney, Tommy Coleman read them their Oath of Office to which they both said I do. 

The regular meeting came to order starting with department heads;

Fire Chief, Todd Alligood gave their report for November 28th through December 27th. They had a total of 43 calls for service, included in this was 3 structure fires, 6 motor vehicle accidents, and 13 medical assists. The alert system that they have in their trucks during the 43 calls the system alert 358 drivers which included approaching and on scene. Their average response time to a call was 2.7 minutes. They have also completed all training required for the year along with hydrant maintenance. Municipal Court, Jackie Walker gave the December report which had a total of 180 cases, 155 traffic, 25 criminal, 6 bench warrants and 29 license suspensions and collected over $35K in probation fees, bonds, web payments. They had 0 incarcerated and 0 jail days. We then heard from Cordele Police Chief, Jalon Heard with the reports from Codes and Police. Codes report was from November 28th through December 26th, they had a total of 61 dilapidated properties, 29 inspections and 99 overgrown grass complaints. Police Report was from reporting period of November 28th through December 26th, they had a total of 74 Part 1 crimes, 4 motor vehicle thefts with all being recovered. They had 4 aggravated assaults, larceny or thefts they had 61 with 33 entering autos. He mentions that all the doors were unlocked and reminds people to lock their doors. There was 11 shoplifting with 11 adults and 1 juvenile arrested in relation to thefts. 17 other thefts, burglaries there were 4, 3 of which were residential and 1 storage unit. They had a total of 58 Part 2 crimes, incidents reports 132, community contacts 33, citations 66 and warnings 19. Total calls for service was 977. Chairman Deriso asked for the Chiefs opinion on not locking your car door to prevent damage to your car. Chief Heard said that they have not seen many windows broken and it is still best to lock your car as those who are committing the crime are just checking door handles to see if they are unlocked. We then heard from Public Works who mentioned that they are currently in the planning stage of getting with Express Disposal to do an alley clean-up. Following we heard from Rick Smarr the new Social Media Marketing Manager who gave an update in regards to relaunching a newsletter and to check out the City of Cordele Facebook Page. 

They then moved onto agenda items, starting with agenda item number one electing a Vice Chairman, to which Royce Reeves was re-elected. 

Agenda item number two was to appoint and set retainer for Municipal Court Judge to which they chose to continue with Russell Wright. 

Agenda item number three was to appoint and set retainer for City Solictor to which they chose to continue with Blake Brantley. 

Agenda item number six was to appoint and set retainer for Public Defender to which they chose to continue with Dustin Land. 

Agenda item number five was to appoint and set retainer for City Attorney to which they chose to continue with Tommy Coleman. 

Agenda item number six was to consider and approve a parade permit: Crisp NAACP Cordele, GA on January 15, 2024 at 9:00am. The route of the parade us Old CCMS Parking area, 24th Avenue to the Lion’s Club Fairground, Hwy 41 South. Commissioner Issac Owens, President, 601 East 13th Avenue, Cordele, Ga. This was properly moved, seconded and approved unanimously. 

Agenda item number seven was to consider and approve an event permit: Faith Event, January 27, 2024, 1:00-3:00pm with the sponsor being St. Theresa Catholic Church and organizer Tammy Teel. The location: Harvey’s Supermarket and Tesla Charging Station, on sidewalk, not parking lot. People will hold posters, promoting “right to life.” This was properly moved, seconded and approved unanimously. 

Agenda item number eight was the first reading of an ordinance establishing the reduction from monthly pay received by the Chairman and Commissioners for any absence from a regular meeting without just cause; repealing all ordinances in conflict herewith; and for other purposes. After a lengthy discussion between the Chairman and the Commissioners it was decided that they go down from what they originally agreed upon of 25% down to 10%, which is similar to other cities. They decided to adopt this ordinance and it was properly moved, seconded and approved unanimously. 

Agenda item number nine was the first reading of an ordinance amending get City Code of the City of Cordele to provide for placement of solid waste near a city right of way; repealing all ordinances in conflict herewith; and for other purposes. This was properly moved, seconded and approved unanimously. 

Agenda item number ten was the first reading of an ordinance requiring security for establishments providing on premise consumption of alcohol; repealing all ordinances in conflict herewith; and for other purposes. This was properly moved, seconded and approved unanimously. 

Agenda item number eleven was the first reading of an ordinance amending ordinance no. 2023-02 to provide for a regulatory fee for food trucks; repealing all ordinances in conflict herewith and for other purposes. After further discussion in regards to those who have been upset about the change in fee and the comparison of Food Trucks to a Brick and Mortar business they decided to keep the fee at $30 a day (setup). This was properly moved, seconded and approved unanimously. 

Agenda item number twelve was the first reading of an ordinance amending the City Code of the City of Cordele to provide for the regulation of pool rooms, game rooms, and billiard halls; providing for an application; providing for violation and grounds for revocation of a license; prohibiting gambling; repealing all ordinances in conflict herewith; and for other purposes. After a discussion of potentially taking away restriction of opening times they agreed to amend the opening time for businesses that fall under the above categories that they can open on Sunday at 10:30 am. This was properly moved, seconded and approved unanimously. 

 

Agenda item number thirteen was to consider and approve a resolution requesting the General Assembly to amend the Charter of the City of Cordele to provide for a five member commission consisting of four members elected from districts and one at large; providing for the election of the Chairman by the remaining members of the commission; repealing all resolutions in conflict herewith; and for other purposes.  It was brought up to change the position from Chairman to Mayor and Vice Chairman to Mayor Pro-tem. There was a lot of discussion on this matter between Chairman Deriso and Commissioner Royce Reeves. Chairman Deriso, said that this was not about himself being able to make a motion, it was about trying to get him out of the position in office. He says that it is an attempt to recover power.  At the end of the discussion this item was properly moved, seconded and approved unanimously. 

Agenda item number fourteen was to consider and approve an agreement for the drinking water SRF lead service line replacement program administered by Georgia Environment Finance authority. This was properly moved, seconded and approved unanimously. 

Agenda item number fifteen was to consider and approve alcohol license renewals with no exception noted for the following businesses; Kenny’s Food mart LLC, Cordele Supermarket LLC, Walgreen’s #09849, Hachi, and Los Compadres. This was properly moved, seconded and approved unanimously. 

Lastly we heard from City Manager, Angela Redding who spoke in regards to Express Disposal starting their services effective January 1, 2024. People can also bring their real tree to Williams Field for Bring 1 for the Chipper event that is held until January 31st. They still are conducting the comprehensive plan. Property taxes are due by February 12, 2024 and Occupational licenses are due for renewal by April 1, 2024. They also made a motion to conduct a public hearing for Odum’s Pool Room during their regular meeting on January 16, 2024. The city will be closed on January 15, 2024 for MLK day.

Meeting was adjourned at 11:02am.