Decatur Proposes Streets To Be Paved in 2018

Each year, the city gets funding from the Georgia Department of Transportation’s (GDOT) Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) program to pave a few local roads.

This year, the city is proposing paving the following streets, according to a letter included in the city commission’s agenda this evening

  • Westchester Drive – from Scott Boulevard to Harold Byrd Drive
  • Harold Byrd Drive – from Westchester to the dead end
  • Northern Ave – from West Ponce to Oakland Street
  • Avery Street – from Winnona Drive to Kirk Road
  • Fifth Avenue – from Oakview Road to Northern Street (city limits)

The city selects streets after an evaluation of streets from engineering stuff, and taking complaints and inquiries received from citizens into consideration.

Photo courtesy of Decatur Extreme Makeover website

Watch the Decatur District 1 Candidates Forum Online!

Here’s the full video from the District 1 Candidates Forum on October 12th, courtesy of the Decatur Heights Neighborhood Association.

District 1 City Commission Candidates Forum This Thursday!

Deanne sends along the info for this Thursday, Oct 12th’s District One Candidate’s Forum…

City of Decatur
District 1 (A) Commissioner
CANDIDATES FORUM
Thursday, October 12, 2017
7-8:30 PM
The Church at Decatur Heights
735 Sycamore Drive Decatur, GA 30030

Hosted by the Decatur Heights Neighborhood Association

All City of Decatur residents are invited to hear from candidates Betty Blondeau, Melissa Manrow, Tim Martin and Kelly Walsh on key topics of interest to our community.

Moderator Bill Banks is a longtime city resident and reporter covering city government for the AJC.
Don’t forget to VOTE NOVEMBER 7th!
Early voting starts October 16th
Special thanks to The Church at Decatur Heights for providing the space and event support.

Betty Blondeau Enters Race For District 1 Commissioner Seat

Betty Blondeau’s campaign sent out this announcement this morning…

Decatur native Betty Blondeau announces her candidacy for City of Decatur District 1 Commission seat, to succeed Fred Boykin, who has announced his retirement later this year, after serving in that position for more than 15 years. The election will take place in November.

“As a lifetime Decatur resident, I am committed to the continued good growth of this city where I have my roots,” says Blondeau. “I want the commission to do all it can to assure sustainable, livable development that will set Decatur apart, while preserving the character that says, ‘Decatur’.”

Over the course of her career, Betty has been an integral part of the development and success of the arts across metro Atlanta. In her roles as President of Georgia Citizens for the Arts, and Community Arts Chair of the DeKalb Junior League, she was a regular face around the Capitol in lobbying efforts to keep the arts funded at the state level.  She has served as a panelist for the City of Atlanta, Fulton County, and the State of Georgia, as well as with various arts groups.  Preserving and promoting good growth in Decatur is a natural next step.

Betty now turns her sights on public service for the city in which she lives. She was deeply involved in Good Growth DeKalb and since then has committed to taking an active role in serving Decatur’s citizens. She has experience in zoning and planning issues, serving on DeKalb’s Community Council, and was the leader of the effort to rewrite/update DeKalb’s zoning code. She’s an activist for greenspace in downtown Decatur, and citywide; she co-chaired the Woodland Gardens capital campaign, which raised $1 million to purchase additional space for the garden; and she serves on the Mary Gay House endowment board to maintain and preserve this historic structure.

“My experience on the DeKalb County Zoning Code Update and my involvement with Good Growth DeKalb has allowed me to work with neighborhood groups, developers, and staff to look at issues where creative, collaborative thinking can bring the best solutions for smart growth,” Blondeau commented. “Over and over I hear from the community the need for development that respects neighborhood concerns: traffic concerns that impact us all; a commitment to code enforcement on pedestrian safety and walkability; greenspace in downtown Decatur, as well as in the newly acquired Methodist Children’s Home property; and a stronger tree ordinance, preserving our vital tree canopy.”

“The foundation of my service is listening. I plan to solicit citizen opinions on issues at hand. I want to bring their voices and concerns to the front line, and I will listen and represent them at every turn,” says Blondeau. “I plan to stay in regular communication with my constituency through email and social media platforms, and to be completely transparent. I want their voices heard.”

Decatur’s young families keep this community thriving, and Betty knows the Decatur school system is a major drawing card for influx into the city. “Decatur schools remain at the center of a young family’s decision to choose Decatur as their home.  I know that we must work effectively with the school board to assure that this amazing education system has the resources it needs to continue to provide the best learning environment for our children.”

 Betty looks forward to meeting and listening to her constituents in the coming months and preparing to bring their concerns to the commission table.

 Please join us as Betty kicks off her campaign on August 23 at 5 pm at Woodlands Garden, 932 Scott Blvd.  For more information about Betty and her positions, please visit www.BettyForDecatur.com.

Tim Martin Announces Campaign for District 1 Commission Seat

Tim Martin’s campaign sent out this announcement this morning…

Tim Martin Announces Candidacy For District 1 Commission Seat
Local business owner seeks to build on years of dedicated community service.

Decatur, Georgia – June 26, 2017 — Local resident Tim Martin announces his candidacy for the Decatur City Commission today, seeking to serve fellow District 1 residents with his “well-rounded experience and neighbor-driven leadership.”

“I’ve done a lot of listening over the past few months,” says Martin. “Working to understand how people feel about Decatur. What they love but also the issues that concern them.”

What he heard had much in common with his own priorities and convinced him that he could be an effective voice for the community. In particular, he’s identified a number of oft-repeated issues — taming Scott Boulevard, making efficient use of city investments and resources, improving housing affordability, and promoting further livability in the city’s downtown — that, as commissioner, he plans to take on.

“We as a community share similar values,” he says. “A desire to be heard. Protecting what works and fixing what doesn’t. Working together, being responsible stewards of shared resources. These are things you can expect from me, in anything I do.”

Martin has a lengthy history of local involvement, particularly with the Rotary Club, Clairmont Presbyterian Church, and the Decatur Business Association, but cautions against making his ample resume the focus. “I’m more concerned with what those experiences and accomplishments add up to and how they reflect what I’m really about,” he says. “I’m a doer, and I’ll roll up my sleeves with anyone willing to do the same.”

Martin graduated from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University in 2000 and presently runs Tim Martin Wealth Strategies, a wealth management and financial planning practice with over $50 million in Assets Under Management. He’s been a Million Dollar Roundtable® member since 2008, won the National Triple Crown Award in 2011, and has been a NAIFA-Atlanta Top Advisor Under 40 each year since 2011.

“People have entrusted me with their finances and their futures,” he says, “and I’ve worked hard to earn that trust and do right by them.”

Martin’s wife Melanie is a public school teacher with the City Schools of Decatur and both of their children attend schools in the system. “The success of public education is personal for me,” he says, “so working together in good faith with our school system to help protect and further their interests is a priority.”

“Ultimately, I’m committed to working, learning, and creating value with others to make positive and lasting contributions to the Decatur community. I look forward to meeting additional neighbors in the coming months and learning more about how I might best be of service.”

For more information about Tim and his campaign, visit timfordecatur.com.

Decatur Hoping to Attract High-End Market To Downtown

Decatur has long desired to attract a new grocery store downtown.  Calls for a Trader Joe’s are a running joke on this site – and elsewhere, assumedly (local watering holes, water coolers, etc)

Yes there’s the mini-Kroger, but **insert your reason here**.

Decaturish reported a couple of days back that the city was trying to woo a high-end market to the city and that a change to the liquor law was necessary to make the opening appealing.  As the article pointed out, the large Cook’s Warehouse space downtown is currently vacant and could conceivably house a small grocery store.

Decaturish then followed up with a challenge from the Georgia Alcohol Dealers Association, who claims the change to the law isn’t allowed in Georgia.  But the city says their attorney has given the sign off on these changes, and that it is within the city’s purview.  UPDATE: According to Savi Provisions website, their current Buckhead location sells small quantities of spirits already, so it seems there’s a work around for grocery stores out there.  So I guess we’ll see where any of this goes.

WSB also recently featured the story in a segment, as shown above.

Decatur 17-18 Budget Narrative Now Online!

Not only does the City of Decatur put together a wonky, official budget each year and post it online.  They also compile an easy to read Budget Narrative for all us lay people to flip through at our convenience.   So take advantage!

I always like to read through the city’s bulleted lists of project, programs and policies for the coming fiscal year.  So I’ve ripped them from the document and included them below for your convenience. The city separates them into the five principles from the strategic plan:

Principle A: Manage Growth While Retaining Character

  • Additional bicycle racks, holiday decorations, trash and recycling bins, dog waste stations, benches, seasonal plantings (Tasks 1D and 1F)
  • New Walk There signs (Task 1D)
  • Tree well, MARTA plaza, crosswalk, informational kiosk maintenance (Task 1D)
  • Maintenance of online business license renewals (Task 2A)
  • Adopt a mobile food facility ordinance (Task 2D)
  • Scottish Rite Sign Program (Task 4B)

Principle B: Encourage a Diverse and Engaged Community

  • Better Together Advisory Board will engage the community to fulfill the Community Action Plan (Tasks 5B and 5C)
  • Engage neighborhood leaders through the Decatur Neighborhood Alliance and the Lifelong Community Decatur Neighbors committee to encourage support between neighbors and between neighborhoods to provide community support (Tasks 5A, 5E, 6B, 7A, 7B, 7D)
  • Continue to develop leadership skills and engage members of the new Decatur Youth Council as they learn about city government and our community and provide feedback on how to best meet their need (Task 7E)
  • Continue to provide Open Office Hour live streaming video of City Commission members discussing topics of community interest and answering viewers’ questions live via social media, email or telephone (Task 6A)
  • Implement the Foresight Augmented Reality (FAR) app to help the blind and visually impaired to navigate their way to Decatur’s shops, restaurants, and businesses (Tasks 5C, 6A, 8D)
  • Explore inclusion of universal design/visibility guidelines (Task 5F)

Principle C: Serve as Good Stewards of the Environment and Community Resources

  • Redevelopment of the Callaway Building and the Avondale transit oriented development will begin to come on line (Tasks 9C and 9D)
  • Re-opening of the indoor pool at the Boys & Girls Club as a shared use facility (Tasks 11A and 16D)
  • Completion of a Comprehensive Open Space and Shared Facilities Masterplan among community organizations, City Schools of Decatur and the City of Decatur (Tasks 10A, 11A and 16F)
  • Installation of electronic fuel tracking and maintenance logging devices on city vehicles (Task 12A)
  • Complete the multi-year energy conservation audit for city facilities to update sustainability policies for facilities (Tasks 10A and 12E)
  • Update the City’s existing Stormwater Masterplan (Task 13B)
  • Update the City’s existing Greenspace Masterplan (Task 13D)
  • Refine online applications and permitting in Children and Youth Services, Active Living and Design Environment and Construction divisions (Task 10A)
  • Complete improvements to the Barry Street/ downtown storm drainage project (Task 13B)

Principle D: Support a Safe, Healthy, Lifelong Community

  • Resurfacing of McKoy Pool and Oakhurst tennis courts (Goal 16)
  • Implementation of sidewalk improvements based on sidewalk assessment (Goal 14)
  • Improvements to bicycle and pedestrian facilities including expansion of cycle tracks, sidewalks and road diet on Howard Ave (Task 14A)
  • Upgrade and expand the Outdoor Tornado Warning Siren System (Goal 16)

Principle E: Provide the Necessary Support within City Government to Achieve the Vision and Goals of the Community

  • Expand employee wellness program to include activities to combat obesity and diabetes (Goal II)
  • Upgrade telephone system in city facilities (Goal III and VI) • Replace the fiber network connecting city facilities (Goal III and VI)
  • Purchase a training simulator for use by the Police and Fire departments (Goal III)
  • Deploy electronic invoicing and invoice work flow system through accounts payable software (Goal V)
  • Implement recommendations and best practices from cybersecurity risk assessment (Goal VI)
  • Develop and begin implementation of Decatur’s Smart City Initiative (Goal VI)