The good folks in Decatur Heights have again done the city a public service and set up a public forum for all City Commission and School Board candidates. This year the event will take place Sunday, October 25th from 3-5p at its usual location at The Church at Decatur. More details below!
More … important links to information:
From the Downtown Decatur Neighbors website…
Decatur Candidate Forum
6:30PM – October 12, 2015
Decatur Public Library
Please join the Downtown Decatur Neighbors as we host a forum for Decatur City Commission candidates. You will have the opportunity to meet Commission candidates, hear their vision for Decatur, and ask them questions. While open to all Decatur residents, the forum will have an emphasis on issues impacting Downtown Decatur, including development, transportation, and parkland. Citywide issues such as the school bond and annexation also are likely to be discussed.
Photo courtesy of DeKalb Public Library website
On the agenda for tonight’s Decatur City Commission meeting, something that was referenced a while back in the ongoing discussion about the Callaway property, the potential of a grocery store there, and its close proximity to Decatur High School property.
Now that the Georgia Legislature has passed House Bill 85, which allows local municipalities to lift the “no off-premise consumption alcohol sales within 200 yards of a school” restriction in situations where they deem it appropriate, Decatur is making its move.
The City Commission is scheduled to vote tonight on removing the distance requirements “in relation to schools for licenses issued for a “Consumption on Premises” license issued to restaurants.” They will also take up removing the distance limitation “for a “Consumption Off Premises” license for beer and wine sold in a grocery store.”
A note from Asst. City Manager Lyn Menne to City Manager Peggy Merriss explains the proposed change thusly…
“The City of Decatur, like many cities around the state, is experiencing growth and development based on Smart Growth principles that encourage a variety of uses within walking distance. Because Decatur High School is located in the central business district and possible school expansion is contemplated in the East Decatur commercial district, the current distance limits from schools and colleges are not compatible with plans for mixed-use developments and our desire to attract a new grocery store and specialty market tenants.”
As the AJC reports, the Decatur City Commission approved waiving the sanitation and storm water utility fees for homeowners over age 70 in the city, who qualify for homestead exemptions at Monday’s meeting.
According to a note from City Manager Peggy Merriss to the Commission, qualified seniors will receive a $315 credit on their second installment tax bill that will be sent out later this month.
The Decatur City Commission has been looking for a way to provide tax relief to seniors since the Georgia House of Representatives defeated local legislation during the 2015 session that would have allowed the city to increase homestead exemptions for older residents.
The city plans to “move forward with the local legislation again in the 2016 General Assembly session”, according to City Manager Merriss’ note, but for now is making these additional tweaks that do not require legislative approval. The total cost to the city for the fiscal year is estimated at $340,000.
Also at the meeting, the city showed support for an August Decatur School Board resolution that would give full exemptions from the school tax millage for seniors 65 and over. According to the AJC, the city is likely to approved a similar exemption in December. However, such an exemption would also need to be approved by the Georgia Legislature, so it’s certainly not a done deal.
Photo courtesy of The City of Decatur
Here’s the final list of Decatur residents who have qualified for the November election, with candidates who have qualified since yesterday highlighted in yellow.
All these races combined with the school system’s bond vote should make for a very interesting election season!
UPDATE: Yeah, so qualifying is actually still open until Wednesday afternoon. My bad. Up above is the updated list with additions highlighted in yellow. Guess we’ll receive a final one of these tomorrow.
Decaturish reminds us that qualifying just
closed OPENED! for the November election. So here’s the full CURRENT! list of candidates by district, courtesy of the city.
Looks like every open seat will have two contenders and Scott Drake will have an opponent for his District 1 seat. We’re still waiting for formal announcements from three of these candidates and will post them once if/when we receive them.