City Promotes From Within To Fill Key Roles

From the City’s Communications Specialist Renae Madison…

Effective February 12, Russ Madison, current Revenue & Technology Director will become the Finance Director with responsibilities for leading and managing the revenue and accounting divisions of the Administrative Services Department, as well as continuing his responsibilities with technology.  Also, effective February 12, Meredith Roark, current Budget & Performance Measurement Director will become the City Clerk, incorporating her existing duties and taking over responsibilities for elections, records administration and other duties such as certifying documents.

“I am glad that we have internal talent who are able to step-up and assist the organization in making a transition” said City Manager Peggy Merriss, “I am confident that Russ and Meredith will do an excellent job.”

Russ Madison has been with the City for 10 years and has an associate’s degree in intelligence operations from Cochise College, a bachelor of arts in political science from Emory University, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Georgia. Meredith Roark has been with the City for 11 years and has a BBA in economics from the University of Georgia and an MS in public policy from Georgia Tech.

The City will soon be recruiting to fill a new Accountant position to complete the team in  the Finance Division of Administrative Services.

Photo courtesy of City of Decatur website

Decatur Announces Google Photo Tours of City Buildings


From the City of Decatur’s Casie Yoder…

 In its commitment to being a 21st century city, Decatur announced today that it is the first city and government entity in the state of Georgia to partner with Google+ Business Photo to provide a virtual tour of key city buildings. Trusted Photographers Atlanta, a Google Trusted Certified Photographer, produced the virtual tours of Decatur City Hall, Decatur Fire Station #1 and Fire Station #2 and the Decatur Recreation Center.

“The City of Decatur is proud to be the first Georgia city to offer virtual Google+ tours of its facilities,” said Mayor Jim Baskett. “We believe it is a great way to showcase city buildings, all of which have been renovated and updated over the past ten years. Some community members may never set foot inside City Hall, but they can take a look around inside, all from the comfort of their own home. The 360 virtual tour of the Decatur Recreation Center allows viewers to see which rooms can be rented for receptions, events and meetings.”

All video tours can be viewed online:

Photo courtesy of Google streetview

ZOUTF To Meet with Residents to Go Over Potential Zoning Changes to Encourage Accessory Dwellings

Decatur Planning Director Amanda Thompson sends along this announcement…

Zoning Ordinance Update Task Force Meeting
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
7:00-9:00 PM
Decatur City Hall
509 North McDonough Street
The Zoning Task Force has been hard at work researching and crafting new city ordinances to help implement the 2010 Strategic Plan. You are invited to learn about the proposed changes to encourage Accessory Dwellings (e.g. garage apartments or granny flats) and define appropriate transitions between residential and commercial properties in downtown Decatur. From 7:00-9:00 PM city staff, task force members and PlaceMakers, LLC will be available to present the proposed changes, facilitate discussion and collect your comments. We need your input! The City Commission will consider the proposed changes in late October, 2012.
The following 2010 Strategic Plan tasks will be up for review and comment:

DHS 9th Graders Attend Local Legislators’ Town Hall

DHS teacher Chris Billingsley writes in…

The students enjoyed meeting all the elected officials, especially Ms. Elizabeth Wilson, former mayor of Decatur. They were also interested in Senator Jason Carter’s proposal to put an income cap on eligibility for the Hope Scholarship. I was especially interested in the discussion about new municipalities in the Atlanta area and a proposed constitutional amendment concerning state sponsored, but locally paid for, charter schools.

Talk to Reps Oliver, Benfield and Sen. Carter at Decatur City Hall Tonight!

This was mentioned at the last Decatur City Commission meeting.

Decatur’s State Representatives Mary Margaret Oliver and Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, along with State Senator Jason Carter are holding a “town hall meeting” at 6:30p in the city commisison meeting room at Decatur City Hall.

Patch says that HOPE scholarships are one potential topic of conversation, since Senator Carter has been pushing for changes to the scholarship programs –  including a cap on family income eligibility and downsizing the size of the commission’s staff – as recently reported by the AJC.

There’s also likely to be talk about the recent redistricting, which will provide future challenges for some state reps, especially Rep. Benfield.

Free Home Energy Efficiency Workshop Tonight at City Hall

From note forwarded from Decatur Commissioner Patti Garrett…


Date: February 8th, 2011

Time: 6pm – 7pm (presentation), 7pm – 8pm (drop in at Planning, Zoning, and Inspections Office)

Location: Decatur City Hall, City Commission Meeting Room

Homeowner’s Night is a great opportunity for homeowners in Decatur to meet with Planning, Zoning, and Inspections staff to discuss projects you may be considering for your house. You can find out what your zoning allows, what construction is required, what inspections will need to occur, and how the heck you pull a permit!

As a part of the February Homeowner’s Night, the Planning Department is proud to present a special workshop on home energy efficiency from 6pm-7pm. Guest presenters Mike Barcik and Frank Burdette of Southface will be providing homeowner’s with advice on how they can save money by reducing their utility bills. As experts in the field, Mike and Frank will help attendees understand how most homes leak energy, and explain what projects can make your home more comfortable and easier to heat and cool—while saving you money. Call it weatherization, energy efficiency, or greening your home… we’ll call it just plain smart.

After the presentation, homeowners are invited to drop into the office until 8pm with questions. We look forward to seeing you at City Hall [tonight].

Contact Nathan Soldat for additional details at [email protected]

‘Tis the Season To Give Input!

Fa la la la la, la la la la!  (Yes, the long-rumored missing seventh verse of Deck The Halls now applies to the efforts of Decatur city government.)

After a few months hiatus, Decatur’s Open City Hall is once again a happening place.

On the heels of asking questions about the city’s pending Cultural Arts Master Plan, the city has posted a question about railroad crossing improvements.

How would you redesign the existing railroad crossings at Candler and McDonough Streets to improve the safety and health of Decatur residents and visitors?

Already this question is bringing in the comments, with 18 responses and counting.  Jump over and let your voice be heard!