Top takeaways from the last city council meeting of the year
At the December 20 Dawsonville City Council meeting, council members heard a redistribution presentation and voted to reappoint staff, renew professional services and appoint a pro tempore mayor for the coming year.
The council received a redistribution presentation from Faith Bryan of the Georgia Mountain Regional Commission (GMRC), who explained that due to the city’s rapid growth, small adjustments are being proposed in the way the city is divided. in its districts according to the 2020 census.
“Basically what has happened is that the city of Dawsonville has increased its state population by 1,184 people, and by my numbers your population is 3,838,” Bryan said. “So what I did was I went back into the mapping program and using the 2020 census blocks I went to each station and added up the population of those posts. ”
Bryan said that when she counted the number of citizens residing in each district, she had a discrepancy of more than 10% between each number, which is not allowed by law. For this reason, she made a few small adjustments to bring the number of citizens within each position a little closer.
According to Bryan, the main change occurred in downtown Dawsonville, which was divided differently on the last district map of 2018 than on the proposed new map. In its new redistribution proposal, each post has between 933 and 997 citizens, leaving a gap of 2 to 3 percent between each post.
According to the maps provided, the main difference between the current district and the proposed redistribution is that a small section of post 3 would be rediscovered at post 2, a small section of post 1 at post 3 and a section of post 3 at post 4.
City attorney Kevin Tallant said the next step in the redistribution process would be a charter amendment to change districts.
“It will be in February, I imagine, when we are done,” Tallant told the board. “You’ll be passing a charter amendment at two different meetings, so it’s a bit of a process, but we should have something to consider either at your first meeting or at your second meeting in January, and then we can conclude in February. ”
Council members nominated and elected council member John Walden to serve as mayor pro tempore 2022. Walden was first elected in November 2019 as a post 3 council member and is currently serving a term of office from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2023.
As mayor pro tempore, Walden will replace Dawsonville Mayor Mike Eason if Eason is ill, out of town, or otherwise absent as mayor. Walden will replace Post 1 board member Caleb Phillips, who served as mayor pro tempore for 2021. The rest of Walden’s board voted unanimously to nominate him to fill the role.
Council members unanimously voted to renew several professional services offered to the City by groups and organizations. The groups included such services as the city lawyer and auditor, as well as two engineers unlike an engineer in the past.
“We have everything that exists; we’re adding a second engineer who is Civil Engineering Consultants, ”Eason said. “Just because of all of the growth in our community and the things we do, we overwhelmed Turnipseed so we used another business. ”
Council members voted unanimously to renew all services for 2022. Professional services that were renewed included:
Municipal Lawyer: Miles Hansford & Tallant LLC
Auditor: Alexander, Almand and Bangs LLP
Engineer: G. Ben Turnipseed Engineers Inc.
Secondary engineer: Civil Engineering Consultants Inc.
Municipal Lawyer: Jonah Howell
Wastewater analysis: environmental management services
Geologist: A&S Environmental Services
Repair / installation of water and sewer infrastructure: Townley Construction
Airport Consulting Engineering Services: Advanced Design Group
Long-term water quality monitoring: Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc.
As part of the council’s consent program, council members also approved several staff appointments and the appointment of City Court Judge Ronald Reemsynder, who has served the city since 2018. The staff appointments included City Manager Bob Bolz, City Clerk and City Court Clerk Beverly Banister and Deputy City Clerk Tracy Smith.
The consent agenda also included the reappointment of three members of the Downtown Development Authority. The board voted to reappoint Kevin Hammond, Tasha Howell and Jamie Mccracken for another term in the DDA, which will run from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2025.