From Dar'shun Kendrick
December 13th at 6:30 PM
- Rep. Tom Taylor
- Rep. Mike Jacobs
- Rep. Dar'shun Kendrick
- Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver
- Rep. Scott Holcomb
- Rep. Michele Henson
Rep. Holcomb called the town hall meeting to order at 6:44 PM.
Rep. Scott Holcomb
- Advised that this session is more to hear from constituents as opposed to speaking about what we will do
- He spoke about his trip to Beijing and reiterated the need for expansion of the Savannah Port and to close the [education] skills gap.
Rep. Mike Jacobs
- Updated that the city of Brookhaven was starting at a city next Monday
- Also stated that he chairs the MARTOC committee and that 2012 legislation that failed on the last day would be coming back as well as taking a look at privitizing transit service and payroll (KNG report)
- Advised that the state budget is tight; thinks there will be a gift ban for lobbyist this legislative session.
- Recognized newly sworn in Jim Ire, Councilman from Brookhaven
Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver
- Stated that she has ways for people to get in touch with her like Facebook, Twitter and enewsletter
- Updated that she went to Forsyth to do final vote on Criminal Justice reform
- She has prefiled 2 bills > Post adoption bill [HB 21] and on municipalization (requirement of stronger economic analysis) [HB 22]
- She is worried about healthcare budget issues that are controversial (Obamacare, bed tax, etc.)
Rep. Tom Taylor
- Stated that he thought the state budget would be the debate
- Also stated that he would be co-sponsoring to regulate the "pill mils" and a "2nd call" requirement for alarms to conserve police resources
Rep. Michele Henson
- Not sponsoring any legislation at the moment but she advised that she is sure that would change
- Stated that MARTA has been played by racism; pointed out Rep. Jacobs' comments as offensive
- Rep. Jacobs: Said that he doesn't believe his statements; said MARTA is a state sanctioned commission; he said that he may not oppose state funding for operation of MARTA but not until they are operating efficiency; he said there has been state money provided for MARTA although not from the general budget; said that one of the things he got from the TSPLOST vote is that the region is not ready to expand transit until MARTA gets in order
- Rep. Oliver said that the question is how do we fix the problem when 2 counties voted for MARTA.
- Rep. Henson clarified to make sure that Rep. Jacobs was not blaming the failure of the TSPLOST on MARTA.
- Rep. Taylor spoke and said that there were other reasons for the failure of MARTA but that MARTA needs help.
- He commented that public safety CANNOT be outsourced.
- Rep. Jacobs said there is a study/findings of an independent auditor that there are cost savings for privitization.
- Brought up the concern of pedestrians and DOT funds from 2006 being allocated along Buford Highway but hasn't been spent even though there has been a rise in deaths
- Requested help getting money to get spent and save lives
- Parent that started group once her child's school was listen to receive a cell tower; worked with Rep. Drenner on her bill (16 out of 18); interested in how it became a non-binding resolution referendum
- Her Question: What do we do now since it didn't make it to the floor for a vote?
- Rep. Taylor advised that this was a bi-partisan issue. This was a binding legislation for the school board because ultimately they own those properties.
- Rep. Holcomb stated it was his recollection that there was a duly executed contract so couldn't force them to break it.
- He read an email from a home owners association (Medlock Place/Medlock Commons on Medlock road) that was under consideration for being annexed into Decatur that vehemently opposed that attempt.
- Rep. Oliver said that the public opinion has went back and forth on whether to be annexed. Additionally, the City hasn't made a decision on whether to include residential but commercial property.
- Tracey Nelson objected as well and strongly advised the delegation not to put on the local calendar.
- We identified that Rep. Rahn Mayo is the rep. for this area.
- Lives in Lawrenceville, Ga.; says she has been a victims advocate; she feels there is not enough being done for juvenile justice reform or justice reform, especially about mentorship.
- Rep. Taylor stated that this delegation supported juvenile justice reform although it wasn't supported by the Governor.
- Rep. Jacobs said that he thinks she will see programs this year.
- Rep. Oliver says you have to prove mentoring works and you have to have evidence based results.
- Rep. Taylor advised that she should come down and get engaged and speak.
- What happened to HB 830 with Rep. Elena Parent?
- Rep. Oliver stated that it was refiled as HB 22.
- Asked about changing the County Charter to change the form of government and whether to increase the number of persons on the commission
- Rep. Oliver stated she is not aware of anything today.
- Rep. Jacobs advised that the problem is getting support from the delegation and would support changing CEO and riding of super commission districts for 7 single districts
Estelle Ford Williamson
- Lives in Avondale area
- She is concerned about the CEO form of government because the BOC seems like they can't get anything done
- Doesn't advocate abolishing CEO position but shifting powers under the Charter
- Rep. Taylor says that we need to hear from an advocacy groups
- She asked about lobbyist gifts. Rep. Taylor said that we haven't been in session but there will be a bill proposal.
- Rep. Taylor stated that there are 1800 registered lobbyists and 236 legislators, there are bad apples,
- Rep. Scott said that it's pretty simple.
Rep. Holcomb adjourned at 8:00 PM.
House Bill 830 will be reintroduced in the next Legislative session as HB 22. To read more on this please click here.