Wednesday, August 12, 2009

City Council Update

First of all, we had an extremely busy night at Watkinsville City Council tonight. Thanks as always to those who attended the meeting. A quick recap for those of you who couldn't make it:
  • The Atchley family, who reside in the historic green home on South Main Street, won the Beautiful Yard of the Month award. It is well deserved -- they have been landscaping and growing a beautiful garden in their driveway. This is one of the oldest homes in Watkinsville, originally built in the late 1700s or early 1800s, I think.
  • Two-term councilman John Walsh tonight announced his official resignation as he has moved out of the city. The council appointed Christian Lake resident and former Realtor(R) Henry Norman to take his place. John served the city ably, and we look forward to putting Henry to work as well. Henry's background in public safety and real estate should bring a lot of strong and complimentary skills to the council. I have known Henry since going through Leadership Oconee in 2004 and can testify that he is a very strong leader and great thinker. He will fill the term through Dec. 31, although if elected in November to the post (he has declared his candidacy), he will continue on as a council member for a 2 year term. We are all excited to have a resident of Christian Lake -- our largest subdivision in the city -- on the council.
  • We had a lengthy discussion of SPLOST priorities. Samantha Purcell and I provided recommendations on significant upgrades and improvements for Harris Shoals Park (including improvements of existing facilities, a new young children's playground, recycling bins, new restrooms, stream bank remediation, etc.) as well as funding allocated for Rocket Field and our newest park (along Barnett Shoals Road) at a later date. We will likely finalize these items at our next meeting and work through a delivery schedule.
  • As I expected, the council unanimously opposed the four-laning of Simonton Bridge Road from the Oconee County line to 3rd street. There was discussion of what improvements may or may not be necessary (Kate McDaniel had suggestions as well), but the council was in agreement that the proposed MACORTS long range plan would not be good for the city. See yesterday's entry for more background on this and for details on how to offer your opinion on Simonton Bridge and other proposed future road improvements.
  • We also kept the millage rate the same (city taxes will fall due to slightly lower property valuations), and adopted ordinances to deal with franchise fee issues and flood damage prevention.
As always, would welcome any input on these or any other issues!


Oconee Democrat said...

Thank you Brian. Are you running for re-election? Can I get in line behind Mr. Norman?

Brian said...

I do plan to run again. Am excited about where we are going in Watkinsville!

Oconee Democrat said...

Now will we have an incumbent Mayor?