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Decatur Commission plans to kick off city manager search, award hybrid beacon contract

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Decatur Commission plans to kick off city manager search, award hybrid beacon contract

Decatur City Hall.

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Decatur City Hall.

UPDATE: Both of these items were approved at the Aug. 6 city commission meeting. Here is our earlier story. 

The search for Decatur’s next city manager will begin in earnest on Monday, Aug. 6.

City Commissioners are considering a $22,000 contract with executive search firm GovHR USA.

“Mayor pro tem [Tony] Powers and I spoke with several firms and believe that GovHR USA will provide the best fit with the City Commission as we pursue a national recruitment effort to fill the City Manager’s position,” Mayor Patti Garrett said in a memo to the City Commission. ” … If approved, recruitment efforts will begin immediately with the objective of being able to appoint someone in 90-120 days.”

Merriss announced her retirement at the City Commission’s July 16 meeting. She has been the city manager for 25 years and has worked for the city since 1983.


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In other business, the City Commission will consider a $95,000 contract with Wilburn Engineering of Newnan, Ga. for the installation of a pedestrian hybrid beacon on Scott Boulevard by Westchester Elementary School.

Traffic along Scott Boulevard has been a running concern for Westchester Elementary parents almost from the time the school reopened in 2014.

Parents rallied and got the School Board to support additional safety improvements, like reducing the speed limit along the busy road and improving crosswalks and traffic signals. There’s now a trail linking City Schools of Decatur-owned property on Westchester Drive to the school so children don’t have to walk along Scott Boulevard.

“Pedestrian hybrid beacons are the pedestrian-activated traffic signals that were recently installed on South Candler Street near East Davis Street and on Clairemont Avenue near Maediris Drive,” Assistant City Manager David Junger said in a memo to the Commission. “The Scott Boulevard pedestrian hybrid beacon will provide greater connectivity between neighborhoods on both sides of Scott Boulevard, expand the Safe Routes to School program at Westchester Elementary School, and support the City’s Bike Friendly and Walk Friendly Community designations.”

Completion of the hybrid beacon is expected to take about six months. The project is being funded with a grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation. The grant will cover 70 percent of the project’s costs.

The Aug. 6 City Commission meeting begins with a work session at 6:30 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at City Hall, 509 North McDonough Street, and is open to the public.

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