Avondale Estates city commission adopts agreement with the Downtown Development Authority
By Zoe Seiler, contributor
The Avondale Estates City Commission at its Oct. 28 meeting adopted an intergovernmental agreement between the commission and the city’s Downtown Development Authority.
The agreement serves as a master agreement between the two entities and allows them to attach different schedules as they determine which projects and other things to work on together, Commissioner Lisa Shortell said.
“Also, what’s really great about this is that this particular IGA would last for two years with the option to renew in another two years. It’s going to save us all a lot of time, energy, confusion and I feel like we’re really on the right path,” Shortell said.
This particular intergovernmental agreement includes $15,000 for the Community Promotion Program. The goal of the CPP is to promote the city through events and activities that attract people to Avondale Estates.
The IGA will make the process more efficient and the two groups won’t have to make a specific IGA each time they decide to work together. Moving forward, new schedules can be added to the master agreement as an addendum, City Manager Patrick Bryant said.
“I think the IGA refers to them as projects, so every time there’s a new project a schedule will be attached to the master agreement and it basically just says ‘okay for this project we’re following the same set of ground rules as we have for all the rest of them,’” Deputy City Manager Paul Hanebuth added.
In other business, the City Commission approved a resolution for the Georgia Municipal Association ethics recertification. Every four years, the City Commission must re-certify with the GMA to remain a certified city of ethics.
The resolution states that the city of Avondale Estates must follow five ethics principles and conduct its affairs accordingly:
– “Serve Other[s], Not Ourselves
– Use Resources With Efficiency and Economy;
– Treat All People Fairly;
– Use The Power Of Our Position For The Well Being Of Our Constituents;
– Create An Environment Of Honesty, Openness and Integrity.”
The board also discussed edits made to the Memorandum of Understanding with Fabric Developers which included clarifying the city can choose to hire a design firm at any time for any reason, ensuring the DDA and Urban Redevelopment Authority retain ownership of and rights to any work on the Town Green project and making sure the appropriate entities are listed in each section of the document.
The new draft did not change the timelines, although concerns from the audience and board members were raised that the timelines should be longer.
Bryant said the time frames can be adjusted as the document is a non-binding agreement.
“These aren’t binding time frames,” He said. “These are just goals, if you will, as far as time is concerned for consideration of various milestones within the project. If a timeline that’s specified within the non-binding MOU has to be extended for any reason for a couple of days or a week, that’s fine, as long as neither party makes it a pattern of extending timelines.”
Commissioner Lionel Laratte said he would like to see that stated in the MOU, but Bryant added that “any timelines that we need to establish in firm detail will be done during the development agreement. These are more loose timelines to get us to a development agreement.”
Residents and board members again raised concerns about who would design the park. The intent of the MOU is to have Fabric Developers make a recommendation of a design firm and present that for approval of the City Commission. Although, the City Commission can opt out of that at any time and hire a different design firm.
“The board can so choose to go its own direction for the purposes of designing the park if it so chooses,” Bryant said. “This is just a document to help move us forward to executing the project. The reason why all of the language is here, and all of the timelines are contained is to try to keep us on task.”
Additionally, the City Commission approved a resolution regarding the annual evaluation of the city manager and approved an addendum to Bryant’s contract to increase his salary by 3 percent. His salary is now $149,350 a year.
The board is also discussing proposing an ordinance to define the procedure in which the city manager is evaluated, which would include passing a resolution with a clear description of the evaluation and any salary adjustment.
“In the past there hasn’t been a defined procedure for evaluating the city manager position, so what they want to do moving forward is codify the defined procedure,” Bryant said.
The next regular meeting of the City Commission will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, at City Hall.