Residents and businesses work toward equality in Tucker
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By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor
Tucker, GA — Discrimination and social justice continue to be top of mind for residents and elected officials in the city of Tucker. At the June 23 City Council meeting, residents promoted equality through activism while council members pushed diversity training and participation in the 2020 census.
Mayor Frank Auman reminded residents to contact state legislators in support of HB 426, a bill being considered by Georgia’s Senate to increase penalization for crimes motivated by race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, or disability.
Activists spoke on behalf of Tucker Open Door.
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Renea Doughton-Johnson, representing Tucker Open Door, said she spent hours speaking with small business owners about a non-discrimination ordinance (NDO).
In four days, Tucker Open Door volunteers approached 29 businesses, including restaurants, salons, and shops; all are now displaying the Tucker Open Door logo in support of an NDO. Doughton-Johnson said business owners have been overwhelmingly supportive.
Tucker City Councilmember Anne Lerner promoted a virtual discussion on June 24 “Diversity and Inclusion: What is the Right Path?” hosted by Leadership DeKalb and two high school students, Brandon Smith and Trinyty Turner.
In other business:
– City Manager Tami Hanlin presented two items, both of which passed unanimously. Tucker renewed the final year of a contract with InterDev for IT $18,000 per month in IT services and $17,200 per month for GIS. Jacobs Engineering, which renews yearly, was approved by City Council. The contracts are worth $2.7 million.
– Tucker Parks and Recreation announced improvements to Henderson Park, fully funded by DeKalb County, including a new dock on Lake Erin and a new bridge on the red trail. Plans to build a stadium at Fitzgerald Field are being scaled back, said Parks and Recreation Director Rip Robertson.
– Council members unanimously passed a Special Land Use Permit for a minor auto repair shop at 3145 Tucker Norcross Road, extending construction deadlines due to delays caused by Covid-19. Applicant Arturo Somoza said since cleaning up the property, which is surrounded on three sides by residential homes, he has worked to maintain a high standard for the property.
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– A Tucker City Code amendment to Chapter 30, Offenses, was unanimously passed. The code serves to protect residents from disorderly conduct. A change was prompted by an unruly house party held Memorial Day weekend in Smoke Rise, run by an out-of-state vendor.
– A request to annex the Hughes Pointe neighborhood into the City of Tucker was approved.
– Finance Director Toni Jo Howard presented a public hearing to maintain the millage rate at 0.900 mils, the same rate as Fiscal Year 2019. According to the memo, “Adopting a millage rate of 0.900 is thus considered a property tax increase of 3.69 percent. The impact to the average homestead property with a value of $258,573 is $3.31.” The next public hearing on millage is scheduled for July 13.
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