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Mayor Patti Garrett, Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers re-elected

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Mayor Patti Garrett, Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers re-elected

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Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett and Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers
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Decatur, GA — Mayor Patti Garrett and Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers on Jan. 4 were re-elected by their fellow commissioners to another one year term. Garrett was first elected as mayor in 2016. Powers was first elected as mayor pro-tem in 2018.

City Manager Andrea Arnold’s contract was also renewed. Arnold’s salary won’t change. She currently makes $170,000 a year. But under the terms of the new contract, the City Commission will consider a 5 percent raise for Arnold on or before July 1 in conjunction with the adoption of the FY2021/2022 budget, which would bring her salary to $178,500. The two-year agreement expires on Dec. 31, 2022.

Bryan Downs was reappointed as city attorney; Rhathelia Stroud was reappointed as Chief Municipal Court Judge; Berryl A. Anderson, Hollie Manheimer and Matthew McCoyd were reappointed as part-time municipal court judges; and Charles E. Bailey and F. Robert “Bobby” Slotkin, Jr. were reappointed as substitute municipal court judges.

The City Commission passed a resolution expressing support for a revised tax break for seniors being proposed by the City Schools of Decatur Board of Education for the upcoming legislative session.

The new tax break provides an exemption on $200,000 of assessed home value ($400,000 of appraised value) for seniors aged 65-69 if their income is at or below 80% of the adjusted median income for the Atlanta area. That income figure is $52,980 for a two-person household. Seniors aged 70 and above will also receive the same exemption on $200,000 of assessed home value ($400,000 of appraised value), but without an income cap.

It must be passed by the Georgia legislature and approved by voters in November 2021 before going into effect in 2022.

It is intended to replace an existing unlimited exemption for all seniors 65 and older that went into effect in 2016, and will sunset in 2021.

That exemption was expected to cost the school district an additional $1.2 million per year over existing exemptions; however, it cost an extra $3.5 million in reduced revenues in 2019, and an estimated $5.7 million in 2020.

To make up the shortfall, the district raised the millage rate from 18.66 to 20.25 and reduced some services.

In other news:

– The City Commission passed an amendment to a quitclaim deed conveying the property for Fifth Avenue Upper Elementary to City Schools of Decatur. Commissioner Lesa Mayer abstained from the vote due to her employment by Truist.

– An alcoholic beverage license was issued to Siam Dish Thai restaurant, as it has come under new ownership.

– City Commissioners are holding their annual retreat virtually on Jan. 7 and Jan. 8. The meeting will be live-streamed but an agenda and viewing instructions haven’t been published yet. 

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