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Racial justice and equity on the agenda for Decatur City Commission retreat


Racial justice and equity on the agenda for Decatur City Commission retreat

Commissioners, pictured left to right, are: Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers, Lesa Mayer, Kelly Walsh, Mayor Patti Garrett, and George Dusenbury. Photo obtained via the city of Decatur


Decatur, GA — The Decatur City Commission will hold its retreat virtually this year, and the agenda includes a discussion about racial justice and equity.

The virtual retreat will be held on Jan. 7 and Jan. 8, starting at 8:45 a.m. each day and wrapping up in the afternoon. Decaturish intends to live-stream the retreat via its Twitch channel which you can see by clicking here. To see instructions on how to join the Zoom meeting for each day of the retreat, click here.

It’s unclear from the agenda if the discussion about racial justice and equity will lead to a specific policy proposal from the city commission or if it will simply be an affirmation of the city’s commitment to these goals. It’s one of many topics on the agenda. According to the agenda it will be discussed during the “team building” portion of the meeting. The agenda item is called, “Taking a Stand on Racial Justice & Equity.”

Other topics on the agenda include:

– 2030 Strategic Plan

– Affordable Housing – recommendations from task force

– Budget Projections/Limitations for 2021 and impact of pandemic

– Capital Projects & Prioritization, i.e., Ebster field

– Communication Strategy

– Development-UDO updates, zoning, land use and urban planning educational activity

– Impact fees

– Legacy Park – Postal Pond project, Facilities and Greenspace master plan

– Noise Ordinance – Lawn equipment (environmental impacts)

– Pool Options – year-round, Boys & Girls club

– Seniors – senior school tax exemption, other exemption, storm water fee options

– Transportation Plan – 2021 priorities

– Tree Ordinance

Every year, the City Commission and city staff get together for the City Commission retreat, which is ostensibly a public meeting. It’s subject to public notice requirements under Georgia law. However, unlike every other public meeting held by the Decatur City Commission, this one is held two hours outside city limits in Young Harris, GA. That’s legal under the letter of Georgia law. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s retreat will be held virtually, offering the public a rare glimpse of what is arguably the city’s most important public meeting of the year. It sets the tone and agenda for the coming year. It will be an opportunity for the public to better understand how their commissioners think and what their priorities are.

Decaturish has been a regular attendee of the meetings and has also been a frequent critic of the city’s practice of holding its annual retreat in a place that is inaccessible to city residents.

To access the zoom links and the agenda for the retreat, click here.

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