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Decatur City Commission wraps up first day of retreat


Decatur City Commission wraps up first day of 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

This story has been updated.

Young Harris, GA — The Decatur City Commission and city staff are in Young Harris, Ga., today and Friday for their annual retreat. Day one featured discussions on the highlights of 2021, priorities for 2022 and evaluating the city’s strengths and weaknesses.

The day concluded with an executive session, a closed-door meeting that is legal under Geogia law.

Reflecting on last year, City Manager Andrea Arnold said some highlights included adopting the 2030 strategic plan and the stormwater master plan, the city’s work with the Decatur Housing Authority, and creating the East Decatur Station tax allocation district.

“A real positive that I saw, something that was very unexpected, was the relationship that I’ve seen our organization develop with our federal elected officials,” Arnold said.

Other highlights included working on the clean energy plan, improving infrastructure to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety, completing the fiber network project, and working on the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

Looking ahead throughout the rest of 2022, some priorities of the commissioners and city staff are:

– Increasing the amount of affordable housing in the city.

– Improving infrastructure like roads and sidewalks, implementing traffic-calming measures, and addressing issues with traffic signals.

— Focusing on equity and social justice through public art, diversity in contracting, events and reparations.

— Implementing the Legacy Park master plan and constructing the athletic facilities at the park.

Other topics such as the noise ordinance, greenspace management and clean energy were also listed as priorities. On Friday, the city staff and commissioners will dig deeper into the priorities and set their goals for the year.

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