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Decatur City Commission reelects mayor, mayor pro tem

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Decatur City Commission reelects mayor, mayor pro tem

Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett, (l) and Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers, on right, listen as Decatur City Commissioner Kelly Walsh speaks to supporters at The Marley House on Nov. 2, 2021, Election Day. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Decatur, GA — Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett and Mayor Pro Tem Tony Powers were reelected by their fellow commissioners during the Jan. 3 city commission meeting.

Garrett and Powers will continue serving in their respective roles for 2023.

Unlike some other cities, Decatur’s mayor is selected by their fellow commissioners at the commission’s first meeting of the year. Patti Garrett currently serves as mayor and Tony Powers is the mayor pro tem. Garrett was first elected as mayor in 2016. Powers was first elected as mayor pro tem in 2018.

Garrett was reelected in November 2021 to serve a fourth term on the city commission, representing District 2. Powers is the at-large commissioner and will be up for reelection this year.

– In other business, Renae Jackson will serve as the city’s first equity and engagement director.

– The city commission reappointed City Attorney Bryan Downs and designated Judge Rhathelia Stroud to continue serving as the municipal court chief judge. The board additionally reappointed the municipal court judges. Berryl Anderson, Hollie Manheimer and Denise VanLanduyt will continue as part-time municipal court judges. Cinque Axam, Tyler Edgerton, F. Robert “Bobby” Slotkin, Jr. and Tom Stubbs will serve as substitute municipal court judges.

– The board renewed City Manager Andrea Arnold’s contract.

A copy of her contract is posted on the city’s website. The city commission increased Arnold’s salary from $170,000 to $178,500 in June 2021. Under the terms of the new contract, her base salary will be $187,000. The two-year agreement expires on Dec. 31, 2024.

– The city commission also removed an agenda item that would amend an agreement with Thrive EDS, LLC for the dedication of the New Street extension and accepting the right-of-way for the project. The developer has not met the conditions of the agreement, so the city staff was not in a position to recommend approval of the amendment, Arnold said.

“The amendment is intended to 1) reflect a change of ownership for the project and 2) allow the city to accept the right-of-way prior to full completion of construction,” Decatur Project Civil Engineer Jennings Bell wrote in a memo.

The city commission approved the original right-of-way in November 2019. Thrive began construction in January 2020, but sold all of its assets, including this project, to Toll Brothers in February 2020.

“Several streetscape items on the west side of the street are still incomplete at this time,” Bell said. “Acceptance of incomplete work would deviate from the original agreement, which requires completion of all work in the right-of-way before acceptance. The proposed amendment will allow acceptance in an incomplete state. Without acceptance at this time, the street would remain private property and dwellings on the east side of the street, that are otherwise nearing completion, would not meet the city’s zoning requirements for frontage on a public street and thus could not be occupied. The developer’s sales contracts have made future residents of all six homes dependent on the city’s acceptance of the street.”

Editor and Publisher Dan Whisenhunt contributed to this article. 

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