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Stone Mountain City Council plans to give itself a raise

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Stone Mountain City Council plans to give itself a raise

L to R Teresa Crowe, Gil Freeman, Beverly Jones, Chakira Johnson, Shawnette Bryant, Martin O'Toole, Clint Monroe. Photo by Sara Amis

By Jaedon Mason, contributor

Stone Mountain, GA — The City of Stone Mountain in their Regular Session meeting unanimously approved the first read of an amendment to ordinance 2023-12 to Amend Chapter 2 Article II. This section refers to the compensation of the mayor and city council

The amended language of the ordinance does not specify an amount, and the city attorney explained that this was an intentional choice to allow for discussion on what the salary numbers should be.

Clint Monroe proposed an increase from $300 a month to $1000 a month for compensation for the city council and from $1,000 a month to $2,000 a month for the mayor. Monroe argued that the raise is earned, but also may help to recruit qualified candidates for the positions in the future.

There was a second vote to approve the amendment with these specific figures, which went to a tie-breaker, broken by the mayor, who voted to approve the amendment with Monroe’s specifications of a $700 increase for the pay of city council and a $1000 dollar increase to the compensation of the mayor.

This is still just the first reading of the amendment, and the proposed changes will be discussed again in a special called meeting on Aug. 22.

In other business, the city also voted to participate in the DeKalb County Community Development Block Grant.

DeKalb CDBG is a federal program that essentially is a pot of money the city can apply to access specific projects. Councilmember Teresa Crowe specifically pushed back on participation in the grant as it locks the city out of applying for the Community HOME Investment Program, which provides funds “for housing rehabilitation of owner-occupied single-family homes and new construction and reconstruction of affordable single-family homes for sale to income-eligible homebuyers.”

City Manager Darnetta Tyus clarified CDBG funds are more for infrastructure improvements, which makes them more applicable to the needs of the city.

“It is true the city of Stone Mountain has not received much from this program in the past,”  said Tyus, but she attributed this to the grant not being a priority for the city in the past. Tyus continued “The program sponsors infrastructure, as well as resident home improvement forgivable loan programs that if we were to participate our residents would be eligible to participate.”

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