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Tucker bids farewell to outgoing city council members


Tucker bids farewell to outgoing city council members

Departing Tucker city council members Anne Lerner, left, and Noelle Monferdini, right. Photo by Sara Amis

Tucker, GA — The Dec. 11 Tucker City Council meeting began with a celebration of departing city council members Anne Lerner and Noelle Monferdini who have both reached the end of their eight-year term limits. Tucker was created via referendum in 2015 and the mayor and city council were first elected in 2016. 

Mayor Frank Auman said that term limits were written into the city charter in 2015, but at the time it seemed far away. 

“Life moves pretty fast,” Auman said.

Monferdini spoke about her vision of community and how that shaped the creation of Tucker and her work on the council.

“Your trust in me to champion your concerns, advocate for your needs and uphold the values of our district has been the cornerstone of my service,” Monferdini said.

Lerner spoke about the everyday work of a community, and of the existing organizations and volunteer groups that had already been at work before the city formed.

“You made it easy to start a city. We were not starting from scratch,” Lerner said.

 “On behalf of all of Tucker, thank you, congratulations, and job well done,” Auman said.

The agenda for the next city council meeting in January 2024 will include swearing in returning city council member Virginia Rece and new city council members Vinh Nguyen and Amy Trocchi.

January will also see a new city manager for Tucker. The council officially hired current Deputy City Manager John McHenry as the new city manager, and approved a consulting contract with outgoing city manager Tami Hanlin who is retiring effective next month.

Mayor Auman said that the consulting contract will keep Hanlin on the payroll during a transition period through the council’s retreat scheduled for early February.

“This one is so Tami doesn’t just run out of here,” Auman said. 

In other business:

— Vice President Steve Provost of Barge Design Solutions offered a presentation on a Parks and Recreation Master Plan update. Provost said that Barge conducted two public meetings on Aug. 15 and Sept.1 to ask for feedback from Tucker residents. Popular requests included environmental and education programs, community events, walking and hiking trails, and an amphitheater.

Barge offered a list of recommendations, including some projects that are already underway, including an amphitheater in the new Town Green and pickle ball courts at the Recreation Center. Barge also recommends a renovation of the Recreation Center.

Provost said that a final draft should be ready by the middle of January.

— The council approved two amendments to the 2023 budget to reflect the fact that Tucker’s Parks and Recreation Department received a Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Grant for $2.5 million, and also that the city qualifies to use $3.2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds for general government services.

A similar amendment to the 2024 budget was passed. In addition to funds for legal services, contracts with Jacobs and Interdev, and $50,000 for a vehicle for the new fire marshall, the amendment will transfer $4.5 million in ARPA funds to the general fund.

Finance Director said that based on a clarification from the Federal government and the fact that the city has met all requirements, Tucker will be able to use up to $10 million from ARPA funds for general services before the deadline to spend all funds Dec. 2026.

— The council approved a change to the ordinance governing special land use permits (SLUP) that will require a hearing before the permit expires. A SLUP for a specific property will also transfer to successive owners.

— A change to city ordinances will add a way for neighborhoods to request traffic-calming measures.

— Rates for legal services from City Attorney Ted Baggett and the law firm of Pereira, Kirby, Kinsinger, and Nguyen, LLC were approved. Hourly rates will vary from $120 per hour for paralegal work up to $230 per hour for the work of an attorney with 10 years or more of experience.

— Steve Nicholas was re-appointed Chief Judge of Tucker’s Municipal Court.

— The council approved a resolution that the city will take on enforcement of fire safety standards beginning January 1, 2024.

— The city approved an extent of stormwater service that includes all infrastructure within the right of way, and outside of the right of way up to the first structure.

— A contract for the design of a roundabout design for the intersection Idlewood Road and Sarr Parkway in the amount of $183,035 was awarded to Kimley Horn.

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