August 2017 Minutes

Cliftondale Community Club, Inc.
August 14, 2017
The Cliftondale Community Club, Inc. met August 14, 2017 at the Cliftondale Community Center. About 45 members and guests were present. President Stanley Knowles presided. Membership Committee Co-Chair Tommie Stegall provided the opening prayer.
The meeting’s program centered on celebrating the Club’s 65 years of service to its community. Dignitaries present included Senator Donzella James, Representatives William Boddie and Roger Bruce, Commissioner Marvin Arrington, Mayor Bill Edwards, Councilmembers Helen Willis, Carmalitha Gumbs, and Catherine Rowell, Police Captain Hattie Cotton Tukes, and Major Sheila Rogers.
Commissioner Arrington provided frozen refreshments for the occasion.
The Fulton County Police Department was represented by Captain Tukes and Major Rogers. They reported that Chief Gary Stiles, who could not be present, sent his thanks to the Club for its service to the community.
Officer R. S. Pittman provided the community crime report. Given that the number of vehicle break-ins is up, he offered some safety suggestions: make a 30-second safety sweep of the interior before exiting, looking for items of value a thief can see; do not leave a cellphone plugged in for recharge; park in well-lit places; and remember your key fob is a passive security measure.
Senator Donzella James noted recent success in reducing a local crime. The Fulton County Commissioners passed an ordinance against “slider” crimes, a special case of car-jacking, which was followed by a State law making the crimes a felony. Statewide, slider crimes were reduced from 50-60 a week to 1-2 a week.
Mr. Knowles announced that Harold Reid, Chair of the Club’s Research and Development Committee, has been appointed to head the Planning Commission of the City of South Fulton. He will no longer serve as the Club’s representative for community zoning matters, but he will continue on the Club’s Board of Directors. Cliftondale zoning matters will be handled on an interim basis by Bruce Moody, Education Committee Chair, whose extensive zoning experience includes serving on the County’s Community Zoning Board.
Membership Committee Co-Chairs Tommie Stegal and Julie Wachsler welcomed visitors. They explained that the Club’s membership year runs from July to June, so we are in the midst of our membership drive and annual renewals. Ms. Wachsler said that dues are $25 per family and $15 for families headed by a senior (age 65 and up). Membership and PayPal information is available under the Membership tab on the Club’s website,,
Ms. Wachsler, speaking as Treasury Liaison, provided the Treasurer’s report.
Mr. Knowles presented a scholarship check for Festus Ojo to his sister. Mr. Ojo, a graduate of Westlake High School, served as the Club’s Community Intern over the past year. He will be attending Harvard University as a chemistry/premed major in the fall.
The program then turned to presentations of Resolutions honoring the Club’s 65 years of service: Senator James, on behalf of the State Senate; Representative Boddie, on behalf of the State House; and Mayor Edwards and Councilmember Helen Willis, on behalf of the City of South Fulton.
Senator James announced that openings were available for 3 students from Cliftondale to serve as pages in the state government during the upcoming session.
Vice President Marcus Carter was the featured speaker. He heads GreyStone Power Foundation’s Operation Round-Up. Co-op customers fund the non-profit foundation by having their monthly power bills automatically rounded up to the nearest dollar. The average customer’s annual donation is only $6, but over $2 million has been raised since 1999. The Foundation works with nonprofits to meet a range of needs in GreyStone’s service area. Examples are food banks, the Red Cross, and scholarships.
Councilmember Willis added that the Foundation donated $1,000 to a local back-to-school book bag and school supplies campaign.
Mr. Knowles thanked Mr. Carter.
Mandisha Thomas, Co-Chair of the Club’s Social Committee, announced that the Club’s annual fall festival will be held on October 28.
Ms. Wachsler and Teiola Porch of the Nominating Committee gave the second reading of the nominees for Club officers and directors for 2017-2018: President, Stanley Knowles; Vice President, Marcus Carter; Secretary, Gayle Lesser; Treasurer, Greg Wachsler; Directors, Jack Liles, Harold Reid, and Julie Wachsler. The slate was moved and seconded. There being no nominations from the floor, the slate was accepted with 28 yes votes, 0 no votes.
Councilmember Willis urged attendees to be at the August 28 meeting of the City of South Fulton Council to speak against hiring 7 part-time Council aides. She opposes the measure as not fiscally responsible. She and Councilmember Gumbs emphasized their commitment to transparency in government and to the City Charter.
Commissioner Arrington announced his annual scholarship contest. Ten $500 scholarships will be awarded to high school students from his District on the basis of an essay competition.
Willy Davis, Westlake PTSA President, announced that the County School Superintendent will speak on the status of local schools on September 21 at Westlake High School. The Superintendent has been asked to address the “Our schools are no good” stereotype. There will also be a question and answer segment.
There will be a “college day” in October at Westlake for all South Fulton high school students.
Mr. Davis said that he wants to get men’s fraternities involved in mentoring youth in area elementary schools.
Mr. Knowles thanked all present for contributing to a memorable celebration.
Gayle Lesser, Secretary

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