April 2018 Minutes

Cliftondale Community Club, Inc.
April 9, 2018
The Cliftondale Community Club, Inc. met April 9, 2018 at the Cliftondale Community Center. About 40 members and guests were present. Distinguished guests in the audience included State Senator Donzella James and City of South Fulton Councilman khalid kamau. Also present were candidates for office, who introduced themselves and remained for a meet-and-greet after the formal meeting: Mike Glanton, Jr., running for State Senator, and Fani Willis, running for Judge, Superior Court of Fulton County.
Vice President Marcus Carter presided. Mr. Glanton provided the opening prayer.
Secretary Gayle Lesser read a note from member LaRita Reid addressed to the Club, thanking them for their concern and prayers during her recent illness.
Membership Committee Co-Chairs Julie Wachsler and Tommie Stegall welcomed those present.
Ms. Wachsler, speaking as Treasury Liaison, provided the Treasurer’s Report.
Director Harold Reid reported that the South Fulton Parkway Alliance, where he represents the Club and serves as Vice President, did not meet in March. In the absence of Bruce Moody, Interim Chair of the Zoning Committee, Mr. Reid provided an update on current zoning matters. Regarding the million-square-foot warehouse proposed for the Parkway-Highway 92 intersection, an overflow crowd attended the March 26 meeting of the Union City zoning commission, which voted against the project. The Mayor and Council will take up the application on April 17, and Mr. Reid urged all opposed to attend.
The Community Zoning Information Meeting (CZIM), at which zoning applications are formally unveiled to the public, will be held at the City of South Fulton’s City Hall on Fulton Industrial Boulevard. There are three proposals for the Cliftondale Overlay District: 6926 Campbellton Road, Jones Road, and West Stubbs at Cascade Palmetto Highway.
There will be a meeting at the Cliftondale Arts Center on April 19 to discuss how construction will be handled for the planned roundabout at Butner and Union Roads. Asked if roundabouts are the best solution for local traffic problems, Mr. Reid said that Federal policy and money favor roundabouts over stop lights as a safer design. Senator James said that she had requested and gotten approval for traffic lights, but Fulton County resists because it does not want to pay for the operating electricity.
Mr. Carter introduced District 4 Councilwoman Naeema Gilyard, who said she was “an elected official” rather than “a politician”. A part of the Cliftondale Overlay District is in her district. She opened with her district’s demographics (rounded): 16,000 population; $68,000 median income; 54% female and 46% male; 83% African-American, 12% Caucasian, 5% “other”. The District’s population is larger than most south Fulton cities. And, while the District is not thought of as having many businesses, there are over 200.
She has focused on building infrastructure for her District.
An economic development committee has been formed. It conducted surveys and focus groups to determine what the District’s residents need. The District’s rural south wants to maintain the small town atmosphere, while the north prefers more density. The committee’s report will be ready when the City revises its Land Use Plan. In addition, the District needs to examine and update its Overlay. The District’s core vision is “To preserve the natural environment.”
Active developer interests include a group of investors who want to acquire land for a restaurant and meeting space; a subdivision of craftsman-style homes on unpaved Jones Road; an acquisition of 20 acres for open-ended uses such as a city hall, retail, housing; a developer with property on Cascade-Palmetto Road who proposes a strip mall with the usual line-up of businesses, whom she recommended to consult Next Door (a social medium) to determine what the community wants.
She is forming an HOA coalition for the District. Of the 28 HOAs in the District she was able to contact 20 and meet with 12. A committee will determine a meeting schedule and reach out to all HOAs. The goal is to organize committees to identify and move forward on priorities.
An education committee has been formed, but the director is temporarily sidetracked. The committee’s incorporation as a 501.c.3 (charitable nonprofit) has been approved, and contacts have been made in the three Hall Road schools. Two additional educational programs are planned.
The newly organized South Fulton Continuum Cooperative will address the health and social needs of the City’s residents, and its intention is to invest in programs and facilities.
Environmental justice, defined as undesirable projects being sited in minority communities, is a major concern, even in higher income areas of District 4. Examples are warehouses, which result in excessive night light, diesel emissions, noise, etc.; and two landfills in Fairburn, which handle 29,000 tons of waste. Councilwoman Gilyard will sponsor an environmental forum in May, featuring public health officials, environmental scientists, an attorney, zoning activists, etc.
In City news, the upcoming Council meeting agenda includes budget and operations, organizational structure and adjustments to the compensation plan, a communications contract, funding road construction at Stonewall Tell and Butner Roads, and a program of performance measurement and reporting.
Her pledge is to serve with integrity, access, and accountability, leveraging her background in finance and management skills.
Asked if airport noise and airplane fuel dumping will be included at the forum, Councilwoman Gilyard replied no, but that could well be a focus for another forum. Senator James advised checking with Keep South Fulton Beautiful for environmental issues such as airplane fuel. Mr. Glanton reported that a local clean-up was planned, and maybe the Councilwoman’s committees could help.
Asked what we can do to make other south Fulton cities work with us, Councilwoman Gilyard answered that some will, while some will not – but there are indirect ways to bring about co-operation.
Asked about announced plans to celebrate the City’s Year One, she answered that an event was a proposal rather than a plan. She has questions about where the money for the event will come from, and is it appropriate for a stretched budget?
Senator James reported that a bill just passed to favor small business, and existing legislation requires putting all calls for bids on-line.
Councilman khalid asked about the situation for help for the victims of the recent tornado that destroyed 47 houses in Chestnut Ridge subdivision near the intersection of Highway 92 and Jones Road. Councilwoman Gilyard replied that a woman is going door to door finding out needs and passing the information on to the pastor of Kingdom of God International Ministry, who has organized the response.
Asked whether the homeowners qualify for federal disaster relief, she replied that the number of destroyed houses does not reach the 50-house qualifying threshold. The insurance response is being delayed for unknown reasons.
In reply to a comment that the City needs better emergency response planning, with proper infrastructure for help in place, she replied that there is an Atlanta-Fulton County emergency center that is supposed to step in. However, it appears that Fulton County police were told not to go to the site, until two policemen finally showed up at 4 pm. There needs to be a conversation between the City and County.
Senator James said she spoke to the Governor, who asked the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to check on the situation, but their estimate was that damage was not sufficient for GEMA to be involved.
Mr. Carter thanked Councilwoman Gilyard for a very informative presentation.
Channing Parham, Commissioner Marvin Arrington’s new Community Engagement Representative, introduced herself. She announced upcoming events sponsored by the Commissioner, including an HOA Boot Camp in November.
Senator James announced an event to honor veterans on May 12, to be held at the Temple of Prayer.
Mr. Carter provided information on youth summer jobs, a job fair, and the spring Bulky Trash Day. The meeting was adjourned.
Gayle Lesser, Secretary

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