Council moves on boundaries of city’s wards
by staff reports
October 12, 2012 02:06 AM | 1715 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODSTOCK — The Woodstock City Council voted to move forward with changing the boundaries of the city’s six wards at its Monday night meeting, with only one council member opposing the decision.

In a 3-1 vote, with Liz Baxter dissenting, the council approved the reapportioned map based on the latest U.S. Census figures.

Several maps were presented to the council at its Sept. 24 meeting, while only three compromised maps were presented at Monday’s meeting.

Council members Randy Brewer and Chris Casdia were absent.

Moving forward, city officials will draft an ordinance to amend the city’s charter to reflect the new ward boundaries. The ordinance will then be voted on at two regular meetings with a public hearing at one of the meetings.

Additionally, advertisements will be placed in the Cherokee Tribune, the county’s legal organ, for three consecutive weeks. The map will then be sent to the U.S. Department of Justice to be finalized.

The new wards are based on Woodstock’s population of 23,896, which was determined during the 2010 U.S. Census. The boundary lines must stay within a 5 percent range of equal distribution at 16 percent, leaving each ward with between 3,783 to 4,181 citizens.

In the last few years, Woodstock has seen growth on the east side of the city, but all councilmembers live west of Trickum Road, so maps had to be changed accordingly.

Also during the meeting, City Manager Jeff Moon informed the council of the steps he is taking to fill the role of Community Development Director Richard McLeod, whose last day is Nov. 3.

McLeod, who has served in his city role for the last 10 years, is heading to Alpharetta to lead its community development program.

An interim community development director will be appointed Nov. 5 with a “mixture of folks” in the department picking up McLeod’s responsibilities in the interim, according to meeting minutes.

The city will advertise for the position through Nov. 16 and will begin interviews the week after Thanksgiving. The proposed start date for the new director will be after Jan. 1.

In other business, the council:

* Approved a proclamation for Cherokee Christian Athletes Day for the third annual Fields of Faith event hosted by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes on Wednesday;

* Approved a proclamation for Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 7 to 13;

* Heard a presentation on the Homestead Option Sales Tax from Cherokee County Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens;

* Tabled a request for the Georgia Department of Transportation to move project funds from the city’s proposed $750,000 transportation enhancement grant set to fund the North Main Streetscapes project to another section of the streetscape on Main Street between Oak Street and Fowler Street;

* Approved unanimously water/sewer rate amendments replacing former monthly cost adjustments;

* Approved unanimously community development revisions to building fees and the second reading of ordinance revisions;

* Approved unanimously the purchase of a new rescue vehicle at a cost of $25,440;

* Approved unanimously a revision of the city’s contract with Waste Management regarding billing to say residents will be billed quarterly;

* Approved unanimously a sublease agreement for Community and Southern Bank to increase parking opportunities downtown by allowing RSOTT, a valet company, to use the bank’s parking during highest peak demand, Thursday through Saturday evenings; and

* Moved to executive session to discuss real estate, personnel and litigation, but took no action after returning.

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