JANUARY 31, 2017

The meeting of the Council of Columbus, Georgia was called to order at 9:04 A.M., Tuesday, January 31, 2017, on the 2nd Floor of the Citizens Service Center, located at 3111 Citizens Way, Columbus, Georgia. Honorable Teresa Pike Tomlinson, Mayor, presiding.

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PRESENT: Present other than Mayor Tomlinson and Mayor Pro Tem Evelyn Turner Pugh were Councilors Mike Baker, Jerry Barnes, Glenn Davis, R. Walker Garrett, Bruce Huff, Judy W. Thomas, Evelyn Woodson, with Councilor Berry Henderson taking his seat at 9:08 a.m. City Manager Isaiah Hugley, City Attorney Clifton Fay, Clerk of Council Tiny B. Washington and Deputy Clerk of Council Lindsey Glisson were also present.

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ABSENT: Councilor R. Gary Allen was absent.

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INVOCATION: Offered by Bishop L.D. Skinner, Sr. of Bread of Life Christian Center.

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PLEDGE: Led by Mayor Tomlinson.

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An Ordinance (17-6) - Adopting a text amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to amend Article 4 of Chapter 8 to update the soil erosion and sedimentation control for stormwater discharge permit as requested by Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD).

Councilor Thomas moved the adoption of the ordinance. Seconded by Councilor Woodson, and without discussion the motion carried unanimously by those eight councilors present, with Councilor Henderson being absent for the vote and Allen being absent from this meeting.

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An Ordinance (17-7)- Amending the Zoning Atlas of the Consolidated Government of Columbus, Georgia; this amendment changes certain boundaries of a district located 822 5th Avenue (parcel # 019-018-016) from GC (General Commercial) Zoning District to RMF1 (Residential Multi-family 1) Zoning District.

Councilor Woodson made a motion to adopt the ordinance. Seconded by Councilor Huff, and without discussion the motion carried unanimously by those nine councilors present, with Councilor Allen being absent from this meeting.
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A Resolution (32-17) - Requesting approval of Council for the City Manager and the Finance Director to make payment of a total of $27,892.60 to Earl W. Ransom for damages resulting from a motor vehicle accident which occurred on December 9, 2016, in exchange for a full release.

Councilor Thomas made a motion to approve the resolution. Seconded by Councilor Baker, and without discussion the motion
carried unanimously by those nine councilors present, with Councilor Allen being absent from this meeting.
A Resolution (33-17)- Authorizing the approval to enter into an amendment to the agreement for Indigent Defense Services between Circuit Public Defender Office of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit and Muscogee County in the amount of $136,799 from February 2017 to June 2017 and authorize an additional payment to the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council (GPDSC) in the amount of $109,268 paid in four monthly installments of $27,317 each.

Councilor Woodson made a motion to approve the resolution. Seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh, and without discussion the motion carried unanimously by those nine councilors present, with Councilor Allen being absent from this meeting.
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A Resolution (34-17) - Appointing Robert S. Wilson as Recorder Pro-Tem for the Recorder’s Court of Columbus, Georgia.

City Attorney Fay said that he has distributed around the Council table, a resolution that would authorize the temporary appointment of Robert S. Wilson as a Recorder Pro Tem for the Recorder’s Court and said that this is the position in which Julius Hunter was previously serving in. He said if there are no other nominees, Mr. Wilson can be appointed. There were no additional nominees submitted.

Councilor Woodson made a motion to adopt the resolution. Seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh and carried unanimously by those nine councilors present, with Councilor Allen being absent from this meeting.

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Breathe Easy Columbus

Mr. Perry Alexander, Co-Chair, 7651 River Crest Drive, representing the Breathe Easy Columbus Coalition, came forward and introduced the other members of the Coalition who were present with him this morning, to include Ms. Jamie Austin, Ms. Nicole Lett, Dr. Tara Underwood, Mr. Brian Anderson, Mr. Buddy Nelms, Mr. Michael Cortez, and Ms. Sherell Radcliff, and Ms. Yomi Habaya.

After Mr. Alexander introduced those who were present with him, and are members of the Coalition, he then outlined some of the various activities that they have been involved in since the coalition has been organized. He said Breath Easy Columbus is a community coalition and they have partners from private business, to include various organizations, who are represented on the Commission, as well as individuals represented by the medical profession. He said their primary mission is to work with our community and moved towards a smoke-free environment in public places; particular in workplace sites and public places, as well. He said they were established in 2013 and for the last three and a half years, they have been working to educate the community about the dangers of second hand smoke. He said that education has taken various forms and he then mentioned several of them. He also outlined several of the events that they have attended during the past three years.

Mr. Alexander said every time they go somewhere, they talk to people about the devastation which is caused by secondhand smoke; and said they will present additional information to you today about that.
He said they have been busy and taken this phase of their work very seriously and think that it is time to move from community education to policy initiation.

Ms. Nicole Lett then came forward and presented the following information to the Council, as outlined below.

What is secondhand smoke? The objective of this stuidy was to assess exposure to
secondhand smoke among employees and patrons of Columbus hospitality venues – restaurants, stand0alone bars, and clubs. Mr. Brian Anderson, CEO of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Buddy Nelms and Ms. Sherell Radcliff, came forward and expressed their views regarding this matter. In conclusion, Mr. Perry Alexander came forward again and stated as he has said earlier, they have been active in educating the community for the past three years and now they think it is time for us to move from education to policy implementation.

He said that they distributed to the Mayor and members of the Council, a model ordinance that we shared with you in the past, which is the exact document that the six other cities in Georgia used to go smoke free. He said there was also a letter presented to Mayor and Council from Mr. Scott Hill, CEO of Columbus Regional and he is offering his support to the proposal.
After the conclusion of Breath Easy Coalition’s presentation, and
Mr. Alexander concluding his remarks, said what they need to ask the Council for, is to issue a call for an ordinance, which is the next proper step.

Councilor Thomas said she of you might know that she lived in California for a number of years and was also a smoker. She said she used to smoke three packs a day because she loved to smoke and said that the State of California then said no more smoking in public buildings. She then asked, what am I going to do. Then, they said no smoking on airplanes; what am I going to do because, I fly all the time; and then they said, no smoking in restaurants. She then said, why am I still smoking, because everywhere I go, I can’t smoke; so I quit.

She said in the State of California the only place that you can smoke is in your own private home and car. She said she doesn’t know of a
single business that has gone out of business because people can’t smoke in that facility. She also said she does not know of a single flight that has been canceled because people could not smoke on that plane.

Councilor Thomas said it has made a difference in her life, as well as in the lives of other people; the secondhand smoke. She said she never knew what she was doing to herself. She said she quit smoking because she could not smoke where she happened to be; and said, as a side bonus to that, she got healthier.

Councilor Thomas said she would be more than glad to ask our City Attorney to bring us an ordinance and let us look at it and see what we can do. She said if this would be appropriate, she would ask the City Attorney to do that.

City Attorney Fay said they would be glad to work on a draft ordinance; however, there are a couple of areas that we are going to have to look at, as far as grandfathering bars and restaurants, who have put in State law allowed ventilation areas. He said there may be a few of those in Columbus; and said that private clubs are also exempt under the State law from these restrictions, and maybe there is a way we can address that. He said we would work on a draft to try to address those issues.

Mayor Tomlinson said this was a question that she had; because a lot
of local communities are passing ordinances, which bar these State loopholes. She said normally that is not be allowed because usually there is a pre-exemption clause in these statues unless there is some sort of statutory provision that says otherwise provided by local law or something.

City Attorney Fay said he is not aware of that. He said we could possibly grandfather the two or three that has ventilation systems.

Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh, Councilors Huff and Woodson said that they would also like to co-sponsor the ordinance.

Mr. Alexander said it is their understanding that Georgia, by Constitution, is a non pre-exempted State and that each local municipality has the right to exceed the State law in this instance and said that is how these six Georgia cities have approached it.

*** *** *** Mr. Peter Bowden, President, CEO came forward and presented the following mid-year update to the Council, and provided the following information, as outlined below.

Meetings Held- At the conclusion of his presentation, Mr. Bowen showed the new destination film that was recently created by the Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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Inspections & Code Departmental Update:

Mr. John Hudgison came forward and provided an update of his department and the various improvements that has been done since he was appointed as the Director of the Inspections & Code Department.


Mr. John Hudgison, Director of the Inspections and Codes Department came forward and highlight various changes that have been made to the department since he was appointed as Department Director.

Proposed UDO & Columbus Code Changes

Building Permits & Certificates of Occupancy BUILDING CONSTRUCTION UNIFORM CODES ACT



After the conclusion of his presentation, Mr. Hudgison then responded to questions of members of the Council.

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Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin came forward and provide another presentation on the Public Agenda Process, which is outlined below.

She said this presentation has been presented before; however, it has been updated.
Public Agenda Appearances III. If appearance is to:
After the conclusion of her presentation, Ms. Goodwin then
responded to questions of the Council.

*** *** *** Ms. Reather Hollowell, Human Resources Director came forward and gave the following presentation, as it relates to the Health and Wellness Center.
Ms. Hollowell showed a map of the property at its current location as listed above, as well; as provided additional information regarding the property, as listed below. . After the conculsion of her presentation, Ms. Hollowelll then responded to questions of Mayor and the members of the Council.

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Angelica Alexander, Director of Finance came forward and gave the monthly finance report.

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With there being no further business to come before the Council, Mayor Tomlinson then entertained a motion for adjournment. Mayor Pro Tem Turner Pugh so moved. Seconded by Councilor Huff and carried unanimously by those nine members of Council present, with Councilor Allen being absent for this meeting, with the time of adjournment being 12:33 p.m.

Tiny B. Washington, MMC
Clerk of Council
The Council of Columbus, Georgia